Description official descriptions
The starship USG Ishimura sends out a distress signal to the Concordance Extraction Corporation during a mining operation on the planet Aegis VII. Another ship is sent to investigate the causes of the signal; however, as it attempts to dock with the Ishimura, it crashes into it because of a system malfunction. The crew is attacked by terrifying monsters. Only three people survive, among them an engineer named Isaac Clarke. It looks like the ship is barely able to sustain its existence, many of its systems critically damaged. Isaac is the only one who would know how to fix them, and his two companions send him on a mission to find out a way to bring things back to normal and discover the truth behind the horrible events.
Dead Space is a third-person sci-fi shooter with elements of survival horror. Controlling Isaac, the player explores the ship, fighting reanimated corpses known as Necromorphs. Combat heavily relies on the so-called "strategic dismemberment", which forces the player to cut off limbs or parts of the Necromorphs to defeat them. Wounding a particular part of the Necromorph's body may either allow the player to kill it, make it change attack patterns, or even become more dangerous.
Many of the weapons in the game are improvised mining tools, such as a rotary saw, a plasma cutter, a hydrazine torch used as a flamethrower, and others. All the weapons feature a secondary fire mode; for example, the plasma cutter can be rotated to cut off vertical limbs more efficiently. Isaac can also use special abilities, allowing him to slow down enemies or pick up and throw items from a distance. A few sections in the game have Isaac float in a zero-gravity environment. Ammo and tools can be found during exploration or purchased in automatic shops available on the ship. Workbenches can be used to upgrade Isaac's weapons and armor.
- Dead Space series
- EA Classics releases
- EA Value Games releases
- Gameplay feature: New Game+
- Games made into books
- Games made into comics
- Games made into movies
- HUDless games
- Physics Engine: Havok
- PlayStation 3 Greatest Hits releases
- Setting: Space station / Spaceship
- Technology: amBX
- Xbox 360 Classics releases
- Xbox 360 Platinum Hits releases
Credits (Xbox 360 version)
603 People (439 developers, 164 thanks) · View all
|Senior Development Director|
|Design Development Director|
|Level Design Lead|
|Senior Gameplay Designer|
|Senior Level Designer|
|Lead Gameplay Engineer|
|Senior Gameplay Engineering|
|[ full credits ]|
Average score: 89% (based on 120 ratings)
Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 177 ratings with 7 reviews)
Dead Space is a Space Survival game set on the planet cracking Spaceship the USG Ishimura. Firstly before I start anything. This is an original IP from EA. A trend I really like. Yes, now it’s a success, there is the possibility that EA will suck the innovative life out of it’s unique qualities, this hasn’t happened yet. But we’re not here to talk about what could be with the Dead Space universe. We are here to talk about Dead Space as it is now, so lets get on with it.
Let me get the point of this review over and done with before I burst like a zombie with excitement: Dead Space is good. As long as you aren’t too squeamish, you’ll love it.
Ah, that’s better.
Dead Space has taken something we have all seen before, Space, Zombies and gratuitous blood and violence and made a game that takes you on a Journey that you won’t forget. You star as the woefully undeveloped Issac Clark, an engineer who is thrust upon the USG Ishimura with his crew when the communication’s go dead. All hell breaks loose when they crash-land onboard. Most of the crew are dead and there is an unusual growth creeping over the entire ship. The dead are rising and have become something unholy. And all Issac has as a weapon is the heel of his foot and a device called a ‘Plasma Cutter’ designed to cut through rock. Not Flesh.
The world that EA Redwood have put together is really engaging with over 160 different audio logs, a downloadable graphic novel (available free on Xbox live as videos) and text logs that perforate around the ship. The back-story and history that the characters live in is deep and real and really adds to the weight of Issac’s journey.
