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Dead Space

Space sims are horror! photo
Space sims are horror!

Dread space: Why space sims scare me more than zombies

Promoted from our Community Blogs!
Mar 03
// TriplZer0
[For his Bloggers Wanted essay response, Destructoid community blogger TriplZer0 explains why the vast emptiness of space scares him more than jump scares ever could. Want to see your own words appear on the front page? Go wr...
Dead Space photo
Dead Space

Origin has a big sale on all three Dead Space games

Plus the DLC, but spending anything on that is a waste of money
Mar 01
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Origin is currently offering between 30% to 50% off on every Dead Space game in their store. The first Dead Space is available for $10 as a PC download, and Dead Space 2 can be grabbed for $10 either as a PC download, or phys...
PlayStation All-Stars photo
PlayStation All-Stars

Dead Space's Isaac Clarke joining PlayStation All-Stars

Plus Zeus from God of War, and a Unfinished Swan stage too
Feb 27
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
IGN sat down with PlayStation's Seth Killian where he revealed the next downloadable content for PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. Dead Space's Isaac Clarke and God of War's Zeus will both be joining the fight. Plus, a ne...

Game Debate to the Death! Favorite Dead Space game?

NASA needs cooler helmets
Feb 26
// Tom Fronczak
Last week's Assassin Creed debate turned into a rogue race between the first two games in the series, with Assassin's Creed II coming out on top by a few votes . . . and jumping to its close demise in a pile of hay below. Bro...
Dead Space 3 photo
Dead Space 3

All the horrific ways you can die in Dead Space 3

Don't eat while you watch this
Feb 23
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
One of the things you can always expect from a Dead Space game is that Isaac Clarke will get torn to bits in so many wonderful ways. You can also expect someone on YouTube to take the time to great a big old montage full of ...
Dead Space 3 photo
Dead Space 3

Get Dead Space 3 for $39.99 on Amazon, and Groupon

I didn't know Groupon sold games
Feb 19
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
I just beat Dead Space 3's single-player mode this past week and overall enjoyed it. I need to do some co-op still, which I hear is a better way to play the game. While it was overall a fun experience, I'm not so sure I would...

Co-op and horror don't work together in Dead Space 3

Feb 18 // Taylor Stein
With the admittance of co-op functionality within the horror genre, it begs the question, is it possible to produce an authentic fear-driven experience while playing a game with two players? How scary can a dark room, narrow hallway, or eerie mansion be when you've got a geared-up teammate watching your back? Many of the recent horror titles such as Resident Evil 6, Aliens: Colonial Marines, and Dead Space 3 have embraced the action-driven narrative, but adding co-op might just tip the scale in determining whether we're left with a true horror game or just another third-person-shooter. Let's take a trip down memory lane to explore how the videogames of old, the grandmasters of horror, were able to convey terror in the simplest of ways.The titles that put the horror genre on the map, Resident Evil and Silent Hill just to name a few, carved a unique space within the videogame gamut. Without the use of high-def visuals or stellar controls, the early horror installments were able to successfully embody the atmosphere of trepidation. Fear was derived from the fact that the odds were not often in your favor. Fighting a deformed nightmare monster with a baseball bat almost always ended in getting your ass kicked. Run out of bullets? Kiss your sweet life goodbye.Survival was the overarching sentiment, not guns-a-blazing battle. With a combination of fixed camera angles, few health packs, invulnerable enemies and ineffective weaponry, terror tactics of the past were brought to fruition by making the player as vulnerable as possible. It wasn't about how many necromorphs or zombies you could kill, rather, how you could get from point A to point B without running into a giant monster that would instantly reduce you to a bloody pile of mush. Nowadays, it seems like people just like to shoot stuff. Gears of War creator Cliff Bleszinski shared similar concerns about the fate of the horror genre in his blog. Within the current gaming market, Bleszinski predicts that horror games will be unable to flourish; instead, he points to indie and PC titles as the next step for the genre. He states, "When we’re fully digital we’ll see more true horror games coming back. Look at Amnesia and Slenderman on PC."Action is one potential strike against the effectiveness of in-game apprehension, strike two and possibly the icing on the cake, is co-op. Gun battles and explosions are welcomed inclusions to any shooter, but it's arguably difficult to maintain the same level of nail-biting suspense or edge-of-your-seat anxiety when you're equipped with weapons galore and a buddy who is ready to lay any ferocious creatures to waste. Dead Space 3 is the most recent title to deviate from its single-player, nightmare entrenched roots. With a friend, players are able to explore the frozen wasteland of Tau Volantis and the decrepit remnants of derelict space vessels together. While two heads are definitely better than one, two guns make all the difference. Taking on a horde of necromorphs with an added set of autonomous weaponry highlights each room as a tactician's dream. Quelling waves of resistance is as easy as positioning your character relative to your squad mate to cover all avenues of attack. If an enemy unsuspectingly emerges from an overhead air duct, my partner has my back. While tag team monster annihilation is amazingly entertaining, the last thing I would describe the experience as, is frightful.The shift within the genre from perseverance to action, from defense to offense, was one that reflected the popularization of shooters within the gaming landscape. Horror developers are forced to adapt, and what we are left with, is an attempt to maintain the same level of suspense captured during the golden age of scary gaming, while providing room for the mechanics that represent the current trends within the mainstream industry. The reality is, the vision of crafting an insanely scary experience is often lost when combined with multiplayer features, over-the-top action, and shooting elements. The good news is, Dead Space 3 allows players to complete the campaign alone OR with a friend, so thrill-seekers have the option of pursuing the story in the scariest way possible. Unfortunately, minus a few jumps here and there, I haven't found the two-player gameplay to be the least bit intimidating on a horror level. The co-op functionality enhances the playability of the game by welcoming a shared experience between two players, yet it adds nothing to make the title more suspenseful or daring besides adding a bit of character back story via co-op side missions.  This is not a discussion about whether Dead Space 3 is a good or bad game, even though I quite enjoyed it personally. It's not a debate about which genre is better, action or horror. This article serves to ask a simple question, does combining action with the comforting appeal of 2-player support create an authentic horror experience?What is your impression of the complicated relationship between co-op and horror? If you played Dead Space 3 with a friend, did you find the game to be as nerve-wracking as the previous installments? Sound off in the comments below.
When co-op meets horror photo
Action plus co-op is fun, but scary? I'm not so sure
The room is dark, cold, and unusually calm. The once bare walkways are now riddled with blood and severed limbs. In the distance, a faint hum can be heard echoing throughout the metal encampment. Its repetition is a solid rem...

