A Scary Review for Dead Space 3
Warning: This review contains spoilers.
This review is based on the Xbox 360 Version. I have played this franchise to death (no pun intended), completing every achievement and difficulty level of the first two games, and most of the third game. Before I reviewed Dead Space 3 I made notes on what made Dead Space 1 & 2 great games.
Dead Space 1 and 2 created an atmosphere of terror and dread like no other video game. I was always desperately low on health and ammo only to find myself trapped in a small room with emergency lights flashing, sound effects blasting, and necromorphs pouring in from every direction to kill me. I would creep nervously down hallways and peek causiously into every room because the game had a way of throwing monsters at me when I was at my weakest. There was a feeling that I could be killed at any moment. Other FPS trained me to aim for the heads, but headshots were meaningless in Dead Space. To kill Necomorphs I had to remove their arms and legs, and then stomp their heads just to make sure they didn’t get back up – and even then – sometimes they got back up. The story drew me into the game. Isaac Clark, the main protagonist, had conversations with his dead wife, which seem to twist reality. I was never completely sure if these visions were real, imagined or if everything Isaac was experiencing (and I was experiencing) was because Isaac had gone insane. The game kept me on my toes. I consider both Dead Space 1 & 2 classics.
The developers must have felt the game needed a change. In Dead Space 3 the weapons, ammo, health and statis packs can be crafted at workbenches. The crafting is a great addition but now my inventory is overflowing with surplus health and ammo packs. The crafted weapons and upgrades are much more powerful than the previous games. Combine these new weapons with endless ammunition and I’m never afraid to run full guns blazing into a fight, even on the highest difficulty level. The tense atmosphere of fear and dread disappeared from the series. The developers opted to build an action game instead of horror.
The graphics, lighting, and sound effects are amazing. The room textures and character models are well done, but the confined spaces are gone. Since the game was developed for two player co-op the rooms are larger with more openness to run around allowing players to kite enemies. I never felt trapped. There were times when the game led me into a confined area and I would think, okay, be ready, the shits about to get crazy, but nothing would happened. So many missed opportunities to create a scare made me question whether these were the same developers who created Dead Space 1 & 2.
I found the story and character dialog to be a cheese fest. I laughed at several cut scenes, which are not meant to be funny. The intimate yet creepy love story is gone and replaced by a thrown together love triangle between Isaac, Ellie and Ellie’s new BF Robert. The reason for this predictable love triangle is to give Isaac another human being to fight with throughout the game. This leads to my biggest complaint. I spent a large amount of time fighting against human terrorists. Dead Space was known for developing innovative monsters and unique alien creatures, but this third installment gave me the most generic enemy possible – a terrorist. And there’s even an achievement for guess what? Killing 30 terrorist with HEADSHOTS – BOOM. I guess when the trade from horror to action was made headshots become part of the formula.
I’m not sure how the developers managed to screw up the save system, but they did. The game automatically saves your progress when your character passes certain fixed points. The game also has a “Save and Quit” option. The problem with the save and quit option is that it only saves your current inventory, but not the game progress. So, when you log back into the game, you will start at the last fixed point regardless of where you quit. This can be a frustrating feature.
The two big additions to Dead Space are micro transactions and two player co-op mode. I was apprehensive about micro transactions because that usually means, “pay to win” but it’s not the case for Dead Space 3. The micro transactions are extras, and you can acquire the resources from playing the game. Co-op play is a great addition but it has a downside. Co-op play is required to complete some missions. Co-op can currently only be played with members of your friends list. This could be bad if your friends don’t own the game or play on a different platform. There is not currently a way to search for open games to join.
The bottom line is that Dead Space 3 is a different beast. For better or worse, the formula has been changed. Dead Space 3 is worth playing, and you will find enjoyment, but it doesn’t “feel” like the previous games. I’m hoping the developers add some neat expansion content and that the series moves back to its horror roots for Dead Space 4.
|Title:||Dead Space 3|
|Genres:||Horror / FPS / Action|
|Release Date:||Feb, 2013|
|Pros:||Weapon Customization. The game is long. Bug free. Combat system is solid.|
|Cons:||The horror is gone. The story is terrible. Cannot complete missions without doing co-op. Bad save game system.|
|Comments:||Somewhat disappointed, but Dead Space 3 is still a solid game.|