Review by pfcstuck

"WHere did the scarry go?"

I know I'm a bit late to the review section for Dead Space 3, but as a fan of the series I had to weigh in on what is the weakest entry in the series. Unfortunately, Dead Space's third entry faced the same fate as the third entry of the Alien franchise: High expectations with little payoff. This may be partly because everybody knew what to expect going in and weren't suprised anymore. (Okay, there are jump scares, but genuine suprise is extremely lacking) I will attempt to explain my opinions in the rest of the review.

Graphics - This game has superior graphics to its predescessors, but is nothing special with final entries in the gen 7 consoles. Halo reach and Mass Effect 3 all had superior graphics to this game. That's not to say that this is an ugly game in the least. The scenery is dark and scarry, but maintains a balance so that it isn't so dark you can't see anything. The blizzard graphics are a decent approximation, but (coming from someone who has been to Antarctica and who has climbed Mount Mckinley) aren't as true to life as the creators claim. It may not be full tripple A quality, but it is still pretty good. 8.5/10

Sound FX - Many of the sound FX have been recycled from previous games, which is okay. It adds consistency. Unfortunately their implementation was not as polished as the first game. You never feel like you are being stalked and you almost always know where enemies will come from before you do X activity which triggers Y enemies for you to fight before you can accomplish objective Z. They just don't use the sound FX to set the mood in any way close to matching the horror of the first game. Not being scarry is arguably the biggest crime this series can make. 4/10

Music - During the first half of the game you feel like you are hearing the scraps left over from the awesome sound tracks of the first two games. Well after you start gong through the arctic wasteland you finally start getting the epic music we have come to expect from this series. 7/10

Voice Acting - This game has the same proble the second one did where sound FX and music plays over the voice actors. Eventually I turned on subtitles, but not before missing several key aspects of the story. Luckily the same voice actors return from the second game and deliver another good performance for what they were working with. (more on that in a minute) The dubs match lip movement perfectly and the proper emotion is conveyed in the tone of their voices. 8.5/10

Script / Story / Characters - This is where DS3 REALLY is horrible. Repeating characters look nothing like they did in previous installments. Admittedly Isaac is suppose to look grough, but they went WAY overboard. That's just a little peeve of mine. The real problem is that EVERY character is HORRIBLE!!! INCLUDING ISAAC!!!!! Literally every character does something completely stupid during the cut scenes that screws everybody over somehow. Some of these nitwits flip-flop character traits during the story just to push the plot forward. You also spend most of the game stuck in a stupid love triangle that just didn't need to be in a Dead Space game. It makes me long for the day of a deaf Isaac that never took his helmet off. It does a good job wrapping up Isaac's story and finally explains what these things are (but not really where they come from) and why the unitarians follow them. Unfortunately there are no mind games with Isaac to try to trick him this time. Not knowing if your character was crazy or not was a major part of the first two games. Unfortunately it was completely left out of this game. 2/10

Gameplay - This is another section where I don't like the changes to DS3. The largest is that it is now an action game instead of a survival horror game. Rooms always lock you in forcing you to fight, health packs and ammunition is EVERYWHERE even on harder modes, and there is no feeling of bing hunted. The developers completely removed finding clever ways to bypass enemies so you can conserve ammunition in favor of making you fight. I do like the new weapon system, but it came at the expense of having you manage differing ammunition on your suite with a generic ammunition clip. It dumbs down invantory management somewhat in favor of weapon customization. Pretty even trade off. The new upgrade system is an improvement over the old power node system. The suite system kinda sucks compared to DS2. Individual suites do not have built in armor bonuses or upgraded inventory slots so they basically only serve as diferent skins for your character. Overall 4/10

Enemies - Most of the standard enemies from the first two games return, along with a few new ones. Also, you fight unitarians sometimes simultaneously with the necromorphs. It is fun changing from limb shots to head shots and back in the same battle. DS3 also brought back a few epic boss battles that were sorely lacking from DS2. DS1 still had the best boss battles though. The necromorphs themselves are MUCH faster and more powerful and absorb far mor damage than the first 2 games. You can ALWAYS count on at least one spawning in front of you while at least one spawns behind you (even when you are in a corner and it literally makes NO SENSE WHATSOEVER!!!). The necromorphs move more quickly when off screen than on screen. This one is sort of hard to explain. You can see one moving on the other side of the screen, quickly shoot another one that is close to you a couple times, and before you can pan back the necromorph has magically made it from all the way on the other side of the screen and is attacking you. They will not do this if you can keep it partially on the screen. I started jokingly thinking they have Scotty beaming them around the map in order to attack people. It is quite ridiculous how fast these things are. 7/10

Multiplayer - It doesn't work well, but you HAVE to do it for 100% game completion. When you finish certain tasks it unlocks items at the bench. Unfortunately you cannot complete ANY of the collection quests or get optional mission (side missions) completion credit without doing 3 multiplayer missions and one DLC mission. This is unforgivable in a Dead Space game. This series was MADE for fans of single player gaming. In an age where almost every major release is centered around multiplayer, couldn't the developers leave us single player gaming fans ALONE!!!!! Aparently not. 1/10

Overall - I'm glad that I waited to buy this game used. IF you are a fan of the series go ahead and play this game, but be prepared to be disappointed when you go back


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 01/07/14

Game Release: Dead Space 3 (Limited Edition) (US, 02/05/13)


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