Zero Punctuation: Dead Space 3

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Dead Space 3

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews Dead Space 3.

Watch Video

The site seems to be a bit bjorked at the moment. You can link to this from IRC, but otherwise, I couldn't find the video on the main page...

Or, you know, that could be fixed while I was typing up this message. *headdesks*

So in other words the title is now more appropriate then ever.

The Dead Space games has never been horror but I still enjoy the series, to me, the "scares" in the Dead Space games is just the signal of the start of a battle, I also can't find myself be scared at all, the loud noises resembles that of an exploding building in a modern military shooter.

I like Dead Space 3's crafting system and the attempt of being a bit more open, but I don't like how considerably easy this game is, the game just seems to love throwing medpacks at you, at one point, I had around 20 medium medpacks in my safe that I don't think I ever used.

Thank god, I was getting sick of every reviewer giving it a great write up. Somebody needed to come along and that homogeneous mess to pieces, Yahtzee proves the perfect man for the job.

EA specializes in making the video game equivalent to Coors, Budwieser, and... I forget the other one. Make it bland but spend a ton of money advertising some stupid gimmick to cover up the fact it is watered down piss. The problem is that it works from a business perspective.

This is why I like Kickstarter and digital distribution, I would like to have that as the future business model of the industry. With digital distribution almost all of the costs but the development of the game are removed and with crowd sourcing providing the funds. Then game developers can afford to be a bit more creative while also ensuring there is a market for whatever wild idea they come up with.

I can only imagine "Solo Only" being called "tacked on single player" in the future where every mainstream game will have some sort of multiplayer.

+1 for the Sooty shout out- but we're all still waiting for that Farming Simulator 2013 review you surely have tucked away somewhere. Perhaps it fell down the back of the couch or something. Have you checked the sock drawer?

nice pun at the end there.

Hope the microtransaction weapons thing turns out to be a disaster. I wouldn't put it beyond EA or the rest of them to make a future title unbeatable unless you microtransaction half the arsenal not available.

Capcha: Dollar bill ( appropriate)

I agree with Yahtzee on this one. Dead Space 3 is pretty damn boring.

I've made one custom gun and since then I just can't be bothered with the crafting. It's just so much pointless busywork for very little reward. The game isn't difficult enough to warrant a different gun for different situations any more. My Plasma cutter is mightier than ever. The Necros are also pretty stale by now and the "horror" is just routine, as if everything in the future is badly lit and all major events are announced by orchestral queues.

Let's just hope someone makes a half decent Silent Hill game soon.

I always had a hard time being sad about the Dead Space sequels lacking horror, seeing how the horror in Dead Space 1 wasn't good to begin with. I really mind when they toned it down.

Evil Top Hat:
Thank god, I was getting sick of every reviewer giving it a great write up. Somebody needed to come along and that homogeneous mess to pieces, Yahtzee proves the perfect man for the job.

Dead Space 3 appears to have been a largely "love-it-or-hate-it" affair, with the key determining factor being how much a fan the reviewer is of the horror genre and whether they played the prior two games. If you think Yahtzee was negative on Dead Space 3, you should see the GameTrailers review...

I felt the same way. It's not like the game is bad in any way, but it lacks anything special. I considered restarting the game with a newgame plus to try out some more interesting weapon combinations, but to be honest going back and doing it all again would feel like a chore.

Like you, I never ran out of ammo or medikits. I didn't even need to use large ones and I was on the third difficulty level (out of four). The only things I ran out of was tungsten near the start, and transducer near the end as I was upgrading my suit as much as possible. Beyond that I frequently had around 5 medikits safely stored in the safe "just in case", but whenever I needed them I could afford more any way.

My biggest criticism was the level design more than anything. It felt very repetitive to the point where my default tactic was to run to whatever corner didn't have a vent by it and wait for them to come to me.

The game was okay, but it was the worst of the three, and it's a shame because it had a lot of potential. Take Dead Space 1, add both 2 and 3's freedom of movement in Zero G, add in Dead Space 2's ability to get enemies sucked out into space using vacuums, add 3's crafting and and that's a perfect Dead Space game.

Proverbial Jon:
My Plasma cutter is mightier than ever.

Even by the end when I could make anything I liked my default weapon was basic a plasma cutter with the rotational cuff.

I gave it stasis effect and better stasis upgrades, gave it a wider shot (but with lower clip size and speed). Then used circuits to increase speed, damage, reload and bring the clip size back.

It was absolutely killer against everything.

Yahtzee, I see what you did there at the end... clever. To me, Dead Space is a good horror game. Not from the the atmosphere mind you, but from the clunky controls... 'C'mon, just let me hit them... c'mon... Gah!'

I was expecting a alien colonial marine review since every critic and their dog are currently tearing this game apart.

