on 16 August 2013
I really enjoyed this game and would recommend it. I played it 4 times on different difficulties for over a month. If you are a Dead Space fan, nothing below should put you off playing it as the pros far outweigh the cons.
* Excellent story--especially if you're a fan of The Thing (1982) or have read The Terror by Dan Simmons. The atmosphere and backstory of Tau Volantis fits in very well with the bleak dystopian future of Dead Space and the contemporary story is very enjoyable.
* Replay value--after completing the game it unlocks unique modes of difficulty which make subsequent replays fresh and interesting.
* Resources and crafting--Isaac now feels like a proper engineer rather than a guy who spends money at a kiosk.
* Improved enemies--enemies are now much tougher than they were in previous games and require slightly different tactics than before.
* Optional side missions--a good idea and well implemented. These missions are no push-over either, a couple are harder than most of the main campaign. They also reward the player with a lot of loot and unique components used for crafting.
* Too much action, not enough horror--Dead Space is a horror series, not an action series. This is the least scary Dead Space in the series (especially when compared to the first game), and is much more action-orientated. The horror element is predominantly supplied by the backstory, rather than what is actually happening.
* Co-operative play--this is probably the game's biggest failing. Not because coop is bad, but because in this instance it feels like it was shoe-horned in at the last moment at the behest of EA. It is poorly implemented, badly designed, and adds nothing to the experience, only succeeding in detracting from what little horror there is in the game. It is also advertised as "easy drop-in, drop-out play"--nothing about it is remotely "easy".
* Money-grabbing EA--aside from the over-priced DLC, even the resources in this game are purchasable with real-world money. Fortunately, this is not a requirement to finish the game, but it illustrates a mercenary attitude EA are pioneering to squeeze as much cash out of gamers as possible.
on 11 March 2013
Dead Space 3 does move in a different direction to the first few games. It is more open, including space walks and short planet hops, lots of outside exploration and lots of shooting. At first I thought this was diluting the experience, and in terms of being atmospheric and frightening, Dead Space 3 does NOT compare to the first two. However it does have it's own features that make up for this...more on that later.
So basically, things go like this: Isaac is still the protagonist, and in this installment he is helping another team of survivors to track down a key object that will help with a 3rd attempt to save the human race. So not much different there. What is different is the locations, as mentioned before, there is a big element of outdoor exploration of the frozen planet that makes up much of the game. So the action is not limited to one claustrophobic interior of an infected spaceship any more, so the "haunted house" analogy of DS1 has all but disappeared. The outdoor elements are fun, and well implemented (the snow looks great), but the sense of dread caused by creeping along corridors is pretty much missing.
There are other differences which I want to list here. Firstly, all ammo is now the same for every gun. This is great, it means you never have to hoard supplies for your favourite weapon. Next, the weapon upgrade system has been changed. It's no longer a path of adding "nodes", instead you now build your own weapons from parts. This is a total overhaul and takes some getting used to. I found it off putting at first, but had to learn it out of necessity to make my weapons grow in strength as the enemies got tougher. And of course after I had learned it I found it fun after all. The ways to change your weapon features are very varied and dozens of combinations can be tried out. But here's the drawback to this exciting mini-game: you can now only carry TWO weapons around with you! I found this very disappointing, as nearly all my bizarre inventions had to be left in the safe, as only two could be carried to play with, and those workbenches/safes are often very far apart. A bit mean, that aspect, especially as you used to be able to carry four weapons! However another good aspect is that you can create some really boffo weapons even on your first playthrough, so if you want a shotgun that shoots nails coated in acid, or an exploding javelin rifle, there is a a way to do it.
Now here's a really big change - ammo and healing supplies are now almost embarrassingly abundant. I've played all the games on the normal setting and I was never this swamped with ammo and medkits before. Even if you run out, you can make more of them yourself out of "spare parts" that enemies drop when you kill them. Interestingly, there is no money in this game, so no "shops" to buy things in. But I think the glut of free stuff has overcompensated for this. It makes the game too easy, and for several hours of playing, that was my main concern, as it was very difficult to be in too much danger of dying.
