Dead Space Extraction Updated Hands-On

We get into some of the bigger differences between this Wii prequel and its predecessor.

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Few genres are saddled with as many conventions as survival horror. You'll almost always find a single, solitary protagonist on a quest through creepy environments, gathering clues about some terrible disaster from the recent past while simultaneously attempting to get the heck out of there. In many ways, Dead Space adhered to these genre conventions with great loyalty, though it proved to be one of the best survival horror games in recent memory by combining its own gameplay twists (strategic dismemberment and zero-gravity puzzles) with a breathtaking sense of atmosphere. As the series makes its way onto the Wii with the upcoming prequel Dead Space Extraction, you'll find a Dead Space that appears ready to maintain those elements that made the first game unique while distancing itself from the constraints of the survival horror genre in a few key ways.

The biggest difference between Extraction and the original Dead Space is that Extraction trades in the over-the-shoulder perspective and player-controlled movement of the first game in favor of an on-rails, first-person shooter format. In layman's terms, this means nearly all your movements are scripted by the game, taking you along a predetermined camera route with occasional moments of freedom granted by branching paths and opportunities to pan the camera around however you like.

What this does--at least in our experience--is focus even more attention on the combat in order to make Extraction a much more action-heavy game. Thankfully, the precision targeting of the Wii Remote means you have the added tools to take on the increased action. When using a gun like the plasma cutter, it's much easier to pinpoint the limbs of a necromorph (Dead Space's grotesque alien enemies) to quickly kill it via strategic dismemberment. Then there's the ripper, whose alternate fire lets you guide a spinning radial saw blade around the room by simply waving the remote around. It's also easier to use kinesis to pick up severed enemy body parts from floors often littered with them, like the exploder's yellow sac, which can be thrown about the room like a giant, glowing grenade.

In addition to upping the deliberately slow pace of a typical survival horror game, Extraction is a much less solitary experience. Fans of the original will remember how that game's protagonist, Isaac Clarke, didn't exactly collect a lot of friends throughout his journey in the USG Ishimura. Most survivors he ran into wound up being far too tormented or insane to offer him much of a hand.

The added precision of aiming with the Wii remote makes strategic dismemberment more dismemberment-y.

It was quite the opposite case in our most recent demo of Extraction. This chapter of the game had the player playing as the head of the Ishimura hydroponics lab, sending a distress signal from the lab before being forced out by a swarm of necromorphs. This protagonist soon discovers a survivor whom she brings to a medical lab, prompting a fairly lengthy conversation between the two on the state of the ship and what has happened to it. This girl then tags along with you for quite a ways, providing a companion for you as you explore the ship's creepy, darkened hallways. That is, right up until the boss fight at the end of our demo when our only "companion" suddenly became the desire to not get killed by a giant, charging alien monster called the brute.

Besides letting you discover and interact with the ship's survivors in a more meaningful way, Extraction adds the ability for a second player to instantly drop into the action for some co-op. It's a painless procedure that adds a second targeting reticle onto the screen so that two players can work together to fend off the infestation of necromorphs. To keep things from getting too easy, the difficulty is instantly rebalanced to account for the added player. It takes a little suspension of disbelief to not wonder why two players share the same exact perspective, but we had plenty of fun just the same. For anyone who played the first game alone with the lights off for maximum horror, shouting at a friend to shoot better definitely adds an interesting twist.

Fun Fact: The release waiver form given to all USG Ishimura employees is three inches thick.

Another new twist unique to Extraction--albeit one that exists outside of the main game--is the addition of a bonus feature called Challenge mode. After you beat each chapter, a certain location from that part of the game is unlocked for you to return to and fight off enemies in an arcade-style quest for points. It's basically a quest to stay alive against a flood of necromorphs where the longer you make it, the more points you snag. We didn't get to see it in action, so we'll wait to see how well the game's intense atmosphere is preserved when you see points totals pop up above dead enemies.

Indeed, the atmosphere of the original Dead Space has been very well maintained in Extraction's main game. There are some added effects this time around, like the fact that the protagonist from our demo was suffering from extreme dementia, which caused the screen to flash at random points and bizarre walls of text written in some sort of alien language to appear. You know, as if the constant threat of having an alien rend you limb from limb weren't enough. That threat will get much more real as we get closer to Dead Space Extraction's September 29 release date.

