The game plays similar to other Dead Space titles, with a scaled back combat interface, which is similar to Dead Space 3 merged with the original Dead Space. Players can customize their weapons with parts they find throughout the world. In addition, Jack has a machete he can use to cut into necromorphs.
The game features a variety of weapons, including Plasma guns and, for the first time in the series, conventional weaponry, including a sci-fi double barrel shotgun, an old school revolver, and an assault rifle.
The necromorphs can only be killed by blowing/cutting off their limbs and then performing a headshot.
Endless Horror (Multiplayer)Edit
The game lacks competitive multiplayer, but does feature a mode called "Endless Horror" where users fight in a variety of maps against endless waves of enemies, trying to rack up the most points and survive for as long as possible.
In Endless Horror, there are three maps:
Labratory - Fight against the necromorphs inside a gritty, grungy lab with gruesome experiments displayed on the operating tables. The lights have been known to flicker, as well. Halfway through the map a lab fire breaks out, slowly closing off half the map.
Jungle - The Jungle map is set at dawn, where the player is in the jungle at a waterfall. The scene is hilly, and features plenty of room for manueverability, including two good sniper spots towards the top of the waterfall. After 15 minutes, the water running down the waterfall turns to blood, and contains body parts and limbs.
Ship - Fight on a crashing ship, as it heads towards a planet. The map features two areas that are "zero gravity", and allows the player to jump to/walk on the ceiling. 11 minutes in, 1/4 of the ship will break off, limiting the space where the players can fight. This is the tightest map, with only corridors and small rooms to fight in.
At G3 , a demo of the game was shown. The game appears to have a bigger focus on horror than previous titles, with far more limited ammo. The new playable character, Jack, also has a machete that can be used to combat necromorphs. There is also, for the first time in the series, "conventional" weaponry. This incldues the likes of a double-barrel shotgun with a sci fi theme to it. The game's combat is largely similar to previous games in the series, but appears more difficult, with a heightend focus on melee. Weapon customozation is still present, albeit in a different form than Dead Space 3.
The Wii-U version utilizes the gamepad, allowing the player quick access to an interactive map, inventory, and the weapon crafting menu. The game can also be played off-TV on the gamepad.
The PS3 version of the game features three exclusive levels. These levels are separate, and not part of the main campaign. These exclusive levels are part of the PS3-exclusive "Extended Horror" mode, which sees the player assuming the role of Jack Crister, the protagonist from the campaign, in a small side-story. In the side-story, set pre-Dead Space: Alteration, Jack must escape a ship of enemy soldiers. The three exclusive levels feature no necromorphs, but does delve into the game's lore, and elaborates on many of the motivations of characters, as well as giving the player an exclusive weapon to use in Extended Horror, a sci-fi inspired double-edged chainsaw.
Following completion of the game, the player unlocks skins for both Jack and Rick. Jack gets a Paramilitary outfit, a supernatural ghost t-shirt, a dirty white tank-top, and a "Jakked" outfit where he's dressed in extreme sporting gear. 2 skins are also unlocked for Rick, which are a squad-mate shirt, which reads "Jack's Buddy", and a camo tank-top.
After the reveal, many gamers expressed hesitance at the game's abandoning of the original trilogy's story arc and characters. Fans took to the forums to vent their concerns. EA would publically state that the original trilogy has not been abandoned, and that Alteration is a companion story, a "What-If?" scenario, not meant to reboot the series.
The first DLC for Dead Space: Alteration titled Injection, was released in Turn 28.
Injection is free of charge, and brings with it new single-player levels, new cutscenes and new characters:
Take on the necromorphs in this all-new 3-hour DLC campagin for Dead Space: Alteration. Assume the role of aging engineer Leon, as the necromorphs attack his vessel. Is there a traitor on board? You'll have to find out before time runs out.
Part of the content is stored on the disc/download.
Leon is a retiring engineer aboard the Lexington, working his last job. As he wraps up the last hour of his shift, a ship emerges and forcefully docks with theirs. Necromorphs bleed all over the place, and Leon takes up arms to combat them. He witnesses many of the ship's crew gruesomely murdered by the necromorphs. As Leon ventures into the docking ship and combats many of the mercenaries (who the necromorphs strangely ignore), he comes to find the scientist from the initial game. The scientist unleashes a spider-like necromorph that ends up biting off one of Leon's arms. The scientist calls it off, and forces Leon to watch as he kills the last surviving member of Leon's crew, a young engineer named Jessa. The scientist brutally decapitates her. Leon is left to bleed out as the scientist descends onto the planet where the main game takes place. Leon's ultimate fate is left ambiguous, as he hallucinates several dead crewman coming to pick him up and will him on.
Dead Space: Alteration sees the player assume the role of Jack Crister, a young soldier aboard a veteran war vessel. When his ship is attacked, he loses nearly all of his allies and fellow soldiers to the necromorphs, and is forced to combat the horrors in the tight corridors of the ship. Eventually, the whole ship is torn apart by the necromorphs, and it crashes on an unfamiliar planet.
Jack, along with fellow soldier and pessimistic war veteran Rick, are forced to hold off the necromorph forces as they get a distress signal out. They're eventually forced to evacuate the area. They run for hours, until they stop to catch their breath. The two get into an argument over what to do. Jack wants to head back to the distress signal, Rick wants to move forward and find shelter. Rick heads off on his own, leaving Jack.