So my thoughts on Dead Space 3 were that the gameplay is rather one dimensional, as you just blast everything indiscriminately and move from one simple task to another. A lot of the tasks just seem to be invented as obstacles to impede your progress. A disabled launch needs mending, so you have to search for three components. An important alien specimen is found, but three parts of the body have been hidden so they need to be found. Some floating debris in space has to be collected to fix something else. It's all very contrived, and very convenient that it's Isaac who does all the donkey work in this story and it's Isaac who ALWAYS gets separated from the team by a collapsing rope bridge or lift and has to "find another way around". Doesn't really give the player a lot of motivation.
All right, I've said enough about the story, because now I want to point out what I have decided is the best part of the game. Much to my surprise, this is...Co-Op mode. I hardly ever play online, but this time I wanted to try it because there are story-related co-op missions in the game that can only be unlocked when you play with another person. There are only three, but the main reason why they are so good is that the game creators play a trick on you, which at first had me and my partner player totally confused (we were talking on the phone as we played), but then as we got deeper into the co-op game, we realised that it was all part of the plan and once we were on the third and final co-op chapter, I thought the whole concept was a masterstroke and my overall impression of the game almost doubled as a result of this. Therefore I urge all prospective buyers to get a friends to buy Dead Space 3 at the same time and join each other in the co-op missions and just see how clever they are. Oh and make sure you play them in order! Amazing fun, and great pure gaming at it's best.
Eventually though I did complete the whole game, and it does feel very satisfying to reach the conclusion. For the very addicted, there are percentage completion scores for each chapter, and you can replay these at anytime to try and obtain the full 100% - there are rewards for doing this that make it worthwhile, but brace yourself for some of the items that require you to explore OPEN SPACE and look for tiny collectibles among miles of floating debris. That part was nearly not fun. But to finish off, I decided in the end that Dead Space 3 is a success and great fun to play. It is definitely more action oriented than the previous games in the series, but how can making a rocket launcher with a stasis coated, rivet firing chaingun, and just being badass, not be fun?
Ok, first off, this game is brilliant, it's everything you could expect from a Dead Space game, maybe not as atmospheric and scary as the previous 2 instalments and a lot more action based but still a really good game.
The improved graphics, sound and a whole new weapon upgrades system, only add to the games charm but once again, a really cool game has been completely let down by the game designers desire, to fleece every last penny they can out of their customers. It's insulting.
By all means, make some additional levels or areas which you can purchase to add to the games experience, AFTER you have completed it but when are they going to stop being allowed to release games where half of the content in the game you've just paid £30-40 for, is useless without the addition of DLC packs, which cost extra money and need an internet connection to buy them?
Here we have a set of weapons that for the most part, are as much use as a balloon bazooka or a beanbag gun when trying to kill hoards of space zombies. At times you are attacked by up to 10 big creatures, which you are advised to shoot at their limbs to disable them.
Fair enough, the big problem here, is that even though you blow off their legs, they still crawl after you as fast as if they were running at you. Each monster/alien takes around 5-8 shots to kill with the useless weapons you acquire, the weapons are slow firing, run out of ammo within seconds and take an age to reload. Bare this in mind when you have 5 big creature slashing at you at once, as if they are on fast forward and you get how mega frustrating this game is. You put 2 down and then have to wait 4 seconds to reload while you are being torn to shreds.
Also, lots of enemies attack you and render you useless while you have to bash the X button repeatedly for 4/5 seconds to break free, all the while, the rest of the nasties can still slash at you while you are trying to perform this procedure. Should you get backed into a corner, you may as well just let go of the joypad and re-start the level which costs you an hours gaming each time, as there are no save points in the game. It simply saves automatically when it feel like it.
You can, however, spend lots more of your money upgrading your weapons with downloadable content which you can't get in the main game to make it easier at a ridiculous cost. You can also pick up little robots that go around collecting loot for you but again, their upgrades have all to be purchased as DLC packs. It's scandalous.
Unlike Dead Space 1 and 2, where you could collect everything you need to fully upgrade your weapons and armour in the game you purchased. Dead Space 3 is littered with purposely placed obstacles that can only be resolved by buying online content to add to the game. It's almost like one long advert.
