is a science fiction survival horror video game developed by EA Redwood Shores (now Visceral Games) and released on all platforms through October 2008. read more
is a science fiction survival horror video game developed by EA Redwood Shores (now Visceral Games) and released on all platforms through October 2008.
The player controls Isaac Clarke, a ship systems engineer who must fight his way through a mining starship infested with an alien scourge. The crew has been slaughtered, and their corpses reanimated into creatures known as "Necromorphs". Various types of necromorph appear throughout the game, each with different abilities and requiring different tactics to defeat. The game is played from an over-the-shoulder third-person perspective.
Dead Space does not use a traditional heads-up display; instead, all information is relayed to the player viaholographic projections from Isaac's Resource Integration Gear (RIG) spacesuit and the weapons themselves. For example, a small holographic display is mounted on Isaac's weapons to indicate ammunition count while aiming; also, the health meter is integrated into his suit spine and the spines of suits worn by other game characters.The player can check the current objectives and the 3D map via floating holograms projected in front of Isaac, or access the inventory screen to manage items or choose guns. However, the game still progresses in real time during these activities, so the player remains in danger of being attacked.
Combat involves a mechanism called "strategic dismemberment", in which the player must cut off limbs or sections of the Necromorphs to defeat them. For example, shooting most Necromorphs in the head will have little effect, however they can be stopped once the player removes its arms and legs. Depending on how they are wounded, Necromorphs can adopt new stances and tactics, even sprouting new limbs or giving birth to new enemies in the process.
In keeping with Isaac's profession as an engineer, the weapons in Dead Space are mostly improvised from mining tools, such as a plasma cutter (for horizontal and vertical slicing), rotary saw, a hydrazine torch (repurposed as a flamethrower), a high-energy demolition beam, and a cannon that emits powerful shock waves. A military-grade automatic rifle is available, and Isaac can also attack enemies by clubbing them with his weapon or stomping on them. All weapons feature a secondary-fire mode; for example, the plasma cutter can be rotated 90 degrees for more effective dismemberment of vertical limbs (such as legs on a normal bipedal humanoid). The player must scavenge for ammunition and items, which are found throughout the ship or dropped by Necromorphs when killed. Automated stores throughout the ship can be accessed to buy and sell items or store them for later use. The player can use workbenches to upgrade Isaac's suit and weapons.
Other than weapons, Isaac is also equipped with other tools to help him survive, solve puzzles, and combat enemies more effectively. Isaac's Stasis ability can be used to slow down enemies and objects temporarily, and a Kinesis module allows Isaac to move and throw items- sufficiently heavy or sharp objects can become improvised projectile weapons. Dead Space also features zero gravity environments, through which Isaac can navigate using magnetic boots. Isaac's suit will protect him from the direct effects of vacuum or toxic environments, but it has a limited air supply and he will eventually suffocate, so the player is forced to proceed quickly when in these situations.
The story is set in the year 2508, and begins when the USG Ishimura, a "planetcracker" starship (designed to extract ore in large masses of billions of tons), sends out a distress signal to the Concordance Extraction Corporation (CEC) during a mining operation on the planet Aegis VII. The CEC dispatches the USG Kellion to investigate. After a guidance system malfunction crashes the Kellion into the Ishimura dock, the crew tries to seek other means of transport. As they explore what appears to be an abandoned ship, they are attacked by grotesque monsters, killing off all but ship systems engineer Isaac Clarke, Commander Zach Hammond, and Computer Specialist Kendra Daniels. Hammond notices that many of the ship's systems are failing; he and Kendra direct and assist Isaac in fixing them to keep them alive for rescue.
As Isaac Clarke moves about making the necessary repairs, he discovers various text and audio logs scattered throughout the ship, piecing together the events that transpired prior to their arrival: during the course of its illegal mining of Aegis VII, the Ishimura crew found the Red Marker, the most valuable relic of Unitology, an influential and powerful religion. Captain Mathius, a devout Unitologist, shifted focus from mining to retrieving the Marker, after being asked by the Church of Unitology to do so. Soon after the Marker's extraction to the Ishimura, humans from the planet's colony and the ship suffered from mass hysteria and violent hallucinations, before subsequently killing each other. Mathius cut off traffic and communications between the two sides, later going insane. Chief Science Officer Terrance Kyne tried to relieve Mathius of duty, only to accidentally kill the captain in a struggle. An alien virus, the genetic coding of which is encrypted on the Marker, then began ravaging the Aegis VII colony, infecting any available corpses and turning them into "Necromorphs" – mutated and reanimated corpses that violently slaughter uninfected humans to spread the infestation. A colony shuttle carrying an infectious Necromorph caused the scourge to spread across the Ishimura. Though Hammond states that he is unaware of what the Marker is, Kendra confides to Isaac that Hammond may be lying. Isaac later encounters his girlfriend, Nicole Brennan, a medical officer aboard the Ishimura, though they are unable to meet.
