Fear Returns to Dead Space 3
OXCGN gets another look
by Arthur Kotsopoulos
©2013 Arthur Kotsopoulos
Let’s go back to mid-last year, back to June when E3 was well under way and OXCGN writers were participating in an EA Booth tour. We had the chance to watch a very action oriented hands-off demo gameplay walkthrough of Dead Space 3.
It didn’t really interest me due to the fact that it was mostly run and gun with a lot happening on the screen, and to me it wasn’t the Dead Space I had come to love. It was all about Unitologist soldiers along with Necromorphs firing automatic weapons back at Isaac.
The need to take cover behind crates to hide from enemy fire only to emerge at the right moment to take a shot, well, the market is flooded with this type of stuff already. The last thing I wanted to see was the same gameplay I’ve seen countless times in various other franchises especially from a game that had been such a good survival horror game.
Fast forward to today and Visceral are starting to showcase more of what I want, survival horror where I’m required to creep down a corridor with my plasma cutter always drawn in case a Necromorph bursts out of the ceiling vent above, in an attempt to tear me to shreds.
Where I must scavenge dead bodies or crates in hope of finding ammo or health packs. Where I have to manage my ammo and ensure I don’t consume too much because the next area is becoming increasingly difficult.
You’re on your own
Whilst I’m still concerned by the amount of action I had previously seen, this hands on gave me a glimmer of hope that deep down Dead Space 3 will still predominantly feature absolutely terrifying survival horror moments.
What seems to be at some point prior to landing on Tau Volantis, players will once again be open to intense cinematic moments where Isaac will take a beating.
The level I saw boasted the zero gravity section that we have come to enjoy in Dead Space and again showcased the need to always be on your toes when it comes to slowly creeping down dimly lit corridors. Whilst it wasn’t anything overly new or spectacular for an onlooker to watch, I enjoyed it.
There was no sense of urgency in needing to progress to the next area; just me my plasma cutter and a whole lot of Necromorphs that needed my attention.
One section saw me use stasis to activate what seemed to be a generator to turn the power back on.
Upon lowering metal bars and turning some levers, in classic Dead Space fashion Necromorphs emerged through various vents and started to surround me in the tight scaffolding. Trying to shoot off various limbs, I did at one point become overwhelmed and resorted to melee attacks to get me through.
My heart was definitely pumping because whilst I thought I was comfortable taking out the Necromorphs in front of me little did I know another 3 were running up behind me ready to tear me limb from limb.
This to me is what Dead Space should be about, just sitting back, turning the volume up, dimming the lights and letting the games atmosphere suck you in. My experience with Condemned upon the 360’s release was just that.
We need to be sitting there in our room freaked to bits because we have absolutely no idea what would jump out at us at any given moment. I cannot wait to do it with Dead Space 3, though I remain concerned that those moments will be short lived and interrupted by gun battles and more action than I think suits.
I know fans will be disappointed already by the direction the game has taken and many won’t buy it, but like I said in my E3 preview I’ll still purchase it. Not because I have to, but because this will finish off the story of Isaac and the Necromorphs.
Our questions will finally be answered and after spending hours on both Dead Space 1 and 2 and I need to get some answers and closure.
Dynamic co-op gameplay
Cooperative play is the better part of the latest additions in Dead Space 3 even though it has received heavy criticism since its E3 unveiling.
Whilst this demo wasn’t overly long it did have a few shining moments.
Playing as Isaac I walked up to a computer and interacted with it and upon pressing the button all I could hear was laughter on a loop.
Looking over at my partner’s screen I could see that John wasn’t experiencing the same laughter but instead was treated to dialogue. Dialogue that players controlling Isaac won’t hear, and this to me is awesome.
Another section had John walk up to a door only upon interacting with it he started having some sort of hallucinations, Eternal Darkness-style.
Whilst John was off in crazy land, Isaac was tasked with protecting John and eliminating the Necromorphs emerging from the vents until the player had completed John’s hallucination.
It’s an awesome concept that seems to have been implemented quite well and for those controlling Isaac, they will have no idea what is going on. The co-op experience is a separate one from playing the game on your own. As I stated above both players’ dementia plays a heavy role and you will experience certain events the other player won’t and vice versa.
Nobody Hears You Scream In Snow
Instead it has been modified to cater to a more broader audience.
Time will tell if the action sections outweigh the survival horror ones, or if the co-op play will make the experience so much richer.
But my second look at the title gives me much more enthusiasm to experience it when it releases next month.
Fear has returned to Dead Space 3.