Someone explain to me how Dead Space is good

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Stark
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Someone explain to me how Dead Space is good

Post by Stark » 2008-12-08 11:43pm

I dismissed this game, but then Ford said a good thing about it, so my interest was piqued enough to pick it up. It has a satisfyingly interesting GUI and a not-awful opening, but they then instantly kill the suspense and it turns into Resident Evil - System Horizon edition.

It has a cripplingly predictable plot totally divorced from the action - at the end of chapter 3 Token says 'then we can find out what happened here' when IT'S BEEN FUCKING OBVIOUS SINCE CHAPTER 1. I've uploaded logs clearly detailing in plain language what has happened, but everyone pretends it's a mystery to drive the retarded plot along. I'm not even talking about the retarded scripted 'oh lol here's an inexplicably alive person WHOOPS THEY DIED DID THAT SCARE YOU' stuff, but that the whole thing is treated as a big spooky mystery when it's written in giant neon signs. The presence of obviously not-mining equipment and facilities likewise spurs no response from anyone.

BTW the plot is HAVE YOU PLAYED SYSTEM SHOCK 2 WE FUCKING HOPE NOT, which is utterly uninteresting.

The Resident Evil puzzle nature of the game means that the areas are a) designed in wildly impractical ways and b) have no respect to the outside of the ship or any other form/function. There's a goddamn medical lab that can only be traversed by constantly moving a piece of diagnostic imaging equipment to use as a bridge. It's almost Doom3 'the only way to Delta labs is to climb over machinery in Beta labs', but not quite.

The game looks nice, and the UI elements are well designed (although people probably hate that inventory doesn't pause the game) alhtough I'm sad to see the 'projector' effect that accompanied it on the early screenshots has been removed for clarity. The level aesthetic is quite good, and the AI at least actually uses vents, which makes combat interesting - and the combat certainly needs this help, since it's fuck boring otherwise. The dismemberment is massively overrated unless it becomes better in the final half; it's very typical 'each limb has 8 hp and then falls off' stuff, not dynamic and the enemies don't even aquire decals from bullet impacts to reflect injury. The difficulty is also all over the place; the start is extraordinarily difficult on hard, due to ammo issues, but later you're swimming in so much ammo you're selling it at a profit. There are instant-death sequences I don't even understand.

The game obviously sells on atmosphere, which is helped by the excellent volumetric lighting and the general art style. However, they clearly show you the primary enemy for 30% of the game in full light about 2m into the game, utterly destroying the suspense. When you find the captain and see how the necromorphs are created, not only does nobody think this is interesting or significant, but it again removes unknown elements and makes the game boring. At no point did I feel even as tense as I did in the disappointing FEAR, because there aren't even any cheap 'startle scares' and combat is laughable so long as you've got slowmo. The logs make it painfully obvious what happened to the ship and so there isn't even that to do. FEAR was pretty terrible but it paced the story and help it's secrets much better.

So it's a pretty puzzle game that's boring, easy even on hard, terribly paced, full of obtuse characters and inane 'story' and not even remotely scary. This seems like a disappointment.

Ford, explain yourself. WHAT AM I MISSING?????? How far do I have to get before it 'gets good'????

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Re: Someone explain to me how Dead Space is good

Post by Losonti Tokash » 2008-12-08 11:51pm

Pretend you aren't an obsessive compulsive searcher and you too can be in the same boat as Token and Psycho Bitch.

I like it quite a bit but to be honest I haven't picked it up since I got Fallout and a ton of other crap. Plus the zero-g gimmick is actually pretty fun.

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Re: Someone explain to me how Dead Space is good

Post by Stark » 2008-12-08 11:57pm

Dude the logs fucking GLOW. They're in plain sight in places you MUST GO THROUGH. It's IMPOSSIBLE to complete the medical level, ie level 2, without watching a video log clearly outlining 75% of the plot and conclusively solving the 'what happened' mystery unless you're stone blind. The conciet that Isaac is looking at all this shit and just not telling anyone is just as stupid as it was in FEAR. Anyone seen Jankowski? Anyone seen GHOST ZOMBIE JANKOWSKI TALKING TO ME ABOUT FETTLE? No? Good. :lol:

I was actually under the impression the zero-g was used more, and more dynamically; as it is it's quite rare in the first half and it's very primitive 'change platform' stuff instead of 'walk up walls'.

