Hey all Hope you are well,
This is coincidently quiet appropriate as Halloween is just around the corner. Diving straight into it, I’ve been good and have started to play one of the many games in my to ‘play’ pile,Dead Space. here is a quick run down provided by good old Wikipedia
“Dead Space is a survival horror third-person shooter video game, developed by EA Redwood Shores (now known as Visceral Games) for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The game was made available on Steam on October 20, 2008. The player takes on the role of an engineer named Isaac Clarke, who battles a virus-like infestation which turns humans into grotesque monsters called “Necromorphs”, on board an interstellar mining ship named the USG Ishimura. On August 18, 2011, Electronic Arts released Dead Space on the BlackBerry Playbook.”
If you have every played Resident Evil 4 you will be familiar with the over the shoulder third person perspective which does wonders in creating a lot of dramatic moments, unbeknown what is lurking within the shadows whilst your back is turned !
From the summary above as a reader it’s difficult to grasp the thematic direction of the game, it may sound very sci-fi almost like a cheap B movie of sorts such as the ‘The Thing’ ( Must see movie, the game was pants..) So whilst playing the game it’s more akin to being in a sci-fi horror film where you are placed in the thick of it uncovering the many mysteries surrounding the scenario to find the truth, whilst of course preventing yourself from being dismembered by the many freakish semi human monster lurking in the shadows :s
Admittedly I am not near any sort of completion, though I’ve a rough idea of how things are going to pan out. There are a few reasons why I wanted to talk about this game and the observations I’ve made.
First being I’ve been doing a bit of reading on the function of story within games. This is not an exhausted explanation but any means but I’d thought I’d share any way. Story to me to you to any one it has to have some sort of hook a reason why you would want to give it a go really. With games the story is one of the driving elements of a game an excuse in some way to give reason to the action within the game. For a first person shooter it’s gives context to the environment, the characters , the action and can enhance the feel of realism. This isn’t every function of story but you get the idea.
With Dead Space the story isn’t being told by the main protagonist it’s being told in the narrative of audio logs of deceased crew members and character dialogue. The protagonist Isaac serves to unfold and pull back the pages of the story from what I’ve seen thus far. The story so far isn’t riveting stuff or touching on new grounds, however it seems to be quite dark and twisted which fits in with the environment and theme of the game itself. I would say in my opinion this kind of story telling is inventive in the sense I’ve been playing for a few hours and I already can piece together the who, why and when but there is a huge question mark of the what the definitive presence waiting for me the inevitable end of the game. The outlook of the story looks bleak either way you look at it. It’s more an exercise of surviving and escaping intact with whoever is left to alive per say. One probably more cliché as aspect of the story is that Isaac’s possible love interest is aboard the ship so it also gives motivation to the protagonist’s efforts. I also forgot to mention that so far I have no idea what the protagonist looks like behind his mask and he hasn’t spoken one word as of yet. I can imagine the act of denying the player a look at Isaac’s face is done deliberately. As I haven’t played through the whole game yet it may be kept secret further along the line for some sort of plot twist. In my view I think it helps to bridge that connection between the on screen character and the player. The lack of the face denies Isaac of Humanity so as a player I may or may not realise I plug that gap and inject my own being into that empty persona, thus becoming his conciousness in some ways. This is what I feel any way whether true or not.
I am really enjoying the many mechanics of this game. Mixing Action, survival horror with a dash of RPG and plat-forming elements makes me think I should have been playing this game sooner :s. I will continue to slicing and dicing my way through Dead space, making it my first official G-Grade Game review. It may have to be apart of the ‘oldies’ review category as it is pre 2010 ! I know today’s post has been a bit of a mish mash of me talking about this and that. I will in greater detail go through the finer points of story and games mechanics at a later date. Thanks again for reading and have a fab Halloween p.s Have a gandar at the vid if you want to see some game play from the beginning stages of the game (not for the faint hearted or squeamish )