previewed on X360
Where Your Screams Cannot Be Heard…
The setting of outer space in movies and television shows is a common occurrence. Flicks such as Alien or T.V. shows such as Andromeda and Star Trek have all had their share of plots out in the far beyond. Since space is one of the biggest wonders to us here on Earth, there are limitless possibilities for spinning the most fantastic tales. Space is a mystery and for that reason intrigues and instills fear at the same time. The developers over EA Redwood Shores hope to implement the true fear of space in their newest project, Dead Space. With the emphasis on the scary unknown this ‘third person sci-fi survival horror game’ (are you still with me here!) looks to change the face of its genre.
The Horror of Dead Space
The team working on Dead Space consists of a small group of some eighteen members. They were determined to create a storyline that would pull the player right into the game and keep him there. The story takes place about five hundred years into the future. Mankind has begun finding new ways to harvest essential resources from celestial bodies. A revolutionary new method is planet cracking. For this technique, a mining crew is sent out to dead planets to basically ‘crack’ the planet. Huge chunks are ripped off and melted so that it can be processed into a form of energy that can be transported back to Earth. One such mining ship, the Ishimura, is sent out to collect resources but at some point the communication is lost between Earth and the ship. A tech crew is sent out to Ishimura’s last reported location in order to restore anything needed and check up on the mining crew.
The small, rescue crew is made up of Kendra, a computer technician, a security team, and Isaac Clarke, a systems engineer who happens to be the main protagonist in Dead Space. Assuming this to be another routine mission, the rescue team starts to worry when even short range communication efforts receive no response from the Ishimura. Landing upon the ship and seeing the planet below them agape with a huge hole, the team realizes that something has gone very wrong. They quickly learn that some horrifying alien race has infected the mining crew. Life on the ship seems to be completely wiped out. While exploring, disaster strikes and Isaac sees his only escape route blocked, with no way back to his team members. This leaves Isaac Clarke alone for the time being to find out what exactly has happened here and, most importantly, survive.
Not to be played alone...in the dark
EA has been hard at work with this title on trying to make it something that gamers will not be able to play when they are sitting alone in the dark. A lot of survival horror games out there have made claims on giving the scariest experience possible but end up short when the biggest response they can get from the player is a gasp. This is understandable, most people will play a game for the gaming experience and not necessarily to be scared. For the minds at EA, the scare factor is one of the most important focus points during the development of Dead Space. Their quest to scare seems to succeed.