The Horror Asylum

Sign Up   Forgot password? 

11335 awesome articles | 6863 horror movies | 1416 horror reviews | 202 interesting interviews Established in 2001  
The Horror Asylum
  Latest News   Reviews   Giveaways   Interviews
Movies | TV | DVDs | Books | Games Movies | DVD | Books Just Added | Ending Soon Just Added | Archives
Home | Enquiries/Submissions | Advertise | Feeds | Cookies | About | Dark Lounge

Latest Horror Headlines
Playing Alone this Halloween: The Top 5 Scariest Games 'The Babadook' Arrives in Theatres Today! 'V/H/S Viral' Death Infographic and New Red Band Clip Released Top Ten Tips for Surviving Thorpe Park Fright Nights
The Official Teaser Trailer for 'Insidious Chapter 3' Revealed Be Careful What You Wish For: When Djinn's Go Bad A Stack of New 'Insidious Chapter 3' Behind the Scenes Images The Dark Side of Mirrors: 'Oculus' on Blu-ray and DVD Now!

All Cheerleaders Die DVD Giveaway
All Cheerleaders Die DVD Giveaway
The Anomaly Blu-ray Giveaway
The Anomaly Blu-ray Giveaway
Win Natural Born Killers on Blu-Ray!
Win Natural Born Killers on Blu-Ray!
Saw 10th Anniversary Giveaway
Saw 10th Anniversary Giveaway
Zombie Hood DVD Giveaway
Zombie Hood DVD Giveaway
Kidnapped DVD Giveaway
Kidnapped DVD Giveaway




Dead Space
Publisher: Electronic Arts

Dead Space (2008)

Details Playstation 3

Video Games

Synopsis: Gamers step into a third-person sci-fi survival horror experience that promises to deliver the ultimate in psychological thrills and gruesome action. Set in the cold blackness of deep space, the atmosphere is soaked with a feeling of tension, dread and sheer terror. In Dead Space, players step into the role of engineer Isaac Clarke – an ordinary man on a seemingly routine mission to fix the communications systems aboard a deep space mining ship. It is not long before Isaac awakes to a living nightmare when he learns that the ship's crew has been ravaged by a vicious alien infestation. He must fight through the dead silence and darkness of deep space to stay alive.



   Games  Game Review
 

Reviewer: Steve Conway @horrorasylum
Location:Luton, UK
Review Date: 02 January 2009 Rating: out of 5

Dead Space is a triumph in game design, and surprisingly most of the decisions that pay off emerge from one simple mantra – do not indulge the player in the safety of the non-diegetic world.

Far too many horror games allow the gamer to hide in the hallowed ground of the item menu, map screen, upgrade list, safe from the intentions of whatever lurks nearby. Logically it makes absolutely no sense, the idea that you are one moment being viciously attacked by whatever Cthulian horror stalks the corridors, suddenly *click* and you’re safely browsing a shopping list whilst the monster impatiently stands by scratching his rapidly-mortifying chin.

EA Redwood Shores took the simple yet astonishingly overlooked decision to question this routine implementation. Now, if you want to look at the map screen, your suit (known as a RIG) projects the display directly in front of the avatar in-game; you want to buy an item, then you access the store, folding out of its compartment and listing its stock with your character still in view.

Dead Space provides little sanctuary for the nerve-filled gamer, the save screen and essential pause menu being the only non-diegetic features to sully the tension created by the unremittingly diegetic experience. If you want to locate your next objective on the map, you will find yourself praying that you left no creatures nearby, if upgrading a weapon, you’re hoping there is no Slasher (the most common type of Necromorph) creeping towards your position. The first time you are attacked whilst in a menu (and it will happen), your immediate reaction is anger (“HEY I’M IN A MENU!”), followed by panic (“OH CHRIST DIE DIE DIE PLEASE DIE!”), followed by (hopefully) an acknowledging smirk.

A similar chain reaction will occur upon first taking control of Isaac Clarke, the game’s protagonist (named it would seem for Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke). The third-person perspective positions itself too closely; uncomfortably over the shoulder of Isaac, creating a claustrophobic, apprehensive mood. This is of course entirely intentional and without it much of the game’s tension would be lost, the old trick of positioning the camera to see what’s round the corner without *actually* going around the corner is finally extinct.

Now, Dead Space is labelled ‘survival horror’, but this tag can be something of a misnomer depending upon the difficulty level selected. To use a simple film analogy, Dead Space on ‘Hard’ is Ridley Scott’s Alien; tense, thrilling, terrifying. It is first and foremost survival horror.

