The third episode of the Dead Space: A Journey Through Terror mini series explores some of the core gameplay features.
Atmosphere in the Dead Space series is key. Everything, from the story to the gameplay, is shaped with creating a certain kind of atmosphere in mind. Because of this, the games of Dead Space have always maintained a minimal heads-up display; all of the information the player needs is worked directly into the game environment. The player’s health is displayed as part of Isaac’s engineering suit, video and audio tapes are played back through the suit’s built-in technology – in short, everything the player sees, Isaac sees.
Isaac’s background as an engineer rather than a soldier is an essential part of the gameplay of Dead Space. His ‘weapons’ are modified mining tools that he salvages from the surrounding environment. Though weapons like the plasma cutter, line gun and ripper are unusual, they are considerably more effective against Necromorphs than conventional weapons, cutting through their flesh faster than bullets.
There is only one sure-fire way of dispatching a Necromorph - cut off their limbs! Even if it doesn’t destroy them outright, it will slow them down, buying Isaac a precious few moments to regroup and reload. Tactical and strategic dismemberment demands the need to be precise under pressure; panicking means certain death. Each enemy type requires different tactics to overcome the odds, and if there are no weapons to hand, improvising one from the surrounding environment is always an option.
Stasis and Kinesis modules are essential to survival. Necromorphs are highly evolved predators and as such move fast; slowing them down is an effective way to ensure accurate dismemberment. This is where stasis comes in; it will hold a Necromorph in place long enough to allow Isaac to take it apart, piece by piece. Kinesis, on the other hand, allows traversal of otherwise dangerous environments; Isaac can lift heavy objects or even turn floating debris into a deadly weapon.
Navigating zero gravity areas also requires extreme caution – opportunistic enemies can attack from any angle, and moving through vacuums means the added pressure of surviving with an oxygen tank running down to empty.
This diverse range of weapons, tactics and tools are just enough to give Isaac the fighting chance he’ll need as he continues to stand against the Necromorph threat.
But he no longer has to stand alone.