Discussion

109 comments
jeffv541
jeffv541

They call them rail shooters cause they are more fun to throw at trains than actually play.

masterds64
masterds64

Another on rails shooter? Won't wii owning fan's get sick of this-too many good games are getting on rail conversions? I will buy this...but with a slight dislike-I was hoping for something like re4 wii edition.

masterds64
masterds64

Another on rails shooter? Won't wii owning fan's get sick of this-too many good games are getting on rail conversions? I will buy this...but with a slight dislike-I was hoping for something like re4 wii edition.

abosh1
abosh1

spooky.. haha, looking good though!

xblane
xblane

I've read one too many comments from people bashing Nintendo for development decisions on the Wii.... a tip: the developer makes the decision to make it an on rails shooter, not Nintendo

ForzaAbruzzo
ForzaAbruzzo

Why is it that 3rd party developers are scared to make over-the-shoulder perspective games for the Wii? Granted, we all know it isn't as powerful as the 360 or the PS3, but the system isn't so weak that it isn't capable of pulling off some decent action/adventure games in the manner that they should be played in. I don't mind the occassional rail shooter, but now I find its being over done just a tad.

darkxxchris
darkxxchris

yeah nintendo you did it again you ruined another franchise

Jokercrow
Jokercrow

I love horror movies and horror games, but as soon as it's a Rails Shooter, I'm out ! : (

illm4t1c
illm4t1c

This game will be FUN AS HELL. Especially in co-op. Mad fun. I'm getting it as soon as it comes out.

hazuki
hazuki

Deffinately looks like a rental. As with all on rails games, usually 5 days is all you'll need to get the whole thing out of the game. Wouldn't pay more than 30$ for it with amazing deals like the metroid trilogy next month.

Ganados0
Ganados0

When I play the original Dead Space and RE5 I think of how much the remote pointer would contribute and think of the idiot companies failing to see it. See if they have nothing but RE4 type games in mind then they should be making these games on scalable engines which can work across the current four platforms rather then wasting time with bragging about fictional content/programing and excuses.

icefox47
icefox47

Tried this at E3. It definitely shines in the co-op, they seem to have put a lot of thought into it.

blink-jfg
blink-jfg

Looks good.Another game proving the Wii isn't only for Party games.

Ospov
Ospov

I'll probably end up renting this. I can't really see myself spending $50 for it, but I do want to play it.

the1Jugg
the1Jugg

Ive been so disappointed with the lack of new games for my Wii that I broke down and bought an Xbox. My first game was Dead Space... and Ive never looked back (or played the Wii again). I cant imagine it being any good "on rails". Boo Nintendo. Boo.

RedneckJazz
RedneckJazz

On Rails. That makes this a rental instead of a purchase for me. Could be "OK", but I cant beleive that it will make "great". I hope I'm wrong. Dammit. -Z-

Tee-3
Tee-3

Looks great, but i don't have a Wii. And dementia... wow. Is that a glitch or not? It doesn't sound like one seeing as though theres writing on the wall. Anyway, i'd love to see how this game is when it's released.

farigor
farigor

Hey WII owners, Please welcome one of masterpieces of all time..

Phaselinear
Phaselinear

I am sooooo burned out on killing space zombies.

fmobliv06
fmobliv06

tbh, i haven't used my wii much in a long time. even though i just got rune factory, i've only popped it in once because even my new psn games are more compelling than the wii. this game will probably change that. it looks about as good as a shooter on wii can get.. in other words, pretty darn good.

Akhenaton666
Akhenaton666

Coming soon to the arcades at your favorite mall! *Sarcasm*

Mushroomhead2
Mushroomhead2

This might be better then House of the Dead Overkill, but then again EA is making it....

Kagon_VII
Kagon_VII

Im guessing the controls will work like metroid prime 3's controls did.

TonePwn
TonePwn

I have a ps3, an xbox 360 and a wii, I loved dead space for the ps3! this game looks pretty good, im going to play wii again!, its been a while...

