In honour of the launch of Alien: Isolation (of which more later), here’s one of its cousins.
The Dead Space series relies on monster closets. It does pretty well with monster closets, lovingly and abundantly placed.
The first Dead Space is set on the Ishimura, a colossal mining ship with some memorable internal spaces. The second is set on a colossal-er space station to which the Ishimura is docked. One segment has you detouring through the ship – now filled with decontamination equipment and protective sheeting, like the dust-sheets in an abandoned house.
If you’ve played the first game, you’ll vividly remember where all the monster closets were the first time round, and be braced every time you pass those points. Of course, the designers don’t put any monsters in closets until you’re most of the way through. It’s a nice callback to the previous game, and a great way to build tension.
‘Anything Nice’ is is a series of very short posts highlighting things I liked about the treatment of narrative in other people’s games. It’s a deliberately magpie, grab-bag approach. Some of these games I adore, some I don’t even like, but I learnt from all of them.