Sci-fi Game Analysis

Dead Space 2-

game genre a.) A 3rd person shooter, sci-fi, survival horror game


3 act structure b.) The opening of the game is a reminiscent flashback of an equilibrium were Isaac was still with his wife, were they talk over how great it is he pushed her to stay on the USG Ishimura, he expresses how he misses her and they look happy seeing each other. The Dead Space 2 narrative interestingly throws us immediately into the middle of the conflict after this, our protagonist, Isaac Clarke suffers from dementia and is in questioning with his medical officer, during it he has a mental break about his dead wife, Nicole tormenting him that he’s to blame for her suicide and is reduced to an unconscious state. He is roused by a stranger claiming he is there to help and unstraps Isaac from his confinement seat. He is killed and Isaac finds himself in the middle of a Necromorph outbreak.

Isaac receives his call to adventure when a stranger named Daina contacts him, she claims to allegedly be able to treat his dementia and get him to safety if he can reach her.

Refusing this calling out of distrust for the woman after she was evasive about answering how she knew personal information referencing himself, but was both reluctantly convinced and forced to accept the quest after she pointed out his dementia will kill him leaving him no choice but to find her and that she wasn’t the one shooting at him either. This goes back and forth one more time and he concludes he does need her help. He’s also contacted by a jittery, unstable man named Nolan Stross that seems to know who he is and is revealing information that paints some people as liars, but Isaac doesn’t know him and his mental state makes him unpredictable, Isaac chooses to go ignore him as people on the ship are going losing their sanity, Daina also labels him as a psychopath and to steer clear of him.

Daina sends you coordinated guiding you through the Sprawl towards her location and redirecting your route whenever something goes wrong.

Isaac has to fight his way through the Sprawl which is being totalled were the majority of its population is infested with mutilated men, women, children and babies killing everyone, all the while trying to contain his dementia from killing him too. You find Daina, but she turns out to be a Unitologist, part of a culture dedicated to worshipping the Marker believing it will unite the human race with one mind through a something called Convergence, after apprehending him she reveals government people are after him to keep him from destroying their Marker on the Sprawl like he did the one on the Ishimura, and she’s after him for the use of the information embedded in his head causing his dementia that allows them to create more Markers. Earth Gov kills everyone in that room at that moment, but Isaac escapes. Stross contacts Isaac again and says if they work together they can destroy the Marker because together they built it, he tells Isaac where to find it, he becomes your ally they try to meets up to make their way to the Government Sector where they keep the Marker. You meet Ellie which is also trying to get to the Government Sector and at first she wants nothing to do with you until on her way she meets Stross and they both go to the place where Isaac said he’d meet up with Stross. A man named Tiedemann informs you he’s cut the power to life support in the public sector to prevent you from escaping and to stop the conditions from spreading by exfixiation of everyone in that section of the Sprawl. Ellie is explained to by Isaac about his and Stross’ condition and how they need each other to tear down the Marker, she becomes your second ally.

Isaac restores power to the ship with the mothballed solar arrays.

They’re able to open up passage to Industrial Transport that Ellie can drive since she’s a heavy equipment pilot which can take them to the Government Sector.

