First off I should state that I’m not generally one to play the survival horror genre, although I have played and thoroughly enjoyed many of them such as System Shock 1&2. I’ve also completed the game twice within short succession in order to write this review.
The general outline is that you are an engineer named Issac (named after Isaac Asimov) who is sent to a mining ship with a small crew to fix their communications systems as the ship went into radio silence and hasn’t responded to any forms of communication. You then become stranded on this ship, and you notice that there are creatures lurking about (called Necromorphs) that want to kill you, and turn you into one of them.
Space zombies! Yes, I know almost every space horror game has these now but considering how much polish EA put into Dead Space, it’s really not an issue. It doesn’t seem like an old idea. And the different forms that you find all over the ship make it a lot more interesting than fighting the same 3 enemy models over and over. A big part of this is the fact that you have to attack the limbs. Use your Plasma Cutter to hack the legs off, so they crawl towards you, then blow their head and arms off with the line cutter. It’s quite fun, and also creepy because you can fire blindly into their chest and cut their legs off, but they’ll still scramble across the floor trying to kill you.
Although I can’t really say I was scared by this game (although the 2nd playthrough was surprisingly more spooky for some reason) but it did have some elements that made it spooky. Take for instance the main religion of the game universe Unitology. There are people in the game that WANT this all to happen, as it’s part of what should happen according to their idea of God’s Divine Plan(TM). This personally filled me with frustration because these people don’t know what they’re doing sentencing these people to their deaths in the name of a fictional character. Sort of like the frustration I have in the real world, where all these wars are started over which religion is more peaceful as they try to bring about the end of the world.
The lack of ammo in the harder difficulties definitely made me walk a little slower, and swear a bit more when I get jumped by three or four baddies as I fire wildly into the mass of limbs. This definitely helped set the mood and made for a better gaming experience overall. So if you want to get the most out of the story, don’t hesitate to bump up to a higher difficulty level on your first playthrough.
Overall I have to say I’m quite impressed with the game. It was more than I expected and although I play’d it twice in a row I didn’t find it difficult to do so at all. I’d advise you to at least give this game a shot, and if your into the survival horror genre you’re going to definately want to play the hell out of this one.