I spent some time with Dead Space 3 this past week and I’ll preface this initial review by saying I’m only on Chapter 6 (there are 19 Chapters, total), so I’m barely 1/3 into the game. No major spoilers below.
My first reaction is that it’s more of the same, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You do not start out on Tau Volantis, but in space (surprise) on a ship. There seems to be quite a bit of prologue getting you onto the ice planet, but it’s classic Dead Space, so this should surprise no one.
The gameplay is fun, I was worried about the series becoming formulaic or predictable, and while some scares are, there were several moments I yelled in terror, which is exactly what I hoped for. Headphones are a must when playing, especially 5.1 or 7.1 capable ones.
The game is incredibly fair with combat, although I will say I’ve noticed some necromorphs side-stepping my shots, and others that run at warp speed making it a must to time your stasis shot exactly at the right time. The ante does seem to have been upped, however: simple headshots or limb shots will not kill whatever is sprinting at you. I found that headshots, limb shots, and several body shots were required to stop things heading my way. Just FYI, I am playing on hard.
New features that I really enjoy in Dead Space 3: weapon-crafting is a lot more fun than I thought. I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to make the best gun, and agonizing over which weapon to upgrade (you can only carry 2, it seems).
A side note about crafting: many items require Tungsten, which, at the beginning of the game is scarce. I got to Chapter 4 or 5 before I found any, and even then, only because I did a side mission. (Do the side missions, they’re awesome. Especially Conning Tower!) Side missions are a great way to increase your resources, and fun distractions to boot.
Another nice feature is the use of a resource bot. I believe I found one in the “C.M.S. Greely” side mission. Definitely make use of this tool; you scan for a resource signal like a metal detector, and let the bot go do its thing. No need to babysit, it will find you at the next Tool Bench and deliver your resources. Really handy for quicker upgrading.
Some things I don’t love:
- A familiar problem of laying dialog over action/cutscenes seems to persist here. A few times, I was so focused on dialog being delivered to my suit, that I missed the cutscene event in front of me (bodies being dragged off, necros scurrying into the shadows, etc). Pacing could be better.
- Enemies are fairly common. If you’ve played DS1 & 2, nothing you’ll see will surprise you. I’m only 6 chapters in, so hopefully this will change, but for now, it’s nothing I haven’t seen before.
- Im sure some people would have thought I would put the DLC structure they have for this game in here, but honestly it doesn’t affect me. I’m not missing out of any thing from having other people buy resources instead of farming them with bots or other methods. Dead Space has always been a single player oriented game, and despite it offering co-op in the end it doesnt affect the end experience.
I’m still working my way through it, but I definitely have that “I gotta get back to playing Dead Space” feeling, which is a good sign. Overall, I’d recommend checking this one out.
SIDE NOTE: If you’re interested, I am playing through and recording my entire game. Part 1 is available here