In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream

I’m about half way through Dead Space, and the game has put me me in a really awkward predicament. I think that the game is solid and very well done for what it is, but I don’t know if I want to play it any more. It has nothing to do with its technical merits, but everything to do with the fact that Dead Space scares the hell out of me.

I’ve noted on this blog before that I’m not exactly the strongest-willed when it comes to things that are scary. However, I have played through both the original Resident Evil and Resident Evil 4, the latter of which is one of my all-time favourite games. I even recently tried to play through Silent Hill, before that game broke itself and I gave up on it. But Dead Space is different from those.

The “problem” with Dead Space is that it is scary all the time. There are no real down points for the player to make any meaningful progress through the game without fearing that their life will be over around the next corner. Due to the great sound and scripting, my heart is constantly racing when I play Dead Space to the point of feeling genuinely uncomfortable. One moment in particular really made me lose my composure, where the level kind of blew up and now I was running in space, with my air timer ticking down, with aliens chasing after me and not knowing where to go.

After only a few minutes of playing the game, I’m constantly thinking to myself, “I want to stop,” because I’m just too freaked out. At that point, I’m not even thinking about having fun anymore. It’s just, “I need to get to point B so I can make this experience stop.”

Do I grow a pair and finish Dead Space, or should I give my heart a break and let it go?

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