Release Date: February 5th, 2013
Developer: Visceral Games
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform: [Reviewed: Xbox 360], PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows
Genre: Third Person Shooter
Rated: M for Mature
Dead Space fans can breath a HUGE sigh of relief as the third installment to the series, Dead Space 3, has hit shelves. And now that fans and gamers a like have had time to play the game we are left wondering how it stacks up.
In Dead Space 3 fans will take on the roll of Issac, or John if you play co-op, who is faced with his craziest mission yet. Issac must race around the universe to find the truth behind the Necromorph plague. You will be faced with some of the biggest enemies and terrors of the ice planet and Dead Space.
When it comes to graphics Dead Space 3 is were it is at. It really doesn’t get much better than this. Although I have said it before I am going to say it again; “The Graphics are beyond fantastic, they are incredible, Amazing, brilliant, breath taking – Insert Random adjective of your choice – because it is just plain spectacular.” And even though I said this during the demo that statement holds true for the full release. I was mostly impressed with snow because you could see the crunching of it with every step. You could see it blowing in the wind, obvious with Isaac shields his face while he is on the hunt for shelter and when it is simply sprinkling across your screen.
Fans will feel at home with Dead Space 3 as the controls and Gameplay are similar. Although not exactly the same it is nothing to worry about as you will be able to adjust pretty quick as the changes are pretty minor.
In Dead Space 3 you have to option to play solo or co-op. In my opinion, co-op being far superior to solo as playing in pairs has always been my preference. Co-op games can be closed private lobbies were you invite your friends, open lobbies so your friends can drop in, or you can simply join a random lobby on your own. Be warned though joining lobbies is not as easy as one may think. There is a little bit of a wait time as the host of lobby must reach a save point before you can join the battle. And unfortunately there is no split-screen co-op.
The co-op game is basically the same as the solo campaign with the exception of a few things. One being you have a partner in crime. There is someone there who has your back and if you are low on ammo, health or even stasis you have the ability to share. One difference you will notice is that there are certain missions that can only be completed in co-op mode. So if you want to experience the game in its entirety you will want to at least hit up a friend for those co-op specific missions. Another difference that you will notice is the difference in cut scenes and dialogue. You now have a partner in crime, John, so there is added dialogue and altered cut scenes to accommodate him. You will notice different noises and visuals as well, depending on whether you are Issac or John, so you want to play the co-op missions as both characters at least once. This increases replay ability greatly giving you 3 different play throughs and hours of game play.
Dead Space fans will notice a few features that have changed from the previous titles in the series. It seems, however, that these changes have been received with mixed feelings. From hating them to loving them, no mature where you stand they serve to improve the quality of game. Or in some cases “try” to improve the game.
The first and most notable change is the ammo. Not only has the ammo become more abundant in Dead Space 3 than previous titles it is also ‘universal’ in that you only pick up one kind of ammo that works on ALL your weapons. You are no longer forced to rotate through your weapons based which you have the most ammo for and can rather focus on using either your favorite weapon or a weapon that would best suit your needs.
The second change you will notice is to your pack/inventory. In previous Dead Space titles not only did your stasis not stack, meaning each slot could only hold one, you had to go into to your pack to select the pack manually in order to take it. In Dead Space 3 each slot can hold up to 3 stasis’ and you can simply select the “Y” button to take one when in need. Yes kiddos that is right your stasis pack now comes in the convenience of a hotkey! Your health packs, however, still do NOT stack. Although with how abundant they were I really doubt stacking would be necessary. You will notice though that Visceral has changed how your character takes his pack. In the first Dead Space your character would automatically take the smallest pack, in Dead Space 2 your character would take the biggest and now in Dead Space 3 your character will take which ever health pack appropriately fits their need.
The third change fans will notice is to their character. Rather than getting 4 different suits, like in the first Dead Space that you unlock as you play through, you have a multitude of suits you can choose from. You can choose suits based on personal preference, for the most part, but will also be forced to wear certain suits depending on your environment and level. As you play through the game you will not only unlock new suits but acquire materials that you can use to upgrade your suits. You can improve your armor, stasis and oxygen. It is important to note that no matter which suit you are wearing when you apply the upgrades does not matter. These will apply to all available suits. You will also notice that your character is equipped with a new and handy roll feature, not available in the first Dead Space, this can come in handy in those moments when you find yourself overwhelmed by enemies.
Probably biggest change is the work bench. In the previous titles the bench was used to equip and or purchase upgrades for your weapons. In Dead Space 3, however, you have the opportunity to not only use upgrades you find, but make upgrades, weapons and items like health packs, ammo and stasis out of items collected in the environment. These items/resources can be collected off the bodies of your enemies, from crates and lockers that you find throughout the game. You can also deploy your scavenger bots to collect these important materials.
Scavenger Bots are another big change to the Dead Space series. These are handy robot like things that you can deploy into the environment to collect resources for you. It is important to keep your ears peeled as it is best to deploy these bots when ‘cued’ to do so. You can drop your bots where ever and whenever you want but you will not get near the amount of material you would when used correctly. As you play through the game you acquire more bots, 5 in total, meaning you have the opportunity to obtain hell of loot when deployed appropriately and used correctly. Once your scavenger bot is finished it will be waiting for you at the next work bench you visit so you can get your resources and upgrade your weapons.
We all know that it is impossible to make everyone happy and that is no different in the gaming world. This becomes even more apparent when changes are made to a new title in a series of popular games. You will always have the die hard fans who loved the game the way it was and will never be happy when changes are made, but then on the flip side are the fans who like change and embrace it. I personally feel the changes they made to Dead Space 3 where great changes. Especially when it comes to the work bench. Giving gamers the ability to build their own weapons then completely customize them how they want leaves them feeling full filled. You aren’t left wishing a gun had a different attachment or shot different because you could take your favorite gun and change it how you want. This makes your favorite gun your favorite not because it is the best you can get but the Best for you!
Replay Value: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5