Dead Space (series)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Dead Space
Dead Space logo.jpg
The official logo
Genres Survival horror, Third person shooter
Developers Visceral Games
Publishers Electronic Arts
Creators Glen Schofield
Platforms Android, iOS, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Wii
First release Dead Space
October 13, 2008
Latest release Dead Space 3
February 5, 2013

Dead Space is a third person shooter survival horror media franchise created by Glen Schofield, developed by Visceral Games and published by Electronic Arts. The franchise centers on a series of video games of the survival horror genre, and also includes two films and a comic book series, with more media planned for the future. The series began in 2008 as an eponymous video game aimed at creating, in Schofield's words, "the most terrifying game we could"; the game was a success and spawned a prequel and later a sequel released in 2011.

Each installment in the Dead Space series is a continuation or addition to a continuing storyline which began with the release of the original eponymous game. The game is set in a 26th-century science fiction universe featuring environments, weapons and characters typical of the genre. The series' chronology is not presented in a linear format, with sections of the storyline presented in the form of either prequels or sequels, and in different media aside from only video games. Generally speaking, the series focuses on a man named Isaac Clarke and the horrors that surround him.

So far the series has been commercially and critically successful, selling over 8 million copies; the first game and its sequel received widely positive reviews from the majority of critics and the first game has received a number of industry awards for many different elements of its gameplay and development.

On March 4, 2013, it was reported that EA had shut down production of Dead Space 4 due to lower-than-expected sales of Dead Space 3. EA Games Label president Frank Gibeau had previously said that Dead Space 3 needed to sell 5 million copies to be successful. The following day, EA said the report was "patently false".[1]


Main series[edit]

Title Details

Original release date(s):[2]
Release years by system:
2008: Xbox 360,[3][5] PlayStation 3,[2][5] Microsoft Windows[4][5]
  • The first video game of the Dead Space series.
  • The Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows versions were not released in Asia.[3][4]

Original release date(s):[6]
  • NA: January 25, 2011
  • AU: January 27, 2011
  • EU: January 28, 2011
Release years by system:
2011: Microsoft Windows,[7] Xbox 360,[7] PlayStation 3[7]

Original release date(s):[8]
  • NA: February 5, 2013
  • AU: February 7, 2013
  • EU: February 8, 2013
Release years by system:
2013: Microsoft Windows,[9] Xbox 360,[9] PlayStation 3[9]
  • A sequel to Dead Space 2[7] and the third installment in the Dead Space series.[7]


Title Details

Original release date(s):[10]
  • AU: September 24, 2009
  • EU: September 25, 2009
  • NA: September 29, 2009[11]
  • JP: October 1, 2009
  • NA: January 25, 2011 (PS3)[12]
Release years by system:
2009: Wii[11][10]
2011: PlayStation 3[12]

Original release date(s):[14]
  • NA: October 12, 2010
  • EU: October 13, 2010
  • AU: October 13, 2010
Release years by system:
2010: Xbox 360,[14] PlayStation 3[14]
  • Prequel to Dead Space 2
  • Available via PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade

Original release date(s):[15][16]
  • NA: January 25, 2011 (iOS)
  • EU: March 22, 2011 (iOS)
Release years by system:
2011: iOS,[15] Android[16]
  • Set between the first and second games in the main series. Unlike prior spin-offs, it features survival horror gameplay similar to the main series.
  • Developed by IronMonkey Studios, under supervision from Visceral Games.


The series takes place in outer space in the 26th century. Mankind has expanded into space and colonized other planets, but Earth herself is in ecological crisis, having been drained of resources. EarthGov currently resorts to "planet-cracking" - the processing of mining entire planets for the recovery of raw materials, with a fleet of specially constructed space-faring vessels. However, EarthGov is investigating a second possibility. During the 23rd century, the Chicxulub crater was found to contain a "Marker" - an artifact of extraterrestrial origin which acts as a relay for a persistent electromagnetic field signal, with no apparent source. Theorizing that the Marker's signal could be harnessed to supply limitless energy, EarthGov initiated research with the ultimate aim of duplicating the Marker through reverse engineering. Even though the project was highly classified, the leading researcher, Michael Altman, managed to leak its existence. EarthGov quickly had him assassinated, but the damage was done; Altman was hailed as a martyr, and a new religion called "Unitology" sprung up in his wake. Unitologists have seized on one element of Altman's research - that Markers will somehow provide unity or will "make us whole" via a phenomenon called "Convergence" - and now hail the Markers as the key to humanity's salvation.

