Only the Dead Survive. A massive deep-space mining ship goes dark after unearthing a strange artifact on a distant planet. Engineer Isaac Clarke embarks on the repair mission, only to uncover a nightmarish blood bath — the ship's crew horribly slaughtered and infected by alien scourge.
User reviews: Very Positive (4,124 reviews)
Release Date: Oct 20, 2008

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Recommended By Curators

"One of my favorite horror games of all time. Unlike most horror games, it actually has a very compelling story arc, and pushes you to continue."
Read the full review here.

About This Game

Only the Dead Survive.
A massive deep-space mining ship goes dark after unearthing a strange artifact on a distant planet. Engineer Isaac Clarke embarks on the repair mission, only to uncover a nightmarish blood bath — the ship's crew horribly slaughtered and infected by alien scourge. Now Isaac is cut off, trapped, and engaged in a desperate fight for survival.

  • Strategically dismember the Necromorph enemies limb by bloody limb.
  • Zero gravity combat means terror can strike from anywhere.
  • Uncover the horrific truth of this shocking thriller.

System Requirements

    • Supported OS: Microsoft Windows® XP SP2 or Vista
    • Processor: 2.8 GHz or faster
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM or more for Windows XP (2 GB for Vista)
    • Graphics: DirectX® 9.0c compatible video card, Shader Model 3.0 required, 256 MB or better, NVIDIA GeForce 6800 or better (7300, 7600 GS, and 8500 are below minimum system requirements), ATI X1600 Pro or better (X1300, X1300 Pro and HD2400 are below minimum system requirements)
    • Hard Drive: 7.5 GB free space
    • Sound: DirectX® 9.0c compatible sound card
Helpful customer reviews
56 of 65 people (86%) found this review helpful
11.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 12, 2014
One of the best triple A titles I have ever played. You are Isaac Clarke, an engineer who has traveled to a Planet Cracker class ship to fix a communication relay, your motivation, the woman you love.

Things aren't so hunky dorey when you get there and what ensues is one of the best, albeit frustrating at times, survival-horror games ever made.

+The game still looks beautiful 6 years after release and there are plenty of opportunities for great screenshots
+Combat occasionally feels clunky but very satisfying when you dismember enemies
+Overall gameplay is good and rewarding
+Challenging boss fights
+Resource management is challenging but adds another level of gameplay to Dead Space
+When you complete the game you can start over with all of your items as well as some rewards for completing the game

+/-The plot, while the storyline itself is excellent, especially the twist at the end, some parts of the game are incredibly frustrating, e.g. 'Oh great you managed to find that thing which will save us! Oh but I just realised actually it won't be good enough, go find something else'
+/-Even medium difficulty is challenging at times, personally I like this but others may not
+/-Creepy enemies but not a particularly scary game especially compared to DS2

-Aiming while using matter cannons or while suspended by a 'large' necromorph is absolutely appalling even with a controller, very difficult to tell which way you need to move the weapon in order to get it in the right position
-Mouse controls aren't great and controller sensitivity can't be changed
-When using the steam overlay your normal mouse may appear in the game after using the mouse in the overlay
-No achievements


This is easily one of my favourite games and I'm so glad I played it to completion.

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El K.
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92 of 127 people (72%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
7.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 11, 2014
Best stomping simulator

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80 of 112 people (71%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 12, 2014
Great horror. Not recomended on LSD..

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27 of 32 people (84%) found this review helpful
21.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 31, 2014
Hadn't felt such a good sense of survival horror ever since the late 90s Residnt Evil games.
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61 of 95 people (64%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
35.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 10, 2014
This game is even more horrorfic and scary than Miley Cyrus herself! 11/10. A horror masterpiece!
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14 of 16 people (88%) found this review helpful
8.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 23
Overview: Survival Horror-Third Person Shooter

The Good:




+No HUD makes things more immersive

+I love that once you gain control of the main character, you never lose control, there are no cutscenes, cgi or anything that takes away control of the character. All the action takes place from the characters perspective and that provides an extra layer of immersion.

+The game provides a great sense of pacing, slowly introducing new enemies, gameplay mechanics, locations and puzzles to keep you second guessing what's around the next corner.

+Variety of weapons

+Finding nodes throughout the ship as well as purchasing it in the store allows you to upgrade your weapons and suit

+Combat, shooting limbs off enemies is satisfying

+Monsters look, feel and act scary along with good diversity to keep combat engaging.

