So Jimmi Completed Dead Space

*Slight spoilers, but nothing game-breaking*

Almost two years after originally purchasing Dead Space, I finally got around to playing it through its entirety. Other games have graced my PS3 in that time but, after a long hard think about it, it was time to see it through to the end.


If you don’t know, when I first got it I was petrified of it. Fast forward to now and not much has changed. I tried to put my fears behind me and solemnly ploughed through the terror; the same terror that enthralled and engrossed me to keep going.

Dead Space is a survival horror game about a space engineer called Isaac Clarke who ventures onto the distressed USG Ishimura; a spaceship designed to collect and mine minerals and resources from other, deep-space worlds with the intention of replenishing what had been lost on Earth after a near wipe-out. The ship encountered danger when trying to find a religious artefact called The Red Marker on the planet Aegis VII. With the Ishimura taking the artefact, a wave of mutation began to run amok and as a result, the ‘planetcracker’ spaceship took a turn for the worse. The crew became infected with a parasitic life-form that turned them into Necromorphs; hideous, grotesque but vastly intelligent beings with the sole intention of turning Isaac’s brains into jam. Isaac battles his way through the ship with an array of tools at his disposal, cutting down Necromorph after Necromorph along the way.

Photo Credits: EA Games

Photo Credits: EA Games

In basic technical terms, Dead Space is your run-of-the-mill corridor based third-person shooter. Further from that, the mechanics of the game spread out above and beyond making this an edgy and scary experience. Although it follows tropes of having to follow simple objectives made a lot harder by obstacles such as a lack of oxygen or negotiating zero-gravity puzzles, it managed to keep me on my toes at all times. The tight, narrow corridors feel claustrophobic; as though running back from whence you came is not going to do you any favours. Having to fight the mutated remnants of the crew in such a constricted space makes you think of your movements and actions carefully before attacking. Sometimes you have enough time to go over the meticulous details; other occasions not so and you find yourself in a rush of panic as a Twitcher or Brute comes charging for you like a bullet. More often than not, I found myself creeping along edges of corridors in-case I came across something that might be around the next corner. It made me think, which weapon do I use? Do I use my heavily upgraded plasma cutter or shall I just unleash a torrent of fire with the flamethrower and then slice the limbs off with the Ripper? If option A, do I have enough ammo to last me a barrage like that? And so on until you inevitably run through so many options that by the time you get to the Necromorph, it has already sliced Isaac in two. You also have to remember what you did in previous rooms. Before I cottoned-on, it wouldn’t be rare for a dead Slasher to rear up when you least expect it. Now that I’ve become accustomed to this behaviour, remembering who or what you killed previously can save you the fright of a life, and so if you spot a body in a place you don’t remember it being, chances are it isn’t dead. Fortunately with my gun-ho attitude whilst playing, I try to brutalise anything in my way regardless.

Photo Credits: EA Games

Photo Credits: EA Games

Everything else does an amazing job in setting the scene and capturing the horror. The sound design for example is astounding. Every noise the ship makes keeps you alert. The rattling coming from the air vents; is that normal or is it a Lurker? Then the jarring symphonic strings start up and you know for fact that something just burst through an inlet, but where that inlet is, is anyone’s guess. Finishing an objective gives a reassuring hum and a bright blue glow to let you know everything is under control. Graphically, although the game is going on six years old and was made in the earlier days of both the Xbox and PS3 life, it still looks good. The read-outs on the weapons and Isaac’s suit contrast the dark environment and they are clear and precise, as are the menus and the guidance line. Dust particles illuminated by the lights fill the air in certain sections and the grisly textures of enemies are a nightmare in themselves. There are a few visual quirks on certain things and the physics engine does make corpses wrap around Isaac’s feet and then bounce off down the corridor (sometimes for the worse; the amount of times a loose flailing limb has nerved me into thinking it’s anything but was absurd). Even having the menus happen in game rather than a standard head up display simply adds to the immersion. There’s nothing more tense than trying to swap out an air can as Isaac is desperately losing his breath whilst Necromorphs continue their assault.

Adding these together can make for some intense sequences. When an area goes into a quarantine lock down, you know about it even when you don’t expect it. Everything goes dark, all bar the strobe of a lone, yellow warning light and the doors are barricaded with a heavy thud, as Necromorphs you previously thought weren’t there, come snarling in. With nowhere to hide, blasting through the extra-terrestrial zombies is your only way out that can lift the quarantine lockdown. Other times, the game plays with its flaws. We all know that with video games as you progress a new area has to be loaded. Dead Space does this with lifts and doors. In the lifts, enemies can burst through the ceiling and commit you to battle in something no bigger than a wardrobe. Doors to bigger areas don’t open straight away; you have to wait for the area to load. This doesn’t break away from the immersion as you can hear the guttural roar of a Divider coming up behind you and the pulse in your head as you frantically try to get the door open knowing that if you do turn around and open fire, the smaller creatures that make up the monster will ultimately deplete your ammunition. Shouting ‘open the door!’ doesn’t really do much either but the safe haven behind it is so satisfying.