EarthGov succeeded in creating copies of the Marker, dubbed "Red Markers" because human scientists substituted bismuth for other alien materials in its manufacture, and began to study them and the original Black Marker. Unfortunately, the truth soon became apparent: the emitted electromagnetic signal causes paranoia and hallucinations in the living, as well as the reanimation and mutation of dead tissue. The resulting zombies were dubbed "Necromorphs," and they are the primary antagonists of the Dead Space franchise. EarthGov closed the research projects and abandoned the Markers wherever they had been hidden, but between Unitologists, continued EarthGov investigations and the mere fact of the Markers' existence on documented planets, it was inevitable that someone would find one again.

The first game is played on board the USG Ishimura, the first and oldest Planet-cracker, which has gone radio silent whilst attempting operations on a distant planet called Aegis VII; the game then moves to a colony on the planet itself, where one of the Red Markers was hidden. The second game is set on Titan Station (also known as The Sprawl) a space station surrounding a shard of Titan, where yet another Marker is unleashed. Sequels and other followups take place on one of these two settings. Dead Space 3 primarily covers the hunt for Tau Volantis, an ice-covered planet whose colony went dark 200 years ago. Tau Volantis is believed to be where the Markers originated from, and the series' protagonists visit it in hopes of putting a stop to the Markers once and for all.


The Dead Space games are survival horrors, with the player character visible at all times. All menu interfaces are diegetic, produced by the character's "Resource Integration Gear" spacesuit for ease of communication with other characters. For instance, the character's hit point meter, built into the spine of his suit, is intended to allow co-workers to monitor his health, and when the character moves into depressurized areas, a readout on his back displays his remaining seconds of oxygen. All sound is removed from gameplay during these segments save those which would be transferred to the character's ears by the vibrations of his RIG, such as rounds fired from his weapon. Since the menus are diegetic, opening them does not pause gameplay.

The character's RIG can be outfitted with two special abilities for use in combat and puzzle-solving. The "Kinesis" module allows the character to retrieve, levitate and transport objects, often heavier or more distant ones than could be accessed normally. These objects may also be expelled at high speed for use as improvised projectiles. The "Stasis" module causes its target to undergo an extreme slowdown for a short period of time, allowing characters to dart through rapidly moving obstacles such as fan blades, or hinder onrushing enemies. The RIG also has a slot-based inventory for carrying weapons, ammunition, healing items and other objects.

Gunplay is influenced by the franchise's antagonists. Because Necromorphs are re-animated and re-purposed corpses, often lacking nervous, respiratory and circulatory systems, the conventions of stopping power are largely irrelevant to them. Thus, instead of targeting foes' heads or center of mass, players are encouraged to engage in "strategic dismemberment" by shooting off their arms and legs. Some Necromorphs can be easily defeated in this manner, but others may change attack patterns or even spawn entirely new enemies when slain. Relatedly, the game's weapons are characterized as being repurposed power tools[17] or mining implements, such as plasma cutters, rotary saws and gravitic repulsion tools, though an increasing amount of dedicated military ordnance becomes available as the franchise progresses.

In the first two games, RIGs and weapons can be upgraded at "BENCH" workstations. They can also visit "STORE" vending machines to buy or sell items for in-game currency, and upload new schematics to those STOREs in order to unlock new items. This was changed in the third installment, where the STORE was scrapped entirely; new "Suit Kiosks" allow the player to upgrade their RIG, and BENCH functionality was expanded to allow players to craft their own weapons, often by cobbling together parts and resources scavenged through gameplay.

