Dead Space Xbox 360
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Released on 24/10/2008
BAFTA Winner: Original Score
Set in the cold blackness of deep space, the atmosphere is soaked with a feeling of tension, dread and sheer terror. In Dead Space, players step into the role of engineer Isaac Clarke – an ordinary man on a seemingly routine mission to fix the communications systems aboard a deep space mining ship. It is not long before Isaac awakes to a living nightmare when he learns that the ship’s crew has been ravaged by a vicious alien infestation. He must fight through the dead silence and darkness of deep space to stay alive.
Afraid of the dark? Scared you'll be ripped to pieces by tentacled monsters? This might not be the game for you. Set in the distant future, Dead Space is a survival horror adventure that follows engineer Isaac Clarke as he's dispatched across the cosmos to investigate a stricken mining ship. Very quickly, he discovers there's more going on aboard the USG Ishimura than a snapped fan belt. The craft is swarming with repulsive, man-eating space beasts called Necromorphs. And Isaac is next on their terrifying menu.
You fight for survival via an over-the-shoulder perspective, reminiscent of Resident Evil 4, but with slightly more flexibility (you can side-step - an addition that proves essential). Your aim is to creep gingerly through the ship's labyrinthine innards, looking for survivors and facing up to the interstellar evil you meet along the way.
A saw point
The problem is, you're no colonial marine, so you can forget about laser cannons and thermal grenades. Isaac starts the game with a mere plasma cutter, the Deep Space equivalent of a pocket knife, and must improvise his own weapons from what he can find.
You'll need to amputate limbs, tentacles and often heads in order to take down these things.
Luckily, there are some meaty spoils to discover, including a flame thrower and a circular saw - named The Ripper - for when you absolutely positively have to reduce everything in the room to quivering slices of deli meat. By rooting around the densely detailed environments Isaac can also find power-ups for both his weapons and his space suit armour, providing that crucial incentive to venture into those dark, ominous corners.
There's something else. Resembling the alien in John Carpenter's cult sci-fi flick The Thing, the Necromorphs can quickly mutate and self-repair - half-hearted attacks simply won't do. The designers at EA's Redwood Shores studio say that Dead Space is a game about - wait for it - strategic dismemberment. That's right, you'll need to amputate limbs, tentacles and often heads in order to take down these things, and even then, a stray arm may just get up and fight back.
The key thing is you're never safe. Some Necromorphs attach themselves to the wall and blow exploding sacks of gore at you, others lurk in air vents, waiting to pull you in with outstretched tentacles. There are also sections with no gravity, where Isaac has to float slowly to safety, leaping along walls and ceilings as the oxygen supply runs out and marauding brain-munchers close in.
EA has even commissioned comic books to act as a prequel to the game and is releasing an animated CG movie to tell more of the story.
Importantly though, Dead Space isn't just a slaughter-fest. The development team employed comic book writers Warren Ellis and Anthony Johnson to flesh out the back-story and create a narrative experience that ladles on plot twists, shocks and surprises as much as bubbling alien blood.
EA has even commissioned a series of comic books to act as a prequel to the game and is releasing an animated CG movie to tell more of the story. The designers spent ages watching horror movies, working out what actually scares people and then pasting it all into the game.
The result looks to be a fully-rounded, extremely adult take on the survival horror genre. Comparisons to Biohazard, Resident Evil 4 and Doom 3 are all being made, but Dead Space is surely more than the sum of these parts; it could well be a benchmark horror title for the PS3/Xbox 360 era.
If you have the guts (and believe us, there are plenty of guts to be had here), this will surely be a chilling treat for those long, dark winter evenings.
Preview by: Keith 'Ripley' Stuart
Preview Published: 15.10.08
Dead Space shouldn't be this good. It's a magpie, pinching ideas from horror and sci-fi movies and other games. Its creators EA's Redwood Shores studio, aren't usually mentioned in the same breath as, say, Valve. Its storytelling is sci-fi by numbers. And yet somehow, it works a treat.
The walls have... teeth.
You are Isaac Clarke, engineer on a deep space vessel sent to repair communications with a massive mining ship. Upon docking, Isaac and co's craft becomes incapacitated, forcing them to split up and try and find a way to safety. Which is when they find out that the ship's been taken over by a parasitic alien lifeform.
Eerie shadows, flashing warning lights and strobing gantry halogens create an ever shifting backdrop... it's almost as if the rooms themselves are alive.
So far, so Alien, but while the plot might be familiar, the graphics quickly wipe out all thought of blandness. Dead Space boasts about the most impressive lighting ever in a game. Eerie shadows, flashing warning lights and strobing gantry halogens create an ever shifting backdrop, and at some points it's almost as if the rooms themselves are alive. Entering a corridor and seeing your own shadow ahead of you, then catching a flash of spiderish nightmare scuttle past – now that's the way to create fear!
Adding massively to the tense atmosphere is the sterling sound production. The ship creaks and moans, gas jets and computer systems hiss and bleep all around you, and skittering noises are constantly unnerving. Voice acting is also of a very high quality, and recordings from the original mining crew help slowly unveil the true nature of the infestation, building tension as you hear the dying screams of the people who left them. In effect, Dead Space positively demands a decent 5.1 surround setup.
The nightmare never ends
Control doesn't quite innovate in the same way as the audiovisuals, taking Resident Evil 4 as its main, obvious inspiration. Of course, that's no bad thing; the over-the-shoulder viewpoint, thumbstick controlled aim, and melee attacks create suitable claustrophobia, but feel smooth and easy to use. You can even fire on the move, which is something Resi's Leon Kennedy never managed.