Roses and tears: 10 depressing videogame romances

Feb 14 // Taylor Stein
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater – Big Boss and Eva Love can blossom anywhere. If the Metal Gear series has taught us anything (besides the usefulness of a cardboard box) it is that romance is especially prominent on the battlefield. Why would bullets, explosions, and a team of evil super soldiers deter one from indulging in a little affection? While Big Boss fought off Eva’s motive-driven advances, he was unable to resist her overt feminine charm indefinitely. After a romantic encounter complete with wine, a fireplace, and a bear skin rug, Eva skipped town, leaving the battle-hardened veteran heart-broken and empty handed. I guess Snake would've been better off sticking with his M1911A1. Final Fantasy 10 – Tidus and Yuna Ah, there’s nothing sweeter than teenage love. Combining raging hormones with the responsibility of saving a world tormented by perpetual death is certainly a unique formula for passion. During their pilgrimage to defeat the ever-returning nightmare Sin, Tidus and Yuna found romance as a convenient way to ignore the foreboding reality of their quest: Yuna’s death. Throughout a series of plot twists and extensive battles, players save Yuna from her sinister fate. Too bad the protagonist Tidus turns out to be from a dream world and disappears into a poof of nothingness. Dead Space – Isaac and Nicole The horror genre isn't ideal for heartfelt connections. The closest that scary games often get to featuring physicality is through a zombie bite to the neck. Too bad no one sent the memo to Isaac Clark. What started as a standard repair job on the intergalactic mining vessel the USG Ishimura, quickly turned into a terrifying test of survival among reanimated corpses and alien monsters. Did I mention that his girlfriend Nicole was stationed aboard the ship? I’m sure you know where this is going. Not only does the poor systems engineer discover that his girlfriend has been dead since before his arrival, he develops mental instability causing him to see visions of her, courtesy of an alien artifact. Thanks, Nicole, insanity is a perfect parting gift. Infamous - Cole and Trish There are very few actions in life that cannot be forgiven. Being held responsible for an explosion that wiped out a chunk of a city, killing thousands, would definitely be one of those unforgivable moments. Ever since The Blast, Cole's relationship with his girlfriend Trish took a turn for the worst. Blaming him for the death of her sister, Cole became a monster in her eyes. In an effort to win back her trust, the now super-powered hero went above and beyond to assist Trish and the citizens of Empire City. Just as affections were beginning to turn around, Trish was kidnapped, forcing Cole to make a difficult choice. Save the love of his life, or save a team of doctors; serve his personal desires or act on behalf of the greater good. Either way, Cole is pretty much screwed. Choose Trish and she spends her last dying breath describing how much she despises what Cole has become. Rescue the doctors and Trish praises his decision yet still dies from her injuries. Lose-lose situation is an understatement. Final Fantasy VII – Cloud and Aerith What does a spiky-haired soldier, an innocent flower girl , and a well-endowed bartender have in common? In the boring arena of reality, absolutely nothing. Within the fiction of videogames however, the trio arguably represent the most notable love triangle in the gaming world. Regardless of who the player chooses to pursue as a romantic interest, Aerith or Tifa, fate intervenes in the cruelest way possible. A scene of tranquility is instantly transformed into the epitome of shock, alarm, and terror. While praying at an alter, the silver-haired villain Sephiroth seemingly appears from the heavens and impales Aerith with his eight-foot-long Masamune. In an instant she is gone, collapsed in Cloud's arms. To hit the point home, Aerith's theme song begins to play in the background, and the reality that Final Fantasy VII actually had the audacity to kill off a main character halfway through the game, is fully realized. Mass Effect 3 – Commander Shepard and Romantic Partner Saving the galaxy from sentient machines may seem like a tall order, but after three installments of the Mass Effect series, it's pretty safe to say that Commander Shepard always finds a solution. Whether through diplomacy or a firefight, humanity's savior has proven to go above and beyond the call of duty. This applies both on and off the battlefield. Seducing a slew of men, women, and alien crew mates is all fine and good, but the end of the world has a way of offering a sobering reminder as to what is at stake. There will be no civilian life for Shepard and her partner; no white picket fence and no blue children. Ensuring the survival of the entire galaxy is not a job that one simply comes back from. All that can be said between the larger-than-life figure and her significant other is a somber goodbye before the true suicide mission commences. At the end of Mass Effect 3, the hero alone ventures into the depths of the Reaper operated Citadel. The first human Spectre is given a choice that will forever alter the course of the galaxy, to end the cycle of destruction that has continued in secret for millennia. Ultimately, Shepard's decision opens a new chapter for the galaxy, while putting an end to her own. Whether truly dead or not, Commander Shepard's closest squadmate is forced to hang her name on the Normandy SR2's memorial wall. In an act of remembrance signifying Shepard the soldier, the legend, and the human being.  Shadow of the Colossus – Wander and Mono Love has the power to transform a young man into a hero; a vigilant civilian into a seasoned warrior. In the case of Wander, the desire to revive his romantic interest Mono, inspires him to commit a laundry list of questionable choices. Stealing an ancient sword is risky yet understandable. Entering a forbidden land is yet another precarious decision. But following the instructions of an ominous, obviously evil, being is a step in the wrong direction. Whether due to naivety or injudiciousness, Wander proceeds to slay 16 enormous colossi in the hope that his new "ally" will reawaken the beloved maiden. Instead, the sinister lord Dormin possesses his body, transforming Wander into darkness incarnate. In the end, Mono successfully opens her eyes and returns to the land of the living. Wander, however, regresses to the age of an infant, marked with horns upon his head to signify a curse. As the only bridge connecting the forbidden land from the rest of the world falls, only Mono, altered Wander, and his trusty steed Agro remain. The two are together again, yet they are worlds apart. Alive but isolated in a land of danger and mystery. The Darkness - Jackie and Jenny Hit man with a heart of gold may seem like an oxymoron, but in the case of Jackie Estacado, the seemingly opposing identities are more than true. After the death of his parents at a young age, Jackie was sent off to an orphanage where he met the love of his life, Jenny Romano. Their childhood friendship blossomed into an adult romance; a relationship seemingly too good to be true. Unfortunately, Jackie's profession would be the factor to catalyze the sudden change from conjugal bliss to marital tragedy. On the eve of his 21st birthday, Jackie was targeted in an assassination attempt by his own organization due to fears that he was attempting to take over the Franchetti Family. In an effort to shake Jackie at his core, Don Uncle Paulie kidnaps Jenny and travels to the orphanage from their youth. Jackie arrives in a homecoming of sorts to witness his enemies berating Jenny. In a scene of absolute helplessness,  the Darkness seizes Jackie's body, preventing him from intervening as the Don raises his gun to Jenny's face. Boom. Jenny crumples to the floor and the antagonists escape. Even through suicide, Jackie is unable to find peace. The Darkness cannot live without its host, and thus he returns to the land of the living, forced to continue his existence as a pawn of the malevolent being. Gears of War 2 – Dom and Maria Battling for humanity’s survival against a horde of reptilian humanoids may seem like a challenging feat, but the steroid-pumped, macho men of Gears of War claim otherwise. Corporal Dominic “Dom” Santiago, one of the elite soldiers chosen to fight against the Locust, is forced to not only deal with the hardships of war, but also with an internal struggle fueled by the death of his children and disappearance of his wife Maria. When news is received about her whereabouts, Dom trudges through hordes of alien forces to her rescue. The good news is Dom finds his wife alive. The bad news is she is malnourished, scarred, and mentally broken from the torment of slave labor. In the ultimate display of love, Dom ends her suffering with a single bullet to the head. Damn. God of War – Kratos and Lysandra Kratos may be Sparta’s most prominent ladies man, boasting encounters with countless women and even the Goddess of Love, but he wasn’t always the king of promiscuity. Before the demigod was known to partake in threesomes with advanced button-pressing sequences, he was a devoted husband and father. In a desperate move during a losing battle, the Spartan devoted his allegiance to the god of war Ares in return for victory against enemy Barbarian tribes. Through a twist of fate fueled by Kratos’s thirst for power, he was tricked by Ares to raid a nearby village. Blinded by Ares' power,  Kratos slaughtered every man, woman, and child in the village, including his own wife Lysandra and child Calliope. If that wasn’t enough, Kratos was cursed by a village oracle, forcing him to forever wear the ashes of his dead family on his skin. From that day forward, Kratos became known as The Ghost of Sparta; and ever since then, God of War has represented one of the most depressing love stories in videogames. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- What is your favorite videogame romance? Have you ever felt moved or saddened by gaming love affairs gone wrong?
Sad videogame romances photo
Still think love conquers all?
Valentine’s Day inspires a variety of emotions. While love is in the air for many, cupid has more sinister plans for a select few. A poor Valentine's Day for an average person might include seeing a movie alone or a sol...

