Community Review: Dead Space 3

Dead Space 3 is one of those games. It's almost difficult to find the time to play because it's hardly the kind of game you can play in the light of day, or when all of your buddies are round. I managed to pick up a copy of the game on Friday, but I haven't had to the chance to play it. I've had family staying at mine over the weekend and you know how that goes!

But despite the fact I haven't played Dead Space 3 yet, I have been watching the reactions to the game fairly closely. It's fascinating. You have folks claiming it's a supremely well polished experience and you have people lamenting how far the game has strayed from its 'survival horror' roots...

Then you have people claiming that Dead Space was never a survival horror game to begin with. Where will it end? Where do you stand?

Generally I believe people should enjoy a video game for what it is, and try not to judge games too harshly based on their own expectations. But at the same time, people have the right to state disappointment when a series strays from its roots and becomes something a little less definitive and original.

Considering what I've already written about the original Dead Space I have to admit I'm a little worried about the direction of the game, but plenty who have played it already are telling me I don't need to worry.

What are your early thoughts? How are you enjoying Dead Space 3 so far?


    It didn't have the visual polish that Dead Space 2 seemed to have, nor did it have the bone chilling horror of Dead Space 1. But the gameplay was tight and satisfying. I did miss the nodes, cash and gold, diamond and ruby circuit boards of the previous games.

    Here's my spoiler free review:

    I finished it last night and enjoyed the experience. As a game in general I'd rate it 8/10, however as a Dead Space game I'd rate it pretty low, the atmosphere just wasn't the same and nothing was ever really surprising. Admittedly though I did play it on normal, and the game was tuned even easier than I expected so I'm sure that didn't help.

    Despite having finished it there are still some things I'm interested in checking out:

    1. First the difficulty. I played through on normal expecting it to be harder than it was and I think that didn't help things at all since they throw enormous amounts of ammo and health at you. Actually being at risk of running out of ammo or health I'm sure would help make the game much more interesting.

    2. I'd like to give the co-op a solid shot as it seems like Carver is actually an interesting character (more so than Isaac). He shows up a few times during the single player and has some really great moments so I'd love to see more about him.

    3. I'm curious to try the classic mode for Dead Space 3 that disables the weapon crafting. The weapon crafting is fun (if a little confusing at first), but it also allows you to make some horrendously powerful guns.

    Apparently I don't like this game so much, that my mind is blank from when I pre-ordered it. I don't remember doing that at all (I did ask about pre-order bonuses) but I had 10 bucks on it already. So I cancelled that and moved the money to something interesting, Metal Gear!

    Having not played it, my opinion is garbage when I say the game is a disappointment. It may very well be a good game, but it now has no identity. It's joining the dime a dozen shooters out there that's only remembered as those, "CoD" or "Gears of War" clones.

    I could probably live with the story becoming stupid, Ellie going from good to "female" character, the optional co-op and microtransactions, or even replacing the horror with CoD. But I can't get past that universal ammo or the fact that it now makes the "inventory system" pointless. They could easily replace the inventory system with 2 numbers. 1 to indicate how much ammo you have, and 1 to indicate how many times you can heal yourself.

    I'm about half way through and I'm enjoying it and looking forward to polishing it off, but it doesn't have the sheen the first one had. It's definitely not as scary, and I'm not sure if this is because I've played through the first one a couple of times + the second and the novelty (or scares) have worn off. I think it looks really nice and feels like a much more produced game, which I usually hate but don't mind so much for DS3. I'm quite disappointed that there are so many other humans in the game, every time I need to shoot humans I feel a bit bored, and the presence of other human characters takes away that feeling of isolation that was always prevalent in the first. Also it seems quite easy, I'm playing it on hard and it hasn't been too bad at all, I usually struggle a lot more with hard settings.

    I think compared to the first it's a bit disappointing but it has its own merits to still be an enjoyable experience.

    hmm should I get this or Aliens Colonial Marines..

    Let me save you a article's worth of opinions here. It sucks.

    Now to give you a article's worth of opinions.

    Spoilers ahead (maybe)

    (Single-player, normal difficulty)

    Gameplay is more or less the same, but with added emphasis on puzzles. Pretty good, actually. Good enough variety and brings out the engineer in Issac that we don't see a lot. However, the weapons, and by extension the crafting system, is quite flawed. There are stats involved available but they don't really translate into guns feeling more powerful; guns are unique yet literally they feel the same when you shoot them, meaning changing your gun is mostly a flavour thing. It improves as you collect more parts, but for the most part it's really just "MY GUN IS BIGGER THAN YOUR GUN." Plus, compared to DS2, I noticed that enemies just soak up the bullets; think a javelin gun or your ripper is your killer weapon this time? LOLNOPE. Also, the cover system was.. pretty much useless, although the parts where you did use are few, so I wouldn't really have the measure of it. Also, I don't think different suits do anything anymore except for shielding you from the cold.

