Dead Space’s 10 Most Terrifying Moments

IsaacClarke Dead Spaces 10 Most Terrifying Moments

Dead Space was a game that captured the essence of horror, and streamlined the terror into a slick gaming package. While the game had an emphasis on combat and action, the horror that created the chilling backbone satisfied the desire for fear. I followed the game with a passion before launch because I knew that gamers were in for something special. I gave Visceral Games my complete faith, and it only helped heighten the anticipation.

When the game launched on October 14th in 2008, my faith was completely restored in the horror games that I longingly missed. Launch day came and as I sat in my room with a few friends we shut the lights off, turned the volume up, and proceeded to succumb to the terror at hand. We became fully immersed in the terrifying experience Isaac Clarke was thrust into, the horrors of the Ishimura, and the insanity that followed.

Now, with Dead Space 3 arriving this week, it seems to be the perfect time to we remind ourselves why a miner from space captured our hearts.

Here’s our 10 most terrifying moments from the original Dead Space.

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10. Crew Member Massacre and Running For Your Life

Run Dead Spaces 10 Most Terrifying Moments

Dead Space manages to capture your attention from the very beginning as you stare out into the space beyond. Approaching the Ishimura brings the terror full throttle as your ship crashes into the deck below. With your only option being to leave the ship and investigate, a sense of something terrible just around the corner makes your palms sweat.

As you work your way through the building, and access the ship’s computer interface, the game introduces you to what you’ll be facing for the next few hours of your life. The crew you see behind the glass is locked in and witnessing your first Necromorph rip into a man forces out a gasp, as they tell you to run. Sprinting through the corridors the music sends goosebumps down your arms, you hear their feet behind you, and as you reach the elevator you release a sigh, thinking you’re finally safe.

Think again Isaac.

Ripping into the doors, a Necromorph pries open the elevator. Luckily, the door snaps shut, popping the Necro’s head off and leaving you wondering just what you’ve gotten yourself into.

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9. The Lack of Control

Behind You Dead Spaces 10 Most Terrifying Moments

Perhaps one of the scariest aspects of playing through Dead Space is the fact that even though Isaac is wrapped in a suit of armor, and grows his arsenal slowly over the course of the game, the truth of the matter is that you have no control over the monsters that haunt the ship.

Odds are, no matter how familiar you are with the game, you will still jump at some point on each playthrough. For me this happened as I ran through the game for a second time. Sprinting through the corridors with the ease of a child on a spring morning I pushed my way past the elevator in the first chapter. Reaching safety I kept it moving and cut through the circuit panel to unlock the door ahead of me. I then turned to my left as I stepped into the dark corridor ahead, the light green glow of a crate ahead luring me like a fly to a bug zapper.

I sprinted to the box fearlessly but just as I thought everything was fine, I had a change of heart. A Necro twisted past from behind the barrier. The sound that blasted through my speakers pierced my soul and I let out a shriek of terror. I was instantly reminded of the terror at hand, and the horror that Visceral created by never feeling in control of the situation no matter how powerful your weaponry is.

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8. The Devil’s in the Details

As your mining boots clang along the metallic maze of the Ishimura it’s hard to ignore the atmosphere that Visceral has created. The team created a gaming experience where atmosphere was everything, and the next scare could come at you in a moment’s notice. Staying frosty was the only way to defend yourself from that next Necromorph waiting in an air duct to leap out at you, lower your health, and repeatedly stab you until you’re a mushy pile of limbs and blood.

What adds to this terrifying reality is the fantastic amount of detail the team put into creating the scares and environments of Dead Space. Through careful use of a variety of techniques, such as timing and ambient sounds, the team was able to heighten the horror greatly.

A tight collaboration of artistic talent enabled the creation of a haunting atmosphere which emphasized a classic idea: In space, no one can hear you scream.

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7. A Crew That Clearly Flew Over The Cucoo’s Nest

Head Banger Dead Spaces 10 Most Terrifying Moments

Visceral’s clear dedication to creating horror in the game allows for the terrifying reality to sink in that there are still survivors inside the Ishimura. The game uses these survivors as a means of increasing the eerie atmosphere and this takes things into another dimension of fear.

One of the most unsettling moments of the game happens as you slowly approach an open doorway. We hear the sound of something banging against the walls of the ship, and as we approach the gently illuminated doorway the fear sets in.

