Dead Space 3 PS3 Review
Publisher: EA Developer: Visceral Games Genre: Action Players: 1-2 Age Rating: 18+
Other console/handheld formats: Xbox 360
Rather controversially, Dead Space 3 is a cooperative game. The previous two games in the series skipped having this option included, so many fans were obviously a little worried about it being tossed into the mix in this third game. Luckily, it doesn’t feel forced on you all that much, although there is some bonus content for those who do decide to play in a team.
Dead Space 3 picks up three years after the events of the second game in the series, with protagonist Isaac Clarke and Ellie Langford separated after becoming romantically involved. But, as many of us know, Dead Space is hardly a mere love story. There are nasty aliens to be dealt with, and it’s up to Isaac and new friend John Carver to find Ellie and her missing team, with events predictably spiralling out of control as you get deeper into the game, and also some drama between the small cast of central characters.
Dead Space just wouldn’t be Dead Space without the tactical action that the series has become known for, and with Dead Space 3 there’s an increase in the amount of action. This third game in the series still encourages you to aim at the limbs of the alien Necromorph’s; putting them down quicker and, if you’re a good marksman, saving you some ammo. Whatever you do, don’t go into the game expecting a classic survival horror experience, as this is a horror action game with lots and lots of enemies being thrown your way, and typically you’ll not only be slicing limbs off but also using statis to slow down enemies to make things all the less overwhelming, as twisted aliens attack you from all sides. New to the action are a roll manoeuvre, an inelegant but decent enough cover system, and human enemies with guns, which aren’t as enjoyable as taking on the Necromorph’s, although they do add some extra variety into the game.
The action itself really hasn’t changed all that much, although the setting most certainly has. The previous two games in the series had similar environments, although the third game is primarily set on the snowy planet of Tau Volantis, after Isaac crash lands on the frozen world. Blizzard conditions, icy caverns and snowy mountains are some of the locations you can expect to find yourself in, and many will want to undertake the brand new and rather meaty optional missions just to delve deeper into the world. The world is also very well realised, and it all looks so impressive that it was enough to send a shiver down my spine.
Going back to the action; yes it hasn’t changed all that much, although the way you can build weapons is certainly a significant addition to the series. On your travels you’ll come across resources that can be used for weapon crafting at workbenches in the world, and you can truly create some monster weapons – combining elements from different weapons and so on. It’s a flexible system, although one slightly flawed by being able to create a weapon of mass destruction that waters the challenge down somewhat. Still, it’s a brilliant and highly flexible system, and it will certainly have the inquisitive player playing around with it throughout the entirety of the game in order to see the many different weapons that can be put together.
When played cooperatively, Dead Space 3 has a lot to give. I already mentioned in the opening paragraph of this review that the cooperative doesn’t feel forced on you all that much, although it does have some exclusive content, and, with that said, it’s definitely best to play with a player partner in order to get the most out of the game. There are particular sections of the game which can only be accessed when played cooperatively, and you’ll also learn more about secondary playable character, John Carver.
Concluding the trilogy with a bang, Dead Space 3 is another brutally brilliant and beautiful entry in the series. Despite them all being Dead Space games and having much in common with one another, developer Visceral Software have still managed to make each one feel relatively distinct, with this third game being the most action focussed one of the trio. With that said, Dead Space 3 is a tremendous action game, and one of 2013’s early gaming classics.