Dead Space 3 (Xbox 360)
The hype got the best of me, I was really looking forward for Dead Space 3, everything that they announced just got me itching for some more gory action, but in the end I did get that, but I never asked for more action. The franchise is taking the "Resident Evil 5" approach, but not as bad, where they try to appeal to a wider audience by toning down the horror, and adding generic shooting to the package.
Right off the bat, the story seems rushed to convey the weak story. I get it, after two awesome installments, there's little left to expand on the character of Isaac Clarke, and it's really noticeable that the creative teams are running dry on ideas. So, after a short prologue, the story picks up after some time has passed since Isaac and Ellie barely escaped, and looks like Isaac and her have been together, but they've broke up, and that first scene is just a sign of things to come, as far as clumsy narrative goes. Everything happens too fast and it's rushed to the point where story really looses impact. You're introduced to a handful of new characters, and Sergeant John Carver is really the only one who stands out. After the Earth Defense Force visits Isaac and gets him up to speed with what's going on, you're attempting to escape the Unitology, Jacob Danik with his goons, you get intercepted, but barely slip out of certain demise. Now EDF and Isaac must go to CMS Roanoke to rescue Ellie, who claims she found a clue that could lead them to the way to disable the Markers. It's then when the story takes a downhill turn, because there's an awkward love triangle between Isaac, Ellie and Robert Norton.
As bad as the story is, in my opinion, the gameplay is everything I was waiting for. After the demo, I was really psyched to see what possibilities would the new weapon crafting mechanic bring and I love it. It brings a new variety to the gameplay, where depending on your weapon build; there are various ways to dispose of the Necromorphs and other NPCs. The only thing that I don't like is the need to stomp on every single corpse just to get a part for later use in crafting. Another welcome addition is the dodge roll, it manages to help out the difficulty curve, and the game wastes no time throwing you into packs of Necromorphs. The only bad addition is the tacked on cover system, and the abundance of chest-high walls, which is of little or no use.
What Dead Space does best is the atmosphere. The levels are cleverly designed, some might complain that backtracking does counter favors, it actually serves it purpose of making the player feel constricted to an even tighter environment. It's a surprise to have such a good looking game this late in this console's cycle, the aesthetics are dark, gritty, and claustrophobic, and the great sound design only amplifies the feeling of dread.
Dead Space 3 does feel a bit too easy on the beginner and normal difficulty setting, and in the coop mode its best advised to play it on higher difficulty, since the abundance of ammo and parts make the game a breeze to play.
- Great atmosphere
- Fun action/survival gameplay
- Fun Crafting Mechanic
- Overall great esthetics
- Weak story
- Too easy on normal difficulty
I won't say that I'm disappointed, because I like the third installment in the franchise. I still get my fix of mowing down Necromorphs, puzzles, and tight corridors, and the quality and entertainment of the gameplay totally makes up for the story shortcomings; Dead Space 3 is definitely worth your time.