In the Spotlight: Isaac Clarke

Grab a cuppa and get comfy as PSU.com treats you to another entry in our on-going Spotlight feature, where we scrutinize some of gaming’s most iconic characters. Last time around we took a peak at Final Fantasy VII’s answer to Mr T., the potty-mouthed gun-arm badass that is Barrett Wallace.

This time around, with the hotly-anticipated Dead Space 3 fresh on shelves, we thought it would be good to shine the spotlight on the world’s unluckiest space engineer, Isaac Clarke. Originally starting off as the mute hero of the original Dead Space, Clarke was finally given a voice and personality in the sequel, becoming a standout character in his own right.

Get the lowdown on Clarke below.

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Isaac Clarke went from unassuming engineer to corpse-slaying badass in a matter of hours, after fate decided he was part of the team who answered a distress call on the Ishimura. Of course, the fact he didn’t even get to utter a single word in the original Dead Space made it hard to figure out just what type of bloke he is, though this all changed for the sequel. An all-around decent chap, Clarke nonetheless has a knack for trusting the wrong people from time to time, much to his detriment.

However, his willingness to help others and strong morals makes him an ideal partner – and when you’re knee deep in reanimated corpses, having Clarke on your team is probably your best bet at survival. One of Isaac’s plus points is his strong adaptability. Having been stranded on the Ishimura and the Sprawl in the midst of a Necromorph outbreak, Clarke manages to knuckle down and survive despite being his mental state hanging precariously on the edge of sanity.

The son of a ship designer and Unitologist, 46-year-old Isaac Clarke was something of a mummy’s boy, never having the chance to know his Old Man as he left early on in his life. Clarke caught the engineering bug at an early age, though his hopes of training in the craft were briefly dashed after his mother blew their savings on a vested-level title at the Church of Unitology. Thus, Clarke’s hatred for the religion was born.  Fortunately, our hero was later able to graduate at a less prestigious college and signed up for the Merchant Marines division, and was eventually relocated to major shipping lines.

Somewhere along the lines he me and fell in love with Nicole Brennan, and the pair lived together before Isaac’s work dried up and she was promoted to a live-in position on the Ishimura. The year 2508 would change Clarke’s life forever though, as he was part of the crew of the USG Kellion that boarded the Ishimura after communications on the mining ship ceased. There, Isaac was separated from his colleagues and found the entire ship had been infested with slobbering, blood-thirsty Necromorphs; essentially corpses that had become reanimated by an unknown entity. Still in communication with his teammates Kendra and Hammond, Clarke goes about the process of restoring power to and repairing the Ishimura, while battling hordes of mutated corpses with whatever weapons he can scavenge. He later reunites with Nicole, who convinces him to return the mysterious Red Marker to the Aegis VII, while Hammond is killed. Revelations wait on the lost colony however, as much to Clarke’s astonishment, Nicole in fact perished hours before his arrival on the Ishimura, with the figure Clarke having encountered being merely a manifestation of the Marker. Furthermore, Kendra reveals herself to be an Earth Gov agent, before being brutally dispatched by the massive Hive Mind, which Isaac just about manages to defeat before escaping the collapsing colony.

Three years after these events, Clarke was confined to a mental asylum on the mammoth space station Sprawl. Having been diagnosed with dementia, post-traumatic stress syndrome and amnesia, Isaac awakens only to find himself in the midst of a Necromorph outbreak. Battling his way through the station and suffering horrific hallucinations of the deceased Nicole, Clarke teams up with fellow survive Ellie Langford and meets a disturbed chap named Nolan Ross, who appears to be suffering from the same condition as Clarke. It soon transpires that the former engineer is the target of Earth Gov troops lead by Captain Hans Tiedemann, who makes several attempts on Isaac’s life. Even more alarmingly, Ross informs Clarke that he was part of the team responsible for cobbling together a new Marker.

Cooperating with Langford, Clarke successfully fends off hordes of flesh-eating corpses while penetrating deep into the Sprawl, including a brief trip through the now-docked Ishimura. Ross eventually succumbs to insanity and attempts to kill Clarke, who in turn is forced to dispatch Ross in self-defence. Eventually, Clarke and Langford reach the Government sector, where our hero sends his partner off to safety in an escape shuttle. Here, Clarke activates a contraption which stimulates the part of his brain where his lost memories and the Marker data were stored, restoring Clarke’s fragile mental state. With Necromorphs converging on the Marker, Isaac manages to break free of the towering object’s control, engaging in one last mental struggle with “Nicole” before being picked up by Ellie in the shuttle.

As we know however, this isn’t the last of Clarke’s struggles against the Necromorph hordes as he continues his battle in Dead Space 3. Stay tuned for more Spotlight features here at PSU.com in the coming weeks.