Actually, looking at reviews, they don't answer these issues either. They're all just OMG SO PRETTY and WEWT DISMEMBER. It's often claimed the game is scary, but I'm not sure how this is the case.

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Re: Someone explain to me how Dead Space is good

Post by The Grim Squeaker » 2008-12-08 11:58pm

Well, if you don't enjoy it with the lights turned off and playing alone, then truly your armour of cynicism is invulnerable, rendering you utterly immune to fun of any sort, let alone that in this game. Astounding. I'd mwntion how impressed I am more, but i'm too busy having fun.
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Re: Someone explain to me how Dead Space is good

Post by Ohma » 2008-12-08 11:58pm

Stark wrote: BTW the plot is HAVE YOU PLAYED SYSTEM SHOCK 2 WE FUCKING HOPE NOT, which is utterly uninteresting.
Does it even come with an AI that is lolzcrazaaaaay too? Because if it does then that makes it even more amazingly lame than the ads which made it look like another "OMGEEEZ SPACE ZOMBIEESS LOL" game made it look.
STRAK wrote:The conciet that Isaac is looking at all this shit and just not telling anyone is just as stupid as it was in FEAR. Anyone seen Jankowski? Anyone seen GHOST ZOMBIE JANKOWSKI TALKING TO ME ABOUT FETTLE? No? Good. :lol:
:lol:
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Re: Someone explain to me how Dead Space is good

Post by Stark » 2008-12-09 12:01am

No, the BAD THING the EVIL OFFICERS bring UP from the PLANET is alien and not AI-generated gengineering stuff. But guess what? Then it CHANGES the crew into HIDEOUS MONSTERS and the OFFICERS have a SECRET AGENDA.

No really, stop me if this has blown your mind with originality. Don't get me started on the Solaris and Event Horizon ripoffs either.
DEATH wrote:Well, if you don't enjoy it with the lights turned off and playing alone, then truly your armour of cynicism is invulnerable, rendering you utterly immune to fun of any sort, let alone that in this game. Astounding. I'd mwntion how impressed I am more, but i'm too busy having fun.
Y'know, I'd say that you're a dickless idiot with nothing to add since I expressly asked people to explain how it's good and you just said I WON'T EXPLAIN WHY. But instead I'll point out I'm playing it in the middle of the night in a house that isn't mine with the lights out and a psycho cat running around, and it's not scary. The only tension is generated by the graffiti and ambient noise (it's cool that these days the EVIL GRAFFITI is legible due to texture quality). The graffiti makes it EVEN MORE OBVIOUS what's going on, of course, this breaking the story even more. I hope there's an explanation as to why the other guys run into maybe 1% of the badguys Isaac does; clearly the power of love is a curious thing.

So which bits are scary? I'm not that far in, but it's obvious which areas are supposed to be scary and they're not. The alive-people scripted events are all hopelessly lame and the way he turns his torch off unless he's aiming doesn't make the game scary.
Last edited by Stark on 2008-12-09 12:06am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Someone explain to me how Dead Space is good

Post by Losonti Tokash » 2008-12-09 12:03am

hey at least it's religious fundamentalism instead of secret eugenics

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Re: Someone explain to me how Dead Space is good

Post by Ohma » 2008-12-09 12:06am

Stark wrote:No, the BAD THING the EVIL OFFICERS bring UP from the PLANET is alien and not AI-generated gengineering stuff. But guess what? Then it CHANGES the crew into HIDEOUS MONSTERS and the OFFICERS have a SECRET AGENDA.
NO!!! I TOTALLY DID NOT SEE THAT COMING!!!! YOU HAVE RUINED THE GAME FOR MEEEEEEE!!!!!!111 :o
Stark wrote:Don't get me started on the Solaris and Event Horizon ripoffs either.
To get off topic a bit, am I alone in being annoyed that the Event Horizon was like, obviously designed to be creepy?