Photo Credits: EA Games

Photo Credits: EA Games

Dead Space is a fantastic game and an experience that has had a lasting effect on the games I play. Considering my initial thoughts, I have grown to accept it and appreciate it. For someone who hasn’t played many horror games, the jump scares and the sudden mini-boss fights still unnerve me but it has opened me up into looking into playing more horror orientated games in the future, which was my aim all along when I bought it in 2013. I played it with an open mind as something new and it delivered on every promise Kat set it to. The feeling of escaping this hell was what kept my going and kept me coming back to it, knowing that there is a way out. I still played it with the ‘kill everything’ mentality and I found ways to keep myself entertained by giving the Necromorphs names such as Phil, Gerald, Hector the Infector and Ivor the Divider (because these were people once upon a time, maybe ‘Phil’ is still in there somewhere). Sprinkle in a bit of time to play on the shooting range and a round of Zero-G basketball (If Link can go fishing whilst Hyrule is under threat, it won’t harm Isaac to play a few hoops) and you have a neat but scary, little package that took me about twelve hours to get through. I will eventually want to play through again on a higher difficulty and now I’m at the end of the story, I can move onto its sequel but at the moment my time on the USG Ishimura has finally come to an end. And the last scare? Yep, that vibrating DualShock 3 again…

Words by Jimmi


E3 Conferences Round-up – Sony


E3, or the Electronic Entertainment Expo, is arguably the biggest and boldest annual video gaming convention ever to grace the planet. Held in sun-drenched Los Angeles; the big guns of the gaming industry including Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony showcasing brand new hardware and games. The event is a pantomime of lights, music, noises and good old’ fashioned video games. Held exclusively to the press and industry members, the entire convention is streamed online for all us norms to watch at home. And that’s exactly what we did. People from all around the globe watched with bated breath waiting for what the next big announcements were coming to PC’s and home consoles over the next few months and beyond. This is a list some of the notable games and software that hooked us to spend all our hard earned money on the most expansive and by far best consumable media there is.


Once upon a time, Sony was unknown as a games console manufacturer. They fought off the likes of Sega’s Saturn and they tussled with Nintendo’s cartridge based N64. And this suit followed in the next console generation. With the release of the original Xbox and the Gamecube, Sony went from strength to strength. Even with more recent efforts when the Wii and the 360 started to catch up, Sony still went hell for leather and provided some amazing experiences. The PlayStation, PS2, PS3 and now PS4 has allowed Sony to keep Nintendo and Microsoft in check as it never fails to deliver. Last E3, Sony alleviated themselves above the rest and although this E3’s contributions weren’t on the same scale as before, they still know how us gamers tick and they feed off that to create something a bit different and a wholly satisfying.


Ah, LittleBig Planet; cute, simple and full of joy. The first instalment was and still is impressive. Whilst the main story was great, the game was used as tool for community gamers to create their own unusual levels and share them amongst the world. With number 3 coming out soon boasting the same levels of limitless creativity and three extra characters – named Oddsock, Swoop and Toggle no less – Sackboy’s crazy adventures will surely continue in the zany way the series is known for. Media Molecule, the brains behind the franchise, has added multiple new abilities and items to capture more stickers, bubbles and to solve puzzles in interesting ways. ‘LittleBig Planet 3’ apparently includes all the previous games levels, letting you play through great moments again in glorious hi-definition or merely, if you never got the chance to before.


A heavily block coloured and simply stylized ‘No Man’s Sky’ was shown. A part first person adventure part flight sim with phenomenal visuals and apparent continuous exploration, No Man’s Sky has players dog-fighting spaceships amongst asteroids, delving to underwater realms and walking through luscious landscapes teeming with life. The timed exclusive also features real time dives to planet with mountain peaks and crevasses seamlessly coming into view as the spaceship barrel-rolls through the chasms and ravines before blasting back into space. Each planet will seemingly be procedurally-generated; a common theme that is running with new games. Each world would be different and it’s up to you to make the choice of flying past it or cautiously explore it. It evokes a similar style to the independent game called ‘Eufloria’ but on a much larger scale and an increased colour-pallet. Again, like ‘Eufloria,’ this massive game isn’t made by a huge developer. It’s made by Hello Games; a group of about ten people in Guildford. This proves that no matter how much money or man-power is needed, something special can still be created out of something small and can compete with the heavyweights.


Batman returns in ‘Arkham Knight’. Some information has been known for while on the caped crusader’s upcoming game that was up until recently delayed to 2015. So Sony whetted our appetite and showed us gameplay footage. After Batman elegantly dives and swoops through the Gotham cityscape he firmly lands only to be greeted by an all-new Batmobile that can not only powerslide through the streets but also crab sideways while using some reckless bravado and insane firepower. Gotham is recreated spectacularly and the vibrant neon highlights the structures and landmarks. With an array of gadgets as his disposal, he successfully clears his way through armoured vehicles and escapes by ejecting out of the Batmobile and gliding into a brutal fist fight. The footage shows a lot of atmosphere as Batman plans his approach and attacks before the game glitches. Scarecrow takes over and announces his intentions of bring Gotham down… ‘Arkham Knight’ is not only a game that appeals to the hard-core comic book fans but also those who want to get into the Batman franchise. I for one am incredibly interested in this and I haven’t had much experience with past Batman games. Maybe it’s time to get started.


