It's Saturday, so that means it's time for another good game for real cheap. Today's game..
Dead Space - Released on October 14, 2008
Dead Space is a third-person shooter survival horror game set on the USG Ishimura, an interstellar mining ship. The player assumes the role of Isaac Clarke, a ship system specialist and engineer, who has been sent to help repair the Ishimura as well as find his girlfriend who was stationed on the ship.
Dead Space is one of the creepiest survival horror shooters out there that doesn't resort to cheap tactics to scare you. This game is creepy in subtle ways but the pay off is a thoroughly scary atmosphere. It accomplishes this through sound. Little noises off in the distance, you're not sure where they're coming from or what's making them. You see glimpses of things, a movement of the shadows or someone or something rushing out of view almost as fast as you see it. Its the moments when nothing is attacking you and you're completely alone that the game is at its scariest.
Not to say that the enemies aren't frightening, but once they're there, attacking you, they can be handled. When they show up, it's less about fear and more about adrenaline, especially when they swarm you. But the game doesn't let you get completely complacent. When you start feeling like the big man on campus because you have the biggest weapons and toughest armor the game makes sure to throw something new to keep you on your toes. In Dead Space you hardly ever find a moment where you aren't looking over your shoulder.
The game world is incredible. The design of the Ishimura is something right out of a sci-fi movie but it feels real and operational. The ship itself becomes more than just the setting and background furniture. It is a character in itself. The creeks of the hull, static from intercoms, and malfunctioning machinery are ever present throughout the game.
The game plays similarly to other games in its genre such as Resident Evil 4 & 5 but the most important difference is that Isaac can walk and shoot at the same time. The game also has an inventory system that can be upgraded to provide more space as you earn money and upgrade your armor and weapons. An interesting feature is the removal of an on screen heads up display. Instead, everything is shown on the character himself. Ammo counters appear on the weapons, holograms open up to show the menu, and health is shown by a colored gauge on Isaac's back.
When it came out Dead Space received high praise from various gaming critics including an 8.7/10 from IGN and a 5/5 from Gamepro. It really does deserve these ratings. It isn't a perfect game as at times the story can become a little redundant (Your primary mission is to fix the ship but every time you complete your current goals something else is discovered to be broken) but overall the game delivers a thoroughly enjoyable experience. If you put off buying this game when it came out, why not give it a try now? A sequel is in the works so you'll have something to look forward to. Dead Space can easily be found for under $18 at most used game stores.
I saw a copy at GameWare in the Mall of Louisiana recently as well as the GameStop in Gonzales.