Dead Space 3 once again puts you in the shoes of Isaac Clarke, who is called on by Captain Robert Norton and John Carver to help rescue Ellie, the woman he fell in love with in Dead Space 2. Clarke’s plunged into battle against Unitology soldiers and, soon enough, Necromorphs, (reanimated dead human corpses infected with an alien disease). Packed with side missions, intense action, and strategic gameplay, Dead Space 3 will keep you on the edge of your seat—if you can overlook the game’s repetitiveness and fetch quests. Dead Space 3 is available for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC; I played on the Xbox 360.
Dead Space 3 starts off with you needing to save the damsel in distress. In this case, it’s Ellie Langford, Clarke’s former love and Captain Norton’s current one. As soon as you realize that Ellie and Norton are romantically involved, it becomes apparent that at some point Clarke and Norton are going to have a dispute over the girl. From that point on, Dead Space 3 becomes a series of repetitive events that see fetching items for the group while trying to defeat the zombie alien race. If you can look past the clichéd love plot, Dead Space 3 is a lot of fun.
Solo and Co-Op Gameplay
The solo campaign feels less like a horror game and more like an action-thriller with subtle hints of horror. There were a number of times when I would turn the corner, expecting to see Necromorphs, but found myself in an empty corridor. I anticipated more horror and the game didn’t deliver. That said, Dead Space 3′s music is eerie and low-light environments are good for a chill every so often. Likewise, walls featuring blood-written messages (“All is lost,” “Cut off the limbs,” “Lies,” etc.) add to the creepy factor. But it’s not creepy enough.
The drop-in/drop-out online co-op campaign strips away even more frights, but it adds more side missions that enhance the gameplay experience. It also includes several action sequences that you won’t find in the solo campaign, which increases the game’s overall value.
No Limbs For You
“Strategic dismemberment” is the primary combat technique against Necromorphs. It makes combat challenging as you have to react quickly and aim accurately in order to get past these alien monstrosities, which makes this game all the more enjoyable. Unlike Call of Duty, where you can shoot at someone’s chest and somehow manage to get a headshot, Dead Space 3 requires a little more accuracy and skill to kill enemies. One shot is not enough to kill most Necromorphs, so you have to think on your feet.
Two abilities that come in handy are kinesis and stasis. Kinesis, a module attached to the RIG (Resource Integration Gear) that gives you the ability to suspend and handle objects via artificial gravity field, helps when fighting enemies and it doesn’t require replenishment. Impaling your opponent suddenly becomes a lot more exciting. The stasis module temporarily slows down the motion of an object or enemy, giving you time to run away or solve a puzzle.
Likewise, the stomp action never got old. Time and time again, after killing off another enemy I looked forward to the crunching noise as my foot crushed their lifeless bodies. It was an incredibly satisfying feeling, especially after replaying the same checkpoint five times before I was able to figure out what it was I had to do.
Sweet! Look What I Found!
Weapon customization continues to be one of the most innovative game elements. The upgrade system gives players the opportunity to craft weapons to their specific tastes. After upgrading my gun at one of the many workbenches conveniently scattered throughout the game, I would head off to face alien zombies, eager to try out the new toy. Dead Space 3′s weapon customization is one of the best I’ve experienced.
Dead Space 3, at times, feels like a scavenger as you need to find ammo, med packs, and weapon parts scattered. You can find resources everywhere – along the walls, lockers, desks, and even in Necromorphs – so before heading off to complete the next mission, run around the rooms and scour every corner. There’s an upside to this; hunting for items adds extra tension as you have to make valuable upgrades in order to proceed to the next stage. Looting resources off the Necromorphs is pretty sweet, too, as it gave me an excuse to stomp their bodies to my heart’s content.
Dead Space 3 has a clichéd storyline that ends on a cliffhanger, and some of the missions ask you to run too many errands, but it will please series fans. Co-op provides more side missions and action sequences than the solo campaign, so it’s worth replaying with a buddy (in doing so, however, you miss the solo campaign’s few real horror moments). Overall, I wouldn’t play Dead Space 3 for the plotline, but it is worth picking up for the thrilling combat action and gameplay.
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|ESRB Rating||M for Mature|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc