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Dead Space 3 Review

The Dead Space series has come a long way since it’s first title dropped back in 2008. Since the first game’s inception, the series has grown exponentially in terms of shock value, gameplay and a lot of “What the fuck?” moments. While not considered a “survival horror” by most gamers, the Dead Space series pretty much redefined the horror genre of games and continues to do so. Just barely a week old, Dead Space 3 has been getting rave reviews on it, with most other outlets saying it is a top contender for Game Of The Year for 2013. While I am forced to agree with this, let’s take a look at what makes this game so amazing!

DS3Screenshot1

Dead Space 3 was released on February 5th, 2013. The game was initially announced back in May of 2012 and unveiled at E3 the following month. Developed once again by Visceral Games and published by Electronic Arts(EA), Dead Space 3 is a direct sequel of Dead Space 2…but you already knew that, right? You are once again playing as Isaac Clarke, the protagonist from the 2 previous games, in an effort to stop the Markers and the Necromorphs once and for all. The game starts you off a few months after the “Sprawl Incident”(Dead Space 2) where you and that hot, British chick Ellie have become romantically involved. I say she’s hot because she has heterochromia(Different colored eyes)and…yeah, that’s hot, so don’t judge me. Anyway, due to all the shit Isaac has gone through, he’s not really all that stable and he lives in solitude on a lunar colony. Anyway, some shit goes down and you get “recruited” to rescue Ellie and her team, at which point you are taken to deep space. I can go on about this, but I don’t want to spoil the story for any of you and believe me when I say it, the story is very well done! Now there were some changes made to the gameplay and how you go about playing the game. Let’s take a look, shall we?

DS3Bench

Dead Space 3 underwent some reconstruction during it’s production and while the mechanics of the previous titles have stuck around(Shooting the limbs off of Necromorphs to kill them), the manner in which you acquire weapons and other things has changed drastically. The first thing is that the game is kind of “open world”. You could always explore outside of your goal path, but this time there are Optional Missions you can undertake. Taking these optional mission will reward you with resource materials and weapon parts. Oh? You…you didn’t know about that? Well, the second thing is that the credit system has been totally removed. So, you no longer need credits to purchase anything. Instead, they added “Resource Materials” instead. Now what that means is that during your trek through the various locations the game has to offer, you will pick up materials such as Scrap Metal, Transducers and so forth and use those items to craft your weapons, ammo and health packs. Though it may seem tedious, it does add to the challenge factor of the game. Of course, you can’t craft weapons with just the resource materials alone. You need to find gun frames, upper and lower tools, gun cores and attachments. With the correct parts in hand. you can custom-make a weapon that just flat-out smashes enemies. Or if you are fortunate enough to come across a blueprint and you have the required items, you can create that particular weapon. Another thing the game removed from it’s previous titles were those fucking Power Nodes. You know what I’m talking about…those scarce little doo-dads that let you power-up your guns and your Resource Integration Gear(RIG)suit. Yeah, not anymore. For your weapons, you will come across Circuit Boards that will effect your weapon in multiple ways. Circuit boards will upgrade your weapon’s Damage, Rate of Fire, Reload Speed or Magazine Size. However, there are some circuit boards that will raise one stat, but lower another. So, the game makes you really think on how you want to proceed with your customization. Also, keep with the games current set-up, you can craft circuit boards using your resource materials, provided you have enough of them. Your RIG also utilizes resource materials as well, at which point the player will need to prioritize what he/she wants to upgrade first. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “But Beau you amazing human being and pinnacle of all that is awesome, how can I get enough materials to do everything!?”. Well, that comes in the form of Scavenger Bots!

