Isaac knows something is wrong. Something is very, very wrong.
Isaac knows something is wrong. Something is very, very wrong.

Isaac knows something is wrong. Something is very, very wrong.

Ever fancied curb-stomping an alien baby on board a huge space ship adrift in deep space? No? What's wrong with you? Well the guys at EA's Redwood Shores studio, or EARS as the team calls it, has. They're putting the shocking act into the super gory Xbox 360, PS3 and PC sci-fi survival horror game Dead Space, set 500 years in the future and due out late 2008. And now, having got our grubby mitts on the game's lengthy third chapter, we can happily report that squishing an alien baby with your boot feels... kinda weird. And worryingly satisfying.

Curb stomping alien babies, in a funny way, explains a lot about what EA is trying to do with Dead Space. Since its announcement, gamers have been left somewhat in the dark about what Dead Space is all about. Now that the development team has got the game running well, looking good and scaring the bejesus out of testers, they've busted it open for us to dive straight in. Allow us to turn the lights on.

You play as Isaac Clarke, an engineer by trade who's sent to investigate the Ishimura, a two kilometre long, 1000-crew strong "planet cracker" which beats the hell out of planets in order to mine them. The Ishimura has been out of contact with Earth for long enough for people to worry. So off trots Isaac, who thinks he's on a simple fix-it job to sort out the Ishimura's communication array. How wrong.

Isaac finds the ship adrift, dead in space. Its crew is no-where to be seen. Blood stains are everywhere, lights are flickering, inhuman groans, cries and shrieks reverberate around the interior of the ship and large thumps, as if coming from something dreadful overhead, are causing dust to shift and metal to creak. Isaac knows something is wrong. Something is very, very wrong indeed.

Isaac's Plasma Cutter allows for what EA calls "strategic dismemberment". Nice.

Isaac's Plasma Cutter allows for what EA calls "strategic dismemberment". Nice.

Right off the bat we can see that Dead Space is dripping with sci-fi cool. It's played from a third-person perspective (some gamers have said the game is simply Resident Evil in space), with Isaac himself taking up a huge amount of the screen. He wears a specially made engineering suit as opposed to a super-powerful multi-faceted combat suit and wields mining tools as weapons instead of great big guns. He isn't combat trained, or battle hardened. He's a smart, fit guy, but he's no Steven Seagal in Under Siege. He's just a normal bloke, with a girlfriend back home, religious parents and a decent job. He's making the most of the situation, doing the best he can. He's not revelling in this deep space nightmare.

There's no HUD in Dead Space. Well, not in the traditional sense anyway. Your health is shown via a changing neon strip on the back of Isaac's suit. Like 2K Boston's critically acclaimed FPS BioShock, you pick up audio and video docs left behind by the crew as you delve deeper into the Ishimura's depths. And, like in BioShock, these can be played as you move - there are no cutscenes. They'll be used to reveal what exactly went wrong on the ship, and explain just what the hell is going on with these crazy aliens.

When a vid log displays, or your inventory screen displays, it appears as a hologram just in front of Isaac. When you pan the camera it will move around the image, showing it as a thin line from the side, and in reverse from the back. It's a lovely touch, and one which is sure to please videogaming sci-fi fans.

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zhaoke's Avatar
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zhaoke

ty for ur reviews, i played the game, it's realy horrible and interesting to play! i rate 5 stars for the dead space.
Posted 11:08 on 16 November 2008
Blackidna's Avatar
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Blackidna

Nice review and all, but still one part doesn't quite fit "This game is like BioShock" did you guys forgot about System Shock? Maybe the first, but the second! It was set in space, you had to battle for your life against mutated human beings, you were able to upgrade your stats and your weapons and the whole battleground was in a huge spaceship. Sure is easy to forget the past. And also I wanted to point out that the feeling I had was more similar to the loneliness experienced in Metroid Prime. Overall is a good game, aside some small little flaws that are hardly noticeable and doesn't tamper with the global gaming experience.
Posted 21:30 on 04 November 2008
Flyboy's Avatar

Flyboy

This review great. I have found much needed information on this one right here :D. The game does look scary enough for me to buy it when it gets released lol .
Posted 14:21 on 17 June 2008
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dave

this game could be great
Posted 14:15 on 17 June 2008
Wido's Avatar

Wido

I think Dead Space will do alright when it gets released. It might even give Resi-Evil run for their money, who knows. Great review, alot of detail just how I like to read a review. :)
Posted 10:31 on 13 February 2008
Netmind's Avatar

Netmind

Looks scary.. :P
Posted 22:08 on 07 February 2008
Mulac's Avatar

Mulac

I like the idea, hope its not too similar to Mass Effect, gameplay wise that is. A playable bloodbath is bound to sell well anyway.
Posted 18:04 on 07 February 2008

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Release Date: 23/10/2008
Developer: Electronic Arts
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: Third-person shooter
No. Players: One
Rating: BBFC 18
Site Rank: 2,597 579
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