Dead Space on normal or easy, on the other hand, is James Cameron’s Aliens; big guns and big action with a general horror theme. Now both selections have their advantages and disadvantages, it simply depends upon which you prefer. If you want a stressful, nervous experience reminiscent of Resident Evil before the series became one long action film, choose Hard. If you want to be John McClane in space, screaming “Yippeeee kiiii-yaaay!” as you thunder rounds of plasma into the nearest abomination whilst smoking a cigar, select Easy or Normal.

Another of Dead Space’s crowning achievements in the sound design. Whether discussing the atmospheric, subtle musical score, the tortured howl of the Necromorphs, or the unsettling din of the Ishimura’s metallic interior, Dead Space’s auditory environment is an insistent, immersive and provocative soundscape. Tiered with the set design, a perturbed mash of technology and biology, Dead Space is likely to leave you an exhausted, gibbering mess after prolonged exposure.

Equally contributory to your jellified state will be the cadre of ghouls and goblins persisting through the game’s environment. The aforementioned Necromorphs take obvious influence from John Carpenter’s The Thing; this is a compliment. The visceral, destroyed nature of the Necromorphs’ bodies is unsettling and horrifying in equal measure, especially the “Pregnant” variant, labelled as such for an obvious, disturbing reason.

The manner in which you dispose of these creatures is a novel and satisfying innovation - dismemberment. At first slightly unnerving to perform under intense pressure, you will soon be taking pleasure in hacking off limbs left and right or finishing someone off with a swift kick to the face; in all the combat system, supported by a wealth of varying weaponry, is immensely satisfying. The plot is, in terms of development and characters, prone to cliché and genre convention (giving a large tip of the hat to Stanislaw Lem’s Solaris), but reviews should be about criticism not synopsis, so I’ll leave the plot for the gamer to discover; suffice to say it is solid if unremarkable.

To conclude, Dead Space is currently the definitive horror videogame of the current generation, and not simply due to a lack of competition. The amalgamation of gorgeous graphics, thoughtful sound design and innovative game mechanics means this title is one by which all future horror games should be measured.




VOTE ON THIS REVIEW

Rated 2.5/5 stars (124 votes cast) Thanks for your vote!


Data provided for reference purposes only. We are not liable for the misuse or for inaccuracies contained within. See our terms and conditions for more.


Subscribe to this Feed   Subscribe to our other Feeds  




HORROR REVIEWS


See No Evil 2 Movie Review

See No Evil 2




Wrong Turn 6: Last Resort Movie Review

Wrong Turn 6: Last Resort




She (Short) Movie Review

She (Short)




Stomach, The (Short) Movie Review

Stomach, The (Short)




Fright Night 2: New Blood Movie Review

Fright Night 2: New Blood




Let Us Prey Movie Review

Let Us Prey



Funny Nerdy Shirts
Funny Nerdy Shirts

INTERVIEWS


An Interview with Pollyanna McIntosh
An Interview with Pollyanna McIntosh



An Interview with Marta Milans
An Interview with Marta Milans



An Interview with Jemma Dallender
An Interview with Jemma Dallender



An Interview with Eli Roth and the Cast of Hemlock Grove
An Interview with Eli Roth and the Cast of Hemlock Grove



An Interview with Stephen Mera
An Interview with Stephen Mera



An Interview with David Jung
An Interview with David Jung



An Interview with Bobcat Goldthwait
An Interview with Bobcat Goldthwait



An Interview with Jason Blum
An Interview with Jason Blum


Original Horror Shirts

LATEST GIVEAWAYS


All Cheerleaders Die DVD Giveaway
All Cheerleaders Die DVD Giveaway



The Anomaly Blu-ray Giveaway
The Anomaly Blu-ray Giveaway



Win Natural Born Killers on Blu-Ray!
Win Natural Born Killers on Blu-Ray!



Saw 10th Anniversary Giveaway
Saw 10th Anniversary Giveaway



Zombie Hood DVD Giveaway
Zombie Hood DVD Giveaway



Kidnapped DVD Giveaway
Kidnapped DVD Giveaway



True Blood: The Final Season Make-Up Master Class Giveaway
True Blood: The Final Season Make-Up Master Class Giveaway



White Settlers DVD Giveaway
White Settlers DVD Giveaway



Godzilla Blu-ray 3D<sup>TM</sup> Giveaway
Godzilla Blu-ray 3DTM Giveaway



The Exorcist 40th Anniversary Blu-ray Giveaway
The Exorcist 40th Anniversary Blu-ray Giveaway



Twitter
Vampires.com Werewolves.com
Facebook




Funny Shirts