I think I watched a full playthrough of Dead Space by Jesse Cox a year or two ago, and thus I was quite familiar with the game before playing it. I had definitely forgotten a whole lot of it, or maybe I only watched parts of the playthrough. Still, it may have made the game less scary and surprising.
Dead Space does not rely only on cheap jump scares. The atmosphere on the USG Ishimura is quite sinister, very Event Horizon -like. The sections in vacuum with finite air supply are good at building up tension, as are the parts with the undying monster -- the Hunter, as it is apparently called. The latter certainly got me panicking.
I even got close to running out of ammo the second time I was supposed to get rid of the Hunter as I could not figure out how. I wasted a whole bunch of clips before realizing it was the shuttle's engines I had tested earlier that I had to use. Aside from that, the resources were hardly limited on Normal difficulty. I was satisfied with the challenge I got from the game, though. I died at least once to every instantly killing environmental hazard there was. I think that getting also killed by the necromorphs might have been too much and the game would have gotten frustrating.
In my opinion, the upgrade system combined with the game's economy discourages you to try out the various weapons there are, which is unfortunate, as at least the plasma cutter and line gun felt quite cool and unique. I focused on the two weapons and had them maxed at the end of the game, as well as the RIG, and the stasis and kinesis modules. I only had some left-over credits to spend before the final showdown so I consider my two weapon approach a successful one.
I guess one could go for a New Game+, but the only reasons to do so are to try out the remaining weapons and possibly to beat the game on a harder difficulty. Otherwise the run would be pretty much the same. The game's not bad, though -- far from it. It oozes polish from every corner. At least if you are playing with a controller; negative mouse acceleration, having to use the arrow keys to navigate the inventory, and such make it obvious that the port for m/kb was a lazy one. And that may affect your ability to enjoy the game.
However, I do wonder what was the reasoning for not having voice-acting for Isaac. Maybe they thought it would detract from the horror or maybe to help the player believe Nicole is real. I had completely forgotten (or never seen the part of the playthrough) how surprised Isaac was at the revelation. Surely no player could be fooled for that long. I thought it was obvious right from the start that she was dead.
Kendra's betrayal got me totally off guard, though. I did not remember or see that plot twist coming at all. Only when I saw the guy standing outside the shuttle, I thought something was wrong. And then *blam*.
Scifi and horror make such a good combo, and Dead Space sure makes good use of it. Probably best played with a controller, though. The stasis module probably has more uses then, too. Although with the negative acceleration, aiming with the mouse might actually be more difficult. But otherwise a pretty good game.