Hey Dead Space, you're an iOS game now! Hard to believe, but true. EA's just released a version of its survival-horror series with flesh-cleaving tendencies for the iPhone or iPod touch. Make that one of the most visually impressive survival-horror sprees for a phone or tablet device, and probably one of the scariest.
We'd probably blame EA mobile developer IronMonkey Studios for turning a spectacular System Shock tribute action game into a finger-fumbling mess, but I'm hearing it's rather the other thing. In fact, last I checked, the App Store ratings average was five for five (of 300 registering).
Let's see: Third-person shooter, full voice acting, two new weapons, visual design comparable to the original, and though the name suggests it's just a port of the 2008 original, it's actually a standalone sequel set three years after the events in the original (sort of a preamble to Dead Space 2).
US punters have got two choices: The high-definition iPad version which goes for $9.99, or the standard-definition (but otherwise identical) iPhone version for $6.99. Unfortunately, those in the UK can only get the iPhone version, costing £3.99.
Yes EA marketing, it's kind of obvious that it's "the first Dead Space storyline ever devised for iOS," and I'm not sure we need you to tell us the sound's "vivid," the graphics "visceral," and the sensory experience "charged."
But I'm happy to know you've made it work, somehow, with swipe and tap controls, and that you've added a new weapon called the Plasma Saw and another called the Core Extractor. Just a guess, but I assume the latter refers to a mobile version of the first game's planet-cracker, and that I'll be "extracting" stuff from evil animate multi-limbed corpses, not planets.
Regarding your "in-game store upgrades," I'm less persuaded, even if they help me "survive the Necromorph onslaught." Can't I just do that on my own? Isn't that integral to the gameplay? Do I need to pay more for power nodes, weapon enhancements, or, your know, just to unlock doors? Can't I do that stuff if I'm good enough without paying?
Sure, it'd be cool if paying hard cash for extra leverage worked in real life. You know, like dropping a couple bucks on your iPhone in bad traffic to grow stilts, or maybe a jet engine, then clambering/rocketing away.
But in games, I'm not as sure. I want the game's rules of play to challenge me, not my checking account.
Oh who am I kidding. You had me at the 'i' in 'OS'. And now I have to buy a copy, just to see how things in your better-than-average tale of maniac cannibal aliens turns out.