Dead Space 3 Review
Dead Space 3 Does Nothing For The Once Horrifying And Brilliant Deep Space Franchise.
Developer: Visceral Games
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Finales in trilogies are always over shadowed by high expectations. Fans will always place the final instalment upon mighty high pedestals of quality well before the game have even come out. Dead Space 3 was no different as over the past few months Dead Space 3 has had to suffer to constant articles regarding whether or not the game is going in the right direction. Unfortunately for Dead Space 3 it didn't go in the right direction, in fact it went back on itself and a few hundred miles back the way it came.
The story follows on from the events of Dead Space 2 however you should erase all knowledge of critical plot moments within the last game because Dead Space 3 doesn't flow too well with the previous games. Isaac is reluctantly persuaded to join forces with Sergeant John Carver in an effort to help find 'Ellie' who recently left Isaac to follow her research of stopping the markers and the Necromorph onslaught. Meanwhile Unitologists are constantly sabotaging the government and successfully activate working markers all over the planet to spread chaos and destruction. From then on it is Isaacs mission to once again stop the Necromorph threat however even though now Isaac has a voice, his personality and script is so dire that it drags the experience down. Isaac has been reduced to this well trained dog which goes on dangerous missions for others with very little gain for himself. Also for someone who doesn't care for the markers and the Necromorph threat he seems pretty keen on mopping up after everyone which makes him the 'janitor of the universe'.
John Carver has little input on the story itself, even though he is present during the majority of the game. Once again his character isn't really explored in too much detail and at times it feels like he has just been placed there to justify making this game co-op.
You may think that the game play to Dead Space 3 hasn't been altered however you could not be more wrong. Although it is still the third person horror shooter which made it popular, how you go about playing the game has been drastically changed. As you plough your way through the Necromorph forces you are rewarded with bags of ammo, collectables and med packs unlike previous games which had a more 'survival' element to them. Necromorphs are now faster, more aggressive and seem to be far more resilient to your weaponry. They still attack in the same old way as previous games. As you enter rooms, open doors, hack consoles be ready for a few scripted Necromorphs to jump through the vents and from the roofs waiting to catch you while your pants are down. The horror element is lost as the game has become so predictable that you will automatically be aiming at certain vents to engage your enemy instead of running to the nearest corner and curling up into a little ball screaming 'mommy'.
Enemies are a little more varied, but some fantastic creatures which you met from previous games do not make an appearance in this title. The game will throw the most fierce of enemies at you within the first few chapters and if it doesn't scare you then the game will throw even more of the same enemy type to get that adrenaline pumping. The good news is Visceral Games have added a well structured crafting system to the game to enable you to mix and match your weapons. At first it can be a little confusing however as you play through you will collect equipment which can improve your weapons tenfold. You are still able to upgrade your suits but with so many med packs laying around there is little need.
The graphics within Dead Space 3 have certainly improved in some areas but this is dragged down by the fact that most locations which you visit are constantly repeated and become 'samey'. You will continue to explore the same old corridors and cargo bays throughout the course of the game and even the bleak icy wasteland which presents you on Tau Volantis doesn't really impress. Enemy design is far more brutal and grotesque to previous games but due to the lack of suspense or any kind of variety to how they attack they are far from scary.
Sound design is a massive let down as various sound palettes are repeated again from previous games and each mission is dull in terms of suspense and ambient noises. Sure various rooms will have a distant growl or scream but too long are you walking endless corridors in silence which is a hugely wasted opportunity on the level design. People are far more scared of what they can hear and can't see than not hearing anything at all.
Although for some reason Visceral Games have not followed through and decided to not place a multiplayer feature which they had in Dead Space 2 in their latest title. They have decided to place a co-op campaign. Your partner will take control of John Carver and help you rid the galaxy of the Necromorph Threat. However be warned, if you were going to find the game scary at all then you won't with your friend. As myself and a colleague played through an early level, after encountering our first Necromorph we both stomped the unlucky soul into the floor repetitively for about 2 minutes due to sheer comedic value. After this moment all sense of tension and suspense was lost as we lit up each corridor and room with our combined gun fire mowing everything down in seconds. Dead Space 3 has tried to combat this by... adding even more enemies. This doesn't make it scary it just simply makes it more difficult and action packed. Although for those same reasons Dead Space 3 co-op makes for a fantastic action shooter for those of you interested.
On all accounts Dead Space 3 is not a bad game, it is far from it. However that magic which they did have with both their previous games is now gone. Replaced is a full on action shooter which will test your dedication to long drawn out level designs. The story is difficult to connect with and even if you play through to the end you won't be impressed with any climatic finale. The Co-Op element is great if you and a friend are looking for some evening enjoyment however it does distract from the experience which should be had from a 'Horror Survival Game'.
Padraig Balch is the Editor-In-Chief of Chaos Hour. This rare-tech type editor can be found in the long grass of Damacia or Tamriel.
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