Dead Space - Not too long ago, in a galaxy not too far away.
You play as Isaac Clarke, an engineer aboard the Kellion, a space-craft sent to repair another ship known as the USG Ishimura. The Ishimura is a "planet cracker"; a ship that destroys planets and harvests it's resources. It also happens to be the ship where someone special to Isaac is stationed. The Ishimura has lost contact with the outside, and you will soon discover why.
The game is presented with no HUD, your health and energy are shown as lights built into Isaac's suit; ammo is clearly displayed when you ready your weapon. Navigating menus and getting orders from your crew are done in real-time as holograms projecting out of your suit. Other developers should take note of this, it really draws you in.
DS is broken up into 12 levels. Each level tells more and more about whats happening, it reveals itself at a decent pace with the occasional twist with buckets of blood. Every now and then there are zero-g segments in which you can walk on the walls and fight floating aliens while solving puzzles. I would have like more; but, I can't complain too much.
The enemies in DS are an alien force known as "necromorphs". They are highly reminiscent of John Carpenter's The Thing. They infect dead corpses and re-animate them into horrifying monstrosities. The necros come in many forms; from the skittering baby looking lurkers to the gorilla-like brute. Just wait till you fight the giant anus. They are tough in that you can't just shoot them in the head, you need to sever their limbs in order to kill them.
Thankfully there are plenty of upgradeable weapons to help you acomplish this. There is your standard plasma-cutter which cuts virtical and horizontal lines, the ripper, which shoots remote-controlled sawblades, & the rapid-fireing pulse rifle are just 3 of them. You can carry 4 on you at a time. They all have alternate fireing modes and can be upgraded to increse clip-size, damage, & speed.
You can also upgrade your suit to increase your health & O2. Your suit also has the power to slow time, and pick-up heavy objects, They are mostly used to solve puzzles, I found myself hardly ever using them against the necros.
There are stores in the game where you can buy ammo, upgrade nodes, and weapons(assuming you've found the blue-prints). I personally do not like this, I prefer to find all my ammo.
The graphics are something else, the textures are sharp and the lighting casts a spook-house vibe. There is this one area where you can see asteroids streaming above you casting shadows on the blood-stained floor. The game is beautiful, in a strange, malevolent way.
The sound is great, even better if you have surround sound. Whispers and growling comming from all around really set a mood. I really liked the muted space-walk segments, there is no sound in the vacume of space; but, to hear the humm of nothingness and to suddenly have a necromorph attacking you from behind.... awesome.
All is not well, however. DS really just boils down to 12 levels of "go from A to B, then back to A". Kinda repetitive; but, each level has it's share of spine-tingles.
My biggest complaint is that the game is easy, really easy; I suggest you start out on hard mode if you know your survival games. Every enemy you kill drops an item of some kind and you can buy infinite amounts of ammo from the in-game store.
Once you beat the game you can start over again with your gear you had before; but, it's on the same difficulty; what a buzz-kill. It's easy enough the first time but the second time with your powered-up gear makes it even more of a cake-walk. After your first play-through an extreme difficulty mode opens up, I haven't played it but, I can see it warranting a look.
DS Has chills, spills & kills. A welcomed addition to any survival horror fan's library.