Other Articles in this Category
GAMING REVIEW: 'Dead Space' series shows growing pains
Title: “Dead Space 3”
Format: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Visceral Games
ESRB Rating: M (Mature 17+)
The Grade: B+
What is it? The third in a series of first person shooters that focus on protagonist Isaac Clarke, an engineer who seems to always find himself in perilous situations. Set in the 26th century, Clarke once again battles reanimated monsters known as necromorphs in an effort to prevent the creatures, a threat throughout the series, from spreading. “Dead Space 3” widens the scope of the series with a new ice world environment and provides some closure that long time fans will appreciate.
More action. Gamers have seen the “Dead Space” franchise evolve significantly over time. The series has gone from being mostly Survival Horror into more of an Action title. This is a smart move. There are only so many times a gamer can be scared by a hideous creature coming out of a vent (I’m not going to lie, it’s still a little scary). Those moments still occur but now players are forced to deal with new variations of enemies in greater numbers. It’ll keep you on your toes.
Drop-In/Drop-Out Co-op fun. Gamers can play throughout the entire game cooperatively. One player is Isaac Clarke, the other is John Carver, a soldier looking for some payback after the loss of his wife and son. The two exchange some clever banter and even act like individuals, with each gamer being shown a different perspective on the action depending on what character they play as.
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. This series has always done a brilliant job with game presentation and “Dead Space 3” is no different. The music and dialogue are rich and powerful and the visuals prove that despite a new generation of consoles on the horizon, the current gen systems can still produce. Developer Visceral Games also retained its excellent control scheme. Veteran players will feel right at home jumping into this game.
The Stairway to Heaven of shooters. There’s a reason why games like “Halo” and “Call of Duty” clock in at around 8-12 hours of single player gameplay – fatigue. After that much time you’ve pretty much shot or destroyed every kind of enemy that someone can think of and things starts to get repetitive. That’s exactly what happens in “Dead Space 3”, which lasts around 20-24 hours. While gamers should appreciate being given their money’s worth, at hour 15 the action begins to lose its potency and the fetch quests become tedious.
What the French call a certain I don’t know what. Something in “Dead Space 3” is a little off. Maybe it’s the forced love triangle between Isaac, Ellie from “Dead Space 2” and some jerky new guy from central casting that just doesn’t work. Maybe it’s the revised workbench that worked so well in the first two games but comes across as convoluted now. Or maybe it’s having too many people in this latest storyline, taking away from Isaac’s sense of isolation. The series is going through a transition, which is a good thing, but “Dead Space 3” shows some growing pains.
The Verdict: I enjoyed my time with this game even though when compared to its predecessors it lacks a certain je ne sais quoi. The formula that so well defined the series in the first two titles isn’t quite the same here but “Dead Space 3” still delivers plenty of thrills and a satisfying conclusion to a franchise gamers have enjoyed for years.
Gazette Media Columnist Terry Terrones is a veteran video game journalist. He has written for numerous publications including GamePro, PC World, GameZone, and Official Xbox Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/terryterrones.