Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Dead Space 3

Demo Jimpressions: Dead Space 3

10:00 AM on 01.16.2013 // Jim Sterling

Hands-on with the early access demo

Dead Space may be my favorite new IP of this generation. I love its story, its universe, and its stylish delivery of science fiction horror that draws from two of my favorite movies of all time, Aliens and Event Horizon. That said, Dead Space 3 was a little worrying. 

Electronic Arts has made no secret of its desire to homogenize everything it owns, operating under the assumption that a market leader is created by following rather than leading. Dead Space 3 seemed to be the culimination of that, shedding more horror elements to add cover shooting and cooperative gameplay. Like I said, worrying. 

Worrying, but no proof that, homogenized or not, Dead Space 3 would be a bad game. I was prepared for the game to not be exactly what I wanted, but trusted Visceral enough to believe it would still be good. A quality game is a quality game, regardless of its conformity to my exact specifications. 

So far ... it's looking like it'll be alright!

The demo can be used to experience both the single-player and the drop-in/drop-out co-op, though the campaigns are largely identical. Co-op is mostly the same campaign with another player present, Isaac and The Other Guy offering up banter that feels just a little bit forced. Naturally, of course, I tried the single-player first. 

Played solo, Dead Space 3 retains much of the atmosphere of the series, which I appreciate. The usual cavalcade of jump scares are in place, and the snowy ice planet of Tau Volantis is actually pretty oppressive in its own right, not to mention offering the kind of wider and open atmospheres that I felt were missed out on with Dead Space 2's Sprawl. The Necromorphs featured in the demo are more humanoid than usual, at least while their bodies are intact, but while I expected that to be a letdown, they feel surprisingly creepier this time around. Something about screaming monsters with parkas and icepicks is disturbing -- who knew?

For the most part, Dead Space's action hits the right notes, striking the expected balance of limb-shredding fun and claustrophobic panic. This only serves to make the new cover-based shooting sections stick out like a sore thumb, however. Throughout the demo are brief situations pitting Isaac against humans, or human corpses with parasitic Necro-heads, armed with automatic firearms. The sudden switch into this fresh style is rather jarring and Dead Space's heavy, ponderous controls just don't feel well adjusted to ranged combat. As a result, these sections come off as haphazardly stitched onto the "real" game rather than seamlessly integrated, something I hope won't grow into too big an issue with the full experience. 

One new addition I do love, however, is the weapon crafting system. By picking up various weapon parts, Isaac can use crafting benches to create his own custom arsenal. Utilizing the items provided in the demo, I was able to quickly and easily build a lobber of electric bolas that inflicted stasis on enemies, and came attached with a separate carbine rifle. Yes, it was empowering, and yes, it ran the risk of reducing a lot of tension by being so damn awesome ... but the fact remains that it was damn awesome.

Not to mention, this was built from parts pre-loaded into the demo, and I dare say it'll take some work to get the pieces together in the full game. 

I have a feeling Dead Space 3 will be better played solo, as I can't say I found co-op offered much of interest. The ability to revive a downed partner and share in the aggression of enemies does a lot to cripple the sense of overwhelming tension that has always made Dead Space so attractive to me. For those that don't want tension, I'm sure this mode will prove a good compromise. For me, I found it really quite altered the focus of the experience, and in a way that I felt was detrimental. 

Fortunately, it doesn't seem that ignoring co-op will miss too much. While it's true that the interaction with another character provides a different take on the story, it's still, at heart, the same campaign. Unlike something like, say, Resident Evil 6, the co-op doesn't feel so oppressive, choosing as it does to not shoehorn a CPU-controlled sidekick, intent on getting in the way. I can appreciate that. 

Overall, the demo gave me a lot to be excited about, with a couple of elements I'm not yet a fan of. I can happily live with that, and I'm as excited as I think I could be for the full game. Let's have it!

Jim Sterling, Former Reviews Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure JimSterling Tips
Destructoid reviews editor, responsible for running and maintaining the cutting edge videogame critique that people ignore because all they want to see are the scores at the end. Also a regular f... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Dead Space 3

  May 08

John Carpenter wants to direct a Dead Space film

Could this be a Ghosts of Mars sequel???

