â€œJesus Christ, we just killed someone.â€
You didnâ€™t want to do it. You werenâ€™t supposed to do it. But you had to do it. You didnâ€™t have a choice, right? You saw it. He was slashing, gnawing, clawing at thatâ€¦person. If you hadnâ€™t sliced him in half, you wouldâ€™ve been that horrifying smear of lifeless flesh on that cold steel floor. If you hadnâ€™t killed him, he wouldâ€™ve killed you.
I mean, he would haveâ€”wouldnâ€™t he?
Murder has long been a staple of our medium. Whether we respond by flattening marching mushrooms or firing white-hot rounds into the temporal lobes of those who oppose us, many video games ask us to kill. Far fewer, however, are willing to explore the psychology of the deed and the whirlwind of emotional turbulence it must provoke.
Dead Space: Extraction is far from a thesis on the subject, but it often toys with that psychology through a lens of physiological and mental decay. Are you killing to stay alive, or are you just killing?
Shortly after Extraction begins, you watch in horror as they pull a person to pieces, and as their attention shifts from the iron-touched flavor of warm blood to the rhythmic thumps of your pounding heart, you can kill these deranged, wild-eyed murderers or die. The choice seems simple enough, but soon afterward, you find out it isnâ€™t.
Thatâ€™s when Extractionâ€™s bleak, tragic narrative is at its best.
An all-new prequel to Visceral Gamesâ€™ outstanding 2008 survival horror game Dead Space, Extractionâ€™s dire tale begins on Aegis VII, where a mysterious stone formation is discovered. Religious fanatics call it a â€œmarker,â€ worshipping it as a conduit for the afterlife, and as ideological tensions smolder prior to its controversial excavation, the colonists begin to clash. The violence strikes a horrifying crescendo with the sound of synchronized pistolsâ€”a mass religious suicide.
Things begin to go horribly wrong on Aegis VII.