Dead Space (no spoliarz)

Looks like the first review is in; 91% from Xbox World 360 magazine.

The latest Xbox World 360 mag, on shelves today, awards the survival horror game 91%, claiming that Resident Evil developer Capcom should take note, “Because EA can teach them a thing or three about survival horror.”

Exploring the decks of the Ishimura is a “nail-biting experience,” says the mag, driven forward by the “film-worthy” script and “inspired” setting. "It’s Rapture in space: every bit as disturbing, just as meticulously designed and easily as believable.

Goody.

No Vader. No buy!

The PS3 suit is pretty close! Though I’m buying the game on 360, I much prefer the PS3 suit. It’s pretty badass looking.

I’ve been interested for a while but I wish they’d stop doing the split release crap for console/PC. I can understand trying to bolster console sales before opening up the PC release but it’s still frustrating. By pushing it’s PC release back to 10/20, aka the day before Fable 2 and LittleBigPlanet my purchase will be delayed for now(if ever) because I simply won’t have the time.

Hopefully I’ll have the desire to give it a go some time next year after I’ve seen the Qt3 impressions and the price has dropped.

Maybe it’s to keep people from stealing it? I’m curious why that’s done.

First IGN review is an 8.7. The problem he describes of not having your skills and equipment carry over to another difficulty level sounds like the RE4 way, and that’s just good gameplay to me. Fully upgraded gear in RE4 would have made Professional a cakewalk, since the main “upgrade” is learning the game by heart. Perhaps there is something I’m missing about Dead Space that makes it more onerous than that.

Either way, the description sounds solid.

yeah but in a dark ship are you sure you want your guy to be dark? The a.i. is still going to find you.

He’s talking about the New Game + feature. Since you can only upgrade fully by playing through several times, he believes you should be able to start a New Game + on a higher difficulty level than your first run through. Coincidentally, I agree.

AAARRRGGggghhhh!!! I hate this idea. It’s a shooter. I’m going to play it once then move on but I still want to see everything the game has to offer.

Seriously, is there any point to this mechanic. Any redeeming factor at all? There must be one or so many games wouldn’t be doing it. Could someone please explain this to me?

In the case of RE4 some of the upgrades you’d get after multiple plays completely unbalanced the game but made it a lot of fun in ways other than just the pure challenge of the first run through. If they manage to do it as well as RE4 did, I’m all for it.

Keep in mind when I say these things that as far as RE4 goes, I completed it multiple times on each difficulty on the PS2 as well as doing the bonus content completely multiple times, then went on to do the exact same with RE4 on the Wii.

I know what he’s talking about. Anyway, I can see arguments for both sides on whether your equipment should transcend difficulty level, but having seen it done so well in RE4, I am very optimistic about DS going that route. The alternative would seem to be to make harder difficulties easier than they should be, or worse yet have an upgrade system that actually doesn’t matter that much to the gameplay and can therefore be left maxed out at the beginning of any playthrough without breaking the difficulty.

I would assume that much like RE4, the advantage when you get around to playing on harder difficulties will stem from knowing what you are doing and what you will get in the long run (and where to gather resources), allowing you to be more efficient than when you were stumbling around on normal the first time. Sure, it would take multiple playthroughs on a single difficulty to get ALL of the equipment upgraded, but not so much for the stuff I actually want or need.

I enjoy having reasons to play a game over again on a higher level of difficulty, or even on the same difficulty but keeping your stuff from the first playthrough. To be clear, what I was focusing on was “gameplay” incentives (fully upgrading more equipment, etc), as opposed to story incentives which are lower priority to me. I enjoyed the hell out of that in RE4, even though the upgrades were (for the most part) not all that flashy, and I still tended to revert to my favorite weapons.

Keep in mind that there is no mention in that article of plot elements being left incomplete in a single (presumably very thorough) playthrough, just not being able to maximize every piece of equipment on a single playthrough.

Speaking of plot elements, I liked the way RE4 did it by including the post game chapters that expanded your understanding of what happened in the main game without arbitrarily cutting you off from content in the main story. As opposed to the popular trick of having extra or expanded cutscenes or whatever for multiple playthroughs (I’m looking at Eternal Darkness, here).

