The Bonding Of Isaac: Dead Space 3’s Odd Couple Co-Op


Dead Space is famously an Alien-inspired game about lonely survival on a spaceship/station inhabited by otherworldly horrors. No more! Now it’s a buddy action move about welding helmeted Isaac grudgingly teaming up with bloodthirsty merc and victim of nominative predeterminism John Carver. They hate each other, but I’ve a funny feeling they might come to respect and even like each other before the tale is done.

As well as the co-op focus, Dead Space 3 is rather more planet-bound and a whole lot more icy than the previous, claustrophobic and somewhat brown entries in the series. As you can see below. Yes, I thought I’d surprise you all by posting a trailer during E3 week. I don’t play by the rules, me.

So it’s Lost Planet now, then? Also, I like how the angry guy has a helmet with red lines on and the calm guy has a helmet with blue lines on. It’s like Men are from Mars, women are from Venus, but with two gun-toting guys who don’t like each other, in space. PUT THAT ON THE BACK OF THE BOX.

Co-op will be optional and drop-in, drop out, so sounds like it’ll still be possible to have a traditionally lonely Isaac adventure should you so wish.

More details on the game, the co-op and this Carver fellow over on the DS3 site. Just think, when Dead Space 9 comes out we’ll be saying DS9 eveywhere and everyone will think they’ve gone back in time to the mid to late 1990s.


  1. Ian says:

    Is one of them too old for this shit?

    • baby snot says:

      I think they’ll use that line in Dead Space 4. Right now they’re still tough men who still say ‘fucking’.

      I bought the first one recently while it was on sale thinking I was getting a genuine attempt at survival horror but instead got a game about competing with a camera that had a mind of it’s own.

      • HisMastersVoice says:

        Wasn’t that scary enough?

      • Ian says:

        Wait, Dead Space was about fighting posessed film equipment? I’m getting it next time it’s on sale.

      • adonf says:

        It’s meant to be played with a pad on a widescreen TV. If you have a 4/3 monitor then the main character is always in the way of what you should be looking at.

        • syndrome says:

          That’s not true. I played it on 4:3 and enjoyed every second of it. You had to toggle off vsync to negate the mouse lag, and the camera was slow only when you moved and/or aimed.

          But when you get used to it, it is incredibly immersive, because you don’t walk and aim constantly — you want to be able to look fast, and when you had to shoot, you couldn’t look everywhere quake-style. Very intense.

          I don’t play horror games at all (I don’t even appreciate horror), but Dead Space 1 was one of the best games I’ve ever played (and I’m not young at all). In contrast, Dead Space 2 is fine. I expect the third sequel to be semi-fine semi-shit.

          • DrGonzo says:

            Yep. I turned off VSync in game, then forced vsync on and it worked perfectly with a mouse as far as I remember.

          • skorpeyon says:

            I played it widescreen but I do agree that the camera lag is there for a reason. It does immerse you more in the game. In reality you can’t fling your head around 180 degrees in a split-second. This isn’t a twitch shooter. In the Dead Space games you’re wearing a heavy-ass suit that protects you from the elements, even the harsh vacuum of space. You’re going to move slower.

            As for Dead Space 3… I think I’m going to get it, I think I’m going to have some fun with it, but I don’t think it’ll live up to the first two at all. Just seeing Isaac ROLL in that damn suit about made me yell “bullshit” at the screen even though there’s no one else around at the moment to hear me call them on it.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Quite the opposite, I think the guy in red is a miner

  2. Herr Dr. Face Doktor says:

    I think this game is Clarking up the wrong tree.

    • Dilapinated says:

      I agree, this will surely sever the player from the atmosphere. I’m stumped by such a decision.

      • Screamer says:

        Ja, the little atmosphere that was left after DS2 seem to going now as well :(

        • Kestilla says:

          Well, it has coop, making 3 the first in the series I’m going to pick up. And actually replay.

          • Bennus says:

            Well that punnery was disarmed.

          • Wafflesan says:

            Well that deescalated quickly.

          • skorpeyon says:

            This is why I’ll probably pick it up as well. I haven’t returned to either of the first two games because once you’ve played through the single player there’s just not much fun to be had. Returning to it with a friend who hasn’t played it before me will be entertaining to me even long after I beat the game myself. I like sharing another person’s new experience.

  3. D3xter says:

    Well, I like CoOp since playing a game with friends and people you know seems to strangely be always better than alone I found out, so this was the only thing at the EA conference that moderately excited me.
    I usually go here to check if there’s new CoOp games to buy: link to

    Made me buy even some of the “sub-par” games like FEAR3, Hunted: The Demon’s Forge or Dead Island and still have a lot of fun with them that way…

    And let’s be honest, Dead Space was never really “scary”…

    • Drayk says:

      I agree about the co-op play. I had lots of fun on Obscure in co-op back in the days. I play Dungeon Siege 3 with a friend from time to time and lately played 4 friends Diablo 3 sessions. Those moments are always fun.

