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Dead Space is a survival horror game where you take control of engineer Isaac Clarke, who is thrown into a horrific situation aboard an interstellar 'Planet Cracker' mining vessel.
A contagion has been unleashed aboard the ship, turning the crew and passengers into hideous nightmare creatures called Necromorphs. You can probably guess that these creatures are violently antisocial. When you and your pals answer the distress call coming from the ship your own vessel crashes, leaving you to try and find a way off the doomed ship.
Many science fiction archetypes are paid tribute to in this game as you may be able to tell by the main character's name. There is a mysterious artifact of unknown origin that has been brought aboard, and a sinister cult that seems to be a dig at Scientology. A few plot twists keep things interesting but there's many nudges and winks to films like Aliens - I think this game was a labour of love for the developers and it results in an excellent game.
The visuals and audio are innovative and atmospheric. There are miles of twisting pipe-laden corridor, but also varied community and work areas and also some very well imagined spacewalk areas. Paranoia is ramped up as you navigate through flickering tunnels. Everything is represented in game instead of using a HUD, with health being displayed on Isaac's spine, and objectives and inventory being represented by holograms. Audio logs fill in the backstory, and nerve'wracking shrieks, bangs and crashes often take you by surprise.
Gameplay involves exploration, survival and combat. As Isaac is an engineer, he uses mining tools instead of conventional firearms, ranging from a small plasma cutter to an industrial laser. In combat the focus is on limb dismemberment, so the multiple functions on these weapons make the fights fun and varied. Isaac also has telekinetic powers which can be used to overcome otherwise overwhelming combat odds or specific puzzle elements.
There's some original moments involving zero-gravity as well, and the environments, challenges and dangers keep the gameplay interesting.
This game is extremely well created with the characters looking extremely life like. The characters talk and move there lips at the exact same time with lip sync on while I have other games that even with lip sync on haven't. The controls are simple to learn and are shown to you through the first few missions which introduces the story but does not feel like a tutorial so I find you don't get bored. The lighting in the game is down very well as even though it is quite dark in the game you can see everything very well and with no warning at all an enemy which is covered in blood with large bones coming out of it's hands can fly out of the ceiling and grab your character causing you to repeatedly have to press specific buttons to get it off. Most corridors in this game are covered in blood so I would not recommend this to anyone under the required age unless you played it yourself first. The plot of this game is that a small manned spaceship docks at a larger ship but the larger ship is eerily empty causing the team to become alert. Within seconds of docking the team comes under attack from the horrifically twisted remains of the crew. Most of the team gets wiped out and only a few survivors remain on the ship with one being the main characters girlfriend and one being a demented pyshco who goes arround killing hunans and turns human remains into the twisted zombie type creatures. The game is very long I played it for months and still haven't beat it and I play for nearly 8 hours a day so for £5 it is an extremely good game to get considerating that some £30 games can last nearly 4 hours before they are completed.
I had followed news regarding Dead Space for a number of weeks before it's release and thought that it looked right up my street, it was clear from the amount of promotional material that EA were banking on this being a stonker of a title, online comic books detail the events leading upto the game and seemed to promise a well realised and full gaming universe.
On it's release I didn't buy it straight away as I was sure my ageing Pc would not be able to handle the game, so I waited patiently, saved up and bought a new system, one that would run the game properly, and a brand spanking new copy of DeadSpace. Unfortunately I have had some troubles getting the rig up and running (no need to go into them here). So fed up of waiting I went ahead and installed DS on my old Pc, which took an enormous 12G of hard drive space to install. I started up the game in the vein hope that I'd just about get it to run smoothly enough to be playable and was really suprised that the game ran incredibly steadily, with little to no jogging or skipping (granted the graphics were on low quality and I used a very low resolution). The point is that you don't need a blisteringly fast system to play DS as I was expecting. That's enough on performance, now onto the experience.
After my suprise at being able to run the game I was all set to go, after all the hype I was sure it would meet or even surpass it's build up. Imagine my disappointment then, when I started my way through the Ishimura (the mining ship in which the game takes place) and found the controls to be clumsy and clunky, the setting to be drab and dull and the Aliens to be too fast for the slow and awkward controls. However, I'd waited that long to play it I endeavoured to give it another hours chance before hurling it at the wall, howling and wailing bitterly the while. Long story short, I'm really glad that I did.
