The forgotten Wii ‘Dead Space’ game

By Aidan Finn, Staff Writer

I was with a group of peers the other weekend, chatting about the usual gossip of advertising classes and Russian war crimes, when the conversation veered toward 2000s nostalgia. It started out with guessing what the name of that movie with the talking baseball bat was then moved to me mentioning that, for my latest column review, I was reviewing the Wii “Dead Space” game. The remake of the 2008 classic is coming soon, so I thought it would be fun to check it out. 

There was audible shock to the idea of one of the most violent seventh-gen games having a Nintendo Wii port seemed idiotic. In many ways, it was, but “Dead Space: Extraction” turned out to be a surprisingly engaging shooter that had me so hooked I beat it in a single afternoon.

“Dead Space: Extraction” is a weird creature of the AAA space, as it’s a rail-shooter akin to what one would find at a movie theater arcade, but with a big budget, developed characters and an actually okay plot fitting of the “Dead Space” series. 

The plot is that of a prequel set shortly before the events of “Dead Space” with a diverse cast of survivors finding themselves amid the outbreak that started due to the archeological find of the Marker — a creepily 10-foot lava lamp that magically turns people into zombies. Whereas the first “Dead Space” had an eerie 90s sci-fi sense of vagueness, not knowing what happened in the ruined USG Ishimura, here we see it all go down. 

The rail shooter aspect is definitely the most jarring. Rail-shooters are near nonexistent in the AAA space, outside of themed arcade cabinets at Dave & Buster’s. The Wii acts as a good system to pull a stunt like this, with the remote aiming and the nunchucks acting as the item and weapon changer. Unlike the arcades, “Dead Space: Extraction” is narrative driven, with several cutscenes detailing the story and surprisingly fun dialogue with its cast. A soldier, a widower, former CEO and a cop are unlikely allies as they race to escape the planet, and later the ship, as the stakes get higher with each encounter. 

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The iconic necromorphs of “Dead Space” work for a light-gun shooter archetype, with the variety of enemies, and different ways they can be shot at, makes precise shooting rather than mindless fire reward. Items can be grabbed through the environment from audio logs to health packs. Granted, given it’s on-rails, you have to be quick with your pointer as you have little time to focus on your environment. 

The guns are the same as the base game with a few new ones that come in handy, like a nail gun with infinite ammo. The plasma cutter is here, and all guns have an alternate fire mode that is accessed by turning the remote on it’s side. 

Motion controls are used quite well here, with the remote control being shaken to charge a glow stick in dark areas, the nunchucks swinging to punch nearby foes and the saw blade gun having a fun violent twist being controlled by the remote in a 3-Dimensional space.

Overall, the game is a fun romp that can be checked out at the Main library if you want to see one of the weirdest M-rated Nintendo games ever made, a fun shooter that is way more engaging than a rail-shooter should be. Granted, most of those games are quarter-munchers that rightfully died in the ’90s. 

Now I’m craving more of this weird anomaly. 

“Dead Space: Extraction” is available on PS3, Wii. 


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