Home Icon
dead-space-3-review-10

Review: Dead Space 3 (Xbox 360, PS3, Windows PC)

By Max Everingham | 1:14 pm 19/02/2013

A space-based horror adventure, Dead Space 3 starts off like every other third person action game with the premise of a hero who is virtuous but ill-suited to the task, reluctantly agreeing to put his life in danger after being presented with the flimsiest of pretexts is more suited to a new Die Hard movie than the next Dead Space game.

Fortunately, this typical, overblown EA action game treatment soon mercifully calms down and it’s then that the slow, trudging pace of previous Dead Space games takes over and the game comes back into focus.

Renowned and lauded for its unique take on the horror videogame genre, the action in Dead Space 3 is one of exploration, discovery and sudden, overwhelming violence.

Your character, Isaac, isn’t the classic videogame grunt stereotype, but is instead an engineer. As such, the weapons at his disposal are not your usual assortment of unfeasibly large projectile-flinging hardware but mostly implements devised for mining.

Faced with enemies that are more typical in horror games, most of them being biologically deformed unfortunates that are, in this case, dubbed ‘Necromorphs’, this mismatch of unusual hero, improvised weapons and classic monsters makes for an appealing challenge.

Previous Dead Space outings have pretty much confined Isaac to barracks, ambling along corridors of traumatised space wrecks, but this time around he gets to explore the icy planet of Tau Volantis.

And if that’s not enough of a change, the game also features ‘drop in, drop out’ co-operative gameplay. This feature, which introduces another, quite different, character called Carver, is probably the best thing about the game. It’s not only that you get some help killing the bad guys, but co-op also ramps up the difficulty, gives you a different perspective – sometimes with one character seeing and experiencing something in an entirely different way to the other – and adds new side missions and detail.

Co-op, then, is extremely welcome, even if it’s only permitted online, and not locally in split-screen, because for the vast majority of the time, the gameplay experience is fairly predictable.

There’s a lot of ‘enter a new area, get swamped by Necromorphs, dispatch them amidst much thrashing around, enter new area’ and repeat.

And if you see anything lying apparently inert on the floor in front of you, it’s a pretty good bet that it’s not dead, but simply waiting for you to get a bit closer before it leaps up and attacks, which can wear thin after a while.

The ‘swamping’ nature of the game, where horror is achieved by being overwhelmed by sheer numbers, means that the ‘stasis’ ability moves from occasional novelty to absolute necessity, as you freeze members of the latest onslaught in place to give you time to think tactically.

Happily, the game includes an intriguing weapons customisation system, effected by the same weapons benches as before, but it’s far more complex, entertaining and utterly critical this time, allowing for a strong degree of personal preference.

It feels like Dead Space 3 has taken a wrong step in this iteration, dampening down the unique gameplay proposition of before in favour of ‘me-too’ action-focussed drama that feels like every other action game on the market.

That said, there’s enough of the old appeal to warrant picking this game up, significantly bolstered by the excellent co-op and weapons building aspects, and it’s as tremendously gratifying as ever to work your way along strategically slowing and stomping the monsters!

 

Price (RRP)

$109.95

Ratings

Overall

Performance

Design

Longevity

Latest reviews

  • Review: HP ElitePad 1000 G2

    When you talk about business grade tablets, there aren't a lot of choices, but HP's ElitePad 1000 G2 looks to provide a dose of shiny silver aluminium professionalism to…
  • Apple's iPhone 6 Plus reviewed

    Apple has steered clear of tablet-sized phones for a while now, leaving it to Samsung and other manufacturers, but now Apple is here with a phablet of its own.…
  • Review: LG G Pad 10.1

    LG's G3 really grabbed our attention earlier in the year, so we're expecting good things from a tablet launched around the same time, but is the G Pad 10.1…
  • Review: Plantronics BackBeat Pro headphones

    Headphones that cut out the noise from the outside world generally require you to be tethered to your phone, but not a new pair of cans from Plantronics, as…
  • Review: Moto G (2014, G2)

    Big phones are in, and to go with that trend, Motorola is upgrading one of its entry-level handsets, increasing the screen size of its G series phone to make…
  • Review: Acer Aspire Switch 10

    Acer's 10 inch Windows tablet hasn't been updated since Windows 8 first came out, and that was two years ago, so what has Acer been cooking up, and does…
  • Review: Dyson Cool (AM06)

    Here come the warmer months and that reason to get the old trusty fan out. But before you do, you might want to consider a healthy update of the…
  • You little beauty: Sony’s Xperia Z3 Compact reviewed

    Smartphones may well be getting bigger, but Sony’s Xperia Z3 Compact aims to show people that a smartphone doesn’t need to be big to be powerful, boasting high-end specs…
  • Review: Bose QuietComfort 25i (QC25/QC25i)

    If there's one company that tends to do well in the field of noise cancellation, it's Bose. We've seen its headphones used by so many on overseas trips, and…
  • Review: Oppo N1 Mini

    Do you like selfies but are sick of the one or two megapixel cameras smartphones are coming with? Oppo's answer to this is an interesting one, putting the 13…

“How do you stop yourself from being caught out by these scam artists?”

Read More

Tell us…

Which smartwatch are you interested in buying?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

“There’s certainly no doubt that you can find a bargain, but like always, you get what you pay for.”

Read More