I’m a big fan of the Dead Space games, going all the way back to when I first got a glimpse at E3. I cant remember exactly how long ago it was; whatever year it was when they tried to go professional and press only. Apparently that didn’t work out so well. Anyway, Keen was glued to the Warhammer Online section of EA’s room but I kept sneaking peeks over at the Dead Space guys. The game looked awesome and I really wanted to know more, but I got dragged out of the room before I got through half of their presentation.
Why am I telling you all this? My computer is borked and I have nothing better to do. Even if it means poking this post out on the Wii U gamepad, which is taking at least 5x longer than it normally would. It was this boredom that lead me to browse the LIVE marketplace where I found the Dead Space 3 demo had been put up.
Over time I’ve heard some news about DS3 that gave me pause. Co-op was being added, along with non-necromorph bad guys. Additionally video and screens surfaced showing snowy areas and some brighter areas. My first thoughts were of how much this looked like Lost Planet, at least aesthetically. I mean, creepy gangly alien monsters with glowing orange weak-spots and in a snowy setting? It’s not a stretch by any means.
Regardless of my misgivings I still was looking forward to the game and pounced on the demo as soon as I saw it. The first part I actually tried out was the weapon crafting. In past games you got specific weapons and could upgrade them with different nodules, however now you can assemble anything you want. Get a machine gun and slap on an electric secondary fire. Change the gun tips and now its a sniper rifle and the electric part shoots bouncing bolas. Want acid damage? Why the hell not. Or how about a rocket launcher with a shotgun attachment? This shit cant be legal.
I ended up spending quite a while just looking through all the different weapon combinations there were before I eventually got to the campaign demo. It was there that I learned that the co-op was more of a drop-in/drop-out kind of deal and that there are even dialogue differences depending on whether you play solo or with a bud. That’s actually pretty cool and offers some replayability for when I want to play through with Keen after going through alone to get that creepy, lone, isolation experience.
As far as I can tell the game plays exactly like past games with only a few exceptions. Now you can crouch, for whatever reason, and there is a kind of auto cover system for when you go up against humans that fire back, which isn’t as bad and out of place as I thought it would be.
The atmosphere wasn’t so creepy at first. The demo portion has you play through a snow section in the day time, though it reaches white-out conditions at some points. This rapidly gets more tense as necromorphs pop out of the snow or run up on you when visibility is at its worst. It’s still just as scary/tense as Dead Space 1&2, but just with a different presentation. Like instead of Event Horizon scary you get The Thing. I say that like I actually know what I’m talking about, but my Mom never let me watch scary movies back then so take that for all its worth.
So after experiencing the demo I have officially upped my status on Dead Space 3 from ‘Cautiously Optimistic’ straight to ‘Excited.’ I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the final product so I can share my impressions.