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PS3 Review – Dead Space

October 28, 2008 Written by Richard Allen

EA has managed to take some of the best of the science fiction genre and wrap it around enough survival horror gameplay to make Dead Space a contender. Playing through the game, you’ll find more than a few passing resemblances to scenes from some famous Science Fiction movies. Even the main character is named after Issac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke, two famous Science Fiction writers.

Does EA pull off a perfect Science Fiction survival horror game or is it Gamefly rental material?

What I liked about Dead Space

Scream for me: The sound is this game is simply the best in a video game that I’ve heard. Do yourself a favor and make sure that you have your PS3 hooked to a surround sound system. The atmosphere, the ambient noises in the background, the machinery running and even the noiselessness of the ship will spook you.

Where’s my HUD ? : The interface in Dead Space is terrific. It’s all in-game and your character reacts to the screen as he sees it. It’s so simple, but it works so well.

I don’t need no freaking pause button : Dead Space does have a pause button, but you can’t just go to your menu like most games to make a selection or pick up a health. No, all of the action keeps going, no matter if you are in the store buying Pulse rounds or looking at your inventory. The only break you get is at the save menu. Many people might not like this, but it keeps the tension high and keeps you in the game. Love it!

Issac is a crackshot: The weapons in Dead Space are mining weapons and you can upgrade them. Nothing really amazing, but the aiming control feels really good. I’d wager to say Dead Space has the best third person shooting controls on the PS3. It’s closest competitor would be Gears of War. Yes, it’s really that good in the control department.

It’s very cold in Space, Admiral : While it’s not an original tale, the idea of one man fighting in the depths of space against an unknown alien presence resounds well with science fiction fans. Add in a dose of religious fanaticism and good old human betrayal and you have a narrative that keeps you interested till the end. The text and audio logs do a good job of setting the scene as well. It’s not life changing, but you’ll not want to put Dead Space down till you have finished it.

What I didn’t like about Dead Space

I have a plasma cutter. Oh great, here is flame fuel : Most of the time you can find extra ammo, but for some reason I was always running out of it or getting plenty of the wrong ammo. Not really a big deal, but a few extra plasma packs would have been nice. In a box near the big boss. Please.

Take the eighth door on the right, turn left then come back : I understand that the layout of a ship would make backtracking a necessary evil, but it’s a little too much at times. Having to go past the same area three and four times on a ship that carries thousands seems contrived.

All aboard the crazy train: Ending each chapter with having to get on a tram got old quick. I would have preferred a little different ending to each chapter. It just felt like recycled assets at that point.

Summary

Overall, Dead Space is a very polished game. This game should be in the collection of any PlayStation 3 owner. While there are a few minor faults, there isn’t anything that really can’t be overlooked by someone looking to have an excellent third person sci-fi survival horror game in the library.

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score


Ambiance and atmosphere is truly eerie.

Surprising quality from a typically low-key developer.

Level design could have provided more diversity; the tram gets old.

8 out of 10