Dead Space Extraction Updated Impressions

We head deeper into the USG Ishimura in our latest hands-on look at EA's Wii-exclusive sci-fi horror game.

The bad news only gets worse for the USG Ishimura in the upcoming Wii-exclusive Dead Space Extraction from EA's Visceral Games development studio. This platform-exclusive survival horror game functions as both a prequel and side story to the acclaimed Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 original. We've seen the game a number of times so far (most recently, at GamesCom 2009), and yesterday, EA dropped by with an updated build of the game to show off a new level and give GameSpot an exclusive peek at the first boss in the game.

The sixth chapter in the game takes place in the sewers of the USG Ishimura, where you'll play as Nathan McNeil, a security officer who will be responsible for escorting fellow survivors to safety. The chapter opens up with the quartet falling into the water system and being swept through a section of tunnels courtesy of some nasty-looking sewer water. Eventually, the four end up in a pool of standing water; they're chilly, on edge, and aware of the fact that things are about to get much worse.

Thus begins your tour of the Ishimura's sewer system, which involves a long snaking exploration full of alien Necromorphs to dismember and includes an encounter with a previously unseen Necromorph type known as the "water creep." Picture a long-stemmed flower rising out of the sewer mulch--only the stem of this rose is made out of thick, rotted Necromorph flesh and its bloom is a bloody mess of fangs and gore--and you'll have a decent idea of what a water creep looks like. They're slender and whip around quickly in the air, so they can be tough to hit with your weapon. An effective tactic is to use your stasis beam to temporarily freeze them, giving you enough time to take them out with a well-placed blast to the head.

Extraction is a rail shooter, which means you won't have much control over which way your character goes. That said, there are periodic points in each chapter where you can take a quick look around (ideal for picking up collectibles like audio and text logs or refilling your health and ammo supplies with pickups). In addition, you'll find the occasional branching path that will let you choose one direction or another. From what we saw, it looks like these branching paths end up in the same spot in the long run, though producers did say that you might miss out on an upgrade or collectible by taking one path over another (which just gives you an excuse to play a level over again). There are also sections where you'll run up against stiff defense from multiple waves of Necromorphs--some of which fire explosives at you. An effective way to take them down is to catch the explosive in midair using your telekinesis powers and fire it back at the bad guys.

About midway through the level, the group is separated when Lexine Murdoch--a surveyor from the Aegis VII colony--is attacked by number of swarm Necormorphs and falls into a vat of water. You dive in after her, but she's gone and presumed dead--and you'll discover her fate in the next chapter of the game. Incidentally, this chapter also introduces Dr. Karen Howell, Chief Botanist of the Ishimura, a character the player will control in the next chapter in the game.

Eventually, the group--now reduced to a trio with Murdoch's disappearance--makes its way through the sewer tunnels, encountering a strange hazy Necromorph mist that causes dementia along the way until the trio finally happens upon a huge open room. It doesn't take much experience with survival horror games to tell you that "big open room" equals "big ugly boss to fight" in short order. And sure enough, after a brief encounter with another of th Ishimura's crew, the big baddy appears--a four-tentacled monstrosity with a huge reach and bad intentions.

The law requires me to inform you, gigantic four-tentacled sewer beast, that I am armed with a pistol.

You'll need precise aim and a little creativity to take down this grotesque boss--you'll fire your weapon at a sensitive spot at the end of each of its tentacles to temporarily stun it. On either side of the room, you'll find huge industrial fans that will turn out to be effective for battling the boss. Using your stasis beam, you can temporarily freeze the fan blades and climb in behind the fans. With a little luck, the monster will send in a tentacle after you, and once the stasis wears off and the fans return to full speed, it will hack that tentacle to bits. You'll repeat that process for one more tentacle, then return to the water and use your telekinetic powers to toss barrels at the monster, blasting off its remaining pair of arms. As for its final evolution, if you've got the arc-welder handy (one of several new weapons in the game), you'll find it very effective--what with the whole electricity and water thing happening.

At the end of a chapter, you'll get a wrap-up of how you performed during the level, which will track such things as damage taken, med packs used, and puzzle failures, as well as number of shots fired, enemies killed, dismemberments, and more. If you've played a level cooperatively, a bar will also appear, showing which player contributed more to the level's success.

