For the longest time, the Dead Space series was my “go to” for horror games. It’s atmosphere plunges you into the depths of space, alone (at least in the first and second game) and surrounded by hideous abominations.
Since the first Dead Space game, it was obvious they were getting better and better. The second one was my personal favorite, mainly because of the chapter that takes place in the school (I hate school, and they made is creepy AF with exploding babies…)
The third game was given a twist of co-op, which came with a debate if it was going to be as scary or not. I played through it with my boyfriend and he can attest, it was just as scary, at least for me.
But now, a new horror arose last month. As I have talked about in earlier posts, The Evil Within has been a thrill ride through the mind of a psychotic, human dissecting mental patient.
I adored it.
I couldn’t put the thing down, just like I couldn’t put Dead Space down. Which got me thinking about my poor, neglected Dead Space. Since The Evil Within came around, I have pushed away my promise of going back through the series.
Isaac, I have not forgotten you!
I thought it would be interesting to hold up two of my favorite games, side by side, and see what comes of it.
The Hero of Horror: Isaac v.s. Sebastian
Two protagonists thrown into horrible worlds with back stories all their own. Who is better?
Personally, both Isaac from Dead Space and Sebastian from The Evil Within are great characters to play as, but in this case, Sebastian tends to be the more interesting one.
I feel so terrible for saying that, my poor Isaac! I have grown so attached to thee from playing all the games, but you are just too…good!
Sebastian has faults. We find out these faults through the clever use of collectables and notes from his journal. We go through Sebastian’s life story, and read his journal entries about his falling in love, his daughter, his wife going missing, and his drinking problem. This makes him a very rounded character, and it let’s the player in on who they are actually playing.
As a writer, I want to read those things about the character. Unfortunately, the Dead Space games did not do the same. I love Isaac, don’t get me wrong, but does he have any faults? None that you get to discover through personal journal articles. He is a good guy, who was in love, and is thrown into an unfortunate situation, which is exactly the type of thing a good story shouldn’t do.
In school, I’ve been taught to never make an “all good” character, and Sebastian is a great example of an interesting protagonist with memories and hidden faults all his own (not to mention his angst attitude towards everything).
Now don’t get me wrong, again I feel the need to defend Isaac. He isn’t perfect either, but if we are comparing who I would rather play as, I think I would choose Sebastian.
I am so sorry Isaac, truly I am.
Also, if we take in to count the atmosphere of the stories and the games, we see a difference. Isaac is armored, with a space suit and space weapons and spacey spaciness, while Sebastian on the other hand is had nothin’ but his suit and tie paired with his trusty handgun (and other weapons you find along the game). My point is, there is a difference between Isaac being more equipped, and Sebastian being ill-equipped, making you feel more helpless as Sebastian (an adrenaline rush of feeling) and more badass as Sebastian as well (when you take down a horde of haunted with just your handgun and the environment around you).
So far, Dead Space – 0, The Evil Within – 1 (I absolutely hate myself for giving Dead Space a 0. It has a lot more going for it, as we will find out).
More to come!