‘Uncharted’ developer Naughty Dog brought the epic ‘The Last of Us’ to consoles last year and it received global success. The Uncharted franchise has also created the type akin to a summer blockbuster movie. With epic chase sequences and ferocious gunfights, Uncharted has been a main staple of PlayStation since 2007. As the trailer opens we see the main protagonist, Nathan Drake in a spot of bother face down on a riverbank. Looking older and hard done by, a battered Nate eventually stumbles to his feet with a scratched face and an unloaded pistol. He’s been ‘out of the game’ for a while and needs to get back in. The camera pans to reveal he’s on some creepy, doomed island full of gibbets and rotting skeletons as Nate goes off on his next expedition one last time This is only the beginning of ‘Uncharted 4’ but ultimately, A Thief’s End…

Honourable Mentions

Bungie-made (who are responsible for ‘Halo: Combat Evolved’) ‘Destiny’ was shown as an alternative shooter to Halo for the PS4 with exclusive access to alpha and beta gameplay. A new white PS4 with a copy of Destiny included is also available.

More gameplay footage of Ubisoft’s epic ‘Far Cry 4’ showed off an infiltration of a basecamp, a tuk-tuk escape, a truck plummeting off a cliff, flying-squirrel type jumpsuits, elephants, a co-op buddy joining the assault, gyrocopters, machine-guns, explosions, grapple-hooks, drive-by shootings, carjacking whilst in motion and exploding elephants… But something that set it apart from the rest was the fact that anyone can join. As long as someone owns a PS3 or PS4, anyone can join. They don’t even have to own the game itself. I am curious to how that works but it sounds incredible.

Big news! ‘Grand Theft Auto 5’ is coming to PlayStation 4, as well as Xbox One and PC. Yep. Finally, you can experience Los Santos and Blaine County on new home consoles. Many petition signers will be happy.

Sony announced a plethora of hardware news too including information on their camera and VR headset, project Morpheus; they announced a partnership with YouTube for unified uploads from the PS4; streaming service PSNow was also mentioned with many gaming and film/TV titles becoming available for ‘renting’ over the course of the next year or so, and, providing you have a dualshock 3 and a Sony Smart TV, PSNow can also be linked up without the need of any PlayStation console; games can be played through the TV.

‘Mortal Kombat X’, ‘Let it Die’ and ‘Bloodborne’ were probably the goriest of the showing. Broken jaws, huge wounds and much slicing and dicing were all present; enough to turn even the strongest of stomachs to jelly.

Who Was Not Mentioned?

last guardian

Much to the frustration of press and gamers, ‘The Last Guardian’ never showed light. Announced at E3 back in 2009, the Sony Computer Entertainment exclusive action-adventure game – originally planned for the PS3, no less – is currently still in development. Whether it will be announced at a later games conference or not at all is still a complete mystery. All we know about ‘The Last Guardian’ is it is still a loose cannon. We just don’t know when Sony will take it upon them to spill the beans on this hotly anticipated. Also the Vita’s back-catalogue wasn’t really improved upon. Although selections of games were shown in a montage, there wasn’t anything stand-alone amazing that said ‘this is what the Vita can do’ that has blown minds.


Sony had a huge conference; it was almost two hours long. This meant they showed a lot of games but it was also hard to pick a definite unique selling point. With the giants of ‘Destiny’, ‘Grand Theft Auto’, ‘Mortal Kombat’ and Far Cry sharing the limelight with ‘LittleBig Planet’ and ‘No Man’s Sky’, each with something new and brilliant, whittling them down was a difficult objective. Far Cry 4 appears to be a vast open world where, as the trailer says ‘each second is a story.’ ‘LittleBig Planet 3’ adds more cheeky characters to design and build and play away to your hearts content. Batman’s stunning visuals took centre stage with that of an indie developer’s exploration simulator. And for once these games that Sony showed us, no matter how gory, simple, complex, explody or elephanty, felt like they all fitted together for the Players.

Words by Jimmi

E3 Conferences Round-up – Ubisoft


E3, or the Electronic Entertainment Expo, is arguably the biggest and boldest annual video gaming convention ever to grace the planet. Held in sun-drenched Los Angeles; the big guns of the gaming industry including Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony showcasing brand new hardware and games. The event is a pantomime of lights, music, noises and good old’ fashioned video games. Held exclusively to the press and industry members, the entire convention is streamed online for all us norms to watch at home. And that’s exactly what we did. People from all around the globe watched with bated breath waiting for what the next big announcements were coming to PC’s and home consoles over the next few months and beyond. This is a list some of the notable games and software that hooked us to spend all our hard earned money on the most expansive and by far best consumable media there is.


Oobisoft? Yoobisoft? Maybe it’s something totally different, like ‘Ewbisoft.’ Whatever you call them, they’re a fantastically, quirky games developer. From action adventure epics to tactical shooters and beautiful platformers, Ubisoft are reliable for providing the world with ‘Assassin’s Creed’, ‘Far Cry’ and ‘Rayman’; making software for casual, dip-in gamers, to the hardest of core gamers; Ubisoft has everyone catered for and they do a good job of it.

With ‘Watch_Dogs’ taking centre stage in the past couple of E3’s with mind-blowing visuals and stunning gameplay, and it was released a few weeks before the presentation. It was going to be interesting to see what they could show off this year and to see if they could create a tornado of hype from other, more established franchises. They didn’t fail to deliver.


