Dead Space 3 To Be The Straightest Of PC Ports

By Nathan Grayson on January 24th, 2013 at 9:00 am.

Dead Space 2′s PC version launched sans replayability-enhancing DLC and with a mean bout of mouse-lag, but it was otherwise a serviceable step for horrifically mutated, disfigured man onto our platform of choice – if not exactly a giant leap. But that was years ago. So then, what sort of technological advancements has the unrestrained, godless science of our time wrought? Well, um, not really any, as it turns out. Bucking the recent trend of jingly, bell-and-whistle-laden triple-A PC ports, Dead Space 3 for PC will pretty much be the console version – but, you know, on PC.

Visceral broke the news to games.on.net, noting that its latest dread-dripping actioner won’t support DirectX 11 or any eyeball-blistering HD texture packs – nor will it see any “further graphical enhancements above and beyond those seen on the PS3 or Xbox 360.” We’ll get a few (hopefully not preset) graphical options, and that’ll be it.

Which, admittedly, is hardly the end of the world, so long as the game still runs smoothly. I think the potential echoing ramifications of co-op, sudden announcement of microtransactions, and – honestly – the Dead Space series’ rather tired-looking bag of tricks are all far bigger concerns here. I played Dead Space 2 on PC and had a nice enough time. I don’t expect anything markedly better from Dead Space 3, but I imagine it won’t be any worse, either.

In its own way, I think this is actually a moment to reflect and be grateful. I mean, recent times have seen (in some cases literal) PC love letters from Borderlands 2, Crysis 3, BioShock Infinite, Battlefield 3, Metro, Dishonored, DmC: Devil May Cry, and heaps of others. Sure, a few lousy ports still slip into our midsts every once in a while, but – by and large – the triple-A needle’s gradually turned in PC’s favor over the past couple years. In that sense, I’m sort of happy that Dead Space 3′s no-frills status counts as news. It’s actually surprising. I’m not saying it should entirely be given a pass, but we live in good times, I think. It’s important to be aware of that.

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88 Comments »

  1. bigjig says:

    It’s like I’ve entered some bizarro world where game publishers don’t promote their products, they actively attempt to dissuade you from buying them.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      I guess it’s a new way to combat Piracy. Make the game suck so much that no one wants it anyway. Worked for MOH-Warfigher.

      • Carighan Maconar says:

        You’re probably on to something here. If no one wants your game, not even for free, then obviously you never have piracy issues.

    • mrmalodor says:

      It’s like Nigerian scams. The point is to attract the dumbest of the dumb, the people who will fall for it even when all the signs point to “no”.

    • yurusei says:

      It may be because they found out 1st of April begins on a Monday, and decides to ruin it for everyone else as well.

    • povu says:

      It’s this new thing called being honest.

      • Phantoon says:

        You know things are bad when politicians start telling the truth. When businessmen do it? They’re floundering.

  2. f1x says:

    So… no hands to the sky, screams, curses and oaths of vengeance?

    I take that is because the game is looking not too interesting actually

  3. Parge says:

    You missed Max Payne 3 from your list of awesome PC ports! Hoorah for the PC!

  4. Xzi says:

    Dead Space always seemed like a much shitter version of Doom 3 to me. I never understood why it received such high review scores and general praise from the gaming community. And yes, I did play a fair amount of Dead Space and the sequel, before quitting out of boredom.

    This news just makes me further question anyone still considering buying DS3. An unoptimized straight port with microtransactions built in, even though many play only for the solo experience? Sounds like EA couldn’t care less if the franchise dies, as long as it rakes in the cash on its death bed.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      Agreed. Aparently DS was “inspired” by System Shock (since EA own the name… but not the rights… or something wierd like that), that was just infinately more dull.

    • Vargson says:

      For fans of the Sci-Fi Horror genre (like me), the first dead space game was an awesome new thing the like of which did not exist before.
      (and yes, I played all the doom parts, but for me, they had a completely different feeling to them)

      • TheApologist says:

        Yeah – this. The difference between Doom 3 and the original Dead Space is pretty much the definition of survival horror to my mind.

