Forum > Gaming Discussion > Dead Space Extraction impressions: I think it's time to forgive EA
Dead Space Extraction impressions: I think it's time to forgive EA
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Sat, 05 Dec 2009 21:38:50
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EDGE Magazine said:
The title of Best On-Rails Gun Game Ever isn't the most prestigious, so let's try this; Dead Space Extraction is the Citizen Kane of on-rails gun games, or at the very least the Towering Inferno. But where other on-rails games sit comfortably within walls that have existed since Virtua Cop, Extraction thrashes about until the walls buckle. It's better designed, writen, acted & directed than 99% of any genre's games.

An on-rails shooter it may be, but those rails are a work of art. With barely a pause for breath they plunge, bank and sometimes even break, launching you into the unknown before you crash onto a new, entirely unexpected course.

Dead Space was a meticulously engineered survival horror, and the creepiest thing about Extraction is the ease with which it pulls that apart and rebuilds it as something else.

Extraction is not just a gun game that happens to work on Wii; it's a gun game that couldn't work on anything else. Meanwhile, it's sharp writing, multinational cast and knockout looks, which owe a lot to some very moody lighting, lend it a multiplex charm that more than makes up for one notable foul-up; a poorly signposted boss battle.

I think it's time we all bit the bullet on this one. I think you know how I've bitched about it. How I've stomped my foot, or scoffed at the developers insistence on calling this a "guided first person experience".

After actually getting the game home and having played the original on my 360 I can actually eat some crow and say that, yeah.... like the majority of reviews have said: this is good stuff.

I'm not going to give you really detailed impressions till I've played some more, but what I can say is that this IS the dead space experience, its the same world, atmosphere, story, visuals, even mechanics. It's not a lightgun game, it's paced like an interactive movie. It has stellar production values and polish, perhaps being the best looking game on the system (ignore the screens) many reviews said that RE Darkside Chronicles doesn't look as good as Extraction.

And it piles on subtle layers of depth, like a Gears of war reload mechanic, or even using the same telekenesis and stasis powers of the first game. More impressive is the world it presents, if we can say that the story in Dead Space was a grain of sand, the story in Extraction is like a whole beach. There is more dialogue in the very first mission than the entirety of Dead Space.

It loses the isolated fear and exploration of that game but gains much more in the interaction with multiple characters and the crumbling terror of the post marker chaos.

Also, as someone who has played hours of HD Dead Space in all its glory and detail, the visuals still regularly impress. Seeing how Call of Duty MW REFLEX and Extraction both tend to thrust characters point blank in your face the difference is hugely telling, seeing it made from the ground up.

Also the gameplay isn't traditional lightgun, the ammo is finite and your shots matter. The only weapon with infinite ammo is the rivet gun and that has 4 bullets. It can take that much to get the limbs off one monster.

No it doesn't have the nostalgia and familiarity of Umbrella Chronicles or the hilarity, style and pacing of Overkill, but Extraction is a unique entity unto itself and well worth getting if you like the franchise. So far it seems like Dead Space 1, minus the hassle and with bags more personality.


EA made a big mistake by making an on rails game in the first place but the end product, once you get past that fact, is very high quality.

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Sat, 05 Dec 2009 21:52:43
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The released screens come nowhere close to showing how nice it looks on an SD set at home. IGN has some pretty great footage but they've changed everything to lo-fi unless you're a subscriber now so you wont find decent footage anywhere.

The screens below is the game running on the Dolphin emulator. They are exactly the same graphics, only sharper with the resolution boost.

It's not as gory and it doesn't have the shader effects, but the art, lighting and some reflections here and there do a great job of simulating the look of the first game. And the dynamic camera and detailed face animation give the game a very cinematic look.

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Edited: Sat, 05 Dec 2009 22:04:02

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Sun, 06 Dec 2009 00:26:31
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Interesting impressions. I definitely want to try it cause I enjoyed Dead Space. I bet it will look like ass on my TV. Nyaa
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Sun, 06 Dec 2009 02:40:07
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Those screenshots do look great!

