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Electronic Arts



Visceral Games



M (Mature)



September 29, 2009



- Fits perfectly into the overall Dead Space chronology and mythos

- Great shooting

- Sound design is horrifying

- Looks awesome

- Gun peripheral actually feels good (sold separately)



- Very, very small windows of opportunity to move on your own

- Some sudden camera jerks can completely throw off your aim

- There are very few moments of rest



Review: Dead Space (360)

Review: The Conduit (Wii)

Review: Destroy All Humans! Big Willy Unleashed (Wii)

Review: Red Steel (Wii)



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Dead Space Extraction

Score: 9.0 / 10


dead space extraction          dead space extraction


Quake was one of those games that I couldn't play before bedtime because it flipped a switch in my brain that made it extremely difficult to fall asleep. The motion and images continued to swirl in my brain long after turning off my PC.  Dead Space Extraction managed the same trick, the difference is that I was in high school when I was playing Quake and a lack of sleep wasn't noticed by anyone because as a teenager you're supposed to be irritable and moody, but now with a full time job and a family every hour of sleep counts. So, to all those at Visceral Games, you owe me at least 16 hours of sleep.

Dead Space Extraction fits snuggly into the timeline established by the events shown in the game Dead Space and the animated feature Dead Space Downfall but if you don't have any knowledge of these touchstones it won't matter because Extraction tells its own story but fans will appreciate it because there is quite a bit




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of fan service here.

The game is an on-rails "amusement park ride" shooter for the most part so the view can (and often does) unexpectedly shift as the chaos and story happen around you. It can throw off your aim, which really, really counts, and frustrate your ability to grab ammo or health packs or weapon upgrades or text logs. At the same time this nearly


complete lack of directional control also cranks the tension way up. There's no chance to slowly creep up to a corner and take your time scouting an area. Ready or not the camera will move and you constantly have to be ready for the next horrific encounter. There are some short stretches of quiet while characters talk but those feel far apart and most of those quiet moments are interrupted by gruesome beasts flying at you.

Something that Dead Space did so well was the audio design and that high standard has been met with Extraction. With a good surround system, I have no doubt you'll experience many, "Oh shit, what the hell was that?" moments because while you're expecting something scary to enter your sights it's often the unseen sounds that produce the most dread.


dead space extraction          dead space extraction

There's one part midway through the game that caused me so much panic I actually held my breath. Standing in an elevator with a rush of viscera-coated nightmares homing in on me, I had to quickly navigate a "connect the dots" circuit board  mini-game, which requires a steady hand, to get the elevator moving. It meant following the circuit board then aiming the cursor to the open maw of the elevator to shoot things before continuing with the circuit. With one person shooting and another hacking the elevator, it's definitely easier but with a lone player... you finally start breathing again when the doors close.

Really the only way to offset the constant tension is to play with a friend in a co-op. While it does kind of "break" the story because you're both in the head of the main characters, it definitely makes the whole thing more fun and competitive as you fight for ammo and other pick-ups. Some trash talking and just having someone else sitting next to you breaks the constant dread and it makes the later parts of the game much easier to fight through with a bit of cooperation, like timing use of the stasis power and kinesis to fire items at the Necros. This is when you can call the game genuinely fun. As opposed to when you play it by yourself when a better description is terrifying.


The other highlight of Extraction are the extra "animated" comic books, which adds even more texture to the Dead Space universe. Visceral could have gone the easy route and slapped them on the disc as a digitized graphic novel but they went the extra mile with some great audio and subtle animations that make them worth flipping through.


And just a quick mention of this: Extraction easily earns its M-rating -- this is no kids game. Just like its big brother console counterpart, Extraction spills blood and separates limbs at every turn and there's no looking away because the "ride" is control of where you're looking.


- Aaron Simmer

(October 5, 2009)


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