        Limited ammo, different pacing, an attempt to give the player’s character bodily, visceral weight and so on.

        I loved original Dead Space, like Dead Space 2 well enough, not sure about this one at all.

        • TCM says:

          Not to mention the minimalist UI, and the utter silence in a vacuum outside your breathing.

          I nearly wet myself after turning the camera and seeing a necromorph about to impale me in the cold, dead silence of space. I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW HE WAS THERE

          • x3m157 says:

            I played Dead Space 1. It didn’t really scare me too much, but I think it made an excellent action game with a touch of horror. The atmosphere was terrific, the audio design was superb and the no-HUD display was a great touch for immersion.

            However… Dead Space 2 (for me at least) was much more action- than horror-oriented. They dropped the isolation by adding NPCs and making Isaac talk. Still a good action game, but not so much for the horror aspect.

            Now it looks like Dead Space 3 is going to be even more action-oriented. I mean, did they really need to give Isaac a Gears of War-style combat roll? Also, adding co-op (unless the do it absolutely brilliantly) will destroy all the feelings of isolation that worked so well in the original Dead Space. I am still excited for the release, but less about the game as for seeing how the story pans out. Though I do hope EA proves me wrong about the focus on action rather than horror…

        • Snargelfargen says:

          The immersive ui, clumsy movement and slightly-too-slow aiming was a brilliant idea for a horror game. I think Dead Space deserves a lot more credit than it gets. Sure, the various elements were copied from other games, but they were put together to create something unique within the fps genre.

          I can think of lots of other fps’ that tried to run with an exciting concept and failed due to compromises (Sped Ops:The Line, Homefront). Dead Space is one of the few that actually fulfilled its vision.

  5. CameO73 says:

    Could we please stop with the “No enhancements like DirectX 11″ remarks. Adding DX11 to a title that has been developed for current gen consoles changes nothing substantial.

    A hires texture pack is all I ask (but probably won’t get for DS3). That being said, I really loved DS1 and DS2 – playing with a controller of course.

    • mondomau says:

      Oi! DS# in the acronym for Dungeon Siege, get your own!

      • Toberoth says:

        I think you’ll find DS is the acronym for Dark Souls ;-)

        • Syra says:

          Nintendo called, they want you all to stop using their handheld’s name in vain.

        • Midroc says:

          I’d say the commonly accepted abbreviation of Dark Souls is DaS.

      • Ross Angus says:

        No, it’s Deadly Shadows, as in the third Thief game.

      • Wisq says:

        Acronym recycling, bleh. I’ll never forgive Starcraft 2 for stealing the “SC2″ moniker from its rightful owner, Star Control 2.

        DAMNIT BLIZZARD, YOU DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT. Especially since you stopped being good over a decade ago.

    • f1x says:

      It says in the article that they stated there won’t be a HD texture pack

      which is sad, because textures do make a huge difference

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      That’s fine. But adding DX11 support for the PC could see an improvement in the game graphics.

      Doing so, would almost certainly mean the PC port would include tessellation (that’s the reason to go DX11 and, I’m sure, what Nathan meant). Tesselation, while not working directly on the textures themselves, has a lot to add to the game graphics quality.

      So, please, keep asking for DX11.

      • Mctittles says:

        DX11 is not really that big of deal. You can “tessellate” or sub-divide poly’s with a shader or whatever.

        It offers slight performance improvement in some areas vs DX9, but you can pretty much do everything in DX9 you can do in 11. Or in OpenGL for that matter. Amazing how marketing taints importance though. How else would they get people to upgrade Windows :).

        • Jim Rossignol says:

          Well you can do impressive stuff with DX11, I think the point is that no studio is going to bother with that when developing primarily for platforms with a lower spec, which means that “no DX11″ is sort of meaningless without additional tech and development to back it up.

