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Dead Space Extraction--Impressions

Posted by: Sean Colleli at 9/27/2009 10:45 AM
After a marathon gaming session with Dead Space Extraction, I've played through the meat of the story and I've come away happier with the game than I ever expected--in fact I've gone from unenthusiastic to duly impressed. Visceral Games has nailed the atmosphere and appearance of Dead Space as only the creators of the series could, and on a vastly inferior platform like the Wii it's quite an accomplishment. The first-person perspective actually lets them add different, more sinewy scares than the monster-closets we found in the first game; scripted events that toy with your perceptions and the character you are controlling. I won't spoil anything but let's just say that almost every character you control battles the madness and hallucinations broadcasting from the Marker, and some aren't as lucky as others in staving it off.

The on-rails format has me conflicted. It makes for a very cinematic experience, in some ways more dramatic than the original game, but it does rob the player of some control and as a hardcore gamer accustomed to the creeping pace of the first Dead Space this was a tough transition for me. Specifically I don't feel they give you enough time to drink in the surroundings or explore them, particularly when you're given a fleeting second to grab supplies out of a shadowy alcove. I recognized locations from the first game that are quite different in setting--the Marker excavation is site is bombarded by a fierce dust storm at night--but I never got the time to really appreciate how faithfully these memorable setpieces had been recreated on the Wii, because the game's pace is so strident.

It's a little hard to describe gameplay specifics at this point but rest assured, a full review will be forthcoming shortly after I finish the game. For now all I can say is that Extraction is pure Dead Space, just in a different genre, and this rail shooter is one I'll be replaying several times to absorb all the scares.