Oh yes it does. Read the Lasting appeal section in the scores box:

For me, this means zero replayability. I plan to play on normal on my first run through, but I’m not interested in playing a harder difficulty from scratch again. And replaying on normal (with my souped up gear) would be too easy.

In fact, why would anyone want to play the same difficulty again with upgraded armor and weapons? Isn’t that the definition of a cakewalk?

I thought I’d seen it somewhere, thanks for clearing that up. It will be interesting to see what that actually translates to in the game, since it’s a little vague.

Depends on the game. For me, RE4 was well balanced enough that it turned into “how well can I do this part” on a replay vs the simple struggle for survival that occurred the first time. It allowed me to experiment with a variety of risk/reward variations, where the first time I was just trying to get from A to B. For instance, when you first come into the spanish town, the engagement plays out differently, with different rewards and risks, depending on where you choose to hole up. Or the Gigante vs Angry Chainsaw Chicks route choice, where once I knew what I was doing I could choose to do both and benefit enormously.

Either way, you get the game you want, all 12 hours of it, and I get the cycles of replayability that I want (assuming it’s as good as it seems). Brendan is still screwed, fuming at the absence of everything in a single playthrough, but that’s acceptable collateral damage.

I’m still not sure why you think it’s better to force the New Game + on the same difficulty level than to leave it as an option? If they’d let me play from normal to hard, how would that mess up the way you want to play it? As it is, I’m not getting the full game that I want since they leave out upgrades and story parts on the first play through, and I don’t want to play it again on the same difficulty.

Because starting the Hard level with your upgrades intact would, by definition, no longer make it hard. The only way it could work would be to cap the upgrades in the easier modes and gradually raise the caps as you go up in difficulty. That would open the door to a lot of balancing issues and bitching of another order of magnitude entirely.

As it is, I’m not getting the full game that I want since they leave out upgrades and story parts on the first play through, and I don’t want to play it again on the same difficulty.

They’re not “leaving out” upgrades. There may be some extras you only get on a second playthrough, but the implication seems to be you will be able to max out only some things, or have many mediocre. That’s standard fare and probably still leave you well within the parameters of “dominating” the game if you are careful and methodical, less so if you just blaze through the game.

As for the story aspects, there are a lot of different ways that can happen, as I’ve described before. I have no idea what DS has opted for, but judging from the minutiae they’ve been churning out pre release, I imagine it will be the kind of stuff only achievement whores and people who are predisposed to play games several times anyway would care about. I doubt they’ll hide any Rosebud moments in the new game +.

Anyway, I don’t think I can explain my point any more clearly. You don’t like it, I do, and Brendan is going to kill himself as a result. Agree to disagree.

I just watched the animated comics and played through the noknownsurvivors.com ARG games. The backstory they have crafted for this game is both fascinating and disturbing. I really want to play this game now, but I’m also a big wuss when it comes to horror. I barely got through BioShock, and this looks ten times scarier.

What? If you play through on hard then you can start on hard again with the upgrades intact. How is going from normal to hard any different?

What do you mean “what”? I said it in plain English, multiple times now.

Because you shouldn’t be able to beat it on hard with the upgrades unless you’ve beat it without them already. Hard is supposed to be out of reach, not of most skill levels but of most levels of dedication. Going from normal to hard with upgrades makes that higher difficulty level easier, and you have not at that point already demonstrated that you can handle it the real way. Why should you get the perk of crushing the higher difficulty levels? You might as well just get an action replay card.

Let me put it this way: here’s my logic cycle for action survival horror. Did RE4 do it? If the answer is yes, I am most likely in favor of it, no matter how crazy or unfair it seems to you. Go ahead and resolve yourself to <1000 achievement points. Make a date with your therapist.

Also: Eurogamer 7/10. There are much more solid criticisms here, particularly of the pacing. I am comfortable with the Leon Kennedy brand of unflappable main character, so I don’t think that will be a problem.

Just for you guys:

It’s not a very elegant system, but with a lot less power nodes than slots it forces you to choose your favourite features and work out the most efficient way to boost them. You keep the same stats should you start a second playthrough after completion, so this is clearly a feature aimed at the repeat player.

Haha. Anyway, it doesn’t sound like there’s going to be a lot to bring the non-repeat player back anyway, so I think it’s going to be fine.