# 5 – Dead Space: Extraction (They’re coming for you Barbara…IN SPACE!!!)

System: Nintendo Wii

Release Date: September 29, 2009

First Played: January 2012

Status: DEFEATED – December 13, 2014

The Survival Horror genera is not for the weak of heart. A good one makes you feel like you’re in a horror movie; where normally you could yell at character from the comfort of your couch for making a dumb decision (Don’t run upstairs!!! Run out the door you Cabbage!!!) Now YOU are the character, and have to put your money where your mouth is. Such game series like Resident Evil, Silent Hill and even the more recent Alien: Isolation, continue to push the limits of Survival Horror games. An interesting spin has been the Dead Space series, where you take your typical Zombie outbreak scenario and set it hundreds of years in the future on a spooky space ship! These types of games are usually not found on a Nintendo console, since Nintendo often opts for the family friendly approach. But not this time; in this case, Dead Space: Extraction was released EXCLUSIVELY on the Nintendo Wii (though a few years later it was ported to Playstation 3). So the question is, can Nintendo offer a truly terrifying experience, or should we just go play some Mario Kart instead…?

When First We Met

What can I say; I’m a sucker for Nintendo games. But, I’m also a horror fan, and all the games I mention above (with some exceptions) can ONLY be found on the “cooler” X-Box and Playstation systems. At this point in time the most sophisticated system I had was a Wii, and therefore I could not experience these thrills and chills that I loved so much. So, you could imagine my surprise when I found this at an EB Games near my work…

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THERE’S A DEAD SPACE GAME FOR THE Wii?!?!?!? AND IT’S $15!?!?!? Done and done! I had never played any of the Dead Space games, but I liked what I saw in game footage and in reviews, so after work I went straight home popped it into the ol’Wii…which is the end of my journey…like Wario World (my previous blog, check it out!!) I just wanted to see if it worked. I wanted to play it, but I wanted to finish collecting everything in “The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword” first. Eventually this game kept moving deeper and deeper into my gaming trove and into obscurity…

Meanwhile in the Present

I was surprised when I found this game again. I had really forgotten about it, but it all came back to me and I decided to put it at # 5, more so for including a Wii title than anything else, and because I had yet to include a Survival Horror game…unless you include my previous QUEST entry Friday the 13th for NES…which you shouldn’t…I load it up and after EA’s logo, (stamped on a human skull and accompanied by some intense music…so far so good!) The title screen appears…

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It’s accompanied by some ominous sounding spooky space music. From here you start a new file and are presented with starting Story Mode, a Challenge Mode and options, which adjust controller sensitivity, screen brightness, etc. Well, let’s jump right into the story! Before each mission, you can select your difficulty, the hardest level called “Impossible” (Oh God!!!!) is not yet available, and so I select “Normal”. It’s important to note that this game acts as a prequel to Dead Space 1, so all the Space Zombie wackiness has yet to ensue! I’m not that familiar with the back story of the series, so I needed to consult Wikipedia to answer some of my questions…I press start…

There’s a screen full of static, someone is trying to talk to me, “me” being Sam Caldwell, Space Miner! Eventually it clears and I see Lexine, my girlfriend. Through our conversation, I find out I’m extracting something called a “Marker” which is an object common in the Dead Space lore. Basically, Markers emit energy, which no one knows how or why and the Earth Government is trying to figure out how to use this energy, since resources are scarce in this future earth and need to be mined from asteroids or planetoids via “Planet Cracker” ships. Also, a type of weird cult called “Unitology” has formed around the Markers…oh and probably most important of all, the Marker makes people hallucinate, go crazy and kill people and those dead bodies are resurrected and mutate into crazy zombies!! We all caught up? Good…

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Sam ends the conversation with a hint of some sexy time with Lexine later on and gets to work on collecting the Marker that was discovered. I go to move but realize that the game is moving for me…Wait…THIS IS A RAIL SHOOTER??? A Rail Shooter is a game where the computer controls where you go in the game. The only thing you control is shooting; changing weapons and manipulating the surrounding environment, via picking things up, solving puzzles or opening doors. This lack of control, in my opinion, gets rid of the explorative aspect of a game. A Rail Shooter would just move past something I would want to take a closer look at. So right away, I’m a little hesitant about playing this as I’m not a huge fan of this type of game play. But, I’m in it now, so I continue…

This level acts as a tutorial for the most part, the “tasks” you’re given outline how to work the controls. First off, it uses the Wii Remote and Nunchuck, what can they do you ask???

