Deadspace: Curb-stomp that mother!

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Originals in a series are often tinted in nostalgia, and therefor normally heralded to be the best, but with Deadspace is this the case?

Probably.

If you’ve not played this game yet, add it to your list of must plays, especially if you’re a horror enthusiast. Even if you’ve tried the newer additions to the IP, go back, try the firstborn. A game that when played without the lights at 2 in the morning will make you brick yourself.

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Isaac: King of thigh power. You find it, we’ll stomp it.

You play as Isaac Clarke, an unlucky engineer who just wants to spend some time with his dear pooky (that’s girlfriend to you) Nicole Brennan.  The USG Kellion is ordered to patch up a dodgey planet-cracker: the USG Ishimura. But when the Kellion crash lands aboard the Ishimura, they’re greeted by a deserted ship. Until the Necromorphs turn up that is. And start bathing in the Kellion’s crew.

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The blood of your enemies makes for a flawless foundation. Apply evenly for best results.

Dead Space is a TPS, over-the shoulder style, survival horror game set aboard the spaceship the USG Ishimura. Traversing this hostile vessel that’s fallen into a creepy state of disrepair, Isaac must overcome  puzzles, survive zero-gravity, and vacuums  all whilst driving off pursuing Necromorphs. Being an engineer, Isaac’s weapons are all repurposed from different mining tools, the plasma cutter being your go-to-starter choice, great for horizontal and vertical dismembering. Which you’ll be doing a lot of. You’ll amass a sizable collection of weapons, from the flamethrower-ish hydrazine torch, to the satisfying rotary saw, and will use a skill known as stasis, a mystical time-slow ability that’ll help out with faulty machines and overly affectionate alien-things.

Fans of the Silent Hill series will probably want less enemies to encounter throughout, as like me, the scarcity of things-that-go-bump makes me incredibly paranoid, make me overthink things and fear encounters more. However, Dead Space has taught me to always double tap. The enemies are in abundance aboard the Ishimura, which is to be expected on a highly staffed spaceship, and they are well hidden or distributed so as to not become overburdening. The amount of combat doesn’t lessen the frightful edge you have whilst wandering around the ship, but you may become accustomed to that seat edging feel. That corpse will probably gnaw your face off if you get too close. And they won’t even buy you dinner first.

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Never have I feared physical intimacy more.

Unlike most shooters, don’t go in for the headshot. It just pisses the Necromorphs off. The only way you’ll do any damage is to remove limbs. And make sure not to just go for the legs, the game devs thought of that one and if you play like I did, you will end up having a nasty surprise.

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 A Leaper. Lovely.

The Necromorphs are the dead members of crew that have been twisted by the Marker, an artefact that broadcasts a signal that alters the dead tissue around it into Necromorph tissue, reanimating the dead into horrific monstrosities. Depending on the circumstances of death, or the tissue that the pathogen has access to, the resulting Necromorph differs, allowing for a range of combatable enemies, each with their own creepy as fuck appearances and behaviours. The leaper being my personal favourite, a body whose spine, legs and intestines have been warped to produce a tail like appendage that it uses to cross the distance between it and you rather too quickly for comfort.

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Interior design goes too far?

Dead Space is a game of intensity, and I’m always sweating like a bitch when I’m looking up something on my holo-display. Unlike conventional heads-up menus, Isaac gleans all the info you need from rigs on his space suit. Unfortunately for the both of you, this game plays at real time, so you can be caught unawares whilst trying to look up some mission objectives, which really adds to the urgency of the game. The important gauges like health and ammo are constantly displayed; The health and stasis meters stuck glowing on Isaac’s back and ammo counts displayed on weapons themselves.  Why go jogging when you can get a lifetime’s worth of adrenaline by playing as a lonely and hunted engineer in a creepy-ass spaceship when the lights go out?

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Handy Glowing Health bars now come in: Spine

Not as littered with Quick-time events as its newer family relations, and a good thing too.
Quick time events get on my tits. Who decided that these irritating little pop ups added to the immersion factor of a game. They really do not get pulled off well, and the only time I’ve really not given two fracks about them is in highly unrealistic games like Bayonetta where immersion doesn’t really play a key factor. Please stop the overuse of quick times. It’s abusive and off putting, which is why, after the teaser trailer, I will not be playing Ryse: Sons of Rome, but rather be replaying Dead Space. A game with an immersion factor, and one that’ll have you pressing pause to wheeze out your adrenaline time and time again.

If you like Silent Hill and are searching for another stop-gap, give it a go. If you’re a fan of jumpy shooty action, give it a go. If you live alone and have nothing better to do than make yourself terrified of sleeping en solo, give it a go. If you’re a stickler for horror, or just love sexy bloodied up aliens, it’s well worth a play.
Play at night with the lights off.

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