    The change of locale is nice. The Sprawl didn't feel like a space station, or colony, or whatever it was. But the new locations in DS3 are quite pretty. It's a radical change concerning the sci-fi look as well, for DS3's ships and technology are from the past, so everything is a lot grittier and dirtier (and uh, the font changed for everything as well.) The beginning part is great, with some really open areas. There is a fair amount of backtracking, though- but those parts don't have enemies swamping you all the time, so it didn't bother me that much.

    Plot? Yeah, no, this is where things go south. Characters are introduced and they will die, and you won't give a shit. Ellie has replaced Nicole essentially, because Issac still has relationship problems. To his credit, he's a lot more sane, but this is not necessarily a good thing; he's actually quite boring now. The atmosphere isn't scary at all, due to the fact that Issac is never alone; that, and the fact that enemies can sometimes spawn one after another means that it gets wary instead of scary. The backstory through logs and audio clips remains quite excellent, as ever. There is a central antagonist, which you also won't care about, him being your usual cult leader who wants to something something something make us whole. Also, Carver, who is the second playable character in DS3, does appear in the single-player campaign, but sporadically disappears whenever plot calls for it.

    Also, one character remains the equivalent of a pouty 16-year old girl who has had her crush taken by another girl, essentially making a chunk of conversation mid-game much like two teenagers trying to outsass each other.

    So just play it in co-op, don't expect to be scared, have fun showing off your gun that shoots rockets and sawblades and shit.

    Last edited 11/02/13 12:00 pm

    From what I played of the full game I found there to be NO visceral or addicting gameplay whatsoever.
    Probably because I have played nothing of the full game.

    But from what Dead Space 3 I have not played, I definitely did not like nor undislike my non experience, or did I? I did not maybe.

    Porkchop out of ten.

    Playing with a friend at the moment and loving it sick! Big fan of the first game more so than the second but huge fan of the series and so far I think the third is excellent. For me the series strength is the environments and god do they feel and look real and amazing in this game.

    I'm about... ten?... hours in, and I'm really struggling to find a reason to keep playing. It's an okay-ish third-person shooter. It's a horrible Dead Space game.

    After the prologue, I felt that Normal was going to be too easy, so played Hard until Chapter Six or so, when the necros get ridiculous - two regenerators and six scorpions in a small room is not horror, it's a shooting gallery. That, and the fact that specific enemies that normally do roughly 20% of my health damage, can one-shot me if I'm at or below 40%.

    The tension in DS1&2 was in the expectation of something about to fly screaming at your face in an attempt to kill you, and the crazy people you see killing themselves (and others) every so often; the tension in DS3 comes from frantically trying to kill a bunch of things. And did the first two have such astounding difficulty spikes? I don't remember any. Every so often in DS3, you get stuck waiting in a room while machinery does something or whatever until you clear the area of necros. Should you feel "bad-ass" for making it through a section like that? Was that their aim? I just felt relief that I was past it, and dread for it's inevitable recurrence later on... dread for the inevitable deaths that I'll have to endure until I learn how many enemies there will be and where they come from. Feeling "bad-ass" is for shooters.

    They had enemies balanced perfectly for DS1&2... they had the atmosphere perfect in DS1&2... what the hell happened? It's F3AR all over again...

    DS3 is a fantastic, beautiful, well polished GAME. A lot of talent and effort has gone into it and its quality is very high. But for a Dead Space game it's not that great. I liked the new crafting system and the way they integrated co-op into the story is nice, but all the tension and a lot of the atmosphere is gone. Sure there's horror, but the game is so busy hurrying you along that you barely notice.

    I think the key here is the pacing of the game - in order to design for co-op they have had to make it a lot faster paced. This results in more battles that get predictable, more supplies, and more enemies.

    Also what's with Player 2's focus always shifting to Isaac during cutscenes? Sometimes I thought that Isaac might still be crazy and imagining John Carver, because when playing as Carver you'd just pop out of nowhere after viewing a cutscene from Isaac's perspective. It's very jarring and I wish they'd given them seperate cutscenes.

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