E3 2012: Don’t like change? Then you most likely won’t enjoy Dead Space 3
True survival horror is dead
©2012 Arthur Kotsopoulos
Spending time at the EA booth at E3, which took the better part of 5 hours. I managed to get my hands and eyes on almost every title they had to offer.
From the moment Isaac awoke upside down in a crashed cockpit, to the sound of the howling blizzard he needed to traverse, everything sounded crisp and clear.
Too bad the vision for this game seems less clear, as what followed had me shaking my head in dismay. True survival horror seems to have died, an action-focused alien bursting from its innards to replace it.
A wild enemy appears
Walking with limited visibility in snow that slowed his pace down to that of a turtle, Isaac was greeted to some old friends in the shape of Necromorphs and with the help of his trusty plasma cutter he took them out with ease.
Visceral games have spent most of their time with Dead Space 3 creating a menacing icy planet with desolate landscapes as far as the eye can see.
With the inclusion of deep space exploration and a vast open world to explore, Dead Space 3 has moved away from its creepy corridor survival horror roots and into the wide spaces of a frantic action shooter.
Quad-A quality means co-op
Surprisingly it isn’t just a tacked on addition.
Entering an empty field Isaac caught up with his crew mate, John Carver. After they both shouted a bit of dialogue, Isaac then proceeded to activate the elevator only to be greeted by a large spider-creature which completely demolished the elevator and ate Isaac whole.
Taking the opportunity to showcase the co-op mode, Isaac was thrown back to the nearest checkpoint and this time around rather than spit out the same dialogue as before, both characters interacted with each other and we got a better insight into their relationship.
More content = More playtime
Playing the game in co-op will give you a much more unique take on the characters and will show you the kind of relationship they have with each other.
With the addition of a new co-op mode however comes the inclusion of human enemies and Necromorph-possessed humans that can now shoot at you much like the Flood in Halo.
This is where my love for the game takes an unexpected turn and I continue to bow my head in disappointment.
Dead horror: Space action
This big change is one that has many fans frustrated and annoyed because Dead Space 2 was half-way between survival horror and action shooter and it seems Dead Space 3 is now 90% action shooter and 10% survival horror.
Throw in a dynamic cover system which easily snaps players in and out of cover when they press the right trigger and you’ve successfully just divided most of your fan base and become just another regular 3rd person shooter amongst the plethora of those that already exist.
This doesn’t mean that Dead Space 3 is looking like a bad game; it means that the game has strayed away from its roots much like Resident Evil 5 and 6 and become a generic action shooter.
Isaac and John teaming up to take down a large boss while its screeches blasted through the meeting room speakers was brutal, intense, frantic and extremely cinematic.
The demo came to an end when Isaac and John were swallowed whole and sucked all the way down to the creature’s stomach where the battle was sure to continue.
Bigger isn’t always better
Visceral have listened to your feedback regarding gameplay and story and assured us that your outstanding questions will be answered in Dead Space 3, however I can’t help but be disappointed that the game has gone from being Dead Space to Ice Planet Generic Shooter 5.
You could almost be forgiven for mistaking this game for Lost Planet 3 in some instances and that’s not what Dead Space was or should be about.
I remember this scary and isolated game that made me preserve my ammo by strategically taking out the Necromorphs’ limbs one by one.
Walking down the corridors of this derelict large ship in the dark and freaking out when hearing random noises in the vents above me.
This was why I loved Dead Space and why the game was a breath of fresh air in the survival horror genre that was heading increasingly action-oriented.
I’m still giving Visceral the benefit of the doubt, as we only saw some of the game at E3, and I hope most of you do too, because Dead Space 3 isn’t a “bad” game by any means.
It just looks to be an amazing action shooter with brutal moments, just not the amazing survival horror game that I came to love the franchise for.
I’m definitely still going to buy the game when it’s released but I don’t agree with the direction that Visceral seem to have decided to go with for the final game in the trilogy.