Dead Space Review
Dead Space is EA's first journey into the realm of survival horror and I'm proud to say that it certainly lives up to the expectations and hype that it has received up till its release. The story begins as a deep-space mining ship, known as the USG Ishimura, goes dark after unearthing a strange artifact. A repair group, along with engineer Isaac Clarke, is called in to make repairs and investigate the USG Ishimura. After a problem trying to dock, the repair group crash lands on the vessel and ventures out into the ship to meet up with the crew and get assistance on their own ship repairs. Hostile life forms soon attack as the group searches the ship for help and the group eventually becomes stranded. The game places the player in the role of Isaac Clark as he battles hordes of alien life forms while him and his surviving crew members search for a way off the USG Ishimura.
If I had to describe Dead Space's gameplay in one word, I would say "convenient". Dead Space has the most user-friendly gameplay setup that I have seen in a survival horror up till now. The first thing to catch my attention was how the main character's life bar and many other gauges are displayed on his back, so you don't even have to worry about pulling up a menu to check on these vital areas. Guns also display their current ammo whenever they are held up for aiming.
When the inventory menu is called up, it is displayed in a real time hologram image as Isaac views it from his right side. Maps and text files can be pulled up in the same fashion as well. A player can actually move in real time while any of these holograms are up. An objective list can be pulled up to help out on objectives or you can simply press down on the right analog (R3) to make a blue light path show the way to the next destination - it's hard to get lost in Dead Space since the game always has a helping hand there for the player. This is not to say that the direction is always open to Isaac however, sometimes you will still have to figure out how to get around obstacles.
Even the story is played out in real time - most of the story is told through holograms that appear beside Isaac. Cutscenes basically only appear during the beginning and end of a chapter and even then they are very short to give more of an emphasis on gameplay. This entire real time setup makes the gameplay so very pleasant as the game progresses. You basically never even have to sit down your controller or stop to watch anything except for the slight break in between chapters. If an enemy attacks during a holographic projection then the hologram simply disappears as the audio continues to play while Isaac aims.
The aliens that Isaac faces throughout the Ishimura are called Necromorphs. These Necropmophs that Isaac faces come in all shapes and sizes. The game encourages you to shoot off each enemy's limbs to greatly increase the damage of each shot fired. Each gun has a laser sighting (usually multiple lasers) that help to make this task much easier. Some weapons can cut through an enemy easier than others but all weapons can cut off body parts. A few enemies have appendages that are only showcased during certain actions. Isaac also has an incredibly cool stomp that will allow you to mutilate a fallen enemy or just simply add insult to a dead foe.