When I first had a PS3 in my hands, I figured I'd never actually own one. "Why bother?" I thought. What actually motivated the purchase was the household acquiring a BluRay player from a family relative who had purchased some kind of home entertainment surround system thing, basically they got an upgrade and we got a BluRay player.
Well, for some reason having this BluRay player in the house gave me the oddest inclination to buy a PS3. I don't know how one appliance led me to purchase another appliance - which had the same functionality. I'm sure there were a few contributing factors, media sharing, video chatting, and to a lesser extent at the time I knew a few people who enjoyed what Playstation Home was doing.
I was struck a deal on my PS3 good enough to make other PS3 owners I knew blush. The slim model was still a new thing and the deal I was given was a slim with a 320GB hard drive, some games were thrown in at no cost to me (LBP GOTY, God of War Collection, Borderlands), and a whole bunch of free pre-order and bonus items given to me along with a 20% discount on the price of the console. Everything fell into place so that I wouldn't for any reason have 'buyers remorse'.
After a few months I'd clocked in a lot of time 'hanging out' in Home with friends and people. Taking silly screen shots and enjoying a chat setting which featured only ps3 owners, which meant everyone plays games. It was novel for a time, even before the slew of mini-games hit Playstation Home.
From all the screen shots I had taken there was one from this person who had obviously spent too much money on virtual items in Home. I'd taken pictures of him as characters from a lot of games and kept coming back to this one picture I'd taken of him dressed as Isaac from Dead Space.
I'd seen and heard barely anything about Dead Space at all but gravitated to it for some reason. I saw it on store shelves and really didn't give it a moment of thought until one day I suddenly realized I'd probably really enjoy the game. How and why doesn't matter, the when and where I suppose doesn't matter either. What matters is, somehow I got a copy and the sensation I felt within the first 20 seconds was akin to the sensations I had felt booting up an N64 for the first time.
I had no idea about the story, the characters, hell I didn't even rotate the camera to see Isaac's face during the intro. I had no idea what to expect and I think maybe that had lead me into enjoying the game so much. The introduction had me and the first enemy encounter told me that I was going to enjoy the entire experience. The tone, the art direction, the game direction as a whole really is a really well orchestrated effort to quantize a seemingly believable world and establish the linear plot as an acceptable chain of missions and plot points which all fit together without feeling silly or arbitrary.
I didn't find it creepy or all that disgusting. I enjoyed the few shock moments and the voiceless protagonist. As such, when I found out Dead Space 2 was going to be a thing, that's when I started to pay close attention. The lead producer was making regular community shout outs, was mailing out some interesting glow in the dark and coded marketing material (I got two copies sent to me), and little write ups and concept are were popping up here and there, all telling me that it was more of the same with a few differences and expansions.
I have a knack for accurately guessing what people are going to do next, doubly so for video games. On the official website I did a little spam filled little blurb about how I knew there was going to be multi-player months before it was announced. ***I'll paste my entire blurb at the end of this post, links here:
Turns out, like many times before and after the fact, I was spot on.
I decided Dead Space 2 was going to fit well with the first and sit well with my tastes. That and the whole 'toy with purchase' Happy Meal-esque gun flashlight toy included with the collectors edition was the deal broker (yes, broker, not breaker. Deal breakers are shitty deals, deal brokers are what makes it happen. Do you PRE-HEAT your oven?! DO YOU?!).
Dead Space 2 is an eagle to the first game's par. The inclusion of multi-player without taking time away from the single player narrative, the inclusion of Isaac having a voice, the evolution of his character, and the cinematic little touches seal it up nice and tight. And I'd reccomend Dead Space and Dead Space 2 to anyone who likes 3rd person shooters - which feature NO cover based combat. Or people who like games with a little hint to the horror genre. They are both on steam, so go ahead and BROKER that deal when they're on for $5 a piece or something. They're worth it.
Now as for Dead Space 3. When I had learned that Visceral was formerly EA RedwoodShores, a fact I found out only after Dead Space 2, I thought how nice it is that they hadn't lost their soul to the EA Succubus of buisness acumen. Previous to Dead Spsace the studio worked on some campy 007 games, The Simpsons Movie Game (Which isn't too bad if like The Simpsons). Then the paradigm shift of their namesake and the inclination toward more ... well, visceral content.
