Dead Space 3 takes places two months years after the second game. Isaac Clarke has abandoned looking for the Markers and turning to depression and the bottle instead. He’s quickly whisked away by two soldiers, helping him escape a Unitologist attack. This new crew is journeying to the ice planet, Tau Volantis, in order to learn about a way to destroy the Markers for good. It’s a well-voiced narrative that lacks the punch of the past games. It’s a bit unwoven and borderlines on stupidity.
The gameplay is largely the same: explore cramped corridors, solve puzzles, shoot zillions of Necromorphs, and repeat. But as most game companies should, developer Visceral tried to tweak the mechanics. Ammo is now universal, for example. Gear is also now customizable, allowing you to build your own weapons along with crafting items like healing gels. The tinkering gets some time to get used to mostly due to the fact that the game takes a long time dishing out the cool materials in which to make your weapons out of. Toward the end of the game though, you feel like a complete Necromorph killing badass. And to briefly mention CO-Op, take it or leave it, it’s there, but it didn’t do anything for me personally.
Graphically, the game looks pretty astonishing. The haunting allure of space and the shivering plains of Tau Volantis make for some truly horrifying experiences. In that same sense, the sound design is as excellent as prior games, making you feel that tension when you’re bombarded with hordes of Necromorphs. The game does a good job of making you feel helpless even in CO-OP. The biggest gripe, I think, the game suffers from is its lack of polish. The story, again, is mostly garbage and it’s way too long which is an odd complaint, but there’s a lot of fat that needed trimming.
Dead Space 3 is a mixed bag. On one hand it’s, for the most part, the same great Dead Space experience you’re looking for. It even adds CO-OP, which is an option, not affecting the overall package. That package, however, is wrought with stale ideas, pacing issues, and a story that doesn’t leave the game on a high note. For fans, you’ll want to see Isaac Clarke through, but for everyone else…meh.
Score: 3/5 Stars
Special Notes: This article was originally published on February 17, 2013 via my Examiner account before the website shut down. Check out the supporting video review on the accompanying YouTube Channel, ReActionExaminer.