Dead Space 3: Don’t Hate – Participate!

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There has been a lot of hate going around about Dead Space 3. “Not scary, too much action, not enough space, microtransactions.” Really the list keeps going. But are these judgements fair or are they merely prejudice? After getting my hands on Isaac’s latest adventure, I want to put some rumors to bed. 

I’d like to start off by saying that I’ve only experienced the single player campaign so my impressions do not reflect co-op (Mileson will tell you all about the co-op soon enough). Anyway, moving forward.

First off, is Dead Space 3 scary? You bet your ass it is! But I like to use another word besides “scary”. I urge you to replace “scary” with “stressful”, because that’s exactly how I feel when the Necromorphs come out. Stressed, in all the best ways. When I think of a “scary game”, surprisingly enough I always return to the original Bioshock. The atmosphere was creepy, the Big Daddys were terrifying, and every corner had a “BOO! I SCARED YOU!” moment. So with Dead Space 3, you KNOW that something is going to come out of that vent when you try to open the door. And sure enough, here come the Necromorphs. “One…two….three…four…Damn, five…six? THEY DON’T STOP COMING!” Every fight pits you against no less than 3 monsters simultaneously and they are tough this time around. So while you may not get scared when they fall out of the vents, your heart will definitely start racing after putting down 10 Necromorphs only to turn around and see 5 more speeding towards you.

So with 5x the Necromorphs from the last game, you’re gonna need a bigger gun. Luckily, Dead Space 3 gives you all the fire power you need! You start your mission with just a puny sub-machine gun (and a plasma cutter if you played Dead Space 2), but you quickly get enough resources to make your perfect gun. Where the weapon crafting really shines is through the use of Blueprints. Think Dead Island weapon mods if you will. These are unique upgraded versions of classic weapons with a twist. Unfortunately, most of these blueprints will be off limits until you gather more resources. “Well I’m not paying cash for more resources!” Don’t worry, I hear you, and so did EA. You can use those Ration Seals that your scavenger bot has been collecting to buy more resources without the use of real money. Honestly, you will never have to pull out your virtual wallet unless you want a cool new suit (which is just aesthetic) or want to give your bot a British accent (which is just silly).

And finally, does Dead Space 3 have too much action? It’s almost like that’s a bad thing. Now trust me, I love survival-horror and would love to pick up Dead Space 4 with an extra package of underwear, but let’s be honest, that’s probably not going to happen. Instead, let’s embrace Dead Space 3 for what it is because the developers are evoking emotions beyond just terrifying. Emotions like jealousy, guilt, pride, and even trust. You see more of Isaac’s true nature than ever before. He’s not just a badass engineer killing Necromorphs, nor is he anywhere near a “perfect hero”. He’s human and is full of perks and flaws. So yes, Dead Space 3 is more “action-packed”, but they use that as an opportunity to tell a much a deeper story this time around.

Whether you think Dead Space 3 is “true survival-horror” or not is beside the point. This is a truly amazing game with great storytelling, emotional characters, and dismemberment galore.

AgentGear

38 comments

  1. Yeh action! I may check out my first Dead Space game! Either way, if they don’t totally ruin a game, but take it a different direction and do it well, fans should be pleased. At least they didn’t just copy and paste the last game and have some of the necromorphes switch teams and have different stats… oh wait, that’s Madden… Yeh, this should be welcomed.

  2. I learn not to trust fans of a series. People complained about Resident Evil 4 when it came out, about how the “zombies” weren’t actually zombies and that they changed it to a more action oriented game but personally, I LOVED Resident Evil 4. It had a great balance of creepy imagery with incredibly intense game play that made you feel as though you were in mortal danger with every encounter. Dead Space 3 looks like an interesting game to me that has a lot of those same elements and has even made me contemplate trying it. SO it may not scare you in the same way The Exorcist does BUT the edge of your seat, cold sweat you get from having an enemy bear down on you and all you have is a few bullets left is definitely a worthy substitute in my opinion.

