Monday, March 9, 2009

Retroblog: Dead Space (Xbox360)

Originally posted: Nov 9, '08

Dead Space. The new Bioshock. This game is my vote for the outstanding and unique game this year similar to what Bioshock brought to the gaming community last year. If you think this game's idea is a bit overrated, you know the space environment and aliens theme, well you're simply wrong. This game is unique in all sense of the word, first thing in this game you're not some soldier commando space crusader hybrid, no, here you're just a space miner sent into space to fix something, at such you don't have the image of a warrior. Next because you're somewhat of a miner then your weapons are their tools, from the cutter to the chainsaw and the flamethrower, etc. which is really unique for this genre. Another thing if you're comfortable with regular first person shooters where you target the head for huge damage, here that will change because in this game it is more important to cut of the limbs of the enemy to deal significant damage than just blowing their heads up, so it is definitely a change in strategies. Last thing this game is also in the survival horror sub-genre of games and it does a good job in doing so, as there's never a moment in the game where you can say you're safe at your comfort zones because many times it will surprise you with different kinds of attacks.

When it comes to the story it also doesn't come cheap. Just like Bioshock, it brings a deep and complex plot where you don't have a clue who's friend or foe in your little group of companions, which is really a good thing as at least you'll be using your brain understanding the story and not just spend them doing wild killing sprees. One other thing, a good addition to this genre is dynamic interactive menus, which simpy means that while tinkering with items and weapons your enemies are still on their way wanting to slice your head off, which adds greatly to the thrill. And the HUDs in this game too is simply amazing, as they did use the character's back and a little space on the weapons' top while in aiming mode to display it and not just floating on the screen like most games are. One word of advice if you really want to get deep in the story, there is an animation film released entitled Dead Space Downfall that's available now in DVD and Blu-Ray that you can watch to understand what happened before the story starts in the game.

The gameplay length is pretty average as you'll probably spend about 8-12 hours to finish the game depending if you know where you're going to and not just wondering around (which I've probably done as the environment is really stunning). But this game still has replay value as once you finished the game, there will unlock an impossible game mode which is probably the hardest mode in the game, and not just that you can also continue in New Game+ mode where you'll retain all your weapons, items and upgrades from the previous playthrough where I think this mode's purpose is for you to complete whatever you missed in the first run. All in all a really good game that is a definite must play; the sounds, visuals, story and gameplay (specially boss fights) are all excellent. I really can't write the words to tell you how good this game is, but think about this, I put down Fallout 3 for a day just to finish this game, it really is that good. Anyway, Dead Space is also avaible on the Playstation 3 and the PC.

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