29 October, 2009

Dead Space

There are very few games any more which make me yelp in startled wonderment, let alone jump out of my chair. Dead Space managed both of these within the first 30 minutes of playtime. Sadly, it didn't last very long. As a survival horror third-person shooter video game, it did it's job okay, for most people. However, being desensitized from playing so many games & watching so many horror films, the novel terror wore thin after the first chapter. Coming into the game, I noticed right away how lovely it was. The graphics are quite nice & I was intrigued as my shuttle landed in the docking bay, yet there was my first annoyance. The movement in the game is like Mass Effect in 3rd person view... all the time. You can't switch to a first person view & your character is always slightly to the side of the screen. I understand this is because you need to see your health & stasis energy, but really, this could have been done with a HUD or something. All right I suppose we can let that one slide a little because you sort of get used to it... I guess. I had a little trouble adjusting to the way the camera looked when I was trying to spin around, but enough of that. So the graphics, as I said, were nice. They were great in fact, with one glaring flaw to wretch your eyes out. Because it's on a spaceship, Dead Space was very limited as to the scenery it could provide the player. It seemed that I was either in a steel grey hall with rust, a steel grey hall with rust & organic flesh everywhere, or a steel grey hall with slightly green organic rusty walls. & there were some pumpkins at one point, which I thought was very amusing, but I'm not sure why. So after the second chapter, when all the variations of organic ship structure had been offered to me, I started to find it boring to look at. Even the various graphical changes to my Rig & weapons didn't make it any better. Here was this game which presented itself so beautiful, torn into a slightly dark & dreary living vessel. These tiresome graphics added to the dulling down of my startles through out the game as well. After the first chapter ended I knew what to expect & so things didn't really startle me any-more. I jumped a few times, the whispering was a bit creepy, but after a very short period of unrest, I began to expect the enhanced whispering in the loo's & I knew that pressing a button near my objective would cause the blast doors to come down & dudes would come out of the walls to attack me. After the first chapter, the only part which did put the living fear of god into me was at the very end of the game, right before the credits roll. I won't say what it is though ;) The combat is pretty engaging, though the weapons are a little lack lustre. As soon as I got the Ripper, that's all I used until I got the Force Gun & then it was easy street. It was really at the Ripper once you realise that anything & everything will die from either being shot in the head with the saw-blade or hacked to pieces with the chainsaw like function. I didn't even use the other guns until the very last boss when I was forced to use the Pulse Rifle for two kills, then back to the Force Gun. I suppose if I had upgraded the other, inferior, weapons all the way & not touched my two overpowered BFG's, then maybe they would have been some use to me. That brings me to the upgrading system. It's... well I don't want to say broken as you're not really supposed to be upgrading everything to the
max on your first play-through. It got to where I was literally tripping over ammo for my two monster guns so I ended up selling everything else. I never once used an air container (& didn't even upgrade my Rig's air capacity until chapter 10/12 I think) so I sold all those, & I didn't use med kits until I was being thrown Medium kits, so I ended up selling all my small ones & just keeping one or two on me. Then it got to where I would sell the Mediums as I was finding Large ones everywhere. The whole point of this is that to upgrade your Rig, Stasis, Knesis, & various weapons, you need power nodes which are found or bought at the Store for 10k each. I upgraded completely my two guns, my rig, stasis, & knesis. I could have easily upgraded to the max a few more weapons, but I just didn't see the point. I was also being weighed down by my own credits at this point & at the end of the game I got yet another 50k & 10 more power nodes for my next play-through.

Also, I would like to briefly comment on something I absolutely hate in games like this. Mini-games. Shit like sit in this chair & shoot fucking asteroids with this unwieldy mining gun. This was the worst of the worst here. It took me 11 tries to complete this mini-game, unskippable of course, not because it was hard so much as the gun was almost impossible to control. I'd move it a little to the side & it'd fly to the other side of the screen. We just need to do away from these things. They are not fun! I would also like to say that I hate vehicle sections in games too, especially FPS' because I'm playing it to shoot some dudes, not ride around in a god-damn Jeep because the game wants me to get
from point A to point B in record time. I'll walk it! Anyroad, last, but not least, the music in the game left something to be desired. It sounded like someone was trying to scratch old symphony records. I shit you not. The surrealistic classical music that always seemed to be playing was only further driven into by a screwdriver when something was going to happen when it changed from symphonies written by a five year old to people franticlly hitting their string instruments against a wall. & all this happens about 20 seconds before you even run into something. Talk about taking the surprise out of something. Now I'm a fan of a lot of classical music, as well as other music, but this was just... chewing on tinfoil. Despite all these flaws, I do think it was a pretty okay game. I managed 29/48 achievements on my first run through of the game, & I didn't even try for them. I did enjoy the game for the most part. There's very little more fun than dismembering a lot of mutants (especially mutant deformed babies) with a saw-blade. However, I don't feel the urge to play it again. Even if I keep my upgrades, it doesn't make the game more interesting. The characters were dull & I didn't give a shite about them, & the voice acting was pretty emotionless. Lines spoken rather than lines delivered. I might buy the game somewhere down the line if I see it for really cheap, but I just don't want to play it again. I beat it once, it wasn't hard, I don't have a desire to do it again.


  1. I didn't like Dead Space, and still haven't finished it. It was a good try, but ultimately I found its small quirks too annoying.

  2. Replying to my last comment to say that now I quite like Dead Space. Its not a horror game, and if you think of it as one, it will disappoint you. Its a third person shooter, and as such it works quite well.

  3. Wow... extremely long blog but excellent!

  4. Old review & most of it still applies, but I like to play the game more now after time has passed. Thanks for reading it :)