Dead Space Review – Page 3


 

Gripes

Slack's Rating: 8.5
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Another thing that happened to me after getting about halfway through Dead Space is that the gripes I had about this game started to feel more like just the rules of engagement that had to be dealt with rather than shortcomings. But initially, as were some others, I was quite thrown off by the crowded over-the-shoulder view which always creates a kind of blind spot on the left side of your character. This can make you feel rather claustrophobic and ultimately it's rather unnerving —which was the whole point obviously— but I have to admit that in the beginning, I was more annoyed than unnerved.

I also had some gripes about aiming the weapons which seemed a little too slow-pokey at first considering the pandemonium you're required to use them amidst. But at least the PC version of this game allows you to aim using the mouse (once again, Resident Evil 4 comes to mind).

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Using the Stasis module to slow enemies

And finally, the handling of hotkeys in Dead Space left something to be desired. First, not allowing certain vital actions to be hotkeyed tended to disrupt the flow and made the gameplay feel a little clunky. For example, early in the game the player is given use of a special motion-slowing stasis module which is required to solve puzzles but can also be directed at lunging enemies to temporarily slow them down to a crawl. This tends to mitigate the sluggish weapon aiming and is a feature you learn to rely on heavily throughout Dead Space as the game does indeed throw the kitchen sink at you in some areas.

However the catch is once your stasis runs dry, you are obliged to access your inventory in order to refill it which at first seems like an oversight. But then you soon find yourself thinking, okay, surely the developers must have thought of allowing stasis to be hotkeyed but didn't do it anyway which then has you speculating that they simply resorted to cheap trickery in order to make the game harder.

And secondly, the map, inventory and log hotkeys worked fine but they should have been configured so that the hotkey toggled the respective screen on and off rather than having the Esc key set as a kind of global off button. I found this very counterintuitive and often left me fumbling in a panic to turn off the map or inventory screens when aliens suddenly appeared since accessing these screens doesn't actually pause the game. Mind you, having the game continue in real time while you accessed these various info screens is a cool feature and really added to the scare factor. But having the hotkeys toggle these screens on and off would have been much more intuitive and once again cheap trickery on the part of the developers comes to mind.


Replay Value

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Improving weapons using a special upgrade bench

Upon completing the game once on any difficulty setting, you earn two things: A Cleared Game save and the Impossible difficulty setting both of which give Dead Space much replay value.

Note also that it is impossible to acquire enough power nodes to upgrade all your weapons and equipment in one playthrough, in fact you won't even come close. So Dead Space could be played through again and again using the Cleared Game save to build up a character that would eventually have all his weapons and equipment 'maxed out'.

Regarding the Cleared Game mode: This is a save game you earn by completing the game once on any difficulty setting and allows you to play through a new game using all your weapons and upgrades earned from the previous playthrough as well as some special bonuses.

Be advised however the Cleared Game can only be played at the difficulty setting you had set in your initial playthrough and quite frankly, in my humble opinion, Dead Space may be a bit of a cakewalk to experienced gamers the second time through. So you might want to tackle this game on the highest difficulty setting you can possibly handle for optimum replay value with your Cleared Game.

Final Notes

I am personally looking forward to playing and replaying a Dead Space Cleared Game save on Impossible mode (the highest difficulty setting). All in all, I feel that Dead Space is solid challenging fun not to mention that it is genuinely scary and truly deserving of all the awards it's received and it is a worthy and contemporary representative of its genre. And despite my gripes, it is also worthy of doing a video walkthrough for (check my Youtube channel), an undertaking that I reserve only for exceptional games. In short, if you're a survival horror/action fan, Dead Space is a must.


 

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6 Responses to Dead Space Review – Page 3

  1. Bruce Lewis says:

    Hey Slack, I'm a fellow "old" gamer (I'm 55) and I must say, the game companies should pay you to play their games and write up the walkthrough and review for them. You write very well, my friend, and I greatly enjoy your commentary tracks on your videos, now that you have that. I much prefer these with the commentary.

    Some of the things you say during your commentary are absolutely hilarious. I got my girlfriend to watch a couple of your videos with me and when I was playing Far Cry 3 later that evening, I heard her saying "get sum! get sum! get sum!" as I was shooting bad guys. It made me giggle to hear her say it. We both laughed about it afterward. Your sense of humor is infectious.

    I must say, I'm a fan. Keep up the good work, but please don't get burned out with the workload on making and uploading videos, dude. I retired from IT partly because I used to work 80 and 100 hour weeks (also why I'm divorced). At least my kids recognize me, lol.

    Cheers, mate!

  2. wesley wehrheim says:

    i spend 12 years as an army sniper and fought in two wars.. i cannot, for the life of me, play dead space w/o shitting my pants... so thanks slack, for giving me an outlet to enjoy the game without having to have a heart attack and a cigarrette after every monster!

  3. donperigo says:

    nice review

    I just finished shooting the hivemind in the nads on the ps3 and all thanks to your walkthrough. I took one look at the leviathan, recognised that i had reached my limit so i googled a solution and found your walkthrough on utube "use the kenisis luke" .
    I found the game truly scarey to begin with but post slack i ran around collecting pickups, chuckling to myself and saying, "getsum!" , " but honey its friday night" and "stop shooting at me"

    did i hear you fell out of love with prototype, shame, it looked good but if they ever convert "infamous" for the pc check it out, i feel sure youll like it. many thanks for the masterclasses, i feel up to taking on some of the other great looking games out there.

  4. AARON says:

    its better then silent hill homecoming did not like it at first

  5. Justin (AKA: Trevor Rain) says:

    I agree with the other comment, but Horror is not my style ^^; I've never been one for blood and guts thriller games (I don't believe l4d counts.)

  6. 19881705 says:

    great review, well detailed, clear explanations of the game, very useful for guys who dont have it but plan to get it. thanks, Slack. really appreciate your work, whether its walkthroughs or reviews/articles.

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