6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Evolution of the series doesn't detract from its brilliance,
This review is from: Dead Space 3 (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
I was reluctant to buy Dead Space 3 due to the amount of negative reviews claiming it's not scary and has lost its way. I loved the first game but thought the second was average at best, with a nice multiplayer option. I was offered a digital download code via Origin for £15 so took the plunge and boy am I glad I did!
It's true this isn't strictly survival horror like the first game, but I'm glad they didn't just make another Dead Space 1.5 (which is exactly what they did for DS2). But the evolution makes complete sense within the context of the series. Isaac Clarke isn't an engineer fighting for his life anymore, he's a man on a mission, and his experience dealing with Necromorphs mirrors the player's, we're used to fighting them now and have been given an arsenal of weapons much more suitable for dispatching them.
The new weapon crafting option has really opened up the game's combat in some interesting ways, whilst at the same time, made some of the more traditional options redundant. The Plasma-Cutter for instance, is rendered completely pointless, it's slow, deals too little damage and you'll discard it the first chance you get. That's a shame, because not only was it a brilliant weapon, its core attribute of shooting off limbs has also been made redundant in favour of massive firepower weapons that will just blow away everything in their path. However, now that you can craft your own choice of weapon, you have total freedom to pick any two weapons old and new and combine them into one weapon with two fire modes (plus additional bonus effects like electrocution or acid rounds). The previously useless Force Gun which just pushes enemies away and deals a very small amount of damage, becomes an incredibly useful secondary fire option on just about any weapon. I've teamed it up with the Chain-Gun, which is a bullet hose with a clip of 110 rounds and a ridiculous rate of fire. It ranks along side any weapon I've ever used in a shoot-em-up game in the satisfaction stakes, an absolute joy to behold.
This crafting system can kill the pace of the game somewhat, I repeatedly found myself backtracking to a work-bench to modify weapons to my liking, but I imagine on the second play through, now I've got a good feel for it, I'll just pick my favourites and get on with it.
The main reason I bought Dead Space 3 was for the co-op option, which is something I've longed for since the original, and it doesn't disappoint. It's been the most enjoyable co-op experience I've had since the original Halo, which is a statement in itself. The game really does feel much more like a fast paced shooter when played with a friend, we absolutely blasted through the first eight levels and I'm really looking forward to finishing our joint play through. Playing it in co-op makes a lot of the design decisions seem like very good ones, it would have been a disaster to make a co-op game built on suspense and tension when you're laughing with your friend over the microphone all the time.
I'd also like to address the issue of Origin, I've previously avoided digital DRM downloads, I don't have Steam installed on my machine, but had Origin already for Crysis 3 and it's been fantastic. I have two PCs at home, one is cutting edge and the other is an aging Athlon X2 machine. Origin syncs your save games in the 'cloud' so when my partner comes into our living room and kindly requests I turn this 'disgusting hideous game' off, I simply go upstairs and continue my game on the other machine immediately - very, very handy! It also scales remarkably well, it looks stunning on my large TV, and plays remarkably well on my five year old machine whilst still looking better than an Xbox 360 game, I was really impressed with both.
The final point I'd like to mention is the sound, both the score (which is hauntingly similar to Aliens) and the effects are absolutely fantastic and really add to the experience.
So it's not the ground-breaking masterpiece of the original - it never could have been - but it has evolved into a very solid, hugely entertaining, dark, fun game. What it lacks in nerve shredding tension, it makes up for in sheer adrenaline pumping thrills and I don't think they could have done a better job.