Sometimes the best thing we can do is try and improve what someone else has done. Games are no stranger to this idea as they tend to borrow/mimic each other over and over. I have no issue with this mentality if you bringing something more to the table or putting a fresh spin on some burned out genre. Dead Space as a series can now safely say it has put it’s hand in almost every cookie jar.
The story starts out with good ole Issac Clarke being baited into helping try and stop the Unitologists from destroying humanity. What better way to get a guy’s help then tell him his ex love interest is already working toward a solution on some god forsaken ice planet? Issac takes the bait and heads off to once again save the world.
If you want a polished looking game Dead Space 3 pays off in spades. Time and time again I found myself drooling over enemies, suits and environments. No detail was spared here and the lighting screams perfection. You can really see each and every detail from the new necromorphs to corrugated walls, things are spot on and beautiful.
The controls can be somewhat of a mixed bag. Once again it’s the standard 3rd person control schene with added combat options. Much like Gears of War, Issac can now take cover while being fired upon (no necromorphs cannot shoot but reanimated corpses and soldiers will). I am not sure why we added deeper combat elements but I assume it is to keep up with the standard of current shooters.
The soundtrack and effects are near perfect. I enjoyed hearing each gust of swirling wind and blinding snow as Issac moved forward in his quest. The musical buildup to battles and important scenes could compare to even the best film’s score. All of the voice overs were believable and carried enough heart to keep me in the game.
When this title was announced the word “multiplayer” was used plenty. I was happy to see no time was wasted on making a multiplayer component of standard fare. Viseral Games decided to go the route of Co-op and for better or worse they were all-in. The mode plays out with one person controlling Issac and the other is Carver, a hard nosed military engineer type. There are a handful of missions strewn throughout the main game requiring teamwork to complete the various tasks.
The Co-op was not all bad but could have easily been skipped. If you don’t have a dedicated list of friends this mode can become a real headache. Strangers just don’t seem to work out and you end up solo in no time. My recommendation is to set up some Co-op playtime with a friend before jumping in. The experience will be much better.
Initially the weapons crafting system seemed cheap and ripped off from other games like Borderlands. As time went on I scrounged new parts, thanks to lil side questers called Scavenger Bots, and ended up building some seriously bad ass weapons. Who would not want a super powerful incendiary rifle outfitted with a hardcore line cutter?
The micro transactions down right pissed me off. I get the idea here and understand why so many games are headed in this direction but something was a miss here. Dead Space was a survival horror game based on scaring the crap out of you with very little ammo assistance. Part 3 is like one big ammo drop. I ended up dropping ammo from my cache so often it became an annoyance. I get the over abundance as you could not offer something for sale and then limit it in game. This is the same with most other items you pick up as you can also purchase the same thing.
This game suffers from trying to be/do too much. At times I felt we were playing Uncharted as Quick Time events took place saving Issac’s hide. Or what about rushing into a court yard ala Gears of War and having a hardcore cover based gun fight? Through the ambitious addition of things like this we seemed to have lost the survival horror elements. No longer was it about removing limbs skillfully and dodging due to a lack of ammo.
Game looks and sounds excellent.
Weapon crafting is fun.
Specialized suits/rigs are a great idea.
Co-op is fun with the right partner.
Where is the survival horror button?
Micro transaction central.
Borrows too much from many action titles.
Controls can be a mixed bag.
3 dismembered aliens out of 5!!!
Dead Space 3 is no slouch in this heralded series. I just have to wonder where the focus was. The game becomes so much of an action title that we lose what made this survival horror romp great. Also, who had the idea to drop a stupid and unnecessary love triangle into an already deep story? If you love the series as I do you will or have played the game and enjoy it. Fans looking for that original Dead Space feel may want to look elsewhere or just rent this one.
Dead Space 3 is currently available for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.