        • Mario Figueiredo says:

          Mctittles, Tessellation is one of the most performance costly operations out there. A tessellated environment as you’d expect on a modern game will put carry quite a load on any GPU. Tessellation isn’t new, but you are quite mistaken to compare it to what shaders can do. Tessellation operates with actual meshes. Shaders operate at the vertex or pixel level only and thus can only emulate a tessellation effect.

          But even letting go of that difference for now, you cannot equate a shader with GPU driven tessellation and expect for developers to come up with tessellated environments without DX11. The simple matter of fact is that the GPU hardware optimizations for tessellation, along with DX11 and OpenGL support make for a much better performance than trying to emulate tessellation with shaders.

          Very few developers are willing to go with full tessellation in this incarnation of DX11 and expect more and better on future versions. But you can be damn sure, none will ever consider ever emulating tessellation with shaders.

          • Gap Gen says:

            Note that modern (DirectX 10 / OpenGL 3.2) shaders can dick about with geometry as well as operating on individual pixels or vertices.

          • Mario Figueiredo says:

            Indeed they can Gap Gen. Thanks for the reminder. They are called geometry shaders.

            But again there’s a huge impact on performance. Even the DX10 FAQ is *very* clear in noting geometry shaders shouldn’t be used for tessellation. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/ee416643(v=vs.85).aspx#geometry_shader. The reason for this is that geometry shaders aren’t meant for large scale modifications.

            Also of note, the shader will run after tessellation. And one of the advantages of tessellation is that it can split the mesh before it’s even sent to the render pipeline.

            Seriously, after shader support, tessellation — once properly implemented by GPUs and graphics frameworks, has the potential to become the next big development in graphics processing. The amount of detail it can add to current graphics is incredible and it can change the landscape of our games graphical quality as much as shaders mass adoption did. Shaders will work great on top of the much finer meshes offered by tessellation. But they can never replace it.

          • Gap Gen says:

            OK, I was confused what you meant by “emulate a tessellation effect”. So modern graphics cards bodge tessellation somehow? I was under the impression that geometry shaders implemented them fully, but I’m a shader novice so I could be wrong.

            EDIT: Ah, I do remember reading about tessellation before as a separate process (my graphics card at the time couldn’t even support geometry shaders, so I didn’t experiment further). Apologies for my confusion on this.

      • jalf says:

        But simply switching to DX11 doesn’t magically make tessellation happen. The game code still has to *use* the feature. So in a port, that’s not gonna happen, whether or not they decide to add DX11 support.

        • Mario Figueiredo says:

          A port can add new features to a game or remove them. It’s under no obligation to follow the code set on for the initial platform. It’s perfectly possible, even if it introduces more work, to add tessellation, new shaders, different textures, new characters, different quests, revamped levels, easter eggs, change the story, alter the sounds or do something else that is different from the game main trunk.

          A port can in fact be made, after the fact, by totally different people without any access to the source code and using a completely different language to create something as close to the original as possible. One can argue the value of the word “port” in that case… but hey, it’s one.

  6. Wetworks says:

    And yet they’ll still charge $60 for the PC version despite adding little value to the PC port.

    • Toberoth says:

      Isn’t it also $60 for the console version?

      • f1x says:

        some prices for Dead Space 3*:

        PC VERSION: digital limited edition from Origin: 51,95€
        PC VERSION: digital normal edition from Amazon.es: 43,50€

        XBOX360 boxed limited edition from Game.es: 66.95€
        XBOX360 boxed limited edition from Gamestop.es : 71,99€
        XBOX360 boxed limited edition from Amazon.es: 63,36€

        For some reason Origin will only offer you the limited edition, same with game and gamestop, gamestop and game are supposed to be more expensive because they have some “gift” (that means besides day 1 DLC that is included in all limited edition versions)

        *all Spanish prices

        • Jason Moyer says:

          EA’s thing for the past few years has been to refer to every game they release as a “Limited Edition”. I can’t remember the last time I bought an EA PC title that wasn’t called LE, even though it was just the standard off-the-shelf release.

