EA's classic sci-fi horror game Dead Space is currently free on PC via Origin.

For those poor souls unfamiliar with Dead Space (no judgement - it did come out ten years ago, after all), it's an honest-to-goodness big-budget, single-player horror yarn - the kind that pretty much never gets made any more. It follows the exploits of unfortunate space engineer Isaac Clarke on the stricken USG Ishimura - a vessel with a rather serious... infestation.

What transpires is a genuinely nerve-wracking third-person horror escapade, which tonally lands somewhere between the straight-up terror of Ridley Scott's Alien and the gleefully gruesome haunted-house-in-space hijinks of Event Horizon.

It's pretty much all about dread, body horror, and a hefty slice of psychological tomfoolery - combined with an intentionally inelegant combat system designed around strategic dismemberment. Unlike later Dead Space games, which upped the tempo somewhat, you're definitely not supposed to feel like a kick-ass action hero here.

Lots of people quite reasonably prefer Dead Space's immediate follow-up, which offered a decent balance between tense horror and pacier action thrills. Personally though, I've always favoured the purer horror of this original game.

Whatever your preference though, Dead Space is a fantastic experience from a great developer - the sadly now-disbanded Visceral Games. And what better way to celebrate the studio's stellar craftsmanship, than by space-scaring yourself into a quivering heap today?

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Matt Wales

Matt Wales

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Matt Wales is a freelance writer and gambolling summer child who won't even pretend to live a busily impressive life of dynamic go-getting for the purposes of this bio. He is the sole and founding member of the Birdo for President of Everything Society.

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