Dead Space 3 Review (Single Player)
There are only a few franchises that when I hear a sequel is coming out I don’t really worry, Borderlands, Battlefield and Dead Space. Dead Space 2 may have faltered a little with the addition of unpolished multiplayer, but thankfully they ditched that idea for co-op.
Isaac Clarke is back after having spent many years in isolation from EarthGov and the world, so much so that Ellie has left him to get on with her life. When Ellie’s ship goes missing, Captain Robert Norton and Sergeant John Carver come to Isaac to help locate her. At the same time, the Unitologists want to put a bullet in his brain so that no one else will be able to stop the rise of the Markers, and that’s where you take over as Isaac.
The game is pretty solid from a controls point of view. They followed the old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This is great to me because the developers realized that they could focus more attention on other aspects of the game to help widen the scope of the Dead Space universe. What has been added is a larger focus on action, drop-in/drop-out co-op, and the ability to craft your own weapon, but we’ll get to all that in a few.
“Strategic Dismemberment” is back yet again and I am not complaining. Depending on how you go about taking out a Necromorph could make the encounter quick and painless or leave you scrounging around for meds. Remember people, Necromorphs are not zombies: take out the arms and legs first! The ability to craft your own weapons and upgrade your weapons is a great feature. While playing you will come across blueprints and crafting material to help build your perfect weapon. Also, the mining bot, when used at the right time, can help gain even more mining material. Throughout the entire first playthrough I have been using the Planet Cracker and a custom built javelin shotgun; I just upgrade them with the lastest weapon mods.
No surprise here, visually Dead Space 3 looks amazing. But, really, what do you expect; it was made by Visceral Games. What is a surprise is that they have a heavy focus on action sequences this time around. I know a lot of people are complaining about this, but I honestly feel it’s refreshing. I see it kind of as a “damned if you do damned if you don’t” situation. By adding more action elements to the game you broaden the consumer base (and take heat from the core fans), but if you kept it the same as the last two games the core fans would be complaining that the game is stale and uninspired, plus you wouldn’t have tapped into the action demographic. To all the naysayers out there that are complaining they sold out and destroyed the franchise, shut up…you’re stupid. They expanded the franchise and the Dead Space universe, and in my opinion they did what Capcom has been trying to do for years with the Resident Evil franchise.
Yes, there are a lot of action sequences and rogue drills and what not, but the scares are all there and then some. Yes, there are some plot holes (Like why are they only finding out about this frozen planet now? and the ability to stop the markers and Necromorphs? Why in the beginning is Captain Norton all like, “you’re the only one who can save your girlfriend,” then becomes a complete dick when you do?), but the story as a whole was more engaging to me than Dead Space 2. In DS2 Isaac was still a guy scared out of his mind, which helped make him crazy. In DS3 he’s still a little crazy, but he is no longer scared. Isaac is a war-weary soldier now; he isn’t the scared ill-equipped engineer he was in the first game. He’s seen some nasty shit and it changed him. Now when he goes into these situations he knows (to an extent) what to expect, and it shows in his demeanor and dismissive attitude towards Ellie’s new boyfriend, Captain Robert Norton, and the story as a whole.
When transitioning between cut-scenes and gameplay it is perfection, and boy does that help add to the crap-your-pants factor that Dead Space is known for. Here is a perfect example: I had just finished fighting through a horde when I open a door and the cut-scene kicks in. Ellie tells me she’s glad I’m okay and Norton just acts like a dick, the way he does throughout the whole game, and the door closes. Now, because there was no typical transition, I didn’t realize that I had control of Isaac again and before I could get my fingers back to their proper locations on the controller I had two Exploders, a Puker and a Slasher jump out of the wall vents. One aspect that does get tiresome is the fetch quests; you spend the majority of the game running around collecting items. To be fair, though, it’s something that can easily be overlooked, because it never detracts from the game.
That is why you can call Dead Space 3 a great game. Even with its faults you will still play it for hours on end because all the good far outweighs the bad. I am not going to give away the ending because that would just be rude, and Co-Op will have to wait for another review because this is long enough. Just know that on the single player aspect alone this game is a must have.
Final Verdict for Dead Space 3 (single player):