What at first I perceived to be cumbersome control issues and a restrictive camera angle soon melted into an added sense of tension and the feeling that you should always be thinking about what may or may not be behind you. The visuals also received a welcome splash of colour as the game progressed, it's just a shame that colour so happened to come from the gizzards of my former colleagues on board the stricken mining ship.
I also realised that Isaac (the leading man) can employ the use of 'stasis' which slows down potentially hazardous mining equipment and more importantly speedy little Aliens (or necromorphs as they are known in DS), giving you time to de-limb them which is the easiest way of dispatching them.
As well as being scary as hell, DeadSpace has had a lot of thought put into it, you can really imagine this sort of thing happening around one of the thosands of billions of planets in the observable universe.
The game is tense and genuinely frightening at times, Ea have integrated all menus and information into the game. Rather than pausing the game everytime you want to check an objective or bring up your inventory you will view this information as a holographic image projected out of Isaacs suit. This removes the temporary feeling of safety one would get from say Resident Evil when you could always remove yourself from the action by cowardly checking your inventory in the hope of finding a fresh pair of underwear. DeadSpace is unrelenting and you never really feel 100% safe in the dying Ship.
I reccomend DeadSpace to anyone who loves a fright, on my slow system the graphics still look pleasing (set on nearly the lowest graphical settings), the atmosphere is thick, the storyline compelling and theres plenty of gore to sate the unhealthiest of appetites : ) you can also upgrade your armour and weapons at special stations to increase their effectiveness.
There is only one gripe I have with the game, at around 10 hours to complete (and thats taking your time) it's pretty short, the flipside though is that you can replay once completed and start the game a second time with the level of upgraded equipment that you finished with previously. In short a brief first runthrough but sort of makes up for it by encouraging multiple playthroughs.
Dead Space is a futuristic survival-horror third-person shooter set on a spaceship infested with hideous alien creatures. Witht he exception of the superb Max Payne games and, to a lesser extent, both The Suffering and The Thing, I've never been a big fan of third-person games, with them feeling too 'arcade'y' and dumbed down to compete with the better First-person shooters out there, but like Max Payne, Dead Space is an exception to this rule.
The game sees you playing as a technician in a huge, steampunk-esque armoured metal enviro-suit, wandering around a vast, decaying ship and later space colony complex fighting grotesque 'Necromorphs', aka creatures that have mutated from the dead tissue of slaughtered crew-members that resemble the hideous monsters from John Carpenter's seminal horror film The Thing, with the story also involving a weird suicide-cult with overtones of Scientology about it whose members apparently seek to be assimilated into the terrifying alien biomass that has killed and grotesquely resurrected so many people.
You must work your way around the ship restarting engines, powering up life-support systems and so on in an effort to stay alive whilst picking up voice-recordings and electronic correspondences by the now-dead crewmembers whose limbs and organs lie strewn in pools of blood around the corridors, labs and crew quarters, piecing events together to reveal an engaging and decidedly dark narrative as the game progresses. The similarities to the excellent cyberfpunk sci-fi-horror FPS/RPG System Shock 2 are overwhelming, although whilst there are some very limited RPG elements in Dead Space such as collecting 'power nodes' that allow you to upgrade your suit and weapons in different ways (increasing speed, clip-size, damage and so on), Dead-Space is a far less cerebral game that is strictly on rails and relies far more heavily on arcade action and cinematic set-pieces.
The game also borrows strongly from both Aliens and Event Horizon, the latter's influence especially apparent in the game's zero-gravity sections in which frozen corpses float through vacuums, turning slowly, before crashing forcefully to the ground when the gravity is turned back on. The game's presentation is excellent, with powerful atmospheric lighting, tense music, quality voice-acting and superb character models and animation. The action is frequently frenetic and entirely engaging, requiring you to immobilize the necromorphs by blowing their limbs off one by one, reducing their offensive capacity before finally killing them, whilst the weapons are hugely satisfying, including a magnum-like 'Plasma-Cutter' gun, an excellent high-powered assault rifle and an industrial tool that employs remotely-controlled buzzsaw blades that can be used to slice enemies to pieces from close range.