Because all I ever hear is praise about how they made the ship look in that movie but watching it makes me annoyed because it just looks like...really ham fisted the way they did it...I mean if it had been like a Tim Burton movie it would've been okay but then EVERYTHING would look crazy and creepy and not just the ship that just happened to go through space hell.

But I can be picky about stupid shit... >.>
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Re: Someone explain to me how Dead Space is good

Post by Stark » 2008-12-09 12:09am

But they log that the wrong way; be explicitly detailing what happened, and leaving motives unclear, it kills the mood. If they'd started with the motives, the relgious guys, the wierd non-mining equipment, the obvious premedition about the colony etc, then you'd be all OMG HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO THE SCARY MONSTARS. Instead, you already know exactly what happened, and their retarded motives seem irrelevant next to the banal plot.

They really gave everything away way, way too early. Like I said, seeing the basic badguy in full lighting right at the start makes combat a ho-hum affair, only saved by the vent-travel which is very cool.
Ohma wrote:To get off topic a bit, am I alone in being annoyed that the Event Horizon was like, obviously designed to be creepy?

Because all I ever hear is praise about how they made the ship look in that movie but watching it makes me annoyed because it just looks like...really ham fisted the way they did it...I mean if it had been like a Tim Burton movie it would've been okay but then EVERYTHING would look crazy and creepy and not just the ship that just happened to go through space hell.

But I can be picky about stupid shit... >.>
You're just not ARTY enough; the ship was clearly a visual representation of Sam Neill's distraught personal state after the suicide of his wife, as it is the vehicle for his damnation. The Lewis and Clark looked normal, but as part of the budget for the largest most advanced ship in history there was obviously a big line item for 'spooky spikes'.

Oh I forgot to mention Isaac is constantly being drunk dialled by his codependent attention-whore of an ex-wife who can't string a straight sentence together and is also A LIFELESS POSER MODEL. It's like Shodan only less lucid.

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Re: Someone explain to me how Dead Space is good

Post by Losonti Tokash » 2008-12-09 12:14am

On the bright side, Spoiler
the first letter of each level title spells out "nicole is dead."
oh wait i called that in the intro

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Re: Someone explain to me how Dead Space is good

Post by Stark » 2008-12-09 12:19am

That's not a spoiler because the chapter names are in the achievement lists. And yeah, it was obvious since the hamfisted opening (saved only by giant fake titties from putting me to sleep).

I have an intro-related question - just where did those other two guys come from? If they were security, and Token is security, and Kendra is implants, who was flying the damn thing? Was there other crew? Why did anyone thing leaving the door open was a good idea?

I'm very disappointed in the weapons too - the pre-launch fluff suggested they were all re-tasked working equipment and that they had interesting effects, but they're not really and they don't. I'm glad the drops change depending on what guns you're carrying - very considerate monsters. :)

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Re: Someone explain to me how Dead Space is good

Post by Phantasee » 2008-12-09 12:19am

Stark wrote:clearly the power of love is a curious thing.
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Re: Someone explain to me how Dead Space is good

Post by Stark » 2008-12-09 12:32am

I'm reading more reviews now to see what I'm missing, but many of them outline the same issues I raise, and then handwave them by saying 'oh but it's atmospheric so the lame combat, boring missions, repetitive play and such don't count, 10/10 perfect game'. Where's Ford? He's an intelligent lucid adult, so I might get actual content out of him unlike DEATH's zero contribution.

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Re: Someone explain to me how Dead Space is good

Post by JointStrikeFighter » 2008-12-09 01:55am

Those other 2 guys where sitting up the front of the cockpit between captain black man and first officer titties, you just cant see them till they get up at after the crash.

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Re: Someone explain to me how Dead Space is good

Post by Stark » 2008-12-09 01:58am

Oh, it looked like they came up some stairs or something. One had a porn-star mustache from the 80s; the most terrifying element of the game thus far.

