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Dead Space 3 has been one of my favourite new IPs of the generation. Does the saga of Isaac Clarke end with a bang or a whimper?

Posted by Staff on Feb 22, 2013 10:47 (Feb 22, 2013 10:47)

At times, Dead Space 3 makes you wonder why anyone is asking for new consoles. The Zero-G sections are just some of the most magnificent looking parts of a game I’ve ever experienced. The art style and level of detail is just unbelievable. And yet, at the same time, many of the cut-scenes feature stilted animation, and some of the interiors can look plain, with dull textures, long loads, and a lack of real imagination. For every amazing scene, there’s 2-3 of drudgery, which is a real shame, because clearly the engine still has the power to amaze when it wants to.
Dead Space 3 screenshot #3
The increased voice-work in Dead Space 3 generally is excellent, with a decent set of new cast members. In the last couple of chapters, some of the dialogue gets precipitously cheesy, with Danik going beyond insanity, Ellie coming back from the dead, and Carver, your co-op partner getting rather too melodramatic at his previous life choices. Thankfully, the performances just about stop the script from breaking down completely. The music, however, is as great as ever, with chilling pieces of strings that continue to get the hairs up on your back even after three games, whilst the noises the necromorphs make continue to disgust as well – testament to just how rough they are!
The competitive multiplayer from Dead Space 2 has been dropped, in favour of a full co-op campaign. Whilst fans may shirk in horror, playing the game alone is still very much the same experience
Dead Space 3 screenshot #4
Playing in co-op, however, doesn’t really add much as a result, except mounds of frustration. You need to wait for your partner to finish a checkpoint before you can start, which then delays them as you load in (and potentially swap discs, too). Finally, when you get going, your often hamstrung by a system which never allows you to stray far from your partner. There are some extra missions to play, along with some co-op moves and puzzles, but I found the mode rather superfluous really- fine if you like that sort of thing, but not enough to tempt me away from playing the game more traditionally.
"Dead Space 3" is a mixed bag. At its best, it’s never looked or played this well. But at its lowest points, it’s never been this repetitive, ugly, or derivative. It’s also the most hit-and-miss game in the series, with amazing levels in zero-G facing up against by-the-numbers side missions and terrible combat against human enemies the engine was never designed for. Also, whilst you never need it, I also found the prevalence of DLC to be a bit ridiculous, given the poor integration. It just needlessly takes away from the immersion. Otherwise, Dead Space 3 is still a game that’s worth playing, although personally I wouldn’t recommend it unless you have played at least one of the other games in the series. The story just isn’t very well explained otherwise, and whilst the action is still fun, you may as well pick the other games up cheaper first to get the most out of this one.
Don’t believe what you’ve read. As ever, the internet has over-reacted. Despite co-op and micro transactions, Dead Space 3 is a fine game. But it’s not as good as it could or should have been. For me, seeing out the end of the story was reason enough to plough through to the finish, and it was well worth my while. But despite the efforts to bring aboard new players, I’d say that this one is for fans only.
+ Some genuinely scary moments
+ Beautiful art design above the planet
+ Interesting crafting system
- Lots of asset re-use
- Multiplayer waiting about
- Dull side missions

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