Posted by Andy on November 10, 2009

Dead Space: Be Afraid… very afraid

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Dead Space

Developer: EA Redwood Shores

Copy Reviewed: PS3 Version


Shhh. Be quiet. Listen closely….. What was that? Wait, there it is again are you sure you can’t hear it? Oh no it’s the latest horror game from EA and it looks like the store is running out of copies!

EA’s latest horror game puts you in the role of an engineer named Isaac Clarke, who supposedly was simply to go to the gargantuan planet cracker ship the USG Ishimura and help repair it as well as check up on a distress signal sent from his wife. But just as all other horror games go, something goes terribly wrong. Now Isaac finds himself against blood thirsty monsters called necromorphs just aching to rip him apart, insane scientists lurking aboard the ship and other dangers as well. All the while using his engineering skills to fix up parts of the Ishimura to stay one step ahead of a gruesome death.

Dead space image 01

The game is a third person shooter similar to that of Resident Evil 4 where you see over Isaacs shoulder the whole time. The controls for the game are relatively simple and easy to grasp, and there even is a tutorial sequence towards the beginning of the game to help you out just in case. Later on in the game the silent hero even gains the ability of stasis and kinesis, which lets him slow down objects, including enemies, and move objects with nothing more then the stroke of his hand. These two abilities may seem like too much but as you progress farther into the game you’ll need both those abilities and more to combat the necromorphs and live to tell the tale.

The atmosphere is done perfectly to the tiniest detail with dark corridors, blood splattered all over the floor and walls, with the occasional person that has gone insane due to what’s happening on the ship. Take all that and combine it with monsters waiting to rip you apart waiting around every corner, and you’ll be too afraid to even think about making Isaac run anywhere. The audio is eerily quiet, with the ambiance of monsters growling or devouring other people. At points in the game you’ll even be outside of the ship in space itself, which changes the overall environment,  making it harder to hear things and even making one of your weapons useless. This game also has a feature called zero gravity areas. There you have complete freedom to go anywhere you want, whether it be walking on the ceiling or walking on the bottom of platforms that you would normally stand on top of.

Another notable thing about this game that you’ll notice as you play are the weapons. Being that Isaac is an engineer most of the weapons he finds throughout the game are nothing more then tools. From his first gun, the plasma cutter, which is a tool used for cutting through objects, all the way to the ripper, which is a saw made of light energy. Additionally, although already unique in their own way, the weapons have an alternate fire button by simply hitting R2. Even though you get a lot of ammo from killing enemies and from the various store locations found throughout the Ishimura, you’ll still find yourself burning through it, and at critical times even running out of it. Keeping up with the fact that Isaac is an engineer, his melee actions are quite slow and clumsy and don’t deal that much damage to enemies. You wont really find yourself using this against enemies that much throughout the game unless you really need to conserve ammo.

Your enemies in this game are creatures called necromorphs which come from a mysterious marker that was brought aboard the ship. With the ability to bring back corpses as one of their own, what really makes these enemies special is that all the head shots in the world can’t kill them. The only way to kill them is with strategic dismemberment meaning you have to shoot off their limbs. This added strategy makes the game slightly unique from other horror shooters, as it focuses your attacks to specific body parts (that and watching legs and arms fly off naturally adds some fun). These enemies are lurking all around the ship and can attack you at any time your not even safe opening up your inventory or buying items from the store.

isaac seeing a survivro

The replay value of the game is moderately high. After beating the game the first time you get to keep your items and upgrades along with getting some special rewards. The only possible flaws that can really be found with the game is that it does get a little bit repetitive and predictable at parts during some of the chapters. There is also an asteroid shooting mini-game which at times can be very annoying and sometimes, at points, even frustrating. Don’t be discouraged though, these flaws do not stop the game from being a frightening experience throughout. For the trophy hunters out there, the trophies in this game are moderately easy with a couple of difficult ones every now and then. For example, one trophy requires you to beat the asteroid shooting mini-game with at least 50% of your shield left, which will absolutely require you to play through more then once.

Overall this game is a must buy whether your a fan of horror games or not. It has an attention grabbing story and one of the most unexpected endings a horror game has ever had. Additionally, the atmosphere of the game is fantastic, and you’ll be so scared you’ll keep coming back for more. If you ever do happen to get bored with the game there’s always the downloadable content you can buy from the PlayStation Store which can give you stronger or faster firing weapons and new suits including the PlayStation exclusive obsidian suit. Either way, this game is fun right down to the bones, which after a play through or two will certainly be chilled from this excellent horror shooter.

“Gaaah, you’re worse than my Aunt Natillie!”

Final Score: 4.5/5 (because of limitation it will only display 4 stars.)

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3 Responses to “Dead Space: Be Afraid… very afraid”

  1. Demonsux says:

    wowee wow wow, where did u get that neato caption, lol aunt natillie. but the review itself…ehhh could be better.

  2. Mike says:

    It was his first review, and well writing reviews are much tougher than people think. He will only get better from here.

  3. John says:

    Great review! Believe it or not I still haven’t played this … I’ll definitely be giving it a rent or possible purchase now since it can be had pretty cheap, thanks!

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