They use the tracks and on the way Isaac discovers that they’ve been keeping the Ishimura in the Sprawl, but Tiedemann using the solar array makes use of the power built up by it to laser the public sector from the Government Sector severing the station in half as they make final preparations to escape. Isaac believes he can use the gravity tethers from the Ishimura being a planet cracker vessel to pull the Government Sector back, but this is also where Nicole died and he’s still being confronted by unnerving hallucinations trying to break him with the guilt of what he done. He begins to doubt himself whether the hallucinations are his or the Marker’s. He fixes the gravity tethers and brings the other half of the station back. On the way to the government sector Stross loses it and gouges Ellie’s eye out with a screw driver thinking he can help her see what only he and Isaac can, Isaac was forced to kill Stross after he tried to do the same to him. And Isaac’s mind continues to stir up dark thoughts about Nicole, his visions are getting worse. On the verge of being crushed by his guilt he accepts it, he comes to terms with everything and Nicole lets him go saying he’s ready. Isaac realises Stross couldn’t help him with the Marker because he couldn’t face his own guilt. Unsure of what to expect him and Ellie make their way to the Government Sector. Ellie finds an escape pod and Isaac nobly locks her in there to be rescued because he couldn’t save Nicole and launches the ship. He finds his way with the help of Nicole still without knowledge on how to stop the Marker. A convergence event triggers and Isaac makes his way with Nicole to the Machine Strosskept mumbling about, she says it will destroy the Marker once he performs the final step, Isaac thinks he remembers it clearly, how it works, that he’ll be able to destroy the Marker. He uses the Machine on himself and Nicole tells him to meet him at the Marker. Isaac arrives at the Marker and Tiedemann is there, he and Isaac fight, Isaac kills Tiedemann and embraces Nicole, she pulls his mind into the Marker deceiving him into getting what the Marker wanted, Isaac’s mind because he was its maker and to be reborn it needed him, Isaac has one final battle in his mind and wins. The station is falling apart and Isaac slumps over waiting as the it falls around him. Ellie breaks through the roof of the station and saves Isaac, the station explodes and they escape, this would suggest that there are no more Markers and everyone is safe from them, but say behind after the credits and a audio message plays, one of the phrases they use is “Marker site 12 is a total loss.”. There is no equilibrium to this story, but there is resolution to Isaac’s arc.

Themes c.) Space, Unknown, Advanced Technology.

codes and conventions d.) The things that connect this game to the Sci-fi genre are that it’s set out in space connotating that we will be in the future as people are also living on Saturn’s moons, also suggestive that their technology has advanced significantly, a sub idea of the sci-fi genre.

Isaac is in a space ship, another common feature that establishes this game as sci-fi.

There are aliens, alien markings and alien technology themes throughout the game which has connotations of the unknown, another concept common in sci-fi genre. With alien tech comes the idea of new technological development, common in sci-fi.

Another convention is being alone in space as the ship is broken down and you have to fix it in order to get away.

There are ships that harvest planets suggesting the future again and long corridor in them, something also often seen in sci-fi.

Littered around the mise en scene are little details to remind us we’re within these sci-fi genre, things like lasers, rogue AIs, decompression windows, escape pods and space suits to make the atmosphere tailor the genre realistically.

Isaac fights off aliens with a plasma infused tool, weapons that don’t use bullets and use energy are more similarities between this game and the sci-fi genre giving off an air of advanced tech.

The stepping stone of the game’s narrative throughout is the threat to the human race and life taking different forms, a common plot that often is the arc of the sci-fi genre.


character types e.)

Hero- Isaac Clarke and Ellie Langford

Villain- Unitology, The Marker, Tiedemann and the Government

Dispatcher- Daina

The Donor- Daina and Norman Stross

Helper- Ellie and Stross

The Princess- The Marker and Daina

False Hero- Daina, Stross and Tiedemann


character backstory f.) Character Backstory- Isaac Clarke, is a hetrosexual male, in his early 40s, he works for engineering, he was married to a lady named Nicole. He got the opportunity to send her on a ship on space called the USG Ishimura, a planet cracker class vessel and she agrees after a discussion that she may regret rejecting the opportunity, the ship went dark, that’s when he volunteered to board it and fix it. Nicole died there after it had got infested with Necromorphs (the game’s aliens) taking her own life. Isaac’s contracted dementia after coming in contact with the Red Marker brought on the Ishimura (an alien artefact that makes people insane and turns them into alien organisms), he’s the lone survivor of this outbreak and has been taken into refuge by the Sprawl, a spaceship with a city built within it and Isaac’s been registered into its medical services to recuperate and provide them with intel about the incident in Aegis 7 (an unknown location to us of a planet in space, but several light years away from Earth).


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