We've seen a lot of Extraction so far, and the game's grim atmosphere and impressive visuals continues to impress. The rail-shooter gameplay seems like a necessary evil considering the Wii's technical limitations, and that lack of player control might actually work in the game's favor by giving the developers a chance to better script payoff moments that might be missed in a more open game. We'll find out if Visceral manages to match the sustained tension of the brilliant original game when Extraction is released on the Nintendo Wii on September 29.

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61 comments
fudawg45
fudawg45

I haven't played a rail shooter since... Time Crisis? It could be fun, but I'm definitely not paying 50 bucks for it.

Seiki_sands
Seiki_sands

@bakagami in an FPS you still control your movement, in a rail shooter the game guides you through the level (as though you're on a rail), you mainly control aiming and any other game mechanics. Frequently, as in Rez or the Panzer Dragoon series you have some limited movement control, but only a few feet in any direction (that is apparently the case sometimes with this title). I don't know why they said Rail Shooting is a necessary evil on the Wii, it sounds like just another GS cheapshot at the console considering the highest rated survival horror game this generation is on the Wii and is NOT a rail shooter (Resident Evil 4 Wii Edition).

bakagami
bakagami

ok, over the last couple of yrs I keep hearing the term "rail shooter". could someone please define this for me 'cause this just looks like an FPS to me

desert84
desert84

I'm willing to play a rail shooter if it actually makes the experience more frightening. My gut reaction like most people is to say that rail shooters = fail, but to be honest I have no good reason other than I'm not used to playing them. In the end I play video games for the experience and if the rail shooter format adds to the experience then why the heck not. I will rent for sure.

VXLbeast
VXLbeast

Well, I have high hopes, but I never have liked on rail shooters.

naf456
naf456

that looks awsome and i'm suprised how great the Graphics are dispite it's on a Wii.

Ronaldo27
Ronaldo27

"The rail-shooter gameplay seems like a necessary evil considering the Wii's technical limitations, and that lack of player control might actually work in the game's favor by giving the developers a chance to better script payoff moments that might be missed in a more open game." I would trade off some of the graphic quality for open movement. As I believe most hardcore gamers would agree with me, EA will have to convince casuals to get into Dead Space. Good luck to them.

itachi100
itachi100

two terrible failures that are still extremely popular combine; EA and the Wii. this game is guaranteed to be a disaster.

Kolkina
Kolkina

@Roxy5407 Well that's gonna be hard because when I played the other dead space, I actually had to bore myself out of my mind just to see if the game would get any better, which btw it DIDN'T. I'm gonna get this because I have a thing reserved for shooters like this but if I know dead space right the story is gonna suck.

Roxy5407
Roxy5407

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

SharpDressNerd
SharpDressNerd

I tried out Umbrella Chronicles and hated it, On rails shooters just don't cut it for me. Actually the only game on rails I ever liked was pokemon snap. But I'll be optimistic and wait till its released till I say its crap or not.

-HD
-HD

sounds good

Mr_Tweedy
Mr_Tweedy

@Wiiviewer-Guru The Conduit was not developed by Sega. They came on as the publisher after the game was mostly finished. And The Conduit is worth buying, IMO. It's a fun game, and underrated as compared to other games in the genre, even if it isn't a classic.

wahyudil
wahyudil

just wait until PS Orb been released then EA will remake this for PS3 .... I never played the first game, I never knew about the story, so why I need to play the prequel or the side story .... BTW I don't have any Xbox360 or PS3 either ...

Wiiviewer-Guru
Wiiviewer-Guru

Ive been waiting for this tittle since The Conduit tanked, good thing it isnt develop by SEGA, they screw everything they touch with the exception of Sonic the hedgehog, WII needs some serious n fun shooters, I am tired of playing Call of Duty and ResEvil... on rails huh... just hope it isnt a very short game (sigh) D:

Mr_Tweedy
Mr_Tweedy

I've been posting "rail shooter = fail" on every preview so far... but that really looked kind of cool. I really like how they move the camera. Maybe worth a look after all?

illm4t1c
illm4t1c

people should stop prematurely dismissing this game just because it's on-rails. It looks like it'll be fun as hell... especially in co-op. People have a bad impression of on-rails shooters because they automatically think of fast-paced, arcade-type shooters... and this isn't like that at all! Long, slow-paced game with great story and atmosphere.