Dead Space graphic artist: Games are the new mythology

Feb 13 // mrandydixon
Destructoid: What excites you most about working with the Dead Space IP? Christopher Shy: Well, the fact that I can be a small part of such an incredible franchise from its infancy, to start with. Games are really the big franchises of our generation: the new mythology. Before that, we had books and movies, but those fantasy and fictional worlds were very infrequently translated to film, which at the time were the apex of where you could go. Now, we have games that unfold, and stories that we can be a part of as we play. Dead Space -- and the games for the last ten or fifteen years -- are becoming part of our collective consciousness. We know and remember those mythologies, and we look at those games as the perfect apex of what you could be immersed in, and any films as mostly poor adaptations of those games. It is interesting to play in a universe and immerse yourself before you illustrate any of those characters in a graphic novel, knowing that sometimes you're adapting an almost perfect story already. Knowing that even a film would fail to capture it. That is why games are so interesting to us, and why there is such a difficulty in adapting them to film. You have to play the games before you write that script, otherwise you are doomed. Good luck finding anybody outside gamers to be that passionate about the new mythology. How does working with a property like Dead Space differ from other projects you've been a part of? And do you prefer to work with established properties? Well, from the very beginning the whole team at EA was extremely supportive of my process in approaching a novel. None of these stories are adaptations, and I don't do those. If the film has already been made, I don't want to touch the material, because really, what's the point? Each of the Dead Space novels were outside of what was going on inside the two previous games, and this novel told the events before the third, so there was a universe outside of the window I could make my own. And for me, making anything my own is the first step. I may be a hired gun, but I treat these books as if I own them completely when I work on them, and EA made me feel like rather than being a hired gun, I was one of the family. Did you work much with Visceral directly on this project? And if so, how much of an influence did they have on the direction of your work? Yes, Cate Latchford and Chuck Beaver have always been on point to make sure I don't go off the rails. There were a few designs that I needed to pull back from, things that I needed in to bridge the gap between the game and the novel, but for the most part it was mainly a very strong support network as I laid out the pages and sent them in. Is there anything you wanted to include, but didn't get to for whatever reason? (-smurfee mcgee) I might have wanted to extend some of the Necromorph sequences. I always find myself thinking a book could always use more monsters. Were you a fan of the Dead Space games before being approached to do these graphic novels? (-Corduroy Turtle) Both of them, yes. Although with the number three, it was more of a visual walkthrough to examine the details. I wanted to push this novel closer to the look and feel of the third game, since the novel needed to lead into that, and merge with it. I am pretty excited to get a chance to play number three. Are there any other games or series you're into? (-Corduroy Turtle) There are certain games that always stick out in my mind, and really resonated with me. I don't get as much time as I would like to explore everything that is out there. I was a fan of Dead Space before coming onboard to illustrate the graphic novels. I always thought Half-life was incredible, and Half-Life 2 blew me away. Dead Space was the same for me. Dead Space 2 was almost an overload of new material; the universe really took off. Is there anything you learned during your work on Salvage that you were able to draw on (pun intended) for Liberation? I think being more familiar with the universe always helps, but I always try to approach each book differently. I was able to draw upon my previous library of creatures and monsters that didn't make the cut during the first concept phase, and there is always the hope that something that didn't work the first time around, may work in a second installment. There is a kind of design aesthetic I am following with the Necromorphs, something I am chasing in the work. Having exhausted some paths on the first book, I felt a bit freer on this one. Did you know right away what direction you wanted to go? (-smurfee mcgee) Generally within the first few hours of reading the script I will start to get an idea of where I want to go, and then I will fill up my notebook with sketches and notes. I always try to find some key element of a design that pulls the whole project together, and will inform the look and feel of the book. It could be a certain color scheme, or visual motif. In Salvage, it was the claustrophobic madness of Benedykt Malyech as he knelt before the Marker and slowly changed. The colors were muted; it had an almost Enki Bilal, Stanley Kubrick framing to that sequence. That led me to make cuts and color changes to the rest of the book to reflect that. In Liberation, it was the vastness of space and the cold gray tones that led me to keep the book devoid of color in the beginning, so that when the action and explosions started, that would be the start of a whole new tonal shift in oranges and reds. It's always a process on each one, and sometimes you may be 50 pages in before that anchor image arrives. What were your influences for drawing this besides the source material? (-Occams electric toothbrush) For the Necromorphs I looked at a lot of medical studies on tumors and cancers. The Necromorphs, to me, are more of one cell mass attacking another, mutating beyond their host. I always imaged when the Necromorphs finished attacking pure human hosts, they move on to each other, and those combinations were what I was most interested in. That worked well in Salvage, as the Necromorphs had been on the Ishimura for quite a while. I also built a lot of the ships in Salvage from scratch, they are still sitting in my studio. The largest is three feet long. For the ships I went for a much more heavy military use, something that was defined but lots of metal and redundancy. In space, no one can call a tow truck.* [*Possible tagline for a Euro Truck Simulator 2 sequel, "Space Trucker"? I think so! --Andy] Which artists or artworks inspired you? (-infinitestrike) Enki Bilal and Stanley Kubrick on Salvage, for sure. Kubrick, for framing and pacing. I looked at a lot of 70s and 80s street punks for inspiration on Salvage. I wanted that to come back as a style in the future, a lot of shaved heads, makeup on both men and women. Odd Nerdrum touches here and there. I have always been a very big admirer of Hiroaki Samura's work, and the last ten years of artists coming out of japan. When designing, were there any obvious or notable influences you wanted to avoid? As in, were there any previous artists whom you were conscious of and wanted not to mimic? (-TheCiderMan) Not really. At this point in my life, I wouldn't say anyone or anything influences me too greatly. But having said that, I do find myself not wanting to watch Ridley Scott's Alien anytime around working on Dead Space; that movie is so iconic that it would dominate and infect my thinking process. I admire that film and Ridley Scott so greatly, that I have to remind myself to find my own path. How did you try and define your work in the Dead Space universe? (-TheCiderMan) I always define my own path on a project by what serves the story best, and what my first impressions of the story are. Sometimes I see something the writer doesn't, and that will become the anchor that grounds the entire story in my mind, and that can change how I see the art, significantly. Every book is part of my life's work, and as I am passionate about Dead Space, I don't mind fighting for those ideas and changes I feel will deepen the story, and universe. What was your favorite thing to draw during this project? (-SephirothX) John Carver was especially fun to draw; he is a very interesting guy. I wouldn't mind revisiting him, once we see where he ends up.
Dead Space Art Interview photo
An interview with Dead Space: Liberation artist Christopher Shy
Christopher Shy is a man who knows his Necromorphs. For two books now, he's helped craft some of the scariest creations seen outside of Visceral's own games; first with Dead Space: Salvage, and again most recently for the bra...

Horror won't fly in $60 games? The industry won't let it!

