Dead Space


Mobile Games Roundup

Broken! Toys! Burn! Blast! Dead!

FeatureMaking Dead Space 2

Visceral reveals the tricks of the virtual horror trade.

Key events

When it comes to Dead Space, what dies doesn't stay dead for long. Dead Space 3 launched in February 2013 and EA has said nothing since to indicate it's ready to revive the science fiction horror series. We've already explored the Dead Space 3 the developers wanted to make, but what about Dead Space 4? It turns out Visceral had ideas - some properly exciting - for a fourth game in the series. Unfortunately, Visceral never got the chance to turn them into reality. After Dead Space 3 flopped, EA put the studio on the Battlefield series with spin-off Hardline before assigning it a Star Wars game that was eventually cancelled. Now, Visceral is no more.

The environments of massive open-world games, particularly in recent years, have been rightly praised for their representation, scale and design accuracy. However, there are some gems at the other end of the spectrum - environments that make you feel cramped, tense and desperate for a break. This is an approach to environment design utilised in our real-world, from gardens to architecture, and is mirrored excellently in some game environments, creating areas that trap us in cramped, claustrophobic conditions.

Dead Space is the sequel Resident Evil 4 deserved

FeatureDead Space is the sequel Resident Evil 4 deserved

From the archive: Extra terrors trial.

Editor's note: In light of EA closing Visceral Games, we thought it would be a good time to remember the game and series the studio is known best for: Dead Space. This article was first published in February this year.

My initial plan for this article was to write about the space bits of Dead Space, also known as everyone's favourite bits of Dead Space. I was going to write something cool and arch and critical like "the true horror of Dead Space lies not in the snarling, gibbering Necromorphs that attempt to rip and tear the flesh from Isaac Clarke's body, but in how the game imagines the inky void of space as a direct physical threat. Throughout its length, Dead Space constantly reminds us the USG Ishimura is a tiny lifeboat spinning in a vast, black vacuum. It sucks the air out of Isaac's lungs, and forces us to fight in environments where even simple things like the concept of 'Up' become entirely redundant."

Something like that anyway. But then I played Dead Space, which I haven't done in about five years. I arrived at the first jump-scare, the one where Isaac is separated from his crewmates in the docking bay as Necromorphs start falling from the ceiling like coconuts on the galaxy's worst tropical island. I wish I could tell you that I was stalwart in the face of danger, hardened by my years playing horror games in the name of games journalism. Instead I completely bricked it. Again. I'd prepared myself mentally for it as well, playing the scene over in my head as the game downloaded. It made no difference. The moment Dead Space dropped the NecroMic I panicked, racing blindly through the corridors, fingers stabbing at the wrong keys, swearing with increasing volume as I tried to get the goddamn elevator doors to shut.

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EA Origin allows three games out to play on GOG

Good ones, and they're discounted.

EA has allowed three old games out to play on on and they are discounted for the occasion. The games are Dragon Age: Origins, which I love; Dead Space, which you told us off for giving 7/10 to; and SimCity 3000, which is how we'd prefer to remember that series.

Dead Space added to EA Access

In case you miss it on Games with Gold.

Those who subscribe to EA Access - the Xbox One service granting access to several EA games for £3.99 a month - will now be able to play Dead Space.

Sometimes video game characters fall on hard times and, despite being the hero / heroine of the kingdom / world, they have to take a part-time job. These jobs (much like some of the part-time ones I've had in the past) are frequently mind numbing and occasionally demeaning.

EA cans Dead Space series following poor sales of Dead Space 3 - report

EA cans Dead Space series following poor sales of Dead Space 3 - report

UPDATE: EA accuses VideoGamer of fabricating the story. VG denies allegations, says it gave EA a chance to comment prior to publishing.

Update 2: EA has accused VideoGamer of fabricating its Dead Space story, but the media outlet isn't taking these allegations lightly and claims that EA knew about the story in advance and was given an opportunity to deny it prior to publication, but for whatever reason, didn't.

VideoGamer has a detailed account of its correspondence with EA prior to publishing the piece.

But first, the accusations. Chief Operating Officer Peter Moore left a comment on a GamesIndustry report regarding the whole affair.

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EA boss mentions Dead Space 3

Series sales won't hit 4m until its launch.

Sales of Dead Space 2 have been double those of the original, but it won't be until the release of Dead Space 3 that the series will really take off, EA said.

Mobile Games Roundup

Mobile Games Roundup

Broken! Toys! Burn! Blast! Dead!

Amidst all the frenzy surrounding Sony's NGP, the company's upcoming PlayStation Suite platform for Android-compatible handsets became something of a footnote.

