In space, nobody can hear you scream. Okay, so I borrowed that line from a famous sci-fi movie, but it certainly rings true for EA’s latest shooter. Dead Space is a futuristic shooter that blends sci-fi, horror, suspense and, er... limb cutting!
You play Isaac, a crew member aboard the USG Kellion, a spaceship on its way to investigate a distress signal sent out by the USG Ishimura. The very first scene sets the violent path the plot will follow, with most of your crewmates being slaughtered by what appears to be an alien life form. You soon realise that removing limbs is a gory necessity in Dead Space. It’s the only way to kill the murderous minions and is constantly drummed into your head during the game by voice messages and bloody notes scrawled on the spaceship’s walls.
Blood splatter aside, Dead Space is scary enough, thanks to the eerie background music and the feeling of complete isolation. The sparse in-game lighting also adds to the skin-crawling atmosphere as you traverse dark corridors - weaponless to begin with. The navigation and map systems are very cool and everything displays like a touchscreen monitor in 3D.
The upgrades to Isaac’s space suit that come free with the game (the Elite suit and the Red Scorpion suit for pre-orders) would be a godsend if you could actually activate them properly. However, this was the only letdown I encountered, and Isaac is certainly not the type to be thwarted by fashion. Also, be warned that you’ll need some heavy-duty virtual towels to wipe up all the blood you encounter in Dead Space, but stomping on bodies sure is fun and also unlocks plenty of collectible items.
Most missions simply involve getting from point A to point B, but there are other objectives such as fixing a tram to get to your crewmates. Just don’t forget to hack off as many limbs as possible – it’s the only way to survive in Dead Space.