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Re: Someone explain to me how Dead Space is good

Post by JointStrikeFighter » 2008-12-09 03:03am

Stark wrote:Oh, it looked like they came up some stairs or something. One had a porn-star mustache from the 80s; the most terrifying element of the game thus far.
Yeah, i think they had seats or something up there lol.

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Re: Someone explain to me how Dead Space is good

Post by Rawtooth » 2008-12-09 04:17am

This may seem out of place, but I have to say that I enjoy reading Stark and Ford Prefect discussing games. Stark points out the flaws, but if he was by himself it would be too sour, like taking a large bite out of a lemon. Ford points out the good parts of a game, while still acknowledging the downsides Stark brings up. It's like a full spectrum of video game review goodness baked into a cake, layered in chocolate honesty and lemon frosting.

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Re: Someone explain to me how Dead Space is good

Post by Stark » 2008-12-09 04:34am

Thats why Ford is an intelligent person worth talking to; he doesn't just say 'oh I like this game therefore nothing bad can be said' or 'I enjoyed one part of the game, 10/10 perfect game'. I'm pissing on Deadspace in this thread, it's still -fun-: but nothing is perfect and nobody listens when you talk about good things anyway (look at any thread about space rangers). Ford and I have pretty seriously divergent taste in games, but because we can actually articulate our attitudes beyond 'oh look you hate it I'm better than you because I'm having fun rah rah rah ' it's informative in both directions. I find most people don't actually have 'opinions' about games or books or whatever at all, simply knee-jerk tribal defence reactions - YOU SAID A BAD THING ABOUT MY FOOTBALL TEAM.

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Re: Someone explain to me how Dead Space is good

Post by Rawtooth » 2008-12-09 04:44am

Oh I agree, I just find it rather helpful when both of you toss your two cents onto a game review subject. It paints the subject in a stark light with your biting criticism and his delineated nuances.

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Re: Someone explain to me how Dead Space is good

Post by Stark » 2008-12-09 04:48am

Which is why I wish the bastard would should up and explain how this game is good! I'm sure he can turn me around on this game> :)

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Re: Someone explain to me how Dead Space is good

Post by Zablorg » 2008-12-09 05:21am

what do you think about pac-man stark

is it as overhyped as some have claimed it to be

was pac-man fever a mere symbol of the masses of consumer sheeple

tell us your opinion




So basically the plot for this game is "OH SHIT THEY'RE TOYING WITH THEIR GEEEEEEENES"?

I wonder if there's a count on the internet for how many games have this.
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Re: Someone explain to me how Dead Space is good

Post by Lord Woodlouse » 2008-12-09 05:23am

I looked it up on youtube. Those titties are insufficiently giant. :(
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Re: Someone explain to me how Dead Space is good

Post by Stark » 2008-12-09 05:28am

Zablorg wrote:what do you think about pac-man stark

is it as overhyped as some have claimed it to be

was pac-man fever a mere symbol of the masses of consumer sheeple

tell us your opinion
look pacman had predictable paths (so predictable that you could play it without even looking) but they later made it dynamic pursuit which was interesting
ms pac man could even jump over walls dog
so in summation i think pacman is cool
Zablorg wrote:So basically the plot for this game is "OH SHIT THEY'RE TOYING WITH THEIR GEEEEEEENES"?

I wonder if there's a count on the internet for how many games have this.
no man it's not gengineering this time it's ALIEN NANO VIRUS

i'm not even kidding

it's one of those viruses that walks around lol

and shit woodlouse they're like the size of her head

this game isn't from japan yo uknow

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Re: Someone explain to me how Dead Space is good

Post by Ford Prefect » 2008-12-09 06:08am

Stark wrote:Ford, explain yourself. WHAT AM I MISSING?????? How far do I have to get before it 'gets good'????
I don't think I'm exacting enough or something.
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Re: Someone explain to me how Dead Space is good

Post by Oscar Wilde » 2008-12-09 04:22pm

Isn't the game "startle" horror, where it doesn't have build, just sudden quick "OMG" moments? Horror needs to build, and when time isn't given for that, it sucks.
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