Solitary Dismemberment: Dead Space 3 Shows Its Roots

By Nathan Grayson on September 26th, 2012 at 9:00 am.

Argh, jeez. Lay off, man. You're pushing so hard that your piece of scrap is clipping right through my hand.

It’s my dream to one day live in space, but I have some reservations. Foremost, it seems very, very dark, and I fear that I’d constantly stub my toes on even the sleekest, most futuristically rounded of outcroppings. Dead Space 3, meanwhile, contends that undead dog babies may also make my extraterrestrial existence somewhat less pleasurable – which is something I hadn’t previously considered because I like being able to sleep at night. The latest Dead Space 3 level walkthrough, though, has all that and tons more promisingly Dead-Space-y things. Pitch-black corridors, anti-grav antics, and limbs flying every which way – you know the drill. Questionable co-op, shouty man-shooting, and even the slimmest shred of daylight, meanwhile, are nowhere to be found. That gently swelling flutter in your chest? That’s hope. Well, presumably, anyway.

That was fairly intense! It’s nothing we haven’t seen from the series before – and the commando jawing at the start felt pretty out-of-place – but it kept me on-edge for the duration. Someone tapped me on the back while I was watching it, and I even did the whole “Yikes but oh haha I wasn’t actually afraid of a YouTube video that’d be silly” thing.

My only real problem is that the level felt like it was building to some kind of fever pitch, but never really reached it. The almost absurdly dark generator room had its moments (Hi there, Minecraft-Creeper-face enemies; please never-ever touch any part of me), but the final showdown was just a standoff with loads of garden variety things-that-go-bump-in-the-perpetual-night.

So it wasn’t the best Dead Space level I’ve ever seen, but at least it felt like actual, honest-to-goodness Dead Space. Granted, I don’t just want of a retread of the previous two games, so I’m pretty conflicted about the different directions Dead Space 3′s headed in. In short, I feel like people (myself included) are demanding a lot of this one. But then again, if we don’t ask, why should EA and Visceral ever feel like they need to deliver?

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31 Comments »

  1. KauhuK says:

    Deddo Spesh the turd. So we got the beginning where everything explodes and you gotta run a linear path to the next part.

  2. Vorrin says:

    Mh, well, actually I think the only thing I liked of Deadspace, was the fact, in the first, that your guy, if I remember well, didn’t talk all that much at all, did not have a face, and well… Basically I liked all the various aspects it copied/took as inspiration from System Shock 2.

    This Mr Beef Man in space bass-growling at monsters, I find quite uninteresting.

    • brau says:

      Yea… you would think after the trauma of Isaac in the first game, that he would be even more troubled. Unstable even. Since Dead Space 2 he is more of a wise ass with a big ego that quite doesn’t fit.

      I really like the game visually and gameplay wise i am sure it’ll be fun. But the game is not dead space. Sad that they took the action aspect and revolved around it, than on the horror and psychological elements.

  3. Syra says:

    Why do all the cool bits not look playable?

    Also why does it keep cutting to dev pointing at screen when they could just have used a voice over, like everyone else.

  4. empyrion says:

    Well, I can’t say I’m impressed by this; there’s seemingly no innovation at all. Maybe the story will be worth it, but gameplay-wise I’ve played this twice already.

    “But look, they’re mummies!”, yeah not impressed.

  5. MichaelPalin says:

    0:55: “and yet we still found a way to use subtlety”

    I love how delusional triple-A games developers usually look when they describe their games. I guess marketing gives them a list of words that they have to use in interviews and they just go with it, regardless of the sense they make.

    XD, 6:45: “this is my favorite moment, right there. Isaac opens a door and there are necromorphs!”

    Good for you.

    • tobecooper says:

      I laughed at the last part, and I mostly agree with you, but the subtlety comment was about sound. And while Dead Space games may be lacking in some areas, the audio design was not one of these. Sound of Dead Space was pure brilliance and was, in a large part, responsible for creating that fantastic atmosphere the game had. So, I’d listen to the man! If he says, is subtle, is subtle!

      • The Magic says:

        I dont know about that. i mean I’m one of those people who thought the audio design in Dead Space 1 was a bit much. individual pieces were fine, but there was too much “quiet bit, then LOUD BIT SHOUTING AT YOU AAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRGHH, then a tiny bit of quiet then AAAAAAAAAAAARGGGHH HAAAAAARREE YYYYOOOOOOUUUUUUU SCCAAAAAAAAAARREDDDD AAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAARRHGRHG”

        I felt like the game was shouting at me for most of it. While i do get what the guy is saying in the video, i’ve never been one of those people who liked the use of sound in Dead Space 1

        • tobecooper says:

          Well, I guess there was some of that. But I thought it fit the game pretty well. When the shouting begun I was looking around nervously for them darned three-tentacled dead babies skulking around, or dismembering the ugly muties. I didn’t treat it as a signal to fear, but a signal to action.

          Plus it was nicely varied during the game. The sound played you sometimes. Like the moments with the loud engine/flames which hid the growling of monsters, or the hollow audio in the zero g.

