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WorthPlaying: Dead Space Review

WorthPlaying writes: "Dead Space is one of those rare shooters that doesn't star a space marine, elite government agent or supernatural being. In Dead Space, you take on the role of Isaac Clarke, a mechanical and engineer who works for the Concordance Extraction Company. Along with a small crew, you're sent to the U.S.G Ishimura, a "planet-cracker" ship. Planet-crackers are sent to crack open planets and harvest the sweet minerals within. The Ishimura is the pride of the fleet, with the most planet-cracks on record, but it also has suffered a catastrophic communications failure, and Isaac is sent to repair it. Isaac also has a more personal reason for wanting to visit the Ishimura, as his estranged girlfriend is stationed there. Unfortunately, this is no routine repair mission. As soon as Isaac's crew steps through the front door, they are attacked by a mysterious race of mutant zombies called Necromorphs, who exist only to kill and convert corpses into more Necromorphs. These deadly creatures make short work of most of Isaac's allies, and Isaac barely manages to escape. He must now find a way off the ship before he joins the ranks of living (space) dead.

I wasn't expecting much, but I was still surprised at how weak Dead Space's plot is. It veers between copying other games and movies, taking wholesale from titles like Event Horizon and System Shock 2 and boring, often incoherent horror movie tropes. The Necromorphs are a boring and uninteresting race of alien-zombies, and it's hard to be interested in them when they constantly remind you of other, better implementations of the same concept. The human characters might as well not exist for all of the effort put into their characterization, with the only ones getting any attention being trite clichés. The plot lurches toward an inevitable and boring end, and the ending is just insulting. Thankfully, the actual gameplay is good enough to make up for the lackluster story."

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