People don't want that! They want to buy a game that has everything there to be able to fully enjoy and complete the gaming experience. Extra levels and areas are fine but charging gamers for weapons/armour and other items you should get with the game to start with is unacceptable.
It's like buying a car at full price and then having to buy the seats and gearstick separately, that wouldn't be legal so why is this?
Overall, a very good game from a very poor company who's only goal seems to be to rob their customers blind. If the next Dead Space game is the same as this one, I for one will boycott it immediately.
If you're going to bring out a new game, then bring it out complete or not at all, enough already with this DLC madness. It's getting to the point where buying a game complete, is costing nearly £80 which is unacceptable.
9/10 for the game itself, which complete would be awesome - minus 4 for the insulting DLC caper. - 5/10
on 19 February 2013
For me personally, the Dead Space franchise has been one of the most unique, enthralling and indeed, outstanding series during this generation cycle. Dead Space one invoked the spirit of such classic movies as Alien and Event Horizon; an unholy match made in the depths of hell if I do say so myself, and bless it for being so. Dead Space two took this formula and whilst it did sacrifice some of its claustrophobia, did so in the noble venture of expanding the universe and giving us a bigger and bolder version of the first, complete with occasionally disturbing bouts of marker and PTSD induced dementia. But to the question, can the third live up to this legacy?
I must confess, having just complete the game not three hours ago, I'm somewhat still pondering this. From the very start it is made clear that this will be a more action-based game, ditching many of the suspense-filled moments of tense silence with the gun shots of fanatical unitologists hell bent on killing Isaac from scene one. Now while it has gone down the path of action, I think this was for the best, and even made cognitive sense when you factor in the world they have developed, previous events and the character of Isaac Clarke. I must confess even I was face palming when I saw early videos; however my great fears where not to be realized in full. Yes there is more action, however most of the action and shootouts are relatively minimal and don't detract from that classic Dead Space vibe we all know and love.
The game world is bigger than ever; ranging from the classic tight corridors of derelict spaceships, open space walks/flights and the ice planet far below. The environments are still amazing, and even I on more than one occasion found myself just staring at the backdrop scene beyond Isaac and marvelling at it size and beauty. Floating in open space with ship debris and parts floating around me whilst I stared down at the gigantic world below me sent shivers down my spine.
The game itself is still the same game we all know by now, however the option for co-op now exists, which dose occasionally reap its own rewards , however not at the expense of the single player experience. The ammo is now of one variety, which is both good and bad; good because it streamlines the whole process, but bad because it feels a bit forced due to the new weapon crafting mechanic . Speaking of which, I personally found no need to craft any weapons, as the Plasma Cutter itself was more than enough to kill everything.
Overall, Dead Space 3 was an enchanting game, with just enough of the hallmarks of the previous two to allow me to enjoy the experience and not feel I was just re-treading old ground with new grass. It's not a great game and certainly has its faults, however this is mainly because we are now all very familiar with the enemies present and this eliminates much of the previous fear. I would not call DS3 a survival horror game, nor a full blown action game, but rather a satisfactory compromise of the two.
Third time is not a charm for long-suffering spaceship engineer Issac Clarke. Since he escaped the Titan Sprawl his life has been on a downward spiral, Ellie has left him, his landlord is kicking him out of his New Horizons bedsit, and he's a broken man. Wouldn't you be after facing the Necromorph menace twice already? In the meantime EarthGov has fallen and the Unitologists, led by the odious Jacob Danik, are bombarding what is left of humanity. Issac is seized by the last EarthGov battalion and hurtled to the other side of the galaxy to Tau Volantis, a frozen planet orbited by 200-year-old wrecks of the Sovereign Colonies. Ellie, convinced she has found the Marker homeworld, is somewhere amid the wrecks and has assembled a ramshackle plan to destroy the Necromorphs once and for all.
