Preview: 5 reasons we like Dead Space

We brave the horrors of outer space

It plays like Resident Evil 4, which is a good thing in my opinion. Check out the trailer and see for yourselves. Dead Space — due for release in North America for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC in late October — is a slower paced third-person action game in comparison to the hyper speeds of Prince of Persia that takes place in deep space. The shooting mechanics feel identical to RE4 and the inventory screen looks familiar too. But even better is how Dead Space improves upon the gameplay and runs even smoother than Resident Evil 4.

There are no magical, floating on-screen displays. All of the crucial information we need as gamers, such as health and ammo, are on the armour of space engineer Isaac Clarke. Health is displayed as a vertical modular that runs up and down Isaac's spine. Ammo is a projected hologram above Isaac's forearm. And the Stasis meter can also be found on Isaac's back.

Space engineer Isaac Clarke is a practitioner of psychokinesis. For example, in a Zero G environment, I used Isaac's "mind power" to move floating power cells into futuristic power outlets. Isaac can also create a state of contained Stasis, which implies the cessation of all life. In Dead Space, Stasis completely freezes enemies and sends them into a zero-g state-this is where I got the most efficient shots in. Psycho Mantis, a popular boss from Metal Gear Solid, claimed to be the most powerful practitioner of psychokinesis in the world.

It's dark, horrifying, and gory. Aside from all the lasers and limb amputation, I saw a bloodied doctor digging around the innards of man who was really only a third of a man because something had ripped out his stomach from his hips to his rib cage-he was still alive. And remember the death scenes in Resident Evil 4 when the chainsaw-wielding maniac Dr. Salvador chopped off Leon's head? Dead Space has very similar death sequences for main character Isaac Clarke. I witnessed Isaac get his head bitten off, spit back out, and then his entire body was ripped in half. Dead Space is a must see for horror buffs.

It's technically impressive, both graphically and audibly. Dead Space is the next-generation step up from the likes of Doom 3 and Quake 4. Sounds in unpressurised areas of the ship are muted, as if heard through the vibrations of Isaac's suit. Technically, there is no sound is space, because sound requires a medium to travel through such as air, but how boring would that be in a video game. And I think the screenshots speak to the game's graphics. Although there are some issues with the hit detection of the mining weapons, and the enemies have an unfortunate resemblance to the Flood in Halo, I can't wait to play Dead Space with the volume up and the lights off when the game comes out on Halloween 2008. Complete isolation and discomfort is closer than you think.

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