I only heard about Dead Space about a week before the release, but I wanted to play it anyway. Most of the games that I want, Fallout 3, Fable 2, I have known about for years, but something about Dead Space struck me right away. My impression was it was going to have a Universe connected with it. An Atmosphere. Most of the games that I like are just simple a matter of
Step One: Move cursor over antagonist
Step Two: Pull Trigger
Story happens in the background, but if the story wasn’t there, I’d probably still have a pretty good time.
With Dead Space, I was looking for the above, but I was also hoping for a freaky feeling like that of other spacecraft gone wrong by alien/phenomenon movies. In terms of tension in the game, I was hoping for the feeling I had from the first few levels of Condemned. In Condemned, they gave you six bullets and a pipe. Every encounter was hard fought and you really needed to get up close and personal with your attackers, who would skitter in the shadows or offscreen. It set a good mood.
That’s what I wanted.
Dead Space was pretty good with their scary creature design, but all in all, your character is too powerful. The lumbering aliens would run towards you, and then stop, wave their appendages for you to shoot, and then dive at you while you strolled out of the way. Even when they jumped out at me, their harmlessness made it a simple matter of taking a few steps and blasting them apart. It would make things more tense if you only had extremely limited amounts of ammo, but the stuff drops like peeps on Easter. Each dead bad guy gives you more ammo (or some other party favor) and it’s in all the boxes around the ship. Worst comes to worst, you can just buy ammo at the store. I’m about halfway through the game I think (chapter 6 out of 12) but even if they changed the amount of ammo and aliens, the damage has already been done. Sure, there are dark hallways or rooms, but the aliens make such a racket that you can hear them coming up on you. The scary music sometimes is cued a little bit too early, so the music starts and you turn around, and see one of the baddies lumbering towards you from across the room. Perfect distance to take aim and blast away. I sum about the scariness level, I think it is a problem when you see an enemy and think “Oh cool, more ammo.”
All in all, not a bad game, but my initial reason for purchasing the game didn’t pan out. I think it’s still worthwhile though because it’s very reminiscent of Bioshock. There is more variety (in Bioshock, you travel from area to area killing similarly sized crazy people, and Dead Space, you travel from area to area to kill different sized aliens)