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Engineer We Go Again: Dead Space 3's Universal Ammo

Below you will find twenty minutes of Dead Space 3 footage, interspersed with executive producer Steve Papoutsis saying ‘super’, ‘awesome’ and ‘superawesome’. It confirms my fear that the game won’t contain very much fear, although there is a bit with a giant drill that sends limbs flying through the air like patriotic streamers and champagne corks at a Jubilee street party. Hurrah, Clarke and Carver (attourniquets at law) cry out as the celebrations begin, hurrah for gratuitous dismemberment. Those people already worried that the atmosphere of the game may be diluted by Isaac’s new argumentative companion may be further concerned by magical ammo. Trailer and disconcerting screengrab below.

Before you watch, be aware that this obviously contains spoilers. It’s twenty minutes long and it’s not just a logo on a loop. There are new enemy types shown, including a boss, and quite a few environments so do look away if you want to see those things for the first time when you actually play the game. If you’re worried that a man talking about the “super awesome” work that went into the “pulping” may make you queasy, queasier than the pulping itself, I’d also recommend avoiding that play button.

Otherwise, in we go!

But what has buzzed into my brain like a scalp-stinging bee into a bonnet?

Wither the line racks and the plasma energy, wither the solitude and the fear of death?

Lost in Dead Space Planet it might be and I’ll probably find something to like in Isaac’s icy adventures, but universal ammo is a step too far. Maybe it’s just for actual guns rather than nifty engineering tools that slice and dice, but just seeing it fly out of some innards gave me a troubling feeling in my own innards.

A cover system suggests less up close face mauling and more projectile-flinging opponents, universal ammo could mean much more running and gunning, and the whole setup seems even further from the first game’s claustrophobic menace. I enjoyed Dead Space 2 but couldn’t help thinking, “Aha, so this time it’s war, eh?” Well, this time it may well be warrier.

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Adam Smith

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