Dead Space 3 Review

A little while back I gave my impressions of the Dead Space 3 demo, which I think gave some cautious optimism. Just recently, yesterday actually, I finished up my first playthrough of the game and I have to say that my experience was better than I expected.  The games setting is majorly split between 2 locales. For about the first 40% of the game you will be in space among the various ships in the flotilla above Tau Volantis (I think that’s the name of the planet. I really need a fact checker.) The cool thing is how you can actually maneuver around outside the ships in zero-g with your space thrusters. Trying to find secrets while making sure you don’t run out of oxygen or get shot by dog necromorphs is exhilarating. To get between the different ships you take a small shuttle, which looks neat but is essentially a loading screen. There are 4 ships in the flotilla, but one is only accessible if you are playing co-op. When I think about it, I actually wouldn’t mind if the entire game took place in space among the derelict ships. It would have kept the vibe of the original games and just been really awesome. It kind of feels like a missed opportunity.

Dead Space 3
Use thrusters to fly around space

The other 60% of the game takes place down on the ice planet, which is pretty cool at first when you are thrust into a white-out snow storm, but soon you forget as you spend most of your time in old abandoned facilities and ruins. The change of atmosphere isn’t necessarily bad, and a lot of players seem to like it, but I prefer the bleakness of space.  Most people’s concerns with the game seem to center around its shift into more of an action game rather than survival horror. This is true in some respects, but it really isn’t that big of a transition. Sure you do fight some regular soldiers aside from the necromorphs, but it really isn’t that often at all. There seems to be only a handful of encounters with humans, the rest of your fights being against the various forms of necromorph.  Really my only complaint is the lack of necro variety.   It seems like in past games you would face several more types and more often.

The gun play feels the same as it did in DS2, at least as far as I can remember. Things do seem a bit faster paced, however. I seem to remember the necromorphs lumbering towards you, whereas here they straight up run you down. At least on the highest difficulty, which I played on because that’s just how I roll.  As for the guns themselves they are both similar, yet quite different. Rather than just finding or purchasing specific weapons you get to make your own. First you pick a base component, either large or compact, and then you add up to 2 different gun components such as military, plasma, rivet, tesla, etc. I might have gotten some of the names wrong, but you get the idea. A basic military attachment gives you something like an assault rifle, but if you add a tip onto it you can turn it into a better assault rifle, or shotgun, or sniper rifle. This gives most all of the weapon components a good deal of variety. The combinations are almost limitless, especially when you factor the additional side add-ons you can use like scopes, co-op boosting items, fire/acid/electric bullet coatings, auto-reloaders, etc. I heavily favored a sniper rifle/rocket launcher with fire bullets and a shotgun with a force gun attachment. The latter being almost a requirement for keeping necros out of your face.

Dead Space 3
The icy planet provides a new setting for Dead Space, although you spend most of your time inside.

There is co-op in the game, but I have so far only played through by myself. Supposedly in co-op it actually integrates the other player into the narrative pretty well, so I’m excited to see that. Also throughout the game you will come across special co-op only side missions. Still, I’m glad they made the game fully playable by yourself. It would have been unfortunate to lose the lone, isolated feeling from the past games.  As far as extras go, there seem to be quite a bit. Not only are there several difficulties but a new game + as well. Also several additional modes like classic, where it’s singleplayer only and you can only find and buy the classic guns. Pure survival mode really cuts back on the resources, making surviving harder. Hardcore mode makes a return, but you can save and exit this time around rather than only getting 3 saves. However you still go back to the beginning if you die even once. Each of these modes also provides a special unlock upon completion.

So if you are a fan of the series then I really don’t think you will be disappointed. If you haven’t played any then you probably won’t have any idea what the hell is going on, but you should still have fun.  If you haven’t played 1 and 2 you really should. They are probably pretty cheap now. As far as the story goes it advances some things, explains others, but in the end leaves more questions than gives answers. If the additional story DLC doesn’t wrap things up then you will see me back here for Dead Space 4.

  • I did play the first one, and most of the 2nd one. The first game was pretty horror’ish, which is cool, since there isnt that many horror games around. The 2nd one was a bit less horror like, and a bit less survial like, at least I felt it that way. I’ve been a bit hesitant buying the 3rd one, because it seemed like more of a shooter with scary elements, than a horror game, with shooter elements, if you know what I mean.

    Would you say the game is more or less horror like, compared to the 2nd game?

  • 2 intro missions and then landed on the space station.. played what 45 mins longer.
    Aaaaand that was it. I did not feel the need to play any more.

    It just did not feel like deadspace to me.
    Glad you do like it, but its not for me.

    (I did not like Mass effect 2 as much as 1.. and only played like 80%. Only played like 15% if that of Mass effect 3.) To me there is only 1 Mass effect and pretent the sequels never happened. (I did like 4 playthroughs of 1)

  • @Cthreepo It’s probably less horror like than the second. There are less general creepy moments and more cheap jump scares. It still plays like Dead Space, though. You still face off against necromorphs and need to dismember them to take them down. Maybe it’s just that everything is moving at a faster pace? I really need to replay 1 and 2 so I can try and gauge this better. If you are still really on the fence then maybe find some video reviews or even some live streams to get an idea of how the game is.

    @Zyler I don’t know if you gave it much of a chance. I’m not even sure you fight any Necromorphs until you get to the station, if I’m remembering correctly, and other than the intro you maybe run into human enemies only a few times. It isn’t a big thing at all. I do remember, however, that throughout the game I kept saying to myself, “Man, this still feels like Dead Space. Different, but not in such a bad way. I’m not sure what some people are complaining about.”

    But yeah, I can understand how some people may not like it. Different strokes and all that. I actually completely agree with you about Mass Effect. I don’t know if it’s for the same reasons (Streamlining and moving more to an action game and less of an RPG) but yeah, I get it. I played through ME many, many times but I’ve only played 2 and 3 once.

    Edit: Man, I had to edit this thing like 9 times. My spelling is awful today.

  • No I wrote 45 mins after you got to the station with the necromorphs and the weaponbench etc.

    Its just that the pacing felt very different and the number of enemies and the abundance of ammo made it less about careful aiming, dismembering and feeling in control like I used to be and more about unloading into enemies and if you shoot off libs thats a bonus.

    That and I felt that if I get swarmed about enemies at every turn its no longer a frightning atmosphere for me.

  • That and the use of statis is pretty much required now.
    I never used statis in the other dead space games, unless I really needed to. (I rather load my safegame 7 times then use stasis.)

  • I don’t know if it is unlocked from the get go but you might like that pure survival mode then. Enemies don’t drop anything and resources are scarce.