Dead Space First Look

We peer into the egg sac of EA's terrifying new sci-fi horror game.

by

Sometime last year in the heart of the sprawling EA campus, a dozen developers entered a dark dimension (read: board room), outside the boundaries of space and lunchtime, before emerging with the beating alien heart of a new project, Dead Space. Glowing with ominous glee, they recently exposed us to their upcoming creation then let us escape, so that we could infect your minds with their terror from the deep. Whoops.

From the playable build we saw, Dead Space will move and look like survival horror--emphasis on horror, survival barely a whisper. The calamity takes place several centuries into the future when humanity has begun a process known as planet cracking. Huge ships enter dead solar systems and tear up entire chunks of terra firma. These ships then smelt that terra firma into precious minerals and resources. It's only a matter of time before one ship bites off more than it can chew--or perhaps bites something that can chew back...

Aside from mining tools, you pack a mighty right hook.

The USG Ishimura is one of the largest ships in the galactic fleet. It was also one of the loudest ships with information coming in and out of multiple different sectors, facilities, and computers until it fell silent. Of course, space is a naturally silent place, so periodic communication blips are never a cause for alarm. A routine inspection crew is sent in to see what might be the matter, including a scientist, engineer, security expert, and a few others. They land on board the giant ship, and then things get weird.

And by weird, we mean hungry. You play Isaac Clarke (a clever combination of Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke), the armor-covered engineer who slowly, timidly creeps through the infected bowels of a ship the size of a city. You're trying to learn what went wrong, perhaps to come to grips with your own fate. Of course, the alien infestation factor becomes clear early on when you see a hovering yellow space slug barf white puss into the mouth of a screaming soldier who melts under the corrosive fluid into a deformed, deranged alien beast. Then, when the melted, slimy ex-man shambles toward you, quivering with tentacles and cannibalistic intent, the survival half of the horror kicks into the game. You level your weapon--an energy-based mining tool--and fire at the beast, decapitating it instantly.

Except the beast is still coming, but its head isn't its head anymore. It lunges and wraps itself around you, biting into your neck with a toothy maw protruding from where its heart used to be in its chest. You struggle, your blood spurts into free space, and you beat the beast back. After that, you take aim to slice off an arm, then a leg, causing it to flop onto the ground and drag itself toward you, one claw at a time. You've heard of death by dismemberment, but what about survival?

Your only hope, as you make your way about repairing the ship, is to cut the creatures up before they make you one of them. To that end, dismemberment will take on tactical dimensions. You know from previous experience that a certain variety of alien scum runs really fast, so it's better to cut off its legs. Faced with a fat, bloated alien monstrosity? You'll slice into its belly only to see a couple dozen space leaches slither out across the floor. These leaches then slither up onto your back as the felled mother crawls toward you with chaos in its eyes and puss in its mouth. Shooting the belly probably isn't the way to go with those things. And those are only two manifestations of the space madness at the heart of EA's upcoming journey into the abyss.

When you look into the abyss, the abyss looks pretty darn good.

They say that in space, no one can hear you scream. But in the conference room at EA, the oohs and aahs (and even a couple AAAHHs!) were clearly audible. Dead Space looks dead gorgeous. Running on a proprietary engine, the textures, frame rates, and crazy, giant ship-gut set pieces already seemed smooth, steady, and scary. And the music was highly reminiscent of the nerve-wracking, cacophonous violins from Jerry Goldsmith's Alien theme. That is, when there was music. In other scenes, particularly one that took place in a quarter with a hull breach, the only sound was your breath as you inhaled and exhaled your quickly diminishing oxygen supply.

There's no word yet on whether Dead Space will feature multiplayer content, but given the game's focus on isolation and terror, we doubt it will feature cooperative play. But when the game hopefully launches in late 2008, it will look to provide single players a scary good excuse to get hopelessly lost in space.

Discussion

122 comments
anwar1998
anwar1998

really scary=really bloody every where you go will have blood in this game sometimes if you stomp on dead bodies their blood might go on to your suit :P

XxorigxX
XxorigxX

a masterpiese of horror....really scary

megamaster32
megamaster32

This game looks really scary compared to fear and silent hill exspecially it looks like a hard game to.

sullyliam
sullyliam

this game looks class love horror films been waitin for a really good blood curdling game since the first silent hill a game that will have u on the edge of ur seat or hopefully hidin behind it and this game looks like it could deliver.hopefully it lives up tp the horror it promises to bring.

metalmaniac13
metalmaniac13

I L-O-V-E survival-horror games! this is so going to be mine the first day it comes out!!

Demo6789
Demo6789

This game looks pretty cool. Hope it doesn't flop.

