After fighting horrible, zombie-like monsters twice before, one would assume that Isaac Clarke would be somewhat of a professional at slaying monsters. As the player embarks in “Dead Space 3”, they’ll quickly discover that this is indeed the case.
Many of the franchise’s fans have criticized “Dead Space 3” for downplaying the horror of the game in favor of action. While I won’t disagree that the action is implemented more in this game, it actually makes sense in the story of the game. While playing, I found I was no longer frightened by the same old tricks that the games have pulled from the beginning, but since I was playing as Isaac, it makes sense that he would not be as frightened as before.
For the most part, the characters in “Dead Space 3” act believably. Knowing that Isaac has faced the “necromorphs” on two previous occasions, they seem to value his experience. Ellie, the woman who Isaac met and escaped with in the second game, has a new boyfriend that projects this weird “stay away from my girl” vibe the whole time.
For players of the first two games, there isn’t really a lot new in terms of how the game functions to be found here. The core gameplay is essentially the same; Isaac uses an extensive arsenal of weapons to hack the limbs off the “necromorphs”, mostly taking place in dark, dirty looking hallways, and the occasional zero-gravity environment. “Dead Space 3” does open the world up a bit with the planet of Tau Volantis, but even then, the monsters still do the same things they’ve always done.
Now, I’m not saying that this is necessarily a bad thing. The “Dead Space” formula is obviously tried and true, and the few new features that are present really do add to the experience. For instance, I thought the inclusion of co-op would ruin the atmosphere of the game, but in single player mode, you interact with your co-op partner John Carver about as much as you would a normal NPC. In multiplayer mode, he adds an interesting dynamic as well as a host of optional side missions that cannot be played otherwise.
One other new feature that was promoted heavily was the fact that Isaac’s body temperature would factor heavily into the game once you reached the frozen planet of Tau Volantis. This is true, and it was a very unique and interesting mechanic, but it only lasted for about the length of a chapter. As soon as Isaac upgraded his suit, the temperature made no difference.
Pro tip: In high wind areas, walk with your gun aimed. Your character moves quicker this way.
Many people were upset by EA’s decision to add in a system of “microtransactions”, so you could buy the necessary resources to craft new weapons and items with real world money instead of spending the time to collect them. I personally didn’t think this was that big of a deal.
At the end of the day, “Dead Space 3” is a good game, and while it may no longer be considered horror, it gets pretty close to the horror line in the action/thriller genre.