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Visceral Games


Looks like Battlefield Hardline is out on October 21

Another leaked video
Jun 05
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
[Update: EA has actually gone ahead and uploaded the official trailer to their channel. Only difference is that it's lacking the platform details.] Quick, before Electronic Arts removes the video. If you do miss out, know it...
Battlefield photo

Leaked Battlefield Hardline video is 'six months old'

It looked like it
May 28
// Jordan Devore
Did that leaked trailer for Visceral Games' Battlefield Hardline look rough around the edges to you? It's "six months old," according to vice president and studio manager Steve Papoutsis. Commenting on the leaks, he said "So...

Watch: Here's your leaked Battlefield Hardline trailer

May 28
// Dale North
[Update: Video was taken down by Electronic Arts.] Holy cops and robbers! Remember about that Battlefield Hardline leak? EA made it real yesterday. And now a leaked trailer kind of ruins their planned E3 reveal. You gotta lo...
Plus: Anime.
Today on Tuesday Newsday, we go over two games that Brett Makedonski previewed, which have both been delayed, The Order: 1886 and The Evil Within. The new Battlefield is Hardline, seemingly a cops and robbers theme rather tha...

Visceral Games photo
Visceral Games

Uncharted writer Amy Hennig now at Visceral Games

Working on Star Wars, of all things
Apr 03
// Jordan Devore
Uncharted series writer and creative director Amy Hennig parted ways with Naughty Dog in early March and ever since then I've been dying to know where she'd end up. While Dead Space maker Visceral Games is not what I was expe...
Dead Space photo
Dead Space

Ride to Hell in this amazing Dead Space motorcycle helmet

It's soooo shiny
Jan 25
// Wesley Ruscher
I'm pretty sure I'd never ride a motorcycle, but if I had this custom made Dead Space helmet I might have to reconsider.  Crafted by Xtreme Kreations, the attention to detail on this one of a kind piece is quit...
EA Star Wars photo
EA Star Wars

EA isn't making any games based on new Star Wars movies

Mesa like dis
Nov 20
// Joshua Derocher
EA's Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen talked about Star Wars games during a presentation on Tuesday, and he made it clear they don't want to make a movie game. Jorgensen said, "We've done movie games over the years and...
Dante's Inferno photo
Dante's Inferno

Evil Dead director tied to Dante's Inferno film adaption

Go to Hell ... Again
Sep 17
// Kyle MacGregor
Universal Pictures is looking to bring Dante's Inferno to a theater near you. The movie studio is reportedly in talks with Fede Alvarez, the director behind the recent Evil Dead remake, to adapt Electronic Arts' act...
Horror photo

John Carpenter wants to direct a Dead Space film

Could this be a Ghosts of Mars sequel???
May 08
// Allistair Pinsof
Sci-fi/horror mastermind John Carpenter (The Thing, Escape from New York ... uh, Ghosts of Mars?) told Game Informer that Dead Space would make for a great film and he'd make for a great person to direct it. "I maintain that ...

Dead Space 3 is the latest game to have officially failed

Electronic Arts declares the game performed below expectations
May 08
// Jim Sterling
It had co-op and cover-based shooting, but Electronic Arts' flailing attempts to make Dead Space 3 "appeal to a wider audience" apparently failed. Visceral's latest game now joins Tomb Raider, Hitman: Absolution and Resident ...
Star Wars photo
Star Wars

EA's Star Wars games will use the Frostbite 3 engine

Carry on, then
May 07
// Jordan Devore
As a follow-up to news of Electronic Arts signing a multi-year deal with Disney to exclusively develop and publish games based on Star Wars, EA Labels president Frank Gibeau has shared a detail that's nice to hear confirmed. ...

Replica Dead Space Plasma Cutter will burn your face off

No really, it will burn you
May 06
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
YouTuber AnselmoFanZero built himself his very own replica Dead Space Plasma Cutter. Oh yeah, the gun can actually burn stuff, as demonstrated in his video. As for the gun itself, it weighs about 4.4 pounds, took about 200 hours to build, and features 1,500-milliwatt burning blue lasers. Space zombies beware – hobbyist builds a real-life Plasma Cutter [Gizmag, via Gizmodo]
layoffs photo

EA Montreal faces more layoffs, rumored studio closure

EA Montreal is to be shutdown, says source
Apr 11
// Allistair Pinsof
EA Mobile in Montreal faces 200 - 250 employee layoffs with more to come, a source with connections to EA Mobile told Gamasutra, and the studio will gradually become completely shutdown. EA confirmed layoffs but said that the...

