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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Conversation on Dead Space

Matt of the Curmudgeon Gamer blog was playing Dead Space at about the same pace I was, so we got together a running dialogue of the gameplay (Matt is JVM, I'm JB):

JB: This is a beautiful game. I saw a couple of collision problems (one humorous one where the undefeatable deadite was sticking his head out of a crate) and occasional the physics on the bodies was odd. The HUD is design genius. The Girl kept telling me to turn the sound down, too, because I really liked playing this game in the dark with the volume cranked up. The Ishimura just breathes at times.

My real complaint visually is that we didn't get enough views of the scenery. When I first hit the bridge, I saved the game just to show The Girl the meteor storm. The inside of one Chapter begins to feel the same as the next by the end of the game, but the outside is usually interesting.

JVM: Dead Space communicates very effectively with sound. Obviously the scary noises are important, but the atmospheric sounds flesh out the world and enhance the sense of spatial relationships. What really blew me away was the effect of almost no sound when Isaac had to work in a vacuum. After the game trains you to know the sounds of your enemies, you suddenly find yourself in an environment with practically no sound at all. That contrast is one of the game's high points. Each time Isaac had to enter a vacuum after that, I shifted my play style to constantly scan the corners of the room for any movement, relying on vision almost exclusively.
-- Dead Space: A Conversation

We hit on the narrative, the graphics, the gameplay, etc. It was a pretty interesting kind of peer to peer gaming, not connected directly in any way - but through trophies and the like, we more or less knew where each other was in the title. He even noted our different play styles by the awards we had earned. Matt finished the game before I did and headed off to the land of BioShock, so it will be interesting to follow up later and compare notes on how the two titles match up.

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