Dead Space (Game Review)

Now I know this game may be 4 years old, but after watching Lewis play Silent Hill 3 back in September and watching the E3 trailer for Dead Space 3 I figured that it is time to try out some survival horror games. It is different from what I usually play, but has proved to be a lot of fun ...as long as I don't play in the dark! Plus I am aiming to do a Dead Space 2 soon and then a Dead Space 3 post when it comes out in February 2013.

The first impression I got from the game was a good one. I put the disc into my Xbox 360 (although the game is also available for the PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Windows) and the EA logo comes up, but instead of the way it normally looks, it appears as a circular yellow window with bloody hand stains all over it. Now that's awesome. Also, during the E3 trailer for Dead Space, an alternate version of the nursery rhyme 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star' is sung, which gives the trailer a dark, sinister atmosphere. The idea of taking a children's nursery rhyme and putting it with such horrible scenes makes everything all a bit more messed up and gruesome.

Dead Space makes the mission of engineering team Concordance Extraction Corporation (CEC) take a horrible turn for the worse when they arrive at the USG Ishimura (a "Planetcracker" Starship) in response to a distress signal sent to them from the ship. You play as Isaac Clarke (the engineer) and after you and your other 2 team members crash on to the suspicious vessel, you begin to suspect everything is not as it seems and something is definitely wrong, and boy is it! Suddenly a horrific creature pops out of the ventilation shaft and frightens the shit out of you, so now you must run for it, all the way down the elevator away from commander Zach Hammond and computer specialist Kendra Daniels as you get chased down a dark corridor by one of the mutated fuckers. And so your dark, scary and disgusting adventure begins.

There is a terrifying secret aboard the Ishimura and only Isaac can solve it. The game's main goal is to explore and exterminate the necromorph infestation while trying to restore the ship back to normal. As the team arrived they noticed everything was switched off for an unknown reason. But little did they know, it was actually because of a horrible accident that happened when a mining colony shipped an artefact called 'The Marker' from its home planet. The necromorphs were created after the Artefact spread a virus into the dead, causing them to come back to life. So now we've got our quiet, limb blasting, body stamping, bad ass who must go beyond the call of duty and take on an evil so horrible that no where is safe aboard the Ishimura.

The gameplay is all from an over-the-shoulder third-person perspective, but the game manages to seperate itself from far from other third-person games of its type. The graphics are incredibly detailed, and the atmosphere and the environment constantly give off a deep sinister edge. There is a constant rattling and tapping everywhere and you are taken so far from your comfort zone that eventually every wall fan seems lethal to you! The monster's sure do have a big case of the munchies and love to get up close and chew on Isaac, but by tapping the A/X button you can get loose and sort those bastards out (even though all they want is a hug). 

A lot of things that would normally appear around the game screen are instead shown within the game aesthetically. The map is a hologram that's viewed from Isaac's helmet and chest piece. This is a really innovative way to display the map to the player, as usually a map would appear in the corner of the screen. The only downside of this is that this map is bloody hard to navigate and understand so instead you can just press the right trigger and a ribbon of light will direct Isaac where he needs to go which is much easier and much less complicated. The guns are similar to the map as you view the amount of ammunition you have in the gun on the aiming sight. Also, the health bar is shown up Isaac's spine on his RIG suit. 

The fun is not just on board the ship, as sometimes you can take the fight out in space (with gravity boots) where there are no sound effects at all all, just Isaac's deep breathing. You can jump wall to wall but you must fight quickly as otherwise you can suffocate and get lost in space. This provides an intense experience to the player, but sometimes you can't navigate so easily due to all the tension and the need to rush.

This game is way different to anything I have played in a long time and has given me a small taste for survival horror games such as Silent Hill (which I would like to thank Lewis for showing me). This game is a bit disturbing and is definitely a mental experience. I recommend this game to anyone who loves horror, sci-fi games, things with aliens and bloody dismemberment!

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