Dead Space for iPhone Review

By on March 1, 2011

Great visuals, scary moments, and an absolutely nerve-wrecked you.

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First Impressions
My reaction is

Let’s get something out of the way right now, when this game launched, sure it looked great in the screen shots and videos, but how could it be really that good? After all it’s on a mobile platform that can’t be considered a contender for serious gaming. Surely it’s impossible, after all that’s the point of having a PSP, or a DS, or upcoming 3DS. All that changes, and perhaps turns the tide, for phones as a proper gaming platform, with Dead Space for iPhone (or should I say “favourite iOS Device”?). The opening sequences of the game showcase the intense detail and capability of the iPhone, completely rendered real-time. In a word, astounding! Yes the opening vignette is a vast open area, but the game really shines with its’ indoor environments, the lighting and particle effects are perfectly applied to drastic moments and

The control mechanics are similar to those of the PC/Consoles, down to the view point. Placing your finger on your character controls movement where by sliding higher up controls whether you move faster or walk, and then, *gasp* side strafing when sliding left and right. Where the empty space to the left is what you have to see in front of you, this area is used to look around with. While this works great while playing the game on the console, it can be a serious impediment for those quick aiming, precise shots, that the game desperately requires you to perform at the last second. Tilting the iPhone rotates the direction of the Plasma Cutters’ fire, essential when it means the difference between headshot or slice limbs off. Dead Space may be worth a revisit on the iPad, where the much larger screen could offset this problem.

A point to remember is that this game probably shouldn’t be played while you are in a class, or at your work desk with your headphones on, unless you intend to let everyone else think you are suffering from muscle spasms at the very least, or crying at the other extreme. There appears to be a trend that games of this nature cannot be played unless you are seated and not moving about, somewhat defeating the purpose of mobile gaming. However if you do not own a high end PC, or any of the current generation consoles, which also implies you live under a rock, or on the moon, but happen to have an iOS device then this is among the titles that should, definitely should, be in your library.

Those familiar with Dead Space will recall that the game is all about the experience, which is all tied together with the visuals, the sound, and the music that all contribute, to not knowing what to expect. Having tried this without headphones, there is one thing for certain, it’s still just as scary. You can’t quite get over the first few heart pounding moments, when you see that creature coming to kill you. The music is mastered, designed and catered around the idea that you are in this place, where something may get you or not, but you are not completely helpless. Another noteworthy mention is the voice acting, it feels natural and fits the game.

This title definitely delivers when it comes to a prime example of how mobile gaming, can be going forward. We will have to see, when Infinity Blade is finally released by Epic Games, how it stacks up to the rest. Until then, Dead Space is a beautiful game worthy of being played by a gamer of any type. Check it out right now the App Store for $6.99US.

The Scorecard
Controls are fluid and simplistic, but get in the way of the smaller screen during action sequences.
Absolutely stunning game with no equal on the platform so far.
Nothing tops this so far, from the voice acting, to the sound, to the music.
Sadly the replayability of the game, just like its console/pc siblings, diminishes with every playthrough, since the player is aware of what to expect.
This could be arguable, since the type of person may prefer something calm and casual like Angry Birds and not expect to have the daylights scared out of them from a game, on their iOS device no less.
IronMonkey Studios, hats off to you for an amazing presentation of an amazing game, replayability and controls are the only obstacles from a perfect score!
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