In case it passed you by, the plan is to offer owners of handset (of a certain specification, presumably) the chance to download old PSone games such as MediEvil, Syphon Filter and Cool Boarders 2 as well as unspecified original content via a PlayStation Store.

But given the advancement of mobile content in recent years, is there much demand for old games at the kind of price that Sony demands for them currently? I'm not convinced there is. With the exception of the occasional timeless gem (like Broken Sword II, reviewed below), time has not been especially kind to the PSone generation - even on the small screen, as the PSP amply demonstrates.

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Dead Space iOS spin-off out now

Slick trailer shows portable dismemberment.

This week's Dead Space 2 not enough to fulfill your intergalactic space horror needs? Worry not, EA has your back. A mobile version of its action-packed nail-chewer hits the App Store today.

FeatureMaking Dead Space 2

Visceral reveals the tricks of the virtual horror trade.

Like one of its horrible beastly necromorphs, Dead Space 2 is creeping up on us with unnerving silence. EA's action horror is out in three months, which means it's time to sit down with creator Visceral Games and find out what the hell is going on in here.

Visceral unsure on Dante's Inferno sequel

Visceral unsure on Dante's Inferno sequel

And don't expect annual Dead Space titles.

Development on a sequel to Dante's Inferno is not underway, developer Visceral Games has revealed, and there are no immediate plans to get started.

Joystiq asked Visceral's Zach Mumbach whether we'd be seeing adaptations of the remaining sections of Dante's Divine Comedy.

"I'm sure that if enough people are like, 'I got 60 dollars for Purgatory or Paradiso,' then we would make that game. But I don't know. I don't get to make those decisions."

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Dead Space 2 isn't out until January next year, but developer Visceral Games hopes it'll be successful enough for EA to sound the call for a third game in the action horror series.

Dead Space, DiRT on GoD today

Space horror and rally reboot go digital.

Microsoft has confirmed that Dead Space and Colin McRae: DiRT will both be made available on Xbox 360's Games on Demand service today.

Used sales double Dead Space userbase

Used sales double Dead Space userbase

Schofield: 1.5m bought it, 3m played it.

Visceral Games boss Glen Schofield has suggested that used-game sales doubled the amount of people who played Dead Space.

"We also did studies on sort of how many unique users there were on the PSN network and Xbox Live and realised, you know what, there's over three million people that have played Dead Space," Schofield told the EA Underground podcast (thanks Kotaku).

"Maybe we've only sold one and a half million or whatever the number is, but there's something there because that means that, okay, there were a lot of used sales."

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Bond "constrained" Dead Space team

Gibeau: creative freedom drives quality.

EA Games president Frank Gibeau reckons that losing the James Bond licence brought out the best in Visceral Games, formerly EA Redwood Shores.

Dead Space, Mirror's will be "successful"

But EA exec says launch timing was off.

EA Games Europe's Patrick Söderlund reckons that Dead Space and Mirror's Edge will be considered "successful" based on their lifetime performance, despite a slow start contributing to a massive loss in the company's third quarter.

Mirror's Edge, Dead Space sequels likely

Mirror's Edge, Dead Space sequels likely

John Riccitiello sings IPs' praises.

EA has let the birds fly on a brand new Dead Space and Mirror's Edge game.

Silver-haired EA boss John Riccitiello has hinted that more Dead Space and Mirror's Edge games are likely to appear.

"We're very pleased with a lot of our new franchises this year. Spore... [looks like an] ongoing franchise, Dead Space looks like a long-term big winner for us... Warhammer will continue to perform very well," said John Riccitiello in a financial call, listened to by Gamasutra.

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Xbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 15

Digital FoundryXbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 15

BioShock, Dead Space, Pure, Midnight Club, Spidey, Star Wars.

Eurogamer's dogged, relentless coverage of the latest in cross-platform console development continues into this mammoth 15th round, where six more high-profile games are torn apart to the sounds of rage, applause and occasional reasoned debate from the internet assembled.

Of course, you all know the deal by now. Key to our quest is mastery of the video outputs of the respective consoles. Zero-compromise 24-bit full-range RGB captures from the HDMI ports of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 allow us to produce the best comparison screen grabs, while Eurogamer's h264-equipped video player means the best in streaming video (make sure you have that 'high quality' feature enabled). And if all that isn't good enough, the high-def captures in all their 720p 60FPS majesty can be downloaded for playback on fast PCs, Xbox 360 or PS3 via the author's blog where similar content for the technically obsessed can also be found. [Enough plugs. - Ed]

In terms of releases covered this time around, we've centred on a collection of the most recent, interesting or controversial titles:

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Euro Dead Space DLC next week

New suits for Isaac.