Review: Dead Space 3: Awakened

Mar 15 // Jim Sterling
The Necromorph Moons aren't dead and they're ready to attack the universe. That's the big story point in Dead Space 3: Awakened. This is not a spoiler, either -- it's revealed early in the expansion chapter, and should be considered obvious since the Necromorphs are still around. More importantly, this vital plot point is not really built upon -- very little else of note happens during Awakened's two-hour run, only potential stories that never truly get told. To its credit, the new chapter attempts to bring back a sense of horrific, Event Horizon-style atmosphere. The surviving Unitologists on Tau Volantis are going insane and have begun to kill or mutilate themselves, evoking memories of the crazed Ishimura crew members. An offshoot of cultists who have taken to modifying their own bodies so they closer resemble Necromorphs make for some deeply disturbing foes, while Isaac's own mind is subject once more to hallucinations and haunting voices. It's all effective stuff while it lasts.  Isaac's co-op buddy, Carver, is also notable for having suddenly found a personality. Approaching a level of likability, Carver's banter and general attitude have improved to the point where he stands out as a legitimate character now, rather than a weak excuse to bow to industry gameplay trends. The dialog between he and Isaac feels a lot more natural as a result, especially once they start disagreeing with each other on the best way to deal with the Necro Moons.  As well as the new cultists, we get a variant of the Stalker Necromorph, and the Pack return from Dead Space 2 to give Isaac yet more dead children to slaughter. As one of the creepiest enemy types across the entire series, the Pack's reappearance is welcome, even if it is generally brief.  General briefness is by far Awakened's biggest problem. It's not just that it's a short adventure -- nobody expects a DLC add-on to last another ten hours -- it's that not a single idea presented in the game is fully formed, existing instead as merely a surface level showcase of what a good idea might possibly look like. The self-maiming Unitologist splinter group is a great concept, but never gets much screen time, while its mysterious leader is barely present in the plot. One seemingly invincible zealot that stalks the player à la Pyramid Head has a lot of potential, but again barely does anything of note and is dispatched in a most underwhelming fashion. The Ishimura-style atmosphere is terrific yet, again, merely dabbled in.  All this leads to an abrupt cliffhanger ending that's even more of a sequel tease than Dead Space 3's was, an issue made all the more galling for the fact the story only starts getting really interesting in literally the last few seconds of the campaign. Until then, nothing worth mentioning happens. Clarke and Carver wake up, not dead, tread water for an hour or two, then encounter some narrative -- then it's game over.  Speaking as a fan of Dead Space, I feel I could skip Awakened and miss absolutely nothing of value. While some of the new ideas are nice, the sense of disappointment that none of them are capitalized upon offsets any good they do, while the story is nothing you couldn't explain in a single Tweet. While the gameplay is as solid as anything found in Dead Space 3, it could also be acquired simply by replaying chapters of Dead Space 3.  Dead Space 3: Awakened is a whole lot of not much at all.
DS3: Awakened review photo
Go back to sleep
It's very hard to believe a studio when it claims work never begun on a piece of downloadable content until after the main game was finished, especially when that DLC is a direct continuation of the story and was essentially ...

Dead Space 3 DLC work began after main game was finished

Mar 07 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
Ultimately, Awakened feels different and it should, as a separate team worked on the new content. "It's definitely not the case where we take a level, and just decide we're not going to include it in the main game," John told me. "This was not even part of Dead Space 3, it was developed by a smaller set of our team that were run with a different producer, and all that stuff. You're looking at something that was wholly created as a standalone product." Sure, initial planning probably happens during development, but as John told me the actual work on DLC doesn't start up until the main team has wrapped up the full game. Dead Space 3: Awakened will be out on March 12, 2013 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. For hardcore fans of the series, it's shaping up to be exactly what you wanted out of the game in the first place.
Dead Space 3: Awakened photo
EA producer details their DLC design process
Dead Space 3's Awakened downloadable content was announced the week the main game was released in stores. DLC announcements made early on in production -- or even right around a game's launch -- typically draw fan rage by th...