Jack makes his way to an abandoned facility in the middle of a jungle, and investigates. He finds a scientist doing experiments, creating copies of necromorphs (similar to the ones found in the original Dead Space). Jack enters and shoots at the scientist, but he triggers a trap, causing Jack to be temporarily blinded. As he regains his sight, he's forced to hold off a mob of necromorphs as he sets up communications. He speaks to a fleet and they inform him they have to do a strike on the planet, and completely obliterate it. He reluctantly agrees, before being attacked by the scientist. The scientist injects him with something, before Jack shoots him, blowing his arm off. The scientist manages to escape, however. Jack leaves the building just in time, as the scientist triggers an explosion, blowing it up.
Jack fights his way through several more hordes of necromorphs, defeating what looks to be like a hybrid of several animals and a human into a necromorph. He manages to fight his way to an odd clearing, where all the foliage is a grayish color. The doctor shows himself again and has a tense standoff with Jack. Rick shoots the doctor out of nowhere, and has a standoff with Jack. Jack freaks out, telling Rick the doctor had the only way off the planet! Rick tells him the Doctor was manipulating him, and they'll have to find their own way off. Rick and Jack stare at the sky as the camera pans back.
The score is horrifying, with tense ambient symphonic tracks, and occasional electro-based tense tracks.
Two action figures, one of Jack, and one of Rick, were both released at the time of the game. They retail for $14.99 apiece.
In turn 30, it was reported that EA and Empire Of Gold 's relationship had fallen apart due to EA wanting to revise the content released in the "Injection" DLC pack, and reportedly split it up and charge for both parts. Empire Of Gold alledgedly refused, and this sparked EA to proceed with a lawsuit against Empire Of Gold for $1,000,000. EA claims that they're willing to work things out, but that Empire Of Gold won't speak to them. Empire Of Gold says they're more than willing to continue work on Dead Space: Alteration DLC, but they don't want to work with EA directly.
Dead Space: Alteration received mixed to positive reviews. Critics noted the game's departure from the action style of the previous games, particularly Dead Space 2 and 3. The gameplay was praised, particularly the new weapons and horror emphasis. However, the story was criticized for the writing, along with the characters. The game's multiplayer mode received mixed reviews.
"Dead Space: Alteration is both a new direction for a popular horror series, and a bold new direction. Marketed particularly as a spin-off, and not an entry in the actual series, Dead Space: Alteration presents a new story, new characters, new setting, but with the same (mostly the same) gameplay. The gameplay has been refined with a more survival horror layer of gameplay, with more limited ammo for your weapons, which now include traditional weaponry with a sci-fi twist, including a double-barrel shotgun, and a revolver. To circumvent the lack of ammo, the protagonist, Jack, has a machete he can hack off enemy limbs with, which is a ton of fun to play with. Necromorphs are tougher this time around, and Jack's not invincible. Through the tale, he's often teamed up with his buddy (read: hateful fellow soldier) Rick, who's the pessimist of all pessimists. Despite this, there's no co op like in Dead Space 3, but I actually prefer this. The story can get confusing at times, particularly towards the start, where an animated, graphic novel-style intro details how Jack caused his ship to rip through time into an alternate universe, but it does chug along, and you're usually able to follow. The multiplayer, "Endless Horror", provides an interesting glimpse into a horde mode Dead Space-style. You can upgrade the guns at a weapon crafting station, and new guns randomly appear for purchase. The currency is rung up in points, and the mode can get quite challenging 15 or so minutes in. There's only 3 maps, but there's an assortment of challenges to complete, along with detailed stats and a fun little character customization aspect. While the game looks good most of the time, it never manages to best Dead Space 3, so expect similar graphics. The voice work, especially on Jack's end, is hit or miss, but with the mad scientist and Rick, it's fairly spot-on. While the ending is a bit of a fail, and a clear set-up for a sequel, I wouldn't mind seeing that sequel. With a more concise story, a stronger cast, and a more diverse setting, Dead Space: Alteration 2 could contend with the main series. As it stands now, it's a solid spin-off, but fails to best any of the original trilogy. Still, it's a solid step forward, and I enjoyed it." OVERALL SCORE: 8.5/10
"Dead Space: Alteration pushes new boundaries for the franchise, but also takes a couple steps back. With an unnecessary multiplayer component, and a restrictive setting, the game never bests any of the original 3 games. But it does present a new story, and a more horror focus (a common criticism of Dead Space 3.) There's plenty of new weapons to play around with, and the PS3 exclusive levels and weapon are pretty neat, even if they only last all of about an hour. The story gets quite convulted, and loses itself midway, not because of an overly complicated plot, but we just don't come to care about the story or the characters as much as we should. Still, the gameplay's refined and better then ever, and I had a lot of fun with this one. Give it a rent." OVERALL SCORE: 7.5/10
"A new entry in the Dead Space series without Issac Clark? Blasphemy! But it's still a decent entry in the series. Despite a few glitches, graphics that aren't improved from Dead Space 3, and a just-alright multiplayer component, the game still manages to be fun. 90% of this fun stems from the refined gameplay that has a bigger emphasis on horror. Ammo's far less popular, and there's a few melee weapons that force you to get up close and personal with the necromorphs. The game feels tense all of the time, even in the serene tranquility of the jungle-like planet you find yourself on. The new setting presents a lot of interesting ideas, including necromorphs fused with animals, and a few great set pieces. So, in the end, this is a solid Dead Space spin-off, but not necessarily one I'd like to see a sequel to. Instead, I'd like to see these ideas incorporated into the next entry in the main Dead Space series, and then, we'd have a great hit. Empire Of Gold didn't strike gold, but there's nothing wrong with silver." OVERALL SCORE: 8/10
Injection was met with mixed reviews. A lot of reviewers liked the tighter corridors and the fact that Leon as an engineer didn't have as many skills as Jack from the base game. Criticism came at the story, partiularly the ending, which was unsatisfying on the front that Leon is presumably killed and left too many questions regarding the scientist unanswered.