Wot I Think: Dead Space 3

By Adam Smith on February 13th, 2013 at 9:00 pm.

Even if Dead Space 3 actively carved off your limbs as you played, some might argue it is the best option in the current vent-bursting alien-blasting market. Don’t worry about that though, because I’ve finished the single player campaign without losing an arm or a leg, and I’m notoriously puny. With nothing to fear but the absence of fear itself, I reacquainted myself with Isaac Clarke and took a winter vacation.

If I were to compare Dead Space’s claustrophobic catacomb-ship to the Nostromo and the more gun-happy Isaac of the second game to a pissed off space marine, I’d be making two hugely imperfect analogies. What a way to start. There is a kernel of truth in the identification of Dead Space 1 with Alien and its sequel with Cameron’s xeno-war but while Isaac’s silence in the first game and the greater sense of isolation were more conducive to terror, and Dead Space 2 certainly ramped up the action and bombastic set pieces. There was a moment early in the third game, as somebody guffed about the Makers and their mythology, that I thought, ‘oh, blimey crikey – they’ve jumped straight to Prometheus’.

It was a moment of cold realisation. Colder than the snowball of a planet that has inexplicably dominated pre-release footage. It was also almost entirely unwarranted.

While the narrative does stumble through an awkwardly inserted love triangle that introduces the wrong sort of tension, Visceral have an ace up their sleeve in the storytelling department and it’s one that reminded me of Portal 2. There are no comedy potatoes and Stephen Merchant doesn’t make an appearance as a gangly necromorph, but just as the journey through Aperture’s history was a sort of narrative archaeology, Dead Space 3’s lengthy final act involves the metaphorical and literal excavation of older stories, both personal and cosmic. The landscapes bring The Mountains of Madness to mind, even if the horror is short-lived rather than eternal.

This is not a horror game. There are countless memories of horror but Isaac is a changed man, more hardened than in his second adventure and resigned to fighting the threats that plague him. He’s also coping much better with the hallucinations, even if he does look like he hasn’t slept for twenty years or so. With the prologue out of the way, we drop in on him in his scuzzy apartment. Isaac is a scruffy, washed-up urchin living in a lunar colony. This is not a horror game. It’s pulp science fiction that happens to take place in a world packed with flimsy-limbed monstrosities.

Dead Space has captured the industrial, blue-collar rust of space well since the first desolate dismember-fest. The design of the Ishimura is powerful not only because it is a labyrinth mausoleum but because it is also, at least in part, a credible craft. Advertisements and advisory posters add detail to the world that technical prowess cannot paint alone, particularly when those details remind that there are other worlds drifting out there in space. Now that Isaac is an engine of war rather than an engineer, Visceral wisely rely on the lives and deaths of the previous inhabitants of Tau Volantis to remind players of the minutiae of human existence at the harshest of future-frontiers. The best of those stories are in the game’s second half, and while some of them are told in the time-honoured form of voice and text logs, others are in easily overlooked tableaus. The environment is not only impressively rendered, but thick with detail and memorable imagery.

I’ll spend some time whining about the changes to combat and the annoyances of the crafting system and its ATMentality in a couple of paragraphs, but it would be as grotesquely unfair as some of the surprise balloon-animal vent ejaculations that the series so loves not to acknowledge the sense of awe that the best moments inspire in the sci-fi nerd region of my brain.

One sequence has Isaac jetting between the ruined ships in an ancient flotilla seeking parts for salvage. I wish it had lasted longer. I wish it was the basis for an entire beautiful, quiet game, but even in the rare moments when it turns the volume up to eleven and dials user control down to ‘PUSH THIS BUTTON’, Dead Space 3 is, more often than not, spectacular. When the blockbusting muscles that power the game flex to their full vein-wriggled extent, they create some of the most impressive visions of the calamitous comeliness that fills the fictional spaces between stars as I’ve ever seen on a screen.

When Isaac isn’t repairing ships and exploring colonies and the cosmos, he’s indulging in his two favourite pastimes: stomping and shooting. Dead Space 2 brought new necromorphs to the flesh-feast to great effect, but the third game is less generous, recycling many in slightly new forms and adding less entertaining human targets instead. Ideally, fighting people, with their guns and their gung-ho, would require a change in tactics, from strategic dismemberment to headshots and hunkering in cover, but they fall apart under boot and bullet just like everything else. Dismemberment is less important throughout the game, in fact. I barely used the plasma cutter, which was my dearest friend throughout Isaac’s previous jaunts, opting instead for a customised shotgun with a spear-lobbing secondary fire.

I built that gun and, admittedly, I was incredibly proud that I had. Crafting seems complex at first but is deceptively simple. A primary unit provides a primary firing mechanism and a secondary unit provides a secondary function, such as the plasma cutter’s swivelling beam or perhaps a grenade launcher riveted to the underside of a tesla cannon. Parts can be found or constructed and it’s in the construction that the microtransactions claw their way through the barricades and flail about making a bit of a mess of things.

