At the beginning of this month, I had the chance to check out all of EA Mobile's holiday lineup at a special hands-on event in San Francisco. There were a number of interesting titles on display, most of which have since been released to the App Store. But there was one title that was easily the show-stopper of them all: Dead Space. This mobilized version of the 2008 console hit looked stunning for an iOS title, and surprisingly encompassed just about all of the gameplay aspects that you would find in the original console release.

Story-wise, the iOS version of Dead Space will act as a link between the original game and the upcoming Dead Space 2 on consoles. There has been a lot of talk in our forums about the possibility that Dead Space would be on rails, and with the recently released games Rage HD [$1.99] and Infinity Blade [$5.99] that focused on limited mobility (though both are still quite excellent), I can see where they're coming from.  After actually playing the game though, I can put those worries at ease as Dead Space is a full-mobility third-person shooter just like its bigger console brother. The onscreen HUD is minimalist, and the controls use a touch anywhere movement scheme and some intuitive gestures for performing actions in the game.

The first level of the preview version I played took place on a moving tram-like platform, and I had to take out enemies that popped up as the platform made its way down a creepy tunnel. Here, mobility was limited to the tiny platform, but once it arrived at its destination, a control station, the game allowed for movement and exploration. There wasn't much time to explore, though, as immediately enemies descended upon me once again. After alleviating enemies of their various limbs, and dispatching the ones that kept on crawling after me, I was able to visit a computer console where I could upgrade my weapons. After that it was time to move onto the next portion of the station, and that's where the much-too-brief demo ended.

What I took away from Dead Space on iOS is that it's one of the most visually striking games I've seen thus far. The lighting and atmosphere of the levels is almost up to par with the console games, and from what I can tell it will come close to matching all the same gameplay functionality as well. Despite the minimal UI, there's a complex control system underlying the gameplay in Dead Space, and it's not something that was easily grasped in a 10 minute hands-on demo but it piqued my interest enough that I can't wait to dive into the final release. Hopefully that won't be too far off, as EA has told us that Dead Space should launch sometime in January, so drop by the discussion thread in our forums to pass the time until launch next month.

  • CJ

    Well i'm surprised. I was expecting crapy resident evil or dead rising gaphics

  • CJ

    Well i'm surprised. I was expecting crapy resident evil or dead rising gaphics

  • Anonymous

    Looks good, and I certainly don't care if it's on rails? Infinity Blade is and it only blows away 90% of the app store games.

    • Bob The Builder

      It's not on rails...

  • Anonymous

    Looks good, and I certainly don't care if it's on rails? Infinity Blade is and it only blows away 90% of the app store games.

  • Purple stuff

    Rad, now I'll be able to sh#t my pants on the go!

  • Purple stuff

    Rad, now I'll be able to sh#t my pants on the go!

    • Brown stuff

      fo sho

  • Bobwocky

    The HUD is minimalist? Wow.

  • JoshX1X

    This looks better than anything on the 3DS, and the system that runs this game (iPhone) also makes calls.

    • Tygamr

      This game definitely looks great, but I still think resident evil revelations and MGS 3DS look better.

      • http://twitter.com/diego_rispo Diego Rispo

        the graphics could be better...but the game have to runs on iphone 3gs :P
        the next year with games for iphone 4 and 5 the games will be awesome!

      • Bad Shad

        I dont think so. There are still 3G devices

  • andrzej raczynski

    motherFers, i've been dumping stuff from my 64gb ipad the last two days just to get in on these sales in the last few days, i can't keep up with all this digital sex they keep releasing in the app store.

  • andrzej raczynski

    motherFers, i've been dumping stuff from my 64gb ipad the last two days just to get in on these sales in the last few days, i can't keep up with all this digital sex they keep releasing in the app store.

  • ShelbyGT500

    This looks better than everything on my PSP, and everything that's gonna come out at launch for the Nintendo 3DS. I think I'm gonna buy the iPhone 5 in June/July when it's announced now. I was planning on waiting for the new PSP2 that's rumored, but if the iPhone has games that looks this good, then I'll be buying an iPhone! Infinity Blade, Rage HD, N.O.V.A. 2, Chaos Rings, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, Spider-Man Total Mayhem, and now Dead Space, more and more amazing games keep showing up on the iPhone, and I'm excited about it!

  • Shift

    slide to play has just tried the game , they said it had control but like Battlefield Bad Company 2

  • Salongaraphael

    holy carp! it looks good!

  • 7thGuestGuy

    Damn, this looks better than Resident Evil Revelation on the 3DS, and Metal Gear Solid Peacewalker on the PSP.

  • Darthslim108

    Dear EA,

    This game looks pretty impressive. Now that you've proven you can make a solid 3D shooter that's based on a console game, please do something similar with Mass Effect to make up for that top-down tilt crap you gave us before.

    Thanks,
    Commander Shepard

    • Anonymous

      Amen to that brother

    • Leslie Nnanyelugo

      You're right if they can make a game like this on iPhone then make mass effect 1 at least, but that might take at least 3 gigs, but they can try. Go to this URL for the dead space video on iPhone ( i found this on YouTube). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIkEdyvHgzU

  • E_Domina

    This looks pretty decent. Amazing what kinds of console qualities can be passed into a little phone. The only thing not appealing to me is the HUD on the gun

  • Tcrowns

    Looks great, a tie-in for Dead Space 2 which I won't be released for Mac, every other platform but not Mac. : > /

  • ephelant

    Someone posted a video of the gameplay on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIkEdyvHgzU

  • zachary

    when in january/ january 1st i hope

  • Adam of Troy

    I saw the link ephelant posted: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIkEdyvHgzU

    Imagine if resident evil used swipe controls; I don't like how the firing angle appears to be fixed but I do see how that would simplify swipe controls for a demo... either way it's graphically stunning and it looks like it's gonna move units... and not just software, it's gonna move phones... It looks like one of those games you show your friends and they go "Ohhhhh, yeah I need to have the phone that let's me play that."

  • Shift

    They said Dead Space for iphone would be full experience of console version