I find it easier to write reviews in a Pro and Con list style, as I find it's a more effective way to get my meaning across, so please bare with me if it's not to your tastes. The Pro's
-Good graphics, even with things like AA and other advanced settings off.
-Great atmosphere, especially with the music score at its full intensity and also by letting your imagination wander while playing.
-As I just touched upon, the sound design is fantastic, constant bangs, clunks, moans, and rattles give the effect that you are indeed aboard a decaying ship, with monsters moving throughout it. Fleshy bits make an appropriate "squish" when shot, and guns have an appropriate "oomph" to them.
-Good variety of enemies, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. For example, Slashers are fast, but have exposed legs, Pregnomorphs are slow, but hard to take down without spilling their "cargo" all over the floor, etc. Other types of enemies have other weaknesses.
-The A.I. is pretty good. Enemies will charge you if you turn your back, pop out of vents that are close to you, swarm you all at once rather than one at a time, etc.
-The story is good, but it does have its issues, as I will state in the Con's section.
-Voice acting is good, none of the actor's sound like they "phoned it in." While the main protagonist Isaac Clarke doesn't talk, he does make grunts, yells, and appropriately heavy breathing noises when necessary.
-Environmental design is great, cargo rooms and mechanical stations are open, crew rooms are more enclosed, with tighter corridors, etc. Rooms are in places that make sense (i.e, no engine room on the opposite end of the ship from where the engines are.)
-They story is pretty decently lengthed, I've beaten this game several times (mainly on console) and it still takes me around 8 hours or so. I'd imagine it would probably take a newer player around 10-12 hours to beat.
-Character design is good, no one is stereotypical, and each character is decently memorable.
-I enjoyed the audio and video log collecting, which helped expand on the backstory and helps determine just what happened aboard the Ishimura
(the name of the ship you board.)
-There's a good variety of weapons, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. There's also different suit levels you can get, which work well and look cool at the same time.
-You can upgrade your weapons, armor, Statis unit (slows down enemies and objects), and kinesis unit (pick up objects from a distance) using "Power Nodes" you find throughout this ship or bought through the Store aboard the ship.
-Each weapon also has an "alt fire" mode to it. The plasma cutter changes from horizontal to vertical shooting (more useful than you might think) the Pulse Rifle fires in a circle, etc.
-Anti-gravity areas are cool, but could have been done better. (They are done better in Dead Space 2 and 3.)
-There's more positive aspects, but that covers most of the main bits.
-The game also likes to mess with you in small ways, areas that were safe most of the game may not be safe anymore, some enemies come out of unexpected areas, the game tenses you up for a scare that doesn't happen (but it's done well, and on purpose.) The Con's
-Aiming is a bit iffy with a mouse and keyboard, turning of V-Sync helps, which you have to do both in the in-game settings and in the .cfg files for it to actually work. However, I'd recommend playing with a controller if possible, if not, you can still play the game quite well with a M/KB.
-While I stated earlier that the story was pretty good, it's not without flaws. For the most part you are the secondary protagonists *itch for most of the game, doing something or other for them, sometimes when it's something they could do themselves. Not to say they sit on their butts all game, but still.
-This game also follows the horror game trope of magically seperating you from you allies when a situation arises. Granted, it doesn't do it as often as other games and sometimes you even meet up with them. (Who'da thunk it?)
-As I said, this game has a cool variety of weapons, but for a more skilled player, they are unnecessary. I can make it through this game with just the Plasma Cutter and the Pulse Rifle as my weapons, not even touching the others. On console, I've even done an entire run through of the game with only
the Plasma Cutter.
-The A.I. is good, but it does have its..... moments. I've seen Necromorphs pop out of vents, only to hop right back in and pop out somewhere farther away from me. I've also seen the A.I. not want to walk through doorways that lead out of the area, but are willing to hop in a vent and pop out of a vent that is
in that new area, for reasons I assume that involve the games pathfinding.
-The game also can get repetitive after a while, not that it's not fun, but some Necromorph encounters do get predictable (mainly entering a new area and Necromorphs almost immediately showing up.)
-The game has puzzles (not that I mind), but almost all of them are pretty basic and easy (at least to me) and don't offer much challenge.
-Controls are tanky (much like Resident Evil 4), which is fine, but in some areas of the game (mainly anti-grav and space areas) these controls can get semi-annoying and cumbersome.
-The game just isn't that scary for me, it's pretty decently thrilling the first time you play it, and its got its tense moments, but I was never crapping my pants in horror or dreading to go in the next room. I am also hard to scare however, while some people are quite the opposite. Nitpicks and Personal Annoyances
-The amount of settings are decent, but nothing to write home about, and I was disappointed by some options that were missing.
-The game isn't very optimized, I can play Dead Space 2 with higher settings than this one and run higher frames, yet I play this game with the same settings and get noticeably lower frames per second.
-Another reason to turn V-Sync off (as if there weren't enough already) is that it causes a noticeably annoying "dragging" feel to your mouse, this is especially present in the Main Menu and the Pause Menu.
-This isn't an annoyance, but playing this game with headphones is a good idea, it helps you find enemies easier, helps you get more enthralled in the atmosphere, and just makes it an overall better experience.
If I had to give this game a number review it would probably be a 9/10. (It'd be higher without the wonky V-Sync and mild control problems.)
And finally: TL:DR -MUST PLAY, BUT 2 SPOOKY 4 ME.