Parent Talk: Dead Space 3 has been rated M for mature because of intense violence, blood and gore, and strong language. As a survival horror franchise, players should expect some fairly grotesque images, terrifying situations and pulse-pounding action. This series isn’t for the faint of heart, and under no circumstances should children be allowed anywhere near this one.
Plays Like: Light puzzles elements, and tons of action against some truly nasty-looking creatures make this latest DS just as thrilling as the others. A new weapon-crafting feature adds a new layer of strategy to an already deep experience. The new co-op mode also adds a new dimension, because if you decide to use it, the game is not only more fun, but far less stressful.
Review Basis: Finished the game with a friend.
Flexibility is the name of the game. Do you enjoy the feeling the feeling of isolation from the previous games? If so, it’s available for you to experience again. If you’re someone that wets the bed, grab a buddy and treat the game more as a straight-forward action romp. Unlike so many other games that have tried to do something like this before, if you opt to play by yourself, you don’t have a buddy character running alongside you. It’s for that reason why Dead Space 3 can feel like almost two entirely different experiences, both that kick ass.
+ A superb weapon-crafting mechanic allows players to scavenge for parts and modify their weapons in any way they please. Add a flamethrower to their plasma cutter, or acid grenades, etc. While it takes some time to master, this new system is why the game feels so much more strategic than its predecessors.
+ Excellent use of enemies. From intense melee creatures that do nothing but run towards you, to more intelligent ones that use their environments as well as players do, everything works as you’d imagine.
+ Side missions and extra quests fill in some of the larger missing story elements and also extend the gameplay by quite a few hours. These short, but fun diversions are well worth picking up.
+ Incredible action pieces and stunning environments ensure the pace is almost always at a fever pitch. From wide open arctic mountainsides to confined corridors on a derelict spacecraft, the sheer variety of locations ensure players keep coming back for more.
+ The audio-visual presentation is just as impressive as ever. A solid surround sound set-up is required in order to get the most out of the game, but it’s well worth it. From odd and unsettling noises to stunning lighting and environmental effects, Dead Space 3 hits a home run.
– The series’ storyline has always been rather complex, especially as the franchise has expanded. Now we can officially say we’re entering the bizarre. Too many new characters are thrown to the shredder for little to no reason, and the storyline never develops enough for you to care about what’s going on. As a whole it feels like one convoluted mess.
– Some new gameplay mechanics don’t work as well as others. Scaling an ice-mountain may have sounded like fun on paper, but in execution it gets old really fast. Sadly you’re forced to use this mechanic over and over again.
Shooting off a necromorph’s legs and watching it slowly crawl it’s way to your feet, only to be met with a kick to the head, decapitating it. Yummy.
Dead Space 3 is a really fun and enjoyable game, but misses the mark with some of the new gameplay mechanics that feel rushed and are completely overused. The story also could have used far more time in the oven. As complex as Dead Space 2 felt at times, it doesn’t hold a candle to this one. Sometimes adding new gameplay elements just for the sake of it doesn’t always make the game better, and that’s exactly what happens here. When the spotlight is on fear, or when you and a friend are busy mowing through hundreds of necromorphs, Dead Space 3 is a sheer delight, but some of the other elements bog down the experience. If you consider yourself a fan of the series, go ahead and pick-up DS3 now as I’m fairly certain you’ll have a really good time with it.
Final Score: 8/10