Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dead Space Extraction (Wii)

If cloverfield made you sick, this is not the game for you.

Gasp! What is this? Another wii game that doesn't overuse waggle? This must be a gift from the heavens! Altman be praised!

Heh heh. Unitology. But yes. Waggle is not overused. I want to hug the man who designed the controls for the game.

Dead Space Extraction takes place in the media hub that is the Dead Space franchise. The series is a cake made of win and the icing is made of success. All the content of the series (thus far) takes place around a single event: the Aegis 7 mining expedition. They found something. Something dark. Something evil. But enough about my brother's armpits. The colony found a marker. No one knows where it came from, why it's here, etc but digging it up unearthed something that also is not my brother's armpits. Now before I turn this into a rant about how bad he smells I'll just get on with the actual plot.

You play several different characters throughout the game attempting to survive an alien onslaught and escape. You'll fight the horiffic Necromorphs, who are quite different from your average space zombies. For one thing the only way to kill them is to brutally dismember them, limb from bloody limb.

"y halo thaaaaAAAAAAAAGH"

Yes, the series is quite gruesome.

The gameplay is where the game shines. It's another rail shooter (chrissakes we've got enough of those on the wii, why make more?) but at least they've broken the mold to an extent. More on that later. It's all the pretty standard formula - Baddies rush at you, blast their ugly heads in. It's actually surprisingly fun as you tear enemies asunder with an array of commandeered mining tools, such as the Ripper and Plasma Cutter. I mean, this stuff is awesome. The ripper is a remote control circular saw. If that doesn't sound awesome I don't what is. All the weapons are entertaining to use which is a good thing. It's great fun ripping a slasher's legs apart with a blast from the Line Gun.

The quality of the gameplay can only carry a game so far, however. I encountered a few bugs on my trip through the ishimura. The worst of which was a game stopper which had a bossfight stuck like a broken record. No game is free of bugs, but even then - That's pretty bad.

A co-op function is also included with the game. Ammo is not shared. Health is. It can be pretty fun at points, but it's mostly rather strange having two pointers waving about on screen. Things get slightly easier as well as one might expect, with two people gunning through.

The game sounds fantastic. Music is there when it needs to be, appropriately spooky and very well made. There's an excellent voice cast to back that up, as well. Everything from distressed yelling to barking out orders sounds great. The characters are about as fleshed out as they can be considering this a rail shooter but the voice work makes them seem like believable people. The sound design, too, doesn't disappoint. It's very satisfying hearing the disgusting splatch of a necromorph's arm being blown out of it's socket with an equally awesome sounding plasma rifle. The best part of the sound design is when you're in a vacuum. The game, with it's predecessor, was designed with great intelligence. Hull breach shows up? zwoosh, the entire game goes silent. Remember, no sound in space. It builds up a hell of an atmosphere, again, like it's predecessor.

Graphically the game is among the best on the wii. Alot of the animation is fluid with character models looking great. I have a single complaint about the game. Blurry textures. Oh wait, we're on the wii. It'll be difficult to find something that doesn't have blurry textures. Nevertheless - The major disappointments are just a few blurry textures but that comes with the hardware. The design around the environments is amazing. They've looked through the previous game and recreated many key areas such as the medical wing, shuttle bay, tram systems so that they look like they areas that you'll have to run through in the original. There's the off occasion where I forget I'm playing on the wii and have the odd flashback to my first run through the original. Design on the tech also looks great with all the mining tools looking quite space-y.

The entire game takes place from a shaky first person view as your character stumbles about. It gets a bit dizzying at points and tends to obscure ammo on the off occasion. There's a few points when you get to look around the rooms freely but they don't last nearly long enough.

There was alot of hype leading up to extraction with many seeing the transition to the wii as an utter failure. They can go walk off a cliff, as the game didn't actually suck. If you've got a wii and a spare 70 bucks, here's something to buy.

Design - 8.5 An awesome universe and well made content make the whole franchise a blast.

Graphics - 8.0 Looks great. For the Wii.

Sound - 9.0 The game sounds amazing with awesome sounds and music.

Gameplay - 8.5 It's a ton of fun as you fight for survival against hordes of space zombies.

Overall - 8.6

No necromorphs were harmed in the making of this blog post.

Wait ten minutes and I'll write a review for dead space extraction.

Yes, yes. I'm still here. Lord only knows how many of you are still following my blog, but suffice to say I haven't died, gone missing, been sucked into an alternate dimension, eaten by cthulhu, had my mind flayed, or been outwitted by guybrush threepwood.

So, nothing much has happened, really. Just been chugging few a through games. Dead Space Extraction, specifically. I preordered the hell out of that thing and have not regretted it. Any gamers reading this should go and look up the dead space franchise, actually. It's fantastic stuff.