They don’t cripple the crafting system – they don’t even scar it significantly, but they exist and they segregate the more exciting blueprints, reserving them for the patient plunderers, or the impatient profligate. I didn’t feel the need to use them on the hardest of the initial difficulty settings, even though I was often several hundred pieces of loot short of a tempting weapon. Incremental shotgun upgrades did the trick, with circuit boards found throughout the story adding simple stat boosts. This is the easiest of the three games so grinding or spending aren’t essential to progress, but with so many weapon types available to experiment with, it is irritating that so many are locked behind a wall of time and extra payment.

It’s also slightly irritating that losing the emphasis on dismemberment has bled the series of some of its personality. Only in the world of games and serial killers could dismemberment be an aspect of ‘personality, but there it is. I miss the days when necromorphs were a little more resilient. The crusty old creatures on Not-Lost-Planet seem all too keen to crumble when a blast hits them in the torso, which is a shame because I like slicing their bits off. It’s still a viable tactic but the mighty shotgun, tearing through every part at the same time, is much more effective and, with all ammo fit for purpose in any gun, there’s no need to conserve specific munitions.

The imposed limits of the crafting system and the one size fits all ammo meant that I never had to switch weapons. Occasionally I’d stick some spare parts together, but I usually ended up with something that looked like a cross between a stapler and an iPhone so I gave up and stuck with the boomstick that I knew so well. All of that combat-witter probably looks like griping and it most certainly is, but I should stress that I still took satisfaction in the vast majority of the twenty-odd hours I spent dismantling beasties.

(A quick note on co-op – I’ve played a little. The single player game doesn’t feel the lack of a co-operative partner and there’s no Resident Evil 5 nonsense, with the AI playing the part of a clumsy friend. There are optional missions throughout the game, all of which I’d recommend partaking in, not particularly for the reward but for the experience as they mostly provide content on a level with the rest of the game. Some of these are co-op only and I am strongly tempted to play through again to try them out.)

In recent years, Dead Space is the big budget franchise I’ve most happily dipped my itchy fingers and whitening knuckles into. Occasionally it hits a dull note, particularly in the too-long middle chapters that become repetitious slogs of savagery and snow, but for the most part, it offers spectacle and even surprise. The latter is rarely tied to the action, but in the sights and sounds. And what sounds. Both music and effects are top notch.

If there were more quiet moments, more locations and more care in the characterisation, I’d have no qualms in recommending Dead Space 3 wholeheartedly. As it is, it’s a game of wonderful sights, not all of which are gruesome, that is occasionally bogged down in the repetitive nature of the combat at its core. Yet in spite of all my pre-release concerns, I’ve still found it be a hugely accomplished and sizable spectacle of world-building and monster-bashing.

The port is, as promised/threatened, without a bell or a whistle. It’s a handsome game though and ran as smoothly as butter spread on ice. I opted for joypad controls but mouse and keyboard, for the brief time I tried it, seemed fine, even though the intentional sludginess of the scheme doesn’t seem particularly well suited.

Dead Space 3 is available now.

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114 Comments »

  1. WoundedBum says:

    Great to hear the microtransactions aren’t too intrusive. I will pick this up, just need to finish Dead Space 2 but seeing as I live alone and I’m a big scaredy pie I doubt I will.

    • PatrickSwayze says:

      You really need to get on with it, I was exhausted by the time I finished Dead Space 2.

      I found it got less scary as time went on, I just panicked a lot in tense combat situations.

      • WoundedBum says:

        I will, I finished DS1 so I don’t know why I’m struggling with this. I don’t like being defenseless (like you are at the start), so I guess once that’s over I’ll be fine.

    • maximiZe says:

      And with that you’re showing EA and any other publisher interested in establishing such practices that microtransactions and outrageous amounts of day 1 DLC are A-Okay.

      • WoundedBum says:

        If the game had come out and the reviews were that microtransactions and the DLC were gamebreakers I wouldn’t buy it. But from everything I’ve read they’re not and I almost certainly won’t be picking it up any time soon due to not having finished the second game.

      • TormDK says:

        Optional content = OK.

        Buy it, or don’t buy it. As noted, if it was intrusive THEN we could talk about it, but since it’s optional who gives a rats arse :P

        • Jamesworkshop says:

          you can always just use a trainer for the resources

          and then use the ration packs to get the mk5 parts dlc from the EA server

          • Screamer says:

            “and then use the ration packs to get the mk5 parts dlc from the EA server”

            Thanx didn’t know about that :)

      • Lemming says:

        Only if you buy them. Buying the game and not using DLC or microtransactions says mainly the opposite, surely?

