Some Background On Dead Space

Dead Space 2

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So what’s the deal? Dead Space 2, that’s the deal. The goriest, most nerve racking, survival space horror epic since… well, part 1…. is coming your way next week. And we’re here to go over everything you need to know to be properly prepared for the much anticipated sequel, which is guaranteed to be one of one of 2011’s bonafide blockbusters!

But for starters, everyone’s familiar with Dead Space 1, right? If not, here’s the rundown… Actually, some background.

The first game came out 2008. Around then, the game’s publisher, Electronic Arts, was in the midst of a renaissance of sorts. Previous years saw them getting a rather unfair rep as a company that simply pumped out Madden sequels (hey, they were ultimately just delivering what the marketplace wanted), and at a certain point decided to show everyone that they can come up with original IPs like the best of them. You could say the first serious showing of such effort was in the fall of that year, when Dead Space came out alongside another title that would win the hearts and minds of critics plus the general public alike, Mirror’s Edge.

But whereas that title got instant attention, due to it’s introduction of first person running, Dead Space didn’t seem all that original, especially in comparison. Gee, another guy in space blasting aliens, whatever. But those that actually gave it a shot discovered that it was a much-needed shot in the arm of the world of survival horror (the first in the Silent Hill franchise had come out a month prior, which many decreed was the nail in the coffin for the genre). It may have not become the block-buster seller that many felt it had expected or deserved to be, yet Dead Space instantly found a dedicated, hardcore following, and those folks will be the ones whose had their pre-orders for the upcoming sequel since last March I bet.

So what made the game so amazing to being with? Well for starters, it succeeded where virtually every other scary game (with the sole exception of perhaps Resident Evil) had dropped the ball with; the action was damn good. If the controls were half decent, that honestly would have been enough, but they were more than spot-on, which was essential for all the mayhem. Which there was an abundance of, i.e. tons of foes to deal with. One of the biggest selling points were the multiple ways of dying (which we’ll dive more in just a bit). But it worked the other way around as well; it’s no simple zombie murder simulator. Just going for the head doesn’t always work, you have to approach each threat differently, intelligently. Sometimes you gotta pick of the brain, sometimes the limb. The fact that one had to deal every single foe, not just the bosses, with some modicum of strategy was quite a revelation, especially for a genre in which the norm was awkwardly swinging a pipe with hopes to possible nail a bunch of babies going after your ankles… yawn.

There were plenty of other flourishes as well, such as the revolutionary HUD at the time, along with the jaw-dropping visuals. It was one of those titles that made you feel that next generation graphics had indeed arrived.

Not to constantly bash the competition, but another major weakness among other scary games has always been the anemic story. Well Dead Space boldly forged new territory by crafting a compelling sci-fi thrilling that made almost any hardcore space geek happy. Though all that kind of background info I’ll save for a future post. In the meantime, check out the trailer for Dead Space 1.