As Issac you receive missions from your living comrades, trying to figure out what has happened to this ship as it floats above the broken planet below and how to get out alive. Initially your arsenal is small, just the ‘Plasma Cutter’, but quickly you can buy other weapons and ammo, obtain new suits to beef up your armour. On top of all that you can upgrade your weapons and suit to maximise your survival potential. There will be moments as you play where you’ll look at the two shots of ammo and the one single bar of health. One room between you and the next store and you know it’s going to be tight. The tension builds within you. It’s so good and the Dead Space plays on this beautifully.
One thing you’ll really notice when playing Dead Space is that there is no HUD (Heads Up Display). The game is HUD-less. It wasn’t dismembered in an unusual smelting accident or lost in a game of cards, it’s a design choice; an immersive one. Everything you do in Dead Space is in the environment and it’s a fantastic. The health bar is along Issac’s spine, the meter for your status module (a device that lets you slow time on an enemy or object) is on his back, even the amount of air you have left is displayed when you need it ticking away to you death if you don’t move fast. All of your actions feel real, it’s another level to the immersion. When you get a video message it projects in front of Issac as a hologram, when you look in your inventory it pops up too; but doesn’t pause the game. Often when you need to play with your inventory you either have to be bloody fast or find somewhere safe to do it. It builds the tension beautifully.
All this tension, all the creeks of the ship, all the growling of alien necomorph beasts, all of it adds to the breathtaking and pant wetting Atmosphere. Dead Space has the atmosphere down. If EA Redwood have done anything it’s Atmosphere.
It’s obvious that the development team took their cues from film and music, the quality at manipulating the player into being really scared of walking around a corner is impressive. The Ishimura will creak as parts of the ship shear off, blood lines the walls merely suggesting the massacre that has befallen the crew. Violins will shriek only to reveal an empty room, or is it empty? Even the audio logs can make you jump as communications is sporadic at best sometimes your fellow crew will just pop up loudly in front of you holographically. It’s all very clever and they owe me a new pair of pants. I can’t wear them again and I’m too ashamed to take them to a professional cleaner.
- Ahem * ….yes…anyway moving on….
On the subject of the crew and characters, the voice acting is really good. Not only from the crew you landed with but from the audio logs that are scattered around the world. In a very Bioshock move, you can discover more about what befell the USG Ishimura by collecting and listening to audio logs. All of these tit-bits add to the atmosphere as they play as you walk around. Sometimes giving a hint to the horror that awaits around the next corner. You can instantly relate to the characters and they genuinely add to the world that has been layered before you.
Between fighting the animated and disfigured dead and exploration there is some light puzzling ranging from picking up power cells and putting them in wall slots to moving in zero G and moving yet more objects, it’s a nice change from the constant fear of attack, but as always sometimes it isn’t even that; dealing with a puzzle while trying not to die? Tense fun…..
The weapons predominantly are not designed to be used against enemies, they are designed to cut rock, move large deposits of metals and minerals not for cutting the limbs off the re-animated corpses of the ships crew. Which gives these weapons a certain overpowered charm. Yes they cut through rock, but they also don’t have much in the way of ammo. Adding to the ‘ohmygodimgonna****myself’ vibe this game has.
On the subject of these weapons and the killing of the necomorphs. They are afterall the living dead brought back in a new form from one or two or seven corpses. This means that the enemies all have different behaviours. One behaviour that seems to be universal is not going for the headshot. They get angry. Usually becoming faster and harder to kill. In Dead Space dispatching the enemy is all about dismemberment, cut off an enemy’s legs and they will crawl slowly towards you, cut off their arms and they won’t do as much damage. Eventually the necromorph will ‘die’ it’s flesh no longer useful for it’s purpose. It’s really satisfying and forces you to think and get better at aiming.
The upgrade system and is based on the idea that everything has a nano-chip and by upgrading various chips on weapons and on your suit interface (which upgrades every subsequent suit you buy from the shop not just the one you are wearing) you can shoot harder, breathe longer in no atmosphere (these sections can be particularly tense) and have a longer health bar. It’s all based on how many ‘nodes’ you have these are added to the nano chip and expand it accordingly.
This small part is one of the reasons for a second or third playthrough as there aren’t enough Nodes to upgrade everything in one playthrough.