Capt_Doom
Capt_Doom

I think Cooperative play is a great Idea. Scare two people at once!!!

rah_mhambrey
rah_mhambrey

this game really looks neat....and its coming out for the pc too

Solid_Devil
Solid_Devil

I like horror games and i have to say that this game looks really good.

zeke2040
zeke2040

i hope it has co-op on it... i want my friend to not sleep at nite...lol

rety5
rety5

I smell an M for mature / 18+ game on our hands. It certainly sounds good with the persistant enemies that cant simply be killed by a head shot. I guess we are now moving in to an era of games where horror games can do what it says on the tin.

mikeyg756
mikeyg756

i can only hope its not like bioshock, Bioshock was a major let down, the story basicly sucked and you had some retarded fight with a bear man at the end who took to much juicey crap and i was able to kill him on hard with a wrench...damn good boss fight? this looks like it has more promise than that ****ty game.

ChudWarrior
ChudWarrior

I hope Sam Neill is under that futuristic mining suit.

Sniper_Wolf25
Sniper_Wolf25

demmi the game is at least a year away things that arent halo 3 dont get advertised this early

burnteyeball
burnteyeball

Silen Hill 2750 lol. This game looks realy good sence it's release date is almost a year away. Can't wait to see it improve.

Demmi_Argo
Demmi_Argo

Hm, this game might be a sleeper hit. I don't see much publicity being done. Either EA is trying to keep it quiet to prevent Jack Tompson or other activists to jump on it or its probably planning to delay it.

Strider_91
Strider_91

I really cant wait til this comes out! This is my sort of game and should be awesome to play :)

pabloegalvan
pabloegalvan

this game looks awsome AND has a great storyline. definitely on my wishlist!

General-Fenix
General-Fenix

sounds like a nice bioshock and that means it'll be good cuz bioshock was fantastic but i just hope it has mp bioshock wouldve been a definite buy if it had mp

waveddiamond
waveddiamond

sounds like silent hill + condemed + bioshock + The Thing (game) + space = best sci fi horror game!!! from the looks of the line up for 2008, their will finally be a balance to the force xbox 360 wont dominate the game industry no more.... sad :|

ninjacat11
ninjacat11

The Thing in space? Where do I sign up?

gamergeller
gamergeller

I can not wait for this game. I feel like Cartman waiting for his WII.

dante8
dante8

I dont want to be mean or say your stupid StegrShmil, but wtf dude, its gonna give you a kick, i mean having a pistol at LEAST will kill the things, these you can ONLY DISMEMBER, they wont die unless we somehow get a gun.

londonrider
londonrider

It sounds like Bioshock, just in space. Well... I hope this one will feature more exciting gameplay at least :)

StegrShmil
StegrShmil

Seems kinda boring. Hope this one gets my heart pounding, or it will be nothing much. Mine tools as weapons sounds pretty lame. I wont get my hopes up, but I still want to find out alot more.

Xomonuchi
Xomonuchi

Cool ! can't wait to see what EA is gonna present !

PS360Fanboy
PS360Fanboy

This game look's like it's going to be good, i hope EA get it right

Cirus2
Cirus2

looks like a PS2 game, gfx look quite poor

NinjaMunkey01
NinjaMunkey01

Looks pretty good to me. What does everyone have againsts EA? Suddenly everyone thinks all their games are bad. or do you just listen to whatever gamespot wants you to? they make great games fifa and most the other sports games are great. MOH is good, MFS is great as well. They make tons of games just because one might be bad dosen't make all of them bad. They also have games like C&C which is great! EA makes good games like all the other devs just because they are more successful, make more money (which is what all businesses want to do) and make more games dosent make them bad. In fact I'm all for more games.

wii_sean_wii
wii_sean_wii

great idea im sure E.A will pull this off especially because its on the ps3. just jope they use every bit of detail the ps3 can handle and show every1 wot the ps3 is really made of just like uncharted: drake's fortune.

wars45
wars45

looks the balls but its got to be onilne mam

steven141
steven141

This game looks like it has a lot of potential, i just hope they get it right

LittleYoshi
LittleYoshi

Its from EA..............might be really good, but no one should get your hopes up to high.

sdkingsht
sdkingsht

MAN! this looks promising. can't wait.

Hell-Fire21
Hell-Fire21

I was relieved that this didn't have a puzzle gist in the game play, cause if you're busy trying to figure out what's the best way to take out the aliens, the last thing you want to do is "find the key". Alright EA, this one could be in a rather LARGE and nicely shaped bag

mrvic87
mrvic87

This is so old news! I read about this three months ago. This will be a good game by the way!

derayokray
derayokray

look questionable to me........but maybe im being paranoid

diesil
diesil

hmm EA makes a original game.....well thats a first

blancobo
blancobo

This looks like an "Event Horizon" mutation type of game. Though pretty, smooth and nice-looking... it not an original idea. Then again, some say imitation is the nicest form of flatery. I hope this one goes as being one of these cases.

indyano
indyano

it is too early to say anything, BUT for now I will keep my eye on it for sure.

swoosh18
swoosh18

i hope its more scary than action hero like gameplay

ldonyo
ldonyo

We'll see. It sounds a lot like Doom 3 in outer space with aliens instead of demons.