I've already completed it before but I ran through the first few levels to jog my memory and also as an excuse to play it again!
14th October 2008, to coincide with the Halloween holiday.
The game takes place in the future (I presume it's the future as the technology is more advanced than it is now). and the game itself is set on a mining ship named the USG Ishimura.
A mining ship (in terms of Dead Space) is a huge long space craft that acts as an apparatus to crack planets, as in literally crack them. The ship is equipped with a huge drill and the drill does the work.
The protagonist, who you play as, has to travel around the mining ship in different areas, all with their own distinct look and feel in order to accomplish objectives.
So the story goes... ***SPOILERS***
It's set in the future where humanity is colonising different planets and such. A team of simple engineers is sent out to aid the USG Ishimura after it sends out a distress signal. The team soon find out everyone on the ship is dead and that the place is swarming with huge grotesque monster/zombies called necromorphs. The team get seperated during an attack and it leaves the player who controls the main protagonist Isaac Clarke to get the ship back up and running or find a way out of it.
Not all is at it seems as it turns out the necromorphs are not aliens as was originally conceived but humans and the people of the mining ship turned into beasts by an alien statue called "The Marker".
Turns out you weren't sent here on an innocent repair task but the women "Kendra" who is on your team and acts as a guide actually works for the government who wants the marker for their own nefarious plans. The marker also sends Isaac insane (it has that power) and makes him think he sees his dead wife throughout the game.
After looking at the developer's diaries and such there seems to have been a huge amount of pre-production going on before the game went into production (obviously). They had many artists working on the overall look and feel of the ship, necromorphs and the cast. They also researched alot into a new engine that would enable the players to "strategically dismember" enemies in the game. Finally alot of pre-production time was devoted to the soundtrack of the game, making sure it fitted perfectly with the overall atmosphere and really had an effect on the player.
SO... I love this game. I think it's a great single player experience that fully immerses the player into the environment and the character's situations. I feel that every part of the design complements each other perfectly as the music ratchets up the intensity considerably and the design of the environment is great as it can force players down lonely and suspense filled corridors or into huge rooms with lots of necromorphs. It really affects the gameplay and gives the best of both worlds; action and suspense.
-Hugely suspenseful and utterly terrifying.
-Great design when it comes to environment and character models.
-Competent voice acting.
-Fun dismemberment engine.
-Good, immersive storyline.
-Great UI design (The HUD is all built into Isaac's armour... clever)
-Can pretty much complete the game using one weapon.
-Bosses although look good are far too easy.
-Long loading times between levels (aren't we past that now?)
-Not much replay value.
-Fiddly zero gravity controls.
So I've done a review as well as a 4 W's and 1 H or whatever so yeah theres value statements in there. But then again reviews are purely opinion and that's the purpose of them.
It has achieved critical success with an 89 score on Metacritic (very good site).
There is also a second Dead Space in production now...