After a slow start, the game is sort of split into two halves as Issac explores the decaying, orbiting wrecks and solves the mystery of the frozen planet below. The first half feels a lot like the familiar Dead Space formula while the second half feels like a generic shoot-em-up in the vain of COD. The relentless wave after wave of Necromorphs is mind-numbing. The overwhelming sense of dread and gut-wrenching anxiety that permeated every square inch of the first two games is largely gone. There are still shocks and scares, and the sound of elevators arriving are still frighteningly similar to the shrieks of the Necromorphs but it feels stale at this point. I felt like logic and sense took a back seat here. How did the Necromorphs end up on the New Horizons colony? How did they end up on the CMS Roanoke or Greely for that matter? It's never clearly explained. Why did the Sovereign Colonies Armed Forces panic so easily and opt for mass-murder/suicide instead of pushing for further research into the alien machine? It seemed like such a mindless and heavy-handed reason to have Tau Volantis scattered with body parts.
It seems like it goes on forever, even if you ignore the optional side-quests. Upgrading your weapons and suits never feels like it has a noticeable effect but the weapons crafting feature can lead to some fun inventions. The co-op gameplay comes across like a last-minute addition (and it was) and it is not the kind of thing Dead Space fans want from this series. Online play is necessary for the Platinum Trophy but there's no way I can get it as the Hardcore trophy is just too difficult and time-consuming, especially since you cannot skip the cut-scenes.
Dead Space 3 was a best-seller, but not best enough for Electronic Arts who have put the series on hiatus, though they insist that Dead Space 4 WILL happen, we'll just have to wait and see. It is a shame that a groundbreaking horror experience has been reduced to a generic shoot-em-up bore. The amount of DLC offered on the PSN for this game is outrageous and proof that EA are only out to exploit the fanbase rather than give them their money's worth up-front.
DEAD SPACE 3: AWAKENED - 2/5
The "final chapter" DLC is over very quickly and gives us a confusing, though interesting, insight into what becomes of Issac and Carver after the climax of the main game. I know for a fact that Dead Space 4, when/if it ever happens, will retcon this stupid ultimate ending as "it was all a dream". Worth playing once just for curiosity though.
on 4 July 2015
S T O R Y
You return as Isaac Clarke, one of the most unluckiest engineers that the universe has ever coughed up. The alien Markers are still spreading terror, and the Church of Unitology has now resorted to forceful means to reenforce their self righteous ways across the galaxy. To make matters worse, your ex, Ellie Langford, has now trekked off in search of the Markers home world of Tau Volantis. Led by a small military outfit, only your mind holds the key to the destruction of the Markers and to the salvation of mankind.
The search and rescue nature of the story does very little to keep the plot moving. Isaac is joined by gruff military meatheads who are necromorph cannon fodder. The Church of Unitology is another contrived and unnecessary plot device, supported by B-movie Bond villain types.
G R A P H I C S & S O U N D
Dead Space 3's presentation is at its finest. From the outset, Visceral have nailed the cold, empty and lonely outreaches of space. As much as the game's art direction gears towards foreboding frosty environments (more on that later), it's the opening sequences set in the void of space that are truly breathtaking. Wreckage from destroyed spaceships litter planetary orbits and rapid Zero-G set-pieces reveal the grandiose ambitions of Visceral's art team. However, the blood-soaked corridors, sparsely lit quarters and claustrophobic levels are a brilliant throwback to the previous two games. Tau Volantis isn't as striking in design, the limited visibility and whiteouts do not add anything to the presentation. The lighting is stunning from stunning from start to finish, texturing is sharp; especially on Isaac's fancy Power Ranger suit!
The Necromorph beasties are at their most frightening, kudos to the animators for making their movements even more terrifying and unpredictable. The audio is another highlight, sound effects play their part in creating an unsettling atmosphere. Voice acting is another strong component, spearheaded by the anxiety-ridden ways of Isaac.
G A M E P L A Y
Dead Space 3 has completely abandoned its survival horror roots in favour of adrenaline-fuelled action. The core mechanic of dismembering limbs is still there, but the Necromorph body count will give your trigger finger a good workout. Getting from A to B is the name of the game, but there are also some nifty side missions to indulge in. These can be tough encounters in the early stages of the game, as your weapons will lack that all needed offensive punch to clear groups of ravenous enemies. Kinesis and Stasis make welcome returns, both still invaluable assets in order to keep your survival chances at a high. Combat is fierce from start to finish - physical, brutal and unforgiving. The Zero-G environments are action packed behemoths, undoubtedly the star moments of the game, plunging players into death defying space dives and combat set-pieces. Just remember to stomp that cadaver into chunks after you dismember it!
