EA’s Redwood Shores have conjured up this terrifying survival horror epic, Dead Space, just in time for the scary season.
Dropping you into the heavy space boots of mining engineer, Isaac Clarke, this terror tale takes place on board a mammoth spaceship called the Ishimura which has become stranded at the outer limits of space itself. As Isaac, your job is to board the Ishimura, repair it and find out exactly what has happened to the crew who all seem to have mysteriously disappeared.
Alone in the dark
Unfortunately, once you board the ship you soon discover the horrible truth masked behind its huge steel doors. The Ishimura is what’s called a planet cracking spaceship that mines other, derelict planets for its natural resources. According to the logs you quickly discover once on board the ship, while out on a planet cracking excavation the crew uncovered something strange - an artefact - on the planet below.
By bringing this strange relic onboard the ship, the crew inadvertently instigated this whole bloody affair that saw everyone on board turn on each other. Even worse is what happened next. Strange creatures began to harvest the bodies of the dead, turning them into monstrous creatures called Necromorphs.
Now they stalk the corridors of the Ishimura, waiting to pounce. You quickly learn that the only way to destroy these things is by strategic dismemberment, the backbone to survival in Dead Space.
Shooting enemies as you would in any other third person shooter or survival horror game is futile. All that will achieve is an empty ammunition clip and a slow and painful death. Dead Space asks that you master Isaac’s specialist weapon: the Plasma Cutter and its various other, larger, more powerful iterations that you pick up along the way.
Cut, cut, cut!
To successfully stop one of these beasts in its tracks you need to remove their legs, arms and head with skilled, precision blasts. Mastering this saves on ammunition and grinds them to a halt a lot faster than a flurry of shots fired in a panic. The Plasma Cutter and the other weaponry Isaac collects over the course of the game including a Line Gun, Flamethrower, Pulse Rifle and Ripper can all be upgraded as you progress too.
Upgrading each weapon is simple; just keep an open eye for and collect the various Nodes dotted throughout the ship’s rooms, crates and on the bodies of the fallen. Once in your possession, you can use them on the work benches spread out through the Ishimura to upgrade weapon mechanics such as reload speed, damage and ammunition capacity.
Isaac’s suit is also upgradable too. To enhance it, you must have enough credits amassed. Again, like the Nodes, these are spread throughout the Ishimura and can be used in the multitude of Stores located around the ship. The Stores also allow you to buy additional weapons and ammunition as well as stockpile any surplus items for later in the game. It’s best to do this, as there as some really huge monsters as you descend deeper into the bowels of the Ishimura.
Floating in outer space
Aside from the myriad of maniacal monsters, Dead Space throws a series of puzzles at you, each of which must be completed using powers specific to Isaac’s suit. This has the power to wield Telekinesis allowing you to elevate large or small objects and move them around a room with ease.
You can also slow down objects too with Stasis. This comes into play extremely early in the game when you’re tasked with restoring gravity to a certain portion of the ship and need to slow down two huge spinning steel cylinders while under attack from wall crawling horrors.
It’s here that elements of the brilliantly implemented zero gravity come into play. As objects float aimlessly around the room, Isaac can traverse the gravity free area by leaping through it and floating to his objective. No other game has implemented zero gravity as well as Dead Space has and it makes for some fiendish brain teasers and terrifying monster encounters.
Redwood Shores has also planned additional download packs on PlayStation Network. Each pack will contain extra suits for Isaac to don, all with their own benefits such as tougher armour, additional inventory slots and a longer air threshold for those heart racing moments where you must venture outside the Ishimura and into the deep, dead space, where everyone can hear you scream!
Do you have the guts to survive the terrors of the dark?