Come Play With Me: Dead Space Extraction Part 1

Due to the general time constraints of normal socially adjusted people, there’s barely enough time to play games let alone write about them. This is my disclaimer for this particularly navel gazing part 1 playthrough of Dead Space Extraction by squeezing out the most words with the least play time. In the industry, this is called 'reviewing games'. That and I loved the Runner series on Mirror’s Edge. Feel free to pick up a copy of this game and join in. Chip in with your thoughts. Also, it’s fair to say this is gonna be spoilerific. This article was written after two playthroughs of the first level.

Dead Space extraction who are those four guys
Prologue.
I’m an old fashioned kinda gal. I still like to buy games from shops and I like my hard copy games to have a story associated with them. The story of Dead Space Extraction starts last year sometime. I’d played Dead Space in an idle half an hour on a friend’s console and after that I knew I liked it. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t play the first half and hour. I played a random half an hour of my friend’s save game. For most of that half an hour I stacked body parts, a bucket and other random items into a hole in the wall that I was supposed to put a plug into. I then tried to put the plug in but it was already filled with body parts and buckets and things. But the fact that I could put body parts and buckets into a hole in the wall was a big plus for me. The bits in zero G and the feeling of isolation in space won me over.

Later last year I picked up Dead Space Downfall because it was cheap and watched it. It wasn't hideous. However, love for bucket stacking and gory anime aside this was not why I eventually picked up Extraction.

I picked up Dead Space Extraction because my girlfriend spent obscene amount of money on books last weekend. So rather than get mad I decided to frivolously, guilt free buy a video game. Armed with disposable cash and intent I went to a game retailer. £40 for the Metroid Prime Trilogy with a box in a foreign language? Too much. £50 for Wii Sports Resort is still a bit steep. Super Mario Galaxy 2, Silent Hill Shattered Memories for just over £40? No way. I wanted to spend money but not enough to undo the moral smugness I was already enjoying over my girlfriends overspending. Then I saw her. Dead Space Extraction for £15. Still a bit pricey compared to online but what the hey. That and this copy had “E3 2009 One to Watch” sticker on the front. And I hate forgetting good games after E3 has had its way with them .

I almost immediately regretted my purchase. Because I was in lands a-foreign, the spine has a yellow triangle opposed to the lovely greens that foot the Wii shelf. That and the spine font is not the standard (see more shelf-based angst here) it is some kind of stylised bullshit. However, despite these serious misgivings, I persisted with it.

Playthrough.
You start the game as Sam Caldwell. You know this because your girlfriend Lexine awkwardly refers to you by your full name twice in the intimate video call in the first couple of minutes. Just so, you know, know what your name is. Classic video game technique. 'Lexy' is kind of hot. She wears too much make up fo’ sho’ and her accent is kind of Scottish sometimes. However, she seems very nice and doesn’t mind a bit of v-log flirting. She is very well animated, a bit robotic but she has some nice gestures. If I was a massive cunt I would write about the Uncanny Valley right now because that’s what arseholes do. Can’t wait to finish my shift so I can bone her tonight! Is what Sam is presumably thinking.

GAME TITLE SCREEN

I then meet two goon colleagues. An Asian looking man called Eagan and a fat faced man. Both are also Scottish. The dialogue is a bit buddy buddy hammy Mcbuddy but it sets the scene. Sam mentions Lexine again which means I was right about the boning she’s gonna get later. Then, Sam all of a sudden becomes Gordon Freeman and has to go to work. All of his colleagues are British which means they must be bad guys or something. Working, doing some riveting. The marker is much smaller than in the film but the music suggests the marker might be bad? I was wrong about everyone being British. Everyone is in fact a massive geeza wideboy. Sam really is Gordon Freeman because he goes down a walkway and pretty much FUBARs everything by moving a trolley. Holding the zapper gangsta for alt fire is cool. Sadly I cannot shoot my work colleagues. Boo. OH SHIT. I made a black hole. Everyone is swearing. The big bulkheads make a noise like the doors in Aliens. Scary whispering is probably “the wind”.

On the way to stopping a black hole by fixing a gravity dismomerer I have found a file. According to Doctor Kyne, I looks like the Marker could herald a new dawn for humanity. Cool. Things that herald in new eras for humanity always work well without a hitch at all. This game is gonna be short.

Sounds like someone is wanking in the next room. More swearing. We best go and check. More swearing, this time the F word. A man seems to be play fighting with a woman. Good prank guys. Oh. Not playing. He’s been axing her. S’alright, fat face is threatening to shoot him if he comes any closer. I’m sure this is just a minor misunderstanding. She probably deserved it. Security will come down and arrest Tenko, we’ll fix this black hole thing. Lexine boning here I come.

Fat face is a loser. He riveted Tenko but that just made him angry. He attacked Fatty and then started punching me. So I blew his head off. Eagan and Fatty are a bit disturbed by this but they seem okay with it. I guess a black hole is more pressing than the fact I just murdered a murderer. It was in self defense, they both saw it. Speaking of saws I took Tenko’s rock saw seeing as he doesn’t need it anymore.

