Published on March 28th, 2011 | by Kyle Spencer, Editor
Dead Space iPad Review
Platform: iPad, iPad 2, iPhone, iPod Touch
Release: January 25, 2011
Dead Space has arrived on the mobile platform and if you’re a Dead Space fan, you will be happy and disappointed all at the same time. The horror genre is still struggling to find it’s niche on the mobile platform, and Dead Space does not do anything new but instead tries to implement what is already strong on the console versions. Instead, Dead Space for the iPad is a bloody mess … and by bloody, I mean bloody. The core mechanics are still in place, but what went wrong with the Dead Space iPad debut?
Dead Space is a story of Vandal, an engineer who is sent on a dangerous mission that will eventually release the Necromorphs. Does it seem to resemble any other story lines in the Dead Space series? Yes it does, but think of this as a prequel to the very first game. The greatest thing about the game’s story is the constant referencing of characters and events that happen in the console versions that we love. Many of the core mechanics return, and dismemberment becomes a huge factor in this version, unfortunately it doesn’t work the way we would want it to. In the console versions when you are surrounded by Necromorphs, you back yourself into a corner and fight and dismember as fast as your can. In the iPad version, you find yourself constantly tapping the screen to shoot, and a majority of the time your aim is completely off.
A lot of your favorite weapons are back such as the plasma cutter and chainsaw gun. The HUD is seeing some changes as well. The health meter that normally appears on the back of Issac is still there but instead of it being a system that look almost like a liquid tube it is just a solid glowing health meter. Much like the health meter that appears in iPad games such as Street Fighter.
The horror has been stripped from the Dead Space iPad game and seems more like a bloody third-person action game with cheap thrills. The controls are handled with virtual twin sticks that appear on the bottom of the screen which makes the game virtually impossible to play when surrounded by enemies. I found myself dying an awful lot during the game because the camera does not respond the best with the touch screen, and dismembering enemies does not seem to work as well as it does in the console versions. The powers seem to work well on iPad, but are a bit difficult on the iPhone, due in large part to the iPad‘s massive screen, so using telekinesis works better since aiming is easier.
( It really does look this good )
Some may wonder how the environments look. Sad thing is, they are repetitive and seem to be recycled throughout the game. Honestly, I believe they all look similar on purpose, and the corridors are very narrow. Instead of having the digital compass that appears at your feet when you hit an thumb-stick button, there is a virtual compass that appears on your HUD. This helps to minimize any frustration you may get for navigating through the levels. The environments are detailed nicely and have some excellent lighting.
The Final Truth:
Dead Space is a stunning piece of art for the iOS device. The environments look good and detailed, if not a little too similar to each other. Sometimes I asked myself whether I had visited that particular kill room before. The controls work well enough, but aiming and dismembering left me frustrated after a little while. It seemed like the reaction time just wasn’t there. The story was interesting and I liked the fact that it was indeed a separate storyline from the console versions, and actually was a prequel to the original game. So if you are looking for a solid experience on your mobile device, Dead Space is a decent enough game. There are some better games out there that are cheaper, but if you have played them already then Dead Space is worth a look.
[xrr label=”Rating: 7.5/10″ rating=7.5/10]
+ Solid Environments
+ Solid Story
+ Excellent Lighting
+ Favorite weapons are in the game
– Textures are a bit weak
– Frame-rate drops when enemies appear on screen
– Dismembering becomes an issue