        • maximiZe says:

          No, that simply says: You’ll gladly buy any game for full price and do your best to ignore all the cut content and sneaky jabs for your wallet – so EA loses nothing by implementing all these and more in future releases because as soon as a tiny percentage of customers uses one of the “services”, it’s profitable.

          • Cross says:

            Sneaky jabs at your wallet? Absolutely. Cut content: NAY. You lose nothing by not paying. Everything locked behind the paywall is possible to get through playing the game, so this is no more criminal than TF2 (Which is not criminal in any way, to be perfectly clear)

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      Turn the difficulty down. Much less scary that way.

    • Grey Ganado says:

      Halfway through the first playthrough you can pretty much build every weapons combination three times over.
      No need for DLC.

  2. db1331 says:

    “With nothing to fear but the absence of fear itself”

    This is what makes this site the bestest site on the whole internets.

  3. Brun says:

    Interesting, I expected a thorough panning due to the greater emphasis on action this time around.

    The latter is rarely tied to the action, but in the sights and sounds. And what sounds. Both music and effects are top notch.

    Dead Space has had excellent sound design since the first game. Glad to see they still recognize it as something that sets them apart.

    • Mathute87 says:

      Actually, even though the sound design remains excellent, this time around it starts to feel that they use music to scare you more than using the game for that. It’s a cheap, old way to induce fear, but it wasn’t so felt in the previous games.

      • Malleus says:

        I turned off the music after speding an hour or so in the first game, and in the sequels, the first thing I did was go to the options and turn it off. The audio design in the DS games is good, and I found myself more immersed without the music.

        • Phantoon says:

          I remember in the first game, the music was usually a quick giveaway about if you were about to be fighting. In the second one, music generally didn’t kick in until you were already fighting things, or in a tense situation already. I thought it was handled a lot better, there, even if the environments weren’t as good.

    • PatrickSwayze says:

      I actually turned the music up in this version, it was really really good this time round.

      The sound effects in Dead Space stand up amongst the best and most recognisable in gaming and perhaps science fiction generally.

      • felisc says:

        yes. they are really great.

      • Screamer says:

        One of the most brown pants moments so far for me was when a necromorph fell through a floor or got stuck in vent or something and the music was blaring on! I kept thinking its going to jump at me at any moment.

    • Christo4 says:

      Yeah, the music is pretty annoying sometimes. It is good, but i think that they exagerated. Whenever you are fighting it’s just so loud that you get panicked even if you see a fluffy kitten, since the enemies on hard difficulty are pretty easy to deal with.

  4. DK says:

    “The imposed limits of the crafting system and the one size fits all ammo meant that I never had to switch weapons”

    ONE SIZE FITS ALL ammo. Oh hey look at that. The thing everyone said was shitty, and EA claimed was just a placeholder wasn’t a placeholder after all. Who’dathunk. Everyone except the gullible Games Media? Say it ain’t so.

    • Kuze says:

      Considering the weapon crafting it would be somewhat difficult to make ammo for each type of gun no?

      • woodsey says:

        It could at least be divided by weapon type, couldn’t it? I presume the crafted weapons are still recognisable as shotguns, assault rifles, and what have you.

    • diamondmx says:

      You seem to be under the impression that was a positive statement. I suspect it’s a matter of personal choice, but I’d say the game never really asking you to use any other weapon than a shotgun is a bad thing.

      Sounds like there’s 20 hours of decent gameplay here, but a fairly limited variety of experience, with no pressure to vary in tactics, just sit snugly in your comfort zone and blast away.

      • ezekiel2517 says:

        Even if it does not require you to switch, which I argue it does a bit, I found myself changing guns constantly to try out the newer ones. I did like the shotgun a lot, but it was the back up for when they got face close, and the main part I would switch very often.

        At the end parts of the game, I took the rivet shotgun with a regular shotgun and a rifle with a pulse AOE thingy, but I tried all the other weapons and all can be used to success, with a bit of a play style switch.

    • Jamesworkshop says:

      I like the ammo system, it made weapon switching feel more like switching because of the weapons abilities rather than carry a gun i might not like just in case i don’t have the ammo for the gun i do want to use

      rivet chaingun/forcegun stasis coating

      double barrel acid mine layer

      http://uk.gamespot.com/dead-space-3/videos/dead-space-3-gun-show-6403695/

      it works with the crafting system the universal ammo

    • Beybars says:

      One ammo type for all weapons? where have I seen this before……oh yes Deus Ex Invisible war -_-

    • Christo4 says:

      Honestly it has it’s pro’s and cons. In Dead space 1 and 2 i liked to have multiple weapons to use in multiple situations. In this one you can make just one weapon that has one part good for range and one part good for melee and you really don’t need anything else. I just used the contact beam on top and ripper on bottom and didn’t have a problem the whole game on hard difficulty.

  5. Kambyero says:

    Well, I’m glad this game wasn’t cut to shreds, despite its PC shortcomings.