          • f1x says:

            In this case, if you go to Amazon you can find different editions tho, there is one “normal edition” and a “limited edition”, being the normal around 5€ cheaper
            rest of the sites (including Origin) will only offer you the limited edition

            But this is apparently mostly for Spain, if you go to the UK site of Amazon, there is no limited edition, just the regular one, they must assume that we Spanish people like to pay more, which seems not to far from reality

        • zakihashi says:

          Here the differences is pretty massive.
          The PC version is 65$, while the Xbox 360 edition is 108$. These are Norwegian prices and in most cases PC games is about 40-50% cheaper then it’s console counter parts.

    • Cross says:

      I fail to see your argument there: The PC version is perfectly equal with the consoles, AND should cost less? I know we have a tradition of getting $10 off our PC versions, but actively being disappointed that the price matches the consoleboxes is a bit nonsensical.

      • Milky1985 says:

        Console versions cost more cause of licensing costs for the consoles, there is no such cost in a PC hence the normally lower prices.

        If the prices are the same that extra is being pocketed for a version of a game with no enhancements, compared to another PC game (DmC for example) that is at a lower price, that has PC enhancements.

        Simple consumer based choice is why people don’t like the price being the same for PC games and console games.

        • Cross says:

          And you’re going to tell me there are no extra expenses to be had with PC development that do not exist on consoles? Come on.

          • f1x says:

            Programing for consoles is definitely much harder than for PC, specially PS3, that has been stated many times by developers, so that could justify PC products being cheaper
            Also it has been stated some times, that everything starts on PC, usually textures are worked in HD and then everything gets “converted” to console standards, so, (speaking as a non-expert, I can be wrong of course) if they actually started with PC, finished a PC build and then ported to console, they would have same costs

            Besides, don’t go trusting when a big company says “oh but its so expensive to make a PC version and you know piracy and everything…”,
            The real issue here is that they want to get profit from PC gamers without having to spend much
            Also I recall reading that console builds have to be approved by Microsoft/Sony, while PC builds… well, you can launch them as buggy as you want, so in the end the result is console version being perfectly polished (usually) and then we get half-arsed PC ports, I think its fair that at least the PC versions are a bit cheaper

          • Kadayi says:

            @f1x

            You have way wayt less hardware concerns to worry about on a console, or resolutions to cater to. PC however..there’s an innumerable number of hardware skews. It’s not the programming that’s the issue, it’s the optimizing.

      • McGreed says:

        The reason that consoles are more expensive, is that the developers has to pay to be able to release it on console.

        • Screamer says:

          Funny how that works, pay us to be able to release games for our platform yet, we can’t exist without your games. Whoever sold that to console game makers is pure genius!

          • Optimaximal says:

            It’s been around since the video game boom of the 80s. Nobody has made an attempt to change it and is slightly justified given the verification infrastructure around current releases.

      • Zanchito says:

        It is my understanding that console games cost more to make up for the reduced sale value of the console themselves, so to keep the same profit margin, it should cost less.

      • Wetworks says:

        For one, the PC version should always be $8-$10 cheaper than the console version due to the license fee they have to pay Microsoft and Sony.

        Second, the controls, U.I. and game play is tailored for the consoles and controllers first and foremost. Which is why a lot of PC ports end up with crap mouse controls, no pc options like FOV sliders, graphics options, or mod support. If they are going to treat the PC version as an afterthought they should price it accordingly.

        • Cross says:

          The operative in your first argument there is “should”, and that’s purely an argument of you, as the consumer. The publisher has no obligation to pass the fee they save on PC on to us, that’s their preogerative. Rather, what you should be saying is that, console release fee or not, you have an entitled expectation to get your games on the cheap on PC. That doesn’t mean the publisher has an obligation.

          As for the controls, you have no idea what they’ll be like in Dead Space 3. DS1 was pants in terms of PC controls, DS2 got better, so for all we know, DS3 could be perfectly allright. It’s rare to see entirely customised UIs for PCs, and mouse and keyboard controls are dead simple. Besides, it’s not unusual for very well liked games to basically go “Slap in a controller or this won’t really work.”

