Hi everyone. I just wanted to post some thoughts on the video game Dead Space that occurred to me the other day.
For those of you unfamiliar with it, Dead Space is a third person shooting game set in space (Hence the last half of the title), and involves the player taking on hordes of mutated space aliens and undead human beings (Hence the first half of the title). As games go, it's pretty good, it controls well enough, the graphics are good, the sound and music works quite well, and it's over all just fun to play. I did not find it very scary. At times creepy and mostly just a little gross, but not nearly as scary as many make it out to be. Anyway, I digress.
What I wanted to talk about is a matter of believability. In Dead Space, a race of evil aliens are taking over human bodies and mutating them into hideous monsters in order to... well, whatever reason an evil race of aliens need to do such thing. The only way to kill these beasts is by dismembering them thoroughly, making sure they have no limbs with which to do nasty things to you. Because they will do very nasty things to you if they get you. So nasty in fact, that I don't really believe it.See below video of Dead Space 2 for details. (Warning: If you are uncomfortable seeing violent images, you might not want to watch this video, as it contains extreme violence, blood and gore.)
Now, I don't have much of a problem with violence in video games, but in this case, a lot of the ways the player gets killed by these monsters just isn't believable in the context of the game. We know that these aliens need functional human bodies in order to make new monsters. However, in the video above the aliens have no problem tearing poor Isaac, the main character, into pieces. On the contrary, most of the monsters seem more than happy to rip his limbs off, the way a sadistic child would rip the wings off a fly.
This got me wondering: Why would they do that if they need human bodies procreate? (Provided that what they do in the game can be called procreation, that is.) I can understand accidentally slicing off an arm or two in the heat of battle, but to almost casually rip off the head of a clearly incapacitated foe? Some of those aliens have a horrible work ethic, I tell you. "It might be alright if I'm the only one doing it", eldritch (Shut up spell check, eldritch is a word.) abomination 1 might think. But what if they all thought that, eh? Eh? Not so innocent now, are we?
I might have missed something that explains this behaviour, but to me it still removes believability from the game and thus makes it (even) less scary. Extreme violence is only shocking if it's believable, after all.
Just my two cents. Until next time, have a good day!