In (Dead) Space, nobody can hear you scream: PETER HOSKIN reviews Dead Space and GoldenEye 007 

Dead Space (PlayStation, Xbox, PC, £69.99)

Verdict: Brutally beautiful

Rating: **** 

Don’t make me review this game. Honestly, I don’t get on with horror. And I barely made it through the original Dead Space back in 2008 with my sanity intact — so the idea of a more realistic, updated version in 2023, slick with new terrors, doesn’t really appeal.

Except, weirdly, it also does. The reason I struggled through the game 15 years ago is that it was extremely good: a compulsive experience that wrung every bit of atmosphere it could from its spaceship setting.

So here I am again, aboard the Ishimura with a plasma-cutter in my hands. And I must say, it looks amazing. 

The interplay of light and shadow, the detailing on the metallic corridors… this is clearly a remake that has received a lot of love and attention.

That extends to the gameplay, too. Rather than just prettify Dead Space, the makers of this 2023 variety have decided to improve some of the things that were previously lacking. 

The interplay of light and shadow, the detailing on the metallic corridors… this is clearly a remake that has received a lot of love and attention

The tram system, for instance, is no longer a stop-start contrivance that takes you from one loading screen to another, but a real — and great — means of getting about the ship.

That said, some of the new additions are questionable: the main character, Isaac Clarke, now has a voice, which sacrifices the eerie taciturnity of the original. 

Or just plain gross: you can now slough your zombie opponents apart, layer by layer.

But, still, I persisted. Through the darkness, through the screeching monsters, through the Ishimura, all the way to the end. Again. Just don’t make me review Dead Space 2.

GoldenEye 007 (Xbox, Switch, included with both systems’ online gaming subscriptions)

Verdict: From the past, with love

Raing: *** 

James Bond, I presume. Here to collect this dossier before — ugh! — no! — sick! — what’s happened to your face?!

The re-release of GoldenEye 007 is what’s happened to his face. At last, we can play this classic first-person shooting game — a large part of millions of childhoods in the 1990s — on modern consoles. 

But this isn’t one of those times when an old game has been completely overhauled for the 21st Century. 

No, this one looks much like it did 25 years ago…and Bond’s face is a weird triangular mush.

Goldeneye has aged better in other respects. Its single-player campaign, based on the first of the Pierce Brosnan movies, is, of course, rudimentary when compared to today’s Calls Of Duty — but you can still see what must have impressed everyone all those years ago. 

The re-release of GoldenEye 007 looks much like it did 25 years ago…the classic first-person shooting game — a large part of millions of childhoods in the 1990s

Each level is surprisingly roomy, with extra little areas for your Bond to wander off the main path. The shooting itself is simple but satisfying.

Then, of course, there’s what really made GoldenEye so popular: the split-screen multiplayer mode that allows you and whoever’s next to you on the sofa to run around underground bases and snipe at each other. May the best Bond win.

At which point, I must reveal a state secret: because I didn’t have an N64 console, I never actually played GoldenEye when I was younger. 

So I don’t have any warm, fuzzy memories of all-night multiplayer sessions, nor any nostalgia for these grey-brown arenas. 

Dashing through them this week was an odd feeling, like I was playing with someone else’s toys.

But if you did have an N64 and you did play GoldenEye back when everyone loved Tony Blair, then no doubt you’ll feel differently. Enjoy it — even if Bond now has the kind of face that only a Moneypenny could love.

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