Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Space is the place
My review of Dead Space is up now at thephoenix.com. As usual, space restraints kept me from mentioning a couple of things I would have liked to. Briefly:
-The audio really is spectacular, but upon reading some other reviews, it seems that I missed out by not having surround sound, or any kind of home theater setup at all. It's a real shame. If you haven't played it yet, I'd recommend headphones. Or maybe you have a sweet 5.1 surround setup -- in which case, go to hell.
-Another terrific aspect of the interface is the ability to locate the direction of your current objective. All you do is click the right trigger and Isaac will generate a blue, laser-like line along the ground toward his destination. Simple, intuitive, and useful -- and occasionally dizzying in the zero-G rooms.
-Dead Space gives you the ability to upgrade your suit, weapons, and abilities by exchanging power nodes at sporadically placed workbenches. Every time I cashed in a power node, I immediately felt sharp pangs of buyer's remorse. On the first playthrough, there only seem to be enough nodes to power up a couple of things all the way. I maxed out my suit's stats -- which increased my hit points and my air supply -- but otherwise I only minimally upgraded each weapon. Maybe not the wrong choice, since I made it through without much trouble, but now I wonder what it would have been like to have some awesome firearms. (You do get 10 free power nodes and the option to start a plus game upon completion, though, and I have to admit it's a little tempting.)
-Can we talk about the ending yet? What's the statute of limitations on that? Felt like a real kick in the balls to me, but I don't want to say anything in case people are still working their way through it.
(By the way, is "Dismembers only" the most clever headline of the year? I say yes.)