+Variety of death animations

+Sound effects

The Average:

Disappointing last boss

The story can be very predictable

A few crashes

The Bad

- The game has some technical issues that you should be aware about specifically regarding vsync, mouse lag, frame rates. Turn off vsync to get the best possible experience.


This is arguably one of the best horror games to come out in the last decade. It does so many things right in the genre. I STRONGLY recommend this game to anybody who either loves survival horror games or third person shooters.
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12 of 14 people (86%) found this review helpful
16.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 10, 2014
A walking, talking Francis Bacon painting that a few sessions of marriage guidance could've have sorted out before take-off.

- Completed 12 chapters on 'normal' in around 9hrs unrushed -- was not bored for a single minute, and chalking this up as one of my favourite gaming experiences ever, on a par with Half Life 2 -- well worth the full price but a no-brainer on Steam sale.
- Dont let the mouse problem put you off -- it's easy to resolve (dont use controller)
- Dont let the 2008 date put you off -- it's well ahead of its time.
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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
14.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 4
Steven King, that very prolific author, delineates three types of fear. First is the gross-out, or disgust; the thing you want to get away from. The second is horror, the unkown; an aversion to things that you do not quite understand. And finally there is terror, the creepiness; when something is so close to being normal, but off by a tiny bit that makes it completely uncomfortable to look at. Dead Space wants to be scary, so it taps into all three fears. However, it ultimately relies more on disgust and the jump-scare than anything else.

Dead Space is a third person survival shooter set in space. You play Isaac Clarke, an engineer sent to repair the deep-space mining craft 'Ishimura'. Unfortunately, the ship is overrun with space-zombies called necromorphs and something really shifty is going on there so your job quickly becomes to get off that metal hunk before you're brutally murdered.

As mentioned earlier, Dead Space is more like a shooter than a horror game. The trope of horror is invoked, with the shadows creeping along the walls and monsters scurrying in the vents while you can only hope they don't jump you when you're looking the other way. When the horror subsides the gross-out takes over as the monsters are disgusting amalgamtions of bodyparts with claws where hands used to be and tentacles from every orifice looking to turn you into deli-meat if you don't shred them before they get in your face. Is the game terrifying at any time? Once, in a cutscene for a second or so, but when you do the math, Dead Space is a survival disgust shooter.

The reason why it isn't horror is because you get a good glimpse and understanding of your foes. The necromorphs all waddle toward you and they'll let you pick them off. Dead Space does not work quite like most zombie games. Necromorphs are completely unimpressed when you behead them. No, you have to dismember them; tear them limb from limb. This creates for some cool gameplay mechanics where you'll aim for the legs to slow them down and then tear their arms off to finish the job. Yet, some enemies require a more measured approach where you have to get around them or prevent them from falling in the first place, otherwise they'll spawn more trouble. Occasionally one will get the drop on you, but you're not scared of the creeps; you're spooked, anxious and thrilled, but not fearful. You're armed to the teeth to such an extent that you only really fear for your life, and that is classified as suspense.

Dead Space plays much like Resident Evil 4 and 5 in terms of controls. You aim with a laser pointer and use your ammo conservatively. You can use special powerups to slow enemies down or to throw the set pieces at them. You're a veritable slayer of monsters and everytime you gear up with new tools you start to look the part as well. What also helps the suspenseful atmosphere is the intergrated HUD. You don't have a screen overlay; your health and ammo are displayed on your character's model and interacting with the world is done in the same manner. It creates a keen level of immersion that not many shooters can attain.

When all is said and done, Dead Space makes good use of its atmosphere and lighting to build suspense and to release that tension at the best moments. You're on the edge of your seat, holding on for dear life as you fight off the hordes of disgusting creatures. Even the bossfights are a well measured and carefully calculated ordeal that keep you sucked in and fighting for survival without resorting to cheap set-pieces or quick-time events. Dead Space is an amazingly atmospheric thrill shooter that needs to played if only for its amazing presentation.
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33 of 55 people (60%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 31, 2014
I was "jumped" by naked mutant children.

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13 of 18 people (72%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 11
This game cured my constipation.

