Even before its release in 2008, Dead Space was hailed as innovative and spectacular. Its futuristic setting and unique take on the walking dead brought us into a world few expected, as successful sci-fi horror games tended to be few and far between. After its release, it proved all the talk wasn’t for nothing, meeting rave reviews from critics and fans alike. In fact, the worst review it received was a seven out of ten by Eurogamer. Most reviews were eight or nine out of ten, or comparable. The game even won several awards for its score and soundtrack.
If you’ve played the Dead Space, (and if you haven’t, and this line slips past the editors, stop what you’re doing, go buy and play this game, then come back and finish reading. Seriously. Do it.) I’m sure you can remember the first time you watched the asteroids part and the USG Ishimura came into view. The ship even begins the game with a sense of grandiosity.
It’s massive; you can feel it.
You don’t know exactly what’s going on yet (unless you read the comics that were released to lead into the game), but you know this huge, dark ship, hanging there like a corpse is going to be terrifying.
You step into the shoes of Issac Clark, a voiceless, faceless engineer, hoping to meet up with his girlfriend during what is, as far as he knows, a simple repair mission. Instead, in almost no time at all you’re running for your life from twisted abominations built from human dead called Necromorphs. Clark is not a soldier, and his gear reflects that. You do pick up a military rifle at one point, but most of your weapons are re-purposed mining tools. Equipment that’s supposed to be pulverizing rock, not flesh, no matter how effective it actually is at that.
The Necromorphs are also one of the most original monsters to appear in games in a very long time. They are signal-controlled virus which takes control of a human corpse’s cells in order to twist the body around into new shapes and return it to a kind of half-life in which its only purpose is to make more corpses to infect. The game makers looked at pictures of car crash victims for inspiration, leading to monsters which are truly twisted in every sense of the word.
The game spawned three sequels, more comics, a couple of novels, and a few anime movies to expand on the rich mythology and universe that they created. Unfortunately, the last sequel kind of petered out the franchise between a fairly solid ending and poor responses. There has been a small movement, and rumors of a new Dead Space game though, be it another sequel, or a full reboot. So here’s hoping we haven’t seen the last of the Necromorphs. Next year is the 10th anniversary, so maybe we’ll get some remastered versions at least!