No. It's not Gears of War. It's not Call of Duty. It's not Halo.
It's a Dead Space game.
Thank fucking God.
I haven't taken enough notice of that "youtube" button in the blog editor, and I need to. Pictures and videos make everything look neat and official. So allow me to plug a video from my channel regarding me and my Dead Space 3 playings. It's not funny and it's not entertaining, but at least I have a video in my blog whereas most do not. Points!
You'll likely assume I'm a Dead Space fan, which I have been since the wee early Dead Space 1 days. I was there when everyone was chiming in about their new "scariest game ever", I was there when all of us got a little bit paranoid about the new direction for Dead Space 2, and I was there when I didn't mind that new direction. Dead Space was already a little on the action-y side for it's so-called survival horror-ness, so call it a natural evolution.
If you want, anyway. You can go ahead and say you didn't enjoy Dead Space 2. I did. More than 1. And Dead Space 3 is more of that. So if you didn't like Dead Space 2, I guarantee you will not like Dead Space 3. Sorry!
Without spoiling much, the game actually doesn't begin in the traditional Dead Space way. It's obvious the game is trying to focus even more on a story. Or at least presenting said story. For about a minute, it feels as if you're watching the opening sequence of a good flick which then bleeds into the first time you can move yourself around a bit.
It's a fitting and well-paced intro that seems to set the overall tone of the experience to come: plenty of build-up, upset Necromorphs to de-limb, but there's also going to be a fair share of... "AAA' flair". It's got setpieces and we even now have enemies that can shoot guns like you can shoot guns.
I should hate these things, but I don't. Used in moderation, they freshen up the experience. The human enemies, for one thing, have a place in this game that's hardly nonsensical. Of course now Isaac is going to be wanted by the nuts who once thought of him as an important piece of their misguided and totally messed up puzzle. He doesn't like being the man he is, and he's pissed them off since the last game by destroying their holy markers every chance he got.
And he'd do it again, given the proper motivation.
The primary focus is still, thankfully, on the Necromorphs and those oh so sweet and slow build-ups. And those stupid jump scares which still fucking get me more often than they should. I don't know how they still manage to surprise me (outside the usual, not-so-clever, actually not dead but undead... looking corpse), but they do. So props to that.
The environments have been thoroughly glorious so far as well. I always have loved a real well-constructed slum/city/downtown environment which the first chapter complements with the gorgeous visuals. Most notable improvement seems to have been the lighting which appropriately bounces and plays around the curves, twists and edges of your surroundings. Or maybe I'm just talking out of my ass and I just appreciate the vast variety of color within the first maybe hour or so. It's still dark, but not dreadfully dark. I'm sure that's being saved for later on.
They also still feel organic rather than constructed. The game gives you just enough non-linearity to make you happy, and with this being a game designed with linearity in mind, the "lack" of more freedom isn't a problem at all. Collectables and loot are still rewarded to those curious about what's off the beaten path.
What this first chapter has told me is that this franchise still hasn't gotten old. It's ability to somehow make it's additions like human enemies and a (pleasantly non-Gears-y) cover system feel natural rather than thrown in for fuck's sake is surprising. While there's no denying EA's influence on the franchise, Visceral, like with Dead Space 2, has been able to sugar coat it in all the right ways.
Though I have yet to experience those nasty microtransactions just yet, my only gripe is the dodge. It's kind of totally freaking useless. Even for dodging the sparse grenade throws as you're usually given plenty of time to casually walk out of the way. You would think in a 150+ years time grenades would be way more efficient. They're no more dangerous than round, lumpy firecrackers.
So. I'm happy that I'm happy with this latest Dead Space so far. And I hope you're happy for me being happy, even if you're not happy with the game yourself.