Isaac's mastery of his engineering tools is in full swing. The faithful plasma cutter is always on hands to destroy enemy limbs and leave a bloody mess. Dead Space 3 throws a new curveball in the shape of a weapons crafting system, which helps you create some deliciously awesome weapons. Classics such as the Line Gun, Ripper and the Force Gun are now deadlier than ever. The fantastic thing is that weapons can be modified via the types of handles, firing mechanisms, and even the types of power units they have. It doesn't just end there, Isaac can also craft med-paks, stasis kits, ammo and can alter the badass properties of his RIG suit. Things aren't so straightforward when you need to spend resources on progressional tools, or access additional areas to attain extra goodies. It's a good dynamic to keep players on their toes and manage their resources. The Necromorphs are back to do what they do best. No, not scamper through vents! They are absolutely relentless, attacking with speed and ferocity. It's a great upgrade for them since the previous games, no longer being seen as simple cannon fodder. It's just non-stop action all the way, the game just doesn't want you to have a breathing moment.
Dead Space 3 falls seriously short with its pacing and lacks real invention. Why on Earth is Isaac having to go on errands to find some missing gizmo? It's all a load of campaign stretching that was also prevalent in the previous games. The side missions are extremely repetitive, utterly predictable with a stash of bonuses at the end for your pleasure. The co-op aspect just doesn't work, becoming a tacked on element and doing little to spice up the gameplay.
O V E R A L L
Dead Space 3 has its moments, but deep down it's sad to see the game abandon its nerve inducing roots. Dead Space 3's high production values are sadly opposed by the game's murky campaign. The demographic has changed, dismemberment maniacs may get some joy out of this but action junkies should be welcomed with open arms. Whatever the future holds for the series, it's time to let the broken ways of Isaac and Dead Space's development to rest for now.
on 7 April 2013
There are already some very well written and informative reviews for Dead Space 3 but I thought I'd my add my thoughts anyway. I think Dead Space 1 and 2 are probably my two favourite 1-player games on the PS3 and I've played them both over and over again. I'm not sure which of the two I prefer. DS1 is clearly more survival horror, but you do retrace your steps a lot in the claustrophobic setting. DS2 is bigger and I like the addition of Isaac's voice to the story. It's more action-orientated without losing the nature of Dead Space. DS3 extends this premise another stage.
I must admit that I was a bit worried about this game when I heard it was going to be a more action based offering than DS2 and would also come with full co-op. I like co-op games but I like to have games that are purely single player too. It was these changes that ruined the Resident Evil franchise for me. Once I could only play with an AI following me about I really started to enjoy them less.
So, let's do the co-op first. What's really important for me is that you can play DS3 as a 1-player without an AI. You do meet up with the other characters at regular times, and they do have to stretch the narrative a tad to make it work, but it does work. There are trophies and collectibles that you cannot get unless you play with a partner, and that is a bit irksome, but I can live with it.
Now, the action versus horror point. The demo made me think that the whole game would be on that ice planet, and much of it is, but not all. It starts out in space and on various ships and I enjoyed that. Yes, there's less skulking around and being frightened of every noise and every shadow, but they haven't lost that completely. The new ammo and weapon crafting changes the ethos of the game too, and it took me a while to get used to the latter, but it's actually quite fun once you do. There are more occasions when you are swarmed by baddies from all sides, especially in the optional missions, and it's a real struggle, but these happened in DS2 and even in DS1. Those damned annoying regenerative beasties do turn up quite early on but they are only in one chapter and one side mission, so it's bearable.
I should just point out at this point that I haven't played all the co-op missions yet, but I fully intend to. However, I have now played through the whole game several times, and even tried the Classic, Pure Survival and Hardcore modes, and I wouldn't put that much effort into a game that I'm not really enjoying, I assure you.