ScionofEntropy
ScionofEntropy

It looks okay, but I'm kind of coming around to the opinion that they really shouldn't have done another rail shooter. Maybe they can make this one stand out enough that it won't be as forgettable as most.

jebinator
jebinator

i hate to say it, but this was a major let down. i was under the impression that this was going to be like re4. i still play re4 frequently, even though i have beaten it like 8 times. if they had made it like re4, i would buy it.

newtoncat
newtoncat

I dislike ON-Rails Shooters. I feel like on rails games are just like watching a long movie rather than actually playing a game. It feels like there isnt enough interaction. i might end up buying this, but not for $50. It's a shame they made it on-rails. Resident Evil 4 was a great horror game and it wasnt on-rails. I just think that making a game on-rails ruins a perfect game.

ChariotMan
ChariotMan

Thank You THe Wii is Getting Taking More Serious

alphamale1989
alphamale1989

Can someone explain to me what he means when he says the game being an on rails shooter is a 'necessary evil due to the Wii's limitations'? Last time I checked Resident Evil 4 played very well on the Wii and dead space is a similar sort of game so how is the Wii to limited to handle a non on rails deadspace. Nothing against this game, I just don't agree with the philosophy behind it.

magicianhunter
magicianhunter

DS Extraction Vs RE Darkside Chronicles.I am so looking forward to this cause i'm getting both.

fraz1776
fraz1776

Looks awesome!! Can't wait for this!

Goldroad
Goldroad

I can't wait for this game. But I was surprised when i saw it was coming out, because it is so violent, but I am really glad they are bringing something from the other consuls to the Wii. I hope this is a great game and not just a bust...

Petruvai
Petruvai

I hope that it ends up being as cool as it looks. On-Rails shooters on the Wii have thus far been pretty underwelming.

konradak
konradak

This actually looks pretty sweet.

demiath_egge
demiath_egge

" impressive visuals continues to impress"?

TheCadaver
TheCadaver

this game looks amazing i think what really makes this game look visually great is the characters they look really good in terms of emotion and movement but seriously it doesnt even look like an on rails shooter from the video sometimes i even forget that it is but the dev team is actually trying to make it a good experience so you guys shouldnt be let down by the fact its on rails or on the wii ... well maybe because its on the wii and you might not have it but yeah

Du_Metroid
Du_Metroid

What a waste of a good franchise.

danger_ranger95
danger_ranger95

I'm not really a fan of on-rails games (was at the arcade) but I guess this looks alright. Maybe I'll rent it... or buy and play it with friends. One thing that freaks me out is the water in the pic shown above. My eyes play tricks on me while looking at it, and I swear it looks like it's moving.

DontEatCream
DontEatCream

This game looks great, but it is a M-rated game on the Wii. Thus, we really don't know how well it'll sell. Here's hoping its more of a Resident Evil and less of a MadWorld (in terms of sales, that is).

BasicLogic
BasicLogic

Shooters on the Wii haven't really made any breakthroughs, however with a trustworthy source like the creators of dead space there's a chance with this one.

solidine
solidine

I'm still not sold due to it being a rail-shooter, but if they do a good job I'll consider it. I really did like the first one, and if I was going to play a rail-shooter this would be it. They seem like they're really trying to make it a solid experience. I'm just not sold yet. Maybe it's those developers. They act the same as the original Dead Space devepoer interviews, where they seem to be such morons with such huge ego's that I can't help but get the feeling I'm being lied to. Oddly enough, after watching all those interviews and liking what I saw of the game, I played it and it turned out be be great. Hopefully again they aren't boasting for nothing. It certainly looks like it'll be worth playing at least once.

Narnyfied
Narnyfied

This game looks nuts, it's the first Wii game that looks truly terrifying.... Brown Trouser Day anyone?

AlmightyMax
AlmightyMax

I'd rather have a beautiful, atmospheric, frightening rail-shooter than a crappy, under-realized third-person shooter.

TheArbiterPwns
TheArbiterPwns

this is one game I won't be getting... I had to return the original Dead Space because I was wetting too many sets of underwear.

HellJumper
HellJumper

I think the only interesting thing about this game is the story of how everything happened before Isaac arrived. I doubt it will be as atmospheric as the original

retroguy02
retroguy02

Does this game use Wii Motionplus? really hope it does, cos it looks bada$s