If you’ve never played 2008’s Dead Space, then you’ve missed out on one of the finest in tense, claustrophobic survival horror games. Developed by the now sadly defunct Visceral Games, Dead Space told the story of the perpetually unfortunate engineer Isaac Clark and his awful adventures aboard the USG Ishimura.
The ship itself is as much a character in the game as Isaac himself, and it’s infested with a blight that makes for some tense, nerve-wracking and decidedly solitary gameplay. It’s the sort of great big blockbuster survival horror you hardly see anymore, with just Resident Evil and The Evil Within still around to really represent the genre within the AAA space.
It’s a fantastic game that relies on dread and genuine horror instead of action. It’s got a combat system that’s purposefully slow and inelegant, designed as it is around dismemberment. You’re meant to feel like an almost powerless engineer instead of an ass-kicking space marine, and it works wonderfully, giving us one of the most asshole-clenching, breath-holding terrifying games in modern times.
Its sequels up the tempo and action, dialling down on the horror and were poorer for it. Given Visceral’s demise and the lack of real, persistent earning potential within the genre it’s probably a dead franchise. That’s a real shame, but if you missed it the first time around, you can now play it for free.
As EA is wont to do every now and then, they give away games on their Origin service – and now you can pick up the original Dead Space, for not a single cent. You can grab it from Origin, here.
“You are Isaac Clarke, an engineer on the spacecraft USG Ishimura. You’re not a warrior. You’re not a soldier. You are, however, the last line of defense between the remaining living crew and deadly reanimated corpses. The undead have become Necromorphs; horrific zombie-alien hybrids that won’t succumb to traditional means. Fortunately, your offense is equally unique, as the high-powered mining tools at your disposal provide the means to fight against the threat.”
Last Updated: February 14, 2018