Just the other week EA unveiled its return to horror after a long time away from our beloved genre with the announcement of Dead Space, and you’d be forgiven for skimming over the news and forgetting about it.
Those that have seen the game, however, have been getting excited about the title, despite it being around a year from release. It’s managed to leap to the top of a number of people’s lists of upcoming games to keep an eye on, mine included.
IGN was recently lucky enough to get a hands-on look at an area from an early version of the game and came away with a bunch of impressive new screenshots and a lot of details.
The main thing worth pointing out is that despite what the main character may look like, and despite the setting, this isn’t a game in the vein of Doom 3. Isaac Clarke (aside from flagging the names of some of the inspirations on the sci-fi side of the game) is an engineer, not a space marine.
His weapons aren’t weapons at all, they’re tools, and in the desperate situation he finds himself in, he uses his knowledge to modify them into the closest things to weapons he can manage.
The game is set on the Ishimura, a mining ship in deep space that contact has been lost with. Creepy body-possessing aliens not being normal in the game world, it’s thought to be merely a communications error so you, a computer technician, and a small team of security officers are dispatched after communications have been down for a while.
Instead the ship is dead, along with everyone on board, and shortly after arriving, you find yourself separated and alone onboard the derelict. By alone, think “no other humans with you” because if you count the deformed mutated survivors, you’re far from alone.
As you progress through the ship, presumably trying to get the hell off of it and/or link up with the other people you arrived with, you’re going to be facing a number of these monstrosities; and due to your lack of real weapons, every encounter is going to be a fight for your life.
These things don’t just go down when they take a certain amount of damage either. Your main weapon is a futuristic cutting torch that can be aligned horizontally or vertically and comes in handy for severing the appendages of your assailants.
Unfortunately, unlike people, losing a leg or a head or an arm isn’t going to stop many of these creatures. Say you cut off a leg; some will just walk differently, some will spawn new limbs, and on other monsters it may reveal something you wished you hadn’t. If something looks pregnant, best not cut open its stomach…
For even more information and new screenshots of Dead Space, currently slated for an Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 release towards the end of 08, head over to IGN for the full preview.
EA really seems to be pulling out all the stops and trying to make something unique and, most importantly, scary. It’s going to be a while before you can find out how the game has turned out, but we’ll be with you every step of the way.
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