After a slightly bizarre introduction from the ‘Rabbids, Ubi went straight for the jugular. Litterally! ‘Far Cry 4’ had been announced before E3 but only a few sparse details were known. This gave Ubisoft the chance to show the first five minutes of the new instalment to the Far Cry series. As our character, Ajay Ghale, is ambushed whilst riding a bus through the Himalayas, we get thrown into a tirade of gunfire and bullets at an unannounced spot check. Ghale is fired at by the militia and manages to escape the mayhem of the bus only to be greeted by an armed guard and an ominous, black helicopter at his feet. The dark figure that creeps out of the chopper is the games villain, Pagan Min, who graces the recently released box art. Dressed to the nines with his pink flares, he oily says “I distinctly remember saying ‘stop the bus’ […] not ‘shoot the bus.’” Although, calm and collect, rage is evidently building up in the swishly, dressed villains eyes and voice as he pulls out a pen knife and goes for the injured guard furiously, ruining his shoes and splattering his face with blood in the process. This man is clearly mentally unstable and not a force to be reckoned with. He however does recognise our protagonist and starts conversing with him, like they’re old friends and even finds time to take a selfie with Ghale in true 2014 fashion. Ghale looks evidently perplexed as to who or why he has been picked up on. Is he in trouble or his he safe? We’ll have to play it to find out…


‘Just Dance’ is a funny old series, starting back in 2009 on the Wii with roots in ‘Rayman’s Ravin’ Rabbid’s’ game. Now in its sixth iteration, the worldwide mega-seller is back for sillier dance moves at your next alcohol fuelled family gathering. A trailer featuring a number of elaborate groups of people dancing to their on-screen leaders to Pharrel Williams’ sickly infectious ‘Happy’ is shown before moving on in true E3 form by getting a load of actual dancers on stage to rave to the newly announced ‘Just Dance Now’. An app and tablet/smart TV based that allows gamers to play Just Dance with their smartphone. The app is connected to a bigger screen to show the players what to do whilst the phone itself uses the power of the built in gyroscopes to recognise the movements as you do your dancy thang with an infinite number of others. This interesting concept will get regularly updated with new songs and dance moves in the future.


‘Assassin’s Creed’ opened up a new world of possibilities for me. As I was stuck playing mostly racing and driving games, I got immense satisfaction soaring into haystacks, traversing high walls and plunging hidden blades into enemies. ‘Unity’ is the new offering. Although Microsoft showed a multiple player co-operative mission of Unity in their press conference, Ubisoft gave us a glimpse of a solo objective. After short atmospheric trailer, the gameplay began at the very top of Notre Dame. Our Assassin swiftly and bravely dives off the tower, catching every other wall, gargoyle and protrusion on his way down. This assassin doesn’t care much for haystacks it seems but his decent is quick and nimble. He reaches a vastly populated terra firma and objectives pop up as he blends in with the Parisian crowds. He encounters a restricted area and promptly uses his hidden blades on a couple of unaware guards. This follows with familiar swordfight. Sparks fly from sword blades and the finally the guard is taken down with a slice to the throat. Our assassin now searches for potential targets and proceeds to hunt them down. He slinks down behind cover, staying out of view of potential foes and silently creeps from one crate to the next. The man he is after is not where he thinks he is but gets word of the actual whereabouts. As our assassin darts out of the window and across roofs, icons pop up. As there is no map, this could possibly the new way how we as players find missions. He now scuttles through houses and crowds and back up wall with acrobatic finesse, getting to a higher vantage point to find his prey. He finds the man he is after and follows him via rooftops to a guillotine. He picks his moment and pounces from the guillotine itself, forcing his hidden blade into the Captains neck. The guards around rear up as our assassin is joined by his fellow co-operative brothers, ready to take on the ensuing onslaught. Unity is on good form. ‘Assassin’s Creed II’s’ Italian setting defined it and going back to a similarly stunning location and time period rather than the later colonial America of III is going to be favourable with fans. I for one cannot wait to see how this develops.


‘Battlefield Hardline’ has a new competitor it seems. A new Rainbow Six had been in the works and was overdue. The most recent utterance of a new Rainbow Six for consoles and PC after ‘Patriots’ was cancelled was 2008’s ‘Vegas 2’. This multiplayer pre-alpha level features a bunch of good guys planning and taking out the bad guys in a hostage situation, showing its mettle in a five versus five match. Again like Ubisoft’s ‘The Division’, it unrealistically gave us this heavily acted interpretation of an online multiplayer match. But cheese aside, the elements that were shown provided enough coverage into how ‘Siege’ can bring something interesting to the table. Gun shots can fire gaping holes into the wall that players can then shoot through themselves to take out the enemy. This type of procedural destruction adds to the immersion and realism. Battlefield may have had its ‘levolution’ moments that drastically altered the map but the smaller details on something like a house falling bits when a player blows a hole in the floor to get past barricades may not be the same as tumbling buildings but using the destruction adds a tactical approach. The footage ends with a one on one cliff-hanger.

Notable Mentions

Ubisoft’s open world multiplayer racer, ‘The Crew’ was shown in a time lapsed compilation trailer of races that span over two hours filled with high powered supercars bursting through urban jungles, sand-filled canyons and winding hills.

