Dead Space: Extraction Review
Developer: Visceral Games / Publisher: Electronic Arts / ESRB: Mature (Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language) / Played on: Wii / Price: $29.99
Today we are checking out the prequel to the wildly successful multi-platform title Dead Space… Dead Space: Extraction for the Nintendo Wii here on Pay Rent or Pass.
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The first thing players need to know coming into this title is its gameplay is nothing like Dead Space. No third-person over the shoulder survival horror in Dead Space: Extraction. No… in this title, players have the fun of playing through an on rails shooter set in the events that lead up to Dead Space. Extraction is all about the action and less about the scares, no more worrying about what players could be up against, you already know (if you played Dead Space that is) and this is more about surviving the onslaught of necromorphs and shooting your way out of most situations. This, for some, could be a little off-putting as I initially thought that the Dead Space universe wouldn’t work in a shooter genre. Those feelings were quickly changed once I started to play. Sure, its not the type of game that’s going to get you to jump like the original, but it still very much feels like a game in the Dead Space universe and not some cheap knockoff. The story in the game tells of the events that occur on the USG Ishimura prior to the salvage crew showing up. The game utilizes a lot of the elements from the original Dead Space. Obviously the environments and enemies, but a key factor is the weapons you get to use. Ten different guns each armed with a secondary fire ability and the option to upgrade. It’s pretty solid and adds a refreshing change to the on-rails shooter. Another ability that’s incorporated is Stasis, you have the ability to freeze enemies and it’s wise that the developers included this in the game because there are times when you absolutely have to use it. Things get a little out of control and it’s nice to be able to freeze enemies for a short amount of time. Even though this is an on-rails shooter you still have the ability at times to look around and really get a feel for the environment. All of this makes for a very solid gameplay experience that still feels like it fits in the Dead Space universe.
Obviously a concern that I have with any title on the Wii is the graphics. We all know it cant stand up to the other consoles in this department, but somehow Dead Space: Extraction manages to keep the look and feel of the original by pushing the Wii’s graphics. I was pleasantly surprised when I popped this title in. I really thought that the graphics would be a bit of a distraction while I played but I was completely wrong. Sure they don’t hold a candle to the other systems, but they aren’t bad enough to distract me from the gameplay experience as a whole. The developers succeeded by pushing the Wii enough to create a world that looks and feels just good enough.
So just like the graphics, for me controls always concern me when it comes to the Wii. Sometimes the wii-mote just doesn’t respond the way it should and that could be a major problem with a shooter. Luckily again, the controls are a non-issue… point and shoot. That’s it. I will say it would probably benefit a game like this to get a light gun casing to put the wii-mote into. For me when I’m playing an on-rails shooter I like to feel the gun in my hand… not a remote controller.
The sound in Dead Space: Extraction is pretty damn solid as well. The soundtrack creates a sense of immediacy that is absolutely key in an on-rails shooter game. You have enemies swarming towards you on screen and the sound can only heighten the sense of the pressing action. It’s eerie and frightening and definitely adds to overall quality of the game. The voice acting in the game is good, but a little cheesy at times. There are some pretty goofy one-liners in the game that take away from the sense of dread but add to the action feel of the game, so it’s hard to qualify whether it takes away from the game as a whole. I guess it’s just a matter of what players are looking to take away from the game, creepy horror or cheap action thrills.
Dead Space Extraction is a must for any fan of the Dead Space universe. With a story that sets up the events of the original Dead Space, an eight or nine hour play-through, and 10 different challenge modes it’s a pretty solid value. I will say, however, if you played through Dead Space and are looking to continue the creepy feeling you had while playing, you may want to look elsewhere. Otherwise this is probably one of the most solid shooter games to date for the Wii. Dead Space Extraction for the Wii is a Pay.