Dead Space 3 (Mature +17 / PEGI 18) is a third-person shooter developed by Visceral Games and published by Electric Arts.
It was released on February 5th, 2013.
At the end of Dead Space 2, Ellie and Isaac make an escape from the collapsing Titan Station Sprawl. One would assume, of course, that Isaac and Ellie made their way into a colonized planet and lived happily ever after, right? Not a chance. In fact, Dead Space 3 starts off with Ellie leaving a message to Isaac. It's been six months since the last incident, and because Isaac suffers from trauma due to surviving from two necromorph invasions, Ellie decides it would be best to abandon him. Personally, that is a low blow to our beloved main character, but the show must go on. Isaac lives alone in a space station, only to be recruited, forcefully, by Captain Robert Norton and Sergeant John Carver. It turns out that Ellie wants Isaac to help her track down a Marker on the frozen planet Tau Volantis. If they can find the key to this Marker, then perhaps it will be the final stepping stone to shutting down all the remaining Markers throughout the universe.
At some point in the game, Isaac's ship gets heavily damaged and sent crashing into Tau Volantis. Separated from everyone, Isaac and Carver must make their way, surviving through hordes of necromorphs while the truths behind the planet start to unfold.
How are you even able to run with your legs bent backwards?
Dead Space 3's gameplay is similar to both Dead Space 1 and 2. You have a RIG on the back of your suit that keeps track of health, a stasis module which freezes enemies for a short duration, weapons that have different styles of killing necromorphs, and gravitational flying is enabled to explore areas of space. What is different, though, is that this game comes with co-op. You're partnered with Cover who's similar to Isaac but his suit is coated with red. Playing with someone online or in person lessens the fear factor, which eliminates any chance of the player feeling tense or startled.
Despite there being a solo mode, not playing co-op removes specific parts of the story which revolve around Carver's character. I enjoyed playing co-op, of course, but the immersion is broken when your partner is tea bagging a corpse he just stomped on for the fifth time. There's also the fact you cannot simply buy weapons anymore. Instead, you scavenge for parts throughout the snowy wasteland and use those parts to create weapons. Apart from that being annoying at first, since you don't have any idea what pieces goes to which section of the weapon, it can be quite enjoyable once you've got the hang of it. This is especially true when you craft a shotgun with spinning spikes as a second hand attachment and let loose on the incoming necromorphs. You can buy parts with the micro-transaction which charges you real money, but that is up to you to decide whether or not it's worth it.
New mechanics are introduced in Dead Space 3, such as rock climbing, co-op puzzles that requires a few steps to clear a pathway, shooting space mines as you fly at light speed, and more. The rock climbing gets repetitive and a few puzzles were difficult because your co-op partner is often less than helpful. Unless you have a friend to play with, or someone who's dedicated to completing the game with you, you're going to have a bad time with them.
One thing Dead Space 3 impressed me on is the way it establishes atmosphere. The layouts of the levels were mesmerizing; you can stand there and be absorbed into the scenery at every turn. Each stage or section in a Chapter did not bore me or look cliché. Nothing seemed to be similar to another place set in this world of Dead Space 3. Instead, everything stands out, while a lot of detail went into almost everything around you. The snow flakes really feel like they're coming down on you in the blizzard, and the buildings have rust going across the vents as the pipes have realistic steam fuming off them. The greatest aspect to the atmosphere is the lightning, reflecting off everything making you feel as if you're there. Your enemies, the necromorphs, are certainly worth looking at, since they've been designed with different functions now. Their models are identical in some ways, but their mechanics of fighting are different now, making you stand on your toes when engaging in combat.
The sound effects are more impactful than the last two games. You hear a voice fading in the background or a necromorph clawing its way through a vent, and it's scary. Sometimes it's played out so well that you'll turn around to aim your gun, only to see there was no enemy behind you. Dead Space 3 is good at playing tricks on your mind, resulting in you being nervous. I couldn't help but sway my head because of the soundtrack as a fight would break out. Every necromorph to attack you would always make you feel like your life was on the line, and the music complemented this feeling nicely.. However, you can't be engrossed in the atmosphere when you're playing co-op because your partner tends to draw too much attention even if the player behind Carver acts accordingly to the game. To be drawn into the story, I recommend you play on solo mode before co-op.
You're not the same Ellie I used to know...
You've heard me state that the atmosphere was the best part of Dead Space 3, but there's a major downside to this as well: the side characters, including our main girl, Ellie, from Dead Space 2. As thankful as I am that she's been brought into this while Isaac stays the same with his fleshed out personality, they really dumbed down Ellie. Not only is she very naive and her actions are unjustified, her interactions with Robert are a huge slap in the face to the fans of Dead Space. Why? Because she left Isaac to be with the Captain who's far beyond help in this series. He whines throughout the missions, making you despise him for his pessimistic personality while Ellie excuses him because she is in a relationship with him.
Right here is a big glaring problem. It doesn't suit Ellie's personality. There's no explanation as to why she's with this guy. He has no likable traits whatsoever. The problem with the first Dead Space is that no human would help you; they were useless due to ether betraying you or dying off. In the second game, Ellie was the first person to not die and aid you through your struggles. In this, sadly, she's a bystander who orders you around and has no respect for Isaac, as she sides with Robert even when it's obvious that he's in the wrong. Everyone apart from Isaac and Carver are done poorly, with little reason for the player to feel connected to these characters or try to reason their actions. At times, Ellie will even judge Isaac in a way it doesn't make sense at all; her dialogue can make the player feel quite angry. She's not the same Ellie everyone came to adore in the second game, since she used to shoot down necromorphs while swearing at them in a fury from behind her eye patch.
If you're someone who's into sci-fi action shooters that have co-op in them, and you've got a taste for crafting weapons, you'll really get a kick out of Dead Space 3. However, if you're into the story that takes place or you're a big Dead Space fan like I am, you'll feel quite disappointed. Blood and gore are guaranteed when you dismember the enemy, and the environment definitely captures the world you're thrown in perfectly, but the character designs and the story are downright bland and this is something that hurts the game in the end. The micro-transactions on the weapon bench and the fact they turned Ellie into a stereotypical woman will rub fans the wrong way. Otherwise, it's worth a try if you've got the time.