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Sun, 06 Dec 2009 12:36:31
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Well I came across an annoying thing. The problem is that the necromorphs are more unpredictable. Even though you aiming via IR is of course more accurate, they have changed the behaviour of the enemies to match. They no longer amble slowly towards you and sometimes they have this bad habit of jerking their bodies unexpectedly and IMO unfairly in the opposite direction to avoid your blasts.

You can use the stasis ability to circumvent that, but you can only use it a few times and it runs out. I have to say the pacing of the shooting hasn't been altered at all. You dont really get that fast and snappy lightgun experience where you have ammo to spare and can rock it up Overkill style.

This game is like Dead Space, frugal with ammo.

It's also harder to make out the enemies in the dark and the glow stick is annoying. Why? Well because you get it and yet you can only use it in certain areas and yet there is no indication of when you are suppossed to use it. So five minutes after getting it you assume you can use it throughout the level. Nope, you shake and nothing happens even when you want the extra light to look at something.

On the pacing, it's on rails, yet its not a lightgun game. The pacing is completely different. It's.......... a guided experience.


Dvader said:
Interesting impressions. I definitely want to try it cause I enjoyed Dead Space. I bet it will look like ass on my TV. Nyaa

I tried it on an HDTV. It loses that dense, rich look, notably becoming less vivid, more jaggy and loses some definition. It holds up reasonably though. Character models take a hit as their clothing does not match the attention lavished on the facial animation.

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Sun, 06 Dec 2009 14:23:02
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i don't think i would like it.  not getting this, or darkside chronicles for anything more than a tenner.  and even at that price i may still hesitate

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Sun, 06 Dec 2009 17:39:42
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EA has been redeeming themselves for a while now. However, I do not personally consider Extraction a shooter. For every one minute of action, there's four minutes of talking and reading-- at least in the first five levels I've experienced. 'Makes me pretty bitter, coming out the era of Area 51-brand on-rail games.
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Mon, 07 Dec 2009 02:45:16
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Damn, your impressions actually make ti soudn kinda interesting!

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Mon, 07 Dec 2009 10:26:46
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Coopersville said:
EA has been redeeming themselves for a while now. However, I do not personally consider Extraction a shooter. For every one minute of action, there's four minutes of talking and reading-- at least in the first five levels I've experienced. 'Makes me pretty bitter, coming out the era of Area 51-brand on-rail games.

Yeah, its not your typical shooter, either light gun or FPS. It's paced like the first Dead Space game. I mean you know something is different when you pick up logs and start reading, or have to open doors manually or listen to the characters interacting.

It's like an interactive movie almost. It's a shame that its not 3rd person like RE4 because the attention lavished on the environments could make it really great version in this franchise. You dont have the freedom to move and pick your spots to take down the enemy. Or get that thrill of finding a little room stocked with items or a weapons bench.

But the game has its advantages, its just a much better realised and populated universe than the original, with bags more story and even more entertainment. Being two player is also a plus.

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Tue, 08 Dec 2009 11:43:02

Played up to mission 5. Game is suprising me with its quality all the time. The pacing is great too and the voice acting and story is pretty high level for a videogame.

Going back to check the level select I can see that I have loved pretty much every level so far.

The game lets you keep 4 weapons assigned to the control stick directions.

Funny bit was using a turret in the ship approaching the Ishimura. It was completely LOL inducing how much faster and more intuitive and more fun it was to use IR to shoot down space debris compared to the original.

Another funny thing is that the space suits look somewhat like Captain Olimar's in Pikmin.

Anyhow, keep it coming because the game is very high quality so far and nails the Dead Space experience. Wish there was more enemy variety though, but there didn't seem to be that much variety in the first game either. Also the game tells you when to use the gloworm so I can put that criticism to the side.... for now.

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Tue, 08 Dec 2009 14:46:25

This is cool, check this out, nice trailer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7PFW2hXjd8

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Mon, 14 Dec 2009 12:35:51

Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice.

This will be noteworthy to people who have played the original Dead Space, Vader, Steel, Archie etc.