It's a shame that ea will probably ax dead space when this game fails to meet the 5 million sales quota I know you're not exactly a fan but I know people who really like the franchise.

image

Look Buddy, I'm an engineer. That means I solve problems. Not problems like "What is a horror game?" because that would fall within the purview of your conundrums of philosophy. I solve practical problems

Never really cared for the franchise. But it's nice to see someone give it a slap down. Thanks Yahtzee. :)

Bu Yahtzee, companies are supposed to make money!!!!!

titankore:
With digital distribution almost all of the costs but the development of the game are removed and with crowd sourcing providing the funds. Then game developers can afford to be a bit more creative while also ensuring there is a market for whatever wild idea they come up with.

And with a game like Journey capable of nearly breaking the developer, there might be a lesson and another direction here.

This only really works provided big names are involved or they keep their scope very, very small. I am sure someone will name a handful of exceptions, but that's sort of like finding a couple of non-samey shooters on the market: utterly meaningless in view of the point at hand.

You have to feel sad for the fans of this franchise. They got two decent games and then EA completely assumes control, forces it into this shell of a game, and places a quota as ransom to guilt fans into buying it.

Yahtzee's snarky response to this gave me a great feeling inside, especially after almost throwing up from the Fanboy living inside Jim just GUSH and GUSH and GUSH about Dead Space in general. Made me want to puke.

When I heard about the first one I said, "Not my style but I respect it, fun, new idea with interesting tools and setting". But then the second came out I gave no shits whatsoever, and then this one did and I was just slouched over groaning about the fact that I had to keep hearing about it.

Legion:

The game was okay, but it was the worst of the three, and it's a shame because it had a lot of potential. Take Dead Space 1, add both 2 and 3's freedom of movement in Zero G, add in Dead Space 2's ability to get enemies sucked out into space die to vacuums, add 3's crafting and and that's a perfect Dead Space game.

That's kinda how I feel about it. I certainly enjoyed it, but after landing on Tau Volantis it just feels like they were trying to remember what Dead Space actually was. Not to mention that even with the game's belief that "difficulty" meant throwing more and more Necromorphs at you in tiny enclosed spaces, on "Hard" it was still as easy as Dead Space 2's "Normal" difficulty.

All horror games seem to head this direction when faced with a continuing story line. It seems to be the only way that game developers know how to show that the stakes have been risen. I think Silent Hill hasn't gone this direction because the series keeps getting rebooted, or has various stories because Silent Hill is different for each of the people that end up there (or it should be). Of course Silent Hill: Book of Memories isn't scary at all, despite being a fun game.

It's a shame that no one wants to make a game for that niche horror audience that wants something truly terrifying. I'll never get a non-hacked version of Fatal Frame 4 and I suspect Koei Tecmo has given up on that franchise, or at least that's what Spirit Camera would suggest.

I think survivor horror co-op COULD work if you and your buddy were not all the time together in the same room, but solving puzzles that require simultaneity and only join forces in key moments, like running like hell from big bad boss...

DVS BSTrD:

image

Look Buddy, I'm an engineer. That means I solve problems. Not problems like "What's a horror game?" because that would fall within the purview of your conundrums of philosophy. I solve practical problems

For instance: how am I gonna stop some big, mean mother-hubbard from giving me a profit-damaging horror atmosphere? The answer? Lose the fun.

Also: LOL

The thing is, I never considered the series to fall in the horror genre because it never scared me once. It was a shooter from the beginning. No question, no mistake. But I still had a damn fun time with them because they still play really well.

It's the Resident Evil 4 of this generation of consoles: lacking in any scares but a helluva great shooty experience. But I share the sympathies of people who wish there were more horror games in the industry.

Great vid Yahtzee, had a few more than usual laughs on this one.

With that said, I didn't mind for this third game of the Dead Space franchise taking the more action`y side and I quite enjoyed it. They could of just implemented at least a level with actual horror and tension like that one chapter in Dead Space 2 (you know which one).

The Co-Op was completely pointless for me since I had no one to play it with, but it was intrusive at all besides the points where Carver pops up all of a sudden in the cutscenes.

As someone who has played all the Dead Space games and spin-offs, I think Dead Space 3 is, well, par for the course of the series. Yes, it screws up in many places, but it DOES have many strong points as well, and it ultimately balances out to a middle-of-the-road Dead Space game. There are somethings I love, some things I dislike. More than anything, I'm annoyed that my habitual Navigator locator signal must be held down, because I instinctively tap it and crouch like a moron, which is only useful for, what, four or five encounters total?

But when it's working, and the game is firing on all cylinders, it's great. Playing solo and taking your time is just as atmospheric and tense as in prior games. Yeah, I loathe the universal ammo, the look of the suits, the limit to just 2 weapons (kinda), the human enemies, and the annoying co-op focused stuff (what's that? I can't unlock new stuff unless I completely ALL the missions, including the co-op ones? Screw you!).