      • Gap Gen says:

        I assume it’ll appear in a sale for $30 or so in a few months anyway. So early adopters can pay the markup and people who are only vaguely interested can pay half the original price.

        • Cross says:

          Given that it’s an Origin only game, that may be a bit ambitious…

          • Wisq says:

            Ah, and this piece of info was what killed my last remaining vestige of interest in this game.

            Thanks. No, I’m serious! ;) Time saver.

    • Mechorpheus says:

      I’ve got the standard version on pre-order from Amazon for £29.99, which converts to $47.30. The console versions are all £39.99, which is $63.11. I’m happy enough with that.

  7. Mario Figueiredo says:

    Here’s to hoping console manufacturers up their console hardware to a point where soon enough we want have this PC port conundrum anymore.

    • MOKKA says:

      As far as I recall, we got the shittiest ports when the current generation of consoles was quite new, so I would not put my hopes on that.

      • Gap Gen says:

        I doubt that ports will *regress* in quality, unless the new generation of consoles really dick about with the development tools to the point where porting becomes more difficult.

        And frankly, I’m liking not upgrading my computer every week just to keep up with each new release of Bleeding Pixels 5000: The Bleedening.

        • Screamer says:

          Dunno hey. You’ll most like be screwed in the in the “is the game runnable department”, if your pc can’t equal or exceed what the new console toys can push out. Looking at leaked specs they claim 1.8 TFlops for the PS4, just about what a GTX 670 can manage. Just my laymen guess.

          • Gap Gen says:

            Yes, I suppose there’ll always be a mismatch because even if new consoles might be faster than current PCs, five-ten years down the line PCs will have climbed up Moore’s Law quite a way, whereas previous console generations updated more frequently and so there was less of this.

  8. Loque says:

    Woah, yet another Directx9 + shitty textures FPS game port… for 60$.

    Sold!

    • Low Life says:

      Ah, here too! Dead Space is not an FPS.

      I’m starting to fall in love with you.

    • mrmalodor says:

      Don’t forget mouse lag, it’s a feature!

  9. DrAmateurScience says:

    Ach I was going to write a long comment but it’s only going to be a rehash of what everybody else has/will said/say.

    I’m disappointed.

  10. Mctittles says:

    Err…I don’t think ports have improved. I think people have just got used to not having options and 60hz monitor requirements.

  11. botonjim says:

    After the mind numbingly boring console demo I know I will be giving it a pass. And I kinda enjoyed the first one.

  12. SkittleDiddler says:

    Hey, I’ll be happy as long as EA can manage to include the same Xbox 360 gamepad/Logitech G13 conflict that’s been present in the last two entries in the series. I just love it when poor coding turns a horror-survival video game into a glorified vertigo simulator! Money well spent as far as I’m fucking concerned.

  13. Screamer says:

    With the new console toy boxes on the horizon, I fear the recent trend of good port might come to an end sooner than we hoped.

  14. Guvornator says:

    Was Dead Space 2 plagued by mouse lag? I don’t remember noticing it, though I wasn’t first to the party, so maybe it was fixed by then. Dead space 1 was horrid, made the menu’s barely useful.

    • neems says:

      No, the mouse was absolutely fine, although the in-game V-synch setting had a bug that would limit your frame rate to 30, which I imagine would make it feel pretty bad. Using the driver settings or turning V-synch off completely sorted that though.

      On the other hand, the original Dead Space had Godawful mouse controls that rendered it virtually unplayable without a controller.

  15. Risingson says:

    Is this the same screenshot as the previous post in Crysis 3?

  16. LeeTheAgent says:

    I think another game that should be mentioned is Skyrim. Yes, we’ve all had our issues with it’s interface and dumbed down console aspects like that. However, with Steam Workshop and the Skyrim Nexus mods, we’ve gotten the cream of the crop. I know many console only gamers who envy us.