‘Valiant Hearts: The Great War’; a touching UbiArts side-scroller inspired by events from the First World War. With a cartoony animated style but also a heavy message, it expresses an evocative atmosphere that is aching to be played, just to see and hear the stories it can tell.

By the looks of things, ‘Shape Up’ uses the Kinect to its full ability. With crazy push ups and ‘Dance Dance Revolution’ inspired challenges, this is bringing motion controlled games up to scratch.

Who Was Not Mentioned?


Where to start? ‘Rayman’ was not present; his fury yet crazy pests the ‘Rabbids’ were relegated to the introduction; so we can’t expect any of that ridiculous fun from previous instalments on newer consoles just yet. The Driver series could have also been touched upon but, alas no. I think that last year’s ‘Watch_Dogs’ being a similar open world game with driving might have become a bit repetitive which is a shame because after ‘San Francisco’, Driver proves that it can still provide hours of joy and entertainment.

The French company did well this year. We’ve seen the next instalment of the ever-popular Assassin’s Creed; we’ve met psychopaths and are intrigued by their motives in Far Cry 4; we can dance with as many people as we want to with just an app and a fancy TV; and we can use our Kinect’s for something half decent! It’s hard to pick a firm favourite because these titles all have something that appeals; which is what Ubisoft (‘Oobisoft’? ‘Yoobisoft’? Actually, it might also be ‘Ubbisoft’…) is all about.



Words by Jimmi

E3 Conferences Round-Up – EA


E3, or the Electronic Entertainment Expo, is arguably the biggest and boldest annual video gaming convention ever to grace the planet. Held in sun-drenched Los Angeles; the big guns of the gaming industry including Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony showcasing brand new hardware and games. The event is a pantomime of lights, music, noises and good old’ fashioned video games. Held exclusively to the press and industry members, the entire convention is streamed online for all us norms to watch at home. And that’s exactly what we did. People from all around the globe watched with bated breath waiting for what the next big announcements were coming to PC’s and home consoles over the next few months and beyond. This is a list some of the notable games and software that hooked us to spend all our hard earned money on the most expansive and by far best consumable media there is


Electronic Arts are known for their prowess when it comes to the best and most loved sports games; epic racers; superb shooters and massive hits. EA may have been voted as one of the worst companies for two consecutive years but you can’t overlook their sheer scope and outlook and how it continues to make some fantastic games. From the Sims and the ‘FIFA’ series, to ‘Need For Speed’, to ‘Battlefield’ and ‘Dead Space’ and ‘Mass Effect’, EA know how to create a good franchise that will sell and please.

After a short teaser of a new, hotly anticipated ‘Star Wars: Battlefront’; a woman with a cello on a moving plinth came out to open with a trailer for the action role-player ‘Dragon Age Inquisition’ that showed off sprawling scenery and a seemingly endless world. This segued into demonstrations and a behind the scenes looks at the new ‘Mass Effect’ detailing how the improvements BioWare have made for the new consoles.


One of the most popular EA games, ‘The Sims 4’ showed the infinite creation tools in making your Sim and ultimately their stories and adventures. The showcase was a bit cringey but at least it covered all the bases of the new Sims, there is still that traditional Sims element of being to create whoever you want – be it yourself or as the trailer showed, President Barack Obama – and whatever house you want and how the life and death of a Sim pans out.


Criterion are responsible for some of my favourite games in the past. I loved smashing cars off the road in ‘Burnout 3: Takedown’ and ramming Lamborghini’s in an Aston Martin police car in ‘Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit’, so seeing new content from Criterion got me excited. In early stages of development, this new game is built around extreme motor sports. From launching speedboats off waterfalls; flips on an all-terrain quad bike or blasting through snow-covered trees on a skidoo; full of crashes and smashes and those sort of adrenaline pumping moments that have come from the Burnouts and the Need for Speeds albeit on larger scale with a wider scale of vehicles at ones disposal. Although not a lot was shown, this is going to be one of them games to watch closely to see how it comes on and what it does exactly that splits it apart from other games with element like this in them.


‘Mirror’s Edge’ was teased at last year’s E3 so it was slightly disappointing that it was still in early stages of development. Regardless of this, ‘Mirror’s Edge’ was a game that has a impeccable sense of speed, momentum and weight that I haven’t really seen done elsewhere. ‘Mirror’s Edge’ is going on six years old now and along with some inconsistencies (as well as pretty poor gun-play), it’s showing its age. It still looks fantastic and when you’re in the swing of things, plays like a dream, so when sequences of new and improved game-play and graphics was shown in another one of these ‘behind the scene montages’ the next ‘Mirror’s Edge’ looks like it’s on form to being what it originally set out to be. The clean utopia is back with the stark red hints is back and brings in elements that play out the best approach for combat; keeping everything that Faith does fast and agile without ever stopping.