      I disagree about the Dead space not being scary. At least the first one. I know it depends on the player but I always felt a tension during the game and it startled me a couple of times. It’s not Amnesia but it worked pretty well in those claustrophobic spaces. + the scene in the nursery/school in DS2 was awful for me , reminding me of my toddlers sleeping in the other room :-P

      • Caiman says:

        Not scary my ass, but then again fear is learned and hence subjective. To me body horror and aliens are infinitely more frightening than axe murderers and knife-wielding maniacs. So I get why some people don’t find Dead Space scary, but I wasn’t one of them. This new one though, it looks terrible. And I say that as a big DS fan (well, soon to be former DS fan by the looks of it).

    • Screamer says:

      DS1 was really scary.

      DS2 on the other had got the whole AAA summer block buster treatment which meant out with original ideas, and in with appealing to mass market. Enter room, kill monster, enter next room, kill monsters. Expected monster was expected!! And not scary :/

      • adonf says:

        DS1 was very predictable too. Press button in well-lit room, wait for lights to turn off and monsters to enter the room, shoot monsters.

      • Jupiah says:

        While I do agree that Dead Space 2 was less scary, more action-packed than the first, I must admit that the return to the Ishimura chapter was quite possibly the most nerve-wracking experience I’ve ever had in a video game. There were a few good jump scares too.

      • noodlecake says:

        I found it pretty scary. :S Not a game I would enjoy playing on my own at all. I don’t really watch horror films at all because I’m such a big wuss. Game’s I’ll more likely take a chance with because I play a lot more games than watch films and I did find this tense.

      • skorpeyon says:

        In DS1 I got to the point where I’d shoot any dead body as soon as I saw the damn thing because I feared walking up to it and having it jump right up in my FACE. There were a lot of jump moments I could telegraph as easily as the scene in Jurassic Park 2 where Malcom’s daughter goes to climb out a hole with raptors outside (I literally counted down, in the theater, first time seeing that movie and timed it perfectly for the Raptor to shove its head in that hole) but there were also several that I didn’t expect at all. The ones I didn’t expect DID have me becoming more paranoid the longer I played. It was very effective.

  4. says:

    The music at the end was kind of a dumb idea.

  5. Stijn says:

    Those are some low-resolution textures. Or awkward animations, I’m not sure. It’s just something that makes this game look quite dated already, to me.

    • Drink says:

      That’s probably because it’s console footage. EA are known to show console footage instead of PC footage in their trailers.

    • Walter Heisenberg says:

      Cool another tvtropes article that revolves around anime despite it not inventing the trope!

      • Nick says:

        that site is a stain on the internet.

        • GamerOS says:

          There are far worse sites around then tvtropes

          • Jay says:

            That’s a little broad, isn’t it? Like saying there’s far worse ways to die than drowning in shit. It might be true, but, y’know…

            I quite like TV Tropes personally, it could just do with a little less crazy. Good luck with that on such a fandom-magnet of a site though.

      • Hoaxfish says:

        I prefer the tropes were they are named after an example which isn’t actually true at all (e.g. “the dragon” article cannot give a single example which actually matches the trope’s supposed name-origin)

  6. Tom De Roeck says:

    the thing is, though, I thought this was going to be clarke and that woman from ds2.

    • Phantoon says:

      Watching the trailer without sound- is that chick supposed to be the one from Dead Space 2? She lost an eye, so it couldn’t have been… unless they all forgot about that when making this cinematic.

      • DK says:

        It’s a setting in which cloned organ replacement is commonplace. She got a new eye. I’m guessing Isaac paid for it.

  7. rokmek says:

    Isaac and his mother…

  8. Toberoth says:

    Drop in drop out? Yay for ludonarrative dissonance.

    Yes I just learned a new term and wanted to use it, what of it?

    WHAT OF IT?!

    • The_Great_Skratsby says:

      I’m sure it’ll be full of homodiegetic devices pushing as much narrative affordance as they can, adding enough context to counter whatever ludonarrative dissonance that might arise.

      And ultimately it just wont work in a multiplayer game environment where player silliness is multiplied.

  9. mr.ioes says:

    Ignore my pessimism, but those are my thoughts: You can clearly see the negative effects of coop. The spiderthing is the first monster in Dead Space that isn’t scary at all. It will be a generic shooter. And probably the first one I’ll really play because I am not man enough for part 1 + 2. Hooray?
    Then again I’ve weird taste as Vegas 2 was the best co-op shooter ever. Ever. Vegas 2 with horror? Count me in.

  10. kikito says:

    Will the red guy be called Arthur C. Asimov, perhaps?

  11. Walter Heisenberg says:

    Why are they wearing jackets over their controlled environmental suits?

  12. airtekh says:

    Not sure about the co-op, might take away from the atmosphere a little.

    I did really like the first two games though, so I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this

    • Grey_Ghost says:

      Yeah, I’m hoping that when I play this solo, this Carver guy isn’t actually present in any form at all. I honestly think I would be super annoyed listening to anything he has to say.

