|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Visceral Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Electronic Arts||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sep. 29, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
As you work your way through the story, you'll open up new weapons and upgrades and additional game modes and content. Challenge Mode is similar to what you might expect from a standard on-rails shooter such as The House of the Dead. This action-heavy mode will pit you against wave after wave of Necromorphs intent on bringing you down. You'll earn points by slicing through each phase with well-placed, strategic dismemberment. Get through your foes efficiently and you'll accrue point multipliers. Stay alive long enough and you'll set point totals that'll be difficult for your friends to beat.
Challenge Mode is a great mode for extending the play value of the game, it also will serve as a story-light, party-favorable gameplay experience. This is especially so when you consider the drop-in co-op aspect. A second player can hop in at any time by grabbing a Wii Remote and blasting away along side you. All chapters and stages feature this cooperative play element, and it even sports separate statistics tracking for each player is available for end of level/game comparisons.
In addition to Challenge Mode levels, players will also unlock extra content in the form of comic-like, cinematically-enhanced stills that further flesh out the story. While I loved this unlockable reward overall, I was a bit dismayed by the quality of the illustrations - they're not bad, but they do appear as if they were hastily drawn on a napkin by a lone diner taking advantage of the lack of conversation by fleshing out a storyboard. Still, the dialogue and voice work presented as well as the zooming and editing breathe life into the drawings, making the overall experience quite appealing.
Graphically, the team at Visceral Games did an amazing job of bringing the outstanding, moody visuals of Dead Space to the less-powerful Wii. Though you'll still find some jaggies and occasionally see creatures through solid walls, the visual experience is riveting - this is definitely in the upper echelon of Wii-specific titles out there. Likewise, the aural presentation that marked Dead Space is nicely captured in Extraction. The "panic-inducing audio" features excellent sound effects, quality voice acting, and eerie musical themes.
Dead Space: Extraction is everything EA promised Wii owners. Rather than getting a dumbed down experience, the developers were able to play to the console's strengths, bringing an electric, scary, and polished mature entry to the platform. While I'm sure some will downplay the game's excellence, it is a worthwhile title that non-Wii-owning fans of the franchise will be loathe to miss.
CCC Editor / News Director