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Dead Space: Extraction

Reviewed on: Wii

Visceral Games
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Rated: "M" for Mature

CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

Audio/Visual: 6
Gameplay: 5
Lasting Appeal: 5
Overall: 6
CHEATfactor: 6

Last year’s Dead Space is one of the most under rated games of all time – there I said it. So many games, especially in the horror genre attempt to create an engaging back story, but more often than not, they just turn out lame and convoluted. Dead Space’s tale of a mining ship filled with dark, twisted monstrosities was not only interesting – at times it was downright scary.

You can imagine my disgust when I heard that a Wii version was coming. See, when the Wii launched years ago I was most excited to play first person shooters on it. Then I learned how lame they were (Red Steel anyone?). I was convinced that one of this generation’s most promising franchises was going to get ruined before it even had a chance to begin.

Boy was I wrong. Dead Space: Extraction is an incredible addition to the franchise that is just as chilling, engaging and fun as its predecessor and the credit lies directly in the hands of the developers who didn’t merely rest on their laurels and port the original experience to Nintendo’s white box.

"There are some scary moments here, but not quite as many as the original."


Dead Space: Extraction is a prequel to the original game and details just how the Necromorphs; the series’ gross baddies got so prominent. The game takes place around the same time as the Dead Space animated feature from last year, and unless you’re one of the five people that saw it – the story will seem fresh and new to you. There are plenty of points in the game where your mind thinks back to the original story, which begins to make more sense. There are some scary moments here, but not quite as many as the original.

So right now you’re probably thinking my faith in Wii FPS titles has been restored right? Negative.  Dead Space: Extraction is not an FPS, it’s a rail shooter. Now, I know what you’re thinking. A rail shooter? How lame! Normally I would agree with you, but here, it works.  The developers have managed to recreate the original game’s thrills without having to worry about the aiming problems most Wii shooters suffer from.

As you’d expect, aiming is as simple as following the reticule on the screen. Thankfully, the only waggling you’ll be doing really is shaking your controller to get enemies off of you. Aiming is precise and taking out enemies is quite rewarding (more than I thought a rail shooter would be anyways), but there’s something fundamentally wrong with Extraction’s aiming system. When you place the reticule on an enemy, your HUD displays a ton of information on everything from your weapon, to the enemy you’re shooting it at. While helpful, this information tends to completely block out your enemy, and shooting them is kind of important to the game. Perhaps there was another way this vital information could have been presented.

"...making for some pretty cool kill scenes."


Extraction has also made several improvements to the original game that make a world of difference. Using an effect similar to bullet time, you’ll be able to freeze enemies and elements for a short period of time, making for some pretty cool kill scenes (my advice: go for the de-limbing). You’re also granted the ability to use telekinesis; which allows you to grab objects like health, ammo and weapons from a far.  You’ll also have access to a number of challenge rooms, which are story-void arcadish levels where you’re only goal is to score as many points as possible. The series had to make some changes when jumping from FPS to rail shooter, I’m just glad the changes they made didn’t ruin the original formula.

I really tend to gravitate towards games that have an incredible and accessible back story, but don’t shove them down our throats while playing. Extraction is the perfect example of this as throughout your journey you’ll find a number of hidden text, audio and video logs that dive deeper into the world the developers have created. Those who really explored the first game may be a bit disappointed to learn that some of these items have been recycled, but they’re still worth collecting.

Sure, the graphics in Dead Space: Extraction don’t quite measure up to those in the original, but for all the flack the Wii takes for its visuals – they’re quite impressive. The characters are impressively animated, the backgrounds are detailed – and the death scenes are a bloody disgusting good time. There are, however, issues with the camera – as you won’t be able to control your movement, the camera tends to focus on the closest enemy, but that’s not always the most important to your objective. It can also be quite frustrating when there are two enemies around the same distance, but you’re forced to take out one while the other wails on you.

To my surprise, Dead Space: Extraction is a great addition to the franchise, and successfully builds on the world the original created. By not relying too heavily on the system’s motion controls, the game is a responsive and creepy shooter. It’s one of the few must own mature titles on the system and would be a welcome addition to any game library. 



CHEATS USED: Wii Trainer

Surprisingly, some of the most fun I had with Dead Space were in the challenge rooms – and this is where the trainer, available at Cheat Happens, made a world of difference. Since your only objective in these modes is to get as many points as possible (i.e., kill anything that moves), cheats like unlimited ammo, one hit kills and unlimited stasis worked wonders. Oh, and if you don’t feel like playing through each level to unlock the challenge mode for it, there’s a code for that too. You’ll be missing out on a great experience – but to each his own.

When it comes to the original game, I was less inclined to use cheats. During portions of the game where I was surrounded by enemies, and when the camera had problems like I mentioned above – some of the cheats were incredibly helpful but they also tend to take the survival out of survival horror and make the game too easy at times.



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