Dead Space

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Dead Space review
Chris Scott


In Space No One Can Here You Scream

Little Shop of Horrors (cntd.)

While walking plants may not be particularly scary, it is still a total blast to dismember them. Dismemberment is the key to victory in Dead Space, in fact strategic dismemberment and ammo conservation are the two skills most needed to keep Isaac alive. Although all the weaponry that you collect will tend to be industrial grade hardware, it is more than able to get the job done when it comes to taking off the leg of an angry Necromorph. The gunplay never feels clunky, despite having to use what amounts to professional tools. You will also be able to upgrade your weapons using power nodes found (or bought) throughout the ship that make them stronger and ultimately more useful.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Overall the gameplay is smooth with equal parts Bioshock and Resident Evil shining through. There are a couple complaints to be levied against it though. One is that despite the fantastic gunplay, Isaac at times handles like a tank and not a person. He may be armored up like a tank but he is still a person and as such should move that way. The other complaint is the lack of diversity in the mission quests. Almost every mission has you going to point A, B and C to advance to point D. Its masked well so most gamers wont have a problem with it but some will be asking, "Hey didnt I do that before?"

While the story and gameplay are good, if a bit straight forward, the game really shines in the audio/visual department. Dead Space looks fantastic. The character models are great and dont ever seem waxy like in some other recent games. The animation is fluid and there is very rarely any sign of slowdown. The levels themselves all look exactly how you would expect, although the level design of the final chapter left a little to be desired. As great as Dead Space looks though, it sounds better. The soundtrack itself is somewhat forgetful but the ambient noises really help to enhance the playing experience. You never know if what you are hearing is right around the corner or in the bowels of the USG Ishimura. If you have a proper 5.1 audio setup you would be doing yourself a disservice if you were not using it for this game.

One final and small visual note pertaining to gamers still playing on standard definition television sets, Dead Space was designed for High Definition sets and as such it has been optimized for HD play. Gamers on SD sets may have a hard time reading some of the on screen text, possibly diminishing your overall play experience. If you can, I highly urge you to play Dead Space on an HD set.

A Little Something Different

When something borrows from as many sources as Dead Space does, it is very easy for things to go horribly wrong. It is quite the delight that the game turned out as well as it did. In a world of gaming where most of the best sellers are sequels, Electronic Arts should be commended for taking a chance on a new property. Hopefully this will spur EA and other developers to take more chances on new properties and give us something different, if not entirely new. If they all turn out as well as Dead Space, the gaming future looks very good indeed.


fun score

No Pros and Cons at this time