I knew it was going to happen because Dead Space 2 did fairly well, but something about the Dead Space 3 announcement was off putting for me. The announcement alone feel rushed. Everything about it seems rushed and doesn't look like it'll float my boat, or rather, like I should help EA and Visceral float their boat. A boat which seems, might sink Dead Space for a little while.
I don't sense incredible impending catastrophic failure - which I had seen coming for Red Faction Armageddon. But who didn't see that one comming? No, I don't think Dead Space 3 being ill-received will stain it's name. Not much anyone. Maybe there is more to be seen about Dead Space 3, but it's giving off 'been there done that' vibes with a deep contention toward co-op gameplay. The looming threat for MORE multi-player, which when it comes to series really messes with people who enjoyed the previous iterations online offerings. Uncharted 2 anyone? Even if it's a bigger, brighter, more epic and cinematic star than the first and second combined... news says that if people don't throw boat loads of money at it, not only with the boat sink, but there will be a super nova of EA proportions due to purchase expectations exceeding reasonable speculations, astronomical numbers in the millions of units need to be sold. So now Dead Space 3 may very well be in danger, which may cause layoffs at a company which has had a not-so-bad track record as of late. They have a lot of talented people at that studio, it'll be a crying shame. Just like every other time folks hear about lay offs, company closures, or assets having to be auctioned off. Or in the case of Kingdoms of Amalur, which is a disgusting case of inflated sales expectations - I have a little doubt for the science fiction franchise which could. By a team that could. With a soul sucking demon hovering over head.
Why won't I buy Dead Space 3? It doesn't look like a happy meal. They could throw in ten toy guns and I wouldn't be happy. It'll probably still feel like slop. It feels like slop guys.
As always, I hope I'm wrong. So far and for the last while, I've been spot on - every damn time.
now for the super silly shit I wrote about my Dead Space 2 multi-player speculations:
**My spam filled mess up exclamation from the EA forums for Dead Space:
Posted: 05/03/2010 19:11:51
"Creatures 3? Why did this guy say Creatures 3 in the Dead Space 2 forums?" - you say to yourself
And I answer you;
Several times while playing Dead Space I found myself thinking about Creatures. Creatures 3 specifically because of the make and details within the ship.
If you are not familiar with this game, look it up, it's an out dated pet-sim sprite thing.
But it's cool because you can inject your creature with chemicals, pull them by the hand, and teach them things.
Something about the atrium, the hydroponics bay, it got me thinking about it.
And then I remembered...
The only expansion I recall is of a new bay which is unlocked, opening up to a whole new area of the ship.
And it was glory. In a world where story is king, Creatures 3 had (basically) none.
Also, I can't wait to shoot a puker in the mouth. That is all. Also, I <3 story. No. Not I lesser-than story. I *heart* story. Kapeesh?
Key points I'd like to adjust the world to...
1) I hope DeadSpace2 doesn't make the single player experience, wait what...
"Single player experience?! Who is to say that DeadSpace2 will even have multi-player?" -you say to yourself
It's a guess. Really.
Anyway, I hope story time isn't hit by this, if it's even... anyway. I just don't like how it's forced for folks to play multiplayer to achieve online only, or rather, online ranked trophies. . .
I seem to notice a trend in political continuations, second iterations, and etc. Are all pulling for a multi-player experience to further engage the player. And unfortunately many of them *CAUGH HACK BARF* killzone 2, *BARF* Bioshock 2 *CAUGH HACK BARF PUKE LEMON AID SCENTED FABRIC SOFTENER*
Wait what was I talking about? Oh ya. The 'New Reformed Church of Unitology'.
Really nice place. Ever been? Check it out some time. Whoever does their decorating is an architectural genius. Every little thing just pulls the room together so nicely. Anyway, open house every other day. Praise be to the hive mind.
2) The incorporation of a company within the story is very down to earth, I find. Very grounding. The 'Aliens' series of films really developed on this, and latter, for the most part, Borderlands did as well. And I think it's very very cool that this aspect is within the Dead Space universe as a very powerful entity. It's present within every aspect of the story (in Dead Space) as the Ishimura and the Church of Unitology were both KEY FACTORS in EVERYTHING that happened. And thus I find the connotation within Dead Space that is so integral in really pulling someone into the story is the political nature of these factions.. And I find it would be a very positive thing if this aspect, the political aspect, was developed further.