Dead Space (PS3) – Resident Evil 4 to the bone

Alongside Mirror’s Edge, Dead Space was EA’s other critical darling/commercial flop in the Wii/360/PS3 era. Unlike Mirror’s Edge, which is an original attempt at a first person platformer, Dead Space is a loving tribute to Resident Evil 4. It’s a tightly paced re-imagining of Capcom’s classic with some cool twists of its own. A handful of hours in I’m greatly enjoying it, and can recommend it above Shinji Mikami’s own spiritual successor to RE4, The Evil Within.

The aforementioned twists on the formula are: environments with zero gravity, and vacuums with a limited oxygen supply; unique weapons that depart from the usual pistol/shotgun/submachine gun formula; a heavy emphasis on dismembering foes. Where I’m at in the game, these have all proven themselves to be strong additions to the tried and true winning formula for the third person shooter laid down by Resident Evil 4.

How about that formula then? It’s been executed extremely well so far. There’s the strong sense of atmosphere, with plenty of tension as you encounter increasingly ghoulish scenes aboard the space station USG Ishimura. There’s the quick pace and a clear objective at all times. Frequent interactions with your capable comrades on the intercom or in person serve a dual purpose, just as in Resident Evil 4: they offer a welcome spot of relief from the grisly surrounds, as well as keeping you clear on your next objective. The Dead Space devs did their homework, that’s for sure.

There’s still plenty more of Dead Space for me to see – I hope – so maybe things will change. But as it stands I’m having a great old time and I can’t wait to see what other surprises the devs have in store for me through the rest of the game. I’ve also heard nothing but positive things about Dead Space 2, which I am dying can’t wait to check out too.

One comment

  1. moresleepneeded

    I have not played this game, but it reminds me of Metroid: Other M. I can remember in the Metroid game that there some unsettling scenes where there has been obvious violence, but no immediate explanation for what caused it, which made me wonder what caused the destruction. I also remember the interactions with other team members helped ease the tension as I realised that Samus was not alone in the spaceship. Some of the twists mentioned seem interesting, such as the zero gravity, vacuums and unique weaponry.
    What ghoulish scenes does the player encounter in the game? What are the unique weapons? How does dismemberment feature in the game?

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