Finally, as an added and somewhat grisly touch, each type of enemy has a unique way of slaying the player character, customized to whatever claws, blades, fangs or probosces they happen to possess.


Isaac Clarke[edit]

Isaac Clarke is the main protagonist of the Dead Space series. Originally a ship systems engineer, his life changes for the worse when a seemingly-routine repair mission becomes a struggle to survive the Necromorph scourge. Clarke originally chose the mission to make contact with his girlfriend who was stationed on the damaged vessel. Clarke is named after science fiction authors Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke. He is silent in the original game,[18] but is voiced by and modeled after actor Gunner Wright in the sequels.


During development for Dead Space, EA Redwood Shores (now Visceral Games) gave Isaac a portmanteau name from the science fiction writers Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke.[19] Isaac's parents Poul and Octavia take their names from science fiction authors Poul Anderson and Octavia Butler. During development for Dead Space 2, Visceral Games decided to give Isaac a voice and chose Gunner Wright.[20][21][22][23][24] As Wright's performance was motion captured this influenced Clarke's appearance and movement in the game.[25]


PlayStation Universe described him as a "corpse-slaying badass," saying: "starting off as the mute hero of the original Dead Space, Clarke was finally given a voice and personality in the sequel, becoming a standout character in his own right". They added: "his willingness to help others and strong morals makes him an ideal partner", and stated his best characteristic to survive is his adaptability.[26] GamesRadar ranked Isaac, who has "a cool demeanor, and an even cooler suit of futuristic armor," as the 22nd "most memorable, influential, and badass" protagonist in games,[27] also including him in other three "Top 7:" at the fourth place in their list of "The Top 7... Mentally damaged characters we love;"[28] as the sixth most badass game character of the generation (as of 2012),[29] and his romance with Nicole Brennan was ranked as the fifth most disastrous in video games.[30] GamesRadar further placed him at number 30 in a list of the 50 best game characters of the generation.[31] Isaac was featured as one of the characters IGN would like to see in an ultimate fighting game, adding "He may lack the pizzazz of some other fighters on this list, but try making fun of him when he holds a space-age nail gun to your forehead."[32] In 2013, Complex ranked him as the sixteenth most badass character in video game history.[33] In addition, his helmet was listed by UGO Networks at six in "The Coolest Helmets and Headgear in Video Games" list.[34] Although Clarke ultimately did not make the cut, Game Informer staff considered his inclusion in their "30 characters that defined a decade" collection, with Ben Reeves saying, "Not only does Isaac manage to combat his own battered subconscious, but he ends up saving the universe from the spread of a deadly alien menace. That’s a true definition of hero in my book."[35]

Nicole Brennan[edit]

Nicole is a medical officer aboard the USG Ishimura, and Isaac's girlfriend. She appears at Isaac's side at times of struggle, but later logs reveal that she committed suicide long before Isaac arrived; her appearances have actually been hallucinations created by the Markers with the intent of manipulating Isaac into furthering their agenda. She appears in a similar guise over the course of the second game, serving as a sympathetic antagonist. She is voiced by Iyari Limon in the first game, and Tanya Clarke in the second.

Nolan Stross[edit]

Nolan Stross appears in Dead Space 2 and was one of the protagonists in the animated feature Dead Space: Aftermath. Stross was once a high-ranking scientist but suffered from dementia after coming into contact with the Red Marker, and was placed in a psychiatric ward of a hospital on Titan Station. Clarke meets Stross in this area.[36] Like Clarke, the character is named after two science fiction authors, in this case William F. Nolan and Charles Stross. While he and Clarke attempt to band together to destroy the Marker causing the events of the second game, his madness gets the better of him and Isaac is forced to kill him. He is voiced by Curt Cornelius.

