Name – Dead Space 3
Developer - Visceral Games
Publisher – EA
Available Platforms – XBOX 360 (console played), PS3, and PC
Time Played – 12 hours (completed game on Normal difficulty,
played a few missions in COOP mode)
Snacks Involved: Dr. Pepper and Lay’s Salt and Vinegar
Dead Space 3 confused many fans with how it marketed itself.
It seemed like they wanted to generalize the audience and bring in as many consumers as possible, and for the most part it seemed like it was turning into a Lost Planet game.
News later circulated that the game needed to sell five million copies to justify production costs, and this only fueled the flame that Dead Space would be broadening its audience,resulting in homogenizing the gameplay. Most gamers waited with bated breath, while I largely forgot about it, as Dead Space 2 had left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth, because it really fell apart for me at the end.
Dead Space 2 also boasted an unbalanced multiplayer that felt tacked on and unnecessary. That being said, February 5th came, and with it came one hell of an experience.
Dead Space 3 opens up in the middle of a blizzard on a snowy planet; the Necromorphs have already started their rampage on the military colony stationed there. We take control of a single foot soldier trekking through the snow on the whims of the mysterious Doctor Serrano, and It’s not long before we encounter our mutated friends, the Necromorphs.
The prelude quickly wraps itself up before gamers are reunited with the disgruntled protagonist, Isaac Clarke. He quickly finds himself in the middle of a Unitologist attack, led by Danik, the passionate Unitologist leader who feels like a James Bond villain. The plot unravels to reveal that Ellie, our love interest from DS2, has been sent on a personal mission to check a desolate moon as the Marker home world by the last remaining captain in EarthGov.
Gameplay works exactly like the previous installments, only with two small additions. Isaac can now roll and take cover. Neither actually really adds to the game, in fact you will largely forget about them, except for when Danik’s men show up every now and then for a firefight. This leads to some sadistically fun times since human beings aren’t quite as resilient to ionized plasma as Necromorphs are.
GAMEPLAY WORKS EXACTLY LIKE THE PREVIOUS INSTALLMENTS
Rolling is actually useful when you remember it’s there, however, Isaac doesn’t really cover a lot of ground; it’s more of a dodge. The cover system is actually really subtle since all Isaac really does is crouch, but when against a chest-high wall, he aims over top of it. Again, you’re really only going to use this when fighting Unitologists. The core gameplay and shooting mechanics are just as tight and responsive as ever.
|While enemies, combat, and core gameplay hasn’t exactly seen any ground breaking changes – the weapons have. Dead Space 3 allows you to build your guns from the ground up, combining them in all sorts of different ways allowing you to truly experiment and share with what works in dismemberment.
Power Nodes have been replaced with circuits; each one has different attributes, and are easily removed and replaced. Isaac can also find “Scavenger Bots”, you use these to acquire resources automatically as you play, you will be informed when one is waiting for you at the Bench. The problem is by how the game shoots this system in the foot.
Tungsten is a vital element used in almost every weapon part, but you rarely find it in pickups, and scavenger bots don’t exactly bring it in bulk.
Never fear though, EA has you covered; you can buy tungsten and other valuable supplies for only 240 Microsoft Points! You can also buy them with Supply Vouchers that you accumulate as your Scavenger Bots collect supplies.
TUNGSTEN IS A VITAL ELEMENT USED IN ALMOST EVERY WEAPON PART, BUT YOU RARELY FIND IT
The ammo pickups have been combined into one simple pickup; this really seems like the only logical choice considering how varied the player’s arsenal will be.
To simplify things, Isaac’s suits are now purely cosmetic, there are no special attributes fitted to certain ones like in Dead Space 2. You make your regular upgrades to your suit via the kiosks, and then you get to pick the suit you think looks best.
|CO-OP and optional missions are new additions to the Dead Space franchise, and both do nothing to detract from the single player experience. I insisted on playing the whole game on single player, while sometimes jumping back to play earlier levels with a friend.There are certainly some changes to the campaign, and sometimes as Carver I fell like a fifth wheel, so I would recommend beating it first by yourself, but definitely check out co-op.
Optional missions are so subtle they can be easily missed. They work to further expand on the world that Dead Space takes place in, and you are rewarded for your efforts. Usually the chests contain a cache of goodies ranging from weapon parts to circuit upgrades and blueprints at the end of each endeavor.
Pulling the gameplay aside, Dead Space 3 incorporates many different themes which makes it feel like a horror movie mash-up.
After Chapter one (which feels like Blade Runner) the game gives off a lot of vibes from Aliens, from Isaac’s reluctance to jump back into the fray, to providing survival tips to his teammates – he’s almost a regular Ellen Ripley.
Once we land on the icy cold planet, then things take a turn to John Carpenter’s The Thing. Exploring abandoned arctic encampments feel just as creepy as fixing broken down space ships. By finding text files on the ground, we get to piece together bits and pieces of what happened.
What really makes Dead Space 3 shine is its dialogue, it’s some of the most down to earth dialogue I’ve ever heard of in a game. The love triangle that forms between Isaac, Ellie, and Norton, really brings some great lines and character interactions to the table.
MOST DOWN TO EARTH DIALOGUE I’VE EVER HEARD IN A GAME
When character’s die, the others react accordingly, we can watch as these people try to keep their fears in check, but we get to see them crack at times during the campaign.
As good as the dialogue is, much of the story falls into common clichés and can be very predictable.
|But sometimes I feel that it’s a parody in of itself because some of Isaac’s comments relate to how common it is for Necromorphs to pop out of vents at any given time. It really gives us the impression that he’s almost become desensitized to the Necromorphs.
For example, instead of freaking out when the regenerating enemies show up early on, Isaac seems more annoyed than frightened. Like Dead Space 2, Dead Space 3’s ending tries to bite off more than it can chew; we have to deal with a final boss who is on par with the size of bosses from God of War, and the reality of its existence doesn’t feel like it was executed properly. Not to mention, the fight itself isn’t anything special.
|Dead Space 3 is a fantastic way to end a franchise, it is a well-polished machine that runs through the usual mechanics we’re familiar with, while really going places with its themes and characters.
The visuals are outstanding, from character models to weather effects and environments. The sound effects and musical scores have certainly seen a drastic improvement in quality, while characters are well written and voiced. I would certainly recommend this game to any fan, or someone looking to get into the franchise.