Few experiences have been as remarkable as the one I lived playing Dead Space, I have seen many horror movies and played games like Outlast, but nothing left me with such a bad feeling as the story told in DEAD SPACE.
As I progressed, I noticed small subtleties that made me persist in my efforts to reach the end despite the bad experience I was living.
“Follow me through this trip to the darkest shades of this horrible game in which I will try to unravel the things that have been hidden”.
Influences of science fiction movies in DEAD SPACE
As soon as you arrive at the ISHIMURA you know something is not going well, you can find bags everywhere that indicate the short time that the workers had to respond to the infection. We find texts written with blood on the walls that alert us to the threat but what really fascinates me is how ironic are the advertising wallpapers that adorn the common rooms with information for the miners. It seems that the whole incident was expected.
We could say that the main influences that the cinema contributed to Dead Space are Alien, The Thing and Event Horizon. In the 1990’s there was a movement of science fiction films that explored the cosmic terror, and Dead Space is the great tribute that this event deserves. I felt the fear of Ellen Ripley every time I ran from the Necromorphs and the isolation of The Thing, the feeling that what is chasing you is not of this world and that it doesn’t need to rest.
The ship feels hostile, not only because of the recent events, but because it is dark and sterile. It reminds me of the areas of a ship where the engines are located. It is a infertile place in which the designers wanted to express the paranoia towards the technology that was reflected in the art of the 1990’s and 2000’s. The list of influences that this game carries behind itself is very long, going through Matrix or Ghost in The Shell to those previously mentioned.
The monsters once were human
None of this should have happened, but it did. You are ALONE, as in so many other games. But here you are not a hero. You are not Samus Aran or the Master Chief, just an engineer who is looking for his girlfriend inside a colossal ship infested with monsters that seem to be taken from the most sadistic Lovecraftian story.
I stopped to think a bit and I came to the conclusion that what they are trying to teach us here is that even if you kill for survival, you are killing. Necromorphs were human not long ago. That dismembered corpse that lays on the ground, had dreams. Just like you. Is not this a way to release some dark desire to kill other people? Video games have been doing it for decades, dehumanizing your enemies so you do not think that what you do is wrong. Is that why the protagonist wears a mask? Do you try to satisfy your fantasies through the suffering of this man? This also happens in Hotline Miami and although in that case the criticism of violence is more palpable it is still real.
Finally the game justifies the necromorphs issue with the religious cliche of The Effigy. All of this is a divine plan and nonsense. Although I like it because in the end we found out that the effigy was created by humans but it’s still a cliche.
Something curious happened to me in the middle of the game: my fear disappeared and was replaced by a kind of murderous apathy. I knew they would come to hunt me again and again, but I was desensitized. The effigy and Nicole did not matter anymore for me. Just survive.
I finished the game while it was dawn, I lay down on my bed and as the sun peeked through the curtains I thought about the horrible experience I had just finished. I thought about my sisters and how I wanted them to never have to live something like this. It may sound exaggerated but it affected me a lot. To finish this opinion, the conclusion I draw from all this is that Dead Space does not try to innovate at the level of gameplay or graphic but philosophically. This goes on how you would react to perhaps the worst possible experience. Nothing will ever be the same again.
They haven’t got eyes, but they can see me.