So Replay-ability is high. In a very ‘resident evil’ fashion, you can carry over your items to the next playthrough but only on the same difficulty, only through a glitch can you use the best suit in the impossible difficulty setting. This is a bad move, the completionist in me finds this really jarring. Yes maybe impossible won’t be impossible with all the stuff I had. But who wants to play an impossible game? There is no joy in failing repeatedly. None.
Dead Space is not without flaws, it’s save points and recharge stations are placed in such a way that sometimes the surprise of an event can be spoiled.
“Oh look there seems to be an air refuel station here, hmm likely that this room will be without atmosphere at some point.” Etc…
But even with it’s minor camera problems , the main protagonists undeveloped personality and history and a difficulty scale that can vastly change, there is enough balance between fighting and puzzles and you’ll enjoy exploring and hopefully saving your skin on the USG Ishimura.
The Bottom Line
It all boils down to a brilliant story, fantastic atmosphere and a really solid engine that brings this game to the top of the crop. The weak of stomach however need not apply.
A definite buy. Go forth and dismember.
Note to EA: I hope that EA sees that a new IP can be really profitable as long as it’s done well and given time to complete. Take note EA we like change so long as it’s good. No more than three Dead Space games please, I warn you I have a powered up Plasma Cutter and I’m not afraid to use it…..
Xbox 360 · by BinaryDragon (18) · 2008
Yes, as you may have heard or read, this game is largely a mixture of previous, successful Survival Horror/Adventure franchises like System Shock 2, Resident Evil, Doom 3, BioShock, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Left4Dead, Singularity, Metroid Prime as well as numerous Sci-Fi movie plots which contribute to the basic atmosphere and premise of this game; mainly: Aliens, Event Horizon, Solaris and The Thing.
That’s not a bad thing in this case, and the similarities end at a fairly superficial level.
In the 25th Century, humanity's insane appetite for resources inevitably leads us to other planets, to extract their abundant mineral wealth, free from any ethical, political and environmental considerations to deal with.
Planets we think... will have no native life forms to interfere with our harvesting. Turns out, we encounter an alien species that harvest resources of a different kind. Dead flesh.
A huge "Planet-Cracker" ship, the USG Ishimura (appropriately meaning “Stone Village” in Japanese), sends out an emergency SOS signal while in orbit above Aegis VII, a nondescript planet in a distant solar system.
Isaac Clarke, who is one of the unluckiest and unassuming guys you'll ever meet in a video game, as well as nod to the great Sci-Fi pioneers Isaac Asimov & Arthur Clarke, is an experienced engineer is dispatched aboard the USG Kellion with a crew of 4, to investigate what they assume are just mere communications problems aboard the Ishimura. Sounds good huh? You have no idea.
What Dead Space does best in the over-saturated Survival Horror Genre is PERFECT things to a tee.
Ammunition and pick-up scarcity is at just the right balance to make the game difficult enough but not insanely frustrating for all but the most novice survival horror players.
Necromorph attacks have a consistent pace throughout the game, so you're never too comfortable and familiar with your enemy, but also never too far away from the next fire fight.
You're weapons feel underwhelming and rustic (because they are just improvised mining tools for the most part), so you're never too confident with your arsenal but at the same time they can be heavily modified to wreak serious hell on the USG Ishimura later on in the game. The customization aspect of your weapons, RIG (your space suit) and stasis/kinesis abilities provide some serious replay value.
The immersion factor sucks you into this game like few others (Amnesia: The Dark Descent is the closest at matching it) because of the HUD-less interface, in-game holographic projection screens instead of atmosphere-breaking menus and very interactive environments. Everything in the game is presented in a 3rd-person, over-the-shoulder perspective; rarely breaking from this angle.
Isaac's every step and action you undertake while breathing right down his neck, and the excellent physics and animation makes every heart-pounding, close encounter with the hideous Necromorphs all the more terrifying. You'll notice this the most if you let one of those suckers come too close and grab a hold of you or if one of them sneaks up behind you, in which case all you’ll see is a giant pointy arm come up behind Isaac that will require you to change your pants.