Feb 13 // Jim Sterling
Electronic Arts made headlines last year when it revealed Dead Space 3 needed to sell five million copies to secure its future. Likewise, Resident Evil 6 failed to meet Capcom's expectations despite shifting almost five million copies itself. This is ridiculous. It's absolutely fucking ludicrous that games selling over one million copies could be considered a failed project, under any circumstances. The sheer extravagance of game development has painted publishers into such a corner that their ambitions are now far exceeding reality. While digital distribution cuts costs of physical manufacturing and makes it easier to get games into the hands of customers, I don't think major publishers will seize that opportunity to create horror games, or any other kind of niche title. If they were prepared to, they'd already be trying it. Instead, they're just going to continue to put out PC ports of console games and charge $60 for digital copies. They've evidenced their belief that, to them, digital is not a way to take more risks, but a way to simply make more savings on the same old shit they've been pulling at retail. The problem is not the constraints of the retail market, it's the constraints of an executive's brain.  Amnesia and Slender are successful not through sheer virtue of their digital nature. They're successful because they weren't obsessed with beating Call of Duty. They had realistic goals, and they met them. This is evidenced in retail just as much as digital, too! Look at Demon's Souls. That game was a success because it had a humble budget, a decent (but not indulgent) marketing push, and Atlus manufactured copies to meet demand. With such reasonable expectations, the game's performance was cause for celebration. It's also interesting to note that, as a reader reminded me, Sony originally meant to publish Demon's Souls and got cold feet. Cue a smaller publisher with less lofty goals sweeping in and making treasure of Sony's trash! Major publishers can't be happy with that kind of success though, and they're not interested in games that can't become major rivals to Call of Duty and the like. I somehow don't think that mentality will disappear in a far-flung digital future.  Once Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, and Activision all move fully into the world of incorporeal distribution, it'll just be the same game on a different playing field. They'll still be fighting tooth and nail to beat each other, and thus remain too afraid to stray too far from their comfortable boundaries. There's not actually much evidence that interest in horror games suddenly disappeared overnight. Resident Evil was still doing just fine before Capcom panicked and turned RE6 into Mainstream Videogames: The Official Videogame. They're simply not guaranteed to be THE most popular item right now, and it seems publishers want the whole cake, or otherwise reject even a sizable slice.  So it is that independent developers and smaller publishers are left to pick up the slack, and continue making games that aren't the most successful in the world, but still successful -- provided you're not short-sighted, greedy, and obsessed with dominating your market, rather than simply doing well in it.  Horror games won't fly in the retail space for one simple reason -- publisher clipped their wings before they were given a chance. 
AAA horror photo
Cliff Bleszinski thinks horror's doomed at retail, but who's doing the dooming?
As Dead Space 3 trades terror for cover mechanics, and Resident Evil 6 gives up all pretense of being a scary game, it's becomes ever clearer that mainstream publishers have no faith in horror games. Developer Cliff Bleszinsk...

Violence photo

David Cage is right: Violence is not essential

Even if it is jolly good fun
Feb 12
// Fraser Brown
Earlier this week, Allistair suggested that violence is integral to immersion, that it could draw us into games that lack it even more. This was in response to a presentation given by serial pompous twit and occasio...
Art of Dead Space photo
Nightmare fuel
[Update: Contest over! Winners are ghostbody, Occams electric toothbrush, and Zidago.] Our friends at Titan Books have given us three copies of The Art of Dead Space to hand out to lucky Dtoiders! This lavish hardco...

Dead Space 3 thievery photo
Dead Space 3 thievery

Attorney: Dead Space 3 resource exploit might be theft

IP expert likens resource farming to stealing
Feb 11
// Kyle MacGregor
Dead Space 3 features an exploit which allows players to circumvent the game's microtransactions by acquiring infinitely spawning items. While Electronic Arts has no intention of removing the feature, an intellectual pro...
Dead Space 3 glitch photo
Dead Space 3 glitch

EA: Dead Space 3 microtransaction workaround not a glitch

Publisher claims exploit was intentional
Feb 09
// Kyle MacGregor
Electronic Arts claims that the infinite items exploit in Dead Space 3 is "not a glitch" and that the publisher has "no plans to issue a patch to change this aspect of the game." Responding to a Forbes inquiry, an EA represen...

Dead Space 3 is 'a necessary evil,' says series writer

Dead Space 1 writer discusses survival horror and Dead Space
Feb 08
// Allistair Pinsof
New York Times bestselling author and Dead Space 1 writer Antony Johnston calls Dead Space 3's focus on action "a necessary evil in order to broaden the fan base," in an interview with Now Gamer. This isn't the first time Joh...
Bloggers Wanted photo
Bloggers Wanted

Bloggers Wanted: Share your videogame horror stories

Get your blog on Destructoid's front page!
Feb 08
// mrandydixon
[When we're looking for blogs on a specific topic, we'll put out a Bloggers Wanted call. Check out the blog prompt, write a response, and you may see your blog promoted to the front page! --Mr Andy Dixon] Dead Space 3 release...

