Because games are about more than headshots

Dead Space Extraction, My Fantasy?

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Sorry about the wait for the Korsokovia +  Radiator post, that’s still in the pipeline. It’s odd that I’ve felt so despondent about writing the piece, seeing as Radiator was my favourite mod of the lot and I feel really fired up about tearing Korsokovia apart, highlighting it’s awful flaws in addition to praising it’s fantastic atmosphere and narrative. However, I’ve  been busy playing through Beyond Good + Evil, which was amazing, especially since I’d blacked myself out to information about the game. Look forward to some detailed thoughts of why it’s so awesome soon. Finally, while I was looking over the search terms via which people find this blog I trawled up some pretty hilarious and unrelated results, so every Friday from here on I’m going to try and publish a post that caters to people who really, found the wrong blog.

Like Prototype, DS:E has some cool alternate box-arts

Like Prototype, DS:E has some cool alternate box-arts

However, today’s content will be a fairly off the cuff and dare I say short post regarding EA’s recently released rail shooter for the Wii, ‘Dead Space: Extraction‘. Now I don’t own myself a Wii, so I’ve been watching a play through of it on youtube as not only am I intrigued by this new rail shooter movement on the Wii, but they’re very overt in terms of game design and I feel irrationally attached to Dead Space’s lackluster story. Finally by the nature of the game, rail shooters are enjoyable to watch.

So I was watching this playthrough of Dead Space: Extraction, and it blew my mind. Since Dead Space was great in terms of it’s core gameplay and audio design, I expected much the same from the Wii spin off.  How wrong I was.

Dead Space: Extraction  has, about half an hour in, the best plot twist in a game I’ve seen since Bioshock. The game has a surprisingly compelling narrative, although apart from the initial twist I haven’t found anything else that’s particularly original. Mainly it’s just a narrative influenced by every horror flick that’s occurred over the last twenty years, but presented in a video game the strong characterisation in Extraction really stands out. Each of the character’s is cliche`d , yet has a hook/strong personality trait that makes them endearing in some way. The story doesn’t have alot of overt humour, but there’s some amusing elements in the overall structure of the plot, where the writers had some fun with traditional structures.  I’ve only watched up until about halfway through chapter 6 so far, so as far as I know the plot could do something crazy or it could wear out it’s welcome and start becoming arbitrary and frustrating (like the original Dead Space’s lackluster narrative did).

Despite so far having less of a narrative role, both of these are far more interesting to than anyone from the original Dead Space, including Isaac

Despite so far having less of a narrative role, both of these are far more interesting to than anyone from the original Dead Space, including Isaac

The main attraction of the original Dead Space was the immersive HUD and the same ethos has gone into designing the spin off, with the perspective so tightly controlled by the developers that you get a real sense of the protagonist. You’re not the protagonist, it’s Caldwell and the writers really use physical elements effectively to enhance the storytelling. It’s everything I was talking about in my Far Cry 2 analysis, although to be fair this sort of thing is not too uncommon within rail shooters but it’s the way I’d like immersion in every game set in the first person going.

You shoot a person with a gun. Rail Shooter/Video game?

You shoot a person with a gun. Rail Shooter/Video game?

Anyways, that’s about all I feel the need to comment on. The gameplay seems pretty standard and as I haven’t actually tried the controls (which seems pretty important for the Wii) I can’t offer an opinion and the visuals and audio elements are all pretty good, especially for the Wii which rarely receives such production values from a third party dev.  My main point is that you should watch the first few chapters of this game which is really stands out in a number of ways, despite being extremely rudimentary in terms of gameplay.


Written by Aonshix

September 29, 2009 at 11:06 pm

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