Developer: Iron Monkey
Release Date: 1/25/2011
For Fans Of: Dead Space, Hallucinating, Floating Menus
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The Good: Excellent visuals, captures the creepy atmosphere of the series, new story, and protagonist, great control scheme
The Bad: Nothing new at all, combat doesn’t translate as smoothly on the touch screen, too many enemies are thrown at you, story doesn’t really go anywhere
Don’t mistake this as just a port from the original game. This is a whole new adventure with a new protagonist named Vandal that is trying to help stop the Necromorphs from getting aboard like Isaac did in the first game. The story doesn’t really progress too much and there isn’t much here except a twist ending, and a few creepy scenes where Vandal seems to be hallucinating, but other than that don’t expect anything grand.
The gameplay is still the same with alternate fire for each of the four weapons you use. The Necromorphs are all the same from the first game as well as using the store, upgrading weapons with power nodes, and even zero gravity and vacuum areas. That’s also the main problem is that this game feels old for longtime fans who have played every Dead Space game. Only four weapons? No new Necromorphs? Nothing here is new except the levels, and story, but even that isn’t much. My main problem with the game is that it throws too much action at you for the small screen to handle. Not in a way of technical problems, but you can’t maneuver as fluidly with touch controls as you can a gamepad or keyboard and mouse. Sure the controls are mapped smartly like tilting the device for alt fire selection, shaking up to jump in zero gravity, and tapping the icons on Vandal’s armor for stasis, but it doesn’t work as well as a gamepad.
I died many times just because I couldn’t keep track of everything on-screen and couldn’t react as fast as I’m used to. When you are in a lockdown area and several Necromorphs come at you I just couldn’t shoot, reload, use stasis, turn around, melee, as fast as I could and you will use all of those several times in a shoot out. Despite this major flaw, everything else works, and the game looks great using next generation phone technology to pull off the creepy lighting and atmosphere the series is known for.
In the end you get some replay value with New Game+, 5 minutes to kill, and an endless mode, but due to the high difficulty and overwhelming combat, you may call it quits after one play through. If you are a longtime Dead Space vet this is perfect for a quick 5-6 hour Dead Space fix on the go, but newcomers will get a taste of what the console versions await.