Overall score = 8/10
Dead Space is a wonderful game combining many genres, third person shooter, survival, action, and horror, all into on. While some games fail when trying to do too much, Dead Space is able to do all of these parts well and deliver a satisfying experience from start to finish.
Dead Space progresses very nicely from start to finish. The story is intriguing and, while horrifying space creatures is nothing new, presents a well rounded and detail/lore filled experience that took some thought to follow. The opening sequence leads very nicely right into the action, immediately making you want to find out just what happened to that ship.
As far as firefights go, this game offers some intense sequences. Whenever I overcame a hoard of enemies I felt like a badass, but I always hoped that an engagement like that wouldn't happen again. This may be what Dead Space does best: present you in an environment that makes you uncomfortable, leave you feeling exposed at all times, and give you just enough to get the job done if you do it right and think on your feet.
That being said, I found the biggest flaws in the game to also center around the combat situations. While there are plenty of action sequences in the game, it is not as smooth as other action games, which is of course fine as this isn't the initial purpose. However, some sequences and enemies felt cheap to me when you meet them. The enemies are varied, challenging, and interesting as a whole, but some sequences are downright frustrating. Often this happens when an objective is not fully clear or your purpose is not adequately explained. I don't expect a game to hold my hand, but when it isn't clear what that button you just pressed does, but swarms of enemies come out of the vents, it can become exhasperating. Fortunately, this doesn't happen too often.
The progression system in Dead Space is very good and rewarding. You can build your loadout to your playstyle and upgrade equipment to suit your strengths. Dead Space offers a variety of weapons to use and tactics to implement to keep battles fresh and fun.
I would definitely recommend Dead Space, even though it is a few years old. It is still a great game, and at a discount during Christmas or summer for $5 simply can't be missed.