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Dead Space

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Dead Space Game Poster Image
Extreme blood and gore splatter mature horror game.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 15 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 35 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

You are trying to solve a mystery of what happened to a space ship; but must fight aliens using extreme manners including disemboweling them. Players are a male but the person in charge who leads the expedition is an attractive female.

Positive Role Models & Representations

You are trying to find out what happened to your fellow space travelers, but when you encounter the life-threatening aliens, you use extreme methods to kill them. It is a kill or be killed situation.


A gory shooter with decapitation, plenty of blood, and the ability to target specific body parts. Some enemies you must disembowel.


Cuss words are heard in great abundance including "f--k," "sh-t," "damn," "hell," and "ass."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Players can pick up health packs to improve their condition.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that they should take heed of the "Mature" warning. Just like horror films that served as an influence in this video game thriller, players will shoot at alien creatures who spray blood and fall in a bloody heap to the floor. This is an extremely bloody and gory game. You will find decapitated humans (and can kick around their heads, as all items in the world operate on real physics). Human body parts can also be found and you can target specific parts of the body in combat. Extreme foul language abounds.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written bycamcan98 January 15, 2011

great, but intense

this game is very fun. do not, i repeat, do not play the game until ur 14 or older. it loaded with dismemberment. issac can also lose all his body parts. very g... Continue reading
Adult Written byxenix May 3, 2010

For Adults and Young Adults

Dead Space is a really scary, intense, well made piece of art. The HUD-less interface is revolutionary. The plot is compelling and the characters have depth. It... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old July 7, 2011


I am being seriouse: DO NOT BUY CHILDREN THIS GAME!!! This game is meant to give you nightmares and heart attacks. Storyline is the ship the Ishimura loses ther... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bytomdabomb December 31, 2010
Children aren't as scared of gore as much these days. All it is, is looking at the inside of the human body. The only reason a 13 year old shouldn't p... Continue reading

What's it about?

A refreshing change from all the video game sequels and movie tie-ins these days, DEAD SPACE is a brand-new thriller that combines a sci-fi storyline with "survival horror" game-play elements -- therefore it's no surprise the game makers refer to it as a cross between Alien and Resident Evil. Dead Space takes place 500 years in the future, when a rescue team travels to deep space to investigate a mining ship that has abruptly ceased contact with Earth while orbiting above an ominous-looking planet. You play as an engineer, Isaac Clarke, tasked to restore the Ishimura's communications system, but while roaming the eerie corridors you discover the ship's crew has been decimated by vicious aliens. And the E.T.s are still here.

Played from a third-person perspective, you navigate Clarke around gorgeous, high-definition environments with no icons, numbers, or maps on the screen to remind you this is a video game. Instead, you'll keep an eye on the back of the protagonist's spacesuit as it reveals his health (indicated by a glowing turquoise meter), an air supply timer (ideal for zero-gravity sequences), and on the back of most weapons, you'll see a digital number that counts down how much ammo is left. The only thing that ruins the suspension of disbelief is pictures of floppy disks you'll find strewn throughout the spaceship, which is where you can save your progress during the game.

Is it any good?

Dead Space offers plenty of action (with the ability to target and dismember specific alien body parts); puzzle-solving challenges (such as getting machinery to work or opening locked doors); handy gadgets (like gravity boots and purchasable items using found credits); and boasts a Hollywood-worthy script, tense atmosphere, and a music soundtrack that begins with a haunting rendition of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." Kudos to EA for creating an exhilarating and nail-biting mature adventure to play alone, at night, and with the lights off. Note: the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC versions of the game all play out the same.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether EA went too far with the amount of blood and gore in this game. Could they have evoked the same spine-tingling effect without it all? Or do gamers, like many horror movie fans, enjoy all the "splatter"?

Game details

  • Platforms: Xbox 360
  • Price: $47-60
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Electronic Arts
  • Release date: October 14, 2008
  • Genre: Survival Horror
  • ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language

For kids who love fast-paced games

Our editors recommend

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