The Nunchuck: The “D-Stick” lets you access your weapons; you can carry 4 in total, though there is a Rivet Gun that you can’t switch out but has unlimited ammo. The “Z” button reloads and the “C” button fires a laser that slows down objects or enemies for a limited amount of time. Shaking the Nunchuck lets you do a melee attack that can prevent enemies from latching onto you and can break through certain barriers.

The Wii Remote: It controls your aim, turning the Remote sideways activates a second function to the weapon you have selected (it’s usually more powerful or gives you a wider shot, etc, but uses more ammo.). The “B” button is your gun trigger and your best friend in this game. The “A” button activates your “Telekinesis” which is a white orb you use to grab items littered around stages. You can hold certain objects like crates and bombs by holding “A” and launch them at an enemy by pressing “B”. Shaking the Wii Remote activates a “Glow Worm” that lights up dark and spooky tunnels. You have to keep shaking it every now and again, or else you’ll be left in the dark…

So Sammy Boy goes to work, riveting some rails in place…

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RIVETING!!!

Ok something needs to happen quick…I didn’t get this game to fix things! Eventually the marker is loaded onto a tram when suddenly a burst of energy emanating from the Marker hits me! There’s a power outage throughout the facility; guess who has to go investigate? What could possibly go wrong!!?? While travelling the spooky mining building interior, you go through more tutorials, like how to over-ride a lock. DS33
It’s a “Puzzle” in the sense that you need to trace the white line without touching the edges. So…you basically are trained to be a master locksmith in kindergarten…why locks are so easy to pick in the future is beyond me! It’s simple enough, and doesn’t seem that necessary except to show off what the Wii Remote can do…but this actually turns into a very fun element later on in the game when you have to defend yourself from zombies while trying to pick a lock! Eventually we run across…

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Gah!! This was a nice scare as you’re not sure exactly what is happening at first…until you get close enough to see the grisly details. That dude just killed that other dude! And he’s coming for me! It’s kill or be killed! But all I have is my Rivet Gun…

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WHOA!! My team mates are just as surprised. Deeper we go into the facility, fighting off infected workers and hearing strange voices and hallucinations. I get the power back on, but not before I have to kill my best friend after he becomes infected! Sam is losing it, he calls Lexine in tears to say what is happening around him but is soon confronted by more zombies! A Plasma Cutter I find helps to take care of them but I’m low on ammo. More are coming down an elevator to get me and…I’M SHOT!!! I fall to the ground dying. What the…???

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The Twist…NO ONE WAS INFECTED. Based on the conversation of the security team that is now surrounding me, I was hallucinating and killing innocent people who I thought were zombies and security was called to take me out…the screen fades and the level ends. I’m DEAD???? Wow, didn’t see that coming…

After each level, there is a screen that shows your score, damage you took, accuracy, items you found like weapons, health, upgrades (it shows you if you missed any items so you can replay the level and try to find them all) and you’re rewarded stars on how well you did (the best is 5 stars), I got 4, mostly from my terrible aim. The more stars you get, the more things you unlock, like missions in challenge mode or motion comics which act as a prequel to this prequel game!! I continue to chapter 2 (there are 10 chapters in total).

We’re introduced to the main characters of the game. For the most part you play as Dectective Nathan McNeill: Space Detective!

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Don’t mind me…just looking at myself in my solid gold name plate…!

He’s the guy that killed Sam Caldwell in Chapter One (aka YOU). Accompanying you is McNeill’s old war buddy Sgt. Gabriel Weller who you get to play as later in the game.

 DS8
Space Sergeant!

You also get to play as a Woman Scientist with a Saw Gun in one chapter, random as hell, but fun! The two of you are sent to investigate a “fight” that is happening somewhere on the colony and you guessed it; shit soon hits the fan…

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If you look closely, there is shit literally hitting a fan in the background…

The colony has gone crazy!! Everyone is a zombie and soon they become much more than just zombies…

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Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck!!!!

This Lovecraftian Horror you see before you is a Necromorph, Necro from the Latin for Dead, and Morph from X-Men. All those crazy humans you saw turn into different variations of these things. This is the first time I’d seen one and I’m ashamed to say I was legitimately freaked out by it! After my first time playing this game, that night, I had a dream where one of those things was holding me over its head and eating my back!!!

