Everyone Wants Peng
Or rather, everyone should want to play Dead Space. The only game (I know) this one could be compared to, would be F.E.A.R., although this is even cooler, because it’s IN SPACE (and DS is more different from a standard shooter)! Some people name Event Horizon as a movie that would be similar, but Dead Space is much better and not just because of the interactivity of a game.
It has zero gravity (like Prey), vacuum (with an appropriate impact on sound), firing of huge mass driver cannons, “character”/weapon progression through the use of power nodes (using them wisely DOES make sense), inventory (that grows with new suits), boss-fights, usable interfaces that are projected into the game world like holograms, shops to buy/sell equipment, small riddles solvable through the clever use of the character’s stasis and telekinesis ability, one of the best game settings this genre has to offer along tremendous background music and probably more stuff I just couldn’t come up with right now.
Dead Space is one of the few games, that can actually deliver a sense of dread. I don’t even like horror myself a lot, but every great, atmospheric experience draws me right in nonetheless.
It turned out it was a great time to play and finish the game, because Dead Space 2 will be released soon and it looks like it’s the sequel DS deserves. There’s even talk about importing the savegame from 1, which will unlock an extra weapon.
How big DS is, can be estimated by all the smaller and bigger things already published for this franchise. There’s not just the almost obligatory wiki, but even an entire animated movie, Dead Space: Downfall (prequel to the game). Dead Space: Extraction, a game for Wii (also a prequel to DS) and 7 comics, 6 of them were released as online comics (and were later even upgraded with animated video and voice actors!) and the seventh came with DS: Extraction.
The hero of DS, Isaac Clarke, is to return in DS2 (I’m glad to hear it, I hate it when they switch characters) and if they come around to shed some more light on the backstory, DS2 should be a safe bet (for me). When the first game is completed, it unlocks several goodies (50.000 credits, a military suit – wonder how that one looks…) to incite a second playthrough, it remains to be seen if I’ve got the nerves to do just that.