Dead Space Extraction Wii Review
In my view, EA’s Dead Space was up there with the best horror games. It was a true high production title, doing fantastic things with visuals and sound, and creating an atmosphere that was as wonderful as it was oppressive. Dead Space Extraction is a prequel and is, in many ways, completely different from the original Xbox 360 and PS3 release, the game that first introduced the horrors of the Ishimura ship.
Extraction attempts to set up the events of the first game, and is done so with a generally stellar voice cast, whom do an excellent job in adding to the panic and the confusion of it all. The plot follows a small band of survivors and moves forward in-game and in first person, which means you always feel very much a part of it.
Now, I said that Extraction was different in my opening paragraph, and whilst Dead Space was a third person horror game that had you in complete control of your character, this is an on-rails first person game for one or two (drop-in/drop-out co-op) players. Those worried about the lack of scares and tension need not, as Dead Space Extraction does some wonderful things in this area.
Firstly, the dark and moody visuals really make you feel as if you’re stuck in events that are spiralling out of control. In fact, Extraction is one of the finest looking games currently on the Wii: great environmental detail, beautiful lighting and lovely character models that look realistic enough to make you feel for their plight.
The first person view and the camera soon prove to be an amazing choice, intensifying the panic and acting very much as if it’s your own pair of eyes you are seeing through. The camera swings dramatically, truly adding to the immersion, building tension and giving off the fantastic illusion of real life panic.
So, whilst Extraction is an on-rails shooters, there’s plenty of dead moments as well, moments that have you and your companions wandering the dark environments. This is great in the sense that it means that the game hasn’t forgotten its horror roots (Resident Evil, I’m looking at you), despite the switch in genre.
When the game does burst into action, it very much remembers that it’s a Dead Space game, as well. The alien Necromorph still can be quicker dispatched by precision shots to their limbs, and often come at you with great speed and an obvious hunger to repay the favour of you pinpointing their weak spots by tearing you limb from limb. Enemies are often spilling in from all directions and that panicky automatic camera really sets the heart racing.
Other Dead Space elements such as stasis, kinesis and zero gravity sections are in there, as well. The stasis allows you to slow down time, making the Necromorphs easier targets, whilst the kinesis can be used to pick up and lob objects at your alien adversaries and is used for some light puzzle solving on occasion, as well. The zero gravity portions of the game are, like the original, very well done and really gives off the feeling that you are truly floating through a place without the very thing that normally keeps us on the ground.
The Wii remote and nunchuck are also used as well as you would hope: using the pointer of the remote to target, twisting it for secondary fire, a button to shoot, and switching weapons, as well as reloading (it’s possible to achieve quicker reloads by timing a button press correctly) and altering your view (in the occasional moments that it’s possible) with the nunchuck. Shaking enemies off yourself is achieved by rapid waggling of the remote, whilst tracing your movements through a grid without touching the edges to carry out solder repairs, and barricading yourself in, are also actions done through the remote, and melee swipes come from a nunchuck swing. The Wii Zapper is also an option, and the button set-up is near perfect during its use.
The campaign is spread across ten lengthy levels, and getting through the lot will take about six hours (levels are re-playable if you want to improve your ratings and find all the audio and text logs that you may have missed), which is more than long enough for a game of this type. The game also has an enjoyable challenge mode, in which you take on waves of the Necromorph, scoring points by taking off limbs and eliminating them, which is good fun, though sadly any leader boards are limited to local only.
Dead Space Extraction is up there with the finest of Wii titles, and is a truly memorable experience that feels very much like a Dead Space game. Like the original, amazing things have been done with both the visuals and the sound, making it feel like a big budget movie, although much should also be said about its successful switch in genres, as clever things have been achieved with the camera, going some way to creating an atmosphere that is just as chilling, if not even more so, than the original.