The USG Ishimura has stopped communicating. The planet cracking space vessel was on a mining mission but has been silenced. Isaac Clarke is a technician that has been dispatched as part of a small team to reinstate communication with the Ishimura and her crew. Clarke has a vested interest in this vessel as his girlfriend is part of her crew. Soon after boarding, the team finds that things are not right. There appears to be signs of fights and dead crew all over the ship. Strange noises and sounds haunt every corner of the vessel. The team is separated and Clarke must work mostly by himself to survive the same horrors that ravaged the Ishimura’s crew.
Even though the game was released in 2008, it still stands up very well six years later. Dead Space’s graphics are superb given that this was an early game in the life cycle of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. From a control standpoint, it is a quick learn to master the weapons and abilities. Several different weapons become available throughout the game but used only the plasma cutter. It not only keep the weaponry simplified but also earned me a gold trophy. The inventory system gets better as you upgrade and can carry more items. It was an early aggravation to balance and choose what items I could keep in the limited inventory. The true demeanor of the game comes from the blending of sight and sound. The soundtrack adds immense terror and isolation to the game. The eerie feel keeps you on guard constantly with the sounds of screaming and rustling coming from the ship’s duct work. Subtle instruments accent the lonely corridors and lull you into a false state of relaxation just before the next wave of Necromorphs attack. At times you begin to question if you or the character are going insane with the voices speaking and singing coming from unknown origins.
Not being a fan of horror based movies or games, I was reluctant to play this game. However, I decided to try it after playing and thoroughly enjoying the Dead Space game on iOS. The full console experience was far better than the iOS compliment. The full-scale of controls and environment are used to their utmost. This was possibly one of the best console games I’ve ever played. A truly solid control set kept any game play frustrations to a minimum. It took me the better part of a month to finish this game. Even though the campaign clocks in with a length of about twelve hours, I found myself playing in only one hour increments. It wasn’t the difficulty that kept my pace slow(admittedly I played on the easiest setting), rather it was the amount of stress and terror I felt during every game session. I really wanted to play more but just found it too mentally exhausting to do so. Every time I quit playing I looked forward to playing again. It was even the small almost nearly unnoticeable things that added to the game. For example, you could walk into a room and there would be storage crates that you can open to obtain items but sometimes if you left them unopened, you could turn around only to find one of them to be open when you look at them again.
Best part is that you should be able to get this game on the cheap. I managed to get all three Dead Space games used from GameStop for less than $30 during a promotional sale. Currently, Dead Space is listed as $15 used at GameStop or $20 new. Amazon has it for about $17 new.
After I play something else to ease my nerves, I plan on carrying on into next chapter of this series.