Review: Dead Space 3

Feb 08 // Jim Sterling
Dead Space 3 (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [reviewed])Developer: Visceral GamesPublisher: Electronic ArtsReleased: February 5, 2013MSRP: $59.99 One major challenge in any Dead Space story must surely be contriving a reason as to why anybody, sane or not, would want to face the torment of the Necromorphs multiple times. As much as the infamous Marker may have scrambled the man's brain, our long-suffering protagonist Isaac Clarke surely isn't stupid enough to let himself get tossed about by mutated corpses in a third traumatizing romp. Oh wait ... he is! This time around, it's left to a military group to track a now-reclusive and paranoid Clarke down, pressing him into service on the basis that his partner and, love interest of Dead Space 2, Ellie Langford has gone missing near the mysterious ice planet of Tau Volantis. That, coupled with an armed and dangerous Unitologist army led by the murderous Danik White, is enough to get our lovable madman strapping on a Rig and returning to the thick of things.  [embed]243873:46696[/embed] Outside of a rather fantastic prologue, players won't actually see Tau Volantis for a few hours. The opening chapters instead involve some derelict space vessels orbiting the planet. These chapters, heavy on space travel and the rusty corridors of abandoned ships, evoke a feeling of familiarity, designed to be eerily similar to the original Dead Space. For a good while, you'll feel like you're back on the Ishimura, the site of Isaac's first gory ordeal.  Visceral's commitment to consistency of atmosphere has changed little. Isaac's HUD and menu system remain seamlessly integrated into his body suit, loading screens are hidden by the elevators and sluggish doors to keep players absorbed in Isaac's world, and the eerie tension preceding violent encounters are maintained as effectively as ever.  The Necromorphs are deadlier than they've been in the past, now capable of faster movement and more intelligent behavior. Their tendency to rush forward at frightening speeds and back away from attacks, sometimes even retreating when injured and reappearing once reinforcements arrive, make for some formidable opposition, able to test the resolve of any Dead Space veteran. While some fans may find the faster pace less enjoyable than the slower, more methodical dismemberment of prior games, I personally found these battles ramped up the fear factor to enjoyable degrees. Necromorphs still need to have their arms, legs, and heads shredded forcefully from their torsos, but now they're far less willing to let you, and far more eager to overwhelm your position through speed and numbers. This is a good thing, as it balances out the new weapon crafting system -- something that could have made Isaac far too powerful, far too quickly.  The weapons and upgrades of prior games have been totally thrown out of the window, replaced instead by a system reliant wholly on a new form of in-game currency. Separated into various resources, this currency is used to build new guns, improve Isaac's rig, make consumable items, and create torque bars to pry open reward-filled storage rooms. Everything is done with these resources, collected intermittently by Isaac's new scavenger bots in the game or purchased by using real money.  Weapons are built by putting various components together. Staring with a compact or heavy frame that determines whether it'll be a one or two-handed weapon, players attach a core to get a basic weapon and then add a weapon tip to the core to create a variant. Placing a plasma core on a compact frame makes a regular plasma cutter, but if you then add a repeater tip, you'll get a rapid-fire plasma cutter. A telemetry spike core on a heavy frame gives a fairly trusty rivet gun, but if you then attach a condenser, you'll get a chaingun. Each gun holds two cores, effectively giving players four weapons in two inventory slots, all of which can be further refined through stat upgrades, elemental properties, and support abilities.  What we have is a shockingly robust system that rewards experimentation and can lead to some very satisfying, unique, and fun weapons. With time and a willingness to keep messing around at the crafting bench, I eventually created a high-impact chaingun that inflicted stasis on anything it shot, coupled with a modified force gun that shot its ammo into the ground to send surrounding opponents flying back in a shockwave. Thus armed with rapid-fire ranged power and an area-of-effect blast for close encounters, I felt nothing but pride and love for my new son.   For those worried about the reliance on microtransactions, I can happily say they're not at all necessary to enjoy the game. With time, patience, and judicious use of the bots, players will find themselves enough materials to craft a weapon that works for them. One major positive aspect is the ability to disassemble and re-use weapon parts, meaning you never have to worry about consuming items in the crafting of a gun. It would have been easy for Visceral to inflict a penalty on players every time they built something, but instead you'll only lose resources by making objects from scratch, not from building guns out of components you already own. Once an object is built, it can be added and removed from as many creations as needed.  It also helps that the crafting system has backfired a little bit -- savvy gamers will soon spot that some of the most exquisite weapons, while tempting in their visual splendor and awesome firepower, aren't that practical. While it's indeed enticing to spend cash to craft an electric bolas gun with attached rocket launcher, its reckless performance in battle often means the humbler, easier built guns are far more effective. Resource packs can also be bought using Ration Seals, items brought back by bots that, when saved up -- and it does take a long while -- bypass the need to reach for a credit card. Defense aside, it needs to be said that Dead Space 3 does all it can to still make microtransactions seductive, and they threaten to obnoxiously creep into the experience. Being given a constant DLC option every time you open a crafting bench, and being reminded to do so whenever you try to build something you can't afford, undermines the previously flawless atmosphere of the series, letting real life bleed into a game that's always been about building as believable a world as possible. The time-based nature of the scavenge bots and the pre-built blueprints for impressive looking guns (just buy resources and they're yours, kids!) serve as a constant, pressuring reminder that you can access cool gear immediately so long as you spend money. Such is the psychological pummeling fee-to-pay models are designed to inflict on players.  The microtransactions are optional, and the game is far from a "pay-to-win" experience where you remain invincible provided you keep pumping in cash, but it doesn't alter the fact that any game trying to support itself with an economy does so by tugging on the player's sleeves regardless of whether or not they wish to support it. Dead Space 3 is more subtle than some, but it still tries its hardest to test the player's patience, and in a game that already cost $59.99 at retail, it's a tacky little scheme.  Assuming Visceral was made to include the system, I admit it did an admirable job of compromising, providing something that truly is optional despite the illusion of its importance to the game. It's true that it will take most of the game to get anywhere near enough resources to buy Dead Space 3's pre-made unique weapons, but when you're capable of crafting comparably efficient items far more swiftly, it's acceptable. Moderately offensive ... but just about acceptable.  It's a shame I needed to dedicate that much time to talking about a ridiculous little get-rich-quick scheme, and it's sad that the weapon crafting system feels like it was made solely to support such chicanery, because it genuinely is a great idea that has been implemented nicely. The sense of power that came from upgrading weapons in Dead Space and Dead Space 2 has been amplified tremendously, and hunting for new upgrade circuits, weapon pieces, and resources in-game is a compelling new aspect of the adventure. The ever-present "New Game Plus" mode is now far more rewarding, and it really feels worth it to battle through multiple times. As tainted as it may be by Visceral's "appeal to mobile gamers," the system is largely a great success.  Dead Space 3 boasts both a solo and cooperative mode, though the fundamental experience for both is largely the same. Either campaign tells roughly the same story, with co-op throwing in some extra side quests and bits of fluffy banter between Isaac and the uninteresting schlub he's paired with (John Carver, though he's so humdrum I rarely remember his name). Cooperative play is not mandatory, and that's a good thing, because the solo experience is infinitely superior. Isaac's story is best told alone, and the game's wonderful sense of isolation is intruded upon when a secondary player is introduced. There's plenty of playtime for solo players too, with the campaign lasting around thirteen hours on a first run -- longer than previous games.  Co-op, on the other hand, has been clumsily shoehorned into the existing solo campaign and feels utterly forced. Not only do "cutscenes" still play out largely as if Carver isn't there -- or was already in the room he just walked into -- the need to reload the game whenever a second player drops in or out makes for a jarring, disjointed affair that once again slices mercilessly into the atmosphere. The second character is so boring he adds nothing to the story, and on the Xbox 360, the issue of a campaign split between two discs leads to a lot of messing about, as players join games only to find they're in the wrong half.  This is not to say cooperative play is totally lacking in merit. The optional co-op missions are pretty decent and exploit the Marker's penchant for hallucinations by making one player see things the other can't. These areas go some way toward enhancing a horror experience largely reduced by the inclusion of a second player, and add some fun extra stories. Furthermore, it can be a simplistic laugh to stomp Necromorphs with a friend and show off your weapons, but it's a laugh best had in the New Game Plus mode, after you've already experienced the story the way it was clearly designed to be. It's best to treat co-op as the disposable extra it is, as it's a remarkably poor replacement for the solo adventure.  That solo adventure more than makes up for any multiplayer failings. Robust, lengthy, and boasting some of the biggest scares of the series, Dead Space 3 manages to remain riveting stuff. The optional missions are by far the highlight, with Isaac able to undertake side quests at various points in the game. These missions, as well as rewarding completion with all sorts of weapon parts, often boast self-contained stories and have some of the most intense and spooky segments of the entire game. It's actually a shame that some of them can be easily missed, because they're totally worth doing.  I'm also impressed at how much of a horrific environment Tau Volantis can be. Despite many of the outdoor sections taking place in broad daylight, the Necromorph threat is no less oppressive. Enemies now tear their way out of the obscuring fog, or tunnel up through the snow itself, turning the planet into a giant ball of paranoia. Those staunchly unimpressed by such things, however, will be pleased to know Volantis is still packed with interior sections promising more traditional horror fare.  It's not all peaches and cream in the world of Dead Space, however. One thing I'm disappointed with this time around is the weakness of Visceral's usually strong narrative. With the Marker's hallucinogenic influences only afflicting Sergeant Boring, the whole idea of Isaac going insane has been abandoned in the main plot. The wonderful Event Horizon flavor of past games has gone, leading to a more standard science fiction yarn lacking in the truly psychological horror we've enjoyed before. Some of the plot threads are nonsensical, especially toward the end, while an unnecessary love triangle introduced in the first half of the game feels inappropriate and convoluted. The sudden shift of the Unitologists from creepy cult to full-on terrorist psycho army is a bit of a waste, too, after building them up as such an insidious threat only to blow the beans in one gauche move. While not dreadful by any means, Dead Space 3's narrative contribution to the series is relatively mundane, providing a shallow conclusion with a dismayingly obvious ending.  While, for the most part, Dead Space 3 is still a game about cutting up undead space horrors, the sloppy introduction of cover-based shooting sections nevertheless provide a semi-regular irritant. At various points, Isaac will come under attack by Unitologists, armed as they are with automatic weapons and grenades. At these points, players are invited to crouch and get behind cover, popping off enemies like they're in a bargain basement Gears of War. These sections play that way, too. Isaac doesn't stick to cover so much as duck halfway behind it, never actually covered by the conveniently placed boxes. The game's generally heavy physics and slow movement are nowhere near built well enough to support these sudden, jarring shifts into Gears-lite either -- speaking of which, who thought the idea of introducing dodge rolls via a double-tap of the sprint button was a good idea? It's terrible (the other control schemes are no replacement), and given how utterly useless the roll actually is, it's a total waste of time and player patience, making Isaac put on an impromptu tumbling act at the slightest twitch of a sprinting finger.  Fortunately, again, Visceral did a solid job compromising. While the game's first main chapter may trick you into thinking the whole game's a cover shooter, the Unitologist battles throughout the rest of the campaign are -- thank Altman -- few and far between. They're an abrupt shattering of the experience when they do occur, but they're often over quickly and usually end with plenty of delightful Necromorph interruptions.  Because using buttons is hard, Isaac's latest adventure boasts Kinect voice support. The game is hardly "better with Kinect," but this feature is at least responsive, should you wish to utilize it. The game has little trouble understanding prompts, and one can locate objectives, open menus, and check the status of bots with simple vocal orders. As seems to be the standard with Kinect, I have issues with it picking up the game's own audio and interpreting it as commands, so don't be surprised if your character will suddenly heal without permission. Frankly, it's quicker and easier to just use the buttons, but if you're easily amused, it can be worth a little spin. Dead Space 3 has topped itself in the visual department. The bright environments provide some previously unseen beauty to the scenery, serving as striking a break between gloomy, blood-soaked corridors. Things look prettier than ever -- if "pretty" can ever be used to describe Dead Space -- with fantastic lighting and wonderful reflections bouncing off Isaac's metal suit. Necromorph designs this time around are some of the most disgusting, taking several cues from John Carpenter's The Thing to create tentacled blasphemies more threatening and hideously juicier than prior games. There are some great new rig designs for Isaac, too, giving our hero his characteristically distinct look with an intricate attention to detail.  It would be wrong to not highlight the soundtrack, too. Audio has always been important to the series, but this time around there's some beautiful and haunting music that manages to be more memorable compared to the atmospheric-but-forgettable tunes in past games. The monsters, of course, continue to hurl nightmarish screams and howls at the player, while the voice acting is top notch. Special accolades go to primary human antagonist Danik, whose smarmy gloating gives players a genuinely detestable and remarkable nemesis for once. It's just a shame he does little in the story other than provide a vague threat now and then. Dead Space 3 tries some new things, and those new things are largely a failure. The attempts to appeal to Gears of War fans feel awkward and strained, the cooperative play is poorly implemented and shatters the atmosphere, while the existence of microtransactions leaves a very sour taste in the mouth. It's hard not to see the "enhancements" made to Dead Space 3 and view them as cynical -- confused attempts to make a game with a cult following look attractive to the mass market in the hope of overnight worldwide success. It's sad to think that a cult success can't be considered a success anymore, so desperate these companies are to make everything sell five million copies in a week.  The great irony is that all these new features really serve to do is prove how damn good the series' "old" features actually are. That Dead Space 3 can suffer intrusive new ideas and poorly structured gameplay modes, yet still come out providing players with at least thirteen hours of quality action-horror gameplay with as much atmospheric brilliance and delightfully vicious combat as ever, is an attestation of the sheer brute strength of Dead Space as a property. It is sad that one gets the feeling Electronic Arts has so little faith in the property, because there are few franchises able to weather what Dead Space has been put through and come out on top. Even with such criticism in mind, Dead Space 3 does manage to pull off a few new tricks that actually work. The open, mist-shrouded arenas of Tau Volantis are a welcome break from the bleak interior environments, while still maintaining a palpable aura of menace. Some of the distinctly more "human" Necromorphs are creepy as hell, especially the skeletal swarming creatures that react to light and start pouring out of every vent at the slightest provocation. Weapon crafting and scavenger bots may have been a contemptuous plan to justify monetary installments, but that doesn't stop it being a genuinely rewarding enterprise.  Dead Space 3 could have been the best entry in the series, and in many ways, it still does provide some of the franchise's most energetic, thrilling, entertaining moments. The changes thrown into the game inevitably damage its charm, though, and make this a step down from its predecessors. A step down from Dead Space's high standards don't necessarily make for a bad game -- far from it, in fact, for this is still a bloody great game and well worth any fans' time. It's sad that market pressure and industry fear tried so hard to ruin things, but one can at least savor the victory of Dead Space 3's creative success in spite of commercial encroachment.  Try as they might, ain't nobody killing Dead Space yet.  Not until we get that online multiplayer first-person shooter, anyway. 
Dead Space 3 Review photo
Cold comfort
The months leading to Dead Space 3's launch have been trying for fans of the series. From early rumors that it would be a first-person shooter to the eventual reveal of online co-op, Kinect support, cover-based shooting segme...

