Review by Shogain

"A game full of potential"

If your looking for a scary game, filled with an atmosphere full of creepiness, then look no further. Dead Space contains everything you need in a great horror game. But there's one error, which can be a problem. Simplicity. As you progress throughout the game in the beginning, you'll enjoy every minute of it, but as you get to the end, you realize it's not that scary anymore, and you just want to end the nightmare once and for all.

Story - [8/10]
You are Isaac Clarke, a simple mining engineer on board your ship with your crew members, and you receive a distress call from a nearby ship called the USSG Ishimura. The USSG Ishimura is a Planet Cracker class ship, which are ships that gather minerals from planets. There's more to it than that. As you enter the deserted ship, you find no trace of human life. It seems there's something amiss here, and you get to encounter your first necromorphs as you enter a room. I can't spoil anything more than that, but the story is pretty good, and I liked it. What made the story even better were these text logs and audio logs that contains valuable information on what happened on the USSG Ishimura. In conclusion, I thought that the story was written pretty well, and it never bored me.

Gameplay - [7/10]
The gameplay by far has some strategic points in it. To start it off, your not supposed to target your enemies body and shoot at it. You gotta dismember them. That's the only way to kill them faster, and by doing them, you can save more ammo and get yourself out of harms way. It's not like the normal every day shooter you see nowadays. The weapons you have at your disposal are pretty neat, and have some originality in to them. They're mostly for mining, so it makes sense. At the start, you start out with a plasma cutter, a basic tool for space miners. As you progress throughout the Ishimura, you'll encounter schematics for blueprints on new weapons. Such weapons include the Pulse Rifle, which can be treated as an assault rife, and the Ripper, which projects a saw blade that hovers and cuts through your enemies limbs. There are more weapons than I listed, but those were just some examples. Now, before, I told you about schematics. You can use these to unlock more items in the shops you buy in. Such can be suits, which improve your armor, or other various items, such as medpacks and other stuff you'd need to survive. You can also use some melee, such as flailing your weapon, or stomping. I found that the melee were that useful, but whatever. There are plenty of gameplay elements found in this survival horror game which makes it shine. They relate to space, such as the Zero G areas, and areas that are exposed to outer space. For the Zero G areas, there are no gravities at all, and you can jump across landable platforms by flying through the air. For outer space areas, they use up your oxygen supply, which is important. All of these elements are a neat addition to ramp up the gameplay. The major flaw I thought about the gameplay, which made me rate the overall score a 7, was that as you get to the end of the game, you find that it wasn't so great after all, and that it wasn't that scary. The enemies behavior were all the same, and all they did was fly towards your bullets. You find that everything you did was pretty simple, but, it's rewarded with a great ending to a good game. To be honest, don't let my review keep you from trying out this game. (One thing I forgot to mention was that you get these power nodes scattered throughout these containers on the walls. You use them on benches to upgrade your weapons and other stuff.) Wait a minute, I missed two other things. I'll explain them right now. For one, there are these two powers you can use to help you throughout the grisly Ishimura ship. Stasis, a mysterious projectile that slows down your enemies when hit. Kinetic, where you can use it to move objects, or launch them at your enemies. These two things help you fairly well, but I think they make the game easier.

Graphics - [8/10]
The graphics are fantastic. Not eye-popping, to be honest, but they do capture the feel of space, and how it's so dead. The characters are brought to life with great textures, and the environments, while repeated, capture the feel of a Science Fiction ship. The necromorphs are so well designed that they scare you as soon as you see them. Overall, I have nothing more to say about the graphics, other than that I didn't have any problems with them.

Sound - [9/10]
Uh oh, the highlight of the game. It's the sound which makes the game oh so creepy. Ranging from the footsteps from the vents, all the way to the roar of a tall necromorph. Every time you hear a sound, you brace yourself with your trusty weapon. The sound captures the mood of the game, and pulls you in. Even better, turn your lights off, put the volume up, and you have yourself a very scary game. In conclusion, the sound was what made the game what it is.

Final Word -
Dead Space is a game that starts out great, but goes a little downhill towards the end of the game. Even so, try the game out. You won't be disappointed. It's definately one of the scariest games I've played in the past.

Hint: Play on the hardest difficulty.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 02/17/09

Game Release: Dead Space (US, 10/13/08)

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