Oh shit. Tenko’s twin brother and his mate are pissed. I riveted them both to death. Tenko’s leg came off before his head did. His mate was harder to take down. Again. Self defense. Two pussy witnesses who so far haven’t shot anyone in self defense will testify to that.

Okay Tenko’s brother’s mate also has a twin. Is everyone a twin down here? I don’t know if he was going to attack me or not but based on recent trends I am claiming self defense again. Eagan and Fat face seem positively not bothered by my new career as a serial-defense-only-killer. Neither has said anything about flying limbs or head explosions. They must be desensitised to it already.

Why do I have to do everything? It’s worse than being Parker. Cut this Sam, keep going Sam. Pick up this Sam. Shut up Lexine, you aren’t even here.

A woman just knifed herself to death in front of us. Probably in self defense. I did say “Stop! Don’t do this!” after the second time. She was laughing though. Who am I to spoil somebody’s fun? Cooper, one of the wideboys up on the surface just radioed. I thought it best not to tell him about the mentalists twins and the suicide girl so I just called it ‘strange shit’. Cooper doesn’t like excuses and that black hole must be nearly ready now. Eagan says “They are coming” as does a disembodied voice. Fat face goes to check out voicey. Let’s hope he doesn’t have to murder anyone in self defense because he hasn’t fired a fucking bullet since grazing Tenko. Eagan keeps going on about death. Fucking Emo. He’s giving me a hard time about Tenko but I can’t help thinking maybe Tenko is called “The Chenk”. I can’t work it out. I’l ask later. God Lexine is going to be pissed if I don’t get back in time.

It’s all gone to shit. First Eagan. Or is it Egon? Anyway. First he drops his rivet gun then starts babbling. I self defense another 3 mentalists. Then Eagan (in self defense). Despite being headless Eagan continues to talk to me. Cooper phones again. Fortunately, the reception is so bad he doesn’t hear me explain about my self defense techniques. Finally at the gravity do-dar fixing place. Another two mentalists. I try to explain the fact that I’m trying to help them after blowing off both of his arms in self defense when they’re on the other side of the room. They don't seem to believe me. Oh well, now we know that tactic doesn’t work. I might try telling them before I blow limbs off next time. Lexine tells me she’s scared even though she isn’t here. Lets not talk about that.

Fortunately, Cooper briefs me about stasis modules literally seconds before I find one. What are the chances? Gravity thingy fixed via a Metroid Prime moment. Time to bone Lexine, although I’m probably going to have to write a report about my defense techniques. Hope it doesn’t take too long.

Lexine blueprints. It says nothing here about her odd Scottishness
God! Lexine video calls me at the worst moment. I tell her about Eagan. I’m not going to mention the other 20 guys. She’d get all angry. Call me a murderer. A sure-fire cock block. I just say things are “pretty bad”. Turns out I’m off the hook! She only called me because the air conditioning or something has failed. The air conditioning centre is fortunately right near here so I’ll fix it no worries. Looks like badly-packed Scottish kebab is back on the menu.

I’ve gotten really good at defending myself now. One of the latest ones didn’t even see me before I’d kneecapped her. Found a really interesting file about planetary mining. Shut up Eagan you’re still dead already.

Fixed the air conditioning. According to the audio log of yet anuvva geeza it’s been on the blink for a while. You just can’t get the staff these days. Lexy just called. She must be sopping by now… EAGAN GET OFF THE VIDEO PHONE. Eagan is still a massive emo prick.

Oh great. Fat face decides that a great survival trick is to walk around like a mentalist twin and now I've accidentally self defensed him with a box. To death. What did he expect? I’ll just say Eagan did it. Fat face goes all emo talking about death and them and stuff. I can't tell if he is being serious of if he is taking the piss out of Eagan.

Shit. Mentalist central. Voices in my head. Fortunately the lift is on the way. If I can defend myself long enough...

Mother fucker. Shot. Shot by a guy in a coat. But I’m the good guy? I fixed the air conditioning. I stopped the black hole? I was supposed to be the hero. Ah dammit. I’ll never get to bone Lexine.

Epilogue
Overall, not too bad at all. I was impressed. I had middling expectations. It is a bit slow paced but it’s just the first chapter. The whole ‘everyone turning on you’ fear mechanic herein abbreviated to the Thing thing may be a bit hammy but it does make a refreshing change from the common zombie/alien/monster business. Where the first level sets the scene with the protagonist gunning down hundreds of zombie/alien/monsters whilst asking ridiculous questions like. What are they? There were some nice touches as well so after you get shot the dude who shoots you says ‘He wasn’t even armed?’ and ‘he killed all his crew’. What does that even mean? I thought I had a gun and I was only down there for five minutes. My crew? Is thqt Eagan and Fat Face or everyone down here? I genuinely thought I only killed ten or so people. Statistics screen says 27, desensitised to murder much? Had I been mad from the beginning? Who knows. I hope it isn’t explained at all.I like the fact that Sam died despite saving the day a la the every-hero. I genuinely thought he was on a trajectory through the game. If he does die that is. Maybe this is the ending. Or a flash forward. Who are the coat guys? I’m looking forward to chapter 2.

What are your thoughts?

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