Scavenger Bots seek out resource materials in certain areas and harvest them for you. Once they are done harvesting(Takes 10 minutes per bot), they return to your Bench where they will give you all the materials they collected. Now, you can’t just set a bot down anywhere…well, I mean you can, but there is a method to getting the maximum amount of materials. When you are holding the Bot, you will see a screen(Note the picture on the right). Displayed on that screen will be a target finder in the center and arrows on the left and right side. Now, the direction the arrows on the side are going will indicate the “level” the resource spot is. If the arrows are going up, it means that the spot is an area above you and vice-versa if they are going down. Now, if the arrows are pointing at the center, then that means you are on the “level” you need to be. As you get closer to the spot, you’ll start to hear a noise kind of similar to dubstep. When you see your bot screen jump to pulsating green circles, go ahead and set your bot down and continue on until you get a notification that says your Scavenger Bot has returned to the Bench. Now, there is currently DLC that you can purchase for a mere $4.99(400 MSP) that will decrease the Scavenger Bot wait time by 50% as well as double the amount it brings back. There is also another one that gives your bot a personality that fluctuates depending on how you manage it. I said “No” to this one because if I wanted to hear nonsensical shit talking, I would just play Call of Duty. So, that’s how you get resource materials, but I haven’t even gotten to the best part yet…

Isaac & Carver...Space Buddies for Life!

Isaac & Carver…Space Buddies for Life!

For the longest time, the Dead Space series was initially supposed to be cooperative. Well, that wasn’t the case for the first title and it definitely wasn’t the case for the second one. This time around, Visceral Games finally got their shit together and gave us a Co-Op Campaign option! Now, this particular option takes away from the standard co-op games where you will always see the same story or events through the protagonists eyes, but with your co-op partner happening to stand awkwardly to the side with a blank-ass expression on his/her face. Not this time around, kids. In Dead Space 3’s co-op, the dialogue changes a lot and Isaac has more interactions with the NPCs, including some very funny back and forth with Carver. Now, John Carver is a Sergeant in what’s left of the EarthGov military. Initially a giant asshole, you begin to discover why he’s such a dick and those are through his co-op only side missions. What makes this interesting is that during a co-op side mission, Carver sees things that Isaac doesn’t, which lends further credibility to his ever-degrading psyche. In fact, Koku’s Sports Writer John and I have been smashing out the co-op and we were going through Carver’s second co-op mission and we had reached the last area where we were to claim our hard-earned reward. The situation went something like this:

John: Dude, do you see that cake?
Me: What cake?
John: The fucking cake sitting over here. It’s lighting up the entire room!
Me: What the hell are you talking about it? I don’t see no cake.
John: Alright, well what about the nutcracker things? *aims at an area with his gun*
Me: There’s no nutcrackers there, dude. Just space coffins.
John: Dude seriously, there’s like 6 of them right here!
Me: John, I don’t see anything except the stairs and the space coffins.
John: Are you fucking with me or something!? There right here!
Me: Dude, I’m not fucking with you. I seriously don’t see what you are seeing!
John: Okay, maybe I am going crazy then…

So, getting into situations like that are worth going through the co-op experience. Not to mention the extra help in the latter parts of the game are key to surviving the rampant Necromorph onslaughts. Also, the worry of rationing ammo and health packs between players is non-existent. Your partner can raid a bunch of lockers for items, but for you those items will be there for you too. You can also share blueprints from the Bench, as well as the ability to pass over items to the other player such as Stasis Packs, ammo and healing packs from your inventory menu. The one drawback to this, however, is that you cannot share resource materials, meaning you can’t just give 200 tungsten tubes to your partner so he/she can create that weapon they’ve been wanting. So, you once again have to rely on your searching capabilities and your Scavenger Bots.

In closing, Dead Space 3 is absolutely phenomenal! It far surpasses the previous main series titles and finally bringing in the cooperative aspect adds a whole new twist to how the game is played. The story is superior, the mechanics are amazing and the atmosphere is more tense and vivid then ever! Now, I can only imagine what the DLC for this game would be like? I mean, Severed from Dead Space 2 was really good, so here’s hoping that any story DLC for Dead Space 3 will surpass that! This game is getting a 10 out of 10 from me because of how well done this title is! If you haven’t gotten yet, go get it!

Until next episode…

2 Comments

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  1. Nero says
    February 12, 2013, 10:19 AM

    The fact that you went under detail why Ellie is hot, means I will be picking up this game.

    Reply
    • Beau D. says
      February 14, 2013, 8:00 AM

      You definitely have good taste. Respect.

      Reply

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