EA has told Eurogamer that Dead Space downloadable content released for the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the horror title will not go live in Europe until 23rd October, the day before the game's European release.

Dead Space

Dead Space

Mostly armless.

If you're in the future, and you work on a spaceship, and you get a call telling you to go and check out some remote colony because contact has mysteriously been lost, do yourself a favour and call in sick that day. Skive for your life. The only reason space colonies, and the drifting spacecraft spookily orbiting above them, stop communicating is because they've been overrun by bloodthirsty monsters. This is scientific fact.

Unsurprisingly, this is exactly what has happened to the USG Ishimura, a deep space mining vessel - or "planet cracker" - which has been tearing up chunks of some distant dead world in the quest for greater profits. When it all goes eerily silent, the crew of the USG Kellion are despatched to investigate and you, as petty engineer Isaac Clarke, are along for the ride. Isaac has a personal reason to hope all is well on the Ishimura. His girlfriend, Nicole, is on the ship and the last contact he had with her was a disturbing plea for help.

Needless to say, things don't start well. The Kellion shuttle crashes, and the investigators are attacked by fleshy shambling things as soon as they enter the Ishimura. Isaac is separated from the two other survivors - computer technician Kendra Daniels and gruff military man Sgt. Zach Hammond - and must make his way through the bowels of the ruined vessel to organise an escape plan.

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Dead Space release creeps forward again

Unnerving, even by horror game standards.

EA has pulled the release of Dead Space forward another week in the US, and now plans PS3 and 360 releases on 14th October, followed by the PC version on the 20th.

Dead Space

Back to mine?

Unless it's Madden under that welding mask, EA must be serious about adding variety to its portfolio of familiar licences. Dead Space isn't based on a sport, a children's novel, or a sport in a children's novel. It's not family friendly - it's not particularly friendly at all - and it's certainly not casual. In fact, it's a chance to remember how broad EA's output can be: this isn't from the company that made endless Sims 2 expansions, it's from the company that sits back patiently waiting for Spore to come to the boil, and recently allowed Criterion to drive Burnout so far out of its comfort zone.

Dead Space PC also on Halloween

So don't be frightened.

Good news, PC gamers! That expression is probably a Googlewhack by now, but here is some anyway: EA has told Eurogamer that Dead Space will be out on 31st October on PC.

Dead Space out on Halloween

Just finalising costume.

EA's upcoming science-fiction shooter Dead Space will be released in Europe and the US on 31st October for PS3 and 360, the publisher announced today, although there's no word on the PC version.

FeatureDead Space

You can't leave. She won't let you.

Full disclosure: I love Event Horizon. I own the odd-looking limited edition box set DVD, and cherish it despite it being precisely the wrong size to fit on any DVD shelves. I've seen it sufficiently often that I can probably lip-sync to most of the really good scenes.

Dead Space has Gravity Gun

Horror shooter takes a hint from HL2.

Electronic Arts' promising survival horror game Dead Space was being shown off in a suitably creepy basement in London this week - and we couldn't help but notice that hero Isaac Clarke is sporting an ability that he's definitely picked up from Gordon Freeman's playbook.

Dead Space for PC, sequels possible

Dead Space for PC, sequels possible

EA blabs. DLC already in the works, too.

EA has confirmed that Dead Space will appear on PC, and says downloadable content for all three versions is under way.

Speaking exclusively to Eurogamer Germany, executive producer Glen Schofield also revealed the story would not finish there, opening the door to future sequels. Shock.

"I would definitely like to make future Dead Space games," said Schofield, probably through Gordon the Gopher. "I'd love for this to become a well established franchise; we've created a huge and rich back story and universe, so other games could easily be made."

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New Dead Space details

New Dead Space details

Survival horror for 360, PS3.

EA has let fly new details for Dead Space, the survival horror game due next autumn on 360 and PS3.

It turns out the team handling its creation is EA Redwood Shores, previously responsible for The Sims, The Godfather and Lord of the Rings.

It all takes place in deep space. You fill the boots of Isaac Clarke, an engineer on a routine maintenance trip to a mining vessel. But the dodgy communications system you're on your way to fix soon turns out to be the least of your worries.

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EA confirms Dead Space

EA confirms Dead Space

First survival-horror game.

EA has stomped its giant money-filled boots into the world of survival-horror today by confirming to us it's working on a new game called Dead Space.

Details are hidden like zombies in cupboards at the moment, with a big reveal feature due to air in the latest issue of magazine Game Informer, which describes it as sure hit for fans of films like Event Horizon.

Apparently a "renegade team" at EA is making the title, which will be "the most chilling sci-fi horror game the world has ever seen".

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