E3: The Trailers – Dead Space

By Alec Meer on July 15th, 2008 at 9:54 am.

Crumbs. As Squire Kumar observes, this is really chasing the System Shock tail, albeit in ultra-pop perma-shooty fashion. That’s a genuinely creepy trailer, though with more than a whiff of b-movie cheese – and the giant monster reveal does spoil the mood a little. It works, even if it shouldn’t. Project Origin’s got some very strong competition for horror-o-shooter kingpin, I feel. Beneath the cut, you’ll also find a walkthrough vid from the EA press conference.


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33 Comments »

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  1. espy says:

    Great set-piece in the second one there. But much too gory for me 0_o

  2. Serialtinus says:

    Wow, they actually managed to make a perfect copy of Resident Evil 4.

  3. adam says:

    I like the space horror vibe, shame I can’t stand over-the-shoulder style gameplay.

  4. James T says:

    Not scary enough — we need a nursery rhyme, stat! Can we get Morgan Freeman to star as a ‘grizzled’ police detective?!

  5. Mman says:

    I wasn’t hyped for this before but now I’m curious how well they’ll succeed at taking the RE4 formula and making a game that’s actually scary out of it.

    They seem to have got the basics down, like making every door screech like you just opened the gates of hell. As far as creepiness goes the only thing I wasn’t so sure on is the combat music, considering it helpfully signposts when something has spotted you, and when it’s dead.

    I also liked when they chopped a limb off the monster yet it was still alive (considering how predictable its become for something to be dead the moment it losses a limb). It kind of looked like they used some sort of gravity gun thing to finish it off (it looked like the projectile was deflected anyway).

  6. Adam Bloom says:

    It really destroys the scary of the monster once you’ve seen the player take four direct hits from it and seem fine.

    I don’t see the System Shock vibe at all. A lot of the tension comes from the gameplay — the feeling that every bullet you fire brings you one bullet closer to being overwhelmed by enemies you can do nothing but bash with a wrench.

    That’s why it worked just as well in the flat pixelized sprites of System Shock 1 as it did in System Shock 2.

  7. spd from Russia says:

    uhhmm doom3 any1?

  8. Mman says:

    You mean the part where it looks nothing like it other than being in space?

  9. araczynski says:

    love it, this is what doom3 should have been. can’t wait.

  10. roBurky says:

    Ooh, I like the interface on this very much.

  11. Subjective Effect says:

    CUT OFF THEIR LIMBS don’t you mean REMEMBER CITADEL lol

    And, as reported in PC Gamer UK, the Product Manager of EA Redwood has stated that this is EAs first survival horror game. He hasn’t even played System Shock 2. This doesn’t bode well for hella rehashing. How are you supposed to make something original if you don’t even know about stuff your own company put out that is similar? Pffft. I’m doubtful about this.

  12. hungSolo says:

    In space, no one can see you dodge … because you’re physically incapable of dodging.

    Also, per James T, nursery rhyme sung by apparently cold and shivering woman does not equal frightening.

    Everything I’ve seen about this game has dampened the interest that was sparked when I first heard about it.

  13. MeestaNob! says:

    Looks great, but I have no love for 3rd person gaming when there is a pretence of depth in the gameplay*. 3rd person views are and have always been an excuse for sloppy, unintuitive and overly forgiving combat.

    I’m hoping for a first person view, and there’s absolutely no reason it cant have one. Other than the entire games difficultly has been set around tolerances of fumbling with the controls.

    *terrible word, but it conveys enough meaning for now.

  14. Kommissar Nicko says:

    I’ve heard that track! Ah yes, here it is!

    Björk – Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

  15. Noc says:

    I think part of the reason none of this looked very frightening is because the player clearly knew where everything was. He didn’t look around in the first room, he didn’t check all the dark little corners something could be lurking in, and once he killed the monster he just walked on. I didn’t know it was dead, and he didn’t sit and watch it for a while to make sure it wouldn’t get back up. He wasn’t very good, but he was also very familiar with the place.

    Also, I thought you guys would be pleased at this. The latter bit with the dragging could EASILY have turned into a QTE.

  16. Tenorek says:

    This looks fantastic. I loved RE4, and this looks very similar, and thats a boon for it. also @ Noc, that monster did seem to play dead at one point, which might have fooled me. It was a nice touch.

  17. KindredPhantom says:

    I like the trailer, it is pretty spooky and the song adds to the spookiness of it.

  18. MetalCircus says:

    Horror games are never scary.

    Except Condemned, that was what I like to call a shit-em-up

    and AVP2

  19. Pseudonym says:

    And the Cradle in Thief: Deadly Shadows.

  20. Saflo says:

    Such manly, manly men in this thread!

