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iPad Game Review: Dead Space for iPad
      01/27/11 04:43 PM

iPad Game Review: Dead Space for iPad
Reviewed by Abisco / Abbass-Ali Siwjee

When asking those with "hardcore" modern day consoles and gaming systems (xbox360, ps3 and PC) what game feared them the most, it is most likely that the game Dead Space will come up more than once. Published by EA games, Dead Space 1 for the consoles made a huge splash, with a 3rd person sci-fi horror survival genre that played very well, was scary, and ultimately very gruesome. Not only did it get amazing reviews, but it is considered one of the best horror games of our times. Luckily, the iOS version does the console versions utter and complete justice, and may be the best iOS game up to date.

Gameplay

The basic idea of the original Dead Space is that you are on a space ship stuck with evil zombie like monsters, and to kill said monsters, you had to cut off their various limbs (dubbed ?Strategic Dismemberment?) This key part of the gameplay had monsters still coming out of you after you shot them in the legs, and suffered considerably less damage if you shot them in the chest area rather than decapitating them. With low ammo and hordes of these monsters coming after you, it was quite hard to survive, and made conditions very scary, as you never know what is around the next corner. All these elements of the original game carry over to the iOS version, the atmosphere, the strategic dismemberment, and low amounts of ammo at your disposal are all here and intact.



Included also is 5 different guns. Although the iOS version is not nearly as gory as the consoles, it is very fun to aim for the legs of enemies and to try and make sure they can?t get to you and kill you. It is a very fun system, and the iOS version actually made me jump quite a few times with certain monsters jumping out at you at any given time. You really need to be kept on your toes to survive; making sure every dead body is not a terrible Necramorph (the name for the zombies in the game).

So suffice to say, the console staples are all here, even the limited hud from the consoles is preserved here where you have almost no over head display, but rather your health bar is displayed right on the back of your character. Speaking of your character, this game is a prequel to the new Dead Space 2, but isn?t required for you to play to understand Dead Space 2. Even if you haven?t played Dead Space 1, it is pretty easy to catch on what is going on, with full voice actors, a stellar story, and interesting characters, it?s easy to see Dead Space iOS wasn?t just going for the gameplay staples of the consoles version, but rather a full Dead Space game for the iPad and iPhone.

The game has a total run-through time of about 5-6 hours, though it is possible to run through the game under 2 hours, but you really have to be good to do that, also after beating the game, you have NewGame+ where you retain your upgrades while starting from the beginning, as well as having Hard mode unlocked, so the replay value is quite high. Hell, even the store where you buy ammo and weapons as well as suits, and the workbench upgrade area has been included within this game, it truly is worthy of the Dead Space name.



Included within the game as well are achievements which unlock wallpapers for you to use, as well as the chance to register the game to your EA account so you may get a free prize when you play Dead Space 2 as well. Unfortunately the achievements are not connected to Apple?s Game Center, which is a real bummer. But really, with such a great package, it?s hard to stay angry at this game. Though, if you are not a fan of the horror genre, it may seem silly to buy this game. But giving this game a chance may be the best investment in iPad gaming you will possibly make.

Graphics

It?s hard to say anything bad about the graphics of this game. The game looks AMAZING on the iPad, rivaling even the legendary Infinity Blade, with the key difference being this is not on rails (meaning in this game, you have complete freedomn to walk wherever, whenever in a 3D world). The atmosphere is really something else, giving you chills constantly, especially with the terrifying character models of the enemies as well as gruesome dead bodies lying all over the place. Not only that, but your character, Codename: Vandal looks stellar. It?s obvious a lot of attention was paid to how your character looks, and each of the four suits you have look amazing.

Sound

A horror game without a soundtrack really wouldn?t be all the terrifying. Thankfully this game has been serviced with an amazing soundtrack, including some ambient sounds for the quieter moments in the game, while more aggressive on your toes types of music for the more intense moments. All the characters in the game have voice acting, which really immerses you into the game that much more. Finally the best parts about the sounds are the monsters howls. Severely chilling and terrifying to hear, it really scares you when you hear such sounds but don?t know where they are coming from. Unfortunately, there is a rather small bug which causes for some audio to disappear from character voices, but it only happened once to me, and you can enable subtitles as well, so its not that big of a deal.




Conclusion

Have an iPad? Like 3rd person shooters? Regardless of whether you get scared easily or not, this is a game you should buy. It is amazing all across the board, and it is a rather hard mission to find BAD things to say about this game. For $9.99 this game is not only a steal, it will also stay on your iPad as a yardstick for all future games to come!

Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):

Graphics: - 5 - Excellent graphics now matter how you look at it.
Sound: - 5 - The soundtrack is perfect and really amps up the horror.
Controls: - 5 - Controls are perfect, and really precise once you have practice
Gameplay: - 5 - No matter how you slice it, this is an excellent game, with fun gameplay and a lot of game packed into it.

Playing Hints and Tips:

Play with lights off and headphones for the best experience. Don?t be afraid to search areas not on your path since it will probably yield credits (in game currency) as well as power nodes (the materials used to upgrade things such as guns and modules). Also, make sure you always have 1 power node on you, don?t waste them all at the workbench when you get the chance, since often times you will find a locked door which requires a power node to open. Generally speaking, these rooms have lots of money and a power node, though there is a possibility that no power node is present, but it IS worth the sacrifice since you may even find 2 power nodes in the room. Also, in App purchases are only for those who really need help in the game. It isn?t required and I really don?t recommend it. Finally, concentrate on one thing to upgrade before upgrading something else. I for one upgraded my plasma pistol/cutter to full, which made the game a lot easier, making me only switch to the other guns in case of an emergency.



App Facts:

Developer: Electronic Arts
Release Date: Jan 25, 2010
Price: $9.99
Buy App: Dead Space for iPad

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