Welcome aboard, Isaac Clarke. Occupation - engineer. D.O.B. - check wikipedia. You are now a part of repair/salvage crew possibly, not intact
of a planet cracker grade spacecarft called 石村
, because in space no one will know japanese, i guess.
Once you embark on the main quest it's hard not to be overly geeky about this game. The story premise is a perfect segue to a tangible, living-screaming sci-fi world tuned to stylistic perfection. Inspired by thriller type of terror of Resident Evil games, mystique-infused space horror from the likes of Event Horizon and Alien, Dead Space takes notes to create a blend of Lovecraftian fear of the unknown with Saw's unnerving brutality.
I like about that the most is how from the get-go world-building goes hand in hand with the core gameplay. You are moored to Ishimura literally as a working class hero, with nothing but a bad feeling about this right after a harsh landing and too soothing welcome announcement. What appeared to be a lead-pipe cinch for an engineer will soon unravel a more scary repair task than a broken Wi-Fi, soaking you into a compelling plot with twist upon twist.
So, when you pop the cork in the prologue you will watch Isaac trapped in a place where roses are blackened as ink and only the dead can hear you run. The key fact about the ship is it's mining purpose, which led to it digging an otherworldly discovery at the center of it all. That thing
is a perfect example of "in ideas the unimaginable, in words the unspeakable". After the events went haywire it succumbed everyone to madness. You will constantly see sole survivors scratching themselves like meth addicts until they bleed out. Aside from your 2 distanced shuttle members serving as briefing machines Isaac is indeed lost in this gradually suffocating isolation... when you are not facing the necromorphs...
The brilliance of Dead Space gameplay is evident by bringing utility tool to a mutant fight. These truly imposing creatures are ought to tear off your skin, make a coat out of it and use the spine as a tube for a pus-blood cocktail in Isaac's body. Nasty and gory-disgusting, they are rapidly rushing with cannibalistic urge. And you are forced to, in fact, just incapacitate them by cutting of the limbs with space-engineering stuff like a precise plasma cutter, more widespread line cutter or, my favorite, a pipeline saw. Meaning that aiming at center mass or a head won’t work, decapitation even aggravates them more, although you can do that just for the sake of the stopping power effect. Whilst you are about to be crumped by necrophilies you also switching vertical-horizontal aiming modes on the almighty cutter tool - handle with care
In the heat of the moment Isaac's tanky, but not sluggish movement makes outmaneuvering them a class act. However, you can stomp the car wreck victims like a savage with your military grade boots or just hit them with an arm's swipe - obviously risky, but seeing procedural dismemberment makes your inner censor happy.
To diversify maim-mutilation process the devs can introduce other not necessarily engineer-related stuff like a pulse rifle, flamethrower or a laser-beam gun. I salute this arsenal for not supplying you with a know-how solution. Each weapon comes with an alternative fire, but also with both purpose and shortcomings. You'd think that a pipeline saw capable of temporarily keeping the blades at a distance is OP, but it can make you vulnerable if you are not preserving the needed range. RIfle's 360° fire mode is useful for crowd control, but depletes ammo in seconds.
Besides the "pew-pew" you can temporarily freeze smth with a stasis module or grab an object on a certain distance with kinesis. The latter allows you to get hidden stashes of loot that might otherwise be unreachable. Optional supply rooms can be ulocked with a power nod. You will also find yourself backtracking while scrounding for resourses used for upgrades. It's a great replayability system.
Overall DS is an easygoing - nervously tangling fun where improvisation can be your lifeblood. It's necro ecosystem makes sure if you utilize all the tools to a great success. The bosses rather bark than bite, but each encounter is a spectacle to behold in vein of God of war's gigantism.
But the 石村
won't fix itself, so cowboy up before the next repair objective revolving around puzzles. The game will push you through mesmerizingly handcrafted decks where everything is thought-out. From med labs with artificially grown babies and nature-sounding orangeries to stark industrial environments where asteroids are decomposed within the power fields. From time to time the level-design opens up to screen saving panoramas in outer space presenting you highly atmospheric zero gravity action with bits of debris floating around. You can even play multistaged space basketball or practice on targets in the security barracks.
For a game using the Godfather engine Dead Space looks impressive, dare i say, timeless if you won't look at the textures under a microscope. It's stellar art direction exemplifies that graphics is nothing by itself, because the design leaves an indelible imprint on it. The enormous technocracy of dieselpunk setting. The all-industrial practically of Issac's suits. Rotted versions of necromorphs with glowing eyes and dark rancid flesh covered in cysts. Not only does Dead Space cleverly uses the interplay between lighting and fog, but refuses to leave you confounded with it's diegetic HUD. The dynamic waypoint trail saves yourself a headache, especially when all falls apart. Dead Head Fred game was the first to put on a back a life indicator, but DS has improved it with various states of health.
Given that this was originally intended to be a System Shock 2's sequel, the horror is not so subtle. You walk through foreboding hallways where everything is orchestered within the game's linear structure. It's cool that necromorphs can hoap out of vents, but i expected it to be random with such amount of spawn points. Some are posing as corpses punishing you for unattentivness. But the game can do better. There are unexpected jumpscares in previously safe areas. Every train ride is a paranoic nightmare due to smoke hiding the enemies. As you uncover the story closer you will usher into horors of your own imagination. The thing
has tampered with the crew's minds so badly that you can stumble upon cryptic messages showcasing unique language, which looks like a mix between ancient greek and hebrew - you can decipher it.
The neatest part about DS horror is it's skin-deep sound design, which gels well with everything in the game. With my Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO
plugged into DAC this was an aural bliss. When the game is not trying to scare your eyes it can do it with noise. Almost everywhere smth around you is happening on the background making prediction of forthcoming events a wild guess. The sound of falling pipes increases paranoia, necromorphe warns in the distance with his indigestion, Isaac reacts to high-stress fights with a heavy breathing in his helmet. Secluded rooms tells your tales of despair with whispers in your ears, making you reach out for schizo pills. Jason Graves has composed pretty traditional score, but the one which yanks you out of the comfort. Eerie-grimmy cosmic ambient is f@ckn glorious.
Dead Space is not the most scariest or complex game around, but with so many innovative ideas being interwoven it presents a memorable horror where the real monster is a human church.
D!XI Make Us Whole