    1. The die-hard survival-horror fans will complain if horror games have any sense of action in them. I’ve loved horror games since I first got my hands of them. I’ve played every silent hill, every resident evil, and a plethora of other scary titles. Dead Space 3 does a solid job of combining two worlds, the action world and the horror world. It’s hard to have both in a game and keep every one happy, but this game does it very well.
      -Mileson

  3. Yeah I never considered DS to be scary, more suspense than scary (blame this on Silent Hill which desensitized me to everything else haha). But I mean overall DS3 is a game I really have to play to judge, if I can get my hands on a copy I will judge for myself.

    1. I’ve always considered Dead Space a solid, scary franchise. Suspense is a key element of a good horror game. The feeling of isolation and helplessness is frequently captured incredibly well in Dead Space. Silent Hill will 1 and 2 will always be one of my favorite games of all time, but that franchise has fallen, hard.
      -Mileson

  4. Oh yeah my rommate gets really fired up when it comes to how far from grace that series went. I guess, I feel games like DS sometimes try too hard to be scary, but if one just relaxes and enjoys the experience they are REALLY great games. I might put DS3 in my Gamefly que.

    1. It’s rather depressing to see how far Silent Hill has fallen. I still play every game in hopes of recapturing the magic of the earlier games. I usually end up thoroughly disappointed.

  5. It was inevitable that this franchise had to evolve in some manner. I think it would be very difficult for Visceral and EA to pull off a pure scare-fest three games in a row. I was ultra skeptical about this game after seeing the gameplay demoed at E3 and was a total naysayer. I was pleasantly surprised as to how much I enjoyed the game and direction they took with the gameplay. There are somethings that are a little gross about DS3 (microtransactions) but they are totally overlookable and don’t have a profound effect on the organic experience one should have with the game.

    1. I feel the exact same way. When I first heard about co-op, I was pretty turned off, but after playing with a friend for over 20 hours now, I can honestly say I’m glad it’s hear. It’s a game that was designed to be accepted by a broader audience. Generally speaking, horror games are a niche-genre, but everybody loves a solid action game. Btw, we still co-opping some Aliens: Colonial Marines? lololololol
      -Mileson

      1. Fuuuuuck….get this. I am playing Aliens:CM this very moment. I was corralled into a room with dead marines laying all over the floor. So, out of curiosity I wanted to see if they did anything to the bodies to make them mangled or shot up in any way. To no avail upon close inspection did I find any augmentation to the “lifeless” dead fodder. BUT, and this is a big “but,” I examined one of the other bodies laying on the floor and what I found was sheer astonishing….this character model was the EXACT same character model as the previous. Same name, face, armor, everything. I examined the next model, the same…and so on. There must have been 6 character models laying on the floor all named “Mooses” and all EXACTLY the same. Need I say more?!

      2. Lolololololololol that is perfection. Talk about lazy. Oh man, I’m so glad I didn’t shell out the cash for the collector’s edition. I had it in my hands…. I was so close to taking the plunge… into darkness and apparently moonwalking aliens….
        -Mileson

  6. Still disagree, but glad you at least enjoyed it. I don’t find it scary at all, and I find the game to be very obvious in terms of where/when/how enemies will appear and events will play out, and I find the feeling to be much different then the original. But, to each there own, but not fair to say others are wrong either.

    1. Dead Space 3 has some legitimately well-executed moments of suspense, which in a few cases made me jump. I will say that the newest game isn’t nearly as scary as the first two, but this takes nothing away from a great experience. Gameplay is solid, action is solid, and co-op is incredibly fun.
      -Mileson

      1. Me too…I started “Classic” right after my first play through. But, then I got hung up on BF3 with my friends and I also have Ni no Kuni to play. But, Dead Space 3 is always in the back of my head saying, “Play me you asshole!”

