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PAX: Dead Space Preview

September 1, 2008Written by Anthony Severino

Written by LinuxGuru
Apparently, that gun was really heavy nad the helmet even lit up!

Apparently that gun was really heavy, and the helmet even lit up!

Joystiq got some hands-on time with Dead Space at the Penny Arcade Expo. Find out what they had to say after the click-through:

This highly anticipated sci-fi shooter is definitely high on our radar, and we weren’t disappointed with this one. Especially since they were showing it off in a very dark little two-screen booth. If you’re claustrophobic, this isn’t where you want to get stuck. However, it’s a great place to show off this creepy game. A girl actually screamed when we turned around and there was an amorphous mutant freakazoid behind us.

The guy demoing the game for us said “This level is a bit like an M.C. Escher painting come to life,” and he wasn’t kidding. We played through a portion of the level, where you’re having to hurl boulders into a tractor beam with your telekenesis in order to overload it. Plus, you’re in zero gravity which means up is down and down is up, and it can change at any moment. You launch yourself off the “floor” in by hitting the Y button and you’ll land on the opposite “wall,” which then becomes your floor, thank you magnetic boots. It was disconcerting as hell at first, but soon enough you learn how to think a lot more three-dimensionally when you move.

Once you overload the tractor beam (or whatever the hell it was), you move yourself over to a switch that does something we couldn’t overhear in the din. When you flip it, mutant freaks pour in at you down the two sides of the catwalk you’re trapped in the middle of. Good times. Thankfully we had a lot of weaponry at our disposal, but it didn’t stop us from being overrun very quickly. It’s times like that when you don’t know what you’re doing that the light-up health meter on your spine just sort of mocks you.

You could pick your enemies apart piece by piece with the different guns to send their limbs floating off into space, and it was more than a bit satisfying to yank a head out of the air with your jedi-like powers and fling it off in the distance. Additionally, certain enemies have prolapsed gelatinous bags of goo that are extremely explosive. You can either target those, or use your kinetics to fling them like grenades. Despite being one very overpowered engineer, we died cold and alone in space. Come out already so we can redeem ourselves.