Sequels always look to bring something more grand to the table, so it was no surprise when Visceral Game’s announced that “Dead Space 3” would be bigger and better than it’s two predecessors. Today, Xbox 360 owners who registered on the official “Dead Space 3” website were able to get an early taste of just how far Visceral went with their long awaited entry in the “Dead Space” trilogy; and while the demo provides an entertaining and hopeful look at what’s to come, “Dead Space 3” very much so still feels like its kin.
The “Dead Space 3” demo starts off on the mysterious icy world of Uxor, with series’ hero Isaac Clarke looking a little worse for wear and hanging upside down in his crashed craft. “Dead Space 2” alumni, Elli Langford, has gone missing, leaving the injured Clarke alone in the frigid world. As a hefty wind blows a dangerously blinding snowdrift into Clarke’s face, the gamer is introduced to just how the erratic weather will hinder the player’s progress. Visibility is almost completely obliterated, forcing the gamer to tread lightly as a monstrous noise in the distance just furthers Clarke’s already dire situation.
The first Necromorph that Clarke comes across is the Waster, which generates three dangerous tendrils if, for example, it’s torso is severed in two. The Waster attacks with a fervor similar to other Necromorph foe and its more human appearance helps it to blend in a little. Combat in “Dead Space 3” remains generally the same. Motions are a little more fluid and Clarke now has the ability to dodge in all four directions with a double-tap of the run button. It’s not the most nimble maneuver, but it helps when the situation gets a little dire.
The demo then progresses to the much talked about weapon customization. Workbenches found throughout “Dead Space 3” allow Clarke (or is co-op accomplice Sgt. John Carver) to create new weapons utilizing scavenged spare parts. While the coveted Plasma Cutter has always been Clarke’s staple sidearm, the ability to combine varying weapons may give gamers a new tool to worship. Combining a line gun with a standard manual rifle, I found myself mowing down Necro’s without pause. Weapon customization doesn’t just stop at building your own death-machines. At each bench, Clarke can also manage attachments and perks for each creation which can adjust anything as simple as the reload speed to giving Clarke the ability to automatically pick up ammunition that’s sprawled on the ground.
What’s featured in the demo itself is actually nothing new to the public. The segment has been showcased in many of Visceral’s own promo-trailers and, outside of a brief firefight with some Unitologist mercs that a few of the alien were sure to crash, “Dead Space 3” still feels a lot like its predecessors. Surely, this isn’t a bad thing; and skeptics (including myself) will be pleased to find that the Drop in / Drop out Co-Op does not affect the game’s horror tone. It just allows one more person to scream alongside you as well as providing a different look as to how the story plays out. When playing with a friend, the dialogue and situations change to accommodate the second players.
Through the short demo, it’s clear that Visceral is trying to up the ante, and while “Dead Space 3” doesn’t feel all-too different from previous entries, it looks to carry the torch that one extra mile with its weapon customization, multiplayer unique to the series, and new setting and foes. Typically, it’s difficult to judge a game by just a brief 15 minute demo, but here it’s pretty clear that Visceral is dishing out a little more of the same with those extra tweaks to expand upon the “Dead Space” universe.