EA’s classic sci-fi horror game Dead Space is currently free on PC via Origin.
For those poor souls unfamiliar with Dead Space (no judgement – it did come out ten years ago, after all), it’s an honest-to-goodness big-budget, single-player horror yarn – the kind that pretty much never gets made any more. It follows the exploits of unfortunate space engineer Isaac Clarke on the stricken USG Ishimura – a vessel with a rather serious… infestation.
What transpires is a genuinely nerve-wracking third-person horror escapade, which tonally lands somewhere between the straight-up terror of Ridley Scott’s Alien and the gleefully gruesome haunted-house-in-space hijinks of Event Horizon.
It’s pretty much all about dread, body horror, and a hefty slice of psychological tomfoolery – combined with an intentionally inelegant combat system designed around strategic dismemberment. Unlike later Dead Space games, which upped the tempo somewhat, you’re definitely not supposed to feel like a kick-ass action hero here.
Lots of people quite reasonably prefer Dead Space’s immediate follow-up, which offered a decent balance between tense horror and pacier action thrills. Personally though, I’ve always favoured the purer horror of this original game.
Whatever your preference though, Dead Space is a fantastic experience from a great developer – the sadly now-disbanded Visceral Games. And what better way to celebrate the studio’s stellar craftsmanship, than by space-scaring yourself into a quivering heap?