Dead Space 3 photo
Dead Space 3

Dead Space 3: Awakened is a return to survival horror

It's everything you wish Dead Space 3 was
Mar 07
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Overall, I really enjoyed Dead Space 3. There were points that it dragged on, but a lot of the stuff near the end in those last few levels made it up for me. Still, Dead Space 2 is my favorite of the franchise largely because...
Dead Space photo
Dead Space

Origin has a big sale on all three Dead Space games

Plus the DLC, but spending anything on that is a waste of money
Mar 01
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Origin is currently offering between 30% to 50% off on every Dead Space game in their store. The first Dead Space is available for $10 as a PC download, and Dead Space 2 can be grabbed for $10 either as a PC download, or phys...
Army of Two photo
Army of Two

New Army of Two trailer gives you the finger

Then shoots you in the leg
Feb 28
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
So, I haven't really been super interested in Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel. That is until this new trailer that focuses a lot more on the story. I think part of the reason is that the story presented here looks like it'll...

Game Debate to the Death! Favorite Dead Space game?

NASA needs cooler helmets
Feb 26
// Tom Fronczak
Last week's Assassin Creed debate turned into a rogue race between the first two games in the series, with Assassin's Creed II coming out on top by a few votes . . . and jumping to its close demise in a pile of hay below. Bro...
Dead Space 3 photo
Dead Space 3

All the horrific ways you can die in Dead Space 3

Don't eat while you watch this
Feb 23
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
One of the things you can always expect from a Dead Space game is that Isaac Clarke will get torn to bits in so many wonderful ways. You can also expect someone on YouTube to take the time to great a big old montage full of ...

'Dude-bro' takes a back seat in The Devil's Cartel

Feb 21 // Keith Swiader
Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel (Xbox 360 [previewed], PlayStation 3, PC)Developer: Visceral GamesPublisher: Electronic ArtsRelease: March 26, 2013  Set in Mexico, The Devil's Cartel takes place in midst of cartel wars and assaults, and Rizzer said the team at Visceral Games didn't feel they could accurately portray the seriousness of the situation with Salem and Rios as the game's main characters, even with the game's gore being over-the-top.  "As much as the graphic violence is over-the-top and very 'Hollywood,' as I call it, the story itself is dealing with something that is actually in the headlines and realistic, so we didn't want to have the guys ass-slapping and playing air guitar in a Mexican cartel backdrop," Rizzer said. "Again, they will have their banter back and forth, but that whole dude-bro mood [from the first games] didn't fit in the kind of story we wanted to tell." Sure, Rizzer knows there are people who enjoyed the more playful and silly nature found in the previous Army of Two games, but added he also knew Visceral had an opportunity to reach more people if they toned that element down a few notches.  "We wanted to keep it in the style of Lethal Weapon or Bad Boys -- that vein of comedy. Not over-the-top, super silly, but still good cop-buddy kind of comedy," Rizzer said. A different kind of co-op for the series "We took what we thought worked [from the first two games] and took out what we thought didn't -- for instance, the Aggro system is still there, but now it's under the hood." As mentioned in our hands-on preview, the Aggro meter -- which displays on which character the enemies are focused -- is replaced with the Overkill meter, which, when filled, turns your character into a damage-dealing tank. Even though this sounds potentially game-breaking, the meter does take some time to fill, and Rizzer assured me the team worked through its kinks to make sure the balancing was just right. One of the gameplay mechanics most prominently advertised during the release of the first Army of Two title was the ability to go back-to-back, a mini-game of sorts which had both players putting their backs to one another and laying waste to their surrounding enemies. It was a feature that I thought worked quite well, but to my surprise, it's one of the many co-operative gameplay elements not returning in The Devil's Cartel. Parachuting is also not returning, though fortunately, the riot shield ability is. The Devil's Cartel is in many ways breaking away from the norm of co-operative shooters, even going as far as having an emphasis on breaking up the team more often as opposed to keeping them together. "We actually found that one of the coolest things is splitting the players apart to do separate things, and when they come back together it actually makes the co-op experience feel that much stronger," Rizzer said. Set-pieces and "one-off" moments will still be found in The Devil's Cartel. Unlike past games, Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel won't feature any sort of competitive multiplayer component, as the team at Visceral focused solely on the co-operative experience this time around, Rizzer told me. The only sense of competition will come in the form of "co-opetition," as Rizzer calls it, as at the end of each checkpoint both players will have their stats accrued --including kills, revives, etc. -- and the player who has the most points will have bragging rights for that section. Rizzer explained that if you really want to play a competitive multiplayer game, there are plenty of good offerings out there. "I don't want it to be just a bullet-point on the back of the box where we can say, 'look, we have competitive multiplayer,'" Rizzer explained. On the whole, the Army of Two franchise has been the victim of receiving a lot of flak from critics and gamers alike, what with its gameplay and overall style taking the more over-the-top, arcade-shooter route as opposed to the realistic approach many games take nowadays. This notion is extremely apparent in the shooter genre. Rizzer told me there's a place for both in today's market, and while realism is great, playing something that's fun is what's important. "People can say what they want about the Army of Two franchise," he said, "but bottom line is, when you play this game, I feel it's fun. And with videogames today everyone's like, 'we're the most realistic shooter' and stuff like that, but how about you just make something that's really fun?"
Army of Two Interview photo
Rebooting the Army of Two series with producer Greg Rizzer
"We really pimped out the whole gun customization this time around." That's what Greg Rizzer, producer of Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel first told me as I sat down to get hands-on time with Visceral Games' latest entry in t...

