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Dead Space

Dead Space

Dead Space

Dead Space is a third-person shooter survival horror video game developed by EA Redwood Shores for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, the game was released on all platforms through October 2008. The game puts the player in control of an engineer named Isaac Clarke, who battles the Necromorphs, reanimated human corpses, aboard an interstellar mining ship, the USG Ishimura. The game was met with positive critical reception, and has sold over 2 million copies. Dead Space 2 and Dead Space 3 were released on January 25, 2011 and February 5, 2013, respectively.

Dead Space Plot

Set in the year 2508, when the USG Ishimura (石村?, lit. "Stone Village"), a "planetcracker" starship, sends out a distress signal to the Concordance Extraction Corporation (CEC) during a mining operation on the planet Aegis VII. The CEC dispatches the USG Kellion to investigate. After a guidance system malfunction crashes the Kellion into the Ishimura dock, the crew tries to seek other means of transport. As they explore what appears to be an abandoned ship, they are attacked by grotesque monsters, killing off all but ship systems engineer Isaac Clarke, Commander Zach Hammond, and Computer Specialist Kendra Daniels. Hammond notices that many of the ship's systems are failing; he and Kendra direct and assist Isaac in fixing them, so as to keep them all alive for rescue.

As Isaac Clarke moves about making the necessary repairs, he discovers various text and audio logs scattered throughout the ship, piecing together the events that transpired prior to their arrival: during the course of its illegal mining of Aegis VII, the Ishimura crew found the Red Marker, the most valuable relic of Unitology, an influential and powerful religion. Captain Mathius, a devout Unitologist, shifted focus, after being asked by the Church of Unitology, from mining to retrieving the Marker. Soon after the Marker's extraction to the Ishimura, humans from the planet's colony and the ship suffered from mass hysteria and violent hallucinations, before subsequently killing each other. Mathius cut off traffic and communications between the two sides, later going insane. Chief Science Officer Terrance Kyne tried to relieve Mathius of duty, only to accidentally kill the captain in a struggle. An alien virus, the genetic coding of which is encrypted on the Marker, then began ravaging the Aegis VII colony, infecting any available corpses and turning them into "Necromorphs" - mutated and reanimated corpses that violently slaughter uninfected humans to spread the infestation. A colony shuttle carrying an infectious Necromorph caused the scourge to spread across the Ishimura. Though Hammond states that he is unaware of what the Marker is, Kendra confides to Isaac that Hammond may be lying. Isaac later encounters his girlfriend Nicole Brennan, a medical officer aboard the Ishimura, though they are unable to meet.

After repairing the critical systems, Isaac's team launches a second beacon, attracting the nearby USM Valor; however, the Valor, having picked up an escape pod with a Necromorph inside (jettisoned earlier by Hammond) is overrun and crashes into the ship. Hammond deduces, from the military equipment he finds on board, that the Valor was actually assigned to destroy the Ishimura (later confirmed through a text log found on the Valor.) Deciding that they must escape while they can, Isaac and Hammond retrieve the Valor's power core in order to repair an available shuttle, though Hammond is killed by an enhanced Necromorph in the process. Dr. Kyne, one of the last survivors of the Ishimura, later contacts Isaac, urging him to return the Marker to Aegis VII, believing that it can restrain the "Hive Mind", a creature that controls the Necromorphs (though originally created for military purposes). After assisting Isaac in loading the Marker onto the shuttle, Kendra murders Kyne, revealing herself as a government operative ordered to retrieve the Marker for her superiors. She reveals that the Marker is a reverse-engineered copy of the Black Marker found on Earth, placed on Aegis VII by the government to monitor its effects. She then leaves on the shuttle without Isaac, but Nicole arrives and is able to help him recall the shuttle via remote pilot, prompting Kendra to flee via escape pod.

Isaac takes the Marker back to the colony, pacifying the Hive Mind and creating a "dead space" that makes all Necromorphs in the surrounding area dormant (it is revealed in the "backstory logs" unlocked by completing the game that "dead space" refers to the area surrounding the Marker wherein the infection and reanimation processes are subdued by the emission of various types of signals from the Marker). However, this also disrupts the gravity tethers keeping Aegis VII from tearing itself apart. Before Isaac can leave, Kendra appears and starts to take the Marker back to the shuttle. She shows Isaac, through a recovered distress transmission, that Nicole committed suicide via lethal injection before Isaac's team arrived on the Ishimura; his visions of her were the Marker's attempts to bring itself back to the planet. Isaac intercepts Kendra loading the Marker back into the shuttle; before she can leave, however, the Hive Mind reawakens, violently killing her, leaving Isaac to defeat it in a ferocious battle.

Leaving the Marker behind, Isaac flies off in the shuttle before the colony is destroyed. As he sets course away from Aegis VII, Isaac removes his helmet and watches Nicole's first transmission again; now knowing how it ends, he turns it off before it can finish. Noticing something in his peripherals, Isaac looks to his right and is attacked by a vision of a bloody Nicole, just before the scene cuts to black.

Dead Space Gameplay

The player controls Isaac Clarke, a ship systems engineer who must fight his way through a mining starship (The Ishimura), infested with an alien scourge. The entirety of the crew slaughtered, every corpse is reanimated via bio-recombination as a "Necromorph". The game is played from an over-the-shoulder third-person perspective.

Dead Space does not use a traditional heads-up display; instead, all information is relayed to the player via holographic projections from Isaac's Resource Integration Gear (RIG) spacesuit and the weapons themselves. For example, a small holographic display on the weapon shows the ammunition count; also, the "health meter" indicating Isaac's condition is integrated into the suit spine. Via floating holograms projected in front of Isaac, the player can check the current objectives and the 3D map, or access the inventory screen to manage items. However, the game still progresses in real time, so the player is in danger of being attacked while doing this.

Combat involves a mechanism called "strategic dismemberment", in which the player must cut off limbs or sections of the Necromorphs to defeat them. For example, shooting most Necromorphs in the head will have little effect, but they can be stopped once the player removes its arms and legs. Depending on how they are wounded, Necromorphs can adopt new stances and tactics, even sprouting new limbs or giving birth to new enemies in the process.

In keeping with Isaac's profession as an engineer, the weapons in Dead Space are mostly improvised from mining tools, such as a plasma cutter (for horizontal and vertical slicing), rotary saw, a hydrazine torch (repurposed as a flamethrower), a high-energy contact beam, and a force cannon that emits powerful shock waves. A military-grade automatic rifle is also available. All weapons feature a secondary-fire mode; for example, the plasma cutter can be rotated 90 degrees for an optimal angle for more effective dismemberment of vertical limbs (such as legs on a normal bipedal humanoid). The player must scavenge for ammunition and other various items, which are found throughout the ship or dropped by Necromorphs when killed. Automated stores throughout the ship can be accessed to buy and sell items or store them for later use. Also, the player can use Bench units, workbenches used to upgrade Isaac's suit and weapons with "power nodes". When not in Firing mode, Isaac can melee enemies with either a large swing of his weapon, or his infamous Curb stomp that can crush and dismember enemies with one hit.

Other than weapons, Isaac is also equipped with other tools to help him survive, solve puzzles, and combat enemies more effectively. Isaac's Stasis ability can be used to slow down enemies and objects temporarily, and a Kinesis module allows Isaac to pick up and throw items, which also allows him to impale Necromorphs. Dead Space also features vacuum and zero gravity environments, and Isaac can navigate through them using his pressurized suit and magnetic boots. Isaac will eventually suffocate while in a vacuum or a toxic environment as his suit can only contain a limited amount of air, so the player is forced to proceed quickly when in these situations.

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