Dead Space is one of my favourite game series at the moment. I picked up a copy, when excitement over the third instalment reached its peak. I was interested. It was described as a survival horror, but far eerier than Resident Evil, my only other experience with the genre. I began playing it, wanting to progress through the first two games quickly to get prepared for the third Dead Space’s release.
One thing became apparent: this game was beyond me. I stumbled through the twelve levels through blind luck, reloads and the help of a few friends. It was embarrassing at times: falling for the same traps and tricks again and again. Despite really wanting o grasp this game and enjoy it, below are three things that I just cannot wrap my head around.
3 – I CANNOT CONSERVE AMMO
One of the key points about Dead Space is the severely limited ammo supply your character is given. It is meant to make your mind focus on how many rounds you have left, when you are fighting the Necromorphs. It adds to the tension and the idea that you are alone and outgunned, trapped in this spaceship.
The million dollar question: kiss, marry, avoid.
However, I am terrible at conserving my ammo. Each time, I am awarded a brief break from the constant fighting and running, I tell myself to allow myself a set amount of shots to kill my next enemy with. If each enemy drops, on average, four shots, then I have that many to kill the next monster with, ideally a couple more. At this stage of the game, I am perfectly rational. And then, it comes time to put that strategy into action. I am attacked by a Necromorph: nothing special, the standard variation of monster that we should have grown accustomed to battling by now. And I, quite simply, panic. I fire off far too many shots, caught like a rabbit in headlights, as the Necromorph goes for me. I miss most of them and the ones that hit usually catch the beast in body parts that do not affect it.
Then moments later, I somehow survived and my Plasma Cutter (the weapon of choice in the game) is down to its last shot. It makes me wish there was an option to put the gun into your mouth and…
2 – MY MEMORY IS AWFUL
Dead Space is the kind of game, where it is much easier if you remember the small details: the warnings sprawled on the floor, the messages on the audiotapes (Keep away from the vents: they are how the monsters get around the ship). Usually, after a fight, that usually involves me dying several times and running around like a headless chicken, I look around the room and realise that I missed out on several shortcuts to kill my opponents. I could use Kinesis to fire an explosive barrel into the Brute. I could have lured some monsters into the malfunctioning gravity pad that fires them into jagged shards on the roof. There were hundreds of options that could have saved me the bullets I am struggling to conserve.
The main thing I kick myself for forgetting is the stasis tool. It is a gadget that literally freezes time down to what is almost a complete stop. The second I get into a sticky situation I should be able to apply this device and get off a couple of free, well-aimed shots. However, in the heat of the moment, I always forget. It is meant to be burnt into every other player’s mind, yet I am struggling with this simple tip. It is aggravating.
Who the frick is Al? I hope he finds his way home.
1 – I AM CONSTANTLY ON EDGE
But the main reason I had to stop playing was the tension. I was constantly in a state of dread, always tensed, waiting for the next monster to jump out at me. It is the feeling that we would expect when watching a horror movie, and there is nothing wrong with that feeling. However, whereas most horrors rarely last more than two hours, while a game can take a couple of days of gameplay (Dead Space 2 is a two-disc game), which, in my opinion, is too long to be kept in that state of mind.
However, I still love the game. It is a fantastic, refreshing change of pace from most of the top games at the moment. I recommend it to anyone that feels they can cope with the horror side of things. I shall keep trying to play this game and hopefully, one day, I shall conquer it.