Rating: "Worth playing"
Traditional Rating: 7.5/10
Genre: Survival Horror
After a couple of hours of play, it would appear Dead Space is setting itself up to be the Ridley Scott's Alien of gaming. It almost suceeds to a point. Tense and fraught with danger, the suspense (coupled with the awesome sound design which truly heightens the atmosphere to harrowing levels) is almost unbearable at times. Every corridor you traverse holds some nasty alien surprise lying in wait to decapitate or gut you to pieces. The game sets up a fantastically eerie environment from the get-go and it feels like you live the game as you play it.
Being a survival horror don't expect ammunition to be lying around every single corner so the player needs to make sure that every shot counts when trying to take down these monstrosities. You can easily stock up on ammunition at the various shops set up around the spaceship but money is in very short supply and the ammunition itself is not cheap so often the player will find themselves in a situation where choices need to be made. Does one sacrifice extra ammo in favour of buying a medi-pack for healing or a node for upgrading weapons? This is not a game where you can have your cake and eat it.
I enjoyed the fact that Visceral Games chose to go for the amputating of various body parts to bring enemies down rather than the usual stock standard shot to the head that is the common norm in shooters these days. Where Dead Space unfortunately falters is with its clichéd story (an alien hive mind and artefacts form the backbone of the story). From a pure storytelling experience there is nothing new here that hasn't been told before countless times in other mediums.
The gamer is left playing a mute protagonist, Isaac Clarke, who doesn't say a word throughout the game to the various characters he comes into contact with which ultimately leaves him as one of those personalityless heroes that I find difficult to rally around in the age of Commander Sheppard and Ezio Auditore.
Criticisms aside - the game is still a scarily good time with headphones cranked up to full and the lights turned off!
Posted: November 26th, 2013