A man, solemnly banging his head against the wall, and covered in blood, suddenly bashes his head forcefully into the wall. The sound that follows is enough to haunt anyone’s dreams. It forces you to cringe and hope that Isaac doesn’t succumb to the same fate.

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6. Your First Encounter With the Brute

Brute Dead Spaces 10 Most Terrifying Moments

Before you ever encounter the Brute in Dead Space you are subjected to walking down a hallway as it punches its way through the walls around you. As you carefully analyze what just happened, the realization sets in that whatever it was is big, and sooner or later it’s going to find you.

So it should come as no surprise that as you’re powering up the ADS Cannon’s generators, the Brute makes his terrifying appearance. Bashing through the steel doors in front of you with one thought in mind: to pulverize you into teeny, tiny bits.

Good thing you have nerves of steel because you’ll need them once you play matador against the brute.

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5. Wait…He Regenerates?

Hunter Dead Spaces 10 Most Terrifying Moments

You’re probably such a boss that you didn’t shriek like a small child when Doctor Challus dropped the Hunter from the air duct. For us normal folk however, we desperately needed to take a stop at the shop, and switch Engineering suits. It was a rough moment to push on through simply because you instantly felt powerless, and it’s not a good feeling to know that all you can do is run. The Hunter is a bulkier version of the Slicer that can regenerate any part of its body.

There’s nothing quite like a massive helping of complete desperation and terror to get your blood really pumping.

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4. Watching the Doctor Inject His Patient

Dr. Challus Mercer Dead Spaces 10 Most Terrifying Moments

There’s something about insane doctors that just fits perfectly within the horror genre, and Challus Mercer manages to strike the same power chord of terror. Maybe it rests within their terrifying conviction of justifying their actions, or you know, watching him stab a syringe into his victim’s eye. The worst part about this scene is that you’re reminded that this “doctor” has complete control of the ship you’re on, and you know for a fact that he’s unstable. It ramps up tension with that brutal reminder of the terror that surrounds you.

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3. Tentacle Exchange

TentacleGrab Dead Spaces 10 Most Terrifying Moments

One of the best scares in the game occurs after Isaac ventures farther into the ship. Noticing several abnormal holes, bent and twisted from a powerful force, you come face to face with the culprit. As you’re ripped off your feet, you crash into the ground, and the camera shifts towards the enormous tentacle. Drawing your weapon automatically, the game coaxes you into firing at the weak spot that radiates with hope. It manages to give you a satisfaction like no other once you sever the tentacles grip. Strangely, you can find the same satisfaction if Isaac misses his mark, and vanishes into the ship’s interior.

Not only did I jump in my chair when the tentacle grabbed me, but my controller dropped to the ground. As it collided, my batteries sprang from the pack as I frantically screamed at my television and fought desperately to save my digital life. I genuinely feared for Isaac Clarke’s safety, and all I could think about was how much I would want a helping hand if I was being dragged off into the bowels of a ship infested with mutated bodies.

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2. Playing Through The Impossible

Necromorphs Dead Spaces 10 Most Terrifying Moments

Playing through Dead Space multiple times offers fans new chances to experience the terror. Luckily, the Visceral team decided to challenge players with the impossible on their second playthroughs. Without a doubt, there were hardcore gamers who blasted their way through the hordes of Necromorphs with ease (assuming you didn’t stasis cheat). Yet, by increasing the difficulty it seems that the game has an added level of fear on top of what was already beautifully crafted.

We are able to gain a heightened level of terror that only Dead Space can offer by limiting ammo resources, increasing damage, and making players feel the tension in their controllers like never before.

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1. The Ending

Nicole Dead Spaces 10 Most Terrifying Moments

From start to finish, Dead Space offered horror fans an experience that they would take with them forever. After that first Necro latched its jagged claws into our terror-stricken hearts we knew this was just the beginning of something great. As Isaac settled into his cozy captain’s chair, and prepared to embrace the comfort of safety, we should have known that Visceral would have one last scare to deliver.

Leaping from behind our hero, the screams of dying love plagued our nightmares, until Isaac Clarke returned in Dead Space 2. His struggle with insanity was the highlight of the second game in the series, so be sure to check back soon for our favorite terrors from the second installment. Until then though, let us know in the comments, what were your favorite scares from Dead Space?

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