Reader Review: Dead Space

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Iain does, as he displays his current health reading down the middle of his back.

Yes, that’s right, we’re now publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.

And thanks to the very kind chaps at Madman Entertainment, purveyor of all kinds of cool, indie and esoteric film, the best reader review we publish each month will win a prize pack containing ten of the latest Madman DVD releases.

This review was submitted by Iain Andrew. If you’ve played Dead Space, or just want to ask Iain more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Dead Space (360, PS3, PC)

Dead Space is a survival horror third-person shooter. Set on mining spaceship Ishimura, most of the gameplay involves “dismembering” the limbs of zombies who have taken hold of the ship.

Loved Creepy Atmosphere - Dead Space has a forbidding atmosphere that instills the classic survival horror feeling of being on the edge of your seat, keenly listening and looking for signs of anything that might go bump in the night. The creaks and moans of the ship heard almost quietly in the background make for an unsettling contrast with the heavy footfalls you make as you walk or smash boxes of supplies.

Strategic Dismemberment - While I initially thought this was somewhat of a gimmick it’s really quite a good element added to the gameplay, as it makes think about how you should kill enemies to save ammo as well as being satisfying in itself.

Hated Backtracking - While Dead Space does contain quite a bit of backtracking, it isn’t that bad as areas have often changed considerably from your last visit.

Lack Of Enemy Types - Although you encounter quite a few enemies in the course of the game, they’re all basically the same monster. Shoot for the legs then finish them off on the ground is the strategy that works most of the time. The dismemberment mechanic was very satisfying for the first half of the game but from then on the lack of changes in the enemies makes it lose some of its thrill.

Awesome Guns - In a survival horror game I find it hard to be afraid of the enemies when I can easily dispatch them in few shots. It takes away slightly from the very good atmosphere.

Overall I loved Dead Space. It didn’t bring much new stuff to the table but ticked all the right boxes.

Reviewed by: Iain Andrew

You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 300 words - yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.


    There's one very specific problem with Dead Space that people don't notice until they play the game more than once.

    Absolutely everything is scripted, so as soon as you play it once, every monster, every bang, every thump, is no longer a surprise. Playing the game for a third time to get the trophies was just tedious.

    I loved the story and atmosphere of Dead Space. It was an engaging game, and genuinely creepy.

    The strategic dismemberment I felt was a huge letdown. The reviewer correctly identified the lack of enemies as a cause of this - when you encounter a new enemy it takes a couple of goes before you find an efficient way to take them down, but after that it's just mechanical formulaic limb-rending. I don't think it added anything meaningful at all.

    It got to the point for me where the awesome weapons didn't even really factor in to the game. I upgraded the plasma cutter and used it for the entire game, occasionally switching to the ripper in close quarters.

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