On Christmas day, I found myself with a conundrum: four games with great potential, accumulated at various times leading up to the holiday season, sat before me and I had to figure out which one to play. I made Abe choose for me, and that’s why I am playing Dead Space, a survival horror sci-fi spaceship 3rd-person shooter thing with an emphasis on “strategic dismemberment combat.”

Why did I buy this game in the first place? I am not sure. I hate horror anything. I dislike being scared. Playing through Bioshock was a stretch for me. And yet, I elected to spend money on something that I knew – knew – would not be a good fit for me. The problem is, the game is good, both technically and creatively. It’s so good at what it does that I don’t want to play it anymore.

I am trying to force myself through at least a chapter a day (I started out strong, hitting the first 7 chapters on Thursday and Friday, and I’m up to chapter 10 now), and then when it ends I can finally play something I actually want to be playing. Everything about the game is too stressful for me. I’m not a fan of scary alien combat. I’m not a fan of not being able to find enough ammo. And I’m definitely not a fan of non-regenerative health, which shouldn’t even be allowed in a shooter in this day and age.

Seriously, give me a damn break. I am stuck on this mining ship, 600 years in the future, wearing what is some sort of incredibly advanced armor that allows me to store a ridiculous amount of weapons and ammunition (if I can find it) without weighing me down, but the same suit can’t restore my vitals over time? To me that just smells like an arbitrary way to make the game harder – it doesn’t really add any enjoyment or value. Alternatively, as you upgrade your suit throughout the game, make it an unlockable ability. But really, health packs? So 90’s.

So yeah, Dead Space – once it’s done, it’s done.