Oh hi. I’m back from the dark void that is the constant release of games. Along with school, work and life, it has prevented me from writing. This week I decided to put off buying Resistance 2 until I actually beat the first one, so I have a few days without a new game. As much as this sounds like a pathetic, self imposed burden, there’s no problem I’d rather have than having too many great games to play. So let’s travel back to the beginning of the season and take a look at it so far.
Dead Space was the first up and the first down. A nice, polished single player game was a great way to kick off the season (like Bioshock last year). While I could spend a long time talking about how it is very similar to Bioshock but not nearly as good, I’m going to skip that. I knew Dead Space was a great game when I realized that the designers were a step ahead of me. Upon walking a few feet into a room near the beginning of the game, it when into quarentine. I thought, “Ha, I know enemies are coming. I’m ready.” I proceeded to back into a nice little alcove where I thought I’d have the best chance at surviving the incoming swarm. Little did I know that there was a vent directly behind me and out lept a baddie who proceeded to eat my face. They knew I was going to back into that alcove and absolutely got me for it.
There has been a great deal of discussion around whether the game is scary or if it is even “survival horror”. I wouldn’t necessarily call the game scary, or at least not consistently. It is, however, very tense and suspenseful. If I had to make up a marketing friendly genre for it, I would dub it a “suspense action” title. Knowing that something can always jump out at you takes away scary but leaves stress (a good kind) and tension.
The few parts that I found scary were the times you came across actual people on the ship. This may tread into spoiler territory, but nothing plot related. There are three that stick out in my memory. A man down a hall slowly banging his head against the metal wall. As you get close to him he smashes it one last hard time, shattering his skull. A woman sitting on the floor, laughing. She blows her head off with a gun when you get close. Finally, and most creepy, is a lady near a hospital bed crying. Nothing happens when you get near. She doesn’t even seem to notice you. These moments worked very well, probably because there were only a handful of them and I never really expected what happened.
Well, it’s late now. In the middle of writing this I was attempting a quest in Fallout 3 and failed miserably. Tomorrow, we move on to Fable 2. Until then, play games.