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DEAD SPACE

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November 1, 2008 3:22:00 AM

Hey folks,

So what's the real people's thoughts on this game? Every review seems to give it good remarks, but I never trust reviews because frankly, they can't review a game in a few minutes and write a lengthy review on it that actually gives you insight as to whether or not something delivers. How do you review a 60 hour game for example (not that this is a 60 hour game, mind)? You don't, unless you play it extensively. Not just boot it up and go. Regardless, I'm ranting now. Back to Dead Space. So who has it and is trying it? A lot of titles came out recently... Fallout3, Farcry2, etc. I picked it up on a whim and by George I cannot believe I actually really like this game! Normally I don't gush. But damn, it's actually fun and compelling to play.

Reviews and various things I've read mention it's controls suck. I'm not sure why. I think it's because they maybe never played what is basically a console type game on a PC platform with a keyboard and mouse? I don't own a console beyond the Dreamcast, and I'm not having a difficult time with controls. I remapped them to my liking, and it's smooth sailing. The other big `flaw' that I read about is the over-the-shoulder 3rd person view and that you can't center it nor go into true first person. I can see what they're saying. Yes, at first, it feels odd. But really, I started to like it. It's different. Not a lot of PC games try different things. Usually every game that is like this is first person and always feels exactly the same. This game feels different because you can see yourself. You have a cursor, it's not hard to target things. I think it's just a whine left over from someone who literally just stopped playing Farcry2 (disgusted, no less) and were too used to being in first person mode. All I will say is, I don't have a problem, so try it for yourself!

Graphics: They're not the best in the world, but you know, they're still damned good. Very moody. Lots of nice effects. Neat models and good animation for the most part (some oddities with female hair... but oh well). A real treat is that bodies stay. And you can mess with them and move them and they're damageable (real). Very cool. And let me just say... any game where you can punch and swing at stuff is fine... but when you can stomp on things with your metallic magnetic boots on a metal hull in a dark damp ship? Holy freaking crap. It sounds and looks like PAIN and you just can't stop wanting to stomp something out. It's freaking great.

Sound: This game was made for the audiophile-esque gamer. If you have a good surround sound capable card and a good 5.1 or 7.1 speaker setup, you're going to be tickled & excited. It has in-game audio settings (unlike most new games! Gah!) so you can tell it to use surround sound 5.1, and you can even test the audio setting in-game to make sure it works! This is so different from basically all games out there, even old games, being able to in-game test discrete surround sound channels. And after testing it and being able to toy with it to be perfect, in game, it's freaking nuts. The channels are great, audio plays where it should and it moves as it should. No crappy wrapping sound with software and things sound all over the place. It really sounds like you are stomping around in a dark damp space ship. You can hear things all over the place, not just "there" in front of you some where. It's freaking great. So all you nutters that want a game with kick butt audio to make your sweet sound rig squeel, this is your new baby.

Is the game perfect? No. I have a few things I'm not so excited for. The story for one, is kind of weak. But, then again, it's a survival horror game. Does it need to be as engrossing and twisting as Baldur's Gate II? Easy on the mind, easy on the bladder--the motto of all things Zombie. Dialog sometimes gets cut off when another dialog interrupts and it doesn't sound natural. Very few games actually do this right, in fact, none that I've played yet. When people interrupt each other, the sound overlaps for a second before they stop talking and notice they're interrupted. Not really a flaw, more of a "all games" flaw right now that gets to me. Female hair moves around as they shift position, it's not that great and sometimes looks weird and unnatural. The game is pretty easy to walk through, no complicated tasks or hard to find nit picky things; that's fine, but I do sometimes wish things were more complicated to make you feel more paniced when in a rush. Guns are not loud enough (to me, I want them to be frigg'n too loud, you're in a confined space! They should be deafening!). The `things' you encounter will remind you of a weird hybrid of Doom 3 and BioShock. They're interesting, but sometimes, you're like "enough already" and just want something simple and ugly to bash (or STOMP OUT, yea!).

I'm not sure what the rest of the game has in store for me. I'm hoping it's as impressive straight through it.

Short summary: It makes me feel like I'm playing in Event Horizon. Yea. Woah.