Dead Space 3 photo
Dead Space 3

Get Dead Space 3 for $39.99 on Amazon, and Groupon

I didn't know Groupon sold games
Feb 19
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
I just beat Dead Space 3's single-player mode this past week and overall enjoyed it. I need to do some co-op still, which I hear is a better way to play the game. While it was overall a fun experience, I'm not so sure I would...
Dead Space 3 glitch photo
Dead Space 3 glitch

EA: Dead Space 3 microtransaction workaround not a glitch

Publisher claims exploit was intentional
Feb 09
// Kyle MacGregor
Electronic Arts claims that the infinite items exploit in Dead Space 3 is "not a glitch" and that the publisher has "no plans to issue a patch to change this aspect of the game." Responding to a Forbes inquiry, an EA represen...

Review: Dead Space 3

Feb 08 // Jim Sterling
Dead Space 3 (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [reviewed])Developer: Visceral GamesPublisher: Electronic ArtsReleased: February 5, 2013MSRP: $59.99 One major challenge in any Dead Space story must surely be contriving a reason as to why anybody, sane or not, would want to face the torment of the Necromorphs multiple times. As much as the infamous Marker may have scrambled the man's brain, our long-suffering protagonist Isaac Clarke surely isn't stupid enough to let himself get tossed about by mutated corpses in a third traumatizing romp. Oh wait ... he is! This time around, it's left to a military group to track a now-reclusive and paranoid Clarke down, pressing him into service on the basis that his partner and, love interest of Dead Space 2, Ellie Langford has gone missing near the mysterious ice planet of Tau Volantis. That, coupled with an armed and dangerous Unitologist army led by the murderous Danik White, is enough to get our lovable madman strapping on a Rig and returning to the thick of things.  [embed]243873:46696[/embed] Outside of a rather fantastic prologue, players won't actually see Tau Volantis for a few hours. The opening chapters instead involve some derelict space vessels orbiting the planet. These chapters, heavy on space travel and the rusty corridors of abandoned ships, evoke a feeling of familiarity, designed to be eerily similar to the original Dead Space. For a good while, you'll feel like you're back on the Ishimura, the site of Isaac's first gory ordeal.  Visceral's commitment to consistency of atmosphere has changed little. Isaac's HUD and menu system remain seamlessly integrated into his body suit, loading screens are hidden by the elevators and sluggish doors to keep players absorbed in Isaac's world, and the eerie tension preceding violent encounters are maintained as effectively as ever.  The Necromorphs are deadlier than they've been in the past, now capable of faster movement and more intelligent behavior. Their tendency to rush forward at frightening speeds and back away from attacks, sometimes even retreating when injured and reappearing once reinforcements arrive, make for some formidable opposition, able to test the resolve of any Dead Space veteran. While some fans may find the faster pace less enjoyable than the slower, more methodical dismemberment of prior games, I personally found these battles ramped up the fear factor to enjoyable degrees. Necromorphs still need to have their arms, legs, and heads shredded forcefully from their torsos, but now they're far less willing to let you, and far more eager to overwhelm your position through speed and numbers. This is a good thing, as it balances out the new weapon crafting system -- something that could have made Isaac far too powerful, far too quickly.  The weapons and upgrades of prior games have been totally thrown out of the window, replaced instead by a system reliant wholly on a new form of in-game currency. Separated into various resources, this currency is used to build new guns, improve Isaac's rig, make consumable items, and create torque bars to pry open reward-filled storage rooms. Everything is done with these resources, collected intermittently by Isaac's new scavenger bots in the game or purchased by using real money.  Weapons are built by putting various components together. Staring with a compact or heavy frame that determines whether it'll be a one or two-handed weapon, players attach a core to get a basic weapon and then add a weapon tip to the core to create a variant. Placing a plasma core on a compact frame makes a regular plasma cutter, but if you then add a repeater tip, you'll get a rapid-fire plasma cutter. A telemetry spike core on a heavy frame gives a fairly trusty rivet gun, but if you then attach a condenser, you'll get a chaingun. Each gun holds two cores, effectively giving players four weapons in two inventory slots, all of which can be further refined through stat upgrades, elemental properties, and support abilities.  