    How about a review of that other wonderful outer spacey aliens game?

  6. CNJ says:

    Is it just me that find odd to test the PC port using control/joypad instead of mouse/keyboard?
    Sorry to say, but I only use mouse/keyboard and your review serves me nothing, since i wont trust your “seemed fine”.

    • CameO73 says:

      This really is a game that shines with a controller (IMHO). It feels more solid and engaging than KB/Mouse. Btw, I’ve noticed this with a lot of third person games (which are first and foremost made with consoles in mind).

      • Brun says:

        I tend to play third-person games with a controller, although strangely I found Dead Space 1 and 2 to be better with KBM. I think this has to do with the fact that Dead Space is an over-the-shoulder third person game, while games that I tend to use a pad for (Just Cause 2, Assassin’s Creed) are from the more centered behind-the-back perspective.

        • mckertis says:

          Sorry, but unless i am playing a Japanese garbage-port like DmC3, or Dark Souls, or something, i personally do expect the game to be able to process my m+k input competently.

          • HothMonster says:

            I want to buy you super meat boy.

          • ezekiel2517 says:

            I played a bit with the 360 pad and didn’t like it that much. M&K worked without a hitch through the entire game.

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      Sometimes I think PC gamers would insist on using mouse and keyboard to drive a car.

      • Eddy9000 says:

        I think in that short sentence you’ve said everything there is to say about the M&KB vs gamepad debate. Well done Sir.

      • nil says:

        PWM and WSAD – two great things that go great together!

      • GallonOfAlan says:

        If M&K was better than a steering wheel, I’d absolutely use it to drive a car. If.

    • Screamer says:

      I am playing with KB/M and there is nothing wrong with it :) . With all the shooting, can’t really understand why someone would prefer a toybox controller :/.

      • chackosan says:

        Pulling a trigger to shoot feels good. Generally I like the tactile feel of the controller more, and it’s easier on the hands.

        If the game requires a high level of aiming accuracy, or has a large number of buttons, I’ll use a keyboard and mouse. Otherwise, it’s the gamepad for me.

  7. Bhazor says:

    So a horror game that fails to be scary and an action game with uninteresting combat?

    And in game micro transactions.

    I’ll skip.

    • PatrickSwayze says:

      You could try reading the review

      • Phantoon says:

        He did. I did too, and I’m thinking the same thing. EA can’t have my money if they’re going to make another fucking call of duty-like game.

        Part of the point of no universal ammo was sometimes you’d have to use weapons you didn’t generally use, or sell that ammo at a loss to get your normal ammo.

        • Jamesworkshop says:

          “He did. I did too, and I’m thinking the same thing. EA can’t have my money if they’re going to make another fucking call of duty-like game.”

          I don’t rightly see how you could have read it if you think it read like a call of duty WiT article.

          Man, the stuff people thrust the CoD label on as a pejorative term, I thought I had seen the most laughable example when people started calling Assassins creed 3 CoD-like but you have actually shattered my expectations of the absurdity level of CoD similes can reach.

          No wonder i see so many people talk about Cod clones and yet can’t seem to be able to name one outside of a few series that have been around the same length of time and did the same WW2 style shooter motif that Cod gave up on and thus can’t really be called clones.

      • Bhazor says:

        I read it.
        Key quotes
        “This is not a horror game” and ” bogged down in the repetitive nature of the combat at its core. ”

        As for ingame microtransactions? GTFO. I want no part in encouraging that kind of bullshit.

        I’ll just go play System Shock 2 for the horror and Resident Evil 4 for the still unmatched action.

    • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

      It’s not a horror game. The review says as much. It also says occasionally bogged down by something repetitive at its core, which describes basically every single game I’ve ever played, including the best of them.

      If you don’t want to buy it, don’t buy it, but it really does feel like you and I read completely different reviews.

      • Caiman says:

        What annoys me though is that the first game was a horror game, and I became invested in the series because of its compelling mix of action and fear. The second game was fun, but with the greater emphasis on action and the ability to Blow Shit Up it lost much of its fear, and hence much of what made Dead Space interesting (not surprisingly, the best bit was when you returned to the fearsome setting of the first game). This game sounds like they’ve finally gone full-on action, and now it resembles any other third person McShooty action game with novelty weapon customisation. Yay for giving us more of what the masses want, I suppose. I shall wait for a few years for it to drop below $5 (normally $10, but half of that is my “forced to deal with EA products” tax).

      • KenTWOu says:

        If you don’t want to buy it, don’t buy it, but it really does feel like you and I read completely different reviews.

        +1 This is exactly what I want to say.

  8. SuperNashwanPower says:

    This whole series has always felt very seventy five percent to me. This is a discrete measure of the apathy it inspires, encoded deep in my “it looks like maybe one day I might play it, but right now file under disinterest” node.