Dead Space 3 photo
Dead Space 3

The best gun ever makes a return in Dead Space 3

Bang bang, pew pew!
Feb 07
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Yup, Visceral brought back the foam finger gun for Dead Space 3. Kind of was hoping for something different this time, but it's still a pretty badass weapon. Like before, it's pretty much a one-hit kill weapon, and Isaac wil...

Top ten unforgettable deaths in Dead Space

Feb 07 // Allistair Pinsof
10) Death by Infector fail - Dead Space I love how these guys are all set on mind control and then their instincts get the best of them, so they say, "Ah, screw it! I'm just going to take his head off. Joy!" [embed]244169:46801[/embed] 9) Death by Machine - Dead Space 3 Every now and again, Isaac will stumble into a quick, pointless death by machine. At times, it can be comical how easily he explodes. I always expect "Ludicrous gibs!" text to pop-up. [embed]244169:46796:0[/embed] 8) Death by vomit - Dead Space 2 The manners of these necromorphs! [embed]244169:46797:0[/embed] 7) Death by hunter - Dead Space The hunter is the blue collar alien predator. You can always count on him to appear and brutally dismember Isaac, regardless of series entry. [embed]244169:46792:0[/embed] 6) Death by deepthroat - Dead Space 2 ... you know ... I don't think I'm going to touch this one. [embed]244169:46799:0[/embed] 5) Death by improper kissing technique - Dead Space 3 This is why you should read some eHow articles before going on your first date. Also, remember: If she clears her throat two times in the first hour of the date that means she is totally begging to marry you, brah! [embed]244169:46795:0[/embed] 4) Death by screwdriver - Dead Space 2 It's not often that other humans interact with Isaac. This scene suggests that may be a good thing. [embed]244169:46800:0[/embed] 3) Death by angry space babies - Dead Space 2 Isaac Clarke's misadventure in babysitting makes a strong argument for why you should leave angry space babies the hell alone. [embed]244169:46793:0[/embed] 2) Death by kung fu spider - Dead Space 3 Maybe laughter wasn't what Visceral were going for with this death, but I can't help but laugh at a spider that restlessly beats the hell out of Isaac. Reminds me of that They Live fight scene that goes on and on for 5+ minutes. The laughter soon turns to disgust as the spider crawls into Isaac's mouth. Gross! [embed]244169:46798:0[/embed] 1) Death by eye exam - Dead Space 2 I have a fear of things touching my eyes, and I suspect this is a shared feeling. I could never wear eye contacts because I would just freak out when trying to put them on. So, this death -- arguably the most memorable scene in the series and even games of the past 3 years -- hits a particular nerve. [embed]244169:46794:0[/embed]
Top Dead Space deaths photo
The faces of (space) death
One of the elements of classic horror is that when the horrible thing you are dreading finally happens, it happens in a way far more gruesome than you expect. Visceral Games got this part right so many times in its Dead Space...

