Dead Space Impressions

Mix one part Doom, one part Resident Evil, and add a dash of classic science fiction cinema for good measure, and you have Dead Space.

In Dead Space, set 500 years in the future, you'll fill the shoes of Isaac Clarke, an engineer sent as part of a support team to investigate the lack of communications from the USG Ishimura--a city-sized "planet cracker" ship used to strip entire planets of their resources.

Glen Schofield, Dead Space's executive producer, talked us through a number of playable levels in the eerie vessel of death. The first action we saw was part of the third level, which Schofield says will take around 80 minutes to complete. Some of Isaac's weapons will be mining tools, such as a plasma cutter, a "gk" gun--Dead Space's answer to Half-Life 2's gravity gun--and a dangerous-looking buzz saw that is fired and retracted along an invisible axis, but there will also be traditional weapons, such as a pulse rifle. You'll be able to easily access only four weapons at a time (with the D pad), but you'll be able to store more in your inventory, which is accessed via the menu system.

The lights up Isaac's spine are a handy indicator of how close he is to death, while ammo indicators by his weapon also prove useful.

The over-the-shoulder, third-person view follows what's happening with Isaac and his bodysuit. While you start with a suit called RIG, you'll acquire new suits and other upgrades as you progress. Vital information is presented onscreen around the bodysuit and weapons. Isaac's "stasis" meter (more on this later) and health bar appear on his spine. The story progresses through video, audio, and text messages shown on virtual video displays that appear in front of Isaac, so there are no cutscenes to interrupt the creepy atmosphere.

After an introduction to the game and a short firefight, we were shown a zero-gravity environment complete with debris and floating aliens. Previously acquired canisters provide a small amount of oxygen to allow you to survive in the vacuum of space, but you'll have to move fast while activating some equipment and taking out several angry scorpion-like aliens complete with tailwhips. In this zero-gravity area, there is no down or up--Isaac can attach to surfaces with his magnetic boots at will.

The sound effects in the zero-gravity environment are what you might expect to hear in a vacuum, such as hollow, muffled blasts from the weapons, and raspy, shallow breathing. This is a departure from the loud, screeching, intense environments in other parts of the game, which, for the most part, looked suitably dark and seedy.

It's not all doom and gloom aboard the USG Ishimura.

In Dead Space, you'll acquire and use "stasis," which, when fired directly at enemies or machinery, briefly slows their movements and gives them a handy blue tinge. These valuable few seconds can mean the difference between survival and death. This is useful in some of the more puzzlelike areas; for example, in one section we saw, you need to shoot a spinning shaft to slow it down and then use the gravity gun to drag it along a cylinder and connect it with some cogs to activate a room-sized centrifuge.

The action in Dead Space relies in part on "strategic dismemberment"--taking down aliens, one appendage at a time. For instance, severing the head from an enemy with slashing arms does little. If you cap his legs, however, he'll still approach you, but much more slowly.

According to Schofield, at times you'll be low on ammo and will need to use your gk gun creatively to survive. In one instance, if you use a regular weapon to dismember an enemy's sharp clawlike arm, it's possible to then grab the severed limb with the gk gun and use it to finish the creature off. As well as using your weapons and enemies' limbs, you'll be able to stomp on and kick enemies and will have to use some rapid button mashing to get smaller creatures off your back.

From what we could see of Dead Space's often dark, atmospheric, and eerie setting, the game looks promising, with subtle, detailed environments. Lighting effects, smoke, and other touches further the sense of isolation. While the parts we saw were mostly action-focused, EA has promised plenty of horror, but not necessarily much survival. Schofield said that you might go 20 minutes without bumping into anything actively trying to kill you, but those 20 minutes could make you "scared sh**less."

EA says that Dead Space, which is being developed at its Redwood Shores studio, is progressing well. The game is expected sometime this year, and EA hopes to be able to narrow down the launch window soon.

