* Awarded `Wii GOTY`2009

Visceral Games extracts a new Dead Space chapter onto the Wii. More than a port, Dead Space: Extraction continues with the originals creepy atmosphere by telling another gripping tale of deep space horror. Best yet, Extraction keeps its strong “Mature” rating. Forget about hanging out at another resort, and explore the darkness in EA's latest.

In case you skipped our introduction, Dead Space: Extraction is a new build of Dead Space (2008) made exclusively for the Wii.... and just because Extraction isn't pumped through HD visuals doesn’t mean it can’t be an effective horror game, or it will lacks the impact of the original. Actually, Extraction is equally as immersive by providing a similiar atmosphere with all the creeps of the original. In some cases Extraction might even be more effective in the spooked department because Visceral Games is running the show and you’re only along for the ride.

All aboard!
What I mean about Visceral Games running the show is that Extraction uses an on-rails/light-gun styled first-person shooter system which is vastly different from the third-person deal in the original. Not only does this style of gameplay diversify it from the original, it forces you to go and play at the speed the developer wanted. This means they can do a lot more impactful scripted moments because they are in control. Visceral doesn’t skip a beat and uses this to their advantage, and once you accept that you are on their ride, Extraction becomes one hell of an experience, and something you can't get anywhere else.

The only questionable decision I have to wonder about is why they don’t let the player have a little more freedom to move around? I don’t even mean move your body; I’m talking about the freedom to move your head to look around as you go down these invisible rails. Without the ability to free-look your chance to breathe in every room is limited, and this equally goes for picking up items.

The Curse of the Mining Colony
Extraction jumps into the USG Ishimura as a prequel and not the next chapter to Electronic Arts original tale of horror in deep space. This makes Extraction the perfect place to start and an interesting twist for gamers who have already explored the hollow halls of the original Dead Space. If you have played the original Dead Space then you will likely remember a number of the locations in Extraction which makes revisiting each location a little more enjoyable as memories of your first Dead Space run come back into your mind.

The story here starts with a handful of colonists struggling to escape a mind-bending infection that swept a remote mining colony and turned all its inhabitants into bloodthirsty zombies. This progresses into a mysterious contagion aboard a ship which revolves has been over used all across the board from movies to games, but Extraction still has enough originality to keep you interested. Helping its cause is several new types of enemies and a new heroine. Survival is the main objective in Extraction and you will feel this in every pulse of every character in the game. Dead Space: Extraction is an emotional ride and one that is interesting, suspenseful and masterfully produced. Direction and story is key, and Visceral did an excellent job at hitting all the right points that made the original so enjoyable.

Remember.... Head Shots!
One thing that you can take with you from the original in the general sense in how to play the game. Dismemberment is important and this is something first timers will learn quickly. The enemies can be disposed of the same way with the head-shot to put most beasts down. Like the original limbs come off easy, but the enemies still march on. It’s great to see the Wii version didn’t have to make any content compromises as Extraction keeps its same level of brutality.

Even though a few Wii gamers might have wanted a little piece of Dead Space's original glory, it was a smart move for Electronic Arts to issue a new outlook on Dead Space then a half-baked port of the original. I know Wii owners would have still ate it up, but they should be proud that they have a whole new experience to play through... something that their HD counterparts can’t say. Dead Space: Extraction is 100% new. New characters which are actually interesting, new weapons, new enemies, new puzzles, and wait... even co-operative multiplayer gameplay!

Now That's a Control Scheme
The controls in the game are perfectly matched for what the Visceral was trying to get acrossed. The Wii-mote and nunchuck are required unless you are going to use the Wii Zapper. Reloading the weapons, using your suits powers and melee attacks are all balanced out perfectly and the controls never get in the way of the action. The game slides you through all the different ways you’ll be using the controllers and eases you into the game without any confusion. It’s good to see a developer really think about the controls in a Wii game and how they can be immersive to the in-game situations and not just a gimmick, or a borrowed scheme from an already proven game.

Two is Better Than One
Extraction also takes Dead Space one step further on the Wii by adding co-op drop-in and out play. Jumping into the game as a second player isn’t a new experience, but it is still a lot of fun. The second player acts more like an extra set of hands for the lead character. Even with the double firepower, Extraction becomes a little tougher and there are some sweet spots added to the mix when you have to help each other to progress. If you can find a friend that doesn’t mind the pace of the game, this is one you can have a lot of fun with together.

Feeling Claustrophobic?
In total you will have to fight your way through 10 chapters which equals around 8-9hrs of playtime. The levels aren't groundbreaking, but they provide enough varience to keep you interested. As you might have expected you will be in a lot of claustrophobic areas with a lot of dark corners for the life-sucking creatures to crawl out of. The difficulty isn’t anything too hard, although you will have to keep your ammo in check similar to the original. Extraction also has a few extra bonuses challenges to kick around with and try to get a high score. These are perfect for getting a good feel for the shooting mechanics of the game. These challenges also support co-op gameplay, so feel free to blast it out with a friend.

Exception to the Rule
The Graphics and sound in Dead Space: Extraction is an absolute exception to the rule. Normally the games on the Wii look really dated, but not this time around! Extraction looks impressive with some great animation, lighting effects (yes, good lighting effects on the Wii) and good sound to follow suit. The Wii-mote even has a few sounds popping out its speaker that is suspiciously kept to a minimum which is surprising because Visceral could have really made you jump. Extraction has 480p support along with great use of Dolby Pro Logic. If you haven’t hooked up surround to your Wii, this is a great excuse to pick up a surround sound system.

Dead Space: Extraction isn’t the original game redone for the Wii and that’s a good thing. This is an entirely new experience for Dead Space and a must own for any gamer who has been looking for a Mature rated game for their Wii. Not only does Extraction provide some much needed adult content, it gives a strong showing as one of the best games for the Wii this year. The game might not be a wide-open as the original, but it is one hell of a ride once you are strapped in. Think of Extraction as one big interactive horror movie. Big thanks have to go out to Electronic Arts and Visceral for taking the chance to rebuild the Dead Space experience from ground up instead an old tired rerun porting job. This is how it should be done.  

Reviewed by DowntownJimmy | 10.01.09
  • same ambiance, new experience
  • excellent use of the controls
  • drop-in/drop-out multiplayer
  • story is as interesting as the original
  • on-rails gameplay makes for some frightful moments
  • amazing sound design and quality voice acting
  • top-notch graphics, one the Wii’s finest
  • everything you loved about the original made it onto the Wii
  • “M” rated... something different on the Wii for us adults
  • control freaks, you don’t have any here
  • the ability to free look and explore would have been nice
  • if you wanted a Wii version of the original, you are out of luck

Similar Games: Dead Space 2 (8.8) | Dead Space (9.6)


Dead Space

Electronic Arts
Visceral Games
Action Shooter
September '09