First look: Dead Space 3 (Xbox 360)

We play test the third instalment in the space horror franchise

In 2008, EA made the admittedly risky move of releasing two new IP, Mirror’s Edge and Dead Space. Mirror’s Edge had an interesting concept though it would ultimately receive a mixed critical and consumer response. Dead Space, on the other hand, was an impressive game that would become a strong seller. Not only was it a nice looking game, it was also highly effective in simulating a tense atmosphere and genuinely scary situations.

Return to the nightmare

The sequel, Dead Space 2, built upon the strengths of the game to provide an even more polished and well crafted third person action adventure set in space. Dead Space 3 aims to close off the storyline while at the same time add something new. The detailed graphics of Dead Space 3 immediately stand out, which is a testament to the work done by developer, Visceral Games.

You can see the individual details on the character’s suits, and the environments, both indoor and outdoor, are brimming with detail. The sound effects and music are appropriately unsettling and add to the overall chaos and disorientation of the setting. Controls are responsive and accurate, which is a must during the often frantic battles the player finds themselves in, whether it with the alien Necromorphs or enemy humans.

Action over suspense

The first two Dead Space games were survival horror in nature, but the third game leans heavily to third person territory. While this means the game is more action packed than before, fans that enjoyed the slower pace of the prior games may be turned off. At times, the game felt less than Dead Space and more like Army of Two, particularly when caught in fire fights with the human Unitologists.

In addition to playing as protagonist Isaac Clark, Dead Space 3 introduces a second playable character in the form of John Carver. However, Carver is only playable during online co-op and not in the single player mode, meaning you miss out on it unless you go online.

Pros

- Impressive graphics.

- Fast paced gameplay.

- Great conclusion to the trilogy.

Cons

- Entire Carver storyline emitted from single player.

- Strong action focus may turn off fans.

- No USG Ishimura.

Bottom Line

If you liked the earlier Dead Space games, then this game will not disappoint.

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Patrick Budmar

Patrick Budmar

PC World
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