Dead Space review

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For such a copy-heavy game it’s incredible to see so much originality shining through. We just wish there was more of it. Ten hours, although far shorter than RE4’s weighty mission, is still a sizeable chunk of gaming. But the lack of any Mercenaries-style extras coupled with forgiving difficulty settings don’t help to prolong the experience. The indestructible Nemesis/Regenerator boss is the scariest beast we’ve ever faced on the console simply because it can’t be stopped, but its relentless pursuit of Isaac is ultimately too short-lived.

And the Zero G environments – Dead Space’s party piece – make up far less of the game than the 33% executive producer Glen Scofield once claimed. Why aren’t there more Zero G puzzles? More situations where we need to run away from invincible horrors instead of standing our ground, using stasis and slicing through the crowd? Dead Space doesn’t quite give its strengths as much screen time as they fully deserved, and often falls back onto the standard staple action of Resident Evil 4.

But what action to fall back on. The very fact that we wish Dead Space included more of its original features and less content pulled from the last generation’s greatest game speaks volumes for the quality on show. By rigidly copying Resident Evil’s model and only ever daring to step outside the template a handful of times Dead Space isn’t quite as accomplished as Capcom’s classic, but its quest to reach for the stars should still be viewed as proof that EA’s recent ambition to produce new IP’s is the company’s greatest decision in years. Isaac almost stands shoulder to shoulder with Leon Kennedy and Chris Redfield; slightly singed and worse for wear, we admit, but among such lofty company second place is nothing to be ashamed of.

Oct 14, 2008

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