  13. faelnor says:

    2-player co-op doesn’t sound too bad, but where is that Dead Space trailer you mentioned?
    All I got was a silly video for a frenetic third-person alienshoot game of sorts.

    • faelnor says:

      “In the dead of space, dealing with aliens is the easiest part of the voyage”

  14. Easy says:

    Gears of Dead Space? Also, ’tis about time people learn how to make a proper re-entry into the atmosphere without the ship ‘sploding and all, you know.

    • PopeJamal says:

      That’s exactly what I thought. Good news for Gears of War fans, bad news for “proper” Dead Space fans.

  15. MeestaNob says:

    Don’t you just love the ‘social age’? Even a game built around being terrified and alone is now a hoot with company.


    • db1331 says:

      No doubt it will be fully integrated with Twitter too.


  16. I_have_no_nose_but_I_must_sneeze says:

    I’m a fan of the first two games, but this trailer didn’t do much to excite me. And what kind of an ending is that? Twenty seconds of a terrible nu-metal type song while some kind of grey doorway flickers in the background? Still, early days.

  17. Brun says:

    Drop-in, drop-out co-op? So it’s always-online then? Lovely.

  18. nimzy says:

    They’ve RE5’d it. Oh god why.

  19. Bhazor says:

    Well so much for horror.

  20. Zyrxil says:

    Lost Planet 3 becomes Dead Space and Dead Space 3 becomes Lost Planet. Makes sense. Carry on then.

  21. Lev Astov says:

    Is it just me or does Isaac look nothing like he did in the first game?

    Also, am I the only one who cried out in anguish when Isaac spoke in DS2? I far preferred the silent protagonist type of the original. This latest video makes this one look like some kind of sick mockery of the original, being everything it avoided. I am disappoint.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      He seems to have gone from freaked-out space repairman misusing his tools for violence to heavily-armed gunnut space-cowboy.

    • Keirley says:

      I dunno, Dead Space 2 turned out to be a really good action game. I enjoyed the first Dead Space a great deal, but the second one just wasn’t interested in being the same kind of game. Once I accepted that it’s not survival-horror, and instead an all-out action game I appreciated it for what it did bring to the table – clever combat, interesting weapons, genuinely impressive set-pieces, and a pretty good story all things considered. It’s kind of a shame that a good attempt at survival horror gave way to another thrills-and-combat style game, but at least it was a good example of that kind of game.

      Also, the silent Isaac Clarke worked well in the first game, but I think the second game benefited a great deal from the choice to allow him to talk once in a while.

  22. SCdF says:

    So I only played about 30 minutes of the first one (camera controls..) but I got the distinct impression it was survival horror, not a gears of war buddy comedy.

    Still, Alien was scary while Aliens was action, and they both have their place. So maybe this will be like that.


  23. max_1111 says:

    Hey soo… uuuh…
    Funny story about Ellie’s eye huh?
    Weird that…

  24. Turkey says:

    It seems like an odd choice to give the CO-OP partner a personality and a grudge against the main character. I know all the story stuff falls to the wayside anyway when it comes to playing co-op, but that’s like going the extra mile to highligh the weird artificial relationship between gameplay and story.

  25. rocketman71 says:

    So, how many DLC pieces will EA release for consoles only this time?.

    And how big will be the chunk they rip from the game to sell as Day One DLC?.

    And, of course, this will be Origin only.

    Damn, why am I reading and commenting this shit again?.

  26. elvencode says:

    Dead space on a planet…

    they said they added some space levels to not have to name it Dead Planet
    then they added coop and human enemies to not have to name it Lonely Planet

  27. whatisvalis says:

    Wtf was up with Elle’s shirt? Shouldn’t she be wearing something more appropiate while piloting a space ship? Crashing onto an ice world wearing your best cleavage revealing red knit sweater doesn’t bode well for survival. Fortunately the pointless co-op dead weight seems to be infatuated with her, so she’s probably ok.

  28. Grey_Ghost says:

    Poor Ellie, not healthy in the long term to be one of Isaac’s friends. Especially when getting close to any Marker stuff.

    I really liked her is DS2, was completely surprised she survived it. I especially loved that look of dread on Isaac at the very end of the game where he suddenly turns to face her, and she says a confused “what?”. I laughed out loud.

  29. Mogget128723 says:

    I am a massive fan of the first two games.
    And I look at this trailer, and think, “I’m not paying money for this.”
    Dead Space has always been about isolation; about scrambling to stay alive on your own, outnumbered and outgunned.
    I was a little hesitant when they introduced Ellie in the second game, as a persistent, non-dead character, but in the end, I decided I felt it added to the experience, much like giving Isaac a voice.
    But co-op? Fucking CO-OP!?
    There is no such thing as ISOLATION when you’ve got two characters constantly having quirky bromantic exchanges.

    What do you want to bet it’ll be Origin exclusive on PC, too?