    • woodsey says:

      I’ve had the first two sat in my Steam wishlist for millennia. Every time I see them go on sale for about £3 though (which they seem to do a lot), I always say to myself, “well, I’ll just get them next time”.

    • Colonel J says:

      This, completely, for me too, it’s the curse of the 75percenter, the backlog fodder. I’d probably enjoy them but by the time I’ve whittled a couple of other things off my backlog of big shiny games that must be played, something else inevitably come along that looks far more engaging.

  9. Mathute87 says:

    Was I the only one annoyed by the rappelling and constant minigames?

    YET, the minigame to open the doors in the last section was fun, but I wished for it to get a little harder.

  10. Sardonic says:

    Well the game sounds good, but is it $60 good?

    • Mathute87 says:

      Not. At. All. Wait a couple of months and get it on the Origin sales that try hard to beat the Steam ones. Or the Amazon sales that compete against Steam’s prices (and win, most of the times)

      • db1331 says:

        That or they will give it away free. I got Dead Space 2 and Mass Effect 2 for free for playing the BF3 alpha pre-ordering the game. I also noticed that after I bought Alice for $5 in a Steam sale, Origin gave me a copy of the game as well. I thought that was a bit strange.

        • Brun says:

          One of Origin’s functions is to crawl your HDD for installs of EA games and add them to your Origin library. This was one of the things people pointed to when they claimed Origin was “spyware.”

          • TormDK says:

            No, but EA will notice when you log on using your origin account – and will add the game accordingly.

          • Phantoon says:

            Except that’s a thing that happened. Don’t just say no. Say no to it, surely, but it did happen.

          • Brun says:

            Then explain how my copy of Orign picked up Spore despite my not logging into it for nearly 6 months prior to it appearing in my library?

    • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

      Did you love the first two? Yes.
      Did you not love the first two? No.

  11. Paul says:

    I kind of want to play this, I liked DS1 and 2, but it is too expensive. Drop it to 20 bucks and I will get it.

  12. Jamesworkshop says:

    I’ve always thought of the title as being like the warhammer 40k spacehulk based action game that never got made.

    As for the PC port its the best of the series, i’ve put close to 30 hours so far and not a single Crash to desktop, id get one every few hours in DS2.

    I think some criticism should be placed that by the third game they still haven’t done something like having the ability to switch shoulder view.

    The little room you try out/make weapons in is brill and much better than the one mass effect 3 used, as for the crafting itself it felt a lot more engaging than what mass effect had.

    I won’t talk about the story but even that gave me a strong mass effect vibe.

    and not just because of my sweet N7 armour

    http://i737.photobucket.com/albums/xx11/jamesworkshop/background_zpsd4ac41aa.jpg

    did a little playing around since the games on pc
    http://i737.photobucket.com/albums/xx11/jamesworkshop/wheresissac_zpsafa01bbe.jpg

    * wanted to make a note that the sharing of crafting blueprints with co-op players was a genius idea and effortless to do in practice

  13. Inverselaw says:

    Can i just take a moment to moan about how the starting premise is that the human spacefaring society is running out of natural resources so its turning to the markers as a source of power. Thus they build marker research labs (with fully functional markers) in every major city. This is after one marker destroys the largest colony on titan.

    Also, this is a society where they routinely crack whole planets open and completly process them into raw materials. yup a society that extracts planets worth of material is suffering from a resource shortage, I can only assume that the average lifestyle of a human in this era involves them living in personal 500 story tall solid gold homes with one million petrol powered robot servants.

    • DK says:

      That is an incredibly dumb continuation of the story. Literally every fan speculation is better than that.

      Personally, I liked the idea that the Markers were an Alien FTL comm system, but the way they achieved FTL communication is by sending the signals through another dimension – cue otherdimensional signal-creatures piggybacking onto the comm packets. Bam Necromorphs.

      It’s basically Event Horizon + Homeworld Cataclysm.

      Or even the basic alien creatures terraforming (or Necroforming) environments in order to take them over makes more sense than magic undead psychic energy reactor built by humans somehow.

    • Hindenburg says:

      Planetcracking pretty much stopped after the ishimura incident. The logs say as much. In dead space 2.

      You might argue that no tragedy would ever make companies stop pursuing dat moola, and you’d have a point.

  14. AngusPrune says:

    Why, oh why couldn’t you tell me this game was unremittingly awful? Now I actually slightly regret that I’ll never buy it because they refuse to put the bloody thing on steam.

  15. Lambchops says:

    Didn’t we learn with Deus Ex: Invisible Game war that one size fits all ammo was a little bit rubbish?

    • Dominic White says:

      Rogue Trooper (not to be confused with Rogue Warrior) taught me that universal ammo (in this case being able to manufacture ammo, grenades and health on the fly with generic resources) could actually work really well. DX:IW isn’t really a positive example of much.

