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2008 survival horror video game by EA Redwood Shores

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One of the best videogames I've ever played. 96%

  • Jul 8, 2011

I first read a little about Dead Space when I was in college on the day Halo 3 came out and a friend handed me a video game magazine and I took a strong notice to the (then) up-and-coming Dead Space. I really liked what I saw in that article since it was supposed to be influenced from one of my favorite movies, Event Horizon (Isaac's helmet even looks like the front of the EH ship). A year passes and I received Dead Space as a gift on my 21st birthday last year and I won't be parting with it anytime soon. Though it's pretty obvious from the product description and from customer reviews, this game is REALLY violent and gory. In fact, my best friend's little brother (whose quite seasoned with video games) said to me “This is the most gruesome video game ever made.”


The plot is that a mining ship named the USG Ishimura seems abandoned when the rescue shuttle Kellion approaches the derelict ship. You assume the role of mining engineer Isaac Clarke (homage to sci-fi authors Issac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke) and accompanying you are security officer Zach Hammond and technologist Kendra Daniels. You think you're on a mission to repair a damaged major component on that ship, but you've bitten off WAY MORE than you can chew. The Ishimura is infested with Necromorphs, aliens that kill people and mutate their corpses into sheer abominations of mankind. Unfortunately, there's no escape pods in the Ishimura and the Kellion got critically damaged, so you're stuck on this high-tech hell. The Necromorphs are the coolest enemies I've ever seen in a horror video game since they're so ugly, deadly, and creepy; definitely a huge improvement from the typical zombie fare that so banal in the horror game genre. The Necromorphs have many different forms and are bristling with razor-sharp teeth, pointed tentacles, sword-like claws, and other rather hideous appendages that can make quick work of human flesh. The most troublesome Necromorphs have to be the spore-like ones since they're so numerous and small, they're difficult to kill en masse unless if you have a blowtorch on hand. The main antagonist of the game is a deranged doctor named Charles Mencer and I assure you that you'll loathe this guy more than anything since he does everything he can to make it difficult for you to survive on the Ishimura. He messes with life-support systems on certain sections of the ship so you'll run out of oxygen, he'll steal launch codes to keep you from potentially escape in a hidden escape craft, and even created a really abhorrent Necromorph that's impossible to kill; you can blast and beat it until the moon turns green and it won't die, it just regenerates lost appendages.


I love the way everything looks in Dead Space. The interior of the Ishimura is really unnerving since it's bleak and slathered with the remains of its crew. High-tech horror design at its finest. The graphics and movement are very detailed and fluid, they didn't cut corners in this respect.


Since this is a mining ship and not a military ship, you don't have proper weapons to ensure your survival, you actually use high-tech mining tools to kill the Necromorphs and to me, this is one of the coolest things about the game since killing monsters with a buzz saw or an energy-based ore-cutting tool definitely has a more appalling effect than just offing the creatures with an assault rifle or shotgun. There's a decent variety of tools appropriate for the job ranging from a plasma cutter (first weapon you'll get) to a line gun (similar to plasma cutter but has horizontal range of fire and is stronger), a buzz saw, a blowtorch, a plasma rifle, contact beam (energy-blasting device) and my personal favorite, the force gun (fires heavily concentrated blasts of gravity). Since I've played this game a lot, I say the four tools that are most appropriate for survival are the plasma cutter, line gun, force gun, and blowtorch. You don't have to always use your weapons when fighting off Necromorphs; you can shoot off stasis waves, which slow your enemies down and you can dismember them with melee attacks or you can use kinesis to grab objects and hurl them at your enemies. When I kill the Necromorphs, I usually use the conventional method of using my tools' unique uses, but it's wiser to use stasis so that you conserve ammo and it's a lot more gruesome to kill them that way.


Fortunately, throughout the game, you collect currency and special items which you can use at some shops located throughout the ship to purchase tool ammo, health kits, and upgrades for your mining suit. There's upgrade benches throughout the ship as well; when you collect power nodes, you can use them to increase the speed, ammo capacity, and power of your tools and you NEED to do this if you want to beat the game. I find both features in this game really cool. These aren't “safe points,” either; if you're in the middle of either activity or even saving your game progress, the Necromorphs WILL attack you if they're in your area.


What's a video game without gameplay? Fortunately, the gameplay is ace in Dead Space. Controls are perfectly responsive and logical in button layout. The only gripe I have is that the default control is that the movement on the x-axis is inverted, so you'll have to change that when you start playing the game if you don't find that comfortable. It's also really challenging in certain situations other than just killing Necromorphs. There'll be certain parts of the game where you have to be fast on your feet AND utilize problem-solving skills such as this one level where you have to re-activate a gravity-generating centrifuge in the ship and you have to carefully yet quickly plan your escape out of that area since the path to safety isn't obvious, there's no oxygen in that segment of the ship, AND there's Necromorphs ready to kill you. The game's “Zero Gravity” feature is really cool; you can jump around in areas you never experienced in any game before and the Necromorphs can travel in zero gravity as well, making your efforts of survival really interesting to say the least.


Dead Space is everything a horror and gore-obsessed gamer would want. The violence is over-the-top and the gameplay has enough twists and challenges to make it playable over long periods of time. If you call yourself a fan of the horror game genre or just a gamer who loves action-packed gore, Dead Space will reward you greatly.


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July 10, 2011
One of the best survival horror games I've played!!
More Dead Space reviews
review by . September 02, 2009
Dead Space takes the genre of survival horror to new heights. It's atmosphere help it become a terrifying game that will keep you fully immersed, and maybe keep you up at night.       In Dead Space, you play as Issac Clarke, an engineer. Along with two friends from Concordance Extraction Corporation, you receive a distress call from another ship and decide to investigate. Upon arriving, however, things have already gone awry. Aboard the ship is a deadly alien race that has apparently …
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David Kozak ()
Ranked #20
I'm a morbid cynic who thinks very, very differently from most other people. Chances are, if the majority says X is the greatest in its category, I'll disagree with that notion, because I tend … more
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About this video game


Dead Space from EA is sure to please any action-adventure gamer looking for a bloody battle against deadly aliens. Dead Space for Xbox 360 begins when a massive mining ship, the USG Ishimura, comes in contact with a mysterious alien artifact and suddenly loses its communications with Earth. Engineer Isaac Clarke is sent to repair

Deep Space pits Isaac Clarke against deadly aliens. View larger.

Zero-G game play allows you to walk on walls and the ceiling. View larger.

EA delivers an incredibly frightening experience with state-of-the-art graphics and effects. View larger.

Neutralize the attacking enemies with weapons and telekinetic powers. View larger. the Ishimura's communications, but arrives to find a floating vessel that has become a complete bloodbath. The crew is mutilated and infected with an ancient alien scourge. Clarke's repair mission is transformed to one of survival as he fights to save himself and return the artifact to the planet at any cost.

Fight with Weapons and Telekinesis
The alien hordes are incredibly resilient. You'll have to find creative ways to neutralize the attacking enemies by shearing off limbs with powerful weapons. And when the ammo runs out you'll be thankful that you can use your telekinetic powers to pick up objects (even the aliens' own severed arms and legs) and hurl them at your advancing enemies.

Graphics, Effects, and Sound Increase the Horror
EA delivers an incredibly frightening experience with ...

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Console: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows
Genre: Action
Release Date: October 2008

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