The game could perhaps benefit from a larger range of enemies, although thankfully the ones that exist are so well-implemented that this doesn't really matter. The level-design is varied and wholly immersive, and the game employs heavy use of cinematic devices, including excellent 'melee' sequences seen elsewhere in Clive Barker's Jericho, in which buttons must be tapped in order to escape from creatures that have leapt onto your face or shoulders, and from huge tentacles belonging to off-screen monstrosities that unless shot enough times will drag you screaming into their lair through holes in the corridor's walls. Simple, visceral yet entirely engaging, Dead Space has bucketloads of atmosphere and exciting and immersive gameplay to boot, making it a must for fans of System Shock and Max Payne in particular.
Dead Space is a downright moody game that manages to get under the skin like only a select number of games - such as Silent Hill - are able to. This is a uniformly creepy game that is enhanced considerably by its spectacular graphics and general sense of atmosphere.
The plot borrows a lot from claustrophobic science fiction films like Event Horizon, in that you are a normal space engineer named Isaac Clarke who is investigation a distress call from a spaceship. However, his ship crashes, and he awakens on the abandoned ship they were meant to be fixing. The place is deserted, and soon enough he realises that it is populated with bloodthirsty monsters who want to tear him apart.
This is a remarkable game in every respect, but most noticably, it excels in the visual area; the graphics are outstanding, and also well optimised such that rigs from 2-3 years ago can play this game very well. However, even with middling specs, this game looks excellent, due to some very good texture compression, evidently. That said, the ships look amazing, and there's no sign that any comprimises have been made, and quite cleverly, the HUD has been hidden on your character's back, such that the screen isn't populated with a ton of readouts, making this an incredibly immersive experience, much like Silent Hill, in fact.
The game has varied enemies, an interesting plot, and it's not as short as so many recent games have been. It took me about 10 hours to complete, which isn't HUGELY long, but it was sufficient for a game that largely takes place in one location. It's impressive that they managed to make labyrinthine hallways not so boring (when compared to the looks of Doom 3), mostly because plenty of spanners are thrown in the works, and there are varied creatures that will scare the HELL out of you.
This is the most creepy and unsettling game I've played in a while. I just hope it gets a sequel.
Dead Space is a Sci-Fi Action Horror videogame from EA Games which has received critical acclaim for its outstanding graphics, eerie atmosphere, impressive physics engine and creative innovation.
The player assumes the role of Isaac Clarke, an engineering officer onboard the USG Kellion, a repair ship responding to a distress call from the massive 'planet cracker' Mining vessel, The Ishimura.
Onboard the Kellion are Daniels, the Chief security officer, Hammond, a systems technician and computer scientist, Isaac himself, and a few landing support officers.
The game opens with the Kellion being forced to make an emergency crash-landing onboard the Ishimura after failing to effectively traverse the surrounding asteroid-belt.
Without spoilers, The crew of the Ishimura have been under brutal attack from a polymorphic, pseudo-chameleonic, alien viral infestation which has left the ship roamed by hordes of "Necromorphs," a violent, multi-limbed, bloodthirsty and insane mutant race.
It is up to Isaac and his crew to discover who sent the distress call and the current situation regarding the crew. Throughout the course of the game, Isaac is tortured by the voice and image of his girlfriend (a member of the Ishimura's crew) appearing on his R.I.G, an onboard computer built into Isaac's powerful, heavy-duty, multi-purpose engineering space-suit.
Isaac traverses the Ishimura using a fortunately still-intact railway system to travel from deck to deck.
As I mentioned, Dead Space has an excellent physics engine and much of the environment is largely destructible. Isaac's suit has a built-in kinesis module allowing him to move and throw almost any item on the ship. This comes in particularly handy throughout the many engineering duties he has to partake in, such as moving battery-cubes around and procuring items central to the ships internal systems, as well as ammo. Another function the kinesis module serves is throwing explosive barrels and heavy objects at enemies often causing organs to splatter up the walls. For those who have played it, the kinesis module functions in more-or-less the exact same capacity as the Gravity Cannon in Half-Life 2 but does is not overused or flaunted, although the physics engine is certainly on par with HL2.
Certain small portions of the game take place in great-looking zero-gravity. Upon moving into such areas, Isaac's gravity-boots will decompress allowing him to walk on walls, floors and ceilings, jumping from one to another as he completes engineering tasks and blasts Necromorphs to pieces, their many limbs floating realistically across the huge, monochromatic and often pentagonal zero-gravity chambers.
