Review: Dead Space (Computer)
- Release Date (NA): October 20, 2008
- Publisher: EA
- Genres: Survival horror, Third person shooter, SciFi
Single playerLocal MultiplayerOnline MultiplayerCo-operative
Today I’m going to be reviewing Dead Space for the PC platform, a survival horror game based in deep space. It is a very atmospheric based game, if you plan on playing through it I highly recommend using some good quality headphones with minimal lighting.
You play as Isaac Clarke an engineer on a mission to find out what is wrong with the mining vessel USG Ishimura. As with most games of this genre the situation quickly spirals out of control. Eventually resulting in destruction of the USG Kellion the vessel you arrived in, effectively cutting off any hope of escape without repairing the Ishimua. It quickly becomes apparent that the ship is infested with an unknown alien life form that has slaughtered the crew and turned their corpses into very zombie like monsters called necromorphs. It’s your job to stop the Ishimura’s decaying orbit in order to save yourself, while at the same time surviving the onslaught of Necromophs.
Dead Space uses a very unique system for dealing with enemies which will very quickly break you of the notion that you always use a headshot for dealing with zombies of any sort.
Haha tis but a flesh wound!!
Instead you need to cut off their limbs, be it tentacle, leg or arm if you chop it off it will severely damage the enemy and at lower difficulty levels outright kill the necromorph.
While it sounds like a chore chopping off all those limbs I actually found it to add a considerable amount of depth to gameplay. Along the way you will gain access to more tools, such as the Stasis and Kenesis modules. Stasis is used to slow down objects, and necromorphs to a crawl helping you to further manage the ebb and flow of battle when needed. While Kenesis will allow you to pick up objects and even limbs off fallen enemies and fling them back at your attackers to further save on ammo.
Here and there shops are scattered throughout the game that will allow you to sell the ammo and other things you don’t want. This really helps break up the game a bit allowing you to get rid of a type of ammo you don’t need or want and allowing you to buy ammo for your favorite gun instead. You will also find schematics that when brought to a vendor will unlock more weapons, ammo, and suits for you to purchase.
The weaponry very much fits in with the theme of the game, ranging from a plasma cutter for pure chopping power to an assault weapon and even a flamethrower. Added into this mix of weapons is the ability to upgrade your equipment with power nodes located throughout the game or purchased from the vendor. These allow you to give your weapons and equipment improvements of your choosing allowing you greater flexibility with your limb chopping.
Dead Space like other games in its genre relies heavily on jump scare tactics and the environment to make it a scary game. Fortunately it does this to great effect, the lighting in this game only extenuates the mood. You will never feel like the game is too dark (I’m looking at you doom 3) but at the same time it is dark and spooky in all the right places. I very highly recommend playing with at least headphones on if you don’t want to play in the dark. The bangs and bumps you will hear in the walls and ceilings will make you jump at the least sound expecting a necromorph to fall on your head. To top it off there are audio logs and text logs scattered about the ship that really adds effect to the mood of the game.
Now unfortunately like a lot of other survival horror games Dead Space really lacks any form of replayability. Once you have been through the game you will know where all the surprises are and the game will lose the tense feeling you got on the first play through. So unless you want to tackle the higher difficulty settings with the weapons and armor from your first play through there really is no point in playing through it again.
The PC version of Dead Space is plagued with horrible input lag whenever you have v-sync on. It can be somewhat corrected by making sure it’s off. However with v-sync off you will very likely notice a lot of screen tearing particularly when lights are blinking on and off, it will really break the immersion of the game. All of this can be fixed by using an external program to limit the frame rate to 60 it’s just unfortunate that an otherwise great game is nearly crippled by this bug. For Radeon users I recommend Radeonpro to limit framerate, while Nvidia users should use Nvidia inspector.
I also recommend you use a 360 controller with this game as even with the input lag fixed it just plays much better with a controller.
Dead space is a great survival horror with a terrific story and environment. The story will never fail to surprise you even until the very end. It’s always presenting you with new enemies and challenges for you to overcome. However what it also presents you with is a fairly large amount of backtracking. Even with the bugs and backtracking this is one of my favorite games of its genre.
+ -Unique Method for killing enemies
+ -Weapon and armor upgrade system
+ -Great story and environment
- -Significant input lag unless you mess with settings
- -Lots of backtracking throughout the game
The game has a truly great environment, it will really succeed in drawing you into the story. Everything is in perfect proportion just the right amount of spooky sounds and just enough lighting to make you dread going around the next corner.
The input lag really hurts the gameplay unless you go the extra step to fix it, early in the game the slow aiming isn't too bad. However later when you have faster necromorphs coming at you in bigger groups you need to be able to preciesly aim as fast as possible to de-limb them. Later in the game the backtracking also somewhat hurts gameplay though to a much lesser degree. That aside the actual gameplay is great, the different necromorphs will always keep you on your toes looking for how to most efficiently deal with them using the least ammo.
Dead Space like other games in genre really suffers in the area of lasting appeal, once you know all the spots and tactics the game loses its edge and becomes just another third person shooter.
out of 10
(not an average)
Overall i would have to give this game a 7. The bugs and the lack of replayability really hurt the score. However the environment, story, and unique way of killing enemies more then makes up for it. If you have never played the game before i highly recommend you pick it up and give it a try.