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.
When I’m asked about what games I play, I always add the caveat that I don’t play many action games. The excuse I give is that my reflexes aren’t very good. And whilst that’s not exactly a lie – my reflexes really aren’t much to shout about – it actually obscures the main reason I’m not a fan of playing action games, which is that they stress me out. A lot. And I hate being stressed out. Continue reading
The setup: you’ve just rescued Ashley, the president’s underwater squirrel sidekick…er- the president’s claymation 10-year-old Christian… hmmm, the president’s daughter, OK, that’s the one. It’s very dark and very raining; you’re en route to the rendezvous point where you may or may not be rescued; you’re just getting used to handling Ashley, and then, as you cross a bridge, a cutscene shows about a million villagers approaching from behind. With no alternative – the way forward, another bridge, is blocked by more baddies – the pair hotfoot it into a small house, surrounded on all sides by an army of blood-thirsty villagers. Cue a bizarrely nonchalant cutscene worthy of any cult B-movie inside the house with a hotblooded Spanish gent (who it turns out later is a ridiculously accomplished scientist!?) complimenting sixteen-year-old Ashley on her “ballistics”, before wham, whodathunkit, the baddies are banging the door down and smashing windows. Ashley goes and hides in a cupboard upstairs, while you and the Spaniard prepare for a siege. Continue reading