    • Felixader says:

      Yeah that is because the menu is shit on the consoles too.

      Whoever had the idea to base the selection of items around written words instead of pictures of the items needs a kick to the balls.
      I am sitting quite some distance away from my large TV. Having to slog trough dozens of items long list, some of who the description is really small due to the length of the names is a shitty experience.
      It is even worse when they only use like one sixth or so for this list.

      Also:the quick choice thing they did for items on the consoles is a problem.
      If that thing lags every time i want to choose something then you should probably over-think your idea.

      Not to speak of all the quests i can still not finish due to them still not beeing fixed.

      BUT: I am building a PC right now and thankfully i know how to get my gamesave over to the PC so i can resque my over 200 hundred hours of progress and finally enjoy the glory of mods like the “more interesting NPCs one.
      I still gonna play on consoles as i always have done but i think it is time to add the PC to my more used gaming platforms. ^_^

    • Xerian says:

      Lets not forget the entire Steamworks package, I quite like having my 300+ hour saves (and about five different ones with about 100-200 hours in each) in a cloud. And I do fancy the achievements too, really. Also, the console is as always excellent for the PC. Then theres the fact that they put hours into making an SDK for us PC gamers to play with. And the fact that they made high-res textures for the PC version which are optional is just a cherry ontop.
      Oh, and Valve made a fucking mod for the game themselves. Pure brilliance.

  17. zaprowsdower says:

    No interest in this game at all now, just like what always happens when I read the details about any upcoming EA game. They need to change their company motto of “Challenge Everything.” Maybe “Shit on Everything?”

  18. Shooop says:

    How shocking.

  19. Megakoresh says:

    Hardly surprising news, considering. It’s EA game. Noone is fooling themselves about it being good or consumer-friendly in any way. It’s another sellout, to be honest if I was RPS I would not publish new like that. This is giving EA more publicity, and this game can get more sales due to this. The last thing anyone wants is people giving EA more money.

  20. int says:

    It’s nice with PC love letters, much better than the PC load letters.

  21. Raiyan 1.0 says:

    HEY AT LEAST IT AIN’T A GAY PORT RIGHT GUIZ???

  22. czerro says:

    I kinda appreciate the honesty, but they are kinda admitting the PC version is going to be a pile, right? I saw this coming the other day when they announced they had no plans for a PC demo. WHY?! My assumption was because the menu system and interface is going to be some clunky console port and the control scheme equally sloppy and they didn’t want to let that particular cat out of the bag before release. This is kinda sad to hear them say it outright though the next day…

  23. QualityJeverage says:

    I’m not bothered by a lack of “extra” features like DX11 or HD texture packs. As long as it runs well and has decent video options.

    Of course, this news doesn’t exactly fill me with optimism…

  24. bleeters says:

    You and me, Texmod.

    You and me. Best friends for ever, it seems.

  25. kud13 says:

    EA to release a console port as cheap as possible!

    Sky is Blue!

    Stay tuned for more shocking, sensational news at 11.

    Honestly, this is EA. They exist to spit on the PC gamers.

  26. AlienMind says:

    Can’t see good times. Can only see DRM hell and microtransactions

  27. eclipse mattaru says:

    Hey, it worked OK for From Software, so let’s do that too! Right?

    Of course there’s the small detail that From happened to be porting the best game of the last decade -atrocious shortcomings notwithstanding-, and you’re making a bland 3rd person shooter with delusions of being a horror game. But hey, you give it a try, it could work.

  28. Sayori says:

    I forgive them. They were busy working on the microtransactions and got no time left for minor problems.

  29. Crosmando says:

    I hope this bombs. First THQ, then Ubisoft, then Activision, then EA. Finally video games can be saved

  30. Branthog says:

    Fine with me. They just lost a pre-order. I’ll either wait until it drops to $20 or less on the console or until I can get it for $5-$10 on Steam. Fuck them, their shitty $60 PC port, and their shitty fucking DLC.