The biggest hit of EA’s press conference was the almighty ‘Battlefield Hardline’; a new take on the first-person shooter that doesn’t rely on the military backing that happens so often. This is a gritty, urban cop’s vs robber’s simulator that borrows from Battlefields of old. It is invigorating to see a game where you can choose how to tactically take out the enemies in a trade of mayhem from the right of the law for once. But having the choice of playing dirty is always going to win votes. The demo showed team of bad guys against the team of police trying to stop them from running away with the loot in a 32 player melee. And the bad guys do not go without a fight. Played in a similar vein of the Battlefield 4’s demo at the last E3, the demo has explosions, massive gunfights, car crashes, a crane taking out a building; it was just utter destruction. Rocket-propelled grenades create escape routes; debris allows access to other parts of the level, player’s zip-wire onto motorbikes. It looks fast, immense and purely epic. Gun-play is typical of your generic military shooter but it still allows you to use them in interesting ways such as shooting whilst zipping down a wire or out of a car as it hurtles as the police pursue. This type of game hasn’t really been done before and it’s invigorating to see a game where you can tactically plan your battle I And of course, it ends with the bad guys being taken down. ‘Hardline’ was released as an early closed Beta on PC and PlayStation 4 which stalled both EA’s Origin service and PSN. People want this game and like last year, ‘Battlefield Hardline’ will be fighting it out with Call of Duty for the best first person shooter of E3.

Notable Mentions

Bruce Lee is in the new ‘UFC’; ‘Madden NFL15’ and ‘NHL 15’ have been given an overhaul. But the big surprise in these sports game segments was ‘PGA Tour’; described as ‘Golf without limits.’ Yes they showed the simple courses but when a battleship rams through the middle of one course and runs aground, you think “wow. When did golf get so interesting?”

‘FIFA 15’ has again improved the details of strides, ball trajectories and more realistic players. The lists of tweaks that have been added to ‘FIFA 15’ only seem to be the tip of the iceberg. Football games, I find, have a certain level of excitement; the gripping tension of scoring one goal, not knowing when or how the other team are going to fight and claw their way back. These added details will then add to the atmosphere of an already great franchise.

Who Was Not Mentioned?


It was announced earlier in the year that Need for Speed won’t be releasing a game in the coming months. Need for Speed has been one of those franchises that release a new game every year with varying degrees of success. I enjoyed ‘The Run’ but not as much as ‘Hot Pursuit’. And ‘Most Wanted’ felt like a clone of the Burnout game a lot of us felt we needed. This isn’t such a bad thing as developers are releasing racing games over the course of the next year or so that look to fulfill that need for speed. With ‘Drive Club’, ‘The Crew’, ‘Forza Horizon 2’, and soon to be Criterion’s next effort, Need for Speed won’t necessarily be sorely missed. It would have been nice to have heard from a Need for Speed but Criterion’s extreme sports racer will keep me ticking over for a while.

I felt like EA needed more in the press conference. It’s understandable that games are in development and at this time when the PS4, Wii U and XBOX ONE are still in early years of life; progression may take a bit longer as the new hardware is utilized to the best of its ability. But as it panned out, the reveal of ‘Battlefield Hardline’ showed that EA aren’t taking things lying down and it will be one to watch over the coming months. The sheer exuberance of it made it the ultimate highlight of the showcase.



Words by Jimmi

So Jimmi bought Dead Space

I will obviously keep spoilers to a minimum; we know how much we don’t like them.

Recently, I had been thinking about getting a first-person shooter for my PlayStation 3 as a means of verging away from just playing driving and racing games. I bought this up with Kat and she recommended that it could be a good idea, as long as I stayed away from any Call of Duty game. I thought this was understandable as I think I’d only get a Call of Duty game if I really had to and if it was insanely cheap. Going through lists of potential contenders, she mentioned that she watched someone else play Dead Space a few years ago. Although it is a third-person shooter rather than a first person shooter, it does have guns, explosions and action and so it ticks all the right boxes to be an enjoyable game. Seeing as Dead Space 3 has recently been released, I decided to look into it a little bit on Wikipedia before venturing out and what I read sounded alright. Browsing through the High Street chains that weren’t closing down, Kat and I looked to see if we could find anything that resembled a good shoot-em-up, but we weren’t initially looking for Dead Space. I browsed over the original Borderlands, Far Cry II and even F.E.A.R as they all seemed to be high on action but they seemed a bit out of my budget in the case of the first two or weren’t favoured well in reviews in F.E.A.R’s case. We carried on searching through the second hand shops until I came across, lo and behold, Dead Space for a bargain £5.99 in Chatham’s branch of Cash Converters. I asked more about it from Kat and she said it was terrifying. Not knowing whether this is because my girlfriend has a low tolerance for anything remotely scary, or that it was genuinely pants-wettingly horrific I was hesitant. So what was I to do? Go with what Kat says and miss out on potential bargain. Or spend the night awake reliving the terrors that she foretold me about?



We got back and rather than sliding the disc into the PS3 as soon as I possibly could, I thought I would look up a review or two. Gaming news and review website GameSpot gave it a rather high 9 out of 10 in 2008 and Metacritic has the PS3 version marked in the realms of 88 out of 100, which shows it must be a very good game. Reading over the GameSpot review, I started to feel the surge of fear and regret even more as I glanced through their article. Here are some quotes that stuck with me:

“something terrible has happened”

“preserving the horror experience”

“grunts of pain”

“feign death among the corpses of their peers to rise up and attack when you least expect it”

 “Even more alarming than their ghastly appearances and uncouth manners is the fact that they are quite intelligent”