In a move detracting from the recent trend of slow motion 'bullet time,' Yet another feature of Isaac's suit is the stasis module, which slows the movement of anything it is directed at. While it is mainly for using to slow the movement of the necromorphs, making them easier to hack and blow to pieces, it is also often use to repair malfunctioning machinery. -- The stasis module can be recharged at various special stations.
Every single aspect of the physics looks absolutely stunning, and coupled with its amazingly rendered models makes for a fantastically impressive visual feast without showing off!
The reason Isaac is able to survive onboard the Ishimura for longer than five minutes, is due to his heavy-duty suit, which acts as excellent armour and supports his stasis and kinesis modules. It also contains on onboard computer called a R.I.G, which allows Isaac to communicate with the rest of his crew, as well as receiving transmissions from the Ishimura's crew, and read hologramatic notes and audio messages left on corpses throughout the game.
The idea for the suit seems to be derived from the idea of the Hazard Suit from Half-Life, as does the idea of having a silent protaganist. (This makes the communication a little one-sided, clunky and expositional, but doesnt detract from the general experience.
The game has done something very interesting with the heads-up-display. Firstly, the status of Isaac's (and crewmembers) health appears as an electronic bar module on their back, as does the status of Isaac's rechargable kinesis module, ammo reserves, and oxygen supply (which only appears in the tense, zero-oxygen portions of the game, often when crossing the outsides of the ship, or when airlocks have malfunctioned.) Walking toward ammo or other items also triggers a hologram to appear, to allow the player to decide whether or not to pick it up. (inventory-space is limited.)
Anyway, I digress; Isaac's suit can be upgraded in numerous ways throughout special B.E.N.C.H stations at the game using "Power Nodes" which are dotted around the ship, and you can also pay to enhance the suit generally, which changes its appearance in up to five different ways.
Dead Space has a unique combat experience that came as a new and surprising challenge to even the most seasoned of gamers. -- The enemies in Deadspace, being a mishmash of emaciated rotting mutant corpses and animalistic alien lifeforms have a biology dissimilar to our own. Removing the head is simply not enough.(You have to 'unlearn' the headshot!!!) To properly dispose of one of these abominations, the player has to remove quite a few of their limbs, and often bisect their torsos in an orgy of blood and gore, entire rooms often drenched wall-to-wall by blood-dripping limbs, entrails and organs. Amazingly for the engine and rendering the game, the corpses of dead necromorphs to not fade away or disappear, which is very, very cool.
The player only finds one weapon initially, the plasma-cutter, a small pistol firing lines of blue plasma which cut through the enemies like a knife through hot butter, the crosshair being three vertical dots which can be flipped horizontally depending on the aim of the long-range cut the player wishes to make. Its power is comparable to that of a .44 magnum, or perhaps more accurately, a three-pronged crossbow. In relation to the other weapons however, the plasma cutter is certainly the "Old Faithful."
To procure further weaponry, the player must use on-board computers, similar to those seen in System Shock 2, in which the player must use credits found onboard to buy and sell ammo, weapons, and upgrade his suit and weapons. This adds a real sense of choice to what is otherwise a highly linear game-on-rails.
Other weapons include a pulse-rifle, which is difficult to sever limbs with but successfully holds enemies back, a flamethrower, a remote-buzzsaw and an energy rifle, all of which have clever and innovative alternative fire modes.
Weapons are upgraded with somewhat rare "Power Nodes" through the medium of complex upgrade trees at upgrade stations. Only one aspect of the weapon can be upgraded with one node, such as damage, speed, width of attack, range, etc. and much time can be spent enthusiastically tweaking your guns.
Should the player run out of ammo (God forbid!) TWO melee attacks are available, a sluggish and slow but strong lunge at the enemy with the arm, or a direct and hard stamp to the ground. The latter being particularly useful for dispatching dissected enemies by mercilessly crushing their heads underfoot.
Something which makes the game seem a bit linear, but also adds to its sense of intensity and urgency, is the fact that the player is only able to save at certain save-stations, rather than saving at will. This makes it all seem a bit arcade-ish but it works very well nonetheless.
