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).
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.
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.
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.