Dead Space is a third-person action video game, developed by EA Redwood Shores (Now Known as Visceral Games) for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Microsoft Windows. It was released on October 14, 2008 on the consoles and October 20 for Windows. The player takes on the role of an engineer named Isaac Clarke, who battles a polymorphic alien species called the "Necromorphs" on board a stricken interstellar mining ship.

Gameplay Edit

The players must fight their way through various levels of a stricken mining ship, which has been infested with an alien species known as the "Necromorphs". The game features an 'over the shoulder' third-person perspective, similar to games such as Resident Evil 4 and Gears of War. The interface does not feature a traditional head-up display. Instead, information is relayed to the player via lights and translucent screens which hover over Isaac's weapons and armor. There are weightless and decompressed environments, which Isaac can navigate using a pressurized suit equipped with magnetic boots. Some levels will even lead out onto the surface of the ship's hull. Floating debris will present a hazard, and Isaac can lose his footing and simply float off into space. In keeping with Isaac's profession as an engineer rather than a soldier, weapons in the game are mostly improvised, and consist of an array of bolt cutters, stasis fields and rudimentary energy weapons.

Combat in the game is complicated by the fact that most Necromorphs are not simply rendered 'dead' after a certain number of rounds have been fired at them. Rather, they must be dismembered a certain way to be dead, but they can adopt new stances and tactics, and even sprout new limbs, based upon where they have been wounded. The game's Executive Producer, Glen Schofield, has said that 'the primary theme of Dead Space is dismemberment', and early previews of the game have noted the high levels of gore

Achievements and Trophies Edit

Main article: Achievements and Trophies

There are 48 in total (8 of them secret) and an additional Platinum Trophy on the PS3 version when all others are awarded. The method for obtaining each one is the same in both versions of the game (minus the PS3 platinum).

Characters Edit

  • Isaac Clarke - The main character and protagonist of the game. Isaac is a system ship specialist and an engineer traveling aboard the shuttle Kellion to investigate and repair the USG Ishimura, accompanied by three security personnel and a computer specialist. Unfortunately for them, they are thrust into the middle of the nightmare that the USG Ishimura has become. Clarke is also trying to find his girlfriend, Nicole, a medical specialist assigned to the ship, whose fate is unknown at the start of the game. Throughout the game, Isaac stumbles across a conspiracy involving the Church of Unitology, the government and the realm of possibilities.
  • Kendra Daniels - Kendra is a technologist and part of the team sent aboard the Ishimura to repair communication systems. She helps the player through the Ishimura in many ways, giving directions and assisting through areas of the ship that would otherwise be inaccessible. She frequently expresses distrust of Hammond, but turns out to know more about the situation than anyone previously thought.
  • Zach Hammond - The senior security officer on board the Kellion who travels with both Isaac and Kendra to the Ishimura. Hammond's initial desire to complete the original mission and not immediately abort puts him at odds with Kendra, who finds this suspicious. Throughout the game, he works to fulfill their original mission and repair the Ishimura, but as time goes on, he becomes more disillusioned and focuses instead on getting himself and the rest of the surviving team off the ship.
  • Challus Mercer - A doctor aboard the USG Ishimura, a devout Unitologist and one of the main antagonists of Dead Space. In the wake of the calamity that has gripped the Ishimura, Mercer has gone completely insane, surrendering completely to religious fanaticism, and attempting to convince the crew of the Ishimura to commit mass suicide. Mercer often works to bar the progress of Isaac and even attempts to kill him outright, sending a regenerating Necromorph he created himself, the Hunter, after Isaac several times throughout the course of the game. To Mercer, everything that has happened is God's will; he believes the Necromorphs are the natural successors to humanity, and that their emergence from corpses represents life after death. Mercer insists repeatedly that Isaac should die and allow "God's children" to take over.
  • Terrence Kyne - The Chief Science Officer of the Ishimura who appears later in the game and asks for help from the surviving members of the Kellion team. He seems to be a bit eccentric, perhaps deranged, but offers to aid Isaac in stopping the nightmare that has gripped the Aegis System and the Ishimura. Kyne attempted to relieve Captain Matthius of duty during the crisis on the ship, but instead seems to have been complicit in the captain's death either in whole or in part. He regularly interacts with his dead wife, an apparition caused by the Marker that can't be seen by the player.
  • Nicole Brennan - Isaac's ex-girlfriend and a medical specialist assigned to the Ishimura. The game starts with a video from Nicole, asking for help after the ship's infestation, establishing one of Clarke's reasons for coming to the Ishimura.