The entire game is shown with an over-the-shoulder view, just like Gears of War or Resident Evil. The camera takes a while to get used to, but is really worth it, as looking at your character when he is under attack looks graphically amazing.
I dont want to give away the coolest necromorph models, so lets just say that the hideous fleshy screaming zombie abominations that often run at you scratching and biting do not appear in a particularly diverse array, but remain very twisted and scary. It seems the developers chose more innovative combat style and excellent level design over enemy diversity. Isaac will face quite a few bosses however, which mostly cannot be killed through conventional means, and often have to be dispatched with a little more...novelty, sometimes through minigames or non-standard combat styles. One nice feature of the enemies is that they all have a special attack where they jump on the player, sucking the life-force out of him in one way or another, prompting the player to bash the USE key over and over again until they cease. These specials always look graphically stunning and add to the tense feel. There are many different ways to kill an enemy, some more useful than another, but each prompting different kinds of death. Something which Dead Space was praised for.
Dead Space has a really tense and eerie atmosphere, highly comparable in many ways, including characters, themes, and style, to the Sci-Fi Horror Movie, Event Horizon. The constant threat of attack this very well, and in the parts where there is no oxygen, its often necessary to make a mad rush to the other side, which again, speeds up the old heartbeat. The disemboweled corpses strewn across the ship would scare the pants off anyone, and the level design is very diverse and innovative, really giving the idea of a once fully-operational mining ship, with its juxtaposition of cramped corridors and huge open chambers. The lack of ammo also adds to a sense of urgency.
The game is very "Steampunk" in style, the clunkiness of Isaac's suit in particular gives a really unique and innovative injection of art into the game.
-Dead Space has four difficulty modes, which can unlock various items, including a cool new kind of suit.
-Some of the speech is a little unclear through the R.I.G. but this can be rectified with the subtitles option.
-System Specs follow:
Windows XP SP2 or Vista
Intel Pentium 4 2.8GHz or equivalent
1GB RAM for XP, 2GB for Vista
7GB hard drive space
256MB video card w/ SM 3.0 (nVidia GeForce 6800/ ATI Radeon X1600 Pro)
DirectX 9.0c sound card
(System Specificiation source: Wikipedia) ...I know I know!
I love/hate this game, how could you do this to me?
running down a corridor being chased by vaguely human forms,
leaving me low on ammo while forcing me to shoot any corpse I find I dont remember putting there,
then I see the light at the end and slowly moving towards safety monsters pop out of vents and kill me.
this game has me on the edge of my seat everytime I try to advance in it, wich isnt a lot because it doesnt actualy work on this computer ( it should)
so I can only play it when I have acces to my lil brothers computer and even then I dont think this game is suitable for him.
this game channels great space and zombie horror movies trough it for you to enjoy.
makes you wonder why no-one ever decorates their spaceships so they look somewhat pleasant to be traveling in.
This is a classic survival horror game. Its got all the mechanics and atmosphere of the classic Resident Evil series but also adds in a few things that add to the gameplay, not take away from it. Set in the distant future you are an engineer sent on a repair mission to a deep space mining ship. Its also personal because Isaac the engineer has an ex-girlfriend aboard the ship whom he misses dearly. The mood is set immediatly as your small space vessal is destroyed and your confronted with a mess of broken machines and, the necromorphs. To seperate itself from other generic survival horror games Dead Space focuses on dismembering your enemies instead of just shooting them. Shots to the torso do very little damage, but if you cut off one of thsse things arms at the shoulder you do bonus damage. Which is very important because ammo is very scarce and you will have to manage your funds and ammo wisely. New weapons and unlockables keep the game fresh as well as the little challenges that force you to fix vital parts of the ship (you are an engineer after all). Well the game is kind of short, and has only a small amount of replayability, but I would definetly recommend this to any fans of the Horror, or Shooter genres. Or, if you just like a well structured game with an interesting story and perfect atmosphere!
Bringing the mutant hordes to the screamless depths of space, Dead Space breathes some needed life into the Survival Horror genre. The biggest surprise is this little gem actually comes from the overly ambitious sims-milking EA who have had much critiscism in the past but i think this is definitely on the right track to pushing them into a different light.
