Version Tested: PC
The Dead Space series have evolved with each subsequent title. As the character Isaac Clarke evolved, so did the game. If fans of the original Dead Space was disappointed when they learned Dead Space 2 was going to have bigger explosions and have a little bit more emphasis on the action-ey parts than they will be very pissed with Dead Space 3, the latest entry in the series.
While it’s not necessarily a bad game, it lacks the elements – more so than Dead Space 2 – that made the original so compelling with its bouts of hallucination in the tight claustrophobic corridors. The second game cranked up the action and Dead Space 3 continues that trend.
The narrative isn’t going to win any awards for its awkward love triangle, discovering scattered text and audio log that tells of the things that happened to others who was affected by this necromorph epidemic is which adds another layer to the game’s story-telling.
As you might have guessed, Dead Space 3 is low on the horror scale. It resorts to putting you in a tough spot with multiple necromorphs running at you (which will also be less frantic in the later stages of the game as you build stronger weapons) and cheap scares like having the bastards popping out of nowhere. Isaac is also dealing with his hallucinations better now, it’s like the previous episodes of going through the horror has hardened him. That’s the best explanation I have and is probably a better one than saying EA wanted to give the masses what they wanted. But of course it kinds of takes away what made the original the favourite that it is.
The environments has it fair share of moments in the spotlight, while not spectacular at all times, it is filled with details that makes it memorable. One of the best parts of the game is when you have to actually go out of the ships in the initial chapters jetting between ruined ships to salvage parts. It was beautiful and quiet and please can someone make a game entirely on just that. More often than not, the game flexes its muscles and reminds you that you are playing a blockbuster here. The visuals are impressive.
So now on to the combat. Nothing much has changed except they added two extra features, a crouch button and a dodge button. You will never be crouching with a necromorph running straight at you but it’s for the occasional human enemies that you will be facing that requires you to stay in cover to avoid getting shot at. It’s more of an annoyance than a change of pace. I hardly used to the dodge too.
One sad thing about combat is, dismemberment is not as vital as it used to be. I loved that in the previous entries you had to be surgical in your attack and not just mindlessly shooting your enemies. But my dear friend the Plasma Cutter, which have been with me for my entire adventure to stop the necromorphs wasn’t used much this time. Once you are able to craft much stronger weapons, like a shotgun with a grenade launcher attachment, you’ll put the Plasma Cutter aside too.
Weapon crafting was a fun endeavor for me as I always loved tinkering with the different possibilities but admittedly it was a little lost on me in the beginning. It’s not as complex as it looks, you will have a primary unit which you can customise which changes its properties and a secondary unit can be mounted on the bottom which will provide a secondary function like another weapon or the Plasma Cutter’s rotator cuff. Parts for weapons can be found or can be constructed with the various materials that you will find scattered around, and there is where microtransactions come in.
For those that don’t want to plunder too long, you can just fork out cash to get materials. It doesn’t cripple the weapon crafting system but it’s there if you choose to use it. You most probably won’t need to use it unless you want to get all the weapons as early as possible.
I’ve only played the co-op portion a little bit and a different side of the story will be revealed to you as you play more with a buddy by your side. I’ll definitely be giving it a go later on. It can get repetitive with its combat and the boring “fetch this, meet us here” missions, doesn’t allow me to recommend Dead Space 3 with a resounding “GO BUY THIS NOW!!!”
I’d suggest renting it or maybe wait till the price drops. If you haven’t played the first two entries of the series then go play those first while waiting for this one to get cheaper. Go buy it if you have extra cash laying around or you just want to have all three games in your collection or if you love good action games. The single player a good length of 19 chapters add co-op and weapon crafting, this is a pretty solid package.
Note: There is a bug where you can get unlimited resources near the end of Chapter 8. Check out this video to find out how to do it.