I've read some consternation around micro-transactions, and I understand that, but I've finished all modes without buying anything extra, although I do have the Limited Edition game and its extras, and I am no young gaming god.... far from it!
It does feel like a natural progression for the series, but I do hope that there are survival horror games still available for those of us who enjoy them, and that games such as DS never lose sight completely of what made them great in the first place.
Overall, I think you do need to tweak your expectations of Dead Space a bit, and the third installment might not be quite as easy to get fully into as the other two, but it's still a brilliant franchise and another excellent game that I will come back to time and time again.
on 25 March 2013
...and whether or not that is a bad thing is entirely up to the gamer. That will (largely) dictate whether you enjoy this game or not. If you are more into the frights, shooting and story 'Dead Space 3' has got your back. If you're chasing that pure horror experience (perhaps that the original managed to provide well), then I'm afraid you will largely be left out in the cold.
But I am the former and I defend this game. The truth is that 'Dead Space' has a pre-established back-story and experience. Largely because of this and the benefits of familiarity to gamers, it certainly appears as if 'Visceral' has gone with a theme of continuation placing the story completely (which was increasingly familiar with the Necromorphs and their tactics, if not all their guises) at the motivational centre of the experience. I for one, would have preferred a fresh, completely haunting experience and I do believe now that this story (even if not this universe) has reached its natural conclusion. Indeed, towards the end of the game, I could feel the familiarity of the game-play and the experience beginning to work against it. It's been powered along by evolutionary steps in narrative, and game-play and environmental variety up to now. But, the system is five years old now and it's starting to show a bit in places.
But I do not for one second, criticise the team for taking this direction. The characters, the back-story and the experience all mean that, without completely shifting the focus of the game (probably away from Issac Clarke, from being primarily a horror-shooter, and the whole "Marker-Plot"), it wouldn't really have fitted all together. Neither choice was perfect.
There are some criticisms to be had though. For example, I'm still not on-board with the whole micro-transaction thing, and I would encourage almost all not to invest purely for the sake of the experience. There are also one or two minor technical choices, such as the unified ammo system, which seem to upset the balance between shooting and survival. But with fantastic production values (if perhaps a somewhat over-intrusive musical score), familiar game-play with a great weapon customisation system, an incredibly well-balanced co-op mode and a pure, natural narrative driving the whole thing coherently, there's a lot to love about 'Dead Space 3'. In short, it's certainly worth smashing through the story and trying the co-op, and definitely deserves your cash more than any other horror-based game out there at the moment.
on 30 September 2013
This is an awful Dead Space game the poorest of the three.
What was once a resource scarce game has become a game where you can make as much bullets or health packs you can get your hands on.
The story is robustly padded out with flabby and those annoying side missions that are more like a dungeon hunting game. You will gain a load of stuff if you do this to craft more health packs and ammo etc :(
I say I don't like this game but when it gets back to its dead space roots this game really shines.
Plays like a dream. On impossible level it's still an easy game to play. Once finished you will unlock a number of Game+ there's an option to play it as the original Dead Space game which sounds promising, guessing resources can't be crafted taking this back to its roots and making it a survival horror and not a 3rd person shooter.
Verdict: Enjoyable romp but marred by flabby padded story, over powered single weapon and annoying resource crafting.
I recommend dead Space that is a fantastic game and dead space 2 to me DS2 is a gaming master piece a work of art.
on 19 October 2014
(Based on psn digital version) BUGGY DEAD-MESS 3 - what happened? Ds1 was amazing, Ds2 was good - apart from the end misson which I couldn't compete because it was so hard (quit, watch the end on YouTube, move on with your life!)
I've just stopped playing DS3 (19.1%) out of shear frustration at the buggyness to it and stupid save system. You seem to put in 2-3 hours of playtime (with several notiable and hard Battles), with most games, the auto save would 'save' after most battles etc... Not this game! Apparently, it saves every 5 hours or so.
I tracked backed to another room (opposite way to the blue waypoint) as I thought there was a secret room - I realised I'd been here before so went back only for the door to be locked! I had to then do a battle I did 2-3 chapters previously... Wtf? Dejavu
I just hit quit - deleted this 12 GB buggy turd.