Dead Space 4 photo
Dead Space 4

Dead Space 3 hints at what's in store for series' future

Brother moons are awake
Feb 06
// Kyle MacGregor
Dead Space 3 has barely been out 24 hours, but that hasn't stopped Visceral Games from getting started on developing their next game. Designer Warren Price took to Twitter earlier today and announced that the studio is a...

SF's demonic BART screech was worked into Dead Space

You know that noise *shudder*
Feb 06
// Dale North
Glen Schofield, GM of Sledgehammer games, in his D.I.C.E. Summit 2013 presentation on details on games, talked about how everyday experiences -- from your favorite lunch place to your morning commute -- can influence game mak...

The Witcher 3 Announced, Day Z Gameplay & The Last Of Us

The Destructoid Show makes a bunch of clicking noises
Feb 05
// Max Scoville
Hey gang! Here's that show thing we do every few days. We did it again. Dead Space 3 came out, and it doesn't suck, according to some people. (Other people say it sucks.) The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt got announced, which...
Dead Space 3 photo
Dead Space 3

Dead Space 3 exploit already found for infinite items

Screw you microtransactions!
Feb 05
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
[Update: According to EA, this is not a glitch/exploit, and they have no plans of patching it.] There's a different resource management system in place for Dead Space 3 that goes toward building your own weapons from the gro...

Unboxing the Dead Space 3 Dev Team Edition

Look at some metal and plastic
Feb 05
// Jim Sterling
In a moment of madness, and due to having more money than sense, I ended up purchasing the Dead Space 3 Dev Team Edition. I didn't mean to do it, it just ... kind of happened. Unable to change the past, the package arrived t...

Five space horror games worse than Dead Space 3

Feb 05 // Allistair Pinsof
It astounds me that Capcom hasn't brought the Resident Evil franchise to space -- though some Dino Crisis 3 detractors will insist that this is a good thing -- so Galerians is the next best thing. Except it's really not "best" at anything. Exploring a futuristic lab as an androgynous, psi-enabled 14-year-old boy is an okay concept, but developer Polygon Magic (Incredible Crisis) piled on convoluted mechanics, muddy backgrounds, and unintuitive controls. Its PS2 sequel didn't fare much better. After releasing the little-known pioneer of survival horror Doctor Hauzer, developer Riverhill Software took the genre to space with OverBlood and its even more baffling sequel. From the voice acting to combat, OverBlood stood as a reminder of how much Capcom pushed things forward with Resident Evil -- which, let's be honest, didn't have good voice acting or combat to begin with. OverBlood was rescued from complete obscurity by Game Informer's Super Replay series, in which the crew played through this bizarre series in its entirety. Laugh at their misfortune, instead of suffering yourself. As an anxious new recruit at Destructoid, I jumped at any review opportunity that entered my inbox in 2011. When I played Afterfall, that habit was corrected. Afterfall begins well enough -- despite looking like an Unreal Engine 3 school project -- but things go horribly wrong once the the plot sets off into generic sci-fi horrorland. The game's shameless coping of Dead Space wouldn't be so bad if the shooting and puzzles were remotely enjoyable. I was praying the game would just end, and my prayers were answered: I was playing an erroneously labeled retail copy that was really a preview build. Bullet dodged! Here's one nice thing I can say about Lifeline: It was ahead of its time. And now, here's the truth: It's still hot garbage. Trying to control an avatar by voice commands wouldn't even be fun if it worked properly, which Lifeline didn't. Watching this space waitress run into walls and open the wrong door is enough to make anyone pine for the days of tank controls. From Software was never a developer of hit titles -- not until Demon's Souls that is -- but Echo Night is a notch more obscure than its King's Field and Armored Core series. Beyond, the third entry in the franchise, takes place in space and accurately depicts how boring it must be to live on a space station, ghosts or not. Beyond has some great ambition and atmosphere, but the end result is game so dull that I wanted to open the air lock and go spiraling out into space. In many ways, it feels like precursor to Frictional Games' excellent blending of first-person adventure and horror. I can only imagine how great Beyond could have been in Frictional's hands.
Worse than Dead Space 3 photo
Better purchases can be made
By now, you may have heard the inarguable, absolute truth -- as is the case with Destructoid's reviews that are handed down from the maker to our holy reviewers -- that Dead Space 3 is not as great as the first two games. B...

Five space horror games better than Dead Space 3

Feb 05 // Allistair Pinsof
In Dead Space, the sound design stirs the nerves as alien rattling, clawing, and screaming echoes down a hall. And when the necromorph comes within sight, the sensation of fear peaks, causing the player to nervously misfire a couple rounds before hitting. But, what if necromorphs couldn't be seen? Enemy Zero is such a game, wherein aliens are invisible and can only be eliminated up close. The first-person view, extremely limited ammo, and hush-quiet ship of Enemy Zero make it a space horror game that is yet to be matched in its pure, visceral scares. It's a bit too simple for its own good, and once the tricks of the AI are learned, the illusion of the aliens goes out the window with it. Yet, Enemy Zero is the first game I'd recommend to those who think Dead Space isn't scary enough. Pick a genre, pick a perspective -- hell, even pick a platform -- and there is likely a worthy Aliens game for you. From the overlooked run-and-gun action of Alien Resurrection to the eerie Metroid-inspired Infestation, the Aliens series is among the few franchises to successfully make a transition from theaters to consoles, time and time again. Let Jim Sterling, Aliens connoisseur, be your personal spirit guide. No "When I was 12" qualifiers here: I still find the Metroid series unsettling in its atmosphere and haunting sound design. Without relying on the jump scares, gore and narrative padding that Dead Space frequently indulges in, each Metroid game achieves a similar tone of menace and isolation. From landing on planet Zebes to evading bounty hunters, Metroid never offers the player a safe haven from predators. It may not be as shocking as Dead Space, but it's definitely as effective. There are few horror series appropriate for kids that still manage to scare the pants off adults. Every year, people install and play System Shock 2, despite having to navigate the swamps of fan patches, setup troubleshooting, and cryptic .nfo documents that point the way to running the revered title on current systems. It's true that System Shock 2 led the way to Ken Levine's work on BioShock, but it's not true that BioShock carried the same elements of horror that made SS2 a remarkable game full of unforgettable scares. I wrote about one I had here, and could write about many more if I only had the patience to reinstall it on my current computer -- Oh, what the hell ... I sure am cheating here. Cryostasis doesn't take place in space; it takes place in the North Pole, 1981. But, what makes a space horror game a space horror game? The tech and presence of the planets and stars, I'd argue. But, it's the confines of a ship, adrift and left nowhere, and the complete isolation that makes enemy encounters so scary. Cryostasis even offers the bonus of surreal dream sequences, especially near the end, that will speak to the sci-fi nut. I could have listed Doom 3 or Dino Crisis 3 (it's not bad, really!) here, but I chose Cryostasis instead because it really nails the elements of space horror even if it doesn't take place in space. [Image by modusprodukt, courtesy of deviantART]
Better than Dead Space 3 photo
In space, no one can hear you be mediocre
By now, you may have heard the inarguable, absolute truth -- as is the case with Destructoid's reviews that are handed down from the maker to our holy reviewers -- that Dead Space 3 is not as great as the first two games. Bei...


