Published by Electronic Arts
Available for Xbox 360 (reviewed), PS3 and PC
Rated M for Mature: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language
Electronic Arts and Visceral Games promised great things for Dead Space 3 during last year’s E3. Dead Space 3 was going to break out of the mold and offer something fans had never before seen―but sadly, we see none of that. Players will jump into a campaign that is about 14 hours that can be played either solo or with a friend through co-operative play. Dead Space 3 has managed to take the horror series to nothing more than an action-shooter with tons of gore. From the very beginning of the game, the battles seem to last way too long, and before you even get started, you start counting down the minutes until you finish. How did this happen? This is Dead Space!
Dead Space 3 is not completely horrid, but it isn’t what you expected. The story once again centers around Isaac and the never-ending mission to stop the Markers. Isaac is in way over his head this time, and on top of it all he also has a vicious cult after him. The game starts with you assuming the role of Isaac, who has decided to come out of hiding. You will venture through deserted space stations until you finally reach Tau Volantis to find Ellie.
The game’s plot is full of twists and turns where you explore the origin of the Markers and all the mysteries it has to offer―while trying to find a way to destroy them for good. Players will find text and audio logs and complete side-quests to unravel the mysteries ahead. It starts to get interesting as you meet new people (who are mostly dead) and we finally get a taste of what Dead Space is really about. Even with adding in elements that the series is known for, you can’t help but feel like you are just playing another Gears of War clone.
Cheap scares are aplenty in Dead Space 3 with Necromorphs crashing in through windows and doors. The claustrophobia really starts to set in when you are packed into small corridors and hope that nothing is going to jump out at you. The massive surroundings in between tiny spaces, the strange noises and lack of visibility due to the snow start to put you on edge. Add in the quick-time events, set-pieces and new enemies―and a brief moment passes where you feel like you are actually playing a horror game again.
Players will enjoy the new weapon crafting system, which allows you to scavenge for parts to make new weapons. When you add this to the new co-op feature, then you have at least one good reason to play through the game one more time. Gamers will enjoy playing through a campaign as Isaac and John Carver in co-op with new areas to explore and new enemies to defeat. If you need more reasons to play through the game one or two more times, then there are also additional game modes.
Dead Space 3 is another title that has sacrificed horror for more content and action. Depending on the player, this could add a whole new level of excitement or completely destroy the series. Dead Space 3‘s eerie soundtrack, intense graphics, responsive controls and action-packed gameplay are everything you would hope they would be; however, if you want pure horror that makes you wet your pants, then you are out of luck here. We can be grateful that Dead Space 3 thrusts players into an unfamiliar world where no one can hear you scream. You may not die from fright, but frostbite and hypothermia are just as scary, right?
Dead Space 3 is now available in North America for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and the PC and will be available February 8 in Europe. For more information on the game, check out the official Dead Space 3 website.
3 1/2 out of 5