Finished Dead Space on PS3

Susan and I finished Dead Space on the PS3 last week. All in all it’s a pretty great game. I handled the controls while Susan played copilot, mostly because of her lack of familiarity with 3d gaming. We had a lot of pretty creepy fun playing through it. The game’s a 3rd person action adventure game which seems to be inspired by the Resident Evil series of games. In many ways it’s superior to most of the games in that series. It’s also clearly been influenced by the System Shock series and it has some light RPG elements in the form of suit and weapon upgrades.

Graphically the game is beautiful – in fact it’s one of the best looking games I’ve played on the PS3. There’s great use of light and shadow, very detailed textures, excellent models and animation, and great art direction.

Audio is similarly superb – it’s one of the best sounding games I’ve played on the PS3 as well and the voice acting was great.

Gameplay is a mixed but mostly positive bag. On the downside, the game’s fairly repetitive, and while the ship is realistic and the game breaks up the corridor crawling with some great action set pieces in very large spaces, there’s still a ton of corridor crawling and it can get old. The controls are tight but the weapons are a mixed bag – some seem much more effective than others no matter how you upgrade them and it’s difficult to know where to spend your resources effectively. The difficulty seemed pretty fair on medium. There are a number of physics and logic puzzles to work out, often while under fire from multiple enemies, and these were some of the highlights of the game.

The plot was just ok – it starts out like a riff on the plot from Aliens, with you and your crew dispatched to rescue an orbital mining operation that sent out a distress signal then stopped communicating, but it morphs into a muddle of religion, government conspiracy, double crosses, alien artifacts and a mutating alien lifeform that’s has some similarities to the one in the classic John Carpenter movie The Thing. It wasn’t bad by any means but by the end Susan and I were weary of it.

The game has one other superb attribute – it’s got one of the best interfaces I’ve seen in a game. Most everything you do and interact with in the game you do via a 3d computer interface that projects out of the spacesuit you’re wearing or out of objects you encounter. It’s really well done and I hope more games mimic it.

I picked this up used for $35 but would have been just as happy paying $60 retail for it – it’s a really great game and well worth a look.

Here’s a video to give you a sense of gameplay and graphics:

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