Origin’s latest giveaway is the original Dead Space

Dead Space

Ah, Dead Space. A few flaws aside, Visceral’s grand tribute to sci-fi horror tropes was a rock solid little game that, nearly a decade later still holds up very well, especially in terms of visuals. Two parts Resident Evil 4, one part System Shock and with a twist of Event Horizon to taste, it’s a stern blend that still has what it takes to mix it up and leave players feeling a little shaken.

As part of their continuing On The House range, EA are giving away the first in the series completely free, so long as you buy it via their own storefront, Origin. Once you’ve tagged the game, it’s yours to keep forever, and it should be available for the next month or so if you’re not feeling too quick on the draw. Still, best to click that button sooner rather than later.

As a general gameplay tip, I highly recommend varying your weapon usage. This will make the game harder , but a lot more interesting. Due to its shameless imitation of Resident Evil 4 in so many aspects, Dead Space doles out ammo drops based on your current equipment loadout, meaning that if you strip yourself down to just the starting plasma-cutter pistol, you’ll end up with more charges for it than you’ll know what to do with, and all your upgrades will go into it exclusively.

The end result is that if you try to be smart and min-max the system, you’ll have an easier time for sure, but the result for you as a player is a vastly more monotone and less enjoyable game. It’s a bit like the folk who played through the entirety of Bioshock using just the lightning power and the wrench, only to complain that the combat wasn’t varied enough at the end. Don’t be that person. Please.

Oh, and a minor technical warning  – the PC version launched with some irritating issues that were never patched, including broken V-Sync support that caps the game to 30fps, and mouse controls that get bizarrely squirelly when V-Sync is disabled. Thankfully these can be worked around, and you can find the solutions to both of these at the PC Gaming Wiki. I highly recommend you heed their advice. Dead Space’s many strobe effects really require V-Sync to work right, and 30fps looks wrong in general.

Dead Space is completely free via Origin. Grab it here.


  1. Kefren says:

    The only one of the series that doesn’t require Origin = the only one I have completed a few times. :-)
    It’s satisfying for the most part. The best bits are the slower explorations when you know something could happen at any point.
    It was one of the many inspirations for my last novel (sci-fi horror).

    • Addie says:

      The Steam version of Dead Space 2 doesn’t require you to have an EA account for single player, you can just decline to sign in and keep on playing it. I’d still recommend DS1 as the better game, though.

      Not requiring Origin means that I’m unlikely to finish either this trilogy, or the Mass Effect one. Doesn’t sound like a big loss, though.

      • durrbluh says:

        Getting Dead Space for free and considering it a stand-alone title is pretty much win-win, given how the series had a steady downward slide in terms of survival-horror vibe and overall storytelling with each sequel.

        • Blad the impaler says:

          It’s unfortunate that the second game didn’t elicit the same … insular space horror vibe as the orignal. Its gameplay was quite a bit better than the Dead Space the First. Both are excellent titles though.

      • RuySan says:

        DS2 on steam forces you to play with DLC that gives you overpowered equipment. In Origin you can disable those DLC (i bought the game years ago on steam but could activate it on Origin)

      • Kefren says:

        Apologies, I was wrong, you were right.
        I just checked and realised the thing that put me off DS2 on Steam was “Warning: This title uses 3rd-party DRM (Tages)” (as opposed to Origin).
        I avoid any DRM if I can.

  2. vorador says:

    A great game. Even at the price of having Origin i can recommend it.

    While the starting weapon is the best weapon in the entire game, i can also recommend the line gun for crowd control, since it is basically a big plasma cutter.

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      I was surprised at how useful (and therefore fun) the bog standard SMG-like weapon was. In other games, it’s often the least fun weapon, but it was great in Dead Space with its high fire rate and accuracy. The flame thrower is often very fun to use in games, but in Dead Space it was the least useful/fun, because dead things dont care about being on fire, they just keep walking towards you.

      However, the line gun was my favorite, because it completely obliterated everything in your path. No need to aim at limbs with that kind of fire power. Dead Space had several fun weapons, I also used the saw blade gun a lot. Will play Dead Space 2 on Steam some day and in a distant(?) future install Origin and play the third one.

  3. Mario Pajas says:

    They already gifted it time ago.

    • baud001 says:

      Came here to say that. I tried to play it, hated the controls on kb/mouse, was bored by the story so I stopped after a few hours.

    • Jalan says:

      This is, what, the third time it’s been given away through Origin? At this point, it’d be more noteworthy to see who HASN’T taken advantage of the offer for *insert reason here*.

    • Vodka, Crisps, Plutonium says:

      In fact, that was one of the first “On the House” titles to be given away for free (if not the first).
      If EA had any soul, they’d given away all older Need For Speed titles with all the licensed content ripped out, if necessary.

      • SimonSays says:

        Feels like they are going to start giving away the same games from the start of Origin on the House – they just regifted Plants Vs Zombies which was the 3rd game they gave away originally. Dead Space was the first – I’d bet money they give away Peggle or Battlefield 3 or one of the first 10 titles next. link to en.wikipedia.org

  4. Chaoslord AJ says:

    Sadly the body part cutting mechanic was rarely used in other games – it was excellent (Dragon’s Dogma sparsely does this).
    Instead of just total health points the weapons would cut the limbs of the monsters and depending on the limbs lost the enemies would be slowed or killed.
    Skyrim didn’t even have headshots.

    • bongi347 says:

      I agree with your point and this is one of the reasons why i like monster hunter so much, but, yes. Skyrim did have headshots.

  5. fish99 says:

    Must play this again sometime, it’s awesome.

  6. Humppakummitus says:

    According to Origin, I might also like:
    Battlefront, Battlefield, Battlefield, Battlefield, Battlefront, Battlefield, Battlefield, Titanfall, Battlefield, Battlefield + Titanfall, Battlefront, Battlefront, Battlefield, Battlefield or Titanfall.

  7. Eleriel says:

    ‘Free’ is the most expensive price.

  8. popej says:

    Coincidentally I’m playing this again at the moment. Once you’ve sorted the mouse foibles out and increased the FOV a bit it’s a great game. Will probably play 2 again straight after.

  9. michelangelo says:

    I stopped playing it for some real-life distractions and when I got back, all controls I learned before were already faded and with it my capability of intuitively control the protagonist’s actions and as a result, making me terrible in overcoming obstacles which game had prepared. Since I remember it as a fun, I could give it another shot. At some point. Later. All right :)

  10. Maxheadroom says:

    I remember them giving Dead Space 3 away free as an apology for the mess that was the Sim City launch

    Played it for all of 15 minutes but free is free i guess

  11. pentraksil says:

    I still don’t get the hate for Origin. It was terrible at launch, yes, it is not perfect…but not terrible either.

  12. Haborym says:

    But this was given out for free literally 4 years ago