Cut off the limbs: A look at the Dead Space series

Now as I mentioned in my post about reviews for the week, I had a few ideas for video game reviews. With E3 coming and going with nothing that major, I was left to get excited about anything I could find. About a year ago is when I found Dead Space and feel in love with the game and the world around it. Horror games were never really my thing. I had played a few of the Resident Evil games at friend’s houses every now and then but nothing ever stuck. But Dead Space changed that. The review focuses on Dead Space and Dead Space 2 since those are the only games I have played in the series but I suggest that if you enjoy the games you look into the other games, books, and movies. I have watched Downfall and I know Aftermath is on Netflix.

Post contains spoilers and my thoughts on the games

Now Dead Space isn’t a new game, but who doesn’t love a good retro review? Plus more and more info has started coming out about Dead Space 3. To honor the news I just replayed both Dead Space and Dead Space 2. The first Dead Space out in Fall of 2008 and the squeal, Dead Space 2 came out in January of 2011. I didn’t get a chance to play until about a year ago. However I never got to finish the first one. Later during a Steam sale I was able to get both games and finally got a chance to play through both of them.

The game is a 3rd person shooter, survival horror game. During the game you fight monsters called Necromorphs which are killed by cutting off their limbs. The games HUD is built into the suit(RIG) along the spine. Ammo count, map, inventor, and info is all displayed on holoscreens from the RIG. The games have a wide range of weapons to pick from. Many include different engineering tools, since Issac is an engineer. Apart from weapons Issac is also armed with a Stasis mode that can slow down enemies and objects and a Kinesis mod that lets you pick up and shoot object from a distance. During the game you also find vacuum and zero gravity environments.

Now to give you some history of the world of Dead Space, the first game takes place in the year 2507. The Earth has been come stripped of all its resources and humankind has turned to the stars. Another major aspect of the world of Dead Space is the church of Unitology. The church believes that they were made by a divine alien agency and through death they will be reunified. Now this all started when the Black Marker was found on Earth. It was covered up at first by the Earth’s government but later Michael Altman told the world of it. This spawned the Church of Unitology. The church grew and rose to power incredibly fast. Many influential people belong to the church allowing them to be everywhere.

The first Black Marker gave creation to the Red Markers. Unlike the Black Marker, the Red Markers are man-made but have similar effects. The Markers seems to spawn two different voices. The first will tell people to avoid the Marker and to destroy it(Seen in the first game with Issac) Or it can tell people to embrace death and spread it(Seen almost everywhere). The main thought is that these things are very dangerous yet the church sees them as holy objects.

The church has roles in both games. In the first they tell the captain of the Ishimura to cancel to mining operation and focus on recovering the Red Marker found there. While in the second the church makes plans to steal the other Red Marker. The will also play a large role in the third game since Issac is seen fighting Unitology solders in the Dead Space 3 game play preview.

The first game focuses on the character of Issac Clark, an engineer sent to fix the planetcracker the USG Ishimura. One of the oldest ships in its class. Now Issac’s girlfriend Nicole was a medical officer on the Ishimura so he naturally volunteered to go aboard the USG Kellion to find what happened to the ship. Now the Ishimura was sent to the planet Aegis VII. Now while this was just a simple(I mean illegal) mining operation, it quickly became something much more.

When Issac and the rest of the crew, Hammond and Kendra, get to the ship they are attacked by a Necromorph. This leads to Issac being separated from Hammond and Kendra for the majority of the game. The first part of the game focuses and Issac running around and repairing the ship and trying to find a way off the ship. After sending out a distress call, the USM Valor comes to the rescue, or at least that was the plan.

The Valor had picked up an escape pod from the Ishimura which contained a Necromorph. This lead to an outbreak on the Valor and it then crashed into the Ishimura. Issac then has to go onto the other ship to retrieve a power core to repair a shuttle. This leads to the betrayal of Kendra. Turns out that she is a member of the government sent to retrieve the Marker. The game ends with Issac destroying the Marker and leaving.

During the game Issac also runs into Dr. Challus Mercer and Dr. Terrence Kyne. The big twist is Dead Space is that Nicole, who you have been looking for this whole time, has been dead from the start. There is a video you watch in the opening credits with Nicole. Turns out Issac never watched it until the end, or at least the player didn’t. To make things really creepy, Nicole has been helping you during the later parts of the game.

Dead Space 2 picks up three years after the events of Dead Space. Now action and horror is met right from the start. The game starts with Issac waking up in a hospital  in the Sprawl on a shard of the moon Titan. You are woken by Franco Delille(Who is the main character of Dead Space Ignition) who dies after waking you. It turns out there has been another Necromorph outbreak in the Sprawl.