And, even more terrifyingly;

it can continue trying to eat your face

Oh dear. Never the less, I decided to see why it was rated so highly but was still adamant on playing a nice game like Flower or Eufloria. But no, Kat wasn’t having any of it. She wanted me to play this £6 blood-orgy to see what it was like and to see if it lived up to what she could remember. Or she wanted to see me soil myself and poke fun of me. Of course, it wasn’t until after we got it back from Chatham that she told me things tend to ‘jump out’ and that you have to ‘watch your back’ which made me feel a lot better about returning it and getting my money back. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for cheap scares. They are and can be genuinely funny. But the way she was describing it to me wasn’t coming across as funny. It coming across as terrifying. I had unwittingly bought a survival horror game…

So, I started the game and made a new profile for the save data. The first cut scene started and immediately the living daylights were pulled out of me by the vibration of the Dualshock resting on the case… Yeah, this wasn’t going to be my thing, I thought. To cut a long story relatively short, you play as Isaac Clarke, an engineer on-board a mining ship called the USG Kellion. It receives a distress call from Concordance Extraction Corporation (CEC) and naturally, the crew of the  go to see what all the fuss is about on-board the recently crashed and seemingly abandoned USG Ishimura that was dispatched by the CEC. As the Kellion approaches, it malfunctions as it came into dock on the Ishimura. Isaac space-suits up and he and the crew begin searching the wreck. This serves the tutorial level to get used to the controls, which are actually for a game of this calibre, very simple and there is a lot of help to get you started. For example, pressing R3 shows a navigational line to follow to the next objective which is very handy as there is no traditional head up display or map to follow. The map, inventory and useful tidbits of information are bought up as a hologram in front of Isaac. This also includes video and audio logs, computer screens and various interactive parts that you come across as you venture through the horror. This first bit was fine. It didn’t look like a survival horror game at all. It looked like a cross between Red Dwarf set in the same distant future of WipeOut. However, I was thinking why did we, of all people, have to go towards the distress call? Why didn’t we just fly past the world and go to a nice beachy moon that has two suns and many alien bartenders serving alien martinis? In fact, I would have rather bought Alien Bartenders, had it been a real game but Dead Space was the game I bought so I duly had to carry on.

After getting to grips with the controls, you eventually get onto looking at a computer screen in a small room to find out the status of the ship you have just boarded. When everything seems fine, a lock-down of the area happens. Orange lights begin to flash and you, as Isaac, cannot escape this room as the crew outside begin to panic. You can only look on in horror out of the windows as something drops out of the ceiling. Between the slow strobe of the warning beacon and the darkness, we see one of the crew being horribly eaten by a mutated, clawed thing as blood splatters onto the window whilst the rest of the crew start to open fire and run away. The only way out is through another door in the room, thus separating Isaac from the crew. This shook me up quite badly as I had no idea what was to come next. The flashing lights and the discordant music only added to the drama. As you run down the corridor, things only get worse. You were being followed by one of these things, that we have all come to know and love as Necromorphs which are the mutated remnants of the Kellion’s crew. Isaac takes a beating and manages to get into the safe haven of a lift. The doors shut out the Necromorph and all is calm until it tries to break in again and eat the soft squishy stuff in Isaacs head. This was really ‘new pants’ territory! I just knew it was going to happen… The Necromorph however is no match to the heavy lift doors and so as they slam shut, limbs fly all over the encloses space as blood rains all around. The lift opens up onto a new floor and even more disturbingly, a dead body. Learning that the Necromorphs can feign death and that things can pop out, the corpse made getting the first weapon, the Plasma Cutter, a whole lot more distressing. I unwittingly used all the ammo and Isaac’s right boot to make sure the corpse was as dead as it could be. I’ll admit I was a bit confused as to what to do and at this point and I really wanted to stop playing this and put on a different game that wasn’t going to scare the bejesus out of me. The blood-curdling screams overheard in this room were not nice; to say the least and I had no idea how to get out. Luckily – after about six minutes of franticly looking around and panicking like a headless chicken, whilst have a small meltdown thinking that the guy in the corner was going to rear up and attempt to ingest me – the clue was right under my nose. The doors opened and, say it wasn’t so; another Necromorph was outside the door eating another dude’s face. And yes, he wanted seconds! Having no ammunition, I had to resort to using the R1 function to beat the living snot (or Necromorph equivalent to snot) out of the mutated-face eater with the Plasma Cutter. It eventually went down dropping ammo and credits, because, y’know, these were people once upon a time. And now they resemble something between a zombie and very hungry praying mantis.

It was horrible. But, you know what? It was very satisfying. It was gross. But it was brilliant. It is a bit of a gore-fest and if you don’t mind that then this game can be very addictive. The mechanic is actually pretty cool too. For example, the Necromorphs will not back down under a shot to the head or torso, as you would expect a zombie or a Nazi to. It requires you to dismember their limbs with the array of tools and weapons at your disposal. They’re a bit unorthodox as guns when you think about it; however they do the job very well. As you progress, you can upgrade your weapons, armour – or RIG (Resource Integration Gear) – and inventory just as upgrades work in other video games. Credits can be used to buy more weapons, health packs, statis packs, oxygen refills and lots more items found in the in-game store that will help you fight through the hoards and waves of undead space zombies. You can also keep your items in the stores safe, leaving it for later when you may need it rather than clogging up your inventory, which after the amount of different pickups you find, you will have to make room for. If you want to get rid of them altogether, you can sell them for credits to spend on better weapons or something that will come to be more useful later on.

