Monday, January 14, 2013

Review: Dead Space

Dead Space is typically a well known survival horror game among consoles such as the XBox 360 and the PS3.  I have played the Dead Space series before, so when I was browsing the Google Play store and found Dead Space, I decided to pick it up, just to see if it held out well.  The good news is that this is an excellent game that takes the basic Dead Space formula and makes it work well for a mobile platform.  The bad news is that the iOS version has more features than the Android version, but a lack of a Survival mode as well as no addition of the Heavy Pulse Rifle are minor things to gripe about.

So, the game plays out like your typical Dead Space game.  You play from a third person perspective and navigate through various levels, each one with puzzles and enemies.  However, in this game, you are not playing as the series main protagonist, Issac Clarke.  Instead, you play as a character who goes by the name of Vandal.  You never see his face, and his voice is masked via a voice synthesizer.  This choice does two things.  The first of which is that since you are no longer playing as the console version's main character, you can now safely say that this Dead Space is its own game.  The second thing is that the character can be either gender; that character could be you.

Is the game scary?  To be honest, I cannot really answer that.  You see, I am the type of person who does not scare very easily.  So, something that is scary for the average person would make me not even flinch.  If anything, I can say that the game has a few jump scares here and there, but those are so far from each other that the horror aspect of the game is not as prominent as the action portions.  However, take that assessment of the horror portions with a grain of salt.

This ended up being more of an action game.  The survival bits are loosely thrown in, and rarely will you ever find yourself out of ammo.  You can easily beat the game with just your starting weapons alone, so long as you take the time to find the power nodes to upgrade your gear.  Stasis constantly regenerates, which makes the ability abusive at times.  You even get a pretty decent melee weapon, called the Plasma Saw, which is basically a get out of my face type of weapon.  It doesn't pack a powerful punch, but it is usually enough to turn around a conflict, and buy yourself a little bit of time.  Mix that new saw with the stasis, and you have a pretty potent method of dealing with enemies if you ever run out of ammo.

Now, it sounds like I am being harsh on the game, and comparing it too much to the Dead Space games on consoles, but do not get me wrong.  The game is still great for what it is.  It is simple to control and most importantly, fun to play, which is important when designing a game for mobile phones.  It is not the most perfect Dead Space game, but it does what it does well.  The only downside I can think of this game is that the lack of the Survival mode that the iOS devices enjoy so much does limit the replay-ability of this game.

 iTunes | Google Play

Developer: EA


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