  21. Noc says:

    Interestingly, I think one of the reasons the Cradle worked was because it was only a horror level. It really needed the rest of the game to set up the habits and conventions so it could yank them out from under your feet. (You feel safe in shadows, do you? All the guards carry torches, and it’s your job to stay in the deepest, most obscured corners? Well not anymore!) The level without the game setting it up wouldn’t be half as good, and a whole game of Cradles would start losing it’s impact pretty quickly.

  22. EyeMessiah says:

    Numerology chart cannot tell a lie?

  23. Erlend M says:

    I love how the big badass alien is polite enough not to kick a man lying down, but instead chooses to stay put three metres away, waiting for his opponent to get up. How gentlemanly indeed! I appreciate how they teach manners in alien cultures as well.

    Am I the only one who’s tired of this ultra-biological horror stuff? I mean, the enemy design and stuff like all the goo on the walls is more disgusting than scary. Maybe they should just go all the way and include enemies who attack you by spraying you with vomit and spunk. ACID spunk. “In space, no one can hear you puke.”

    Although I do kind of like the over-the-shoulder camera viewpoint, I feel that this game is far too lacking in class to be compared to the System Shock games. Besides, it looks like a pretty straight FPS, not a RPG/FPS hybrid like SS2.

  24. Nuyan says:

    That first trailer is amazing. That music.. Gees.

  25. Vivian says:

    Alien Resurrection pulled exactly the same trick, same tune even with its initial trailers, and that turned out to be shit. Not that I’m saying that this is automatically going to be shit, but its a bit of an unimaginative way to try and make something scary.

  26. DSX says:

    I _really_ like the way they’ve integrated the elements of the GUI into your actual game space so that you get a more cinematic experience. This is a superb step forward toward making a total immersion game. We see a bit of that in Fallout3 too. Now if they can get the rest of it right.. level design, music, monster AI, difficulty etc. Looks like a good start, but still needs work.

  27. redrain85 says:

    The trailer with the nursery rhyme was pretty effective. But that, and the walkthrough, still aren’t enough to convince me that the game will be any good.

    For example: the alien just sitting there every time, waiting for the player to get up again and attack, was a bit laughable. It ruins the immersion.

  28. Frag.Stag says:

    Was gonna comment on the necro-hulk’s politeness, but I’ve been beaten to it.

    I think a lot of the fear from this game is gonna be having no idea where the threat is. If any hallway could contain one of those grabber-tentacles, and they don’t always do a late face-grab (excellent timing there in the trailer), then it could be quite nerve-wracking.

    @Noc: Who says there’s no conventions? There’s the entire language of videogames and horror movies to torment us with. They just have to mislead the player. Feints, such as “battle music” when there’s nothing around or HOLYSHIT monster attacks out against complete silence. What if the music ramped up again while the player has his back to a “dead” boss monster? Repeat until the player trusts nothing, not even the UI.

    Simply put: the quality of this game will be determined by the developer’s willingness to mess with the player’s head.

  29. caesarbear says:

    I miss Project Firestart. Now that was a scary abandoned spaceship game. This isn’t scary, unless you find scripted, cutscene riddled gameplay scary.

  30. Mr. President says:

    The gameplay trailer DOES remind me of Doom 3 much more than of System Shock. Doom 3 with lights turned on and some Silent Hill combat music. I still have some hope for the game, although it’s usually not a good sign if I get bored halfway through the short demo.

  31. K says:

    Seems a bit a long message to write with your own blood, really. They’d have to be standing to write that high too.

    I’m /slightly/ more impressed than I was, but still not on my “games to buy” list. And the player still doesn’t seem to fit into world to me, the lighting doesn’t seem to work on him.

  32. Noc says:

    Frag Stag: The point is, each of those things only works once. The Cradle was effective because it took the entire previous game and threw it out the window. But once you know, for instance, that music doesn’t necessarily mean imminent danger, you just disregard it. And, since we’re talking about the Cradle, it stands as a perfect example: by the end of the level, you aren’t scared of the place anymore. You’ve adapted to the new environment, you know what it takes to kill one of the zombies, and you’re ready to break out.

    You can use the player’s preconceived notions as stable ground to yank out from under their feet, but they’ll quickly adapt. Like, since this game looks a lot like RE4, lets use that as an example: the first time you headshotted a villager only to have tentacles shoot out of the stump and decapitate you, you jumped. After that, it was just “Oh, time to back up and shoot it a few more times.” Players adapt to things pretty quickly, and I doubt that they’ll be able to keep up an effective sense of horror through the whole game.

    That said, I like the idea of messing with the UI, especially since it’s actually got an in-game presence.

  33. Caiman says:

    Doom 3 scared the pants off me, which was probably the only reason I found it so compelling. Dead Space looks like it may get the all-important atmosphere right, with the big exception of the third-person view which puts you at a remove from the action. The creature isn’t coming for you, it’s coming for this bloke apparently standing in front of you. Much less scary.