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Luke Anderson

Former staff writer for GameSpot.co.uk, now marketing guy for a certain major online retailer....
Dead Space

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249 comments
Xeuton_Mojukai
Xeuton_Mojukai

Having seen the more recent footage, this game looks like an evolutionary step for game design. Using the quintessential HUD-style GUI in FPS's (pardon the acronyms) in a Third-Person view is quite an innovation, and allows the game to need practically no menus (though apparently the pause screen is a necessity, which I don't mind at all. It seems like they're taking the best parts of Alien, Resident Evil, and Bioshock to create a truly amazing gameplay experience. Let's hope it lives up to expectations! ~XM

FLYEboi50
FLYEboi50

I REALLY CANT WAIT FOR THIS GAME TO COME OUT!! XD

TWiSTEDmerc
TWiSTEDmerc

This will be one of the first games I get with my PS3!

IIHitandRunII
IIHitandRunII

to me i think as a gamespot score its going to get a 9 or 9.5 .... but i am it seriously looks AWESOME. I was waiting for a good looking Horror game and this is it.

itwiz90
itwiz90

Wow, this is going to be very interesting. It does have that Event Horizon flavor to it. Let's wait and see.

GeneralArrow
GeneralArrow

Haha I new I wasn't the only one who thought it looked like Event Horizon. But it'll be fun to play a game that will scare you sh**less. I loved F.E.A.R.

gazzad
gazzad

The original videos for Dead Space released over Xbox live looked utter rubbish, but it's now starting to look pretty good. Hope this game turns out to be awesome.

joeallen06
joeallen06

looks like EA is back on track with there games

DontEatCream
DontEatCream

I am intrigued by this game, if only because the zombie-aliens look so ****ed up. You don't wanna mess with them in a cold, dark alley somewhere.

NDegree
NDegree

One thing is clear that Dead Space is a pretty scary game but it's story feels like 1997 movie called ''Event Horizon'' mix with Resident Evil 4, Doom 3 and Half-Life 2 which I think it's not creative. Also one thing I don't like is that all the enemies looks the same.

PhoenixVenom
PhoenixVenom

looks pretty good im sure it will give me nightmares. i wanna c some more but looks like a winner

durge666
durge666

When you think about it, not every mutated shipmate zombie alien is going to be attacking you...or even know where you are. This is going to be a Survival Horror Action game. Not an Action game. The scariest part will probably be walking down dimly lit corridors, hearing distant screeches of machinery and metal, looking at the blood stained walls and ceilings, and bumping into torn apart crewmen. You open a pressure lock to another area of the ship, but the room is filled with dead corpses...being torn apart by zombie aliens. A few of the aliens turn their heads and shake their heads trying to sense you. Your suit automatically locks the gas canister since you're now in breathable air, a click rings through the room. The aliens turn their heads in your direction again, this time hissing and turning to each other. They approach you from all sides, some leaping onto the ceiling, some climbing underneath the grates in the floor, some heading towards you dead on. You hear a loud scrape as the claws of one of the aliens gets lodged in the floor as it tried to leap at you... Now that would be f***ing scary. I'm pretty sure that's what they're trying to accomplish, not guns blazing killing off thousands of zombies that come out of nowhere. I think this will pull the horror part off wonderfully. It's the perfect idea. Seriously. Space is already scary enough, it's cold, void, unknown, dark, and infinite. Throw in a creepy space ship, alien zombies, blood stains, and torn apart crew members, and you have one f***ing scary game.

guerillaKZ2
guerillaKZ2

i'm ten, so to me this looks like a great game,but i bet it'll give horror nightmares. maybe that's a good thing????

worthlessdude66
worthlessdude66

not usually into horror games but this one seems pretty good i'll have to try it out

supralover1
supralover1

Can't wait to give this a go, looks spooky. Scary crown of the year I think.

themc_7
themc_7

after watching the dead space, video I couldn't help but think...doom, but it does look cool

CCyberDDemon
CCyberDDemon

but what the hell happened on that ishimura base? anti-catholic demons without horns from haikiri dimension? alien infestation (again!) ? im tired of this alien war

Craft2299
Craft2299

Theres no survival? mhh, but seems veru interiactive, i mean. pulling an arm of whit the gk... lol thats something u cant do in HL2. hahaha. The trailer seemed like it was in multiplayer, i donnu but it was no cutscene based. did it say anything about multiplayer?

