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Games Entertainment

Dead Space Highlights Disparity Between Plot and Gameplay 87

Gamasutra is running an opinion piece praising recent horror-action game Dead Space for its pacing and gameplay while simultaneously criticizing the plot and the attempts to scare the player. Quoting: "What Dead Space is, is carefully and stylishly unoriginal. You'll love playing it, but when you aren't playing it, it's hard to say what's so great about it. It has some really great set pieces, some sweet effects, solid gameplay, an amazing interface and that's all. Anything and everything having to do with dialogue and story comes off as rote. ... You get the feeling the developer are trying very hard, though. When I see a dark shape in the distance, which turns and disappears, I don't get scared. I know he'll pop out of a vent later! Likewise, when I find a scientist who promptly slits her throat because of the horror, I just check for an item drop. None of the survivors ever surprise you and go hostile (which I think would have been a brilliant scare), so you never have to worry."
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Dead Space Highlights Disparity Between Plot and Gameplay

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  • A dark shape... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tcopeland ( 32225 ) <> on Sunday November 30, 2008 @04:44PM (#25936119) Homepage

    From the article:

    > "You get the feeling the developer are trying very hard, though. When I see a
    > dark shape in the distance, which turns and disappears, I don't get scared."

    I thought the F.E.A.R. developers did this very well... when Alma would scuttle by in my peripheral vision it was almost always good for a start of surprise. Now if only my laptop had been able to play it with all the dials turned up...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 30, 2008 @04:58PM (#25936231)

    While I felt the story was not very interesting I felt the mythos of the story was. How the unitologists came to be, and their beliefs and the mausoleum ships. How the marker came to be on the colony, and how it seemingly aids the original science station into preventing the spread of the necromorhps and others to stop the spread. I like the semi dystopian future earth has, it has the height of technology but many live on dreary space ships like the ishimura just to get enough resources. All the log drops from the other engineer on the ishimura is the story the game should be, the story would be better if you were that other engineer and had audio log drops of the woman you are trying to save.

    Sure a lot of this is just basic sci-fi or veiled criticism of scientology but combined with the entertaining gameplay and pretty and dreary scenery of the planetcracker and aegis 7 I feel like it is a great universe to play games in.

  • by Zekasu ( 1059298 ) on Sunday November 30, 2008 @05:04PM (#25936315)

    You're right.. Just like I've never seen a FPS in the last year and a half with no plot whatsoever, and a JRPG with no gameplay.

    Seriously, just because ice cream's banned, the only person with ice cream is some guy whose offering you free ice cream with his shit on it, doesn't mean you have to enjoy it or eat it.

    The problem I see with most FPS is the fact that you'll end up shooting the same thing over and over, with little surprise because, dun-dun-dun, after you pull that lever, a monster pops out. I mean, whatever happened to the gold old days of Nemesis, the guy you couldn't kill in Resident Evil? You'd run like hell if he was chasing you, because you couldn't beat him (until the very end, that is).

    That being said, the gameplay of Dead Space is, at the very least, above average. I mean, it's got real-time puzzles that you have to solve (puzzles being how to splatter another enemy) with all kinds of stuff coming at you. That's probably why it's more fun to play than it is to watch. I mean, is it more fun to act in a movie or watch it being acted out?

  • by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Sunday November 30, 2008 @05:57PM (#25936735)

    Games don't tend to be genuinely scary. It's because there's no genuine danger.

    Dead Space is an example of a game that completely succeeded in everything it was trying to do. The game mechanics were fun. Even in a year full of games with superb graphics and sound, those elements in Dead Space stood out. The story tied it all together well.

    No one complains about what Dead Space was. You'll read complaints about what it wasn't. And sometimes you'll hear that someone just couldn't get into it.

    Games are something you play for fun. If you're playing them to write self-aggrandizing articles about how you're above it all and ahead of all the rest of us, then Dead Space is a good choice because it's a great game. But it's not the best game at everything every game does well. And you can pat yourself on the back noticing that.

    Personally, I might have enjoyed it more if it were a rescue story instead of an escape. But the story belongs to the authors, not to me.

  • by Toonol ( 1057698 ) on Sunday November 30, 2008 @09:00PM (#25938307)
    My teenage son (17 years old at the time) was playing Call of Cthulhu on the XBox. His younger brother (13) and about a half dozen friends (aged 10-13) were in the room watching him.

    If you're not familiar with the game, it's a first person game, but you pretty much go the first half of the game with no weapon. There's a sequence where your character is in a hotel room, and the whole inbred town decides to kill you.

    You're defenseless. You run into rooms, open doors that lead to more villagers that you run away from. You lock doors behind you, they splinter after moments. You're helpless, you're just trying to escape, and it's not working

    The screams from the children were delicious. They were in no more danger than from any scary movie; but scary movies can be scary indeed.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 01, 2008 @06:06AM (#25941519)

    True been told the story isnt there but am i the only one who die on purpose 2 or 3 time for each kind of monster to see every different way of being slaughtered ? the funnyest imo is the monster that grab your legs and slowly pull you toward a hole... well i kinda liked getting shred apart member by member by the freaking regenerating freak. Well the game is more gore than frightening thats true, i pissed my gf because she saw me slaming the ground with my feet to dismember every cadaver i was finding "just in case" some mosquitoes come and transform it into a huge shitbag ... spent like 45minutes in the whole game doing that ... maybe im just necrophiliac eh ? Anyway the end was just a merge of halo and first horror movie on the shelf :x

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"