Anyways back to the game, anyone who has played Resident Evil 4 will feel quite at home with this game. The camera angle is in the exact same spot sort of a locked third person "over the shoulder view", you have shops with multiple upgrades to your gear and a lot of customisability through power nodes which you pick up by exploring and off the bigger beasties and aiming is incredibly similar to anything resident evil. Expect lots of laser sight precision.
This game uses atmosphere absolutely amazingly, i have been playing this recently after christmas and when im up late at night donning my headphones in the dark you start to appreciate that this is really going out of it's way to make you jump out of your skin every 10-15 seconds and lets just say it may well have succeeded a few times! You have all sorts of nasties jumping out of ceilings, air-ducts, through windows, through doors, floating round in zero g waiting to slowly work it's momentum to try and bite your extremities off. You name it, they will try and do it.
Monster wise they are quite a diverse bunch of aliens, mutating anyone they've touched and adopting forms from humans they kill like some sort of twisted battle trophy it pathes the way for a few different species. The normal soldier type ones which are the most human resembling ones, they run on two legs with a fair bit of speed behind them. Small dog like creatures that have 3 tentacles growing out of their head that like to shoot poison darts. Massive slow fat scourge aliens that when killed explode letting out a multitude of little bugs ready to jump all over your armoured Rig suit. Also something that goes by the name of "Leviathan" but i shall not spoil that surprise!
Weapons are quite diverse you have the normal array of Plasma pistols/rifles, A saw blade launcher which can keep the blades midair for you to control for a few seconds to the Flamethrower just to keep them nice and crispy. Each has quite a distinct use and i found to keep ammo up you really have to diversify between using the 5-6 different weapons and to not deplete your supplies too much. On top of this you have a statis projector, which basicly allows you to slow down time for whatever you blast with it for a small amount of time. This is used in quite a few puzzles but at the same time you can use it to stop enemies in their tracks for a few seconds while you aim up your shot or give yourself a break. There also is a telekinesis portion to your Rig suit too, which greatly resembles the "Gravity-gun" in Half Life 2. You can pick up a lot of the mundane items around the game and manipulate them, as you can expect this also plays a role in puzzle solving but you can use it in some quite unique ways to pull advantages in combat too.
This brings me to one point that is quite bizarre to me after playing a lot of shooter-esque games but here in Dead Space, headshots are a thing of the past and limb amputation is the new name of the game. Stopping these aliens, is literally impossibly without trying to sever their legs, tentacles, arms or whatever they may have hanging from their bodies (ooer! would certainly do the trick i guess!). The only way they will keel over and stop their mad advance to rip your young hero's face off is to stop them forcibly removing all the limbs. Quite a novel idea and a bit of a shake up, you soon get used to taking off legs instead of heads after a little while.
The story i would hate to spoil too much because for me that is what these games is all about, enduring these many horrors for the sake of knowing what happens. In a nutshell, Isaac and his crew are sent through space to repair and help a "planet-cracker" class mining ship called the Ishimura. Coincidentally, Isaac's nearest and dearest girlfriend Nicole is a member of the crew, as they dock they soon see that the ship has been overrun with hellish horrors and the crew has been completely ravaged, mutated and god knows what. It progresses with you trying to get your crew off of the Ishimura in one piece, while trying to contain and do anything you can for the remaining crew members aswell as sending any aliens back to hell.
I actually really enjoyed this game, it was a lot of fun. I am a big survival horror game genre fan and this really does fit in with it's Resident Evil counterparts very well. Anyone who enjoyed RE4 like i mentioned earlier on in the review would do well by checking this out till the 5th one arrives and likewise for anyone who has played this and not those it's a good introduction to this style of gaming. The main downside i found to this was the missions weren't quite as diverse as i'd have liked, it is "directed" into chapters and each chapter has a main goal for example; turning the engines back on or rerouting power to certain systems. Of course you get a lot of story development throughout but it feels like all your doing is carrying and fetching for the greater part of it. With a bit more variety i think it would have been a lot better, that said lets hope this is the start of a nice new franchise for EA and that we'll see some more Dead Space games with lots of fresh new ideas.
Last thought, anyone who enjoys horror, survival horror games or Resident Evil 4 would have a lot of fun picking this up.
It's not often that a game will scare you senseless, but Dead Space is one of those rare gems which, if you allow it, will leave you with nightmarish visions, twitching in the corner!