      2. I need to get back on Ni no Kuni. That game is amazing. I’m about 25 hours in and I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface. Well at least not playing Colonial Marines will free up some time, hahahaha
        -Mileson

  7. I think Dead Space 3 has the feel it needs to have. This is the 3rd time you’ve taken on the role of Isaac and gone in to these necromorph infested hell holes. The first time it was much scarier because you had no idea what to expect. The second time around because the stakes were higher and your character is basically falling apart more and more as it goes on. The third game has some of the other two elements, but this time it’s you really planning on sticking it to them. You’ve been down those dark halls before, you’ve seen enough of them crawl out of vents. You know what kills these guys and now you’ve got the tools to do it.

    The best example of this is Alien to Aliens. Alien is the mystery, the inadequacy you feel against the threat, the total helplessness you often feel against the threat (Dead Space). Then in most of Aliens you’ve got the better set up, and more badassery, but realize things are worse than they seem (Dead Space 2). By the end of Aliens, you’re sick of dealing with the Xenomorph’s scary BS so it’s time to grab an exosuit and beat the crap out of the most fearsome stuff they’ve got… (Dead Space 3).

    That’s how I feel about it so far at least! And I’m cool with games having the microtransactions available, just as long as they don’t have some huge icon or advertisement for them popping up every time I shoot something.

    1. Very well put sir. I completely agree. The progression of Isaac Clark as a character has been a very engaging experience. He knows what he’s fighting for and will do anything to assure the job gets done. This is the over-the-top climax that the series needed to build into, while some of the writing in the latest entry may have been a bit cheeseball, it came together to be a really fun game.
      -Mileson

    2. Yup. Progression. You can’t expect to play on the same tropes and story beats 3 games in a row. Then people would be complaining that they didn’t do anything different. This, to me, seems like one of those “damned if don’t, damned if you do” scenarios. What do people want…was Resident Evil 3 the same as one, and if so, was it any good?

      Either way, it makes for good gaming conversation at the very least.

      1. Don’t even get me started on Resident Evil lol I love that franchise and will follow it to the ends of the earth, but man, have they taken a few dumps on my chest and not in the fun, kinky way,
        -Mileson

  8. I think its an evolution of the genre, survival horror is changing resident evil was proof of that and what worked in the past just isn’t cutting it anymore. honestly I’m on the fence about dead space 3. but unlike most I saw this change coming. dead space 1 was ‘too scary’ for most modern day gamers, dead space 2 was repaced to reflect this complaint so that the scares weren’t so constant, after that came the wider market of people playing it which as with every other series has transformed it into the game that will sell and right now that’s the action game. is it bad? not at all but the balance of survival horror and action still isn’t there kupo~

    1. I read a really interesting interview with the writer of the franchise and he explained the action focus with this game as a “necessary evil.” He said from the perspective of a horror game, it wasn’t the best direction, but for the size and scope the producers imagined for Dead Space 3, it’s what needed to be done to capture this grand experience.
      -Mileson

  9. There are different ways of doing survival horror (I discount the Resident Evil series on principle as it has no idea what it really wants to do).

    Players can be empowered in some real way and the game can be action-oriented, whether it is in the sense of Killing Floor and Left 4 Dead or in Dead Space. In each of these three games you start out with some relative degree of empowerment in the sense that you are not utterly helpless, however as the game progresses and the threats get more severe you also have more of an ability to deal with those threats.

    Players can also be relatively helpless, with marginal to occasional ways to protect themselves and survive. Games like Silent Hill and Rule of Rose do this by including real action elements, but spacing them out, giving the player very low health and relatively minor weaponry in respect to the threats they face. Other games, like Clock Tower, do this by making it so that hiding in the same places from Scissorman make the 50-50 chance to not be caught even lower. Other games yet, like Amnesia: the Dark Descent, completely remove your ability to fight back in any meaningful way.

    Whether a survival horror game is more action-oriented or not doesn’t damage what ‘survival horror’ actually is. There are different sorts of fear, different sorts of menace, that can be worked with and a lot of that depends on us. Do we let ourselves be wrapped up in these games, so totally taken in that we still feel a shiver at the cry of a Witch or the yellow light of a Fleshpound? Do we feel that shiver and then the determination to kill our nightmares? Do we let ourselves be taken in by the aura of Silent Hill and jump at the dead, knife-wielding children? Do we allow ourselves to think ‘oh my God, how the fuck am I going to get out of here alive? Shit, what was that?’ as the familiar metallic crunching of the Other World plays with our minds?