Plot Edit

Backstory Edit

Dead Space is set in the 26th century. Earth had been through an extinction-level event, caused by rapacious and unsustainable use of resources. The remaining humans realized that the only way to get new resources was from the stars: with earth's resources used up, the only way to gain the resources to survive would be to search new planets for resources. That’s where the Concordance Extraction Corporation comes in. At a time of near-desperation, CEC invented the ship that would eventually save all of humanity: The USG Ishimura.

The USG Ishimura was a ship designed for the new resource-gathering practice: planetcracking. The Ishimuras job was to mine other planets for their rarest and most valuable resources to take back to earth. Even though there have been subsequent Planetcrackers (a small fleet now exists), the Ishimura remains the iconic symbol of mankind's will to survive, even after all these decades. Thanks to Planetcracking, mankind is now thriving again, and resources are plentiful. By the time of the game, the Ishimura has preformed 34 successful planetcracks, and is now in the process of beginning its 35th. However, the events that take place during this planet crack are events that threaten the very survival of humanity.

Plot Summary Edit

The USG Ishimura ("石村" literally "Stone Village") "Planet Cracker" ship, during the process of mining the planet of Aegis 7, sends out a distress signal to the Concordance Extraction Corporation (CEC); the CEC dispatches the USG Kellion to investigate. As the Kellion attempts to dock with the Ishimura, a malfunction occurs and the Kellion is badly damaged; however the crew lands safely and set off to find the Ishimura's crew. However, it becomes clear very quickly that the Ishimura has been apparently abandoned.

As they enter the flight lounge, Isaac Clarke, the crew's engineer, enters a separate room to assess the Ishimura's damage. As he does so, the flight lounge locks down in quarantine and grotesque humanoids break in the lounge and attack the crew. Cpl. Johnston and Chen are killed, while the two survivors of the attack, Zach Hammond and Kendra Daniels, flee and tell Isaac to run. Isaac, defenseless, is forced to run for his life through a hallway before escaping his pursuers through an elevator. Isaac manages to get a weapon and make contact through a window with Hammond and Kendra once again. Hammond recognizes that many of the ship's systems are failing, threatening the ship due to a nearby asteroid belt, and sends Clarke around the ship to fix the core systems to keep them alive. However, Clarke first attempts to repair the Kellion, but it is attacked by creatures before he can even begin, and it explodes to the bottom of the hangar bay. Hammond also promises he will help Isaac to find his girlfriend Nicole Brennan, a medical worker on the Ishimura, who sent Isaac a strange video (viewed by the player at the game's beginning), which was Isaac's motive for taking the mission; so he could visit her.

During these treks, Clarke discovers various text and audio logs scattered throughout the ship and pieces together the events that transpired before his arrival: the ship's captain was actually an agent of the "Church of Unitology" — a large and influential religious cult — assigned to retrieve his religion's most deified relic, known as "Red Marker", from Aegis VII, under the guise of an illegal mining operation; the planet itself had already been deemed by the Earth government as off-limits. The Marker was discovered by the colonists by accident; only the captain and a handful of others were aware that The Marker was already there (but they all feign amazement at finding it so as to not give them away). Soon after the Marker was extracted and brought to the Ishimura, a large portion of the civilians — first on the planet-side colony, then the ship — suffered from mass hysteria brought on by violent hallucinations, before subsequently killing each other, believed to be caused by the Marker somehow.

Despite this, the hysteria was kept under control, and planetcrack commenced a week later. Immediately after planetcrack, the colony's power went out and an alien organism began ravaging the colony, infecting the bodies of the dead and turning them into "Necromorphs" - mindless abominations that kill and infect dead bodies to make new creatures and spread the infestation. The captain cuts off traffic and communications between the Ishimura and the colony (to prevent the infection from reaching the ship), and later goes insane as well, prompting Dr. Terrence Kyne, the Chief Science Officer, to relieve him of duty, only to accidentally kill him in a struggle (seen in a video log found lying around). The infection then spread to the Ishimura via a colony shuttle piloted by a survivor (who was unaware that Necromorphs had snuck aboard his shuttle) that crashes into the docking bay; allowing the aliens that had snuck aboard the shuttle to escape into the Ishimura's ventilation system and begin killing and infecting the Ishimura's inhabitants. The Kellion had arrived after the Ishimura had completely fallen to the Necromorphs.