One factor that strikes you in a big way, is that you do feel like an everyman in the wrong place at the wrong time. Isaac doesn’t give you the impression of a super-human, one-man army like Duke Nukem or Master Chief. He feels very mortal, very afraid and very lonely; like any Space Engineer would be trying to combat the living dead on what was supposed to be a repair mission. Isaac doesn’t move very fast, his aim is quite slow (no this is not a design fault) and he isn’t very adept at hand-to-hand combat.
The locale is not only extremely well-designed but for once, everything in the setting MAKES SENSE. The Ishimura feels like a real, deep-space, mining vessel; not just a series of meaningless, inter-connected, metallic corridors with dim lighting and computer panels on the walls (I'm looking at you Doom 3).
There are numerous decks, roughly modelled after large military ships, all serving very specific and necessary tasks (i.e. the Flight Deck, where you first dock, Crew Quarters, where everyone sleeps, Medical Deck, where the infirmary is, Hydroponics Deck, which purifies the oxygen on-board and provides the entire ship's food supply). Everything is linked together via the centrally-located tram, which is basically the spine of the Ishimura and your continual source of progression in the game.
Everything makes sense. The artistic designers and graphic artists did their homework, and made a very believable and plausible world for you to explore. The technology you come across in the Ishimura doesn’t ever make you stop and go “Oh yeah right, like that could ever happen”. Zero-Gravity chambers, the Asteroid Defence System which protects the hull from rock impacts, the breath-taking Bridge, the way rooms compress and decompress when oxygen escapes/enters, the gravity tethers that hold giant objects in place, the deafening silence of a vacuum, even the little, nit-picky details like having numerous toilets on each deck or how quarantine is trigged when Necromorphs breaking into a room through the air vents… it just makes freakin’ sense.
What doesn't make sense though, at least at first, are your enemy: the Necromorphs (“Shape of Death” in Latin, I like that). The grotesque, walking, body-part scrapyards that roughly resemble parts of dead carcasses slapped together in random order.
They are uncomfortable to watch and even less pleasant to fight; your enemy in this game has that unique element of blending vague, human-like qualities with the most inhuman purposes, e.g. deformed babies that scurry along the walls with 3 retractable tentacles that can fire organic missiles at you.
They are incredibly well-designed creatures, very frightening and utterly relentless. You have to slice and dice your way into victory in Dead Space, there are no "BOOM HEADSHOT!" shortcuts. Just limb loppin' good times to be had.
The story is probably the best and most original (a rarity for EA nowadays) in the Survival Horror genre since Resident Evil and Silent Hill came out over a decade ago. The way it blends a love story with religious fanaticism and philosophy, as well a sinister agenda by the powers that be is very well done. The script is honestly more well-written and fleshed out than most horror films released nowadays. The numerous plot twists and character developments are flawlessly integrated into the gameplay, happening at just the right moments, never distracting you from your immediate goals and revealing just enough to keep you satisfied in your quest for understanding but never too much to allow you to figure out the story well before its conclusion.
The story is delivered in the tried-and-true storytelling method of past Survival Horror games: audio & video logs. In much the same way as System Shock 2, Doom 3 and BioShock reveal the background of what led to the disastrous downfall of their once Utopian settings, Dead Space will provide you often with cryptic and some not-so-cryptic voices/faces from the past describing most of what went on before Isaac and the USG Kellion arrived. I was genuinely surprised at the last two chapters of the game.
The designers really got me with some totally unexpected revelations.
Finally, as most know, sound design is everything when you’re trying to recreate a living nightmare of never-ending tension and suspense. What Dead Space does differently is not having an ambient sound design which is overlayed with a composed soundtrack, like almost all games these days. Dead Space has a continual, background sound track that is primarily composed of sound effects, cues and faint verbal whispering with subtle rhythms and music being used VERY sparingly and only in certain locations (e.g. each time you board and exit the tram).