Limowrecked
Limowrecked

I just hope it will be real Survival horror with both "Survival" and "Horror" in it. That's something really rare these days.

wario626
wario626

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

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

The Gravity gun isnt 'Gimmcky' its quite original, only been done in Half-Life (that i know of),

TheGum
TheGum

Looks like the heir to the throne of RE4.

killzone_gamer
killzone_gamer

Century slayer - the weapons aren't gimmicky, if a gravity gun gimmicky then you are calling probably one of (if not the most) popular overall guns in FPS history a gimmick..... Maybe so, but its a dam good gimmick.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

so long as its been well thought out and contains lots of detail and they've put care & attention into it,i dont care

haesuse
haesuse

there seems to be a lot of "borrowed" stuff in this game but overall there is a lot of redesigned originality. mix that with a good horror atmosphere, scary moments, good arsenal and story as well as some shiny nice next gen graphics and i think this is shaping up to be pretty damn good. one actual and true concern i have is that too much of the "detailed" combat might slow down the pace of the game as wel as make the controlls clunky or complicated, but than again we are not sure if it supossed to be slow and eerie or just a doom-esque fast pace alien slaughter fest!?

Treblemaka
Treblemaka

I have a feeling this game is going to have control issues.

xrydersx
xrydersx

a true gamer , is this like another silent hill

Kezuya
Kezuya

I just hope it comes thru in the end! A lot of games have hype but then fail upon release so hope this is gud! Cant remember the last time i played a gud game

Afro_Samurai
Afro_Samurai

I'm gonna buy this game and play it in the dark.... ^_^

stevo_360
stevo_360

This game looks very promising, lets hope it actually comes out this year.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

"Mix one part Doom, one part Resident Evil, and add a dash of classic science fiction cinema for good measure, and you have Dead Space." you forgot the one part EA. mmmmm

Jshaw71
Jshaw71

looks good, kinda looks like re4 in space, but that's ok, i would like to see a demo before i get the game, thanks for the preview gamespot

Arcanum
Arcanum

This game is very high on my whsh list. We need a demo!

Bgrngod
Bgrngod

This game looks freakin' sweet.

rotnem
rotnem

I don't Believe it, O2 adverts here. I thought they were mainly in Ireland and some parts of the UK. What are they doing on an American website. And btw, Vodafone is better.

22GHOST22
22GHOST22

Looks awsome with elements of both resident evil4 and doom3 i can't wait for this game.

22GHOST22
22GHOST22

Looks awsome with elements of both resident evil4 and doom3 i can't wait for this game.

22GHOST22
22GHOST22

Looks awsome with elements of both resident evil4 and doom3 i can't wait for this game.

22GHOST22
22GHOST22

Looks crazy with elements of both resident evil 4 and doom 3 I can't wait.

22GHOST22
22GHOST22

Looks crazy with elements of both resident evil 4 and doom 3 I can't wait.

22GHOST22
22GHOST22

Looks crazy with elements of both resident evil 4 and doom 3 I can't wait.

nonstop619
nonstop619

Yeah no sound for a good portion of the game would get boring. I think a little artistic license wouldn't be a bad thing for this area of the game. Even though no sound in vacuum of space would be real, he would still hear his own breathing and movment (fabric or whateve his suit is made of rubing together) and anything to come into contact with the suit. The gun in his hand might vibrate enough to generate some noise. Mix that with some really good and creepy music. All and all it sounds good.... I hope it better than Jericho

ThaBrotherian2
ThaBrotherian2

The games graphics and synopsis is what I've been waiting for, but i hope the game play will flow well when it comes down to a good battle. The main characters vulnerability will keep us gamers on the edge of our seats.

lukiat
lukiat

Ok, it's an all mix, and all good games :)

mattlom03
mattlom03

I really hope that this game turns out as good as it sounds.