I have to give credit to Visceral for porting Dead Space from the 360/PS3 to the Wii. I honestly didn’t think it was going to work out because I believed the atmosphere wouldn’t be the same.
Much to my surprise, while the game was more action oriented than its 360/PS3 sibling, Visceral really managed to carry over the Dead Space universe and recreate the setting. The graphics aren’t as pretty, but the are surprisingly good considering its the Wii, probably because its a rail shooter. There are 10 chapters and they last 30-45 minutes on average, so the game is pretty short, but it doesn’t feel like its been stretched. The pacing is excellent, they really created a cinematic feel to the game and supported it with abundant and excellent voice acting. I finished the game on hard on single player and played through part of the game on two player with my girlfriend. I died a couple times when I was by myself, I had to watch out for my ammo and I had to carefully time my reloads and my stases to avoid being overwhelmed. I kept a variety of weapons at my disposal at all times for different situations and it worked out well. The gameplay was varied, engaging and rewarding. In two player mode, note that a 2nd player can kick in at any time, the game was much easier because there was more crowd control and the targets went down much faster. There was less stress since neither of us had to worry about having enough ammo in a given clip at a given moment. I also liked how the game lists statistics on player performance at the end of each chapter.
Overall, this is an excellent title and a great addition to my wii library. The sad part is that I doubt we’ll see this kind of excellent title again on the wii because the poor sales will indubitably be the death knell for mature titles on the wii. Hopefully the PS3 wand and Natal will provide the kind of novel gamplay the wiimotes offered, but it will take years for publishers to get the ball rolling and make titles like DS:E.
My only disappointment with DS:E was when I tried dual wielding the wiimotes. It was a lot of fun at first, but only the 2nd wiimote can be played without the nunchuck and the 2nd wiimote’s reload is 1 and stasis is 2. The buttons are too inconveniently placed to be useful. These features should’ve been on the + and -. Instead of using the nunchuck’s joystick, you use the d-pad to change weapons. The fact you absolutely needed the nunchuck for the first player was unfortunate because it was unnecessary. I usually don’t complain about the controls – and the controls are responsive and appropriate otherwise – but dual wielding would’ve been possible had the guys at Visceral just thought about better using the way the buttons were distributed and allowing the first player to not use the nunchuck. It was otherwise pretty fun to go at it with the wiimotes, as little as I did. I was surprised to see that I was 10% less efficient with my left hand and did 25% less dismemberments. I also found that it is a lot harder to aim at distant limbs with 2 fat crosshairs in the middle of the screen.
(If anyone at Visceral reads this: your logo is nice, but you should remove the annoying sound on the loading screen. I have a surround sound system and its obnoxious to have to hear the loud screeching every time I start my game)