Dead Space 3

Whether you decide to bring a friend or go solo you can expect a delightful journey through Isaac's fight for survival.

By Grayshadow, Posted 26 Feb 2013

Dead Space 3 attempts to let you decide, do you want a survival horror experience or an action adventure with a friend? This game is teeming with new options that build on some of the same strengths of the franchise and adding new mechanics but not without falling short on others. It stumbles a few times in the story and attempts to regain the lost momentum by relying on the combat mechanics and it's decorated crafting system. But despite the issues Dead Space 3 is a great sequel to Isaac Clarke's odyssey. 

Dead Space 3, Review, Visceral Games, Survival, Horror

Dead Space 3 takes place after the events of Dead Space 2, Isaac Clarke is in hiding after the events of Titan Station from those who seek the blueprints hidden in his mind that can be used to make Markers, legendary alien artifacts that are theorized to be the key to humanity's salvation and sacred objects to those who follow the faith known as Unitology. But Isaac's luck is always in constant flux, he is tracked down by the last of EarthGov's agents and is convinced into joining another suicide mission. Captain Robert Norton convinces Isaac by telling him that his ex-girlfriend, the pilot from Dead Space 2 Ellie Langford, has gone missing while attempting to stop the Marker threat. While the story starts off strong it eventually loses it's traction due to a forced love triangle and uninteresting characters. It's a shame seeing such wonderful voice-acting go to waste because of poor dialogue and convenient events in such amazing environments. 

The Dead Space franchise is notorious for having one the best presentation. Visceral Games use of the Godfather Engine has created such eye catching environments that have you venturing through each setting in awe. Whether it's traveling through an abandoned space station or surviving a punishing blizzard on Tau Volantis, each environment showcases a series of incredibly detailed settings that serves a purpose in Isaac's latest hell. These situations are complemented by extraordinary sound design and lightening, little details such as the light from your visor shining on the dark floor are admirable additions. 

But in order to refine the series the developers has removed older concepts for new additions. An elaborate weapon crafting system has replaced the store. Since humanity's resources have reached a dangerous limit Isaac must now find raw material and use his engineering skills in order construct new tools, equipment and upgrade his RIG. Everything from the traditional plasma cutter to the deadly seeker rifle can be broken down to its basic components and reformed into a customized weapon that suits your own style. While the crafting system is robust a lot of other changes had to be implemented for it to work efficiently. Power nodes have been removed and circuits have been added to increase the attributes of guns. Specific suit powers have also been removed and now require resources to upgrade. Veteran players may find these new changes shocking but in a world where basic necessities are hard to come by it seems logical that Isaac must now depend on scavenged items in order to survive. 

Dead Space 3, Review, Visceral Games, Survival, Horror

The core combat system hasn't change in Dead Space 3, you'll take control of either Isaac Clarke or new comer John Craver in third-person and use an array of weapons to sever the limbs of Necromorphs. These undead creatures have an array of mutated varations that each require a specific tactic to quickly eliminate them. But the undead hordes won't be your only opponents, Marker worshipping Unitologist lead by Jacob Danik, have taken up arms to kill Isaac for destroying Markers and anyone else that stands in their way. However unlike Necromorphs a bullet to the head will kill them instantly. You'll still have access to your stasis unit to slow enemies and objects around as well as kinesis to lift, move, or throw items. Those familiar with the Dead Space franchise will be able to pick up the combat mechanics easily and those new to the franchise will have an easy time playing amateur surgeon. 

However the combat and presentation feels depend on whether you choose to play Dead Space 3 solo or cooperatively. Instead of incorporating the easily forgotten multiplayer of Dead Space 2 the developers at Visceral Games have included a drop-in cooperative option that allows two players to play through the entire campaign. With simple puzzles and the removal of the save station cooperative matches can be easily formed in any part of the game, but deciding on loot can still become a vexing experience. Isaac's companion is a tormented sergeant named John Carver, a character with a tragic backstory that can only be experienced in cooperative campaign. Carver's own reaction to the Marker's influence offers the most interesting parts of the cooperative story, reliving tragic events and igniting guilty emotions that only he can see reminded me of Isaac's adventure through Titan Station. 

Although the gameplay mechanics remain unchanged, having a partner at your side alleviates the tension that would exist if you were alone. Plowing your way through each fight with a buddy is great, especially when you tailor your weapons and tactics to complement one another. The dialogue between Isaac and Craver is interesting and seeing them develop from isolated strangers to brothers in arm is something that can only be understood when playing through the cooperative campaign. 

Dead Space 3, Review, Visceral Games, Survival, Horror

Despite the satisfying combat in Dead Space 3 the objectives throughout the game are bland and uninventive. Throughout Dead Space 3 you'll be given a list of chores that involve the same tawdry tasks of collecting and fixing equipment. The developers attempt to inject new life into the lifeless tasks with zero gravity jumps and piloting a ship through mines, but it's not enough. Optional missions spout up occasionally and while these objectives do store background information about the people who lived in these abandon areas they always end with a collection of items and mostly repeat the similar environmental layouts. 

Battling through the hordes of Necromorphs while attempting to maintain your sanity against the Marker's influence has always been the highlight of the Dead Space franchise, but it seems that the developers have striped away from that concept. Instead you get a story that doesn't meet the same stellar quality as previous Dead Space games but maintains the same presentation. The new weapon crafting system and excellent combat allows for some amazing fights, especially when you bring a friend along. In addition you have an array of optional missions, collectable items, cooperative missions and 4 different modes to contend with. Whether you decide to bring a friend or go solo you can expect a delightful journey through Isaac's fight for survival.
 

Adam Siddiqui, Noobfeed
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General Information

Dead Space 3

75/100

Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Publisher(s): Electronic Arts
Developer(s): Visceral Games
Genres: First-Person Shooter
Themes: Sci-Fi, Action
Release Date: 2013-02-05

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