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If you should die before you wake…!!!!!

These are a lot tougher to deal with than the puny humans. Going by instinct and off of every zombie book or movie I have ever seen/read, I go for the head (Head = Dead) but that alone won’t kill them!! Shooting off arms and legs are necessary to deal a killing blow as well. I found that a combo of arm, body and head shots bring them down quickly. The action is plentiful and the dialogue adds a touch of “Die Hard” to the typical zombie scenarios (I love how Sgt. Weller yells “McNeill”!) Eventually you run into Lexine, remember her from Chapter One? Remember that you’re the guy that killed her boyfriend!? Awkward!

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So that means you’re single…right?

Lexine tags along as the three of you decide to get the hell off the colony and make your way to the Ishimura, the “Mother Ship” if you will. Along the way you also meet this guy…

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That’s Warren Eckhardt; at first he seems like your generic privileged chubby funster, flaunting his privileges as a Mining Company Executive, but he has a dark secret…he’s actually a Unitologist sent here to look for Lexine who seems to be immune to the Marker’s zombie making effects and they want to study her…As for Lexine, you can’t help but feel she’s been dealt the “Damsel in Distress” Card, as she tends to find herself in some tricky situations that only you can save her from, SUCH AS…

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Being blasted into space!

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Being captured by a tentacle!

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Being Captured by another tentacle!

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Falling in water!

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Getting smacked by a Big Fat Necromorph!

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Looking worried!

 Though, to be fair, they do let her kill some things…

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And they do let her show off in other ways…
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 It’s too late! McNeill has seen everything!! McNeill rules!!

I guess they thought that by making you play as female scientist Dr. Catherine Howell (the one you play as while fighting the Big Fat Necromorph seen above) that they are including a “Strong Female Character”, but does that mean you can now show Lexine strutting around naked? How come she’s the only one you see naked? If she’s naked, EVERYONE should be naked, especially Warren Eckhardt…

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Can you find my fifth nipple…?

There are other characters that are introduced solely as cannon fodder, kind of like the red shirt guys from Star Trek. You find someone, they say something like, “They’re everywhere man!!” then they get ripped apart, fun for everyone! It adds nicely to the whole “Horror Movie/Action Movie” vibe this game gives off.

The rest of the story takes place in (or outside) the Ishimura and is pretty straight forward: Let’s get the Hell off of the Ishimura!! You mostly confront hordes of monsters…

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…but there are some fun parts that stand out, like this laser cannon part heavily influenced by the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars!

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Don’t get cocky kid!

Not to mention two really big boss fights…and I mean big!!

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Christ! But wait, you ain’t seen nothing yet…

 DS27
Took the words right out of my mouth!

This is the “Final Boss”; I use quotes as there is still one more Chapter after this one, but it’s just a massive zombie horde fight. This Boss is my favourite, not only because it looks disgustingly awesome but because of how the fight ends…

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The monster slinks away after a lengthy battle, you activate a switch (there are several parts where you have to go off on your own to activate or shut down something) and head back to the waiting shuttle and onwards to freedom. Suddenly, the thing returns and fires a spike at you that pins down your hand!! I try to shoot it off but my gun hand is pinned down, all I have is my Mêlée weapon…and the only way you can escape before the monster gets you…IS TO CUT OFF YOUR ARM!!!

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GGGAAHH!! It was very surreal to watch as I hacked through my own arm…though I don’t know why I didn’t try to hit the spike first…but what’s done is done, and Lefty runs off to the safety of the shuttle.

After a massive zombie horde battle, McNeill, Weller and Lexine manage to escape. Lexine spots the ship that docks the Ishimura in Dead Space 1 and tries to warn them, but can’t get through…then credits.

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 The End?

There is a post credits ending that I found a bit confusing and I had to look up what actually happened…have a look for yourself…

www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QdbwsJHpEE

Apparently, this implies that McNeill turns into a Necromorph and trys to kill Lexine and Weller, but she kills him at the last possible second! McNeill!!!! Poor bastard…but this adventure isn’t over yet, I only beat this on Normal. Beating the game unlocks IMPOSSIBLE mode, so based on my stipulation of playing a game on its hardest level of difficulty, I need to play it again. Also, I haven’t fully upgraded my weapons AND I don’t have 5 stars on all the chapters! So there is still work to be done…

Playing on Impossible doesn’t offer any new endings or chapters, it just makes enemies much much much harder to kill, but unlike before, you can choose which weapon to start the level with…

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I always started with the Contact Beam or as I liked to call it the “BFG Jr.” which can take out hordes and blow enemies apart, though it doesn’t come with a lot of ammo. The Flame Thrower is also an amazing choice, though better suited for those pesky ventilation levels…

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Toasty!

