Dead Space

I was playing Dead Space today, and as I was playing it I found myself becoming rather frustrated. It seems like it should be a pretty fun game, but there are just these things that make it constantly irritating.

Save Points

God, why do these still exist? Even consoles these days have no excuse for this bullshit. Just let me save the game anywhere you dicks. Particularly weird in this Dead Space as it does just let you save like normal, but you have to go to a specific in-game location to do it. There are actual in-game objects that are there so you can save the game. Why is this blatantly out-of-character interaction shoehorned into an in-game object instead of stuck in a menu where it clearly should be?

And this isn't the only example of things existing within the gameworld that shouldn't. The display that shows your remaining health and the one for how much stasis power you have left are on your character's back. Where he can't possibly see them. What were the designers even thinking there? It's like they didn't want to use a standard HUD to make it more immersive, but their solution absolutely kills immersion by making no sense.

Walking Sideways

For some reason, they've decided to make the player character take up about a third of the screen. So obviously they can't put him in the center or you wouldn't be able to see past him. This makes walking slightly disorienting. You never quite go in the direction you think you should. Batman: Arkham Asylum suffers from the same problem.

It's not a huge issue, but it just makes the whole thing slightly awkward in a way that just kind of itches at your mind.


There is a really nifty thing in the game where you can press a key to have a line appear on the floor to tell you where to go. It's great. Except for a couple of things. It doesn't actually tell you what to do when you get there (I stopped playing today because I reached the end of the line and have no idea what I'm supposed to be doing there) and the objectives are kind of vague and unhelpful. The second problem is that you can't leave it turned on. You press the button and the line appears for a while and fades away. You can't just toggle it on.

Toggle Toggle

This is a problem with several other things in the game too. Running is enabled by holding shift. There is no "always run" option. Aiming your gun is enabled by holding the right mouse button. You can't just toggle between aim mode and normal, which means that I've spent a good 60% of the playtime so far holding the right mouse button. You're not exactly being attacked every other second, but when things do attack they tend to hit suddenly and without warning, and I like to be prepared for that by having my gun ready.

Actually, let's be honest here, if you put me in a situation where shooting things is a valid solution, pointing a gun at things is going to be my standard position even if I'm not expecting to be attacked without warning. Why would you make not pointing a gun at things the default state of affairs? That's just craziness.


The other reason I hold the right mouse button so much is that when you're not in aim mode, your character doesn't turn to follow the camera. You can actually swing around and look yourself in the face (well, helmet). I don't understand the reason for this, it just makes your character's reactions feel sluggish and awkward, and it's not like it's a game balance thing because you can just bypass it by holding the right mouse button.

I haven't played much of the game so far, but honestly it seems like it should be pretty fun, if I can manage to look past these stupid design decisions.

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