It's always nice to see a great property become available to as many players as possible. For iPad gamers, there is no question that the same desire is present for strong gameplay, story, and properties as on any other platform.
So when EA recently held an event in Tokyo to announce what titles would be coming to handheld devices in the near future, more than a few people were sure to be listening. While Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, Monopoly, Reckless Racing, and NBA Elite 11 are all great franchises en route to mobile gaming, Visceral Games' Dead Space 2 drew the most buzz.
Immediately, it should be made clear that the title announced by EA for the iPad is not a ported version of the upcoming sequel to Dead Space, but a game meant to fill in the gap between the two games in the series. It's a little hard to believe that there are an overwhelming amount of fans who would be relieved to find out that they don't have to play Dead Space 2 on a console. If you are one of those, then sadly you will be in for a disappointment.
There are few details on the title aside from the fact that it will be a "no rails" third-person shooter without changes in modes, which basically gives a fairly accurate description of the series in general. There's always a fair amount of skepticism whenever a popular console franchise releases a title for a mobile device, and rightly so. The devices are so different, its usually a case of a developer finding a way to transfer a section of their title onto another platform to take advantage of positive buzz. The ideal case would be for a developer to identify the unique aspects of a mobile gaming device, and then decide how their property would best utilize the device for a unique experience.
It's no secret that Dead Space has acquired a healthy fan following, and the team over at Visceral Games seems to care enough about the series to commit themselves to several more installments. EA has also been pleased with the team's results, and the positive opinions the development studio has garnered among fans-- a fact made abundantly clear by expanding the amount of studios included under the Visceral name. Hopefully the team will be one of the few who take this opportunity to gain some new fans in the mobile market.
Visceral has already expanded on the success of their first title, both by releasing their own prequel to Dead Space 2, Dead Space: Ignition on Xbox Live as well as PSN, and by adding a multiplayer component for Dead Space 2. So let's all keep our fingers crossed that a satisfying and entertaining title awaits the iPad-toting masses in the new year.