Publishing company Electronic Arts has once again succeeded in reducing a once-great game to a redundant and tedious cash grab with the release of Dead Space 3, sucking the life out of the game’s developers, Visceral Games, and tossing their rotting carcass into the pile of other companies that temporarily sustained its demonic corporate power. The same unholy demise has befallen such other developers as Pandemic Games, Maxis Games and Westwood and Bullfrog Studios, who brought us classics like Star Wars Battlefront, The Sims, Command and Conquer and Dungeon Keeper, respectively.
Dead Space 3, released Feb. 5, is a third person shooter survival-horror game.
In Dead Space 3, the player takes control of Isaac Clarke, spaceship engineer turned action hero, in a universe infested by undead monsters called necromorphs – the plot borrows heavily from those of Halo and System Shock. The game begins with Clarke pursuing a distress signal from a woman that he once loved, which leads him on a mission to finally destroy the necromorphs.
The game features the same combat as the previous Dead Space games, but with a new cover system that allows the player to shield themselves from enemy fire, much like in every single other third person shooter game.
While the new cover system was a valiant effort to refresh the game’s combat on the part of the developers, the system is buggy, slows down the action unnecessarily, and is generally not in the player’s best interest to use. It seems like the new cover system was an attempt to blend the cover systems of other games like Mass Effect and Gears of War, but it just doesn’t work.
The player will most likely find the cover system getting them killed more often than protecting them, as they’re fighting fast-moving zombies with sword arms for most of the game, and standing still isn’t exactly a great way to counter them.
The uninteresting story of Dead Space 3 may further discourage you, as the plot is the kind that we’ve all heard a thousand times before – hero meets old love interest, love interest has since moved on, hero eventually wins back the girl while shooting up the bad guys and saving the day. The melodramatic and edgy attitude of Clarke in this game made me loathe
him in a way that I seldom feel towards video game characters. I closed my eyes and rested my hand against my head every time the game came to a cutscene, anticipating Clarke’s inevitable bad attitude.
Visceral also implemented a new crafting system in Dead Space 3, which allows the player to create their own guns in a process reminiscent of playing with K’NEX as a child, except with flamethrowers and hollow-points. The crafting system is fun for a little while, but the player will hit the ceiling of what they can do with it pretty quickly, as the options are extremely limited.
One aspect of the game that may anger players who are looking for a challenge is the phasing out of different ammos – there is now one universal ammo that works on all guns, removing a big part of the struggle to survive that the previous game strived to make the player feel.
An aspect that frustrates me personally is the fact that the game will soon feature a wave of micro-transactions. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, this means that Dead Space 3 will soon have an in-game store in which the player can pay real-life money to succeed more in the game, or as I like to call it, “being pathetic.” Apparently it wasn’t enough that I put down $60 for Dead Space 3, now I should spend $40 for more powerful items.
Buyer’s remorse is the only feeling that’s waiting for anyone who buys Dead Space 3. I recommend that you stay far away from it and try to remember the good times, before Visceral Games became another burnout-EA puppet.