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E308: Dead Space hands on

It's the survival horror game that really hasn't been able to garner too much attention this year, but after getting a chance to play it at EA's booth during E3, we're more confident than ever that the buzz machine surrounding the title will be kicking in pretty soon. We're of course talking about Dead Space, EA's twisted sci-fi horror game that isn't only beautiful artistically, but also offers equally stunning gameplay and innovative gameplay elements to match. Click on to read our Dead Space impressions

Gallery: Dead Space

Heading into the Dead Space play session we were admittedly excited seeing that it was one of our top E3 games to check out while at the show. Though, going into this, we were worried about how the game would actually play and whether or not it had to offer anything new to the genre. We had our reservations and were prepared to be underwhelmed. But there was no need for our worrying ways, because Dead Space is a game that will deliver not only in gameplay, but atmosphere, mood, storyline and graphics. It's nearly, if not already, a complete package.

Walking around the environment, the first thing that'll catch your eye is the game's stunningly gorgeous visuals and the sheer amount of detail. The next thing you'll notice is that there is absolutely no HUD in Dead Space. Never, never, ever will you see a chunk of HUD on your screen. Instead, the dev team made it so everything including your health and ammo count are viewable on the character itself. When a menu needs to pop-up or inventory needs to be accessed, a blue hologram window appears within the game itself, thus allowing you to view the menu in an almost 3D style experience. The third thing that struck us was how truly visceral and gory the game gets. Because blood does and will fly.

See, one of the premier features of Dead Space's gameplay experience is its dismemberment and how it affects the flow of the game itself. You have to shoot off the icky monsters' crab-like arms, legs and heads all the while their screams echo through the halls as they crawl after you. And it just works. Dead Space just feels solid and already it has a fine layer of polish applied. Using superpowers like Stasis, the varied weapons and even the environment, you'll be chopping off limbs, decapitating bodies and spurting blood from wall to wall. Then there's the flamethrower which comes with the added bonus of seeing your monstrous foes explode in an fireball of goo that, even though this is hard for us to admit, may actually be better than Gears of War 2's fire effect. No joke. Speaking of Gears, Dead Space borrowed the curb stomp, giving you the ability to crush some icky alien skulls with your boot.

Everything considered, EA has developed a winner in Dead Space. Just take into account the gruesome gameplay, iconic character and intriguing gameplay mechanics and you've got a delightful sci-fi horror experience. And we didn't even mention the game's weightlessness mechanic, the hand activated floor map or the game's intriguing storyline. Keep a watchful eye for Dead Space in the months to come, watch the trailers and seriously consider a purchase if you're looking for a grade A sci-fi horror game in 2008. The game speaks for itself, we've officially been turned into Dead Space believers.

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