Since you are playing on the Ishimura before Isaac got there you get to see the same environments. Only instead of having empty husks filled with demons you get to see what was there before, what happened before, the people, the stories, the chaos. How everything came to be.

It has a time-bending aspect to it. For instance in the first game you might have to find a power cell to plug into a wall to open a door in the medical lab.

In Extraction you find out that it was you that pulled that very same cell from the wall to lock to door to a horde of incoming monsters. Very cool.

Also the environments although less detailed are pretty much on par with the original. Man, coming around a corner to the metro train with all your characters and then jumping down onto the train lines, that is something to behold. Because you've been there before as Isaac and now you are seeing how it all was before. Spooky cool.

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Sun, 20 Dec 2009 18:21:24


Played the final few chapters, ooohhh plot twist. And yes, in the logs it explains what is happening and why with regards to the marker.

Oh, the game uses normal mapping on the character faces about halfway through the game to the end, looks very nice and detailed. In fact the facial animation is better than Fallout 3, the mo-cap in general and animation is better too.

Unfortunately I am stuck on the final boss, he is shite and annoying and wont seem to die. What makes it worse is that there is no life bar so I cant tell when he is being hurt. I exhaust all my ammo and it goes on ad nauseum. Really fucking annoying. And the last level is butt numbingly long for this sort of game and with no mid-way save point it just becomes annoying that I sat through like 40 minutes and couldn't beat the boss.

If it ends after this guy I'm going to have to taper my praise for the game as I think it may be a little short if its going to end where I think its going to end.

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Mon, 21 Dec 2009 00:04:07

gamingeek said:

Oh, the game uses normal mapping on the character faces about halfway through the game to the end, looks very nice and detailed. In fact the facial animation is better than Fallout 3, the mo-cap in general and animation is better too.

Why didn't they use normal mapping through the entire game? Sounds kinda lazy to only use it for half.


Edited: Mon, 21 Dec 2009 00:05:31

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Mon, 21 Dec 2009 12:55:20

Ravenprose said:

gamingeek said:

Oh, the game uses normal mapping on the character faces about halfway through the game to the end, looks very nice and detailed. In fact the facial animation is better than Fallout 3, the mo-cap in general and animation is better too.

Why didn't they use normal mapping through the entire game? Sounds kinda lazy to only use it for half.


Well it's used to give the character faces a sweaty, glistening look. And it makes sense as it happens once they hit the sewers and get more and more exhausted and exherted throughout the game.

The environments though, I mean this is the Ishimura and there are many parts that are faithfully recreated from the HD game and it looks damned fine considering the comparison. What this game doesn't do so well is organic matter, which is strange because if they merely applied the same mapping and reflection on the organic matter as they do on the character faces it would look much better.

Anyhow, what's here is great but if it ends after this boss its going to be a short game, about 5 and a half hours long, which is such a shame. We'll see.

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Mon, 21 Dec 2009 18:23:48

Finished the game.

It ended about 25 minutes after the boss. Not bad but the game is too short for me to reccomend at full price.

What's there is good, through the roof production values, great voice acting, some of the best facial animation and mo cap I've seen. Decent aiming mechanics, interesting pacing.

But when it ends so soon the game just isn't worth full price admission. The thing is, that it's not like HOTD Overkill which is so rauceously entertaining you can replay the levels endlessly, being fast and snappy. It's not 12hrs worth of RE Umbrella Chronicles.

If you replay a level in Extraction the chapters are broken up by long stretches of dialogue, or slowly moving through pipes. It's a game you will play through once, maybe twice but probably not something you can plug in for a lightgun rush.

So overally, maybe 8.0 but ONLY because of the length. It could easily have been much higher.

Get it at a lower price.

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Mon, 21 Dec 2009 18:40:06

gamingeek said:

Get it at a lower price.

Or don't. Nyaa

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Mon, 21 Dec 2009 18:56:56

SteelAttack said:

gamingeek said:

Get it at a lower price.

Or don't. Nyaa

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Mon, 21 Dec 2009 18:57:47
LOL What's with you and felids today?
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Mon, 21 Dec 2009 19:29:45

SteelAttack said:
LOL What's with you and felids today?

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