TonePwn
TonePwn

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

helloimtanner
helloimtanner

guys NINTENDO ISNT MAKING this game, ea is... so stop saying its being ruind by nintendo... i for one think this game looks cool and is better on the rails than it would be if it was third person again... because if it was third person again it would feel like dead space all over again, and thats not what i want. Also, i hope that dead space 2 is first person, so then we will have a third person, on rails, and first person dead space and thats awsome!:D

aroxx_ab
aroxx_ab

This looks awesome, first really good rail shooter for wii, day one buy for me :D

crunchb3rry
crunchb3rry

A rail shooter on the Wii? About time!

dstv
dstv

the origional will always be better survival horror > rail shooter

Isayama
Isayama

Railshooter?! *vomits*

smiseck
smiseck

ya...nintendo will ruin this....or its just be released on a nintendo consule. i think this is going to be the best horror game for the wii, im real stoked about it, i love the (first) game. i just hope they can get the environment details and sounds right. that is what made dead space such a great game! and with the wii not being great graphics could make for some trouble though!

nicktarist
nicktarist

As far as I'm concerned, Extraction is being developed by Visceral Games and Published by EA. I find it funny that people are going to think 'Nintendo' screwed up the game instead of the people who actually developed the game. :roll:

Ebaumisnoob
Ebaumisnoob

Cool! Now how about a Wii game that isn't a major franchise, arcade game, or party game?

blue66alex
blue66alex

i agree with thunderhorse55 a bit, i personally believe that anything that runs on wii that isnt mario or one of their franchises is ruined. Although, i do admit that RE4 for gamecube completely blindsided me. This is going to be one of those things where we have to hold our breath and pray the developers dont f@$# up a great game with a piece of crap sequal. Although the wii's remote would give great flexibility in aiming.

thunderhorse55
thunderhorse55

im still not sold on this one. ive watched my brother play Dead Space, and combat focuses alot on running around avoiding enemies, while at the same time trying to hack their limbs off (which is genius). and when not in combat, your looking around for stuff and figuring out where to go next. by making this game into an on-rails shooter, nintendo completely ruined the game. i dont have a problem with the game itself, but they shouldnt have made it a relative of Dead Space. they could've just called it "extraction" and given it new enemies. but no, they had to go and destroy the good name of Dead Space. sorry, but this one is a no for me

markothevrbaa
markothevrbaa

I feel like they are going to &%$# the game up because of making it a rail shooter. Also it doesn't have that scary feeling too it.

Drumtasticnick
Drumtasticnick

Eeeek, I hope Nintendo don't ruin this awesome franchise.

Zeronemo101Wii
Zeronemo101Wii

Im not sure about this game, I mean DS is awesome but THIS one I dont think so. hope the 2nd comes

ejstrup
ejstrup

@SmartGhost: I'm pretty sure we'll see a Dead Space 2.. I mean, why wouldn't they make one?

SmartGhost
SmartGhost

EA making horror games good job keep up the good work and i hope they make a deadspace 2

blankshore
blankshore

Seems pretty cool to me. The on rails thing seems to only make it scarier because this way you can't just run away from your enemies.

janderdarkmoon
janderdarkmoon

Looks fun, guess I'll have to dust off my Wii(K)

eal-zubieri
eal-zubieri

its awesome because now i can know the back story of dead space . think god i have the WII

ejstrup
ejstrup

this will be AMAZING. I loved Dead Space :D

MrWhite325
MrWhite325

Looks like a solid game. loved the first dead space, and i'm replaying it now, thinking about buying Extraction. I wanna see the new enemies that there will be, and it looks like the 2nd player gets an entirely different set of weapons, cause that soldier was carrying a pistol, and the 2nd crosshair looked different than any other ive seen in extraction

klugenbeel
klugenbeel

Omg...just like the Wii...you get a game with a decent IP name to back it (face it, 1 Dead Space game is not enough to proclaim it an awesome IP...yet) and of coarse because of the Wiis signifigant LIMITATIONS, you turned this game into a Arcade Shooter. LAME! Arcade Shooters are cool, but this just defeats the purpose of Dead Space. Dead Space original gave you freedom to walk where you want, this instead the game just moves you along. Leave it to the Wii to keep water downing games.