TGN Originals

January 18, 2013

First Impressions: Dead Space 3

Dead Space 3

With the release of Dead Space 3 drawing ever closer, players have been itching to play the game. Luckily EA will be providing everyone with a demo for the game on Tuesday. We got the chance to play it a little early and let me tell you, if this demo is any indication, Dead Space 3 may be the best one yet.

The demo begins with Isaac having to traverse a massive blizzard to try and meet up with the rest of his crew. Now in most games a blizzard is enough, but this is Dead Space so of course you stumble upon some necromorphs. These particular necromorphs get in close with ice picks. If you dismember them at the waist they will spawn three tentacles and continue to attack. Fighting them one at a time is easy to handle, but when they begin to attack in groups you’ll need to make sure they’re dead lest you be quickly overrun.

When you finally do get through the blizzard you are standing before a massive facility that just screams trouble. Even better than that is the gorgeous backdrop. Despite being nothing but snow and mountains a distant orange sun gives it such a unique look that you can’t help but pan the camera around and take it all in. Dead Space has always been a great looking series but Dead Space 3 might just be one of the best looking games out there. Even on the aging hardware of the current generation consoles it runs smooth and looks great.

When you enter the facility you find Carver on the outer wall and he tells you where the team is hold up. Necromorphs overrun him and you have to find your own way in. It is here that you find what might be Dead Space 3’s biggest defining feature, weapon creation. Unlike previous games where you could only upgrade the weapons the game gave you, you can now build your own weapons with parts found on dead bodies and in crates. The system is surprisingly simple and should be easy to use for just about anyone. Every weapon starts with a frame, one that you find or create from raw materials, and then you can add the actual weapons and other additions as long as you own them or have the materials to create them. It is important to note that the game now uses a universal ammo type which is likely to upset some players initially, but it is clear that this was done to encourage the use of other weapons that the plasma cutter. Don’t you try and tell me you didn’t just hoard plasma cutter ammo and health packs in the last two games, everyone did.

In my first attempt I made a two handed shotgun with an electric secondary fire that would spread to other enemies. To do this I selected a Military Engine—your standard military grade firing mechanism—and added a Conic Dispersal unit, or better put the piece that makes it a shotgun. Then I mounted a Tesla Core on the bottom and a Diffraction Torus, or the part that makes it spread. From there I added attachments that automatically picked up nearby ammo and gave my shots a small amount of stasis effect.

Needless to say it was awesome. The best part wasn’t even that it was an epic means of dismemberment (just ask the boss that came next), but rather it was the fact that I had created it. The concept sounded too good to be true. I mean, who is really going to let someone mount electricity on the bottom of a shotgun, then on top of that let me add stasis and ammo gathering? Visceral Games that who! They even added attachments that can buff your partner in co-op, if that is how you end up choosing to play the game. It might sound weird that I’m putting such an emphasis on this, especially considering this is a survival horror game, but thanks to the crafting system dispatching your necromorph foes has never been quite so satisfying.

The closing sequence of the demo features your first look at the human enemies you’ll be fighting and how wonderful it is to see necromorphs target someone other than you for a change. It is also a mean to introduce, and I know what you’re going to say here, the “cover system”. Now calm down for a minute, all is not lost. It is a simple crouch and hide system and can be genuinely helpful when fighting ranged enemies. Yes the game has built more on the action side of things, but there is enough on offer in this demo to show that Visceral is really trying to get back in touch with their scary side.

Co-op will be in full effect for the demo, which is when we’ll get the chance to try it ourselves. Regardless of co-op though, Dead Space 3 is shaping up to be yet another fitting entry into the series. If you were having any doubts about it, play the demo and put them to rest, and if you’ve never played a Dead Space game before…well…we can’t be friends anymore. Check out the demo on Tuesday January 22nd on PS3 and Xbox 360 and grab the full game (also on PC) on February 5th. As always, keep it here on!



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