What we have is a shockingly robust system that rewards experimentation and can lead to some very satisfying, unique, and fun weapons. With time and a willingness to keep messing around at the crafting bench, I eventually created a high-impact chaingun that inflicted stasis on anything it shot, coupled with a modified force gun that shot its ammo into the ground to send surrounding opponents flying back in a shockwave. Thus armed with rapid-fire ranged power and an area-of-effect blast for close encounters, I felt nothing but pride and love for my new son.   For those worried about the reliance on microtransactions, I can happily say they're not at all necessary to enjoy the game. With time, patience, and judicious use of the bots, players will find themselves enough materials to craft a weapon that works for them. One major positive aspect is the ability to disassemble and re-use weapon parts, meaning you never have to worry about consuming items in the crafting of a gun. It would have been easy for Visceral to inflict a penalty on players every time they built something, but instead you'll only lose resources by making objects from scratch, not from building guns out of components you already own. Once an object is built, it can be added and removed from as many creations as needed.  It also helps that the crafting system has backfired a little bit -- savvy gamers will soon spot that some of the most exquisite weapons, while tempting in their visual splendor and awesome firepower, aren't that practical. While it's indeed enticing to spend cash to craft an electric bolas gun with attached rocket launcher, its reckless performance in battle often means the humbler, easier built guns are far more effective. Resource packs can also be bought using Ration Seals, items brought back by bots that, when saved up -- and it does take a long while -- bypass the need to reach for a credit card. Defense aside, it needs to be said that Dead Space 3 does all it can to still make microtransactions seductive, and they threaten to obnoxiously creep into the experience. Being given a constant DLC option every time you open a crafting bench, and being reminded to do so whenever you try to build something you can't afford, undermines the previously flawless atmosphere of the series, letting real life bleed into a game that's always been about building as believable a world as possible. The time-based nature of the scavenge bots and the pre-built blueprints for impressive looking guns (just buy resources and they're yours, kids!) serve as a constant, pressuring reminder that you can access cool gear immediately so long as you spend money. Such is the psychological pummeling fee-to-pay models are designed to inflict on players.  The microtransactions are optional, and the game is far from a "pay-to-win" experience where you remain invincible provided you keep pumping in cash, but it doesn't alter the fact that any game trying to support itself with an economy does so by tugging on the player's sleeves regardless of whether or not they wish to support it. Dead Space 3 is more subtle than some, but it still tries its hardest to test the player's patience, and in a game that already cost $59.99 at retail, it's a tacky little scheme.  Assuming Visceral was made to include the system, I admit it did an admirable job of compromising, providing something that truly is optional despite the illusion of its importance to the game. It's true that it will take most of the game to get anywhere near enough resources to buy Dead Space 3's pre-made unique weapons, but when you're capable of crafting comparably efficient items far more swiftly, it's acceptable. Moderately offensive ... but just about acceptable.  It's a shame I needed to dedicate that much time to talking about a ridiculous little get-rich-quick scheme, and it's sad that the weapon crafting system feels like it was made solely to support such chicanery, because it genuinely is a great idea that has been implemented nicely. The sense of power that came from upgrading weapons in Dead Space and Dead Space 2 has been amplified tremendously, and hunting for new upgrade circuits, weapon pieces, and resources in-game is a compelling new aspect of the adventure. The ever-present "New Game Plus" mode is now far more rewarding, and it really feels worth it to battle through multiple times. As tainted as it may be by Visceral's "appeal to mobile gamers," the system is largely a great success.  Dead Space 3 boasts both a solo and cooperative mode, though the fundamental experience for both is largely the same. Either campaign tells roughly the same story, with co-op throwing in some extra side quests and bits of fluffy banter between Isaac and the uninteresting schlub he's paired with (John Carver, though he's so humdrum I rarely remember his name). Cooperative play is not mandatory, and that's a good thing, because the solo experience is infinitely superior. Isaac's story is best told alone, and the game's wonderful sense of isolation is intruded upon when a secondary player is introduced. There's plenty of playtime for solo players too, with the campaign lasting around thirteen hours on a first run -- longer than previous games.  