Ellie Langford[edit]

Ellie is a major non-player character in Dead Space 2 and 3. In the first sequel, she and Isaac work together to escape the Titan Sprawl, and between the two games they begin a romance. However, by the time of the second sequel they have separated, partially because Isaac is hesitant to wager his life stopping the Markers. Ellie, with the help of Earth Defense Force Captain Robert Norton, discovers evidence that the planet Tau Volantis is the Marker homeworld; she sends Norton to recruit Isaac, kicking off the events of the third game. She is voiced by and modeled after actress Sonita Henry.[37]

John Carver[edit]

Sgt. John Carver, Earth Defense Force, is a character in Dead Space 3, and the protagonist of the tie-in graphic novel Dead Space: Liberation. The graphic novel depicts his past as a loyal EarthGov soldier with a troubled home life. Damara and Dylan, his wife and son, are killed by Dead Space 3 antagonist Jacob Danik, and Carver joins forces with Ellie Langford to prevent Danik from triggering Convergence. He is voiced by and modeled after Ricardo Chavira.

Under normal circumstances, Carver is a non-player character, dispensing advice and guidance to Clarke but not assisting in gameplay. However, Dead Space 3 features "drop-in drop-out" co-operative multiplayer: the game's single-player campaign can at any time become a co-operative experience if a second player joins via Xbox Live or other networking services. If a second player does join, Carver is that player's in-game character; as such, he can be seamlessly written in and out of the campaign at any time to facilitate the presence (or absence) of said other player. Additionally, if a second player is present, side missions become available that deal with Carver's guilt concerning the way he treated his family, as well as over their deaths.

Jacob Danik[edit]

Jacob Danik is the leader of the Unitology movement and the principal antagonist of Dead Space 3. Danik is played by Simon Templeman.[38]


A central theme in the games is the fictional antagonistic cult religion Unitology. Its members are fanatical followers of Michael Altman, who they claim leaked information that the Earth's government was suppressing about the alien artifact called the Marker. Their primary goal is to use this Marker to bring about the so-called "convergence" or "unification". Unitologists believe that human life may have come from space, and that by worshipping the Marker they can achieve eternal life.

According to the developers, the fictional religion is supposed to represents people's illogical thinking about things they don't understand, such as the Marker and the necromorphs. Unitology has been confirmed to have its own scripture of some kind. While it is not meant as criticism of religion itself, it draws on the falsehoods and corruption that may be hidden inside one.[39]

Many players and critics have drawn comparisons between the fictional Unitology and the real-world Scientology: both have science-fiction influences, collected large funds from their members, consist of multiple ranks within their system which determine access to certain information, and host a large number of influential followers such as CEOs and celebrities. The developers have stated that these comparisons are simply meant to portray it as a secretive cult, with the name similarity causing unfortunate implications.[40][41]

Related media[edit]


Title Details

Original release date(s):[42]
Release years by system:
2008: Film festival (United Kingdom only),[42] DVD,[45][43] BD[46][44]
  • Takes place at the same time as Extraction and before the original Dead Space.

Original release date(s):[47]
Release years by system:
DVD,[48] BD[49]
  • Takes place between Dead Space and Dead Space 2
  • Aftermath centers on the Aegis VII disaster and explores how the Government sends an unwitting crew of people to get exposed to Marker shards. The Government is secretly trying to produce a viable “Marker blueprint” carrier, no matter the costs.[50]


Title Details

  • USA: March 3, 2008
Comic book[51][52][53]

  • USA: July 20, 2010
Paperback [55]
  • A novel written by B. K. Evenson, set roughly 200 years before Dead Space. It tells the story of geophysicist Michael Altman, who discovers a mysterious signal within the Chicxulub crater and after secretly obtaining a piece of the Marker, leaks it to the public and spreads the visions he received from it. He becomes the unwilling "prophet" of the Marker, marking the beginning of Unitology.

