30 November, 2009

Game Journal: Dead Space

written by Blain Newport on Sunday, November 29, 2009

So... Dead Space is terrible. I didn't want it to be terrible. I wanted it to be a nice new franchise, like the enthusiast press was saying. They were wrong, at least about the PC version. First off the controls suck. If you turn off vsync, they suck less, but there's no reason vsync should effect them so dramatically, and fine aiming is still broken.

The camera is terrible, possibly because the game was never intended to be played on a 5:4 screen. Most attacks that hit me come from off screen. And there is one enemy that performs a one hit kill if I don't see it soon enough. It sucks. It especially sucks when it happens at the end of a long encounter. There's really nothing but cheap feeling deaths in this game.

The story is derivative and boring. It's like System Shock 2 without Shodan, only Xerxes. Also I think the key element the story is missing is choice. Sure, the guy I'm working with knows more than he's letting on. But even if the clues I was getting gave me the jump on him, it's not like there's anything I could do about it. There's a prequel on the Wii that's a shooter on rails. I'm getting that the impression that the prequel is more honest as the original is basically on rails with occasional detours into item closets.

On the plus side, the game gave J. G. Hertzler (General Martok from DS9) and Keith Szarabajka (Daniel Holtz from Angel) some work. And it's bad enough you won't have to suffer through a review. That's a plus.

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