Co-op, on the other hand, has been clumsily shoehorned into the existing solo campaign and feels utterly forced. Not only do "cutscenes" still play out largely as if Carver isn't there -- or was already in the room he just walked into -- the need to reload the game whenever a second player drops in or out makes for a jarring, disjointed affair that once again slices mercilessly into the atmosphere. The second character is so boring he adds nothing to the story, and on the Xbox 360, the issue of a campaign split between two discs leads to a lot of messing about, as players join games only to find they're in the wrong half.  This is not to say cooperative play is totally lacking in merit. The optional co-op missions are pretty decent and exploit the Marker's penchant for hallucinations by making one player see things the other can't. These areas go some way toward enhancing a horror experience largely reduced by the inclusion of a second player, and add some fun extra stories. Furthermore, it can be a simplistic laugh to stomp Necromorphs with a friend and show off your weapons, but it's a laugh best had in the New Game Plus mode, after you've already experienced the story the way it was clearly designed to be. It's best to treat co-op as the disposable extra it is, as it's a remarkably poor replacement for the solo adventure.  That solo adventure more than makes up for any multiplayer failings. Robust, lengthy, and boasting some of the biggest scares of the series, Dead Space 3 manages to remain riveting stuff. The optional missions are by far the highlight, with Isaac able to undertake side quests at various points in the game. These missions, as well as rewarding completion with all sorts of weapon parts, often boast self-contained stories and have some of the most intense and spooky segments of the entire game. It's actually a shame that some of them can be easily missed, because they're totally worth doing.  I'm also impressed at how much of a horrific environment Tau Volantis can be. Despite many of the outdoor sections taking place in broad daylight, the Necromorph threat is no less oppressive. Enemies now tear their way out of the obscuring fog, or tunnel up through the snow itself, turning the planet into a giant ball of paranoia. Those staunchly unimpressed by such things, however, will be pleased to know Volantis is still packed with interior sections promising more traditional horror fare.  It's not all peaches and cream in the world of Dead Space, however. One thing I'm disappointed with this time around is the weakness of Visceral's usually strong narrative. With the Marker's hallucinogenic influences only afflicting Sergeant Boring, the whole idea of Isaac going insane has been abandoned in the main plot. The wonderful Event Horizon flavor of past games has gone, leading to a more standard science fiction yarn lacking in the truly psychological horror we've enjoyed before. Some of the plot threads are nonsensical, especially toward the end, while an unnecessary love triangle introduced in the first half of the game feels inappropriate and convoluted. The sudden shift of the Unitologists from creepy cult to full-on terrorist psycho army is a bit of a waste, too, after building them up as such an insidious threat only to blow the beans in one gauche move. While not dreadful by any means, Dead Space 3's narrative contribution to the series is relatively mundane, providing a shallow conclusion with a dismayingly obvious ending.  While, for the most part, Dead Space 3 is still a game about cutting up undead space horrors, the sloppy introduction of cover-based shooting sections nevertheless provide a semi-regular irritant. At various points, Isaac will come under attack by Unitologists, armed as they are with automatic weapons and grenades. At these points, players are invited to crouch and get behind cover, popping off enemies like they're in a bargain basement Gears of War. These sections play that way, too. Isaac doesn't stick to cover so much as duck halfway behind it, never actually covered by the conveniently placed boxes. The game's generally heavy physics and slow movement are nowhere near built well enough to support these sudden, jarring shifts into Gears-lite either -- speaking of which, who thought the idea of introducing dodge rolls via a double-tap of the sprint button was a good idea? It's terrible (the other control schemes are no replacement), and given how utterly useless the roll actually is, it's a total waste of time and player patience, making Isaac put on an impromptu tumbling act at the slightest twitch of a sprinting finger.  Fortunately, again, Visceral did a solid job compromising. While the game's first main chapter may trick you into thinking the whole game's a cover shooter, the Unitologist battles throughout the rest of the campaign are -- thank Altman -- few and far between. They're an abrupt shattering of the experience when they do occur, but they're often over quickly and usually end with plenty of delightful Necromorph interruptions.  