The Dead Space
trilogy is a lot like the Alien
trilogy. The first one was focused on suspenseful horror, following the lead character as they are stalked through the halls of a mostly abandoned space ship by an unknown terror while desperately trying to escape. The second one was far more fast-paced, blasting your way through a fallen colony while fending off hordes of nightmares. Dead Space 3
follows Alien 3
in spirit if not in location. Both are fine on their own but fail to live up to their impressive predecessors.
In an attempt to broaden the audience by appealing to the "shooter" crowd, Dead Space 3
places a greater focus on combat, includes human enemies, and implements a rudimentary cover system. The cover system feels especially forced, having not used it once during my entire playthrough aside from messing around with it at the start. Even the weaponry seems to have been changed to appeal to your stereotypical FPS crowd. More "traditional" weapons such as shotguns, carbines, rocket launchers, and SMG's join the hardware-inspired standards of the series like the Plasma Cutter and the Force Gun. While the Pulse Rifle was laughably weak in the first one, the military-inspired firepower you can craft in Dead Space 3
just feels like it outclasses anything else. The series hallmark of strategic dismemberment goes by the wayside when my assault rifle/rocket launcher WonderGun(TM) can blast wave after wave of foes into bits from afar. The once-reliable Line Gun fires too slowly and the iconic Plasma Cutter is just not powerful enough to compete with that kind of firepower. On top of that, Necromorphs come at you much faster and in far greater numbers than before, giving you little time to line up that perfect shot to remove an arm or leg. For a series that used to push the dismemberment angle so fervently it's telling to see it get lost in the action.
Bruised and battered but still willing to fight.
Despite my criticisms there is still a lot of entertainment to be had here. Franchise purists might lament the dramatic changes to the core mechanics of the game. Gone is Clarke's insanity, the focus on strategic dismemberment, as well as a lot of the suspense found in the previous two. In it's place is a solid action game with horror overtones that has an excellent cooperative mode which should be played through at least once. Long standing fans have good reason to be upset, but if they can get over the changes there is a fun, albeit flawed, game here.
Capitalistpig sleeps with his Plasma Cutter under his pillow waiting for a necromorph to give him a chance to finally use it. You can follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast GamePoints every Wednesday at 8:30 PST.
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About Capitalistpigone of us since 5:48 PM on 02.11.2013
Reach exceeds grasp. Not that I lack skill, I just have small arms.
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