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Dead Space 3 Preview: Don’t like change? Then you most likely won’t enjoy Dead Space 3

E3 2012: Don’t like change? Then you most likely won’t enjoy Dead Space 3

True survival horror is dead

by  Arthur Kotsopoulos

©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.

Dead Space 3, developed by Visceral Games, was being shown and was an extremely visceral (oops…a pun) and visually gruesome showcase.

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

Being a ‘Quad-A’ game (as opposed to AAA) as Visceral put it, Dead Space 3 is their most robust title yet, as it features a dynamic drop in drop out co-op mode that was shown to us first hand.

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

The co-op campaign of Dead Space 3 is a totally unique experience, that adds extra replay value to a title that is looking to offer players more instead of more of the same.

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.

This benefits the player when entering large-scale boss battles, which Visceral confirmed would be in the game, and they’re back in bigger ways than before.

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.

©2012 Arthur Kotsopoulos
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About Arthur Kotsopoulos, Editor in Chief (275 Articles)
Owner/Editor in Chief of OXCGN.com Aspiring bodybuilder. Lover of trance. Follow me on Twitter @grathiusxr 'Cause, remember: no matter where you go... there you are. [Buckaroo Banzai]

9 Comments on Dead Space 3 Preview: Don’t like change? Then you most likely won’t enjoy Dead Space 3

  1. Yeah, I think the survival horror genre is dead. Dead space was the genre’s last hope….evidently EA is intent on opening the series up to a wider audience so it’s making it less scary and more action oriented. I think in the end they’re going to wide up killing the series.

  2. James Bond // 22 June, 2012 at 6:57 am // Reply

    I love seeing all these blogs rant for 10,000 words about how they hate the direction of a series, and then make the last statement “I’m going to buy it no matter what, but I am very disappointed”. Sorry, it can’t be that big of a deal if you are still going to throw $60 at it. You just reinforced why developers do this. The fans of the series will reluctantly buy the drivel anyway, and it will bring in all kinds of casual fans who like shootin stuff. Talk with your wallet and skip the game if you feel that way, otherwise don’t create pointless blogs.

    That is exactly what I did with all the game series that I have lost interest in. Like Yami, some of my favorite game series have been Splinter Cell, Ghost Recon, and Rainbow Six. Since Ubi bought these and decided to turn them all into linear, action-y COD clones, I have yet to buy a single one. No more planning, tactics, consequences, to go along with magical healing and invincible squad mates. Now the latest Splinter Cell is going to be fast paced action with large scale battles, airstrikes, QTE kills, and scripted set pieces………sound familiar?

    Eventually, I think people will get tired of running full speed through the Middle East shooting everything that moves in the face, and we will welcome some pacing and tactics back into our games. Until then, I will hold off buying games like SC, GR, and R6…….and now Dead Space as well…..

    • dkpatriarch // 22 June, 2012 at 7:22 am // Reply

      I agree with you that if you don’t like where a game franchise is going you can vote with your wallet.

      I won’t be getting this game myself.

      So many complain about COD and then buy it. That only sends the message that they are happy to whinge but will do nothing about it.

      In the case of the author, he is disappointed about the direction Dead Space 3 is taking, but still thinks the game will be worth buying. That’s fair enough too, but not what I’ll be doing.

      • It must be tough for developers though because if their games stay the same (Like COD) they get grief and if they change (Like DS3) they get it too.

        How should they decide how much change will be considered innovative?

        These games cost a fortune to make so I would imagine they do their research before deciding which direction to go. Personally, I haven’t been let down by Dead Space yet, so I will give them the benefit of the doubt here. It won’t be the same, but I’m ok with that.

  3. DS1 was such a great game, it really is a shame to hear the series is straying from its roots towards generic shooter 5 :(

  4. JCENAdaBest // 22 June, 2012 at 4:31 am // Reply

    Greedy snakes.

    (Ed: Edited due to language violating the TOU: watch the language please.)

  5. “Survival horror is dead” is a phrase thrown around all too often. I am a huge fan of the franchise and I certainly was a bit disappointed with a few aspects of Dead Space 2, but overall, I enjoyed the game and where it went. These guys have to have somewhere to go. If they just made dark corridor alien dismemberment games over and over again, everyone would be complaining that it was stale and that it needed something fresh. While I have my reservations about the cover system mechanic, I am looking forward to a new direction with the franchise and will wait to pass judgment until I have it in my hands. I am also looking forward to seeing who will come in and fill the void of survival horror. Self entitled gamers need to get over themselves.

  6. Necromorph2012 // 21 June, 2012 at 3:15 pm // Reply

    only way to show disapproval of the direction they are taking is to not buy the game. i am a huge! dead space fan but this is not dead space.
    you can do many things with the dead space franchise but the one constant is scares…….this is not scary ..if i want to play gears of war or lost planet ill do that. Why reward stupidity?

  7. As a huge fan of Lost Planet, I really hate that Lost Planet 3 is a western spin-off but a numbered part in the official series. I am not a fan of Dead Space, do not like the game, but they are making Lost Planet into dead space shunning their fan base for new fans of a different series, and in a weird way Dead Space 3 and even Halo 4 are looking more like what Lost Planet 3 should of been so I completely know how you feel with a series changing, also felt the same for Splinter Cell, Rainbow Six, Resident Evil (which i think 5 was still a lot closer to 4 and orignial especially with the DLC than 6 is looking) and Devil May Cry (which may have made a great new IP but looks horrible as a Devil May Cry). Lastly I think Visceral should hurry up with Dantes Inferno 2!

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