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Dead Space
DeadSpace
Developer(s) EA Redwood Shores
Publisher(s) Electronic Arts
Designer(s) Glen Schofield
(executive producer/creator)
Bret Robbins
Engine Godfather engine
Havok (physics engine)
Release date October 28, 2008
Genre Third-person shooter, Survival horror
Mode(s) Single-player
Age rating(s) ESRB: RP
Platform(s) PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows, Android
Media Blu-ray Disc, DVD, Download
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough

Dead Space is a third-person action video game, being developed by EA Redwood Shores for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and the PC. It is currently scheduled for release in October 2008. The player takes on the role of an engineer named Isaac Clarke, who battles a polymorphic alien species called the "Necromorphs" on board a stricken interstellar mining ship.

Gameplay

The players must fight their way through various levels of a stricken mining ship, which has been infested with an alien species known as the "Necromorphs." The game features an "over the shoulder" third-person perspective, similar to games such as Resident Evil 4 and Gears of War. The interface does not feature a traditional 'heads up display'. Instead, information is relayed to the player via lights, translucent screens which hover over Isaac's weapons and armor, and a lighted display located on the player's spinal column, which indicates health.

The player will encounter weightless and decompressed environments, which Isaac can navigate using a pressurized suit equipped with magnetic boots. Some levels will even lead out onto the surface of the ships hull. Floating debris will present a hazard, and Isaac can lose his footing and simply float off into space.

Combat in the game is complicated by the fact that Necromorphs are not simply rendered 'dead' after a certain number of rounds have been fired at them. Rather, they can adopt new stances and tactics, and even sprout new limbs, based upon where they have been wounded. Hence, the player must find and exploit specific weak points. The game's Executive Producer, Glen Schofield, has said that 'the primary theme of Dead Space is dismemberment', and early previews of the game have noted the high levels of gore.

Plot

The game's plot revolves around Isaac Clarke, a space engineer who works for the Concordance Extraction Corporation (C.E.C), a company that operates "giant mining ships" throughout the galaxy. His company receives a distress call from the USG Ishimura, a “Planet Cracker” class ship that destroys planets in order to extract valuable ore. Assuming that the ship has had a mechanical failure, Isaac and two other C.E.C employees set out to rendezvous with the Ishimura. They soon discover that the ship has been overrun by hostile mutants known as Necromorphs. After boarding the ship, Clarke is separated from his party and must battle his way through various hazardous environments to safety. Based on the two graphic art videos released for the game, it seems that a mysterious "artifact" had been found near one of the colony planets and was brought aboard the Isimura despite the fact that it seemed to make the miners who extracted it go insane. This artifact seems to not only play a large role in the games story but also seems to be closely followed by a cult, known as the Unitologists.

Backstory

The events leading up to the games story are being shown in a series of video comics, mostly featuring a P-SEC operative named Abraham Neumann and a doctor named Tom Shairello.

Development

Electronic Arts first announced Dead Space in September 2007. The game is being developed at their studio in Redwood Shores, California, whose other titles include The Godfather and The Simpsons Game. The game's executive producer, Glen Schofield, said that the team aimed to create something 'darker and creepier' than their previous titles: "We are all such huge fans of the horror and sci-fi genres; we wanted to create the most terrifying game we could, and keep the player on the edge of his seat the entire time." The design team reportedly spent time analyzing a wide variety of horror films in order to find inspiration for in-game scares.

In the gaming press, previews of Dead Space have been very positive. Writing for IGN.com, Hilary Goldstein praised the game's inventive character and weapon design, puzzle anti-gravity sections, and distinctive art direction, even suggesting that it could be 'one of the best games of the year'. For Gamespy.com, Gabe Graziani was also impressed with the anti-gravity sections, saying that the effects of floating debris and gas leaks were 'hauntingly beautiful'. He was also impressed with the game's 'balance between tense build-up moments and gruesomely bloody payoffs'.

Previews of the game have universally drawn attention to the high levels of gore and violence in the game, in particular the tactic of 'strategic dismemberment' when battling the Necromorphs. The aliens cannot be subdued by a single shot, rather they have to be incapacitated by shooting off their tentacles and appendages.

Dead Space was released on Halloween 2008 in North America and Europe.


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