Friday, February 8, 2008

EA Dead Space preview

Proving that in space, nobody can hear you scream is Eurogamer this afternoon, with a new in-depth look at EA's new space survival horror game, Dead Space. Clearly drawing inspiration from the cult horror movie Event Horizon, Dead Space puts the player in the shoes of Isaac Clarke, an engineer who is dispatched into deep space to determine the reason behind the loss of communication with the enormous interstellar mining ship, Ishimura.

On arrival, the thousand-crew Ishimura is cold, quiet and empty, but Clarke is not alone. Containing spectacular almost gothic-styled architecture, the atmosphere within the Ishimura is thick and oppressive, with dynamic lighting and audio leaving the player feeling uncomfortable. Refreshingly, and following in the footsteps of characters like Half-Life's Gordon Freeman, Isaac is not a muscle-bound space marine. This doesn't mean he won't get into sticky combat situations however, with the Ishimura well equipped to supply Clarke with the tools to get the job done:

"...the Ishimura is helpfully equipped with a wide variety of mining tools which do a rather fine job of dismembering enemies. Your most basic weapon is a Plasma Cutter, which is essentially a powerful pistol - other guns we saw included a Line Gun, which fires out a long arc that's excellent at shearing enemies in half, and an as-yet-unnamed ("the first name we thought up for it was really dumb," laughs Schofield) weapon which is essentially a circular saw that floats in the air in front of you."

The concept of "strategic dismemberment", is one that will surely get gamer's attention, with Clarke able to use his arsenal to remove legs, arms, heads, tentacles (!) and other such limbs from the creepy-crawlies that now call the Ishimura home. Half-Life 2 gets another nod from Dead Space with the TK Gun:

"He's also got something called a TK Gun, which is essentially Half-Life 2's gravity gun - and can be used to turn environmental objects (or dismembered limbs, of course) into lethal weapons when ammo runs low."

With over two years of development thus far, producer Glen Schofield reckons we should be seeing Dead Space on XBox 360, Playstation 3 and PC by the end of 2008. From what we've seen so far, we can't wait! Expect to hear more about Dead Space in the coming months.

Dead Space Preview (Eurogamer)