The First Chapter Of Dead Space
A cynical and premature review by Lunaran:
This game does pretty much exactly what's advertised: it's Alien, it's Event Horizon, it's Doom3, it's System Shock 2, with glowing idiot-lights on everything, and for a game that aims to be scary, absolutely nothing is unexpected. You play Isaac "Asimov Arthur C" Clarke, the guy lucky enough to be stuck in the work suit that enables him to push buttons and open doors for everyone else while they stand around impatiently reminding him that he hasn't done it yet.
The story is *exactly* what any of us would predict, and I will describe it here without fear of spoiling anything because it's nothing you haven't heard before: giant ship sends out distress signal and goes quiet, tiny ill-equipped repair shuttle arrives to help out but a totally unexpected disaster strikes and the shuttle crash lands on the ship, stranding everyone. The NPCs all lead the player to a bloodstained room that's divided in half by an impenetrable but very large and clean window, which the player conveniently finds himself locked on the other side of when the beasties come out of the air vents and eat everyone except the important characters that will forever remain separated from the player, where it's easiest to give him explicit instructions on where to go and what to do.
Monsters are defeated not by shooting them in their fat torsoish parts, which does nothing, but instead by dismembering them by shooting them in the shoulders and thighs, which is where all their vital organs apparently are. This would be a lot more fun on the PC imo, where, faced with dozens of monsters, you could just click on the aforementioned parts with your mouse instead of struggling to do it to one or two monsters at a time with two twitchy little sticks. Fortunately, the monsters so far are all nice enough to walk in a bowlegged spread-eagle kind of way to make it nice and easy for you, and if you still fuck it up and they get too close (which I admit I let happen a couple times) you can also just punch their limbs off. Your character is seriously the most badass martial artist in any game yet - you can completely disassemble the corpses of monsters and humans alike by stamping on them (with the ridiculously satisfying curbstomp button).
Similarities to Doom3 are almost hilariously common: the guis with lots of diagonal shapes, the semi-useless audio logs of scared whiny people who express frantic concern before being audibly eaten alive, a tram, the shadow that moves at the end of the hall, the bodies that stand up when you get close enough, monsters that only crawl on the ceiling in their canned intro cinematics and then never do it again, and of course the environments. If you still pop a stiffy from space-tech themes, this game should keep you happy for a while, but don't expect anything terribly new conceptually.
You do, however, have a flashlight on your gun (don't celebrate yet) and the only way to see in the dark is to raise your gun and thus go into extra slow walk mode (see I told you).
That said I still kind of want to keep playing because, as brimming with cliche as this game is, I'm still a sucker for this stuff.
there's monster closets and monsters sometimes appear behind you. No idea how I forgot to put those on the list.
Now I can continue to feel smug for boycotting EA games.
I'll Add To The Review...
having only watched Lunaran play the game, I will mention the horribly cliched setting is at least pretty, with some nice colored lighting choices. Plus, you can curbstomp crates, which I believe made Lun far more giddy then it should've.
We had a demo of it at work today. I was not impressed. You could easily predict when the body would rise up in front of you, when you would open a door and a corpse would fall from the ceiling, etc etc.
The combat looks ridiculous. The puzzles look ridiculous. The monsters looks ridiculous (I've only seen two so far though.) The game just looks ridiculous. I could go on about weapons, level design, characters, etc. The whole thing just feels like a glorified haunted house, and it feels very game-y. I didn't feel any immersion whatsoever.
Red space barrels what explode when you shoot them and are placed in convenient areas to dispose of multiple enemies? Check.
I was kind of looking forward to it, but I will probably not be picking this thing up.
You Alterate Feet When Curbstomping
so if you just press it over and over you can walk down a hallway pretending to be a big dinosaur
I have clearly misjudged this game.
Do the Dinosaur Walk for 100feet.