      • Jamesworkshop says:

        I didn’t find it a problem its a mixed bag on the one hand you can use any gun you like but then again its easy to have no ammo which means no gun has ammo, but then again that can happen even in games with split ammo pools

        http://uk.gamespot.com/dead-space-3/videos/dead-space-3-gun-show-6403695/

        I don’t think the old ammo system would work in this game and personally the new weapon components feel more dynamic and interesting than different ammos, I know which trade off i would have developed.

        Personally the different ammos just annoyed me in DS1/2 by making the in game store inventory look untidy, i’m OCD about inventory management in games.

        A game i felt had ammo to gun problems was the crysis series, FY71 never ran out of ammo in Crysis 1 while the sniper rifle had less ammo available than the heavier sniper gauss rifle.

        They had a good fix in crysis 2 with the mostly universal ammo boxes placed around the map, you could run out of sniper bullets (or other specific ammo) but still get the ammo in reasonable quantities through out the game, its minor but its quite a hybrid system.

  16. F3ck says:

    I thought Dead Space had unique ammo for each weapon (am I wrong?) and encouraged using different weapons by altering the battlefield and baddies…pretty sure there was no easy way to play through with a single ‘boom-stick’…

    Also, driving games can (and often must) be played with a controller…but if your aiming a reticule at anything and not using m/kb to do so you might as well get yourself a console.

    People have become far too tolerant of this whole “well, it’s fine if you just use a joypad” notion.

    • F3ck says:

      One of the things I think I remember from that game (the 1st) was trying to quickly swap weapons when a situation called for it. This augmented that feeling of panic and – along with increased difficulty – got my blood pumping…

      …so that’s now gone? Shame.

      The first two had some great moments – genuinely exciting, startling moments – I expect this one has its moments as well.

      I like the franchise so I’ll likely play this no matter what…even if I bitch the entire game.

    • Jamesworkshop says:

      I can’t quite agree considering all the plasma cutter only runs people did in DS1/2

      • Jamesworkshop says:

        doesn’t change my view that one gun runs are a staple of the series(so no change in DS3), of course its slightly different that technically alt fire is often a different gun which is somewhat like weapon switching but with less animations

        I think things like ripper blade plus under-barrel flamethrower that’s now a freezing cryo-torch that does electric damage makes up for any shortcomings of the game

        put the rotatory cuff on a line cutter has similar amusing applications

    • directedinput says:

      I agree with you that once you have to move a reticle around freely the advantages of a mouse overcome all the pros of a gamepad (comfort, analog movement, etc).

      It’s nice that the game supports both, but I really would expect a PC oriented site to give the mouse/kb controls in a shooter a good run under a critical eye. Especially in a series that has had questional mouse code in the past. In other genres like a beatemup or racing game I can understand not giving it much attention but DS3 is pretty much a pure shooter, where a lot of people will want to use m/kb controls on.

  17. dejoh says:

    Do we see this offered on Steam in the near future?
    Oh, by the way, nice review chief.

  18. Hoaxfish says:

    Some relevance:

    http://dudehugespeaks.tumblr.com/post/42939895428/in-space-no-one-made-me-scream

    Cliff Blezinski says “horror” isn’t something for AAA.

    • Jamesworkshop says:

      Horror is tricky as its all about conception i mean no one says gran-turismois bad because its not scary, they don’t expect it to be.

      This is not a horror game. It’s pulp science fiction

    • Screamer says:

      The fact that anyone even cares about what CliffyB “CliffyB” CliffyB says is pretty worrying.

  19. Megakoresh says:

    Meh, this is an example of EA ruining yet another franchise. Only this time they didn’t ruin the game itself.

    Dead Space 3 is not a horror. It’s a really good action game. It’s closer to the better Rezident Evil games rather than Dead Space 2 or 1.

    The game is very easy, especially in coop, with unexpected and hence frustrating difficulty spikes every now and then. It’s never scary, only tense in action. The atmosphere and storyline are very different.

    It is in many areas better than DS. In many areas worse. But it is Dead Space no longer.

  20. Ender7 says:

    Going by this and metacritic, it seems its fine as an stupid action shooter game, but sucks as a horror game…or you know, as a DEAD SPACE game. Sucks, I loved the horror of the first one, the second one was meh, but servicible. However this? This is trash that I have no interest in. Right off the bat its origin exclusive and no steam, so that right there guaranteed I was never going to get it, then turning the horror game into a generic action game which is EA’s response to every franchise they own. DLC, bad story, EA…etc A shame really, but we all saw this coming a mile away with EA in the title. RIP dead space franchise, hello generic shooter x.

  21. lordfrikk says:

    Played it for a bit and was quite disappointed by the apparent lack of distinctive features that gave the previous installments its character. The supposedly action-enticing news with your ex-girlfriend being in danger right after learning that she dumped you was a really weak start, too… I just don’t feel it. And that’s coming from someone who loves Dead Space.