There are a lot of handy abilities that build up some interesting puzzles too. The statis packs you encounter give you the chance to slow down time to either attack a Necromorph or get through jamming doors or past quick enemies; kinesis lets you pick up objects to clear a path and gives you the capability of throwing them at the undead; and zero-G lets you stick to surfaces and leap from one wall to another when gravity is taken out of the equation. And these can all be put together to create conundrums that leave you standing around thinking what to do but having to remember that you could be eaten at any moment. It makes you think quickly but cleverly. All the guns and weapons have a primary and secondary fire mode too. The Plasma Cutter can be fired either horizontally or vertically, depending on which Necromorph limb you want to slice off. The Line Gun fires a larger area burst of energy than the Plasma Cutter but can also deploy a mine that goes off after a few seconds. I found this out the hard way as the shiny blue object it fired out of the front of it looked too enticing not to check out. Yep, cue an explosion and Isaac flying onto his back. Oxygen and statis can also be replenished at various stations dotted around the ship. Save points can come thick and fast so you can always save your progress as you carry on or on some levels they can become scarce so you have to battle your way through, just to save the game but chances are, if you’re looking for one, there will be one around the corner and hopefully not being guarded by a Necromorph.

It does make for a very interesting game. It is terrifying because you don’t know what is around next corner and the visual and sound add to a fantastic bone-chilling atmosphere which is stunning. Lights flicker on and off and walking around can trigger a quarantine lock down, which normally means something is going to happen. You normally see Necromorphs moving in the darkness but aren’t necessarily sure as to whether it is actually what you think it is or whether it is some poor chaps mutilated remains still twitching. Either way, they’re going to be either stomped on or de-limbed. Level two, however did not favour well with me. After going through the labyrinth of corridors, part of the mission required me to remove a blockade from the medical unit of the ship. Seeing as I don’t particularly like medical things, I thought this was right up my alley. Walking around, seeing remains of the people who looked like they were half way through surgery is very unnerving. There’s one section where you watch the Necromorph tear into someone and actually turn into one and another where you hear the heavy dull thud of something banging on metal only to discover it’s one of the demented crewmembers banging his noggin on a wall, only to watch him collapse in a pool of his own fluids as you get closer to him. It is a scary game without a doubt. But you can take it with a pinch of salt. It is actually rather funny if you allow it be, in much the same way a ghost train at a fair is funny. Quite a few times I would burst through doors, aiming in anticipation shouting ‘c’mon you mother-flipper! Let’s be avvin’ yer!’ and shrieking ‘ahhhhh, kill it with fire!’ as I blast a horrible scorpion like beast with the Pulse Rifle or Flame Thrower. The ragdoll physics are sometimes laughable too. As you walk over or continue to dismember the dead, the bodies normally leap around uncontrollably. It can be hilarious watching the dead Necromorph bouncing down the corridor but also discomforting because when you do it unintentionally you do think it’s still alive. And so you unleash your weapons full force on what is essentially nothing “wasting” valuable ammunition (I use the quotation marks because making sure the thing is dead is not wasting in my book). And when they do attack you when you let your guard down, boy do they go for it. The cinematic is gruesome but hammering ‘X’ can make you fight off the snarling creatures and drop kick them in a shower of blood and gore. I have only played about two hours through the story and I have gone from being tempted to take it back because I didn’t want the pleasure of knowing what happens next (I even went as far to say to Kat that I won’t be buying a game on her recommendation again) to changing my opinion entirely (and also retracting my statement). I have come to accept my fate. I am going to work my way through fighting these horrible things and hopefully I should emerge the other side a better person. Or white as sheet unable to close my eyes at night. And herein lies the problem; I see it getting much worse in the process. Well, Necromorphs… Let’s be avvin’ yer!

Oh, and another thing. If at all you do buy Dead Space, I can assure that it will be worth it especially if you can find it for £5.99 or less because it is a lot of game for not a lot of money. Amazon has it for about twelve quid currently, but I would recommend you look around Cash Converters, CeX or even the pre-owned deals in GAME. GAME currently have it for about £8 pre-owned online and you can even download it off Steam currently for £9.99 if console gaming isn’t your thing. I urge you to play it because it is a quite a different gaming experience which, if you’re like me and seem to be only tied down to one genre, you will come to know it and even love it. It is no wonder then why it was rated so high and received countless awards and the atmosphere it creates is very immersive which makes it very reminiscent of sci-fi horror films like Alien or The Thing. The original has created some sort of a legacy and as a result Dead Space 3 has rocketed into the UK Gaming Charts at number one! However, if you do get scared by the sound and visuals (the sound was highly praised by critics) then follow this simple tip. Just turn the music volume down, turn on the subtitles and (even if you own it then try it anyway) play some cool Jazz in the background. I can tell you the experience I had it will be a lot better and more relaxing if you’re a bit faint hearted; it changes the situation of waiting for something to jump out at you into something almost bearable. Everything is a lot better when done to Jazz. Including killing space zombies! I might have to try that whilst playing Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I’m petrified that even Jazz won’t do the Redead justice. Man, are they screwed up!

Posted by Jimmi

You can read the GameSpot PS3 review by clicking this handy link.