Since being announced in early February, Dead Space: Extraction, the Wii-exclusive prequel to Electronic Arts' "action horror" hit of last year, has become the subject of much discussion, debate and even scepticism. Fans and critics alike are divided on whether the nail-biting atmosphere of the original will translate to the rail-shooter gameplay proposed for Extraction. EA employee and executive producer Steve Papoutsis recently spoke to IGN and addressed the reservations of fans thus far:
When we announced the game I was amazed at the passion Dead Space fans had for the franchise. I would tell the Sceptics that our team is passionate about innovation. Extraction is going to include all of the mechanics that made Dead Space a memorable experience: Stasis, Telekinesis, Strategic Dismemberment, and Zero-G . Our game is going to also deliver on some all new features, like Co-op, that really involves both players. Expect cooperative puzzles, brand new weapons, new characters, new enemies, new bosses, new story, and new locations. Our goal is to create an all new experience on the Nintendo Wii that feels custom built for that platform, and I think we are on track to do that.
Going into detail about some of the game's new weapons, Steve had this to say:
One of the new weapons is the Arc Welder and how it works is it fires out a bolt of energy that arc's between enemies causing more damage depending on how many enemies it comes into contact with. I want to keep the other new weapons a surprise for now.
Steve also briefly described the way in which basic offensive and defensive actions would control in Extraction:
To use Stasis the player will point their Wii Remote at an approaching enemy or object then hit the Stasis button to fire the Stasis projectile at the threat. Dismemberment works as you would expect, aim your Wii Remote at an enemies limb and fire, pop goes the Necromorph.
At this early stage of development Papoutsis is understandably light on specifics, but he also reveals the main character's name to be Levine and re-assures bloodthirsty fans that Extraction will contain "just as much gore and blood as they saw in the original game".
For many, myself included, the Wii seems the obvious platform for a rail-shooter renaissance, and with Sega's House Of The Dead: Overkill released to critical and commercial acclaim and the recent announcement of Extraction and Capcom's Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles, 2009 may well prove to be the Year Of The Lightgun. Whether or not the fans of such franchises embrace their favourite franchises being given the arcade treatment remains to be seen.
We'll have more coverage of Dead Space Extraction here at Nintendo Life as the game nears release in Q4 2009.