Dead Space's missions see you fixing a certain part of the ship (life support for example), or hunting out infestations. Enemies appear from everywhere – the roof, the floor panels, sometimes even bursting through the door, and clearing a room once is no guarantee it'll be safe when you return. Thankfully the combat allows you to make short work of Dead Space's twisted nightmares, with weapons designed to slice limbs clean off, set them aflame, explode them, or just gun them to pieces.
A steady hand and a sure trigger finger will guarantee the enemy ends up in pieces, and to save ammo you can finish them off with a squelching stomp.
Limb removal is the quickest way to take down Dead Space's nasties. A steady hand and a sure trigger finger will guarantee the enemy ends up in pieces, and to save ammo you can finish them off with a squelching stomp. Weapons meanwhile can be upgraded, while stasis and kinesis powers, allow you to slow down objects and enemies, or pick them up and toss them around. They're fun to play with, but there's also some clever integration of these abilities into the missions.
Probably the best example would be when Isaac visits the outside of the ship, or a zero g containment area. Bouncing from floor to wall to ceiling and back again, these sections boast some of Dead Space's best puzzles, as well as making you consider the lack of oxygen – a counter on Isaac's back keeps you informed of your levels, as does the sound of his breathing and heartbeat.
While it borrows much, Dead Space, adds clever extra touches to tried and tested mechanisms. The HUD is no longer spread across the screen, instead, the energy bar is on the back of Isaac's suit, as is his Stasis power bar. In-game messages from the crew pop up in a holo-screen in front of him, as do computer monitors. And best of all is the map tracker – a blue trace of light that shoots from Isaac's hand when you click the right thumbstick, showing you your next objective. It's a divinely simple trick ensuring you'll never get lost, which deserves to be copied.
So as we said at the start, Dead Space is good. It's really good. Atmospheric, well designed, great to look at, with satisfying combat and an enjoyable (if slightly hackneyed) storyline, Dead Space is one of the best Survival Horror games this generation.
- Incredible atmosphere.
- Satisfying weaponry.
- Buckets of gore and shocks galore make Dead Space suitably scary.
- No multiplayer, fairly short story.
- Sound really NEEDS a 5.1 setup.
- Buckets of gore: Dead Space won't be for kids or the faint of heart!
During a promotional trip for his latest film, I Am Number Four, Hollywood director DJ Caruso claimed that the planned live-action Dead Space film was still in production.
Speaking to AreaGames, the helmer who signed on to direct the film back in 2009 admitted ee working on the story./p>
"We had one attempt of trying to do a prequel, but the story didn't quite work out as well as we wanted it to," Caruso continued. "But if we can capture how - I don't want to say, I guess, how scary or horrifying it would be to play that game because it's really, really fantastic - it'd be fun to make that into a movie."
You'll find no arguments from us, here. The cinematic action featured in both Dead Space titles - not forgetting rail-shooter spin-off Extraction, of course - makes the franchise an obvious choice for a leap to the big screen. It seems the director shares the opinion of developer Visceral Games, who earlier maintained that the film would be omething really worthwhileand not ust a cheap cash-in
Publisher Electronic Arts has partnered with producers of the Twilight series, Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey, on the film. Fingers crossed these story issues are sorted out and we can bring you more news on this potentially very exciting project.
Teasing details from the nameless Call of Duty spin-off, once under development at Sledgehammer, have been revealed at the Call of Duty XP event in Los Angeles.
Talking to Gamerzines, Sledgehammer boss Glen Schofield described the aborted project as a third-person shooter, not set in the modern day. He went on to add "It had a lot of atmosphere like, I should say Dead Space a little bit because you were underground in some places. You know, war is hell, war is scary and that's what we were trying to get across. We did a tonne of research."
The news is perhaps not particularly surprising both Schofield and fellow studio head Michael Condery set up Sledgehammer after working on Dead Space for EA at Visceral Games.
The decision to cancel the game was theirs, he insists, and not an order from Activision's high command. The offer came through from Infinity Ward to help on Modern Warfare 3, and after talking it through with the Sledgehammer team, the changeover was made.
Would a third-person Call of Duty have worked? We'll probably never know. What we do know is that Modern Warfare 3 is now just two months away from its November 8th release date. It'll be out on PS3, Xbox 360,and PC.
Dead Space Preview (15/10/2008)
Afraid of the dark? Scared you'll be ripped to pieces by tentacled monsters? This might n…Dead Space Review (30/10/2008)
Dead Space shouldn't be this good. It's a magpie, pinching ideas from horror and sci-fi movi…
During a promotional trip for his latest film, I Am Number Four, Hollywood director DJ Caruso claimed that the planned live-action Dead Space film was still in production.…
Teasing details from the nameless Call of Duty spin-off, once under development at Sledgehammer, have been revealed at the Call of Duty XP event in Los Angeles.…Dead Space User ReviewsTop review3 years agoDead SpaceNice graphics,great gameplay,good story line and very atmospheric! Buy this now!!!3 years agoDead Spacethis is my second best game in my colletion with gears of war 2 being my fav i paid £25 for this game and worth the price this could be the future of games with even more relisted graphics bring on deadspace 23 years agoDead SpaceAbsolutely fabulous. Way more fun and interesting than Res Evil. Just quality from start to finish.2 years agoDead Spacetruely gripping story-line, which as a huge fan of the fallout and bioshock series is a big thing to me, and its full of edge of your seat scares, loads of weapons and its a terrifyingly amazing game!3 years agoDead SpaceBest sci-fi/horror game ever its actually scared me 100 of times more than any film ever definately worth buying, especially now considering you can buy it for under £20 new....Great graphics and gamplay and the 3rd person view works really wellConfiguring your price alert
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