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Thursday January 27, 2011 1:29 pm
Dead Space for iPhone review
With the release of Dead Space 2 across platforms, EA Mobile released an iOS version of the game. Coming in at $6.99 for the iPhone and $9.99 for the iPad version, this is more than just a companion app, it's a fairly extensive, full featured game, with multiple weapons, sceneries, moving vehicles, story and so on. The whole plot and setting feeds into the Dead Space universe to create a full mobile experience.
Starting with graphics and audio, they are both of high quality. The models look crisp and the effects are good. The LCD panels floating in the environment contrast nicely to the cold steel, making your surroundings look very futuristic, but also recognizable. Both the lighting and the sound effects promote a survival horror game, which this is. As the story goes on, you'll be fighting a large number of ugly beasts, everything you may have come to expect if you've played the first game. The events happen before Dead Space 2, on a mining colony where things have gone very wrong.
The meat of the game is fighting an endless amount of aliens, using various weapons. In true Dead Space style, you are encouraged to cut limbs to more effectively end your target's life. Now I have to admit, I'm not a fan of the controls used by shooter type games on iOS. While Dead Space controls are responsive and quite decent, it can still feel daunting to navigate, look around, and fire all at once. Aiming can be a pain, especially trying to hit limbs the way you intend to. I don't think there's any perfect solution for implementing this type of control on the iPhone or iPad, and this may be the best a game like this may hope for, at least for now.
The story is fairly linear and simple. You spend your time away from civilization, following a fairly linear path, trying to survive. The audio, enemy ambushes, limited bullets and isolation succeed at making this a worthwhile game, despite the sometimes annoying combat. If you liked the original Dead Space on consoles or PC, this will very much feel like more of the same. This is really the height of the game, as opposed to the combat which can feel like a let down.
Overall, the price point of this game means it's probably not something to get lightly. If you like shooters, or even better, survival horror games on the iPhone or iPad, then you should get it. Same thing if you really liked Dead Space and want to see how it translates to the mobile devices. Otherwise, this could be a pass.
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