Dead Space - MmM Creepy Zombie Babies!

After watching multiple trailers for this game, I knew it was going to be quite interesting. The biggest thing about this game that stuck out to me was the fact that there's no HUD. Instead, to know how much health or ammunition you've got you need to keep an eye on the indicators located on the back of your suit (health) or the number that is displayed on the guns (ammo). I thought this was really innovative, and now instead of having a ton of clutter on your screen, you can easily see these pieces of information just by looking at your character.

The game itself is rather well played out. You're an engineer and when you attempt to help another ship in distress pretty much everything that can go wrong does. Your ship crashes into the one you're supposed to be fixing and from there on out your mission is to survive and escape from this hell. The story is relatively guessable, but there are a couple twists tossed in which keeps it fresh.

Character design, especially enemy design is well done and well thought out. I definitely had a few "WTF" moments when I came across a grossly disfigured mutant. The bosses were also well thought out, although I was a bit disappointed in the final boss as it took under a couple minutes to complete the battle. There were definitely times that made up for that short battle though, and sometimes even more. Multiple times I got so swamped with necromorphs attacking me, that I died. The balance seemed to be almost perfect though. There were enough skirmishes between puzzles and tasks that it kept me on my toes but not so much that I had to worry about finding needle shooting mutant babies around each and every corner.

Throughout the game you can collect "schematics" which enable you to purchase new items in the stores located within the levels. Each store tends to be relatively close to the start of the level. Scattered throughout the levels and as items dropped from defeated foes are "credits" which is the currency in the game. With your "credits" you can visit the stores to purchase health kits, ammunition, new guns, and even upgraded suits. You can also use the store to store items you have no current use for or to even sell your items for credits. I did like the idea of the store because it enabled me to grab a couple extra health packs before boss fights instead of running through the levels looking for item crates hoping they held health kits.

The game also has a bit of an RPG element to it. Hidden throughout the levels, are items called power nodes. For some reason they remind me of the spheres you can collect in Final Fantasy X. You use these power nodes to upgrade and enhance the abilities of your weapons and your suit. For example, you can use the power nodes to increase the amount of damage your weapon does, or to increase the amount of rounds it can hold. Your suite is similarly the same, power nodes can be used to increase armor, health and the amount of air it can hold (for when you're truly out in dead space). While I didn't actually do any heavy upgrading until the last boss fight, the option to upgrade is available for pretty much all of the game (so long as you find a work-bench to use).

Final thoughts....the game is awesome. It contains tons of new and unique factors, that really kept me engaged. The story was fun, the weapons are cool, the enemies horrible and Issac, well he's just crazy Issac. I have no idea how he survived this game. I'd be too scared! I highly recommend this to anyone who digs the survival-horror genre. It sure is a lot scarier then Resident Evil 5!

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Morgan W.

Head over heels for gadgets!