We spent time with Dead Space: Extraction at both this year’s E3 and San Diego Comic-Con, and we will get another chance to check it out before its release later this month at the Penny Arcade Expo. From what we have seen, you can tell that EA focused on making this experience a different one from what many Wii owners have become accustomed to in the past. That’s why we sat down with Steve Papoutsis of Visceral Games, the developer of both the original Dead Space and its Wii prequel, to talk about what they see as the advantages of Extraction over the competition.
BLAST: Tell us a bit about Dead Space: Extraction and how it fits into what we know about the ever-growing Dead Space universe.
SMP:‚ Extraction is the official prequel to Dead Space.‚ The game kicks off from the moment the Red Marker is extracted and follows a group of four people as they attempt to escape Aegis VII and see sanctuary on the USG Ishimura.
BLAST: Rather than port over the original Dead Space to the Wii, the focus for Visceral Studios was instead to create an original property that expanded on the Dead Space universe. What drove you in that direction, rather than the one that many Wii owners are accustomed to seeing?
SMP:‚ As gamers we wanted to create a unique Dead Space experience from the ground up for the Nintendo Wii.‚ The Wii is a very unique console with its innovate motion controls and we wanted to embrace the challenge of building a Wii game and that meant starting from the ground up.
BLAST: There are mature games on the Wii, but they have hit retail with varying levels of success. What, in your mind, separates Dead Space: Extraction from those mature Wii games already on the market, as well as those that are still on the way?
SMP:‚ With Extraction we are hoping to deliver a unique and new Dead Space experience for Wii gamers.‚ One of our main areas of focus with Extraction was nailing the atmosphere the first game had.‚ Compared to some of the other mature games on the Wii we feel our visuals and gameplay will really stand apart and hopefully interest a wide range of gamers.
BLAST: From what I have played, even in a room full of other people, this game has you jumping and feeling antsy just like the original did. Since the game is a guided experience though, was it challenging to recreate that creepy atmosphere in this format? How was it accomplished?
SMP:‚ Going with the Guided Experience approach has really opened a lot of doors for us as it relates to setting up tension and scares.‚ With this new perspective we have been able to approach the game in ways familiar to film makers.‚ Since the majority of the time we know where the camera will be looking we can leverage that knowledge and create some good set ups that we were not able to do on the original game.
BLAST: Part of the problem with the Wii is perception; many gamers that consider themselves “hardcore” have ignored the Wii in favor of its other console cousins. What do you think Dead Space: Extraction can do about changing the mindset of those gamers by convincing them that it’s okay to own and even like a Wii?
SMP:‚ Personally as a gamer I think it’s great to have options when it comes to the game systems I play on.‚ I enjoy playing games on all of the various console and handhelds.
I hope people enjoy Extraction and view it as one of the must have games on the Wii.‚ I think gamers are open minded and as long as a game is fun will give it a shot regardless of the platform it is on.‚ Hopefully they feel that way about Extraction.