It’s spooky season, and in anticipation of Halloween, I’m going to be dedicating my posts for the next few weeks to my favorite horror games.
We’re gonna kick off the Fall of Fear with my favorite horror game of all time: Dead Space. My first exposure to this franchise was the same as most people: the infamous “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” trailer that features the most unsettling rendition of that song that I have ever heard. I think the first two Dead Space games picked up right where the pre-Resident Evil 4 RE games left off. Their pacing is deliberately slow, and the game’s atmosphere is heavy and eerie… almost like… dead space.
Even though protagonist (Isaac Clarke) has access to a solid amount of guns, the player never truly feels safe as Dead Space’s version of zombies (the necromorphs) lurk around literally any and every corner that Isaac must journey through. The necromorphs are also incredibly intimidating enemies.
Even the most basic enemy attack is quick and will kill with little effort.
There’s something to be said about the variety of enemies you’ll run into. You have the basic slashers with their large scythe-like appendages jutting out from their bodies ready to cleave the head off your body. You then have the lurkers: infected human babies that have transformed into terrifying creatures that can crawl along the walls and shoot Isaac from a distance with tentacles that spawn from their backs. Then comes the infectors that have the ability to create new necromorphs from the corpses of the freshly killed residents of the USG Ishimura, and many more. And as if the best part of Dead Space’s gallery of horrifying creatures wasn’t the best part of the game, the way that they are dispatched takes the game to the next level.
The game isn’t long, which keeps it from getting stale and overstaying its welcome, and the story is intriguing enough to keep the player interested in finding out exactly what the hell happened on this ship.
Dead Space is one of my annual playthrough games, and I recently just started another playthrough on my twitch channel. It’s a perfect example on how to do horror games right.
Unfortunately, EA ran the series into the ground with the third game, shutting down the studio and snuffing out any hope for another sequel, but the first game in the series will stand the test of time and belongs on a horror game Mount Rushmore.