We’ve not really been following Dead Space recently, but when it popped through the solid gold letterbox here at TSA towers this morning we couldn’t resist a quick peek. If you’re not familiar with the game, basically the small spaceship you’re on is set to try to establish communication with a massive 1000 crew mining vessel when it all goes tits-up, Alien-style. Suffice to say that was follows is dark, unfamiliar and incredibly tense, and the over the shoulder viewpoint means that whatever happens is right in front of you.
It’s also a clever, inventive game: there’s no HUD to speak off, and anything useful pops up in various 3D overlays which are meant to be part of your character’s ‘RIG’, a special suit that you can enhance throughout the story. And it’s a rich, evolving story, too – we’ve only just gotten partway through the 2nd chapter (and bagged a couple of Trophies in the process) but there have already been a few plot twists and surprise events. The xenomorphs are nasty, the tension is always high and the lighting creates a superbly claustrophic mood.
Dead Space is a deliberately slow survival horror game that is definitely worthy of your time this weekend, especially in light of the LittleBigPlanet no-show. The graphics are superb, the music and sound effects straight out of Ripley’s nightmare and the controls make perfect sense, with L1 to aim, R1 to fire and the usual twin stick move/look combo making up the bulk, but there’s melee, alternative fire and some intelligent inventory, objective and map screens to make sure you’re never lost.
Naturally we’ll have the full review as soon as possible, but it’s a thumbs up so far.