Dead Space review

  • As sickening as they come
  • Inspired zero-grav gameplay
  • Near-perfect RE4 clone
  • Shamelessly steals ideas
  • Some repeated enemies
  • Normal difficulty is too easy

Dead Space is the ultimate jigsaw of gaming’s greatest hits, shamelessly stealing features from a decade of classic action games and mixing them together in one giblet-filled melting pot of horror. You’ve played it before: Resident Evil 4’s camera, Gears of War’s movement, Doom 3’s corridors, BioShock’s atmosphere and story revelations, System Shock 2’s horror, The Thing’s monsters, Metroid Prime’s doors and Cold Fear’s location (only, er, in space)…  EA Redwood Shores nabs them all, squeezes them into a terrifying ten-hour jaunt and backs it all up with production values to rival the very best. And although, post-credits, RE4 still remains king of the genre, Dead Space has proven itself to be more than just an accomplished copycat. In fact, Capcom should take note. Because EA can teach them a thing or three about survival horror.

Take the controls. It’s no wonder that after playing Dead Space, Resident Evil 5 director Jun Takeuchi has opted to swap RE’s classic set-up for Dead Space’s sidestepping freedom; a change we vehemently protested until trying it out for ourselves. Isaac’s added maneuverability makes racing through the infested corridors a breeze, even without the quick-turn action which was mysteriously dumped during alpha testing. You need this extra control as Dead Space’s monsters don’t just line up for the slaughter.

Keeping a clear head sits just below keeping a head at all in the importance stakes, because unless you carefully pick the limbs off the approaching enemies you’ll find yourself surrounded with an empty cartridge in your weapon. The Ishimura has a fully designed vent system which allows monsters to make their own way through the ship. Fail to stop them before they jump into an air duct and they’ll pop out behind you minutes later and take two bites out of your arse before you’ve had time to react.

Resident Evil 4 with better controls isn’t a bad sell at all, but the improvements don’t stop there. Strategic dismemberment enforces a much more tactical approach to combat. Hacking pieces off the Necromorphs is an integral mechanic to survival and although it tends to limit the design possibilities of your enemies (later Dead Space falls into the trap of using the same monster models but changing skin colours to signify extra toughness) the dismemberment system makes other horror foes look decidedly average. Shooting somebody in the face only to see them stagger and then continue their sprint towards you is disappointing now that we’ve seen the alternative – shooting them in the face and removing their head only to see tendrils sprout from said hole and the beast run in your direction while flailing its arms at twice the speed in a blind rage… We never said it would be pretty.

More Info

Release date: Oct 14 2008 - PS3
Oct 20 2008 - PC
Oct 14 2008 - Xbox 360 (US)
Oct 24 2008 - PS3
Oct 31 2008 - PC
Oct 24 2008 - Xbox 360 (UK)
Available Platforms: PS3, PC, iPad, iPhone, Xbox 360
Genre: Action
Published by: EA GAMES
Developed by: EA Redwood Shores
Franchise: Dead Space
ESRB Rating:
Mature: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language
PEGI Rating:
18+: Violence, Bad Language


  • reyah - October 1, 2014 1:11 p.m.

    Hello, I just got this game cheap from here: . They have a very good delivery time and I am very satisfied! Do check it out!
  • SDHoneymonster - March 20, 2011 10:59 p.m.

    War Saint - Chapter 11, when you head back to where you first landed on the Ishimura, look down over the edge of the walkway and grab it with kinesis!
  • WarSaint0299 - February 24, 2011 2:11 a.m.

    great game but how do you find the peng treasure/ where is it at?
  • littlesistersavior - February 17, 2010 4:28 p.m.

    buying this today., just heard about it from a friend and if its anything close to bioshock or RE4 its worth buying to me.
  • slippyslippers - February 3, 2010 8:34 p.m.

    Love this game - can't wait for Dead Space 2!
  • CreeplyTuna - December 6, 2009 10:05 p.m.

    to me, better than resi 4
  • Milesaway13 - November 1, 2008 6:54 p.m.

    You know, I tried to read this review, and by the end, I lost a little faith in you, GR. Let me begin by saying RE4 is NOT, repeat, NOT that good of a game. I've beaten it like six times, it's not very good, and I felt alienated because it wasn't scary, and it was easy as hell. Dead Space is leagues ahead of RE4.
  • SirEatalot215 - October 26, 2008 8:34 a.m.

    I just recently beat dead space, and i have a few things to say about it. I think it is totally awesome. I think that the game was a bit too actiony to be REALLY scarey. I love the game, and i would jump at the sequal, but it wasn't as scarey as i thought it would be. I don't know if i am just really desensitised or if it was a bit too actiony but that was my only complaint about it. I did get paranoid at every single little vent i saw, but it only surprised me when an enemy got to me without me knowing. It wasn't Crap my pants scary. Other than that, I love Dead Space and i hope that if a sequal is coming out, that it comes out as soon as possible without diminishing the games quality.
  • alejo699 - October 17, 2008 8:01 p.m.

    Based on everything I'd read and heard from my friends I was really excited about this game -- until I found out it has only 10 hours of play. Now it's a rental for me. It's not so much that it's not a good value -- $6/HR is less than I'd spend at the bar -- but finishing a really good game in 10 hours is so disappointing.
  • Jason.Darksavior - October 17, 2008 5:29 a.m.

    This game is going to be so creepy and kool.
  • moof77 - October 17, 2008 1:52 a.m.

    i just bought this game and it is amazing
  • wysiwyg - October 16, 2008 5:35 p.m.

    This a real surprise, a new,original IP from EA that is actually pretty good.I was expecting another Dark Sector/Alone In The Dark type travesty, trouble is there's so many other great games about to be released I'm afraid this will have to move down the pecking order, I'll probably pick up a copy in the post Xmas lull.
  • octagons - October 16, 2008 12:40 a.m.

    so the game is fun but you never specified whether you actually found it scary.
  • Pyro240 - October 15, 2008 10:04 p.m.

    Can't wait to rent this game!
  • purpleshirt - October 15, 2008 8:36 p.m.

    i didn't know this had zero G environments just for that im gonna rent it at least
  • LionheartAce - October 15, 2008 8:15 p.m.

    Will want the demo before I make a decision, but I'm still rather excited to play this.
  • bron1417 - October 15, 2008 8:08 p.m.

    another game that lives up to the hype
  • jimsondanet - October 15, 2008 1:10 p.m.

    no id think id love a game that shamelessly steals the best of the best its about time someone took initiative over ego! seriously! but from the sound of this review coming up with flaws cant of been easy. i accept.
  • Samael - October 15, 2008 5:20 a.m.

    As I thought, this will be one hell of a rental but will not be joining Fallout 3 and Fable 2 in the "buy" category.
  • BerryMedley - October 15, 2008 12:54 a.m.

    * Shamelessly steals ideas hey if it makes the game better, who cares? * Some repeated enemies like all games * Normal difficulty is too easy ill be too scared to care by no means am i saying this review sucks, these are just my opinions on how awesome this game might be (although i didnt play it:P) awesome review, not gona buy fable 2, gona buy this instead :P

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