Dead Space takes a slightly different spin on the usual First Person Shooter genre by positioning the camera just behind your avatar's shoulder, in a similar vein to Gears of War. At first I didn't think I'd like this angle, but after a few hours of gameplay I hardly even noticed the aspect shift; infact I'll go as far as to say that I think it adds to the game, showing your character (Isaac) getting slammed to the floor, or dragged along by his leg by a monstrous tentacle, which brings me nicely onto the best aspect of dead space - the enemy!
The game's opening cinematic gives nothing away - you and a small crew aboard a service ship are heading towards the USG Ishimura to repair a damaged comms array; from the moment you step foot off the shuttle you can fear the tension close in around you knowing full well that something is about to go hideously wrong. This is one game that really needs to be played in the dark with a good pair of headphones in order for you to get the most out of it; The audio is superb with a great score which puts the predictable dross of the Lost Soundtrack to shame. This is further heightened by whispering voices, malfunctioning equipment and eerie clanking noises emanating from the vents and ducts. The game has some excellent environment effects, the first time you experience a hull breach and are introduced to the vacuum of space is pretty intense.
The game continues the immersion by removing all HUD elements from the screen; this is replaced with a health meter running down your character's spine and ammo readouts on the weapons themselves. The developers came up with a clever system for accessing the inventory; pressing the Tab key will project a hologram infront of your avatar which moves around in the game world. Activating the inventory does pause the game, so there's no respite in the midst of an intense battle, again adding to the sense of urgency rather than taking away from it. New weapons, ammo and items can be purchased from the shops which are scattered around the game - I find it hard to believe that these would still be functional whilst the entire crew lies in pieces, but I guess the story writers ran out of good ideas!
Some reviewers have critiqued Dead Space for its unimaginative and repetitive scenery, however I think this is slightly unjust given the setting of the game (Spaceships, for all their intergalactic glory, are pretty grey affairs on the inside). The Game progresses you through multiple parts of the Ship with boss battles taking place around the usual landmarks (The sequence in the morgue is particularly memorable). However I will agree with others that the range of weapons is lacking - you'll often find yourself falling back one one or two staple weapons, especially when the ammo starts getting sparse later in the game, but I guess we should be grateful that the developers didn't fall back on the usual Doom formula of shotgun, rifle, rocket launcher.
Dead Space is another one of those game which feels like a console port - for example, you can only save you game at certain Save Points (at which you are also limited to four saves!) and there is no Quick Save (but again, this adds to the tension and makes you value your health!). The transition from gamepad to keyboard feels slightly strange and no matter how I remapped the keys I never felt I had that "Half-life level" of keybinding. There are also certain gameplay elements that don't translate as well; one mission has you shooting at incoming asteroids, something which is quite tricky on a PS3 (or so I'm told), but it was just 5 minutes of tedium for me as I popped off rock after rock with the pinpoint precision a mouse offers you)
The graphics are one place where the PC version shines above its console brethren; I was able to run the game with everything on High setting at 1680x1050 resolution on my 768mb Nvidia 9800GTS (far in excess of the 720p limit on the consoles). One small problem that I came across was the incredible mouse lag when I first started it up; this was quickly solved by turning off the VSync setting in the Graphics menu (and no, this did not produce any visual tearing for me). It should also be noted that you can further improve the graphics by enabling Anti-Aliasing in your Graphics Card settings as there are no AA Options in the Game.
To conclude, I really can't fault Dead Space, it's been a long time since I've played a game compelling enough to warrant 8 hour stints that last long into the night. Of course, this game is not without its faults, but it would definitely be in my Top 5 picks of 2008. This game would make an excellent present for any avid gamer, but I wouldn't reccomend letting younger children play it due to the extreme graphic nature and the incredibly dark and twisted setting (I've woken up from a couple of warped dreams since playing this game!)
When an immense mining ship, the USG Ishimura, comes into contact with a mysterious alien artifact in a remote star system, its communications with Earth are mysteriously cut off. Engineer Isaac Clarke is sent to repair the Ishimura's communications array, but he arrives to find a living nightmare - the ship is a floating bloodbath, the crew unspeakably mutilated and infected by an ancient alien scourge. Clarke's repair mission becomes one of survival as he fights not just to save himself, but to return the artifact to the planet ... at any cost.