- Great Atmosphere
- Excellent Graphics
- Innovative Interface
- Perfect action and suspense matched soundtrack
- Not the most original plot.
Shooters have a long history of being set in a maze of inside corridors, one of the reasons for this had always been technical, rendering big outside areas requires a significant amount of processing power. So the last few years we have had the pleasure of taking our shooters into the big wide open.
Dead space is a welcome exception to this evolution and takes the shooter experience back inside the bowels of a deep space mining vessel.
What makes Dead Space such a great experience is that it manages to provide the player with an excellent dose of claustrophobia, a good set of frights and plenty of gory entertainment.
You take on the role of Isaac Clarke, an engineer who is sent on a mission to find out what has happened to a remote mining vessel, it doesn’t take long to figure out that the ship has been overrun by xenomorphs, an alien virus has mutated the ships inhabitants into beings that require dismemberment in order to be brought to a halt. Your encounters with these xenomorphs may give you an occasional scare in the early stages but it won’t take long until you can easily predict when you are about to be jumped, this nevertheless still makes for some good intense combat when your character is being besieged from all sides.
Those of us who played Doom 3 will undoubtedly see some familiarities in way the the storytelling progresses but overall Dead Space is doing a lot more for the genre then just a graphical overhaul, make no mistake graphically Dead Space looks excellent, the ship’s interior has a convincing futuristic industrial look, excellent metallic textures and atmospheric lighting. Being set inside also means that your PC can most likely run this game fully maxed out at high resolution.
Dead Space can only be played in a third person perspective which is very much part of it’s charm as your character animates in a very lifelike manner. Dead Space also use a very specific art style for your character, you’re not a space Marine in this game but an engineer and your outfit isn’t very military looking at all but nevertheless has this combination between a sci-fi and an old school diving suit. Dead Space is a very violent game but its more gore to the point where it's entertainment soaked in blood
Being an engineer also translates into the types of weaponry that you have available, many of them look more like tools then guns and are very good in slicing and cutting off the limbs of your enemies.
One of the weapons called the ripper allows you to use a midair suspended jigsaw which is without a doubt the most entertaining of the lot for those who like seeing copious amounts of blood being sprayed around, yes dead Space is a very violent game but its more gore to the point where it’s entertainment soaked in blood. We Australians have to be glad about that otherwise it probably would have ended up with the ban hammer.
Where Dead Space really shines and innovates is in how it uses a very slick holographic approach to all items in the game that require interaction. All terminals, elevator buttons you name it all have a 3D holographic projection, not only this but also your HUD is non existent in Dead Space and is fully replaced with holographic images informing you of everything you need to know. It all works very well and gives the game an overall feeling of polish giving it a movie like feel.
One part where Dead Space absolutely delivers movie production values is in its sound quality and soundtrack, there is no ongoing soundtrack as such but when the action and suspense is mounting it’s reflected in the music score which gives the whole experience sound like being in one of the Aliens movies, sound effects are also great when in certain areas like vacuums where the sound is all muffled, there are always sounds of metal pieces falling throughout the ship, whispers and you hear your own heart beat at times. The game very much gets a big boost in it’s atmosphere from its soundtrack alone.
One part where Dead Space absolutely delivers movie production values is in its sound quality
Nor is dead space a run and gun type shooter, you will mainly walk rather then run through the game watching your every step and bulkhead and approach the next corner with care. Ammo is anything but plentiful, although you find ammo along the way the game really forces you to think before spending or upgrading your equipment and depending on your playstyle you can choose to spend credits on those things that suit you best.
One of the weaker parts of Dead Space is probably it’s story but despite the “accidental hero in a ship full of aliens with some predictable twists to the plot” it thankfully doesn’t get told in such a way that it becomes excessively cheesy and the minimal amounts of voice acting is certainly of decent quality.
Although you mainly run around the ship fixing things in the order of “for A to work I need to fix B but C is offline” type scenarios there is enough variety in the levels to keep you wanting to explore despite the obvious repetitiveness of this “Isaac the fixer” plot.
Dead Space lifts the genre on so many fronts by implementing plenty of innovation
If you thought that we have experienced all there is in the corridor shooting genre, think again. Dead Space lifts the genre on so many fronts by implementing plenty of innovation that it managed to exceed my expectations and the end result is a very polished and thoroughly enjoyable game which I have no problem recommending.
If you enjoy sci-fi, if you enjoy killing aliens with plenty of gore or if you want to play a shooter that does something different then shooting AK-47’s then Dead Space should be on top of your list for this holiday season, you won’t be disappointed.
What do you think of Dead Space?
Post a review below!
Popular Dead Space Videos
Videos courtesy of GameTrailers.com