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Dead Space Revisited

[Contains plot spoilers. Like really fucking big ones. Either don't read this, or read the article but don't bitch how I spoiled the story for you]

With the announcement of Dead Space 2, I thought I'd post some thoughts about the original game. Which is handy as I've been playing the original all week after buying it on the PC during the Steam sale. I did have the game for the 360 originally, but I never completed it and it sat on my shelf with my other late 2008 releases that I never finished (Fable 2 and Far Cry 2 still there folks). So with the purchase of Dead Space on the PC for a really good price and some momentum to play it, I ploughed through the game this week finishing it on Sunday night. Here's what I thought of the game.

Is it survival horror?

When Dead Space was released, I remember a lot of angry Internet folk dismissing the game as not being "proper survival horror".... probably because protagonist Issac Clarke can move and shoot at the same time. Well move very slowly and shoot but..... move and shoot yes. At the time I remember thinking that this wasn't a problem with the game, rather people's narrow views of what survival horror games were. I mean, we're talking of a genre of game that really consists of a handful of franchises and some spin offs. I feel Dead Space was unfairly maligned for not being "survival horror" enough for some people, which is a shame as that game scared thebeejesus out of me on more than one occasion. Mainly due to the sound design; the ambient sound in the ship was brilliantly orchestrated. Machinery and steel groaned and clanked without the presence of any enemies. One time I went into a corridor where machinery was griding nosily away; it was such a contradiction from what I'd heard in the previous room that I just ran from one end to the other even though there was no threat. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the vacuum sections were wonderful; exiting onto the outside of the ship only to hear Issac's breathing and the reverb from his boots on the ships hull was genuinely unnerving. Seeing his air meter go down and hearing his breathing becoming more and more strained was almost as scary as theNercomorphs.

So Dead Space's plot elements aren't original, but the execution is where the game shines for me. I'm surprised it didn't get compared to System Shock 2 more than it did; I suppose that everyone burnt out that comparison withBioshock the year before.


I remember Dead Space being considered a poor seller at the time, but later figures said the game pulled in a not to shabby 1.4 million copies, so of course the sequel was guaranteed. I'm totally interested in seeing what Dead Space 2 can come up with. A new setting would be the thing I want to see. Put Issac on an more open space but see how thenecromorph threat will adapt to that challenge.
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About Alasdair Duncanone of us since 9:17 AM on 10.13.2007

Alasdair Duncan is that bearded, bespectacled Scotsman that covers PC gaming that is not Fraser Brown. A long time Destructoid community member and forum moderator, he covers adventure, puzzle, FPS and all kinds of games on the PC. Watch, as he adds more games to his Steam library with only the vaguest hope of ever playing most of his games.

Alasdair has been gaming since his mother bought a Commodore 64 back in the early 1980's. He adores Deus Ex, GTA Vice City, Team Fortress 2, Borderlands, Super Mario Brothers 3 and all those weird indie titles on Steam.

You can meet Alasdair at places like PAX where he tries to convince people he isn't a) drunk or b) Irish.

Plus he crave attention via the following:

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