Dead Space 3: Awakened DLC announced

Yep ... already!
Feb 05
// Jim Sterling
Our Dead Space 3 review hasn't even had time to cool down yet, but Visceral Games has announced its seemingly obligatory downloadable expansion. Dead Space 3: Awakened is slated for a March release, Visceral's confirmed this ...
Dead Space 3 photo
Dead Space 3

Dead Space 3's Kinect command cheat sheet

The game's 40+ verbal instructions on one easy page
Feb 05
// Conrad Zimmerman
Say what you will about Kinect's general usefulness as a gaming peripheral, but I genuinely like to issue voice commands to my games and that's the thing it seems to work best for. Fact is, I'm already yelling at the screen h...

These were the best moments in Dead Space 2

Feb 04 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
The Suit How many of you remember the shit storm people raised when Visceral revealed the new suit for Isaac? "It's too action-y looking," the fans cried. "WHY ARE YOU RUINING THIS GAME, EA?!" Yeah, the new suit was in sharp contrast to the bulkier piece of armor used in the first game, but people stopped bitching really quick once they saw how awesome it actually looked in action. And while there were other suits available in the game, including the DS1 armor itself, I just stuck with the main armor. Overall not the best compared to later armor you could get, but it just looked so freaking badass. The First Five Minutes Dead Space 2 set the tone for the entire game within the first five minutes. Sure, you knew going in it was going to be a horror title filled with all sorts of deranged stuff, but the last thing I was expecting to happen within the very first five minutes was see a guy get killed, infected, and witness his face break open right in front of me, all while trapped in a straightjacket. This moment was even more intense thanks to the fact I was wearing surround sound headphones. I'm pretty sure I yelled out a giant "OH FUCK!" but I'm not really sure what came out of my mouth thanks to the Necromorph screams tearing up my eardrum. [embed]243945:46719:0[/embed] The Marketing Granted, this is a weird thing to highlight but as someone who's job it is to consume, process, and spit out all the media that's sent to Destructoid on a daily basis, I have to commend EA's efforts with Dead Space 2. The very first trailer focusing on Isaac's dementia set the mood, the Lullaby trailer sent chills down my spin, but the best was EA's series of Your Mom Hates Dead Space campaign. It was very silly, but damn entertaining watching these sweet innocent ladies subjugated to pure gore. Dementia The whole aspect of Isaac loosing his mind throughout the game was very engrossing. Nicole, or rather the Marker, would make its presence known throughout the world, causing Isaac to hallucinate and even almost kill himself a few times. But it wasn't just the Marker alone causing Isaac to hurt himself. Isaac can't help but feel guilty for the love of his life dying, and while it wasn't his fault directly, Nicole may have never even been aboard the USG Ishimura had it not been for him. His journey can be applied to anyone that's suffered a major lose in their life. Of acceptance, and of moving on with life. Zero-G gameplay This. This is how you do it, everyone. Dead Space 2's zero-g segments were just wonderful. The ability to freely fly around exactly where you wanted to in space felt extremely satisfying. I was dreading it thanks to games with underwater levels also having horrible controls, but it ended up being one of my favorite features in the sequel. It made those "epic moments" all the more fun too. The Eye Scene Probably one of the most memorable moments of any game ever. Towards the end of the campaign, Isaac learns the key to stopping the Marker is in his own memories. The only way for him to remember how exactly is by literally sticking a needle in his eye. Isaac crawls into a machine, has it secure his head in place, and then it's up to the player to guide a needle into the middle of his right eye. The closer you pull the needle in, the more freaked out Isaac gets as his heart races and his eye twitches all over the place. Failing to insert the needle results in a gruesome death, one I'm sure ALL players experienced first before succeeding. Returning to the Ishimura: There you are, taking in the vastness of The Sprawl when all of a sudden the Ishimura is back. Marker fanatics recovered the Ishimura from Aegis VII in order to discover any new clues, and poor Isaac has to retread some old ground to progress his journey. This entire scene was only effective had you played the original. You spend several hours in that damned ship that having to go through all those hallways again sent a different fear into your body. Exploring a new world, however scary it may be, is somewhat thrilling the first time around. It's only after that the memories will really haunt you, and it was an eerie feeling having to go through it again. The ship was made even more terrifying thanks to Isaac's dementia, as surprise attacks that happened in the first game would replay again, only for you to quickly realize it just a memory. A very realistic memory. The Ending Isaac is laying battered and beaten, with two giant Javelin puncture wounds through his body, and Nicole gone for good. The hero sits down, defeated, as the entire building is collapsing around him. There's nothing Isaac can do, there's no escape, and he knows it. The credits play, reenforcing the expected sad ending. And then just like that, Ellie, who we all thought was long gone and safe, blows a hole through the roof to save the day. The final epic moment plays with Isaac flying in zero-g chasing after Ellie's ship, before finally escaping. The pair are safely flying off in space, with the camera focused on Isaac. He's relieved, taking in the moment, and happy for the first time in the longest time. And then you see fear and doubt creep over his face as he slowly looks over at Ellie. "What?", Ellie asks before the credits roll. A perfect ending for fans of the original. [embed]192747:35760[/embed] PEWPEWPEWPEWPEW! Another award for best thing ever that Dead Space 2 deserves is for its ultimate bonus weapon. The foam finger gun is a one-hit-kill weapon that sees Isaac uttering "bang bang" and "pew pew pew" like a crazy man. Extremely silly, and extremely hard to get. You have to beat the game on the hardest setting, which limits you to only three saves, and dying resets you back to your last checkpoint. But so worth it. The Multiplayer Haha, I'm just joking. I never ever touched it, even on my replay this past weekend. I did want to see if anyone was playing the game, but I never bothered redeeming my online pass the first time around and I was about to now. Bonus: [embed]243945:46720[/embed] Come on, there's no way we were going to leave you without a compilation of all the horrible ways you can die in Dead Space 2. Like I said, Visceral set a very high bar here and I hope they can at least match, or downright surpass it with Dead Space 3. Check out our exclusive look at how some of the new Necromorph monsters were created in the new game, and come back on February 5 at 8:00am Central to read our official Dead Space 3 review. 
Dead Space 2 photo
No one can ever forget the eye scene
2011 was a pretty great year for gaming. Yeah, yeah, I know what you're thinking: everyone always says that every year. Sure, that might be true, but really, 2011 was a great year for gaming! Hell, just look at our Game of th...


Jimquisition: Dead Space - Best New IP This Generation?

Jimquisition happens every Monday!
Feb 04
// Jim Sterling
Dead Space comes up a lot on Jimquisition, and it's usually because of some complaint or other. However, these are complaints born from love, as the series happens to be your ol' pal Jim's favorite debuting IP of t...

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