Dead Space is an interesting franchise that, for better or for worse, consists only of three main games, plus an additional three spin-off titles.

The original is a horror classic that was obviously heavily inspired by Resident Evil 4, and the series as a whole developed in a somewhat similar manner i.e. it started out as slower-paced survival horror only to pivot to a more marketable action-oriented approach in the later installments.

Today, we’ll be providing a brief overview of all the six Dead Space games released so far.

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    Main Series

    In the first section, we have the three main games – Dead Space, Dead Space 2, and Dead Space 3. Despite what you might think, all three games are very different from one another, regardless of the fact that they all came out within a 5-year window from 2008 to 2013.

    Dead Space

    Dead Space

    Release date: October 13, 2008

    Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

    The first Dead Space game is one of the true horror gems of gaming and is a definite must-play for horror fans, as it does almost everything right.

    The game features a masterful blend of gore, body horror, and cosmic horror elements, all of which come together to make for a very distinct and memorable gaming experience. Dead Space takes place on a derelict mining spaceship known as the USG Ishimura, and it does a great job of pulling you in with claustrophobic environments, superb sound design, grotesque enemies, and a HUD that is cleverly implemented into the protagonist’s (Isaac’s) suit, something that greatly helps with immersion.

    Something that really stood out about Dead Space is the fact that it lacks conventional weapons that we’re used to seeing in games like this. Apart from an assault rifle, Isaac has an array of industrial mining tools at his disposal that he can use to dismember enemies. This is yet another highlight of the game i.e. the fact that the player needs to strategically dismember necromorphs in order to stop them, using appropriate “tools” to solve different types of undead “problems”.

    Dead Space Game

    The game is played from a third-person perspective, using an OTS camera just like Resident Evil 4. Apart from that, there are other obvious RE influences in Dead Space, such as the way the controls, the inventory and supply management, and some narrative themes, among other things. However, while Resident Evil 4 has many over-the-top cheesy moments, Dead Space took itself way more seriously, and it has some highly disturbing and harrowing moments.

    Ultimately, Dead Space received excellent reviews across the board, and it definitely deserved those. The game does what it sets out to do, and it does it incredibly well. Sure, there might be some tedious and clunky segments and the game could get a bit repetitive after a while, but as a whole, Dead Space is an essential gaming experience for horror fans.

    Dead Space 2

    Dead Space 2

    Release date: January 25, 2011

    Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

    The success of the first game meant that a sequel was inevitable, and so Dead Space 2 dropped just over two years later.

    However, it was obvious that Dead Space 2 was trying to reach a wider audience, as it was a more fast-paced game that put action before atmosphere and survival horror. But that is not to say that it’s a bad game – quite the contrary, Dead Space 2 is still a great game through and through, it’s just that it took a somewhat different direction.

    The game includes a selection of new weapons and it takes place on a populated space station known as the Sprawl, and this new setting allows for environments much more interesting and diverse than the oppressive claustrophobia of the USG Ishimura that could get stale at times.

    Dead Space 2 Game

    Moreover, don’t think that Dead Space 2 turned down the shock factor – it actually features some sequences and enemies that easily outdo the original in the brutality department. As such, it still feels like Dead Space, even though it’s not as slow and tense for most of the campaign.

    All in all, Dead Space 2 was a very competent sequel that expanded upon the gameplay mechanics of the original in several meaningful ways, all the while pushing the story in an interesting direction. True, it may have a very different feel compared to its predecessor, but as far as we’re concerned, it is just as good as the first Dead Space – maybe even better, depending on your tastes.

    Dead Space 3

    Dead Space 3

    Release date: February 5, 2013

    Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

    And then it all fell apart like a necromorph hit by a Handheld Graviton Accelerator. When Dead Space 3 came out, it was met with disappointment among the series’ fans, and for a number of good reasons.

    For one, Dead Space 3 was going towards a full-on flashy action movie approach, making the game feel more like a Dead Space skin slapped onto a generic TPS game with space zombies rather than an authentic Dead Space experience.

    Dead Space 3 saw the introduction of a cover system, human enemies, a co-op mode, all the while it severely toned down the gore and the horror aspect of the game. On top of that, the story felt bland and uninspired compared to the first two titles, something that ends up undermining the climax which would have worked remarkably well if only the third game hadn’t gone so hard off the rails.

    Dead Space 3 Game

    Granted, Dead Space 3 is not entirely without merit. It featured an interesting new weapon customization system and it can actually be fairly fun if we look at it simply as a regular co-op action game rather than a Dead Space game.

    Unfortunately, poor sales led to the series being put on ice and the studio, Visceral Games, got shut down in 2017, leaving the future of the franchise in limbo. As to whether you should play the third game, it’s entirely up to you. You might enjoy it, but if you’re looking for more of what the first two games had to offer, you won’t find it in Dead Space 3.

    Spin-Off Games

    Now, we get to the three spin-off Dead Space titles, all three of which are quite distinct though none ended up being as popular as the main series.

    Dead Space: Extraction

    Dead Space Extraction

    Release date: September 24, 2009

    Platforms: Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3

    Dead Space: Extraction is a prequel to the original Dead Space, and it is a rail shooter developed primarily for the Wii. Being a Wii title, it’s obvious that the game made thorough use of motion controls, and it was actually met with positive reviews upon release. However, as good as it was, it was still a rail shooter originally confined to the Wii, so it sadly ended up not being very popular.

    Dead Space Ignition

    Dead Space Ignition

    Release date: October 12, 2010

    Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

    Ignition takes place during the events of Dead Space 2, although it is a puzzle game rather than an action game. The gameplay revolves entirely around hacking-themed logical puzzles, which is a far cry from what Dead Space is known for.

    Overall, the game was criticized for being too simplistic and feeling too much like a set of minigames rather than an actual standalone game tied to a very popular survival horror game filled with action and gore.

    Dead Space

    Dead Space Spin Off Games

    Release date: January 25, 2011

    Platforms: iOS, Android, BlackBerry 10, BlackBerry Tablet OS, Xperia Play

    And finally, we have the mobile game known simply as “Dead Space” which was released back in 2011 for a variety of mobile platforms, including iOS, Android, and BlackBerry devices, as well as Sony’s short-lived Xperia Play phone/handheld console hybrid device.

    Now, though we might associate mobile games with generic low-quality cash-grabs today, the 2011 mobile Dead Space game was actually met with positive reviews across the board, as it did a great job of bringing a true Dead Space experience to mobile platforms that relied mainly on limited touchscreen controls.

    Sadly, it’s an old game and it was pulled from both the App Store and the Play Store, though if you’re using Android, you might be able to get it running by installing an .apk from a third-party site.

    Conclusion

    Dead Space Game Series

    And there you have it, all the Dead Space games released so far! While the future of the franchise remains dubious, the series’ creator did express interest in developing a new Dead Space game. As he put it, he would probably ignore all the lore introduced in Dead Space 2 and 3.

    Sadly, EA still owns the Dead Space IP, so the chances of a new Dead Space game being made are slim right now. There’s no guarantee that this won’t change in the future, but as things are now, the likelihood of there being a Dead Space 4 or any kind of reboot is low.

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