Because using buttons is hard, Isaac's latest adventure boasts Kinect voice support. The game is hardly "better with Kinect," but this feature is at least responsive, should you wish to utilize it. The game has little trouble understanding prompts, and one can locate objectives, open menus, and check the status of bots with simple vocal orders. As seems to be the standard with Kinect, I have issues with it picking up the game's own audio and interpreting it as commands, so don't be surprised if your character will suddenly heal without permission. Frankly, it's quicker and easier to just use the buttons, but if you're easily amused, it can be worth a little spin. Dead Space 3 has topped itself in the visual department. The bright environments provide some previously unseen beauty to the scenery, serving as striking a break between gloomy, blood-soaked corridors. Things look prettier than ever -- if "pretty" can ever be used to describe Dead Space -- with fantastic lighting and wonderful reflections bouncing off Isaac's metal suit. Necromorph designs this time around are some of the most disgusting, taking several cues from John Carpenter's The Thing to create tentacled blasphemies more threatening and hideously juicier than prior games. There are some great new rig designs for Isaac, too, giving our hero his characteristically distinct look with an intricate attention to detail.  It would be wrong to not highlight the soundtrack, too. Audio has always been important to the series, but this time around there's some beautiful and haunting music that manages to be more memorable compared to the atmospheric-but-forgettable tunes in past games. The monsters, of course, continue to hurl nightmarish screams and howls at the player, while the voice acting is top notch. Special accolades go to primary human antagonist Danik, whose smarmy gloating gives players a genuinely detestable and remarkable nemesis for once. It's just a shame he does little in the story other than provide a vague threat now and then. Dead Space 3 tries some new things, and those new things are largely a failure. The attempts to appeal to Gears of War fans feel awkward and strained, the cooperative play is poorly implemented and shatters the atmosphere, while the existence of microtransactions leaves a very sour taste in the mouth. It's hard not to see the "enhancements" made to Dead Space 3 and view them as cynical -- confused attempts to make a game with a cult following look attractive to the mass market in the hope of overnight worldwide success. It's sad to think that a cult success can't be considered a success anymore, so desperate these companies are to make everything sell five million copies in a week.  The great irony is that all these new features really serve to do is prove how damn good the series' "old" features actually are. That Dead Space 3 can suffer intrusive new ideas and poorly structured gameplay modes, yet still come out providing players with at least thirteen hours of quality action-horror gameplay with as much atmospheric brilliance and delightfully vicious combat as ever, is an attestation of the sheer brute strength of Dead Space as a property. It is sad that one gets the feeling Electronic Arts has so little faith in the property, because there are few franchises able to weather what Dead Space has been put through and come out on top. Even with such criticism in mind, Dead Space 3 does manage to pull off a few new tricks that actually work. The open, mist-shrouded arenas of Tau Volantis are a welcome break from the bleak interior environments, while still maintaining a palpable aura of menace. Some of the distinctly more "human" Necromorphs are creepy as hell, especially the skeletal swarming creatures that react to light and start pouring out of every vent at the slightest provocation. Weapon crafting and scavenger bots may have been a contemptuous plan to justify monetary installments, but that doesn't stop it being a genuinely rewarding enterprise.  Dead Space 3 could have been the best entry in the series, and in many ways, it still does provide some of the franchise's most energetic, thrilling, entertaining moments. The changes thrown into the game inevitably damage its charm, though, and make this a step down from its predecessors. A step down from Dead Space's high standards don't necessarily make for a bad game -- far from it, in fact, for this is still a bloody great game and well worth any fans' time. It's sad that market pressure and industry fear tried so hard to ruin things, but one can at least savor the victory of Dead Space 3's creative success in spite of commercial encroachment.  Try as they might, ain't nobody killing Dead Space yet.  Not until we get that online multiplayer first-person shooter, anyway. 
Dead Space 3 Review photo
Cold comfort
The months leading to Dead Space 3's launch have been trying for fans of the series. From early rumors that it would be a first-person shooter to the eventual reveal of online co-op, Kinect support, cover-based shooting segme...

