Dead Space - an HD experience - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 6 Old 02-12-10, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
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Dead Space - an HD experience

Game Title: Dead Space
Publisher: EA
Developer: Visceral Games
Genre(s): Action/Horror
Players: 1
ESRB Rating: Mature
Release Date: 2008
Review Rating: 4.5stars:

Story: Isaac Clarke is stranded on a planet cracker (mining space ship) infested by necromorphs (dead people taken over as alien life-forms. Isaac must survive and escape. This is not much of a spoiler - you'll soon find out that this has something to do with an alien artifact recently uncovered on the planet which the ship was mining. The story is not the best ever, but it's not the real focus of the game. The story fits very well, has some very good parts (especially toward the end), and actually finishes the story very well while providing a good starting pad for the sequel. Though the story starts off slow, and is in the background, by the end, you will care a lot about the main character and the artificact and all the things that transpire. Isaac doesn't talk throughout the game, but at one point, near the end, the character simply makes a bodily response that will show a lot of emotion that you will also be feeling at that exact moment. Oh, and pay attention after you've beaten the last boss, you'll want to see what happens.

Gameplayhis game is a perfect blend of action and horror. It is not cheesy horror focused on jump-out-and-scare-you moments, but rather, horror through setting and sound (which we'll get to), and horror through limited ammo, close encounter fighting, and the fear of what situation you are about to face next. The weapons are some of the most inventive, yet well-done, that I have seen. The reason for this is that you are not simply given pistols, machine guns, and rocket launchers - those would all be out of place on a ship like this. Instead, you are given tools that you use as weapons against the enemy. Yes, they are technically guns, but they are very cool, and also fit with the setting. There is also an element of exploration. Boxes can be broken (as in every video game), lockers can be opened, and other items can be grabbed with your telekenisis power, which is another great gameplay element.
Then there's the zero gravity sections. Some of the best parts of the game are the parts in 0-g which involve huge rooms for you to move around and jump from wall to wall while shooting necromorphs. This game involves a lot of shooting, but it's nothing like a mindless modern warfare (which is fun). You will enjoy the parts where you're looking around the different areas of the ship as much as taking out different enemies.
You can upgrade your suit and weapons throughout, which lets you to slightly change how you will play the game compared to someone else. You can focus on armor/health upgrades, telekenisis upgrades, or choose which weapons to upgrade and how. Also, as you upgrade your suit, it actually looks beefier, and is one of the best suits in any video game by the end.
You will always be looking forward to the next awesome room, next monster, next weapon, and yes, the next death. You can die in this game, and it's one of the first games in which you will want to, but for a good reason. The death animations are awesome; Isaac doesn't just fall down to a fading "game over" screen, no, you get to watch him die. In fact, I would seriously encourage you to let yourself die when you come to new enemies/bosses, because it will be a different death that is always enjoyable to watch.
The controls feel very natural - you never feel like you're fighting the joysticks.
The bosses are very original, fun, challenging, and entertaining (again, if you die). You will enjoy every boss, and some you'll wish you could keep fighting.
A large part of the gameplay is the ship itself (very similar to Batman:arkham asylum). the ship feels like a real space ship, not one made specifically for a shooter video game. However, every different section feels different and original from the last. You'll know when you're in the bowels of the ship, and when you've made it to the main deck. the barracks feel different from the common areas, etc. You will enjoy exploring in and fighting in every new area.

Graphics and Sound: My favorite parts to talk about for this game!
Graphics: You must play this on an HD tv, preferably with the lights off. Everything from the character models to the different ship areas look amazing. There are rooms that you will not want to leave because they are so awesome to just sit and look at - granted, not every room is like this, but there are a few. The main deck looks so good in and of itself. It contains huge windows on three sides to just look out in space - and you will do that for at least a few minutes. The lighting and detail are so good, you really do feel like you're in space. There is another very large room in which you transverse from inside the ship to outside the ship. It just feels so awesome because it looks and sounds so good - you'll know when you get there. This game looks great!
Sound: This will make your investment in a great sound system worth it. When Isaac gets into hand to hand (or foot to head) combat, the gutteral sound from him and the connecting sound of weapon or foot to flesh sounds so good. there is very little music in the game, which was a very good decision for the developers. Sometimes, the best audio sections are the parts where you are in an atmosphere-less section; either in ruined ship sections or on the outside of the ship. The room in which you transverse from inside the ship to outside in a very cool manner is one of the best audio sections of the game. As you walk from inside to outside, the sound of the ship quickly fades into the silence of space, with only the sound of your breath echoing in your helmet. Sometimes shooting and not hearing anything is as thrilling as hearing the very well-done sounds of the weapons.
The ambient sound is perfectly chilling, but not too obvious like, "look at how good we can do surround sound" You will love your surrounds and sub during this game.
If you can play this on and HD tv and a great sound system, you will always have something that pleases your eyes and ears.

Summary: Well, I've played this game through almost three times. There are only two games I've played through more times - REsident Evil 4, and Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes. This is only a single player experience, but it is definitely best this way. If you haven't played many video games, just put the difficulty to easy and sit back and enjoy. If you played it before, but in standard def, or stereo sound - go play it again.
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-12-10, 02:38 PM
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Re: Dead Space - an HD experience

Welcome to the shack diehard.

I'd forgot about this game, but you've certainly made me think about visiting it. Pre owned it must be a bargain.

We also have a template for reviews here. You should have a look and try using it to give your review that little extra professionally finished look
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post #3 of 6 Old 02-12-10, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Dead Space - an HD experience

thanks, i actually thought i used the template, but since I've never done this before, I think i did it wrong. I think I wrote over things i was supposed to leave in like "[B]" any help would be appreciated.
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post #4 of 6 Old 02-14-10, 11:22 PM
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Re: Dead Space - an HD experience


You'll want to leave in the "[B]" and matching text with "/" as they are begin and end tags for HTML for Bold font. Examples of other tags you may see are "[CENTER]", and "[IMG]" which should be self explanatory. I think you were pretty close to following the template, it's just that by overwriting those tags you lost the formatting.
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-19-10, 12:31 PM
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Re: Dead Space - an HD experience

Nice review! It's definitely worth the buy - along with all the reasons you name, the story is pretty engrossing and the ambient sounds and effects are just stellar. The developers also leave quite a bit of goodies, easter eggs and hidden messages for you to pick up - so just "running and gunning" through the game won't give you much satisfaction.

I've seen alot of reviews bagging on the game saying: "something appear, repeat and rinse."'s all relevant to the character and situation. The Ishumura is broke - you're there to fix it....aliens pop up. However, if you pay the necessary attention to the main plot and the back-stories, the combat doesn't seem as tedious as they make it out to be.

Another great thing to try is whenever you see a new adversary - let it kill you the first time around. The game developers went through quite a bit to make some awesome animation sequences...some of them or downright sick!!! I highly recommend this game!
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-19-10, 02:06 PM
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Re: Dead Space - an HD experience

Nice review John and thank you for taking the time to do it.

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
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