          The audio in that game was as important as graphics in leading the player, and I loved it .
          But I really liked Dead Space 1, despite being annoyed by its linearity, so I’m biased.

  6. Premium User Badge JohnArr says:

    Exploring ancient space hulks is exciting, fighting off wave after wave of predictable, tedious space zombies is less so. Hopefully the take inspiration from the good zombie films/games and focus on characters and place rather than ways to sever squishy things.

  7. Hoaxfish says:

    My thoughts go:

    1. 100 year old necromorph-mummies seem to walk like normal necromorphs, but with arthritis.

    2. Everything explodes when you get near it, if you stop walking does it stop exploding?

    3. This space bit makes me want a Space Harrier update.

    4. Are there any horror games which are well lit enough that you can actually see what you’re doing?

    5. Do dogs have some innate “laser beam tentacles” genetic history?

    6. Are those enemies at the end really just “axe-murderer in space”… where do they get all those axes?

    7. The main character got killed, but it’s not the end of the game.

    • Kein says:

      That is not main hero, as you may noticed from his voice, it is that soldier forgot-his-name. As for the death at the end of a demo – developers just didn’t press “E” intensively enough , they wanted to end it with an impressive effect.

    • mittortz says:

      I can’t tell how serious you’re being, but I think you should maybe lighten up. Horror games are supposed to be dark and fairly unrealistic. I do wonder what happens if you stop walking.

  8. GamerOS says:

    Really liked Dead Space 1, and Dead space 2 was quite fun to play, but everything I’ve seen so far indicates it’s only went downwards since then.
    It’s starting to look less like horror and more like over the top action with some rare attempts to get a cheap scare out of you… like the later resident evil games.

    And why put the devs in screen constantly? They could use voice overs like everyone else, we’re here for their game, not them.

    Nope, probably not gonna buy this one, at least not till it’s in the discount bin.

  9. Bostec says:

    I don’t know what it is about these Deadspace games but they just make me laugh. Take Deadspace 2 right at the start, when the man comes and rescues you and he explodes into a alien and you just nut him, had me in stiches. And here at the start when hes running along the windows and dives through the door. Its all very funny B-movie stuff, its not supposed to be is it?

    • Caiman says:

      I’m the exact opposite. I can’t even watch the YouTube video, it’s too scary. I must have been psychologically scarred by tentacle dogs when I was a kid, I suppose. Watching The Thing when I was 12 probably didn’t help.

    • Moni says:

      I’ve probably mentioned this in comments before: I have a theory that all horror series eventually become self-parodies, because they tend to be reliant on a small set of recycling tropes.

    • The Magic says:

      My personal favourite part of this one was where the axe murderer got chopped in half and apparently had three spines inside, which ended up walking about with his lower half and flailing. It looked like one of the more out of control scenes of Wallace and Gromit in The Wrong Trousers

  10. Makariel says:

    Awfully loud for outer space. Sorry for the sound engineer guy, but in space no one can hear your explosions. Also, it’s the year XX beyond space travel and they are not able to put in some IR or low light vision on their space suits?

    “There is so much going on…”, survival horror in a nutshell huh?

  11. Wetworks says:

    Most of the enemy types look too similar to the previous 2 games. However, I really enjoyed Dead Space 1 and 2 and have no doubt I’ll enjoy 3 as well. Shooting things with a plasma cutter just never gets old. I also feel they get the cinematic moments right.

  12. Moni says:

    I wonder if they’ve expanded the flying about gameplay, the bits in Dead Space 2 where you could pretend to be Iron Man were the best.

  13. Calabi says:

    How is this any good?

    You just casually lop off the limbs of slow decaying monsters. I guess its scary in a “Get em away from me man their gonna start a quicktime cutscene!”.

  14. islisis says:

    If you are going to highlight the difference terrain had made PC stand out from titles

    Mechwarrior II

    and a title from any sim genre you pick would have added to this crunchy food for thought.
    Analysis of the storage capacity benefits of PCs vs consoles would also be enlightening, I think. And ignoring Crysis does seem a bit spiteful.

  15. BobbyDylan says:

    Man…This look yawnworthy. Scripted sceen after scripeted sceen…..

    Pass, but thanks for comming out.

  16. StartRunning says:

    Still looks and sounds great, but basically more of the same. My major irk is, if you’re gonna have dogs, why not do something new and fun with them?

    • Screamer says:

      Like a dog companion akin to I Am Legend! You and your trusty friend against unspeakable horrors!

  17. GunnerMcCaffrey says:

    Seems like a lot of the comments are from people who didn’t enjoy the first two games, dropping by to let us know they didn’t enjoy the first two games. Well, bully for you. I loved the first two games (the second marginally more than the first), and am definitely looking forward to this. If its main problem is being too similar to the previous titles, that’s better than completely hollowing out a franchise (such as in Max Payne 3, or FEAR 3). I’m not expecting mind-blowing innovation from a big studio. But I can expect a good horror story wrapped in some fine twitch gaming, and so far DS3 looks to be shaping up as just that.

    • Henry Swanson says:

      At least the HD No-Commentary Walkthrough on Youtube will be worth watching ;-)

  18. boniek says:

    Any word on Oculus Rift support?