Review: Dead Space 3 (PS3)

By Wayne Webb

By Wayne Webb

In recent memory sequels have been a mixed bunch and even the good ones have been guilty of copying too many of the previous versions or other successful games. A lack of originality is not what Dead Space 3 has though, not by a long shot. This is a sequel that exceeds previous efforts, and brings new life and excitement to a game I was not looking forward to playing.

The original Dead Space was a horror shooter that works well when the player is surprised and put upon by deadly enemies leaping at you from unexpected places. Dead Space 2 felt like every jump was scripted and telegraphed well in advance in a game that looked suspiciously similar in style and format to the much better Doom 3. On the other hand, Dead Space 3 is unpredictable, beautifully crafted and a rich experience.

You are back as Isaac Clarke, or as Carver in cooperative mode, and once again the horrific effects of the Markers are creating vicious and voracious killing machines out of people alive and dead, and permutations of monsters that want to tear you and everything else limb from limb. The story progresses from a futuristic metropolis, through derelict space ships to an ice world potentially the home world of the Marker technology. You follow a well-acted and well-presented story that has you chasing down missions and tasks to upgrade your ships to escape or move on as well as your weapons and tools.

The crafting system allows you to upgrade your weapons and suits as you go and this is based on the flotsam and jetsam you pick up in your explorations or battles. You can purchase extra parts to speed this process up in the PlayStation Store, and without that extra help, finding the materials is time-consuming and hard work. There are also side missions that can add to or detract from your experience. Mostly I found they interfered with the save points – you could work for some time on a side mission only to find yourself repeating a far too long section of the game between main mission save points.

The game is much better than I suspected it would be with the variety and detail put into the environments really paying off in an engaging game that surprised me with combat, missions and levels that were unpredictable and fun. It’s a horror game though and definitely not for the weak stomached or sensitive.

Pros: Improvement on previous version, good story, top-notch graphics, variety of environments and gameplay, crafting system for weapons
Cons: Punishingly hard in places, frustrating level saves

4.5 Shacks Out Of 5

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