Dead Space: Extraction Review

EA’s sci-fi horror shooter infests the Wii. Is it worth a return visit to the USG Ishimura?

By Edwin Evans-Thirlwell, October 17, 2009

Squint hard and it looks just as good as the original.

Squint hard and it looks just as good as the original.

There’s the same emphasis on mixing and matching alternate fires, now toggled by twisting the Wii remote 90 degrees, to put down different breeds/quantities of Necromorph. Stasis is back, letting you freeze one bogey briefly in place with “C” to ease the business of dismemberment, or effect a tactically advantageous traffic jam. If the latter, you might follow up by tossing an explosive cylinder into the mob with your Kinesis ability, mapped to “A”.

Kinesis, Half-Life 2′s Gravity Gun in all but name, is also used to scoop up the ammo packs, text logs and weapons the game darts before your eyes as it wanders from gloomy, ominous corridor to gloomy, ominous corridor. With the shooting struggling to enthrall, item collection is by far Extraction’s most edge-of-the-seat aspect: what feeble scares the Necromorph can muster are nothing to the kleptomaniacal misery that creeps in when a Contact Beam slips through your fingers.

Oh look, one of the NPCs is trying to help out. Bless.

Oh look, one of the NPCs is trying to help out. Bless.

There are the obligatory palette-cleansing puzzles, players riveting barricades together with charged shots, or guiding streams of energy around holographic circuit boards. Very occasionally you’re given the pick of two routes through an area, one richer in collectables (or monsters) than the other.

Drop-in local multiplayer, though a decent laugh on higher difficulty settings, can’t quite save Dead Space: Extraction from solid rental status. Fans of the lore will welcome the new plot and wealth of nods to the first game (there are some tasty animated comics among the unlockables, too), and the stripped-back design has its attractions, but with House of the Dead: Overkill doing the rounds this is one jaunt into the void you can afford to skip. Just about.

6 out of 10

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