I didn’t play the original Dead Space back in 2008, so I didn’t have any expectations for this remake. However, after about 18 hours of playing both the main story and side missions, I am positively surprised by this game.
During the twelve chapters on the USG Ishimura spaceship, the horror and tension is always palpable. Like Resident Evil 2, it’s not just the jump-scares, but mainly the whole atmosphere, created based on light and shadow, sound effects and haunting music, that create a lasting feeling of tension. Technically (graphics and sound) Deadspace is excellent and on par with Resident Evil Village. The same holds for the voice acting of the characters. All the voices fit the characters very well and the dialogues are credibly written and well-integrated into the exploration of the spaceship.
The gameplay is typical for horror games. There are some standard weapons like a pistol, shotgun and flamethrower as well as some more innovative ones, most notably the plasma cutter. As it is typical for the genre, each of these weapons has limited ammo, and there are items to find in order to unlock weapon enhancements, increase the size of the inventory, and upgrade your spacesuit. The latter increase damage resistance, oxygen supply or stasis. Stasis is one of the special abilities, as it allows you to slow down certain objects and enemies (called necromorphs). Enemies slowed down with stasis can then be precisely targeted to shoot off their arms or legs. This gameplay element (called strategic dismemberment) works great, requiring you to be tactical in the tight corridors also in more tensioned scenes with multiple enemies. There are also a few boss fights and puzzles, most of which combine stasis and strategic actions. In addition, there is a number of escape sequences, which are quite similar to those with Tyrant in Resident Evil 2.
The story, including the side quests, is well told, but too much backtracking is necessary for the completion of the latter, especially in the last third of the game. Compared to Resident Evil 7 and Village, Dead Space tells its story consistently to the end, without degenerating action passages towards the end. Together with the space horror scenario, which I personally like better than the police station (Resident Evil 2) and the medieval castle (Resident Evil Village), Dead Space is currently my clear horror favorite.
- Stasis and strategic dismemberment bring added value to classic horror gameplay
- graphics and sound create tensioned atmosphere throughout whole game
- very good pacing in most chapter (balanced mix of action and exploring)
- story builds up very well with satisfactory ending
- good gunplay and controls also in zero gravity levels
- too much backtracking towards the end of the game
- saving manually often is needed to avoid loss of progress
“Deadspace uses classic horror gameplay and adds with stasis and strategic dismemberment some well-working mechanics on top of it. Excellent graphics and sound and a consistent storytelling make this game the best horror experience you can play at the moment”
Sources: Screenshots: own screen captures