This means essentially, whenever you’re not dissecting Necromorphs like high school biology projects, you are immersed the dark and eerie sounds of the Ishimura as the game’s ambient soundtrack. Is that metal clanking in the distance a broken machine or someone moving around? Am I really hearing those voices in my head or is it just my imagination? The beauty of the ambient sounds is that they blend so well into the game play to frighten you, for example; every time you receive a video transmission from the few living, breathing humanoids on the Ishimura a loud, electronic distortion noise breaks the silence; which if you’re in a pitch-dark room that is very quiet, can literally jolt you awake. Whenever you enter a vacuum, almost NOTHING can be heard (which is scientifically accurate as sound waves need air to travel any meaningful distance) aside from Isaac’s magnetic boots stomping on the floor and his labored breathing, which is terrific at allowing Necromorphs to come up right behind you, without you knowing until a pointy appendage dangles over Isaac’s head.
However the shining example of the excellent sound design in the game goes unequivocally to the voice acting, particularly via the rest of your crew, although the in-game audio logs are incredibly heart-felt and emotionally delivered. Many have praised it as Hollywood-quality voice acting and that’s because quite a number of the voice actors in the game are experienced Hollywood actors who have starred in big-budget, blockbusters like Peter Mensah from Avatar, 300, Tears of the Sun and Navid Negahban from TV shows like NCIS, 24 and CSI.
Yes it does get predictable mid-way through the game, but so does every single other Survival Horror title once you've become desensitized to it. Some of the objectives you’re given are quite tedious and dull, (you will seriously regret Isaac’s career choice to become an Engineer, as the rest of your crew treat you as the universal DIY “fix-it” man) and some of the “peek-a-boo” scares are very predictable as are the different Necromorph types once you fight them enough times, but I mean, how clever can reanimated, dead body parts be?
Towards the end of the game, which clocks in at a respectable 12 hours of solid gameplay for most (maybe 11 or 10 if you're very accustomed with Survival Horror like I am), the designers crammed in a succession of major plot twists, stunning revelations and one big disappointment after another (from Isaac’s perspective) that will leave you feel slightly weary, unsure of the story and eager to conclude the events of the game. Several major plot twists are revealed in the space of just an hour or so, which I thought felt a bit rushed and panicky.
Aside from the last two chapters, which are noticeably shorter and have a frenzied pace, the ending is very climactic rest assured, and the game never let me down in my opinion. I was always engaged in the story, always intrigued by the latest revelations and always unsure where I would end up 10 minutes from now.
Survival Horror at its essence is about making the player feel less-than, inferior, helpless, desperate, unaware of the larger forces at work and giving him no glimmers of hope in the near future until it concludes.
Dead Space succeeds with flying colors in all aspects.
Technically, on the PC version, there are no major deal-breakers or glitches aside from the widely reported “mouse lag” issue (which is actually to do with the frame rate being capped at 30 FPS instead of the more common 60 FPS) but which can very easily be rectified by forcing Visual Sync on in your graphics driver's control panel and then disabling VSync in the game’s visual settings menu. That did the trick for me.
The Bottom Line
Think of the dark corridors of Doom 3, the ruthlessly fast and hideously ugly zombies of Resident Evil, the "ghost town"-like planet colony of Aliens and the haunting atmosphere of Silent Hill, a place that was once a normal, likeable locale... and you have Dead Space. If you're at all a fan of Survival Horror, Science-Fiction settings or FPS games, or even better all of the above, then you’re going to enjoy the heck out Dead Space.
Windows · by Sharafciger (34) · 2011
It is seemingly as if they took all my favourite scary games and mashed them together into one piece of bloody perfection.
The Graphics of Mass Effect? Check. The same style of interior semblance as Doom 3? Check. Audio and Video logs as story progression from Resident Evil and Doom 3? Check. The same fantastic camera angle and controls of Resident Evil 4? Check. Gruesome blood and guts enemies like those in The Thing? Check. Enemies that don't "just die," like those in The Thing? Check. * Shop and upgrades from Resident Evil 4? Check. *Just enough originality to make one damn good game? Check.
