ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

"Dead Space 3": Is Narrative Integrity More Important Than Consumer Satisfaction?

Updated on April 24, 2021
Kyler J Falk profile image

Video games are a big part of my life, and I write to share the tips I've learned over the years.

The ending to this game really hammered home the gruesome truth of utter hopelessness.
The ending to this game really hammered home the gruesome truth of utter hopelessness. | Source

Spoiler Alert: For those of you who place value on spoilers, here is your spoiler alert, and I highly advise you read no further than this alert; unless you want to know the conclusion to the entire Dead Space franchise as revealed in the DLC for Dead Space 3, in which case please read onward.

I was once a man who valued narrative integrity, but "Dead Space" broke my heart with its consistency and staying true to its own hopeless narrative.

— Kyler J. Falk

What is Narrative Integrity?

As it concerns storytelling, narrative integrity is a highly contentious phrase. It is highly contentious because many people believe that narrative integrity is unimportant if it means dulling down the story or otherwise bringing a narrative to an untimely end. Dead Space 3, for me, is a great example of narrative integrity leaving me feeling unaccomplished, empty, and resentful of the way the story came to a close.

You see, before experiencing the closure that the Dead Space series offered me, I felt that it was more important to maintain narrative integrity than it was to shoehorn in more content as a way to fill time in lieu of actual development of the plot. Take for example Naruto and Naruto Shippuden, both series are widely criticized for breaking away from advancing the plot so as to include an egregious amount of filler episodes. In Naruto you can find 90 filler episodes out of the 220 available, and within Naruto Shippuden there are 203 filler episodes out of the 500 available.

I would argue that filler episodes, the type to tear you violently away from plot progression, are a great example of breaking narrative integrity. This is because, more often than not, fillers are used as a way to press alternate story lines that don't always tie in to the main plot itself. As such, I came to loathe filler episodes and only sat through them in hopes they would grab interest at some point, but holding out hope for the time the main plot would be brought back front and center.

Dead Space has taught me to value filler, or breaking narrative integrity, in order to value the consumer experience.

You defeated the final boss, but the fight doesn't end. It gets worse.
You defeated the final boss, but the fight doesn't end. It gets worse. | Source

Gut-Wrenching Consistency

From Dead Space, all the way to the very end of Dead Space 3, the writers perfected the art of blending hopelessness and a promise of a brighter future against impossible odds. Their use of foreshadowing through character and plot development was screaming for you to accept that every struggle was only managing to stave off the inevitable for a short time, but the victories you cherish would obscure your impending doom. I was at conflict with my values the entire time, saying to myself, "There's no way this is going to have a happy ending, but I really hope it does. Isaac deserves it!"

Well, to no one's surprise, Isaac never got the happy ending he had been suffering to achieve; and my heart is broken as I know this man struggled through what could be called literal hell, only to be consumed by it. Why couldn't I see this coming in earnest? Why couldn't I accept that Dead Space was not the, "Happily ever after," type of narrative at any point and I was just deluding myself?

I think that was what the creators and writers were going for, that empty feeling in my gut that knows I fought through the monsters and suffering only to have it all be futile. Nonetheless, I'm more upset that humans are now going to go extinct, eaten and absorbed by big fleshy balls, and I'm never going to get another Dead Space game that also maintains narrative integrity again!

You see, Dead Space was a masterfully delivered action-horror series that created immersion I had never experienced prior and, still, have never experienced to this day. I'm dying to spend money on more, and I can never have another game that could also maintain narrative integrity without being a 'filler' episode. Their gut-wrenching consistency with their narrative delivery, it has left me huddled in a corner questioning my tears of disappointment.

So, with all this said, I tip my hat to the writers for affecting me so damn deeply I could write about the topic ad nauseam. Cheers, you sadistic bastards!

Do you prefer maintaining narrative integrity, or contrivances for the sake of more content?

See results
Farewell, "Dead Space," I will miss you and your horror-filled wonderland.
Farewell, "Dead Space," I will miss you and your horror-filled wonderland. | Source

A Bittersweet Sendoff....

Despite the entire human race as we know it going extinct at the tentacles and gaping maws of fleshy balls of death, I can say that the confusion in my heart is as sweet as it is bitter.

I'm bitter that the story had to end, my favorite action-horror is something I can't look forward to in the future because everyone dies; but I find it sweet that the writers reached into my chest and tore my damn heart out! It takes a really special someone or something to get my cold heart beating, only to watch you crush it in your hands like some sort of sadistic BDSM master. For the elation you have brought me through pain, I am eternally grateful.

Though I wish I could hold out hope for what lies in the future for the franchise, I must let her go to fly free into obscurity. I'll never forget the times we had, dismembering monsters and corpses alike.

Rest in peace, Dead Space, you cruel, but alluring mistress!


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)