  • USA: November 24, 2010
– Comic book [56]
  • A comic book written by Antony Johnston, illustrated by Christopher Shy and published by IDW Publishing
  • Tells the story of the Magpies, who discover an abandoned mining ship, the USG Ishimura. Their luck turns into a catastrophe as they realize they are in the middle of a living nightmare.[50]
Dead Space: Catalyst

  • USA: October 2, 2012
  • A novel written by B. K. Evenson, set two hundred and fifty years in the future after the events of Dead Space Martyr, extinction threatens mankind. Tampering with dangerous technology from the Black Marker—an ancient alien artifact discovered on Earth eighty years earlier—Earthgov hopes to save humanity.
Dead Space: Liberation

  • USA: February 5, 2013
– Comic book [57]
  • A comic book written by Ian Edginton, illustrated by Christopher Shy and published by Titan Books
  • Tells the story of an Earthgov Sergeant, John Carver, whose wife and son are attacked by fanatics trying to liberate the Marker site where she works.

Music albums[edit]

Title Release date Length Label Source
Dead Space Original Soundtrack November 11, 2008 1:01:07 Electronic Arts [58][59]
Dead Space 2 Original Videogame Score January 25, 2011 1:00:22 Electronic Arts [60][61]
Dead Space 2 Collector's Edition Original Soundtrack January 25, 2011 Electronic Arts [62][63]

Film adaptation[edit]

Filmmaker John Carpenter is interested in making a Dead Space film, it is said to be very appealing for a horror franchise movie that might surpass Resident Evil.[64] Justin Marks will write the script but adapting the game storyline and the characters makes the movie production easy. EA has plans to adapt the Dead Space videogames into a potential film franchise.[65]