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11 of 15 people (73%) found this review helpful
10.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 3, 2014
Took me about 9 hours to complete. It is a little scary and has a couple of jump scares in it. It is a survival horror/3rd person shooter. About halfway through I became a powerhouse and was just mowing down enemies. It has some puzzles in it that were solved quickly but brought a good change of pace when needed. The zero gravity rooms were cool and also disorienting. The checkpoints were very forgiving. If you can get it for 5 bucks when it is on sale it is very worth it. 8/10
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 13
I got this game years ago on another... online... game distrobution platform. A friend told me to play because I love horror games. I played the first few chapters and was so stressed out I ended up taking a break for over a year! I finally finished the game a few months before Dead Space 2 came out. It still stands out as THE most stressful, scary, and panic inducing games I have ever played.

Even though it's "old" it has aged well and even through all the blood and gore, it's still beautiful. Dig into the story and you'll enjoy this even more. Dead Space is the only game series that I've geeked out hard enough to read books about, it's that good. I hold the DS series at the top of my list of best games, right along with the Half-Life, Portal, and Mass Effect games.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
14.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 14, 2014
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.

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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 8
Ever wanted to play a game where you can stomp the ♥♥♥♥ out of alien scumbags? Then search no longer because this is the game for you. In this game you mainly beat the crap out of everything that moves. Sometimes, if you actually have ammo you can shoot..
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
33.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 3
- 10 hours gameplay
- Reeeeeeeeal nice gameplay [no blind shooting, you need to aim well and shoot of the limbs]
-> Not always shooting, at times it´s just quiet ´n creepy. Also there´s always a couple of easy, fun puzzles
- Reeeeeeeeal nice gore
- Awesome [creepy] Atmosphere

There ain´t no big negatives, truly a good game, the sequels all rock, too.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
15.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 15
Well, first of all, let's say, that entering Dead Space universe is kinda risky, because it can hold you for a looooong time.
Dead Space is a some kind of masterpiece for me. I played it alot on pirated version, when i didn't even have a Steam, so don't pay too much attention about play time, just replayed it one more time on the hardest difficulty.

So, what is this game?

- First of all. NECROMORPHS! Yus, they are the key feature of this game, you will love them alot. They are very, very interesting, funny, lovely, and cute. But to be honest, ugly as hell, and sometimes Ishimura reminds hell really nice.
- Atmosphere. It has amazing sounds, scenes, and environment. Just don't forget to listen to sounds a little more, and you will feel yourself uncomfortable.
- Effort, length. Dayum, this game is longer, than 50% of our time's horrors. And very, very well made. Reading and listening to every note is making a wonderful feeling of very deep atmosphere.
- Great OST. I don't have any words for it. Had a feeling, that actually it's not a music, but real sounds.

Why i didn't say anything negative about game?
Because... Urgh, don't even know. I don't think, that this game has something to let people ragequit, except jumpscares.

Well. I'm giving to it 10\10, beause it's playable unreally good in our time too. Graphics are good enough. xD
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
22.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 16
Good storyline and sci-fi atmosphere. And the gameplay also good.
The lights, decorations characters, and actors did good job.
I recommended this game those all who's liking the mystic sci-fi stories and games.

Good things:
-Good visuals.
-Good playthrough.
-Good sotry.

Bad Things:
I didn't find.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 13
Don't let my low hours fool you. I have played through this game a number of times on my Xbox 360, but since I've stopped using my 360 (but still wanted to play this game), I bought it on Steam.

Now, I thought I should address this issue first:

I have heard a lot of people complain about the mouse and keyboard controls in this game. My advice: buy yourself a wired Xbox 360 controller, download the drivers for it, and use that. Apparently bad keyboard/mouse controls aside, this game does feel like it was made for controller, and the controler settings are solid.

Now onto the actual game:

The Positives:

-- The story itself is good and I enjoyed it, but I felt like the story sometimes was a bit too far in the background (meaning I felt you were focusing purely on the objective and the story didn't really have much play in said objective). But overall, good story and despite the aforementioned, it was generally well implemented throughout the game. There are also twists, turns and little suprises that make it an awesome experience. Also, the ending was done really well!

-- The atmosphere is fantastic! The got the lighting right, the sound effects right, crew logs, everything! It was just done so right!

-- There are plenty of solid scares. There are some jump scares throughout the game and I know a lot of people hate those. But I'll be honest: jump scares really do work in this game.