Very best, :na: 

More about : dead space

November 1, 2008 5:43:31 AM

The guys at gamespot take a few days of testing btw, at least for the big titles.
November 1, 2008 4:00:34 PM

I bought this game, played it for 10 mins! Turned it cuz my blood pressure is to high:p !! I needs a breeze! I think i wont touch it for the next 2 days lol!
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November 2, 2008 1:10:43 AM

I bought it the day it was released for PC. I had read all of the graphic novels prior to purchasing the game. If you haven't, I would suggest doing so.

As for the game.. It has to be one of the most immersive "survival horror" games out.. Seriously. In my opinion its one of the greatest since the original Resident Evil.. Some people didn't find RE scary at all, but I did. I was always yelling, "They are moving so slow! And I can't kill them!". Oh and you can't forget the Resident Evil, "What the hell is up with my camera angle?!". Dead Space also rates as high as System Shock 2 in my books..

Dead Space has none of the camera problems, even though the over the shoulder thing through me off at first. I eventually got use to it, and I have to say it really adds to the clasterphobic feeling the game already brings to the table . From what I've watched in reviews, they have pretty much stated everything correctly. I own the game and I'm probably around 10 hours or more into it now. If you have the extra cash, I would get it. You will not regret it.. Unless you soil your pants..
November 5, 2008 1:32:44 PM

Heya,

So I just finished the game last night. The next day, looking back, my opinion on the game is that it was one of the best games I've played in a long time.

First, some things to address because I see them come up in a lot of reviews and commentary on reviews (and I swear people just repeat what they read without even playing the game, to others, which is completely stupid).

1. Controls:

A lot of reviews and comments are out there about the controls not being great and being a hindrance. Complete fallacy. It's exactly the same as FarCry2. Exactly. Here's the kicker. Everyone who complains about how this game is controlled never went into their control properties and increased sensitivity of the mouse. There are never odd camera angles, they did very well to make sure it doesn't go whacky on you. And the controls are very tight and specific; in fact, after you adjust sensitivity, I dare say that the game becomes much easier once you realize you don't have to play with DEFAULT settings on controls. There's plenty of save points too so you don't have to replay huge portions of the game if you get yourself killed.

2. Story, Plot, Style of Game:

The story is not ground breaking (planet cracking? Nice pun!). But it's still a good story. You don't know what's going on, you just have your own ideas of it. There are twists. Characters are not always who you think they are. Overall, the game is very science fiction based. Just playing it, you know you're experiencing influences from Issac Assimov, Arthur Clarke and Star Wars. Yes, Star Wars. The game gives you a lot of different things to try out in terms of how you play. It starts slow but intense and gets into a frenzy towards the end, until it's non-stop, literally, battling. A lot of reviews gave it a con for you covering ground you've already been to: lies. You do not. You use the TRAM system for every new chapter as a point of origin, but where you go is always a new place on the ship. It's only at the VERY END that you ever see the same room in a NEW mission, and it's for two seconds as you pass through it to go back where your ship is/was landed. You DO backtrack in this game. But it's fine, because as you backtrack, there's new experiences waiting for you--it's not all fine like you left it just 5 minutes ago. You're on a cramped mining ship! You're not supposed to go from one end to the other. You go all over this ship and you come back to get things and then go other places all the time. You basically have to fix everything on this ship (you're an engineer if you didn't know) because you're fighting against people (not just the necromorphs and undead) who are helping this all happen (they lock doors, shut down systems, listen to your communications and try to sabotage you and your team).

The story is revealed to you slowly through out the game via audio logs and text logs. It works very well and gives you something to sink your teeth into every few minutes as you play to enhance what's going on. (Note: When you beat the game the first time, MORE backlogs are unlocked for the next time you play through--found this out by beating the game, along with new suits and `impossible mode').