  May 08

Dead Space 3 is the latest game to have officially failed

Electronic Arts declares the game performed below expectations

  Mar 07

Dead Space 3 DLC work began after main game was finished

EA producer details their DLC design process

  Mar 01

Origin has a big sale on all three Dead Space games

Plus the DLC, but spending anything on that is a waste of money

  Feb 11

Attorney: Dead Space 3 resource exploit might be theft

IP expert likens resource farming to stealing

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Things I'm Thankful For

Cblogs of 11/25/15 + Turkey N Stuff

Cheat Codes Podcast - Ep. 73: Stay Classy

NVGR: Updated Album "ADBC" (No longer an EP)

Fun2Play: Downwell

So that just happened: The Talos Principle

Sick, Sad and just dumb news: 25th November - Leighapalooza

Context Matters! Fanservice's Secrets EXPOSED!

To editorialize or not to editorialize: An editorial

Tiny Dangerous Dungeons REVIEW - The Pocket Metroidvania

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
So I'm almost done with my first play through of Undertale and... It's okay. It's in no way bad (and I'm enjoying it more than Fallout 4 which in also playing) but feel... It was overhyped I suppose? Not sure really... Maybe a second play though will help
Agent9 avatarAgent9
Sometimes I wonder why I care. To simply have more vitriol and misery as my reward, to suffer ingrates and fools. That in all I do I'm never afforded the same respect or kindness. Let it be then, and let pain follow. I'm done with this shit.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
I was telling this dead baby joke at dinner tonight, and this lady I don't recognize says, "I'm sorry. That joke isn't funny to me, I have two dead children." At this point, I went over my options in my head and settled with telling her the joke twice.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I really wish the slowpokes at Microsoft would add Forza Horizon to Xbox One backwards compatibility.... It's my favorite racing game. And the soundtrack is honestly flawless.
Parismio avatarParismio
Some green tea and Mario Kart w/ family is a great way to end the day.
KingSigy avatarKingSigy
Honestly, Broforce might be my GOTY. It's really fucking amazing.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Welp, Remote Play is coming to PCs. Calling it now, PS Now enabled toasters and glasses will be announced at the next big Playstation event alongside cute Vita coffins made of paper you can print out of your Remote Play capable printers.
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
How did your Thanksgiving small talk with obscure relatives go? Oh, I bonded over the ethereal experience of hydrogen peroxide in ear canals but they'd never heard of Chrono Trigger so we mostly chewed the corn-flakes-on-potato thing in silence
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
Don't forget [img][/img]
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
I wonder how far the show would be taken out of context if the lyrics were "Go, Go Power Rangers, you Mighty Morphine Power Rangers."
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
I just tried out Skyforge, and... [img][/img]
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Is it weird I finally want a Samurai Warriors game because I think Koshosho is super fab? [img][/img]
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
I've never cleaned my comp in the 3-4 years I have had it. Soon I will dust it. I....I dont know what I will find, hidden in the dust.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Happy late thanksgiving Dtoid. I played Doodle God and Murasaki Baby on PSVita, and am now Achievement grinding in Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast and Furious on Xbox One. Super easy 1000G, I need it.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Black Friday pick ups so far are Shantae and the Pirate's Curse, Titan Souls and tomorrow Devil Survivor 2 Break Record ($29.99 at GameStop).
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
This thanksgiving, give thanks for the fact that your family wasnt 1 of the 3 to have picked out a wasp filled turkey, buying a meal and becoming a meal. Next year, may not bring such.....dissapointing results.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
So I'm pretty sure you all should be giving thanks to Nekro. For he is the one true perfect being. Be thankful that your lives have been blessed by the addition of a Nekro. For that is the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
Happy Thanksgiving Dtoid! Here's hoping you didn't fall off a chair while hanging Christmas lights and bash your shin and foot into the concrete like I did!
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
Listening to Pokémon SoulSilver OST while doing some college work. Suddenly I feel a great amount of guilty taking over me for loosing my PokéWalker 2 years ago... :(
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
Ok you thanksgiving motherfuckers. 5 favourite Arcade games (as in coin-op) No order necessary. Go!
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -