Six Cheap Ways To Get Your Dead Space Fix Without The Game Itself
Today marks the release of the latest entry in EA / Visceral’s Dead Space franchise on every platform that matters (PC, PS3, 360). Now on their third trip around the block, the inevitable shift to a frigid ice planet has happened, continuing Isaac Clarke’s exploration in bad romantic decisions. One day the poor guy will choose a lady who doesn’t want to eat his face, but until then we’ll happily continue stomping on some necromorphs.
The biggest addition to the franchise comes in the form of two player online coop, allowing you and a buddy to get freaked out by alarm clocks and giant cardboard suns together. The other player controls John Carver, a
totally generic space marine EarthGov Sergeant with a mysterious past who experiences spooky hallucinations. Early reviews cite his experience as being far more classic Dead Space than Isaac’s more bombastic bulletfest, but can you blame the poor guy for wanting to blow everything up at this point?
Thus far the game has been scoring very solidly average across the various major review outlets, with most people lauding the coop features but deriding the shift in tone towards action from horror.
For those of you who aren’t eagerly waiting for a UPS van to pull up to your house with your copy, I’ve got a list of great games and movies that can fill that Dead Space shaped void in your heart. Read on for some ways to keep yourself going until payday.
Event Horizon – $2.99 on Amazon Streaming Video
Much like the original Dead Space, which was all about the vastness of space and the potential for SUPER EVIL CULTS, Event Horizon is all about claustrophobia and unsettling runes painted in blood. Starring the always awesome Sam Neill, this film is kind of like a hybrid of Hellraiser and 2001, and yes it is as awesome as that sounds.
Alien – $2.99 on Amazon Streaming Video
I don’t think I really need to explain this one, but I’m going to do it anyways. Dead Space and Alien have a lot in common (massive empty vessel, strange alien planet, improvised weaponry) but Alien will always take the cake for making Sigourney Weaver totally hot. Bonus tagline for the next Dead Space game: In space no one can hear you FUCKING DIE MONSTER STOMP STOMP.
Pitch Black – $2.99 on Amazon Streaming Video
This sci-fi film is best remembered for launching the ill-fated Riddick franchise with Vin Deisel’s standout performance as a total dick who can see in the dark. Xenomorph looking monsters, a creeping sense of dread, and high octane action sequences earn this film a place alongside Dead Space as examples of stories that try to tow the line between action and horror with moderate success.
Dead Space: Extraction – $9.99 on Playstation Network
This surprisingly serviceable rail shooter was released for the Wii in between Dead Space and Dead Space 2. It has since gotten a release on PSN with DualShock friendly controls and updated graphics. It’s a pretty short game, but it hits the major point any Dead Space game should: there are necromorphs and you eviscerate them in creative ways. Yep.
Lost Planet 2 – $29.99 on Steam
Take Dead Space 3’s arctic setting, fill it with giant mechs and generic anime troopers, and then mix with explosions and you’ve got Lost Planet 2. While this isn’t the most amazing game in the world, it is available on PC (unlike the other two games listed here) and does feature a rather robust four player coop system that allows you to team up and drive a suit of powered armor. Voltron fantasies engage!
Aliens: Infestation – $9.79 (reg. $29.99) on Amazon
This little Nintendo DS title managed to slip under the radar of quite a few people at launch despite having the pedigree of both WayForward (Contra 4) and Gearbox (Borderlands) behind it. A classic Metroidvania title, this game tasks you with investigating a mysterious planet under xenomorph attack. Perma-death of your tiny character roster and very limited resources create a game that feels more like the second half of Aliens than the first, which is exactly what it should be like.
There are many other awesome sci-fi horror films and games out there, but these six jumped out at me as great examples of the things that make Dead Space great. If there’s something especially egregious that I missed, let me know in the comments!