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Old 05-01-2009, 02:55 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: The Mysterious Far East
Posts: 6,889
Einhander's Awesome Reviews

I'm going to try reviewing a few different games I've finished recently or have in recent memory.

I'm going to start with one of my favourite games from last year..

I played the PS3 version of the game.

Story: (I'm going to try not to be too spoilery, as this is a more recent game)

The basic gist of the game is that you've part of a team sent out to investigate what went wrong with the mining ship The Ishimura. You're also trying to find out what happened to your girlfriend.

As you investigate, you discover the ship has been overrun with creatures which have apparently killed the crew. The creatures apparently came on board when an artifact, called The Marker, was brought aboard the ship.

A lot of the back story is told through audio logs found around the ship and through documents you find lying about the ship, somewhat similar to the Metroid Prime games.

Throughout the game, you are basically a faceless character, in an environment suit, that doesn't speak at all. The game does a good job of setting a believable backstory, even though much of the story is told to you, rather than you experiencing it. The audio logs are especially good.

Gameplay:I initially found the controls awkward, but the game itself does a good job of introducing the various mechanics of the game and explaining how to use them.

This game is unique in that you need to kill monsters in specific ways. Ugly monsters. Instead of head shots and such, you dismember them. There are several different varieties of weapons in the game and each have their own traits and are useful in different situations. For example, the flamethrower isn't great against larger, stronger enemies , but is good against swarms of little enemies that try and jump on you and eat you.

Two important things to note in gameplay:

1) There is an incredibly useful feature in Dead Space that I love. R3 brings up a guideline which helps direct you to your next destination. Given that the ship is dark and generally looks the same through most of it, this is incredibly helpful.

2) Anti-gravity - While walking through the ship, there are pockets where there gravity has been disabled. You move by jumping around from wall to wall, wall to ceiling etc. It's disorienting at first, but it's well implemented, and there's a cool boss battle with anti-grav which still sticks out in my mind.

Graphics:This is probably one of the nicest looking games of this gen. The lighting is fantastic in this game, and there were moments where I just stopped and looked around at the environments.

Even the leathery textures on the suit looked good when your character moved.

Fantastic all around.

Sound:There's not a ton of music in the game. They are more like musical cues, but what's there works well. I will never think of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star the same. The voice acting is good and believable.

Overall: This is a genuinely creepy game with solid controls, great graphics and great sound. It manages to generate a real atmosphere of dread, even though there are a number of "BOO" surprises. In some ways it feels like old 80s horror movies, like Alien or The Thing, in tone, because you're walking around a deserted space ship alone for most of the game. Also because Dead Space is mean, bloody and unforgiving. There's even a twist ending which I didn't see coming but makes sense in the context of things.

Buy new, buy used or skip?

Buy it new. It's worth your money and your time. It's a good, original game.
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