Why did Dead Space: Extraction went for on-rails
A portion of a GameShark interview with Executive Producer, Steve Papoutsis…
GS: What spurned the shift from third-person to a first-person rail-shooter?
SP: The change to first-person was really predicated around the want to do something on the Nintendo Wii. Bret [Robbins, Creative Dir.] worked on the original Dead Space as well and when we started talking about doing a Wii title, one of my goals was doing something original and new with the gameplay. We also wanted to capitalize on the rich universe we have – the comics, the animated feature, the game – there’s a lot of story in there that people want to know about. So, for instance, we decided we would shift to first-person to create a new identity while playing to the strengths of the Wii. In my experience as a Wii player, the controls are awesome, lending themselves to creativity to force game developers to try to create new and engaging types of experiences. So, in playing a lot of Wii games, it just felt really natural to go to first-person and use the remote and nunchuck in a very tactful way. We really wanted the controls to feel natural. The change to first-person, just to summarize, was a combination of wanting to give the game an all-new identity and wanting to play to the strengths of the platform.