When I was a kid some developer realized that with the advent of the 2x CD-ROM drive you could stream really tiny, really crappy video off the CD onto a PC. This lead to an explosion of universally-terrible “interactive movie” games like The Journeyman Project and Spaceship Warlock. Though the genre probably contributed to the advent of good games like The 7th Guest, Phantasmagoria, and Myst, there were a couple of years where the genre was entirely crap. One of these games was called The C.H.A.O.S. Continuum, and it was yet another click-randomly-until-you-win type of game. I saw an awesome, one line review for The C.H.A.O.S. Continuum at the time that simply read, “Great graphics, but where’s the game?”
Dead Space isn’t that bad by any stretch of the imagination, but it reminds me of The C.H.A.O.S. Continuum. The production value for Dead Space is off the charts, the game play is fun, and there are some neat innovations to be found in the game. It’s just that the whole thing is so slick that you can pretty much zone out and play it through without the need to think anything through. It makes sense to me that the next Dead Space game will be an on-rails shooter; the first sort of felt like that to me as well.
Dead Space is a good game, but it’s not a fantastic game. At least, I don’t think so. You can read about it in my full review.