    Survival Horror isn’t a genre that’s easy to work with because it, I think, more than any other genre, demands that the player allow the game to wholly affect them. If the player cannot do that then the game cannot succeed. But the other side of the coin is that the developer must be able to deliver that experience if the player co-operates. I haven’t played DS2 or DS3, but I played the hell out of Dead Space. I felt fear, then empowerment, then fear, then more empowerment, until toward the last 3-4 chapters I felt like I am badass enough to survive this shit. I still felt trepidation but I not believed that I was equipped to live, that I knew enough about these monstrosities and that my weapons, armour and skills could see me through it.

    That is the experience that I think that the Dead Space series is trying to provide. I may be wrong, but I’d like top hope that I’m not. I know I’ll find out when I play Dead Space 2 and in a year or so when the deluxe edition of Dead Space 3 comes out.

    1. Read: I still felt trepidation but I now believed hat I was equipped to live,*

      If only comments had an edit function. XD

  10. I can’t say anything yet about Dead Space 3 since I haven’t even tried it.

    True. I heard a lot of bad things about it though I just hope that it will be still scary as hell like the first one.

  11. i have just completed dead space 3, n i must say this one of the best sequel dead space cud ever have..when i saw the trailers and the gameplay..i was like “HERE GOES ANOTHER GREAT FRANCHISE”..i decided to not buy this game. But as a die hard dead space fan..i cudn’t resist…kept my finger’s crossed and bought it..and guess what.i was shocked..it has everything a dead space game shud have..perfect plot,gameplay,graphics etc..i find the horror element same as dead space 1 & 2..but action is more.and due to this it looks more actiony and less scary…cut the actions..and hell yeah..welcome to dead space 1 bro..this is a must play for dead space fans. you won’t b disapointed

    1. I’m with you there. It’s a great sequel and any fan of the first two games won’t be disappointed. The action doesn’t really take away from the game at all, except maybe the rappelling parts… Those we’re pretty annoying.
      -Mileson

  12. So that’s his face… hmm.
    Anyhow, I have a zombie phobia (I kid you not) and any game with dead things coming at you makes me want to shout “Run awaaaaay!”. I cried my way through Dead Space 1 and I’m not even touching 2 or 3 with a ten foot pole… Necrpmorphs are the worst kind of dead things coming at you, but I’d recommend the game to anyone who wants a good scare. XD

    1. Isaac Clarky Malarky is one devilishy handsome man. The idea of the necromorph, to me, is a lot more horrifying than a zombie. It’s like taking a zombie and giving it the power fuse with other zombies, to make some sort of super, massive zombie beast. It’s pretty horrifying.
      -Mileson

  13. Great job in the usage of the word ‘stressful’ in lieu of ‘scary’. While I am a bit disappointed that DS3 is more action focused, I can not for even the slightest second say it’s a bad game. In fact, it’s a wonderful game, just not the DS I wanted. I loved the first when I bought it years ago and DS2 is simply amazing, nailing a perfect balance between cerebral scary and action ‘stressful’. And having that balance actually made the game more scary, you know something is coming, but sometimes it doesn’t, so your adrenaline is all worked up for a big battle, and left there to linger when it doesn’t happen, and then the second you let your guard down, booom. The over usage of action in DS3 kills that anticipation mechanic pretty much always hitting you with bouts of ‘stressful’ action and the jump scares feel cheapened. Still game is a blast to play and the narrative is neat.

    The microtransactions, thankfully, are wholly useless and unnecessary to get the full experience and were blown a bit out of proportion by the gaming community. But I regress, I think what ticked people off was more that EA was prodding them with their finger trying to see what dirty tricks it could get away with, and gamers let them know we ain’t having that shit.

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