So, just finished the demo and I'm feeling the need to write down my impressions right off the bat so apologies if this gets a little stream of conscious I'm just trying to slap these things down on paper before I do anything else. Mainly 'cos I've never done this before and I want a record of my initial thoughts, and partly 'cos I've completed the demo and the only thing on tv right now is New Girl and that never holds my interest. Yes I have no life.
First up as you can probably guess from the title this is purely an airing of my instant response to the demo so yeah don't take this as definitive. I'm intending to give it another play through...at some point...to see if I can balance this thing up a little or failing that see if my grievances are sustained.
Preamble over lets get on with the show...Oh and massive spoilers for the whole thing natch.
First up (again, I guess) I suppose the game is okay to look out, if you ignore all the lens flare thrown around in the outdoor sections and white would work as a contrasting colour (no spell check it does have a U god damn it!
) a lot better if it had something strong to contrast with. Unfortunately the various shades of grey (gray?) just make the whole thing kinda washed out.
It has been said before but it is worth repeating: big, well lit open environments fail to scare. Employing them followed by a sequence set inside a dark tight corridor only telegraphs that any second now the scarey boogaboos will come a knocking. Never before did I feel that I could anticipate enemy appearances as much as I could with this thing. It killed any tension. Same goes for the moments of sudden-vision-obscuring-snow-storms-monster-go-boo!
Enter the killing fields.
Oh and I appreciate the idea of the whole "jump out of the snow" thing as an attempt to keep things fresh and spontaneous in the face of the series' reputation for featuring the designated jump scare areas
but still it didn't work. Not to mention when a guy pops up and the music goes "blah!" and then another guy pops up a second later and the music goes "blah!" again even though the danger music is already pretty loud and just drowns it out...yeah...wasn't scared.
This brings me onto the various creepy (asterisk) critters on display.
Bottom line the Necromorphs are zombies. Occasionally zombies with guns. When they are a little bit more pointy and bitey they are standard DS fare except now hilariously if you chop them in half tentacled legs swarm around you. I spent a lot of the combat sequences in the demo being attacked by trousers. Trousers.
The deadliest game.
Then there are thin zombies who kinda shriek and run around you and the more lifelike recently resurrected ones that shoot yo ass. Again, all I can say is zombies with guns y'all.
Oh and there are humans with guns too. But frankly they're so slow and lifeless it feels hard to tell the difference. In firefights when Necros crash the party (pretty much all of them) the flesh monsters can't decide if they want to go for you or try some tasty NPC burgers-twice I had a big bugger crawl toward me abruptly turn around a few inches from my face and go after Joey Handgun on the other side of the battlefield. I was not impressed.
Okay I think this is where I had the most problems. The basic movement speed and control is there and yay for continuity but unfortunately with the more action heavy emphasis ol' Isaac feels lethargic and lifeless, limping around the field shooting at all and sundry-no feeling of tension or anything. Actually for the most part I felt massive disconnect when engaged in combat, I barely registered that combat had ended for most of the larger fights. When the emphasis came more on combat and firefights they really should've tweaked Isaac's movement speed and dexterity just to keep things tense or even...well...awake.
Actually it just hit what it most reminded me of was the combat in Mass Effect 1.
Big difference being that by their third game the combat was good. Funny old world.
Likewise, when fighting human enemies Stasis just made things uneven. Seriously it was kinda depressing. Even in the token giant monster battle almost half way through the demo the fight consisted of using stasis maybe four times and just standing there casually picking off the giant glowing weak points (I know that part isn't new but still it didn't help matters).
Cover system is a bit odd as well. It only seems to apply to chest high walls, flick the left trigger and he'll drop to his knees like he's just brought home 6 heaving Tesco's bags but if you're near an actual wall high wall no dice. I guess they decided that people would be smart enough to hide behind a wall themselves without having to feel like it was coated with a tube of No More Nails but it still felt kinda odd.
Also, when you can freeze time and impale enemies with the arms of other enemies a cover system is pointless.
I think for the most part those were my major gripes, not playing co-op meant that I couldn't nitpick that (I'm sure you're all so very disappointed), but we play the hands we're dealt. Oh and I only have one working 360 controller. The rest of my issues were little bite sized morsels that shall be bullet pointed below, because y'know lists are fun! For kids!
1. If the amount of health/ammo/crafting supplies/assorted stocking fillers available in the demo reflects their availability in the finished product I highly recommend playing on the highest difficulty you can afford. I spent a good minute rounding up all the dropped items after one section involving a big drill. It was embarrassing how untidy the place got.
2. Uncharted-esque quick time events in Dead Space are just as fun as the Uncharted-esque quick time events are in Uncharted.
3. When using 'kinesis to turn a switch or whatever I do not need a little helpful reminder literally leaning over Isaac's shoulder
telling me what button to press or how to press it.
4. Big monsters fights have never been scary. Making the monster bigger does not fix this.
5. Go away tutorial lady nobody likes you!
6. Love that in the little ad at the end no mention of fear or being scared is found. Fighting and shooting is apparently the only part of this game worth marketing.
So yeah, thanks for making it this far through this little exercise in instant fanboy bile spewing. Let me know if you agree/disagree with any of this guff. I'd love to hear about some positive stuff to focus on when I give it another go.
Unfortunately however for me it feels like the original tagline is spot on. In Dead Space 3 there is definitely no space for fear.
Unlike this. This is fucking terrifying. The wings people. The wings.