As you may have guessed with my Bioshock post, I really don’t do horror games, and if I hadn’t been told that the Dead Space universe was great, I would have never delved in. This was my second attempt at Dead Space, I managed on a previous attempt to get to the midst of chapter 4, however kept getting my arse handed to me, and stopped playing. As I’m doing with a lot of my old gen games, I popped this one on easy, to enjoy the story. Even with the game on the lowest difficulty setting, it still got quite challenging in places, and the puzzles didn’t get any easier.
For those of you who haven’t played Dead Space, you play an engineer called Isaac, and you and your team have been called to a space station that’s gone dark. I won’t spoil the story, but you spend twelve chapters restoring power and functionality to the station, and gradually work out what the hell went on.
The game mechanic are an over the shoulder shooter with a difference. I’ve spent years homing my skills to get a decent headshot to maximise shots damage, however in this game, that all changes. You do come up against numerous enemies in this game, however head and body shots are pretty much useless, and instead you have to remove the limbs to kill them. To be honest, this took a little getting used to, and these things could really move.
Your primary weapon in the game is a plasma cutter, a device that shoots three lasers either horizontally or vertically. Although I played through the game on easy, I decided to give myself a challenge, and went for the trophy “One gun – Beat the game using only the plasma cutter”, which I managed to get. There were a handful of other weapons, however didn’t get to use them.
In addition to your plasma cutter, you also have a freeze and kinetic ability to …well do just that. Freeze was used to freeze enemies in place to you could remove their limbs, this was also used in different puzzles to freeze an object. The kinetic, felt a lot like the gravity gun from the Half Life series, with the ability to lift and throw objects.
All of these items/abilities as well as your suit could be upgraded at various stores and benches around the game. With only concentrating on one weapon, I was able to max out everything by the last level making me pretty hard.
The game itself had a variety of levels, although all on a space station, you could find yourself in areas that either had no oxygen, or no gravity, sometimes both at the same time. The anti gravity was pretty interesting and required a lot of spacial awareness to navigate around. The areas with no air would require you to keep an eye on your air gauge as when it run out, you were dead. You could fill up your limited inventory spots with air canisters, however with only minimal inventory, it was often a toss up between ammo, health and air.
This game did feel quite old school with various save points around the map. I found I was saving at every opportunity as you never knew what was around the next corner, or behind the next door, waiting to jump out on you.
This game was a horror game, and jump scares was its thing, however after the first couple of chapters, I could quite easily predict when and where a scare was going to happen. This by no means made it any less scary, as I jumped out of my skin on many occasions.
One thing this game did implement that I would like to see in more games was the waypoint marker. By pressing the R3 button, it would draw you a line on the ground taking you to your objective. With all the level designs looking very similar, this was a god send.
I guess if I do have any negatives about the game, it was that the melee was pretty much useless, you had a swipe and a stomp. The stomp was great for smashing supply crates, but that was about it. Using melee against any enemy felt pretty useless, even on easy with a fully upgraded suite, I couldn’t take out the enemies. The only other negative would be the rag dolling of the limbs. As mentioned above, the way you kill the enemies is by cutting off the limbs, if you then walked through the bodies, you would find you’d be dragging around body parts, which got a little annoying.
All in all, a cracking story, I now own the other five Dead Space games, and the two films and look forward to getting a more in depth look at the Dead Space universe.
Approx Time taken to beat – 7 hours
Difficulty setting – Easy
Score – [Rating:4/5]
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