Just a disclaimer: I’ve never played Dead Space, ever, in my entire life, so this was a first time experience.
So, I can’t compare it to the console versions or how accurate a translation it is from Xbox to iPhone, what features were taken in or added, and how the atmosphere and playing experience is different.
But I can review it as a game—just like any other game in the App Store—and look upon it as if it were an original title. So with no comparisons and no real expectations going into the game, I was thoroughly surprised.
The game does start out slowly though, as you must find your weapons and situate yourself in the atmosphere. There aren’t many actions or thrills until around 20-30 minutes into the game, and upgrading your weapons and armor take some time. But once the action starts, the suspense is edge-of-the-seat, and I feel like I’m watching an episode of Flashforward (one of my favorite TV shows, by the way, but was unfortunately axed after one season).
So with all that said, let’s get into the nitty-gritty.
Graphics: The Retina graphics are popping, and I am in love with them. While I can’t say they’re the best on the platform, I think they’re the best the iPhone 4 can handle (if that makes any sense). The detail is great, and I’m still shocked at the sight of how far iPhone games have come in terms of graphics.
No “big arrow”: Gameloft has a habit of adding large, guiding arrows to their games, leading you to where your next objective is. Dead Space gets rid of that and has an optional blue line you can summon whenever you need help in finding where to go. This allows for some more traveling and exploring the small places of the spaceship, and if you’re lucky enough, you’ll find some rooms filled with credits, ammo, and other goodies.
Atmosphere: The developers did a phenomenal job with setting the tone, with enemies popping out of nowhere and nearly slicing you to pieces, along with the eerie music sending you chills while walking down an “empty” hallway. Monsters pop out from everywhere, and the thrill and “scary” tone is set quite nicely.
Slow start: The beginning is a little bit slow, and it took a while for me to actually get into the game. Impatient people, you have been warned.
GameCenter: The “big dogs” really need to start implementing some GameCenter into their games, and it’s a real shame that Dead Space doesn’t have it considering the fact that it has achievements. The achievements are used to unlock a variety of wallpapers, but still, some GameCenter support would be nice. Especially for those wanting to rack up as many achievements as possible.
Dead Space isn’t a game that particularly stood out and isn’t something that’s a no-brainer Must Have in my eyes. The production values are high, and EA did a really nice job with this one. I just wasn’t exactly addicted to it, and it never really grasped me from the start. But the playing atmosphere and graphics are phenomenal, and the game as a whole is quite professional.