Dead Space – Discovery of the Outbreak

It took me a while to complete this game, I never thought I was going to finish it because I got stuck at a few areas with zero-G and a vacuum that frustrated me a lot, so I procrastinated for a long time on giving it another chance and here we are! I have now emerged unscathed from completing the first Dead Space game, a very iconic game in the gaming industry. A remaster is currently in development, no word when it’ll officially be out so I guess I finished this just in time.

It’s funny because I played this trilogy out of order starting with the second, third and now the first. In this game’s story, Isaac Clarke and his crew discover a ship called the Ishimura conducting a large mining operation on Aegis VII, but in reality what they were doing was not planet-cracking but retrieving the Marker that the colonists found there. So the discovery of the Marker, a Necromorph outbreak where any corpse in sight is infected into one and anyone still alive becomes psychotic with that dementia. The ship goes dark and the main characters are sent to investigate.

So, with this being the first game, we’re back to the survival horror gameplay, which I like, dismember the Necromorphs to conserve ammo, simple upgrade system, etc. the only thing I didn’t like was how the zero-gravity system worked where Isaac would jump from one floor to another, I personally preferred the hover boots from the second game but I guess EA didn’t think of that when they first made this game.

There were a lot of times in this game when I would enter a large room and then all of a sudden, there would be a lockdown and I would have to kill all the Necromorphs in the room to proceed and there was also a lot of backtracking because chapters didn’t conclude until Isaac boarded the tram to another part of the ship.

Speaking of characters, Isaac is a silent protagonist in this game, you don’t really see his face but you still can at the beginning and end. It’s like he was being the errand boy for the whole duration of the game, being an engineer and all. Hammond was a decent guy and I enjoyed helping him in the Hydroponics. While Kendra seemed to be a tech expert, I genuinely thought she was on my side until she was revealed to be a traitor.

Everyone else Isaac met on the ship had been driven mad and committed suicide or succumbed to their injuries just as he walked into the room. Like some crazy lady was laughing manically before shooting herself in the head. So not many characters in this game but not every game needs to have a large amount of them.

I gotta say, the parts I struggled with the most in this game were having to walk across the vacuum when asteroids were hitting the hull but I eventually learned to time it right to cross safely. Then there was planting the beacon on that perfectly round asteroid while avoiding the rotating metal arms that weren’t affected by my stasis.

There was even a minigame in the personal quarters of the ship called Z-Ball. I tried one round of it before continuing my objective.

There aren’t many highlight moments of this game to talk about but I will say there were parts that did drag like having to pull the Marker to the shuttle and through the facility all the way to its foundation on Aegis VII, I already knew that Nicole was a hallucination when I first saw her in the game, that to me, signified the start of Isaac’s unique dementia. It wasn’t until the end of this game and the start of the next one do those hallucinations become violent.

I never expected Kendra to be the main antagonist, but her motive was straightforward, she was sent by Earthgov to help retrieve the Marker, but who knows what they were going to do with it. Had she succeeded they would have probably turned it over to Unitologists. I remember seeing one those back on the ship as he did a ritual of killing one guy so that he may have his corpse reanimated as a Necromorph. Crazy, but like I said, the religion seems worse when you see it in the second game!

Despite some parts of the game dragging, after that, the buildup to the final boss was decent as it kills our antagonist and we have to face it. The Hive Mind. This boss is so iconic that defeating it felt like a rite of passage for me as a gamer, just like the Cyberdemon. I never enjoyed being grabbed by tentacles in any Dead Space game because it really screws up my aiming, but thankfully, with the Hive Mind, it only happened once and I was just strafing side to side until I destroyed all the yellow spots.

The bigger they are the harder they fall and it’s sad to watch as Isaac realize the truth and mourn Nicole’s death but it’s a lot like the ending to the first Halo, he’s just getting started not just with the Necromorph threat but the psychological battle inside of him.

No wonder this game is iconic. It isn’t perfect but it is truly a symbol of sci-fi survival horror.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.


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