Dead Space – 21st Century Survival Horror


 
Slack's Rating: 8.5
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I've been waiting for sometime for the video game industry to come out with something that would match or exceed the scare factor of what I would consider to be the reference standards for survival horror video games; speaking of the now classic Resident Evil and Silent Hill. And it looks like Dead Space, the 2008 offering by EA, has finally risen to the challenge.

This over-the-shoulder third person shooter developed by Visceral Games has creep-crawly up the wazoo and is, in my humble opinion, a polished production that is well worth the money and should adorn the shelves of any serious PC game collector. I've heard Dead Space referred to as Bioshock in space and I can definitely see the similarities. But whereas Bioshock leans heavily towards an off-the-wall weird and scary thing, Dead Space tends to follow a more traditional sci-fi horror story line, e.g., abandoned spaceship issues a distress signal, when answered there is no response, the ship is boarded and discovered to be inhabited by —wait for it— aliens (*gasp*... who'da thunk it?)..

Gameplay

Gameplay in Dead Space revolves around playing as Isaac Clarke (Arthur C. Asimov anyone?), an engineer from the USG Kellion who, with two other crew members, Kendra Daniels and Zach Hammond, finds himself stranded aboard the USG Ishimura, a dark and deserted planet cracking mining ship mysteriously overrun with alien life forms. Isaac quickly gets separated from Kendra and Zach and becomes the go-to guy who must complete a series of objectives which oblige him to run around the Ishimura's passageways battling the aliens while fetching items that will either help fix the ship and/or help get to the bottom of the alien infestation.


To deal with the bad guys, Isaac acquires various 'weapons' throughout the game although apparently, all save but one are not really weapons (even though they look like weapons) but rather are mining tools that Isaac has refitted into makeshift firearms. The weapons are a whole lot of fun to use, especially the Ripper which is the only weapon which I think actually looks like a mining tool. But it's not the weapons themselves which make Dead Space unique but rather the way they must be used on the enemy in order to be effective.

Merely blasting away willy-nilly at an enemy's midrift will do some damage but is not nearly as effective (or fun) as the recommended approach which is to methodically dismember the aliens so that they are at first crippled and then eventually, uhh, immobilized. This makes for some frequent and spectacularly chaotic entanglements where you'll find yourself trapped in a room full of semi-slaughtered creepy-crawly monstrosities, many of which are still dragging themselves along the ground towards you ever hellbent on turning you into fast food while others flail about blindly because they've lost their heads (literally).

What is beautiful about this amputate-the-aliens system is that it forces you to aim carefully in order to strategically disarm your adversaries (pun intended). This in turn tends to set the needle on the panic meter wavering into the red as you desperately try not to miss because you learn quickly that missing often means having the tables turned and watching the aliens sloppily butcher Isaac into little itty bits. I felt that having to cut off alien limbs was a very intelligent progression of the old blow-the-head-off-the-zombies routine in classic survival horror.

Weapons

Each of the weapons in Dead Space seems suited to a specific task unlike that of any other shooters. In other shooters, you'll typically have a shotgun for close range blasting or a trusty pistol with plenty of available ammo or a sniper rifle for long range kills or some reasonable facsimile therein.

Dead Space, on the other hand, offers you weapons suited to some rather unusual undertakings such as quick-and-easy two-way chopping or double leg dismemberment or launch-and-pray timed blast amputation. I've heard about how this Dead Space weapon is the game's shotgun or that Dead Space weapon is the game's sniper rifle and even I have begun to refer to them as such but this is probably for want of better comparisons. Dead Space weapons are truly unique and using them offers a grisly thrill that surpasses the usual just-shoot-em-dead stuff of other games.

All totalled, there are only seven weapons in Dead Space but I didn't feel particularly limited largely because all the weapons can be incrementally upgraded at so-called benches located at various points around the game. Upgrades are accomplished by using the benches to insert special power nodes into a kind of upgrade tree. Power nodes can either be found around the game's environment or purchased at the Store.


 

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17 Responses to Dead Space – 21st Century Survival Horror

  1. El1iP3S01D says:

    Thank you for the Walkthrough on Dead Space 01 PC, I should funny Walk-throughs..Thanks again...

  2. Angela Chapman says:

    I just finishes Dead Space. With your help. I am 64 years old; not quick or fast; so I died alot and got stuck. Thanks to you; I got through it and finished. I really like the way you put everything together. Thanks for taking the time.

  3. isaacclarke88 says:

    U DA MAN!I I was scared shitless on Dead Space,but i found your walkthrough,HILARIOUS!!!

  4. charl says:

    1 of my fav games

  5. Ret says:

    Do you have a dead space 2 walk through? I just finish watching your dead space walk through 1.

  6. E.J. says:

    Slack! I love your videos! I got stuck on the stupid asteroid room and found your walkthrough. After that every time I finished a chapter it was on to your video for it! They were so entertaining! Any way love he vids and hope you keep doing this the world NEEDS SOME SLACK! XD

  7. Daniel says:

    An Amazing game (and amazing and funny Gamer too) Ive watched his walkthrough From Ch.1 to Ch.12 and he is quite funny.Keep it up Slack

  8. sammyb says:

    SLAAAK! U NEED TO TO DEADSPACE 2 FOR EVERYBODY! WE NEED YOUR LEADERSHIP SKILLS to show us were to go in dead space please!!

  9. charl human says:

    Hey slack which game is the best Dead Space or FEAR 2

  10. sammyb says:

    slak.. u da mann!

  11. Chris Meyer says:

    Hey, me and my brother just finished the last video of your walkthrough, we have been wondering if you can do a walkthrough of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II. We are a little behind on the Xbox games because of the economy and all that shit... So....

  12. Chris Meyer says:

    Hey whats up man, been watching those Dead Space walkthroughs on you website and they really help. The first time I saw the gameplay, I was scared shitless man. So was my little brother. You think there are any more tips that can help kill these bastards faster?

  13. isaiah says:

    cause fo you i beat my whole game

  14. Drizzt says:

    I agree with your review of Dead Space. Also I have the Plasma Cutter, Line Gun, and the Ripper. What should I choose for my fourth weapon. Nice Walkthrough too, absolutely hilarious.

  15. Major Slack says:

    jaydawg,

    Go with the Line Gun. Much more versatile.

  16. jaydawg95 says:

    hey quick question whats better fully upgraded the ripper or the line gun cause i just started playing so want to kno what i should focus on upgrading

  17. Trigger says:

    If you like Dead Space, try Resident Evil 5...

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