    My friend said today – it’s crazy that everyone is out there to kill Isaac, I’m actually surprised that the man just doesn’t sit down on the nearest rock and goes “Fuck this!”. Well, maybe it’s time?

  22. strangeloup says:

    Dunno. Might pick it up on the Xbox second hand for a tenner in a few months. From the demo I was annoyed that they’d bollocksed up the series, but I went back and played the first two and they’re kind of… reasonably decent but unexceptional, so nothing amazingly great to begin with.

    Seem to recall the second one had better pacing and less trudging back and forth, at least.

    • Jamesworkshop says:

      I think dead space 2 was the strongest of the series, the set pieces really worked which is odd as DS3 felt more like a more natural fit for them.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      “Might pick it up on the Xbox second hand for a tenner in a few months.”

      Yeah I’d enjoy being able to do that while you still can.

  23. Aardvarkk says:

    Every time I read about Portal 2 I go back and play about 30 minutes or so, until I get frustrated and quit.

    Someday I will finish it.

  24. mckertis says:

    So does it have problems with AA and vsync as the first game does ? Or i can just turn them on in-game and enjoy ?

  25. Stevostin says:

    Never give me a Dead Space game to review. It would look like : one fourth of the screen is constantly hidden by my own ass, making aim difficult in a game that’s all about aim. Incredibly stupid, 0/10.

  26. AlienMind says:

    DO NOT PUSH THIS BUTTON

  27. elvencode says:

    My impression after completing it solo and coop (on Impossible difficulty)

    CONS
    - Buckets of medikits compared to previous titles. After 2 minutes i had the inventory full.
    - Few and uninteresting bosses compared to the game length and previous titles
    - Monster are just-the-same ones of previous titles (with different graphics many times), no new monster AI. They are flowing out vents like crazy…seems like the Doom 3 type of monster jumping out to scare you that is quite boring after 10 hours of playing it.
    - Story is just a bunch of american action movies ideas… good people vs bad people, impossible situations where you survive just for luck but others around you die miserably, the “we are the last chance (3 people) the ENTIRE human race has to survive”, random things around that tell you how to proceed in the story where (lots of) people before you didn’t know what to do.. and so on
    - Many times in coop the other people disconnect in the middle of the game and all resets to the lastest checkpoint… like 15/20 minutes ago in some cases
    - Extra missions are just corridors with some text and audio logs around… not much to see more than bunkers and other tons of monsters coming from every vent
    - Suits had some kind of differencies in previous titles (inventory space), now they are more a cosmetic piece of thing

    PRO

    - gourgeous graphics and enviroments (even if constrained by “virtual corridors”)
    - fast engine with no bugs (just one opening a door in the space levels, the character was projected in a black screen and was falling infinitely…)
    - if you play it few hours each time it’s quite nice as a shooter
    - gourgeous final boss location (but the boss itself is too easy to defeat)
    - ammo is somehow always the minimum necessary

    I think if they’d, at least, focus more on the monsters and less corridor-like levels it’d have been a lot more interesting. I don’t ask for a more realistic story but if you want to focus on the action you need to improve those things, isn’t it ? ;)

  28. Shooop says:

    This is pretty much the impression I got from watching a livestream of it.

    It’s a pretty good action game, but a terrible survial horror game. And there’s a “climb this mountain with debris falling from it” which counts as an automatic deduction in my book.

  29. Grayvern says:

    No mention of how horrible the checkpointing and therefore saving is. Side missions don’t have any hard saves in them whatsoever checkpoints can be a long way apart and occasionally 2 minutes before the combat. This means quitting the game can be trying as you have to wait for the game to checkpoint.

    The combat and encounter design simply isn’t anywhere near as good as 2 either it’s not just the lack of emphasis on dismemberment it’s that it has few standout moments a lot of repetition, and few non generic enemy encounters.

    The weapon system with it’s four fire mode limit in two groups produces not only many horrible looking guns but ends up as Adam says making the combat homogeneous. It just ends up feeling both too constrained and too open the need for crowd control and disparate fire rates limiting your realistic options, from my experiences playing on hard anyway.

    It’s also a mystery to me as to why there isn’t a third weapon slot even accepting the dubious reason for there not being a 4th is the deployable resource collection drones.

  30. Screamer says:

    “ets see i could make a marker and get unlimited energy but it will unavoidably destroy humanity … hmmm, well who wants humanity if i cant use my AC anyway (and thats not going into the whole love triangle thing)”

    Uhmmm what part about the Unitoligy is run by some pretty INSANE motherfuckers don’t you get?Destroying humanity is kind of the idea…..

    • Screamer says:

      Earth Gov did the Marker for power thing yes but after a disaster hid them. Dead Space starts after a Marker has been rediscovered and the Unitologists go ape shit. It was also them who start manufacturing new ones.

