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Dead Space

100% Positive Reviews
Rated #63 in PC Games

Posted

Pros: Outstanding horror atmosphere, superb in-game sounds, intersting gameplay challenges, nice level and monster design

Cons: quite sluggish controls compared to FPS game

Horror games come from time to time and offer more or less of what they promise. Some games, credited as horror games, offer more secondary gameplay elements over the real fear factor. Dead Space brings the deepest and most visually stunning fear experience ever seen in any game so far. The horror might not be as disgusting and disturbing as in the Silent Hill games, but it tops Silent Hill's horror with the better element of surprise, more deepening and dynamic atmosphere, most impressive visuals, chilling to the bone sounds and well designed monsters. These key fear elements, combined with shiny graphics, stunning level design and impressive array of unique mechanics and accessibility elements leave Dead Space without any doubt, the most successful horror shooter game released so far.

Just like a good horror movie, a good game needs a strong script and direction. One of the most constant and successful themes to deliver never boring theme is the space - remember "in space no one can hear you scream"? Space is something that has been explored very vaguely, therefore you can have lots of creativeness in it and it never gets old.
So, Dead Space tells us a story about an engineer Issac Clarke and it's several companions in their space odyssey inside the USG Ishimura - a ship designed for "cracking" planet surfaces, which has been found sending a distress radio message in the first place, and is in mysteriously wrong condition. From the beginning you find out some details about the situation from a visual message, that has been sent by your girl friend, working inside the Ishimura, while you are still inside the rescue ship flying towards Ishimura. Apart from the natural concern to find your beloved one and help her, you face your ordinary duties as an engineer, that now must start all kinds of repairs to get the ship back working. Soon after arriving all hell breaks loose as swarms of monsters attack you and your crew and then the search and survival game begins.

You have a gameplay that includes: doing your engineering duties, trying to fix the ship from all sort of damage, while searching for answers about what's going on and trying to survive the hostile attacks of the new inhabitants of the ship. This game is a first person shooter, but the viewing angle of your controlled character changes slightly to almost 3 person, although the mechanics and controls of the game always stay classic first person shooter type, despite being sluggish. You see the back of your whole body when just walking and running around, and when you aim at somebody, the view angle gets more wide and you just see the head and shoulders. The new angle of view makes the game feel more survival horror type, despite it being a true FPS.

The level design is terrific - apart from the fact how well the spaceship sections are put together in a non-linear and dynamic pattern, the most important thing is that the game let's you experience zero gravity, as it should be in a spaceship. You have a 3D mini map, implemented in your engineering suit, that let's you experience how big the space craft is - the exploration is surely not limited by going from one corridor to another, as there are huge sections, where you need to "fly" in zero gravity, or use an elevator to cut great distances. Some places will feel claustrophobic, while in others you will feel like an insect. Huge machines and mechanical parts of the ship will play a key role in the gameplay, as you will have to find a way to either operate them or bypass them not to get killed. The level design, having in mind open space zero gravity situations, temperature drops in some of the rooms, oxygen supply problems, and of course all the machinery part very often will offer more challenges than the monsters!

When it comes to design, we are talking about the whole aspect here, and this game stands famous for offering a great experience in what is know as the combat suit. It's overall design and functionality - what you can do with it - makes the term engineering look like hike high tech super modeling.
Apart from basic suit functions, like protecting you from hazard environments, supplying oxygen and giving protection against physical damage, as well as housing materials and weapons, providing 3D map, radio and visual communication, and electronic component integration, it has additional, upgradeable elements, like the ability to increase it's endurance and durability, add freeze packets - used for freezing and slowing materials and monsters, as well as the ability to withdraw an release physical objects - something out of the Half-Life 2/Doom 3 book. The more you progress in the game, the more advanced the suit becomes, the more options add, and the ones present just get better.. Finish the game and you will get a military suit a reward bonus for playing it again on harder difficutly.

The part, that in my opinion, that makes Dead Space the top horror game, from all i have played, apart from the obvious level design difficulties, is it's monsters. History tells us, that the most disturbing and frightening monsters are those, who resemble unnatural human forms, basically are human origin, but not human anymore. The basic zombie/mutant concept worked well in Resident Evil series and the more advanced human/abomination concept is what established Silent Sill series, while here, in Dead Space, you face a new type of human looking freaks, who have grown grotesque and filthy looking body parts and make you very uncomfortable. It is the most frightening experience, you when you encounter someone, that you are mostly familiar with, but yet so different and when you understand what you can become yourself - it chills you to the bone more than some ugly looking beastly monster, that resembles a giant frog or lizard.. I think grotesque is the key word to describe the monsters in Dead Space, their animation lets you truly enjoy the level of disgust in the good way, executed with great sound and graphics. I am not going to tell about the mechanics of combat, this is a part of the discovery in the game and would be a spoiler.

Weapons in this game are not your ordinary doom/quake classic stuff - as an engineer you get all kinds of mechanical tools, those in the first place are meant for mechanical work, but in your hands become deadly against the monsters. Weapons are upgradeable here, just like the suit.
Killing monsters, breaking boxes, opening locked silos allows you to replenish your arsenal with all sorts of goodies - health, items, ammo and credits. Credits are electronic units of cash, used in game, at places, for buying items in stores or upgrading your gear. Of course you can do this only at places, where there are shops and mechanical repair centers. You can sell your stuff for credits to buy better items too.

While the graphics look fantastic and there is nothing to take way from it, i think it is the in-game sound, that if nothing else, gets 11 out of 10. You will enjoy the most haunting, deepening and disgusting sound effects in this game and to appreciate this you have to play this game loud - this is not some strategy game...

Apart from the strange third person view, to which i am not used to, as well as the general slow pace of the game and sluggish controls compared to real FPS game, there is nothing in this game that i did not like, there were no errors, i never got bored, i was visually and acoustically stunned and thought i played the perfect horror game for a space shooter. For me this was the game, that i have been waiting for a long long time. It is easy in my top 10 games of all time.
Dead Space
Description:

Details:
DetailValue
BindingDVD-ROM
BrandElectronic Arts
EAN5030942066258
ESRB Age RatingMature
FeatureBattling enemies and solving puzzles takes on new challenges and present ingenious opportunities with the Zero-G gameplay
FormatDVD-ROM
Genreshooter_action_games
Hardware PlatformPc
Is Autographed0
Is Memorabilia0
Weight0.2 pounds
LabelElectronic Arts
List Price$19.99
ManufacturerElectronic Arts
Model19043
MPN19043
Operating SystemWindows Vista
Package Quantity1
PlatformWindows XP
Product GroupVideo Games
Product Type NameSOFTWARE_GAMES
PublisherElectronic Arts
Release Date2008-10-20
SKUDEADSPACE
StudioElectronic Arts
TitleDead Space
UPC014633190434
Number Of Items1
CreatorWindows XP
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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