The scares don't get old by the way. Even when you know it's coming, it still will give your heart a skip. I will say though that if you play the game with LOW audio volume and in a fully lit room, the game is completely different, not scary and you just don't experience anything--I tried this, because I'm sure a lot of `reviews' were done this way (or in low volume headphones). It detracts from the game SO MUCH. It literally changed the game from "ho hum, what's going on" when you do it at low volume and lit room, to ".......... F#*((!!!!!!" in the dark with the volume cranked up high. How? The audio MAKES the game. Just like older scary movies, audio can build your anticipation and emotion without you seeing anything at all. And they play with you that way, even when nothing ends up happening. But generally, something is always happening. Does it scare you every time? No. Sometimes, it's just a good poke at you to get you ready for some battles. Then it calms down. Then they poke at you again with a good scare. To the very, very end before the credits roll, they will take a poke at you to get your heart to jump a beat. And they did a pretty good job due to really, really good cinematic quality audio and lighting/visual combination. The audio is meant to be LOUD in this game. Everything is loud, screams, background noise, music, weapons, etc. It's all very high volume, so if you turn it down, you're cutting out the game's effect, seriously, so play this game with high volume and turn out the lights.

3. Gear:

I've read reviews that claim that the weapons are not varied enough and that you could play the game with the beginning cutter to the end. They didn't play this game. Seriously. The weapons are very different in how they actually work in the game. The plasma cutter, that you get first, is very handy for taking on enemies. It has cheap ammo, it's easy to use, and when upgraded, it does do significant damage--but not enough damage, and not fast enough, for multiple baddy encounters and some of the tougher monsters that do not die easy even when having their limbs blown off. If you beat the game with the plasma cutter alone, my hat is off to you. There are two other cutter class weapons that you get, each very different. The next one is a huge cutter that sends out a massive horizontal blast. I found this weapon to be pretty useless and quickly found myself using the other weapons instead. It does great for chopping up LOTS of baddies though, ie, if you see a few running at you, kiss all their legs goodbye in one shot--it's good for that. Otherwise, it just doesn't do enough damage and it doesn't hold a lot of ammo so reloading can be the difference between life and death. The other weapons are all very useful and different. The saw that you get lets you move the cursor to control where the saw buzzes; works great on limbs. The line cutter outputs the absolute most damage (you'll find most weapons do 9~25 damage, AFTER UPGRADED, but the line cutter does 175 damage upgraded, yea!). This thing is so powerful that you have to charge it, but once you do, whatever you shoot is toast. You will encounter enemies that are "on the wall" and are very tough to kill that make more enemies. The line cutter is great for blowing them away fast by simply doing brutal high damage. The Force Gun does low damage, but it does it at short range to everything in front of you, knocking them back and down. It's very handy for encounters with multiple enemies. And it's simply the best when it comes to the hordes of small enemies you will encounter that will jump you; at closest range, it'll knock of all limbs and send them packing). The pulse rifle does a big chunk of damage and has the highest ammo. Great for the puzzle battles where you need lots of shots quickly and at longer ranges; it's secondary fire mode is amazing and makes multiple bad guy fights much easier even though it takes all the ammo nearly to do it, but man, it's worth it. The Flame Thrower is very handy, and when you upgrade it, it does some good damage. Flame eats off limbs and stuns enemies so that you can blanket several at a time without them just bum rushing you and setting you on fire. It has limited range, but in the fire, things die. Really cool gun.

Playing with the weapons, you really do need a few of them to get through all the parts of the game. Playing through with just one weapon, upgraded, is not going to cut it unless you use something like the plasma/pulse rifle. Even then, you get that mid-game, so it won't be upgraded as much. I found myself using the force gun and flame thrower way more often than anything else. These mass-effect weapons combined with your stasis ability make for big battles turned easy. Plus, they're just COOL weapons.

Note, you are an engineer. You're the only one with a full on suit because you're meant to fix things outside in space. That's why you're so well armored and everyone else is just running around in cloth. You don't have pistols and guns and stuff, you're not a soldier and this isn't a war game. You're an engineer so you have tools. Tools that are deadly when turned on things. These tools were meant to cut rock, metal and other things. You're improvising. It gives a nice feel to the character and game.

