Dead Space


Dead Space: A thematic view (Part 1)

Tazio1 November 4, 2010 User blog:Tazio1

Hello there everyone. Today I'm going to set aside some time to give a little in depth into the game we all know and love. That is to say, I want to break down what makes up Dead Space, and analyse what it all means.

Let's start off with a short run down. Dead Space is a third-person horror shooter game, subjects we're going to follow up shortly. The game deals with Isaac Clarke, an engineer sent to the unresponsive USG Ishimura for repairs, and to look for his girlfriend Nicole Brennan, as he walks into a nightmare caused by the mysterious Red Marker and the Church of Unitology. He is forced to repair the malfunctioning Ishimura basically by himself, fighting the deformed Necromorphs in his way by dismembering them.

Now, the first word in the games title brings us to the first theme in Dead Space. Death. This is a word trown around a lot these days, with invincible mutants and superhuman cyborgs running around, not dying. In this game, death is at the forefront of everything you do. You fight death, the necromorphs. Death is gory, frightening. You see the most horrific self deaths of many crewmen gone mad. You see a religion bound in death, asking for the transformation, ascention, from life to death, killing friends for you to kill again when they transform into the Necromorphs. Visions of death top the cake of misery and blood.

What I mean is, death defines most of the game. It defines most of the series. And that is because death is the unstoppable foe, and what is more scary than an unstoppable force?

An unmovable object. The Marker. What is it? What does it do? Why is it here? These are questions that have remained unanswered for over 200 years since Michael Altman was credited with founding Unitology. And it is likely they will remain unanswered for a while longer.

But that is a key point of the Marker. The mystery of it deepens the terror. It's the unknown, the monster in the shadows. It waits patiently, behind it's visions of death, blood and nightmares, until whatever it wants is accomplished.

And maybe Isaac Clarke will help accomplish these goals, as he is an errand boy. It's pretty clear that the engineer turned dementia-prone super-soldier dosen't have much of a personality in Dead Space. But is that because his throat is filled with vomit, or because he's more symbolic?

Isaac represents a strong hand, a worker, an every-man. He's thrown into horror incarnate. But he's sent around to repair the ship, pressing a vast range of bright buttons. But he never wavers, not once, as he firmly clings to the hope of Nicole, his girlfriend, and the chance to meet her again. It's this love that breaks Isaac's shell in the end, forcing him to finally show an emotion besides surprise when he watches Nicole's death.

This shows the commitment of humanity, of love, and the scars it leaves, espetially when love leaps out at you, screaming...

Come back letter in the week of Part 2, where we go into detail about the use of the Necromorphs, and the Church if Unitology.

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