  1. ^ Gaston, Martin (March 5, 2013). "EA denies Dead Space series cancellation". GameSpot. Archived from the original on March 7, 2013. Retrieved March 5, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Dead Space for PlayStation 3: Release Summary". GameSpot. Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Dead Space for Xbox 360: Release Summary". GameSpot. Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Dead Space for PC: Release Summary". GameSpot. Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c "Release Information for Dead Space". MobyGames. Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Dead Space 2". Electronic Arts. Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f "EA Brings The Terror To Space In Dead Space 2". Electronic Arts. December 7, 2009. Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Dead Space 3". Electronic Arts. Retrieved June 6, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c "EA Reveals Dead Space 3's 2013 Release". Retrieved August 18, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b "Dead Space Extraction for Wii: Release Summary". GameSpot. Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  11. ^ a b "Release Information for Dead Space: Extraction". MobyGames. Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  12. ^ a b c McElroy, Griffin. "Dead Space 2 comes with Move-based Extraction on PS3". Joystiq. 
  13. ^ "Dead Space: Extraction for Wii". MobyGames. Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  14. ^ a b c "". 
  15. ^ a b "App Store - Dead Space". Apple. Retrieved Jan 12, 2012. 
  16. ^ a b "Dead Space - Apps on Android Market". Google. Retrieved Jan 12, 2012. 
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ Eddy, Andy (2007-10-09). "Dead Space First Look Preview (Xbox 360)". Team Xbox. Archived from the original on 2008-09-24. Retrieved 2008-10-15. 
  20. ^ Schiesel, Seth (1 February 2011). "Dead Space 2 Revives Isaac Clarke - Review". The New York Times. 
  21. ^ - By pklepek (2010-03-31). "The Reason Dead Space 2's Once Muted Isaac Clarke Suddenly Has A Voice". Retrieved 2013-06-05. 
  22. ^ ":: The Two Voices of Isaac Clarke". Mending The Wall. 2011-02-14. Archived from the original on 2013-10-14. Retrieved 2013-07-17. 
  23. ^ "Evolution of Story". YouTube. Visceral Games. Retrieved 2013-06-07. 
  24. ^ "Dead Space 3 | Weapon Crafting Gameplay". YouTube. Electronic Arts. 15 August 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  25. ^
  26. ^ "In the Spotlight: Isaac Clarke". PlayStation Universe. February 10, 2013. Retrieved August 1, 2013. 
  27. ^ "100 best heroes in video games". GamesRadar. November 9, 2012. Retrieved August 1, 2013. 
  28. ^ Cooper, Hollander (June 23, 2012). "The Top 7... Mentally damaged characters we love". GamesRadar. p. 2. Retrieved August 1, 2013. 
  29. ^ Cooper, Hollander (September 28, 2012). "The Top 7... Most badass game characters of the generation". GamesRadar. Retrieved August 1, 2013. 
  30. ^ Meikleham, Dave (June 23, 2012). "The Top 7... disastrous game romances". GamesRadar. p. 2. Retrieved August 1, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Best game characters of the generation". GamesRadar. Retrieved May 19, 2014. 
  32. ^ Schedeen, Jesse (October 15, 2008). "Players Wanted: Ultimate Fighting Game, Part 2". IGN. Retrieved August 1, 2013. 
  33. ^ Avellan, Drea (February 1, 2013). "16. Issac Clarke — The 50 Most Badass Video Game Characters Of All Time". Complex. Retrieved August 1, 2013. 
  34. ^ Meli, Marissa (March 4, 2011). "The Coolest Helmets and Headgear in Video Games". UGO Networks. Archived from the original on May 19, 2014. Retrieved August 1, 2013. 
  35. ^ Bertz, Matt (November 19, 2010). "The Snubbed List". Game Informer. Retrieved December 18, 2014. 
  36. ^ "Nolan Stross". 
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^ How to create an entire religion, IGN
  40. ^ L. Ron Altman: Why Dead Space 2 is a direct attack on Scientology, Ars Technica
  41. ^ 'Dead Space 2' Creative Director on the Unitology vs. Scientology debate, MTV
  42. ^ a b "Dead Space: Downfall (2008) (V) - Release dates". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  43. ^ a b "Dead Space: Downfall (2008)". Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  44. ^ a b "Dead Space: Downfall (Blu-ray) + Digital Copy (2008)". Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  45. ^ a b "Dead Space Downfall (2008) (DVD)". Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  46. ^ a b "Dead Space Downfall (Blu-ray) (2008)". Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  47. ^ "Dead Space: Aftermath (2011) (V) - Release dates". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved November 10, 2010. 
  48. ^ a b "Dead Space Aftermath (2011) (DVD)". Retrieved November 10, 2010. 
  49. ^ a b "Dead Space Aftermath (Blu-ray) (2011)". Retrieved November 10, 2010. 
  50. ^ a b "San Diego Comic-Con 2010: Dead Space Aftermath Animated Feature & Dead Space Salvage Graphic Novel Announced". Dread Central. Retrieved November 10, 2010. 
  51. ^ a b "Dead Space (2008)". The Comic Book Database. Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  52. ^ a b "EA Branches into Comics with Dead Space Graphic Novels". Primotech. February 21, 2008. Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  53. ^ a b c "New Comic Based on Dead Space Game". February 29, 2008. Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  54. ^ a b "Dead Space (Comic)". Antony Johnston. Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  55. ^ "Dead Space: Martyr: Brian Evenson: 9780765325037: Books". 
  56. ^ "Dead Space: Salvage: Antony Johnston, Christopher Shy: 9781600108150: Books". 
  57. ^ "Dead Space: Liberation: Ian Edginton, Christopher Shy: 9781781165539: Books". 
  58. ^ "Dead Space Original Video Game Soundtrack". VGMdb. Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  59. ^ "Dead Space Original Soundtrack". Game-OST. Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  60. ^ "Dead Space 2 Original Videogame Score". VGMdb. Retrieved January 25, 2011. 
  61. ^ "Dead Space 2 Original Videogame Score". Game-OST. Retrieved January 25, 2011. 
  62. ^ "Dead Space 2 Collector's Edition Original Soundtrack". VGMdb. Retrieved January 25, 2011. 
  63. ^ "Dead Space 2 Collector's Edition Soundtrack". Game-OST. Retrieved January 25, 2011. 
  64. ^ Karmali, Luke. "John Carpenter Wants to Make a Dead Space Film". IGN. 
  65. ^ Graser, Marc (July 18, 2013). "'Dead Space' Movie Alive and Kicking at Electronic Arts". Variety. 

External links[edit]