Everything You Need To Know About Dead Space 1

Even though it’s only been around for a little over two years, the Dead Space franchise has already spawned three primary games, a “survival horror action puzzle” (according to Wikipedia, and a definite first IMHO), a pair of animated flicks, plus assorted comics and novels.

So with so much ground to cover, and the latest installment less than a week away, what’s one to do if one is totally in the dark? Well, try and pick up both part 1 and its prequel Extraction if possible. Otherwise, please refer to this handy cheat-sheet! The following is primarily based upon the first installment, and what little we know of the latest chapter…

First off, where are we? The future – year 2508, deep in the outer reaches of space. There’s a ship you see, one dedicated to mining, hence why it’s called a Planet Cracker, though its actual name is the Ishimura. Something wrong goes down, and a distress signal is sent. Who answers the call? Another ship, the Kellion, that attempts to investigate. Included in the crew is our hero, an engineer named Isaac Clarke, and he’s got a personal stake in helping the Ishimura and its crew, of which includes his girlfriend Nicole.

Immediately upon their crash-landing arrival, most of the Kellion’s crew are wiped out by horrific creatures. Only three survive: Clarke, Daniels the communications specialist, and Hammond the senior security officer. Unfortunately, Clarke is separated from his two shipmates, and making matters worse is how the ship’s life support is failing. During his travels in the abandoned ship, he encounters all manners of grotesque threats, as well as the reason for their being via recovered ship logs…

The captain of Ishimura was a religious nut, part of the faction known as the Church of Unitology, a galaxy wide cult. He orchestrated the retrieval of a sacred artifact called the Red Marker from a distant planet, Aegis VII. Almost immediately, everyone on the planet below and eventually those on the ship became psychotic and turned on one another. Making matters even wackier, is the alien organism that began to take hold of the ship and reanimating the dead, which is what’s been trying to wipe out the folks from the Kellion (and has mostly succeeded).

It is eventually discovered that all is not as it seems to be, that Hammond might be part of the cult and is pulling some strings behind the scenes. Eventually the problems with the Ishimura allow for a distress beacon to be sent, one that attracts the attention of the Valor military ship. Which promptly crashes into the Ishimura, kinda like how Clarke’s former ride did earlier in the game. We then discover that the Ishimura has a survivor, one who urges Clarke to take the Red Marker back to its place of origin to hopefully stop all the madness. Though at this point we discover that Daniels also has plans of her own, as evidenced by her killing the aforementioned survivor. Turns out, she was a government operative under order to take the artifact back to her superiors!

But Clarke is able to take it back down to the planet, with a little bit of help from his girlfriend, who has survived! And the deed does put the infernal threat at bay (in the form of a super big and badass creature that’s been sending out bad mojo). Though Daniels then shows up to not only get what her bosses want, but to inform Clarke that [spoiler alert] his gf is actually a goner, and that what he saw was actually hallucinations. She gets hers when the aforementioned alien takes her number, which Clarke is able to defeat before getting the hell out of dodge. End game one…

Fast-forward three years, and we discover that the mental illness that was caused by the Red Marker is permanent. So either to escape the past or to confront it, in Dead Space 2 we find Clarke in the Sprawl, a space station located on one of Saturn’s moons. Unlike before when he had to contend with a ship filled with the living dead, this time it’s a whole city! Little is known about the game’s plot, though one has to assume the Red Marker makes a reappearance, along with the Church of Unitology. Plus, the government plays a bigger role (as in, a greater threat).

Though to truly get up to speed, let me suggest this handy vid that shows all the relevant story bits from part one.

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