Dead Space

Jan 11, 2008

No need to be very afraid with this one - at least, not as far as the game’s quality is concerned. Two of our correspondents have sat down for extensive run-throughs of Dead Space; both have come back from EA HQ with good words tumbling from their slack-jawed mouths. It’s hard to believe that no one has thought to mine the ‘haunted house in space’ theme for a videogame project before this, given that there’s an entire bloated genre of this stuff in cinema.

That merely means EA has more to play with - and a sizeable library of reference material to cherry pick from. Can you spot the movie references splattered about in the plot? We counted about 10: deep space engineer Isaac Clarke answers a distress signal from a stricken ship (one), only to find it overrun by parasitic aliens (two). He must then fight his way through the vast ship (three), trying not to panic on account of him just being a Regular Joe (four... it goes on).

The game is already in an advanced state. Clarke has a real clunkiness to his movement that’s entirely intended to reflect his oppressive environment and his heavy protective suit. Adopting a similar over-the-shoulder view to Resident Evil 4, his aiming is slow and deliberate, only adding to the sense of desperation.

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