Dead Space 3 photo
Dead Space 3

The best gun ever makes a return in Dead Space 3

Bang bang, pew pew!
Feb 07
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Yup, Visceral brought back the foam finger gun for Dead Space 3. Kind of was hoping for something different this time, but it's still a pretty badass weapon. Like before, it's pretty much a one-hit kill weapon, and Isaac wil...

Top ten unforgettable deaths in Dead Space

Feb 07 // Allistair Pinsof
10) Death by Infector fail - Dead Space I love how these guys are all set on mind control and then their instincts get the best of them, so they say, "Ah, screw it! I'm just going to take his head off. Joy!" [embed]244169:46801[/embed] 9) Death by Machine - Dead Space 3 Every now and again, Isaac will stumble into a quick, pointless death by machine. At times, it can be comical how easily he explodes. I always expect "Ludicrous gibs!" text to pop-up. [embed]244169:46796:0[/embed] 8) Death by vomit - Dead Space 2 The manners of these necromorphs! [embed]244169:46797:0[/embed] 7) Death by hunter - Dead Space The hunter is the blue collar alien predator. You can always count on him to appear and brutally dismember Isaac, regardless of series entry. [embed]244169:46792:0[/embed] 6) Death by deepthroat - Dead Space 2 ... you know ... I don't think I'm going to touch this one. [embed]244169:46799:0[/embed] 5) Death by improper kissing technique - Dead Space 3 This is why you should read some eHow articles before going on your first date. Also, remember: If she clears her throat two times in the first hour of the date that means she is totally begging to marry you, brah! [embed]244169:46795:0[/embed] 4) Death by screwdriver - Dead Space 2 It's not often that other humans interact with Isaac. This scene suggests that may be a good thing. [embed]244169:46800:0[/embed] 3) Death by angry space babies - Dead Space 2 Isaac Clarke's misadventure in babysitting makes a strong argument for why you should leave angry space babies the hell alone. [embed]244169:46793:0[/embed] 2) Death by kung fu spider - Dead Space 3 Maybe laughter wasn't what Visceral were going for with this death, but I can't help but laugh at a spider that restlessly beats the hell out of Isaac. Reminds me of that They Live fight scene that goes on and on for 5+ minutes. The laughter soon turns to disgust as the spider crawls into Isaac's mouth. Gross! [embed]244169:46798:0[/embed] 1) Death by eye exam - Dead Space 2 I have a fear of things touching my eyes, and I suspect this is a shared feeling. I could never wear eye contacts because I would just freak out when trying to put them on. So, this death -- arguably the most memorable scene in the series and even games of the past 3 years -- hits a particular nerve. [embed]244169:46794:0[/embed]
Top Dead Space deaths photo
The faces of (space) death
One of the elements of classic horror is that when the horrible thing you are dreading finally happens, it happens in a way far more gruesome than you expect. Visceral Games got this part right so many times in its Dead Space...

Dead Space 4 photo
Dead Space 4

Dead Space 3 hints at what's in store for series' future

Brother moons are awake
Feb 06
// Kyle MacGregor
Dead Space 3 has barely been out 24 hours, but that hasn't stopped Visceral Games from getting started on developing their next game. Designer Warren Price took to Twitter earlier today and announced that the studio is a...
Dead Space 3 photo
Dead Space 3

Dead Space 3 exploit already found for infinite items

Screw you microtransactions!
Feb 05
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
[Update: According to EA, this is not a glitch/exploit, and they have no plans of patching it.] There's a different resource management system in place for Dead Space 3 that goes toward building your own weapons from the gro...

Unboxing the Dead Space 3 Dev Team Edition

Look at some metal and plastic
Feb 05
// Jim Sterling
In a moment of madness, and due to having more money than sense, I ended up purchasing the Dead Space 3 Dev Team Edition. I didn't mean to do it, it just ... kind of happened. Unable to change the past, the package arrived t...

Dead Space 3: Awakened DLC announced

Yep ... already!
Feb 05
// Jim Sterling
Our Dead Space 3 review hasn't even had time to cool down yet, but Visceral Games has announced its seemingly obligatory downloadable expansion. Dead Space 3: Awakened is slated for a March release, Visceral's confirmed this ...

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