Like the title says, I’m going to spoil the heck out of Dead Space in this rant. If you read on it’s your own darn fault.
I don’t play twitch games much at all. My daughter, on the other hand, does. One of the games she’s been anticipating for a while was Dead Space. She got it and played it. I don’t play, but I often enjoy watching.
It’s not too bad to watch. Every beasty attack is telegraphed – heck, the problems are telegraphed. Almost every Oh Crap has a reasonable expectation or is an obvious consequence of something done or mentioned earlier. There’s one bit that still puzzles me though I can stretch and accept it – serious stretching required. But…
Why the CRAP have we all become so enamored with what I call the Japanese Horror Story syndrome? The story where the monster wins. Oh, I’m not talking the times when the monster sinks below the surface but as the hero and heroine walk away you see ripples on the water, or (as in Halloween) the body isn’t there any more. I’m talking the hero(ine) DIES after doing everything right. The Ring (Ringu), the Grudge (Ju-on), you get the idea. (Oh, let me be fair. Remember Dawn of the Dead? At least it wasn’t the beastie doing the killing. And I remember the ending to Phantasm startled me because it was that way. So I know it isn’t really Japanese Horror. And yet that seems to be the distinguishing characteristic I have in my mind – Japan’s ghosts and ghoulies win.)
Obviously that happens in this story. It dropped my mental score of the story a couple of points. Isaac successfully defeats Every Single Problem. Final cutscene he makes the Great Escape from the planet. He relaxes, takes off a key part of his armor, and BOOM. There’s one more monster ( a special one at that ) and it attacks and CUT to black.
Once completed I backed through the various scenes and walked the logic. Which of course hit the points where I went “no, no way, that shouldn’t have happened.” The shuttle should have dealt with the life pod beastie easily. Why did Nicole need protected? Why weren’t Zach and Kendra wearing suits like Isaac?
I don’t plan to watch the game again, and have no interest in playing. It’s just a mental problem I have – I’m doomed? Bah.
For those who don’t mind that sort of ending, it’s quite playable. Plenty of save points, plenty of options and interesting tricks, nifty graphics (don’t play if blood and dismemberment bother you), etc.