PAX: Dead Space Hands On

One game that has me completely hooked is Dead Space. Dead Space is a bit of an anomaly as I really can't explain why I'm so excited.

The story is pretty standard. The crew aboard the mining ship US Ishimura has been invaded by monsters or something. The monsters have eaten and mutilated the crew into monsters themselves. You play Isaac Clarke, who has not been affected yet, but survive by killing these monsters and your infected friends and loved ones.

The setting is pretty standard. You walk around this ship finding your crew mates, or a way off the ship or something. But come across these zombies. It reminds me a lot of Doom.

One of the things that does stand out is the complete removal of any HUD. You don't have a little mini-map. You don't have an ammo counter. All the information is in the environment as if Isaac is actually looking at it. So the Ammo counter will be ON the gun. Your health is stripped down your spine. Redwood Shores completely immerses you in the game, and I think they succeed at that.

The demo had some interesting little areas too. When running around in the demo, your main task is to restore gravity to your sector of the ship. You have magnetic boots, so it doesn't look like you're in Zero-G. But you can hop off the ground at any point and walk along the wall, or the ceiling. The game will orient itself to you, so now the wall or ceiling is the floor.

I think my Fable II money is better spent on this fine product.

It should be noted that Dead Space comes out around Halloween this year for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC.  Though, the two demo units at PAX were Xbox 360.  I asked the executive producer, who was at the booth, if they had a lead platform, and he assured me that it was developed for a multiplatform focus, and that all versions are identical.

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