Tag Archives: dead space 2

Planetary Resources – Space mining is here!

Space Miners!

How many cool Science Fiction books, movies and games have something to do with Space Mining? Answer: tons, and they are nearly all genius.

So you can imagine my excitement when it was unofficially announced that the cool sounding ‘Planetary Resources’ is about to go into space to start mining. In case you think it is a pipe dream, some of the people involved so far are: Google’s Larry Page and Eric Schmidt,  Ross Perot Jr, Charles Simonyi (ex-Microsoft), and director James Cameron. Plus lots more but surely that is enough. The company is due to announce its formation today. In Seattle for some reason.

People may ask why go to an asteroid and mine it when we have plenty of rocks lying around down here? (People are stupid.) Well, asteroids are chock full of goodies. Gold, diamonds, cobalt, titanium, Helium 3, frankincense, myrrh, etc. (Last two not so much though.) In fact all the stuff on Earth originally came from asteroids. A small 1km asteroid on average holds the equivalent amount of iron as mined in several years on Earth. There are others out there that can provide enough iron to last millions of years. Other asteroids have so much gold we could all be wandering around in gold hats and covered in bling 20 years from now.

This all sounds cool, but I’m not quite sure about the economics. When the British brought tea back from China, we were the only ones at first and Britain made shit loads of cash from other Europeans. If everyone is space mining the only result I can see is that the value of gold, iron and so on will just go down in value.  With the tea, money came from outside Britain. If we space mine it is only going to Earth which is a pretty closed market. I’m probably missing something obvious or am stupidly thinking long term. Like with tea, the first guys to do it will be loaded. By the time we’re all wearing gold hats the market won’t be quite so lucrative.

Still, who cares? The reason why I have mentioned this on my superb scifi site is the sheer amount of classic science fiction that has come from space mining.

The brilliant original Alien movie concerns a group of space trucker types who haul asteroid mining debris for a living. Until they come across an alien and start to get eaten.

In the highly underrated Outland Sean Connery is a policeman on a mining colony and discovers the miners are all on drugs. Then they start going mental and assassins are sent to kill him.

In the games Dead Space and  Dead Space 2 some miners discover something evil that unleashes limb chopping hell on the universe.

In the hilarious TV show the ship Red Dwarf is a deep space mining vessel. Until a nuclear explosion kills (nearly) everyone.

In the awesome novel Leviathan Wakes a load of ‘Belter’s’ happily mine asteroids. Until war and weird shit starts killing them off.

I could go on but that’s enough. As you can see from the above examples, space mining is going to be great! I’m not being sarcastic either, the stories above are massively exciting. Bring on the adventure!

Here is the preliminary sketch of how it will look:

What space mining will look like.


Dead Space 2

Dead Space 2

I finished this game a week or so ago and I’m still a little traumatized and exhilarated. Dead Space 2 is superb on every level. It’s exciting, well paced, well designed, looks stunning, and has a great story. It is also unbelievably violent and gory to the point where I am now utterly desensitized to pretty much anything a game can throw at me.

Predictably, Dead Space 2 continues the story begun in the first game. You play Isaac Clarke (a scifi nerd nod of respect to Asimov and Arthur C.) as he struggles to survive against various beasties, monsters, and zombie-like necromorphs aided by a large selection of limb-slicing weaponry.

There are some superb set pieces with ridiculously large baddies and zero gravity action. There are also smaller and more creepy enemies like weird screaming little children necromorphs and, even creepier, little crawling babies that make an odd wailing noise and then explode when near.

Evil exploding babies

The story is fairly good too. There are double crossings and weird religions. There’s also a sub-plot with Isaac’s dead girlfriend who appears every now and then to freak you out. The action is set in a massive floating city and is awesome. I spent more than a few minutes just staring out the window.

I didn’t find it particularly scary but that is probably due to having watched a shitload of horror films and generally being desensitized to all things spooky and violent. My wife walked past at one point and was a bit freaked out by the casual way I shot the arms and legs off a necromorph then calmly walked over and stomped on its head, causing it to explode. Then I got jumped by another one who thrust a limb down my throat and ripped me in half. I barely noticed and sipped my tea.

Above all though, Dead Space 2 is just a great game. It’s brilliantly made with gorgeous graphics, realistic physics, superb and easy controls, and just the right amount of ammo and health to make it a challenge while remaining fun. I only played the solo mission though. There is multiplayer but I could never get it to work, although hopefully that is fixed now. Even considering this I still didn’t feel short changed.

Highly, highly recommended.