Dead Space (2008)
Developer: Electronic Arts Inc.
Platform: X-Box 360
Purchase Date: 10/17/2008
I am really having a lot of trouble playing Dead Space... I just can't seem to make myself go through the next set of narrow corridors so that I could complete my current mission objective. With the same level of fear found within the particularly nasty Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly, Dead Space has a lot of potential to be the scariest game ever made. I am not even halfway through it and my mind cannot fathom how much scarier it could get in the later chapters. Without spoiling anything, the game is extremely intense and it kept me on my toes almost the entire time within the first 3 chapters that I have played through. Though the game is hardly original - it heavily borrows the best horror elements from movies and video games of the past - what is presented is done so with a high degree of polish.
You play as a mechanical engineer named Isaac Clarke who is visiting a mining starship called Ishimura on a repair mission. Instead of being greeted by the crew of thousands, Isaac and his companions found the ship seemingly abandoned. Just like all other great horror flicks, things start to go downhill from there. Now, watching a horror movie about a bunch of people trapped inside a haunted house or a ghost ship may be scary but actually being there as one of the characters really triples the dread factor. The game definitely benefits from the Silent Hill "sympathy syndrome" because Isaac is just a regular guy, a helpless engineer who just happens to be at the wrong place and at the wrong time. Even the space suit he wears screams out "Space Exploration!" instead of "Battle Ready!". Thankfully, the control is very responsive and I always appreciate the third person view versus the traditional first person mode found in say Bioshock. It really doesn't take the deep level of immersion away from the game because of the thick atmosphere of terror established and I just love seeing Isaac in his cool looking suit.
I want to write a full review of the game soon and I am dying to know what is going to happen next. I just need to muster up the courage I used to have playing games like Silent Hill and the Resident Evil series on the PlayStation some years ago. Those looking for the next big horror game should look no further, Dead Space is it.
FIRST IMPRESSION: 5 out of 5