Dead Space 3 Review

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Initial Reponse:

I can't wait to get the crap scared out of me.

I can't believe this is going to be co-op, this is going to be great.

The kinect with this game is going to be phenomenal.

I can construct my own weapons, this is glorious.

Gameplay: My #1 disappointment with this game was not being able to figure out how the hell to use my kinect. I'm sure I could have gone to a tutorial in the menu or looked it up online. For some reason I was never prompted with little menu screens that were alerted to my kinect showing me how to command Isaac to use kinesis, or stasis. More than once I simply yelled "Stasis!" or "Isaac, use stasis!" and even "USE STASIS!" None of which made my kinect to do anything but stare blankly at me.

Kinect mystery aside, the game has always been a little clunky. Over-the-shoulder shooters run the risk of being a little awkward to handle, but give the player a different perspective of the game. I myself prefer over-the-shoulder (3rd person) shooters to first person. Although you distance yourself from being the player yourself, I personally enjoy watching my the scenes unfold around my character as an almost omniscient and omnipotent force.

Using kinesis and stasis has always been easy and well integrated into the gameplay. The developers challenged you by forcing you to use stasis and kinesis in more unique ways. Mild spoilers: at one point you must use stasis to stop falling debris as you climb up a sheer cliff and maneuver yourself expertly around the frozen piece of rubble (and other falling debris) to keep yourself intact. Kinesis offers itself a bigger role by forcing you to spin machine wheels by tapping or holding "b" while in the middle of huge combats, greatly increasing the stress on the player.

I did attempt to make some guns, but I don't have the patience of the talent for that. For some people I'm sure it's exciting and magical. For me, it was a one-time, just get my damn achievement and move on with my life.

We don't just find necromorphs in the third game, but also some fanatics in favor of the marker. They. Grew. Tiresome. That is about all I want to say on that manner.

What bugs me most about this gameplay, however, is that it goes from being a complete walk of cake, tea set and friends included, to an absolute bitch. On more than one occasion I was cussing the game out for not giving me fair warnings, for throwing a curveball right into my face and for reloading me 10+ minutes back in the gameplay due to buggy autosaving.

For the most part, the gameplay was good and smooth. It greatly lacked the scare-the-crap-out-of-you scenes you had in the first two games, but I think it was going more for an emotional appeal (which, fell a little flat to be honest).

I have had a very small taste of co-op and, although not perfect, it is a most appreciated addition to Dead Space 3. It is smooth and entertaining enough for me to recommend to people looking for a good co-op game.

If my friend and I can get through the levels while blatantly attempting to get the other murdered, anyone can co-op this. At one point in the game I moved into the elevator. "It's so stupid that we can't go separate ways. I mean, seriously," I say, mashing the elevator button over and over as he makes his way towards it. "I should be able to leave you--" to which we both now see that you can indeed go separate ways. I slowly ascend to safety and he stares with a stupor at me as his only form of exiting this hell hole departs. When I get just out of his view I hear his blood-curdling scream followed by, "Oh my God, they're everywhere!"

So, yes. The game punishes you and you should stick together. After reversing the elevator I returned to my dear friend, blood-stained, rig blinking red and a horde of corpses surrounding him. But, alive. (I offered him a health pack as a peace offering).

So I'm just saying, you may not have to play nicely on co-op, but it probably helps. It is fun to scare the crap out of your friend now and again.

Gameplay Overall: 8/10

Graphics: I was floored when I saw this beautifully well-done wind-swept, white-washed barrage of snow assaulting my screen in scene I. I found myself squinting at the screen as though the snow was actually there. As someone that lives in Minnesota and has seen my fair share of blizzards and snow-storms, I was 100% impressed. The snow felt real, strained movements through the snow felt real, the way your character raises his arm up to shield himself from the spray of snowflakes was a wonderful addition. I appreciate every single little detail, even if I hate winter with a passion.

Necromorphs are as insanely grotesque as they've always been. Spitting, bow-legged, snarling ugly mugs still in your face and ready to tear you to pieces. A few new additions left my skin crawling, and a few familiar faces (or lack-thereof) returned to keep me on my toes.

Character details and expressions appeared to grow slightly better than the previous game. I think the expressions could have been a little bit more convincing seeing that the majority of Dead Space 3 seemed to be centered more around your emotional attachments to your crew (namely Ellie (and Carver?)).

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It felt like Visceral spent a majority of their time prettying up the environment hazards and stunning backdrops. I will not complain too loudly about the stiff expressions. Just spending ten seconds staring off into this beautiful world was enough to remind how damn cold and awful it really was--and maybe that was why they had a hard time moving their cheek muscles.

And did I forget to mention how positively relaxing it is to float through space staring out past the debris of broken ships into the endless expanse of the universe littered with stars and planets as far as the eye can see? Beautiful.

(Note: I pre-ordered Dead Space 3 and, consequently, got a few awesome bonuses. My favorite being the N7 suit from the Mass Effect series. Although I hate EA's soul-sucking, developer crushing, greedy asshat ethics, that was a beautiful move on their part)

Graphics Overall: 8/10

Sound/Voice Acting: When it comes to voice acting, this game is excellent. Even characters I didn't like (like Norton) was one convincingly pitiful asshole. I appreciated his lip-curling-I'm-better-than-you tone, but I also wanted to shatter his nose with a well-placed pistol whip.

Isaac has always been dear to me and even if the voice actor and face model, the gorgeous Mr. Gunner Wright, suddenly forgot how to voice act, I would have nothing bad to say about him. You may certainly call me biased when it comes to Isaac Clarke, but I believe I'm speaking the truth when I say his acting was phenomenal.

Necromorph sounds have always been creepy and inhuman and always leave your heart racing. Some things changed with new additions, but for the most part the game felt very familiar and consequently a lot less scary.

What I appreciate the most about this game is the music. Silence never seems good enough and instead, makes you feel like something horrible is coming. As Isaac gets more stressed, you hear his heartbeat through your speakers and his shaking and terrified breath as he grows more and more stressed. As a human you empathize with his condition and whether consciously or not you're beginning to feel just as paranoid as Mr. Clarke.

The music, the background noise, the voice acting and the environmental noises are to be noted for any developer. This game is a game of noises.

Overall Sound/Voice Acting: 10/10

Storyline: As to not ruin the ending to this game I will leave out the details. I will say that I feel gingerly satisfied with the ending(?) to this series. I appreciated what Visceral was doing. It was a good installment, but not a Game of the Year.

Also, listen for audio at the end of the credits.

Storyline Overall: 7.5/10

Overall Rating: 8.4/10

Conclusion: This is a good game. Although not the best of the series it is worth a play through or two (recommended at least once with co-op). I don't see it winning any awards, but it's worth a play. I recommend it, not for the scares (that are far and in between) but for finally getting Isaac through all this mess.

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