  31. SkittleDiddler says:

    Can anyone who has played DS3 confirm whether it suffers from the same Xbox 360 gamepad/USB input device conflict that has plagued the prior games? I just go burned by EA’s support because they couldn’t fix the issue for me in DS2, and as much as I love the IP, I refuse to buy the newest one if the devs didn’t get smart this time around.

  32. Milky1985 says:

    “one size fits all ammo”

    So they saw the universal ammo system in Invisible war and thought “well this feature was hated by lots of players, I’m sure it was actually a good idea so we will run with it”

    Wouldn’t the ability to just use your favorite gun ruin the horror a bit, part of the horror atmosphere when you can fight back is knowing that all you have left is ammo for the shotgun against the things that are attacking you form long range etc

    Then again this a game where a man has a suit that keeps him nice and warm in space, but then has to get back to warmth once on the planet because its snowing outside.

    • Hindenburg says:

      When the suit is busted and shredded and his helmet was ripped apart..

      But by all means, continue.

    • Jamesworkshop says:

      “Then again this a game where a man has a suit that keeps him nice and warm in space, but then has to get back to warmth once on the planet because its snowing outside.”

      Actually that makes perfect sense considering in space you are not surrounded by snow and icy winds

      http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SpaceIsCold

      Space Is Cold is the widely held misconception that space is in itself “cold.” We hear Speculative Fiction writers blather about “the cold depths of space” or “the freezing void.” If you get thrown into space, you’re going to freeze straight away, assuming you don’t explode.

      Actually, Space Does Not Work That Way. In brief, there are two reasons why. Firstly, near a star (like, say, in Earth orbit), space is very well heated — like a sunny day on Earth, only without that pesky atmosphere to block any heat. Secondly, even in deep space, where the temperature is in fact very low, it’s still not “cold” in the usual sense — you won’t lose heat very quickly, because vacuum is a very good insulator. For more information, visit the analysis page.

      http://zonalandeducation.com/mstm/physics/mechanics/energy/heatAndTemperature/heatAndTemperature.html

      a bit more sci-ency

      Which object contains the most heat, a boiling pot of water or a gigantic iceberg?

  33. Christo4 says:

    Yeah this title was the weakest of them all. Especially with the bosses (i mean the one on the icy planet which you have to harpoon to kill, i destroyed all it’s yellow parts and it still didn’t die. Pretty fail IMO. Also reused bosses), with the enemies spawning behind you(i had the thing that looks like a bird come at me from behind, when there were no vents or anything like that) and why the fck is the Hunter invincible? I liked in the first two games that even though you couldn’t kill it with weapons you had other ways of destroying it, but noo, here the hunter is more akin to superman than being made out of flesh(which is what all necromorphs are made of)

    • Hindenburg says:

      Those bird dudes can hop over cover. It’s how it got behind you.

      Aint a single encounter in the game where those guys spawn behind you, iirc.

  34. Baal_Sagoth says:

    The “narrative archeology” and “Mountains of Madness” references certainly offer an interesting and unique take on DS3, at least from what I’ve read elsewhere. It’s fascinating to read that such a break from prior games inspired diverse opinions and has its merits to some.
    I personally merely own the first game and didn’t even finish that since it was competent but mediocre in its scares, combat and upgrade system to me. Add to that a rather pitiful K&M control scheme and I’m most likely uninterested in continuing my journey any further. Still, very interesting WIT.

    • Jamesworkshop says:

      The ending of the game area reminded me a lot of the ending area in eternal darkness

  35. Hindenburg says:

    Having recently finished DS3 on hard (where at one point, my plasma cutter simply wasnt cutting it, and I had to swap to a stasis smg with force cannon), and replayed DS1 on normal, i’m a bit baffled at people saying the games stopped being challenged. They never were, on normal, nor were there a lot of horror sections, for that matter.

    Popped it back to hard for DS2, and quite surprised by how the game never quite lets you have more than half a spare clip for the weapons you carry. Still end up carrying the contact beam around just to sell it’s ammo, tho.

    Love those zero g “open” space sections so much, wish the whole game was like that. Made me notice that even though Halo and ME are sci fi, none of them even try to do zero g. What a shame.

  36. N1kolas says:

    If the crafting system looks complex but turns out to be simple, then surely it is deceptively complex and not deceptively simple.

  37. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    As I read the review it seems like the gameplay isn’t all that but the trappings are what make the game bearable. That and it’s an expensive game with in-game microtransactions (for a single player game no less!).

    No thanks, I’ll pass.

  38. Metr13 says:

    The game felt a lot as if the team made a demo with the ships and the freezing on the planet… And then they were issued a manager, who made sure everything else is copy-pasted from mass effect action formula.
    The most anoying was constant “now you are with your crew, aaaaand now you aren’t”. *sigh* they could do so much with the game.