Episode 527 - Duck And Weave Those Calisto Zombies

Suddenly it’s December! While we plan our end of year content, the Waypoint crew is catching up with and putting to rest a few final releases before it’s time to finish off our year in the content mines. Cado’s been playing Pokemon Violet and has found the charm far outweighs the technical issues. Rob and Cado were pleasantly surprised by Need for Speed: Unbound, who’s art direction and push-your-luck mechanics have made a solid first impression. After the break, Patrick and Rob have been checking out The Calisto Protocol, a spiritual successor to the Dead Space franchise that has some odd quirks to its melee combat system. Then the crew takes a dip in the question bucket and wonders, what is the daddiest of dad games?


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://shows.acast.com/vicegamingsnewpodcast/episodes/episode-527-duck-and-weave-those-calisto-zombies

Haven’t played Callisto (yet) but I think there’s some real heavy nostalgia goggles going on with Dead Space here.

Let me clear, Dead Space is a bona fide classic for a bunch of presentational and mechanical reasons, but having just replayed it last month, it’s a much less dynamic and exciting game than Dead Space 2. That’s not to say I don’t prefer it. In many ways, Dead Space 1 is slower, easier, and more atmospheric which is why I like it more, but half of the game is middling-to-bad in terms of its level and encounter design. Anyone remember the zero-g green radioactive balls? Does anyone recall the balls??

I think the emphasis on Schofield’s involvement in this project has been an unforced error on Striking Distance’s part. Everyone and their mum has been comparing this third-person splatter-gore brawler to a western sci-fi adaptation of Resident Evil 4. They are aesthetically comparable, and it sounds like all the criticisms of the combat are well-founded, but it feels like people wanted this game to make a Dead Space-sized splash so that companies started making big AAA singleplayer action games like they did in 2008. Lest we forget that Dead Space and Mirror’s Edge were burdened with unrealistic expectations of their own.

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Welp, time to review who’s getting ad space on the podcast again cause this one’s pretty bad. Got an ad for Aramco of all things.

Part of the dead space nostalgia is certainly rose tinted glasses, and forced to make Sophie’s choice I would probably say that two is a better game overall, but they’re also tonally very different games. It’s basically the video game Alien/Aliens divide, DS is a taught survival horror game, DS2 is a horror themed thriller. It plays better and is more dynamic by necessity. DS Isaac is supposed to be heavy and clumsy because he’s an engineer using improvised tools, DS2 Isaac feels like Master Chief who can’t jump.

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Without going back and actually replaying the games again (it must be years and years since I did that) I’m not sure how my opinion would actually hold up, but I did like Dead Space 2 more overall. It was one of my favourite games from that generation of consoles. I see why someone might prefer the original for how much closer it is to older survival horror where the sequel is much more of an action game – it’s just that I think putting genre aside, to me it’s simply a better game. I’m so curious whether the remake will hew closer to the Dead Space 2/3 dynamism, try to recreate the feel of the original, or land somewhere completely different that’s informed by the last decade of horror/action-horror trends.

I will never not be able to think of Dead Space now without thinking “Master Chief who can’t jump”. Excellent turn of phrase.