Dead Space is the first game that can truly be called post-BioShock. You%26rsquo;re an inexplicably mute character on a dark, claustrophobic spaceship dripping with spooky atmosphere, taking instructions from people who may or may not be playing you. But where BioShock was a psychological thriller, Dead Space is an action-horror game that prioritizes blood over brains.
The ship you%26rsquo;re investigating is infested by an alien life-form that reanimates dead people and uses them to make more dead people to reanimate. Check your headshot skills at the airlock, because zapping these things in the head doesn%26rsquo;t even slow them down. Distinguishing itself from the standard alien-infestation shooter, Dead Space%26rsquo;s aliens have torsos that absorb ammo like a sponge, but dismembering their arms and legs brings them down with maximum efficiency. It doesn%26rsquo;t revolutionize the shooter, but it%26rsquo;s a novelty that won%26rsquo;t wear off before the game ends.
Dead Space earns immersion points with a unique HUD-less system in which all information - ammo count, inventory screen, communications, etc. - appears in-game as holograms projected by your suit. It%26rsquo;s a very clever idea that sacrifices no usability - only the safety you usually have when bringing up a menu.
While the environments are largely standard-issue dark spaceship corridors, parts of the ship are exposed to a vacuum or have gravity disabled, breaking the monotony of regular hallways and cargo bays.You%26rsquo;ll also solve plenty of puzzles with the gravity telekinesis gun and time-slowing stasis tool. I do wish there were more creative mission objectives, as running around the ship to fix one malfunctioning doodad after another makes you feel more like a space handyman than an action hero. There%26rsquo;s real variety in the selection of aliens trying to eat you, however - I counted more than a dozen unique types with their own behaviors.
This would have been a much more compelling horror game if not for the bizarrely sluggish mouse movement, which feels strangely slow and floaty. This is not a sensitivity issue, and occurs even in the main menu. You get used to it eventually, but it makes pinpoint-accuracy abnormally and unnecessarily difficult in a game that demands it more than the average shooter.
Online activation; can be activated on five PCs; non-revocable.
PC Gamer scores games on a percentage scale, which is rounded to the closest whole number to determine the GamesRadar score.
PCG Final Verdict: 81% (excellent)
Oct 20, 2008