Soon after getting away from a group of Necromorphs, Issac is contacted by Daina Le Guin, who is there to help him. She fills him in on a bit of what has happened. It turns out that a man named Hans Tiedmann used Issac and others, including Nolan Stross(From Dead Space: Aftermath), to rebuild the Red Marker. While working with Diana you continue to hear messages from Stross, who is a raving nut. In time you find out that Daina is a Unitologist and has tricked you. She needs you to build more Markers to spread Convergeance.

You manage to get away and are forced to join forces with Stross and Ellie Langford. Like in Dead Space, you spend most of the time away from your team. The group heads to the Government to destroy the new Marker while also looking for a way out. Along the way Stross losses it and takes out Ellie’s eye. He later jumps Issac and he is forced to kill him.

Now a new addition to the game is Issac’s hallucinations. Eventually Issac confronts his guilt and finally accepts that he could not save Nicole. He tries to make things right and sends Ellie away once they find a ship. With that he goes out on his own to destroy the Marker. During this he is helped by Nicole again. Once reaching the Marker he finds Tiedemann is really messed up. After defeating him, Nicole turns on you saying that the Marker can only be made “whole” by absorbing the body and mind of who made it. After defeating Nicole inside the Marker, she is destroyed from his mind and so are the Marker codes. Ellie returns during the end credits and saves Issac and they two get away.

The third game picks up some time after the events of Dead Space 2. Issac and Ellie have crashed on the frozen world of Tau Volantis. Not a whole lot has been realised on the game yet. It will however have a new drop-in/drop-out co-op game play. This will allow the second player to play as Sgt. John Carver. He will also appear during solo play just not by your side. As of right now the new features seen include dodging attack and using cover.

Like I said, horror games were never my thing but something about Dead Space clicked. It was one of those games I just picked up on a whim and feel in love with it. Since the games first realise, it has spawned a number of spinoff games, movies, and books.

Dead Space: Extraction, for the Wii and PS3, is set before the events of Dead Space. Unlike the other games it is rail-shooter game, meaning you do not actually control the movement of the character. It takes place on both Aegis VII and the USG Ishimura. Nicole also appears in this game.

Dead Space: Ignition is a prequel to Dead Space 2 available for download off Xbox and PS3. The game is a horror action puzzle game. It follows the stories of Franco Delille and his lover Sarah Andarsyn. The game ends with Franco freeing Issac.

Dead Space: Mobile was made for mobile devices and follows the story of Vandal, a newly converted Unitologist. She is sent there on a secret mission which later turns out to be unleashing the Necromorph outbreak. Once finding out that she has caused this, she works to fix things. Her fate is unclear but that game takes place during the events of Ignition, she may have made it off the Sprawl.

Dead Space 2: Severed is a DLC for the Xbox 360 and PS3. The game runs parallel to the events of Dead Space 2. It follows the story of Gabe Weller and Lexine Murdoch.

Dead Space: Downfall: takes place before Dead Space. The 75 minute movie shows the events of the Necromorphs spreading on Aegis VII and the Ishimura. The movie ends with the USG Kellion arriving.

Dead Space: Aftermath takes place between the two games. It deals with the government looking a “Marker blueprint”. During these events the USG O’Bannon is sent to investigate the Ishimura but soon the O’Barron goes dark. That is where the USM Abraxis comes in and docks the ship. Once arriving they find four survivors of the O’Barron‘s crew. Once of these people is Nolan Stross. It then deals with each survivor being questioned.

Dead Space(Comic) was published by Image Comics in 2008 and had 7 issues(#0-6) which take place before Dead Space.

Dead Space: Extraction(Comic) was also published by Image Comics and only had one issue. It takes place along side the game Dead Space: Extraction but focuses more on the story of Nicole Brennan.

Dead Space: Martyr is a novel that tells the story of Michael Altman, whose death sparked the birth of Unitology.

Dead Space: Salvage tells the tale of both the government and the Church of Unitology looking for both the Ishimura and the Red Marker.

For the most part the game has received highly positive marks. And I agree. It is one of my favorite games and I honestly can’t wait for Dead Space 3. There are also word of a Dead Space movie in the works. But as of right now it is in the very early stages of development if anything.

If you have a PC, PS3, or god forbid an Xbox, I suggest trying Dead Space out. I am not a huge fan of the over the shoulder shooter but it didn’t even bother me in Dead Space. Hopefully soon I can get to work on playing Bioshock and review that for you guys.


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