The game has some great ideas, some executed well and others missing the ball, but they tried a few things I appreciated.

For the inevitable sequel, I would, however, like the return to more traditional horror, less non-stop action, and a massive de-emphasis on co-op. As Yahtzee pointed out, solo-only missions work better.

So does this means that Dead Space is now Spunk-Gargle-Wee-Wee?

I have to partially agree with Yathzee.
I never considered the series as horror, it was always more of an action-thriller for me with a few horror-elements sprinkled on top. I mean, jump scares are not horror. It doesn't make you afraid or horrified, it just startles the shit out of you for a small adrenaline-burst! REAL horror is something like the Amnesia or the early Silent Hill games, when it is all about the atmosphere and suspense. The most the Dead Space series had in this regard was only a very few moments in the game when you wandered through the devastated civilian areas in the game, and even then it wasn't oppressive because you were afraid a scary monster would jump at you, but because you looked around in the blood-stained bedrooms and cradles and stopped for a moment to imagine what has happened there. Actually, I would say the game only had any horror to it when you stopped playing and instead just let the atmosphere soak in. Otherwise it was just a shooter with scary monsters and jump-scares.

That said, Dead Space 3 is not exactly a good game even of you look at it as an action game. It is just too damn long, the weapon customization is fun but mostly unnecessary (about 80% of all weapons are either very situational or completely useless), the story is just dumb, like the ridiculously contrived love-triangle "subplot" which got resolved in the dumbest way possible and, well, if I would have to point at the biggest problem in the game, it would be Danik.

That guy is supposed to be our main antagonist for practically the entirety of the game, and yet he is the most unintentionally incompetent bad guy I have ever seen. He has Isaac and co. at gunpoint no less than THREE times, yet every single time he just monologues instead of doing anything more logical, like shooting, and so Isaac gets away in the last second. He is also supposed to be the leader of the Unitologists, yet he is not only in the middle of the damn battlefield, but he doesn't even wear any armor, and he is played up as this really menacing opponent, but in reality the only reason he ever poses a challenge is because in the cut-scenes Isaac is weaker than a little girl and gets beaten up by everyone even though he wrestles with huge-ass necromorphs on a daily basis. Not to mention, Danik suffers from the same ridiculous under-characterization as the rest of the cast, which made some scenes kind of hilarious, when the scene played things up like a character dying was a huge tragedy, but all I could think of was "Who the hell was this guy again? Why is this important? Whatever, let's move on."

Finally, the sound design of the game is also horrible. I actually had to turn the volume on my machine down quite a bit because the constant scare-chords and growling got old really fast.

On the other hand, I liked the first third of the game, navigating in space was surprisingly fun, gathering the history of the ships and the base on the planet from audio- and text-logs was engaging and there were a lot of elements that broke up the monotonicity of the sooting. In the end I would say it is not a bad game, but it it just too damn long and too damn dumb to be really great.

WaitWHAT:

For instance: how am I gonna stop some big, mean mother-hubbard from giving me a profit-damaging horror atmosphere? The answer? Lose the fun.

I dunno, I still found DS3 more fun than DS2 and I'm not much of a horror fan so DS1 wasn't special for me either. The crafting system was actually pretty cool if you get yourself out of the "I'm just gonna plasma cut my way through the entire game" mindset.

I have sworn off EA....but I want to play Dead Space 1 now. I need to find it preowned

themilo504:
I was expecting a alien colonial marine review since every critic and their dog are currently tearing this game apart.

It's a shame that ea will probably ax dead space when this game fails to meet the 5 million sales quota I know you're not exactly a fan but I know people who really like the franchise.

Expect it next week. Yahtzee typically has about a two week delay between a game coming out and him reviewing it. Longer if several big titles come out and/or Australian release shenanigans

I just finished Dead Space 2 and didn't find it scary so much as occasionally uncomfortable. The story was solid, the few characters were interesting and the combat was reliable and challenging.

I didn't find the necromorphs scary so much as bastards that could be annoying if they got the drop on you. I did talk a lot more during the game than I do most of the time, mostly phrases such as "Fuck you and fuck the limbs you crawled in on" as I shore them away. It was quite satisfying to kill them, actually, I haven't felt that in awhile for enemies.

Dead Space 3 is still going for a silly amount in my country and the idea of needing co-op to experience the whole story and micro-transactions are seriously putting me off trying it.

Is it just me or does that Dracula mask near the end vaguely resemble Rowan Atkinson?

I do find it somewhat hypocritical when people keep complaining about all the generic shooters but then proceed to buy them and play them.

There's a reason they keep being made!

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