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Review: Dead Space 3 (PC)


The gameplay in Dead Space 3 is much the same as it’s always been. Apart from minor graphical improvements, one could easily call this game an expansion pack to Dead Space 2, but that’s a good thing. Dead Space 2 was fairly “action packed” from time to time, sacrificing some horror for cinematic set pieces, and I feared this would continue in the third installment and give us a much inferior game. Luckily, that hasn’t happened – there’s still a decent share of awe-inspiring action sequences, but they’re properly moderated; the focus is, as it always should be in this series, on horror survival.

A frantic dash across an orbital minefield is one of the previously mentioned actiony bits


On pc, the controls are clunky; again, nothing new for this series. Though frustrating at first, you will eventually learn to cope. Make no mistake; this isn’t bad design, it’s entirely intentional. The sluggish strafing and slow turning speed help emphasize how ill equipped you are to deal with your enemies. This is an integral part of what scares you in the game. Naturally, it also adds an artificial level of difficulty that wouldn’t otherwise be there, which makes every enemy encounter all the more tense.


This is what happens when you're too slow


This concept of making you ill-equipped to fight carries over to the weapons you are given too. Though they can be upgraded, and new ones can be constructed, the standard weapon you’ll be using throughout most of the game is hugely inefficient, and eventually will simply not be capable of handling the combat you’re faced with. In today’s shooters, we are used to taking down an enemy with a few quick and well placed shots; perhaps even a single bullet in the head. In Dead Space, enemies can only be killed via dismemberment, and your trusty plasma cutter is both slow firing and usually needs several shots to take off each limb. Most necromorphs don’t go down unless you cut off at least two of said limbs. When they do go down however, no game in the world has a more satisfying mechanic to make sure they stay down, than Dead Space with it's foot stomping accompanied by Isaac cursing like an enraged bear.


One difference in the gameplay which serves to emphasize the limitations of your weapons is that there are more enemies to deal with in Dead Space 3 than in previous games. It seems you don’t have to walk more than a few feet before you’re once again attacked, and though ammo is more plentiful than before, it’s also much easier to get overwhelmed. Likely, this is because the game is co-op this time around, and Visceral Games didn’t bother to adjust the enemy numbers for singleplayer. I hope you like a challenge.

David F.
A grad student in experimental physics, David is fascinated by science, space and technology. When not buried in lecture books, he enjoys movies, gaming and mountainbiking

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