-- The weapons are very well done; although there are some weapon and general game mechanics that really do lend the player to using the basic starting weapon throughout the game (not that this is necessarilly a bad thing).

-- Thought there is a realively straight forward (and argueably easy) way to play the game, there are so many other ways to play it. This ranges from weapons to the different modules (Stasis, Kenisis) to whether or not (and how) you use the object in the environment.

-- There is enough variety in the enemies to make it interesting, but few enough to keep the game consistent ( if that makes sense). and as the above point suggests, there is more than one way to fight each enemy (with the possible exception of the boss fights). I was say the enemies are very well done and always fun to fight.

-- Boss fights are very well done, and the bosses are very cool!

-- I know this is techincally part of the atmosphere of the game, but it is definitely worth mentioning on its own that the got creepy right! A lot of horror games get jump scares and maybe a few solid scares down-packed, but they never get the creepy element right enough to actually be creepy. This game does, and it does it well!

The Negatives:

-- The thumb-stick controls can sometimes feel a bit slow. It does feel like it should be a bit more twitchy. That being said, the controls do work rather well, so this negative isn't all that bad.

-- Picking up items can be annoying in a select few situations. For example, an item maybe under a Stasis recharge point and instead of picking up the item, it will constantly engage the recharge point instead. That being said, there are other ways to pick up that item, but still....

-- Save points are not disabled during combat. Intead of picking up ammo during a fight that I desperately needed, the game instead activated the save point and I died. To be honest, this has only ever happened once (and I've done three run throughs of this game on normal and my third attempt at doing it on hard).

Overall, this dismemberment simulator is a very solid game with pretty much everything done right!

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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 23
Dead Space is a classic, reminding me of an Aliens movie style setting and making it very cool & unique.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
25.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 28
I have had some mixed feelings about this game, but then again this happens for a lot of horror games I've played. I'm not a big fan of jumpscares as I feel them being a cheap way to enthrill. Then again I've played this game through 3 times and the reason for that is that this game has a very good gameplay. It has some mediocre issues in storytelling and atmosphere that prevents this being an outstanding game. Instead, this is just good.

I have played all parts of the series, except third installement is still uncompleted. Then again the third one didn't seem to have anything to do with the first one so I though I might as well review this now.

The plot of the game is pretty generic. In space no one can hear you scream. Weird monsters invade space ship and the protagonist must fight back after their immediate escape possibilities are cut down. Plot starts immediately and isn't very surprising at any point. Player travels back and forth in the ship doing stuff while other characters in the game stand still and cry. Kendra Daniels is one of the most annoying side characters I've so far seen or heard in a game.

The part where this game excels is that it makes the playing part fun, although the plot is uninsteresting. By giving the possibility to cut limbs instead of just shooting aliens, this game makes the fights somewhat more interesting and more pleasing. In a fight with multiple enemies, one can shoot their legs off before move to finishing them with another weapon. Also by making playable character a walker instead of a runner, the game is much better paced than some other horror games. Sure he can run, but he cannot shoot while running and running usually ends in a situation where a necromorph is close enough to hug Isaac.

Then again even though the pacing excels, this is yet another example where I think the game could've used a real director(like movies have). Though the game tries to be a horror game, it rarely excels in it. Most of the enemies are given away by loud roars or sudden violin sounds. Basically player just turns to where ever the sound came and shoots. Some jump scares are not enough to call it a horror game. It's a jump-scare-game. I'm not afraid of jumpscare, I just don't like them, like sewage. The game loses a lot of atmosphere by doing this. Games scaries part are the vacuum scenarios where no sound is played, so one must stay alert all the time for the enemy. Also there are occasionally so many enemies that I felt like playing a shooter instead of atmospheric horro game.

The game is really cheap today(2,5eur in sales) so no hurt trying. Easiest difficulty setting is enough to take any challenge out of the game if one feels like going it just for the story, although some atmosphere is lost by doing this.

To anyone suffering mouse problems, try V-sync out and force v-sync from video driver software or utilities like radeonpro. Also playable without v-sync but some say they've had problems related to one door not opening. Also playing without any kind of vsync might cause coil whine in gpu with FPS running over 200 with better cards(2012 enthusiast ->)

I recommend this game as a nice way to pass 8-10 hours, but don't expect anything great out of it. It's solid and it's good enough to give it a try. If you don't like it, don't buy the next installements either, they give nothing more.
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