Suffice to say while playing this game, I feel like someone read my mind and made a game out of it.
The atmosphere is just perfect. It looks extremely similar to the environments found in Doom 3, however the over the shoulder camera and controls lifted from Resident Evil 4 make for much more genuine scares. Additionally the enemies aren't your typical "Bang. You're dead" type. Very much like the video game adaptation of The Thing, you must finish off the enemy otherwise they might just get right back up and eat your face. Where as in The Thing players had to weaken and then torch the creatures, Dead Space is slightly less tedious in that you must "creatively dismember" the bad guys to kill them.
Speaking of atmosphere, this is a no-HUD game. Your only indication of your life status is the spine on the back of your suit. Very immersive. Speaking of immersion, the audio is just perfect in this game. Creepy sounds coming from vents, subtle creaks to keep you on your toes. It all works perfectly to really bring you into the experience. On top of that the audio effects for things like machinery on the ship is top notch. The muffled audio during space walks is also a nice touch.
The storyline is great. Told through text, audio and video logs found throughout the game it tells a compelling story that makes you actually want to seek out the documents.Top notch voice acting brings it home as one of the most cinematic games to date.
Finally, Dead Space offers some great customization. If you can suspend your disbelief at the arbitrary shops throughout the ship then you're in for some great fun. Your EV suit is fully customizable and upgradable. In addition your inventory can be expanded, weapons upgraded and certain items combined, adding a good strategy element.
Nothing really. It's clear most, if not all of Dead Space was inspired by prior games. However it's done so extremely well that I can forgive it.
The Bottom Line
A coming together of some of the best games in the horror genre make for one excellent game. If you liked any of the games I mentioned, or just plain like scary games, then check this one out for sure.
PlayStation 3 · by MegaMegaMan (2257) · 2009
|Limited time free offer from Origin||Rwolf (22296)||Apr 1st, 2014|
|Should I go on?||Slug Camargo (583)||May 15th, 2009|
|Wii version coming soon.||Big John WV (26941)||Mar 23rd, 2009|
|QUERY: Dead Space demo... ending...||And Wan||Mar 1st, 2009|
|Add New Game Group||bobthewookiee (71)||Feb 15th, 2009|
1001 Video Games
Dead Space appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
Air filtration room bug
Unfortunately, each platform the game was released (PS3, XBox 360, Windows) on, features the same, occasionally reproduced critical bug. In the 6th Chapter, where you are trying to pass the furnaces in the Air Filtration room, the control panels near the locked doors, which you should shoot out, are absent, and there is absolutely no way to proceed in the game. The exact steps to reproduce this bug are still unknown. No fixes exist at the moment of this trivia contribution, but a solution to avoid this bad situation does exist.
Just save your game in the very beginning of each chapter while you are in the tram, and keep it until you finish the chapter. If the bug occurs, just reload your save game and walk through the chapter from the very beginning once more. Just go to the problematic place as fast as possible and examine whether it is the same or not. Do it until the control panels appear, and you'll be able to get along.
When put together, the first letter of each chapter's name spells out NICOLE IS DEAD.
At first the game was developed for the original Xbox.
Some of the characters that appear or are mentioned in the game also appear in the animated prequel Downfall, which depicts the outbreak of the Necromorphs on the Ishimura.
- Isaac Clarke, the main character of the game, is named after science fiction writers Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke.
- Unitology, the fictional religion that plays a large part in the series' storyline, appears to be vaguely inspired by the Church of Scientology.
- GAME British Academy Video Games Awards
- 2009 - Original Score Award
- February 209 (Issue #245) - Xbox 360 Game of the Year 2008
- GamePro (Germany)
- February 26, 2009 - Best Console Action-Adventure in 2008 (Readers' Vote)
- 2008 – #8 Xbox 360 Game of the Year
- 2008 – #9 PS3 Game of the Year
- 2008 – Best Audio of the Year
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by BinaryDragon.
Game added November 4th, 2008. Last modified December 1st, 2023.