Game Title: Dead Space (PC)
Pros: The game has a lovely atmosphere and feels somewhat like a horror film whilst playing and includes many a jump in your seat moments. The enemies in the game are nicely designed coming off as a mix of a Resident Evil zombie and a Xenomorph from the Alien films. Combat against the enemies in the game deviates from the standard shooter, you’ll find yourself aiming for the limbs in order to cripple the enemy. Whilst enemies can move rather quickly at times there’s an ability to slow down time using the ‘Stasis’ module on your suit allowing for more accurate shots and less “OMG out of ammo it’s gonna kill me”.
Dead Space offers players an interactive computer built into your suit whilst you play enabling you to access a map in game as a 3D hologram, it’s virtually identical to the mapping system they use in the first Resident Evil film and adds a futuristic element as a replacement for the standard map on a separate screen. You collect nodes and money along your journey, the latter allowing you to purchase new weapons and ammo whilst nodes allow you to upgrade your weapons/suit for more damage, more hp, faster reloads and such. Additionally you’ll find schematics which when brought to a store allow you to purchase new items.
Cons: The main issue I had with the game was the inability to remap the movement keys, whilst it appears you can do this in game it refuses to allow the use of the arrow keys for forward, back etc. A simple Google yielded a solution involving a hex editor (found here), soon after I was back in the game without having to WASD. I also edited the settings file for the game using notepad to increase the mouse sensitivity a little further, I bought my Razor Imperator for a reason…
I wasn’t a fan of the 3rd person view for the game I’d much rather a first person perspective, during fights I was constantly turning the character as opposed to spinning my sight onto my prey which left me a little vulnerable. Spatial awareness and atmosphere would have been enhanced in my opinion had the game been first person.
Musical Note: The game’s soundtrack was generic but served its purpose well which did aid the environment in scaring me once or twice, something I don’t find in games often. It feels like it belongs to a horror film, leaning toward that of the Alien scores.
Hunger Level: Whilst I wasn’t addicted to the game plays combat I found the upgrades fun and the story interesting. I don’t think I’ll load the game up for a while but it’s something I’d like to play through at some point at least.
Conclusion: Horror film fans who game will love this; it’s very good at creating atmosphere and keeps itself close to several horror film stories and themes. The inclusion of the 3D mapping in game and picture in picture style communication with the crew of your ship makes you feel you’re involved a lot more than the standard shooter. It’s sort of Resident Evil meets Half Life with a more serious tone to it. Worth a try but nothing I’m going to be addicted to anytime soon…at least not whilst I’ve just started playing Starcraft 2.
One Hour, One Review, One ‘Game-a-Week’ @ Black Vinculum