A huge thing that the reviews that I read didn't mention, but this really does make a big difference: through out the game, the ammo spawns and drops correspond to the weapons you are carrying. Ie, you will not find useless ammo for guns you're not using. I rarely ran out of ammo for a weapon and never ran out for two weapons because you find lots of supply for what you actually use, instead of it being split up randomly for things you're not even carrying. I liked this because I didn't have to waste inventory space or horde things in storage at the store for later. After you get this, you can literally just go nuts with your weapons without fear of never finding more ammo for that `one gun' you like. I did it with the flame thrower mostly (upgraded to hell) and found flame fuel all through the game non-stop. So this is a perk in my opinion, you're not weighted down with the `hording' of stuff for later aspect of some games. If you find it, use it, there's more coming!

____________________________________________________________

Anyhow, I hope that helps answer some questions some people may have about the game that they've read in reviews. I will say that almost every review I've read out there on this game screams to me that the person who wrote it never played the game at all nor changed anything to suit them in the game. And frankly, a lot of people who talk about this game seem to have never played it either and are just mimicking what they read.

It was a very satisfying game. The climax to the story and battles were pretty good. I will say that the later portion of the game is significantly easier than prior simply because you've had so many upgrades and ammo options available to you by then, and most of the fights are puzzle fights rather than brute force (ie, you can waste ammo all you want and never accomplish anything; there's specific things you have to destroy or do, and then do something else to bank on it--because there's monsters you simply cannot kill, they don't die, and they keep coming back to life and haunt you the whole game, there's very specific ways that are puzzle built that you must take them out with).

When I beat the game, it unlocked new suits, more audio backlogs and unlocked `impossible mode'. So after I play Fallout3, I'm going to play through this again in Impossible mode and get the new suits and check out the other story stuff they reserved for those who play the game twice. I have not played a single player based game in a long time, if not ever, for the PC, that had things to offer you that were new/unlocked after you beat the game. This is an old console method that is really great. For this game, it works fine too. The game is not incredibly long, but it's not too short either. I feel it was just right, for the kind of game it is. If it were longer, the survival aspect would be out the window. So replayability? Yes. It has it. And a lot of single player games for the PC that have come out over the years simply utterly LACK that. That's not ground breaking (pun again!), but it's a hell of a lot better than NOTHING which is what most single player games in the PC market offer for when you "win."

-- So, one may ask, what did I not like about this game? A few things. I felt the necromorphs were too common, Ie, I saw a lot of the same ones through the game. And the story has you know that these were people, people are different, so I expected to see variations based on who was infected and transformed. I could almost count on my fingers how many different types of baddies I encountered. I felt the game was not nearly as challenging after I got into it and frankly, the final battle was so easy I didn't even get hurt nor have to heal a single time (it was a puzzle battle and once you figure out the method/timing, it's cake). I had more trouble in the middle of the game during battles that involved lots of baddies all at once simply because you have to change up attacks and ammo due to running out of nearly everything to drop them all. Lastly, the physics and effects are great, but `parts' and objects on the ground when you kick them or shoot them or whatever simply move too fast and too far, as if they're weightless, that's the one flaw that made things a little `what the hey?' while playing, when booting over piles of bodies (or watching an NPC walk through a pile of bodies casually and they go flying as they get kicked aside--dunno `bout yall, but a skinny woman doesn't have the power to kick over 4 or 5 200lb zombies piled up in a door way, lol). I chalk it up to comic relief moments to put a little smile over your stress from time to time.

Great.
Freaking.
Game.

This game has the best audio I've ever experienced in a game. So if you're an audiophile head gamer, this is your game. It makes the game. It's my dream and hope that other games take note of this game's audio and try to do even half as well. I'm sick and tired of games that have poor audio and poor positioning. This game is currently the mecca of gaming audio experience.

Cheers, :) 
November 5, 2008 2:43:03 PM

Here's the Tom's Games review for further reading as well as the review's forum thread.

@malveaux,you are spot on in your assessment of the game's audio. It's exemplary and it sets a new standard not just for survival horror but for all games. I'll never listen to "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" the same way again, that's for sure...

BTW, has anyone seen the animated movie "Dead Space: Downfall"? I was kinda disappointed, frankly.
November 5, 2008 7:48:50 PM

I wa hoping when it came to the voices and singing, it would progress more to where you would see halucinations start to manifest from all the voices and stuff you heard.
November 5, 2008 8:00:14 PM

I'm only on level 7 and I totally agree with Malveaux's review. Been playing it for an hour or two a night with the lights off and my headphones waaaay up, it's been a fantastic experience!
November 5, 2008 9:47:39 PM

So, I'm not that far into it yet (playing on PC), but:

Pros:

Very pretty; feels like you're watching a movie.

