10 years ago today on October 13, 2018, Electronic Arts and EA Redwood Shores released Dead Space, the first entry in a beloved science fiction survival horror series. In the months prior to its release, anticipation for the brand-new IP was steadily building, but there also was a hefty amount of skepticism. Thankfully, the latter was unfounded.
When Dead Space released onto PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC it instantly caught fire and earned widespread critical and fan acclaim. Landing an impressive score of 89 on Metacritic, the survival horror title went on to win many Game of the Year awards, and is largely considered amongst the best games of last generation.
Praised for its exemplary sound work, horrifying tension, interesting story, and its vigorous gameplay that had you desperately trying to survive an alien infested spaceship, Dead Space is still, even 10 years later, brought up by many, whether as a reflection of the heights of last generation or to highlight EA’s series of blunders over the years.
In the game, players stepped into the shoes of engineer Isaac Clarke, an average man whose seemingly routine mission to fix the communications systems aboard a deep space mining ship transforms into a journey of psychological thrills, gruesome action, and often sheer terror.
In deep space, Clarke stumbles across a ship and its crew which has been ravaged by deadly aliens called Necromorphs, and now his mission is simply to survive.
Dead Space didn’t particularly do anything revolutionary, but it was the cohesion of the game that made it much greater than the sum of its parts. Further, it’s right up there with the likes of BioShock when it comes to atmosphere. Not only was the game brought alive with great visuals, lighting, and sound work, but the ship, the Ishimura, felt living and breathing, and never allowed the player to feel a moment of respite.
A truly great survival-horror game doesn’t just rely on jump scares and peak action. No, a great survival-horror experience is nerve-wrecking and horrifying also in its quiet moments, and I don’t think there’s every a single moment in Dead Space where you feel safe to breathe.
I could go on-and-on about Dead Space, as well as its sequel, Dead Space 2 (not so much Dead Space 3), but if you’re reading this, you already know and understand why it is an all-time great.
Sadly, it seems the series will forever be stranded in the last-generation. It has been dormant since Dead Space 3, which hit in 2013, and the developer behind it (EA Redwood Shores/Visceral Games) was shuttered last year by EA.
That said, the series commands a hardcore audience that often can be found across the Internet raving about it. And as long as they continue to do this, there’s hope that someday EA may just revive it.
To date, the Dead Space series has sold over 10 million copies.
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