A problem I ran into was being unable to get a 5 star rating in a level. Some internet snooping led me to discover something called a “Perfect Reload”. When you press “Z” to reload, your crosshairs turns into this…

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That “A” is an item to pick up…ignore that…

See that grey square part on the circle? If you press “Z” while the blue line is inside it, your weapon will reload much faster than if you waited for the line to loop completely around the crosshairs. It’s tricky to get used to, as many times you’ll have to divide your attention between looking at a tiny square and trying to shoot a flying zombie, but I got used to it pretty quickly, and before I know it, I had 5 stars in everything!

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While playing through the game again, I found one thing that bothered me that I didn’t notice before (mostly because I was focusing on the story). As I mentioned, you grab items with your “Telekinesis”, which is a white orb that shoots out at the object you want to grab and brings it back to you. The problem is that many times, because it’s a Rail Shooter, by the time you realize there is an item there to grab, you’ve already walked past it! So, if you wanted to get it, you’d have to remember where it was and play the level again. This became cumbersome, especially since I wanted to get all the upgrades for my guns. The final upgrade in Chapter 10 is visible for maybe 2 seconds, so I had to restart the level constantly until I nabbed it.

Also, since this game includes a lot of dialogue sections (which are very entertaining and, frankly, save this game from being repetitive) there are a lot of times where a character is standing directly in front of you, and in front of an item you want to get…

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Zombies, gotcha, but could you move? There’s a digital diary behind you I want to read!

Also, the fact that I can keep pushing my Telekinesis orb around the room and in people’s faces while they’re talking to me kind of removes the suspense from a situation. It’s like if you were trying to talk to someone and they kept running around the room, looking at everything and putting their hands in front of your face and then run away to look at more random stuff!

So, I beat the game again on the hardest difficulty, which didn’t offer any extra thrills other than reliving a cool moment. I mostly just cursed at the screen as I had to fight off crazy amounts of mutated zombies!! I kind of wish there was an actual final boss in the final chapter, maybe one that made use of the shuttle guns again to fight a giant monster in space!! But the game decides to end on a “To Be Continued” note…the problem is that I don’t have any of the other systems to “Continue” the story! So I may never know the thrills of the other Dead Space games…until I get a bigger place to put more systems that is!

Judgement

This is a solid game, despite the Rail Shooter aspect. I found that it was more like watching a scary/action movie, with the exception of me jumping in from time to time to kill things. The scares would have been better if you were in control of where you went, but it’s still fun! The graphics are impressive for the Wii, and the music is never overwhelming to take away from the action on the screen. There are a great amount of weapons to choose from and the variety of monsters never got old and keeps you on your toes!

The downside is the item collection. There are many parts where your character is running or turning quickly, so some items are incredibly difficult to pick up. There’s also six motion comics that you unlock, which weren’t anything special. They were drawn like sketches instead of an actual comic book, so I felt like I was watching an unfinished product. The voice acting for the comics was also cheesy. The challenge mode is a good way to see what this game would be like without interesting story and dialogue. It’s repetitive and doesn’t offer any real thrills other than seeing if you can last 10 rounds.

Should you get this? YES, especially if you are a fan of the Dead Space series. There were several times where I was shocked and just plain freaked out! Don’t have a Wii? Well, it was ported to Playstation 3, so you can play it with better graphics. The PS3 version apparently doesn’t come with the unlockable comics, which is no big deal. The story of Lexine and Weller is continued in Dead Space 2: Severed; which takes place before Dead Space 2, and they are married! But, it’s not on a Nintendo console……This game really made me want to play all the other games in the series! Maybe someone will come along and make a HD remastered version of the Dead Space series for the Wii U???….please…?

Well, that is that! Stay tuned next time for # 4 where we jump back to the Sega Genesis! Do you like Mutant Super Heroes??? Who doesn’t?!?! They come in cool shapes and sizes and have incredible powers!! Well this game is LITERALLY the exact opposite!! FUN!!!

Tah tah!

Adamus Prime

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