Though Hammond states that he is unaware of what the Marker's role in everything is, Daniels confides to Clarke that she believes Hammond is lying. Clarke would later encounter his girlfriend Nicole, though they are unable to meet directly. Nicole is seen to be behaving strangely.

With the critical systems repaired, the three are able to launch a beacon for rescue, attracting a nearby military ship, the USM Valor. However, the Valor, having picked up an escape pod unintentionally launched by Hammond containing a Necromorph, becomes overrun with the creatures and crashes into the ship. Hammond then deduces — from the heavy military equipment he finds on board — that the Valor was actually assigned to destroy the Ishimura, suggesting that someone outside of Aegis VII knew of the alien threat.

The group thus decides that they must find a shuttle and escape while they can. Clarke and Hammond then retrieve the Valor's power core in order to repair an available shuttle, but Hammond is killed by a Necromorph in the process. A surviving Dr. Kyne later contacts Clarke and urges him to return the Marker to Aegis VII. He reveals in a video what the planetcrack caused: a large creature known as The Hive Mind, the creature that controls all of the Necromorphs, was allowed to escape the instant the planet was cracked, and begun infecting the colony. He believes that The Marker actually acted as an inhibitor, rendering the Hive Mind dormant as long as the Marker remained on the planet; the Hive Mind's dormancy would also cause all other Necromorphs to enter a dormant state. He concludes that the only way to stop the creatures for good is to return The Marker to the planet.

After assisting Clarke in loading the Marker onto the shuttle, Kyne is murdered by Daniels, who reveals the truth behind everything: she is a government operative ordered to retrieve the Marker for her superiors. She further reveals that the Marker is a reverse-engineered copy of another Marker found on Earth, and was placed on Aegis VII by the government hundreds of years ago to have scientists study its effects. These scientists discovered the pattern covering the surface of the Marker is, in fact, the DNA code for Necromorph infection. The newly created infection escaped and began to kill the doctors and transform them, and it wasn't long before the original colony fell, but the doctors were successful in editing the Marker into an inhibitor of the infection, and activating this new feature. With the doctors dead and the infection locked away, the government marked Aegis 7 as off-limits and abandoned the planet. The planetcracking operation was in fact a mission by CEC and the government to retreive the valuable marker, which led up to the present events. She then leaves on the shuttle without Clarke, but Nicole arrives and is able to help him recall it, prompting Daniels to flee via an escape pod.

Clarke takes the shuttle with the Marker to the colony, and replaces it there; this pacifies the Hive Mind, but also disrupts the gravity tethers holding a large portion of the planet several miles off the surface, threatening to destroy the colony. As Clarke attempts to escape, Daniels appears and takes the Marker back to the shuttle, and shows Clarke (through a fully recovered distress transmission) that Nicole actually committed suicide before they arrived on the Ishimura, and Clarke's visions of her had been the Marker's way of attempting to bring itself back to the planet, revealing that it is sentient in some way. Before she can leave, Daniels is killed by the gigantic Hive Mind, but Clarke is able to defeat it. Leaving the Marker behind, Clarke flies off in the shuttle just before rock crashes into the planet, supposedly destroying the Ishimura and Aegis 7.

As he sets course away from Aegis VII, Clarke simply stares off into space. He is suddenly attacked by what appears to be Nicole in Necromorph form. The screen cuts to black and static.

Producer Glen Schofield revealed in an interview that Isaac is not dead, meaning that Isaac either survived the encounter, or it was a hallucination.

Trivia Edit

  • All of the chapters, when you take the first letter from each one, form N.I.C.O.L.E. I.S. D.E.A.D.
  • Electronic Arts is working with director D.J. Caruso to make a live-action film based on the game. EA will produce the film with Temple Hill partners Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen.
  • Dead Space 2 is currently in development, and may be released sometime in 2010.