Great atmosphere.

Good sound.

Fun weapons; just try the line gun or the alt fire on the pulse-rifle.

Lack of HUD is very cool.

The enemies (pretty frickin' cool.)

Strategically dismembering enemies.

On Soviet Ishimura, necromorph strategically dismembers you!

Stasis. We're not sure what it is or why some engineer has the ability to control time, but it's really useful and the developers give you enough recharge points to use it fairly liberally.



Cons:
The enemies (not that many kinds, so gets a little boring at times. Sometimes enemies seem to glitch and be incredibly slow, e.g. most of this one type will walk towards you, see you, and charge, but about every 30th one will just veerryyy slowly walk towards you, making it a yawn to blow off something)

Feels veerrryyy scripted (think Doom 3; I walk through the door, when I am precisely five feet away from something, an enemy appears, if I reload, it will appear in the same place at the same time.) As far as I can tell it's 100% scripted/linear, so I'm not sure how much replayability there is.

There is no other way to say this-in my opinion, the controls suck ASS. Yes, I've tweaked with the settings. The game seems to not work well with a high DPI mouse. I'm a decent gamer (lots of FPS), but Dead Space scares me silly. Not because the game is scary, but because I know that if I get in an ugly situation, there is no way I'm going to be able to get out of it due to my inability to aim. I'm sure on a console it would feel much more normal, but the third person aiming on the PC feels absolutely terrible. Your character is also incredibly sluggish, but that is just me wishing for the ability to crouch, jump, and "Maximum Speed." After you play it for a while, you won't find it as annoying, but be prepared to spend the first three hours really pissed off at the controls if you're on a PC. Granted, I haven't played many third person shooters on the PC, so these things would be no problem to someone who had played more of them. Third-person is just never going to be as easy to control as a FPS, and I just would have much preferred the game to be in the first-person. I will say, however, that the game handles the third person well. There are no camera bugs that I've seen so far and the games doesn't much allow you to cheat and look around corners and such. Also, the requirement that you have your gun raised to fire is somewhat annoying. To aim your gun, you either can toggle with capslock or hold down right mouse. Obviously, holding down right mouse gets very tiring after couple hours, but I find myself avoiding using capslock because (and someone correct me if I'm wrong) there is no way to quickly melee attack with capslock on. As far as I can tell, you have to hit caplock to lower your gun and then press left mouse to melee. And you will use melee. it is insanely OP. I also would have liked to have been able to aim the melee attack up or down; it only swings at chest level, which will go over the heads of a good number of necromorphs. This necessity to draw your gun also means that if you run into a necromorph at close range, you'll probably feel as if you don't have time to draw your weapon and just melee it instead. If you do hit it with melee, you'll probably stun it long enough to raise your weapon and fire, but it will be very tight and fell cumbersome. The stomp isn't as hard to aim as a lot of reviews have said. Just remember it's very short range and things on the ground will often back up out stomp range if they get close.

The vents. For a good portion of the game, 90% of the necromorphs that attack you are going to burst out a a ventilation fan. There is only on model for this fan, and it is sprinkled quite liberally around levels. I know they're using the vents to move around, but it gets pretty lame and tedious about the 50th time it happens.

Checkpoint Saves (or more accurately save stations). More a personal gripe than anything wrong with the game, I just personally like being able to save whenever I want, especially in survival-horror. The save points are decently numerous however.



I think that's pretty much it... As I said, I have not yet completed the game; these are just my first impression after 10ish hours of play (I play fairly slowly, especially in survival horror). All-in-all, I'd recommend you rent it if possible. It's definitely an amazing game and well worth playing once, but I really don't see any replay value in it (it being so scripted) unless you want to be masochistic and grind your way through on impossible. The game also has major control frustrations on PC which would not make me want to play through it more than once, especially on a high level of difficulty.
November 13, 2008 1:19:44 PM

I finished the game........Its a great survival game indeed.....I liked it
!