After repairing the critical systems, Isaac's team launches the second beacon, attracting the nearby USM Valor; however, the Valor, having picked up an escape pod with a Necromorph inside (jettisoned earlier by Hammond) is overrun and crashes into the ship. Hammond deduces, from the military equipment he finds on board, that the Valor was actually assigned to destroy theIshimura (later confirmed through a text log found on the Valor.) Deciding that they must escape while they can, Isaac and Hammond retrieve the Valor's power core in order to repair an available shuttle, though Hammond is killed by an enhanced Necromorph in the process. Dr. Kyne, one of the last survivors of the Ishimura, later contacts Isaac, urging him to return the Marker to Aegis VII, believing that it can restrain the "Hive Mind", a creature that controls the Necromorphs (though originally created for military purposes). After assisting Isaac in loading the Marker onto the shuttle, Kendra murders Kyne and betrays Isaac, revealing herself as a government operative ordered to retrieve the Marker for her superiors. She reveals that the Marker is a reverse-engineered copy of the Black Marker found on Earth, placed on Aegis VII by the government to monitor its effects. She then leaves on the shuttle without Isaac, but Nicole arrives and can help him recall the shuttle via remote pilot, prompting Kendra to flee via escape pod.
Isaac takes the Marker back to the colony, pacifying the Hive Mind and creating a "dead space" that makes all Necromorphs in the surrounding area dormant (it is revealed in the "backstory logs" unlocked by completing the game that "dead space" refers to the area surrounding the Marker wherein the infection and reanimation processes are subdued by the emission of various types of signals from the Marker). However, this also disrupts the gravity tethers keeping Aegis VII from tearing itself apart. Before Isaac can leave, Kendra appears and starts to take the Marker back to the shuttle. She shows Isaac, through a recovered distress transmission, that Nicole committed suicide via lethal injection before Isaac's team arrived on the Ishimura; his visions of her were the Marker's attempts to bring itself back to the planet. Isaac intercepts Kendra loading the Marker back into the shuttle; before she can leave, however, the Hive Mind reawakens, violently killing her, leaving Isaac to defeat it in a ferocious battle.
Leaving the Marker behind, Isaac flies off in the shuttle before the colony is destroyed. As he sets course away from Aegis VII, Isaac removes his helmet and watches Nicole's first transmission again. Now knowing how it ends, he turns it off before it can finish. Noticing something in his peripherals, Isaac looks to his right and is attacked by a vision of a bloody Nicole, just before the scene cuts to black.
Electronic Arts first announced Dead Space in September 2007. The game was developed at their studio in Redwood Shores, California, whose other titles include The Godfather and The Simpsons Game. (A 2006 rumour had suggested that the studio was working on a System Shock sequel.) The game's executive producer, Glen Schofield, said that the team aimed to create something 'darker and creepier' than their previous titles: "We are all such huge fans of the horror and sci-fi genres; we wanted to create the most terrifying game we could, and keep the player on the edge of their seat the entire time." The design team reportedly spent time analyzing a wide variety of horror films in order to find inspiration for in-game scares.
Previews universally drew attention to the high levels of gore and violence in the game, in particular the tactic of "strategic dismemberment" (emphasized by Schofield as "the primary theme ofDead Space"). The Necromorphs cannot be subdued by a single shot, rather they have to be incapacitated by shooting off their tentacles and appendages. A series of developer diaries released for the game had featured one episode about the system, in which developers mentioned that using conventional tactics, such as aiming for the head or torso would only serve to aggravate some of the Necromorphs. In order to make the corpses look more realistic, the development team studied photos of car crash victims and war scenes. The game was initially in development for the original Xbox console.