- Make Us Whole
WARNING SPOILERS WARNING SPOILERS!!!
This is not the official That VideoGame Blog review of Dead Space 3, this is just an observation piece about the game. The official review will be released soon.
There’s not a lot of games that I’ve played that I can come back to months or even years later to play when I get bored, or when there is nothing new out, the Dead Space series falls into that category. I’ve played and beaten the original Dead Space at least half a dozen times and the second one at least 4 times. I love the story, the lore, the gameplay, the fear, I love everything about the series. It’s taken me a while to do an article about the 3rd installment, due partly because of the recent Nor’Easter that smashed my house, but I’m glad I finally got the article done.
Under much pressure from a few gaming friends of mine, I was convinced into not playing the game the first time through with a co-op partner, they said it’s not as fun the second time through (Don’t know how true that is.) alone. The game starts off with a prologue on Tau Voltanis and having you play as an unknown S.C.A.F soldier from 200 years ago trying to locate an item he is given little description of. After finding the mysterious cylinder the soldier repels down a mountain side, and crash lands right in front of the commanding General of the entire S.C.A.F forces. I’m not going to say anything else, but lets just say not everything turns out great. After the prologue we find out that Issac is still in hiding and he and Ellie have separated due to Issac’s mental issues.
Right when things can’t seem to get any worse for Issac, Cpt. Robert Norton and Sgt. John Carver of Earth GOV’s last Battalion bust through Issac’s front door and tell him that they need his help. Issac is reluctant to help them at first, but upon hearing that Ellie is part of a research team that has gone missing, Issac agrees to help. An attack by Unitologists on the colony they are on forces the team to act quickly. Issac barely escapes the colony and then they are off to Tau Voltanis to rescue Ellie and find out what has been going on there. I’m going to stop right there. I can’t write this storyline out in my own words anymore, it’s making my head hurt. This is by far the stupidest storyline of the Dead Space franchise, and it’s pretty obvious they were running out of reasons for Issac to jump right back into stomping necromorphs. Every game in the series has had a female character as the reason why Issac keeps moving forward (The 2nd game maybe not so much, but Nicole was pretty much the reason he kept trucking.) and I am fucking sick of it. I’m just saying it would be a nice change of pace to see Issac not chasing after some dead girlfriend or thought to be dead girlfriend or alive girlfriend or alive girlfriend that could be dead but we are not really sure so we need you to go on another suicide mission to save her even though she could be dead. At this point, I would be fine with Issac giving up half way through the game and you have to tap on A to make him continue, rather than some female being his motivation.
Now that I got all that off my chest, we can move on to guns! In the previous Dead Space games there was very little in the way of customizing the weapons you had, the most you could do was add Power Nodes to them to increase certain stats. Thankfully Visceral Games heard everyone’s pleas and now Issac can actually craft his own weapons out of the parts he finds…like an engineer…which is his job title…should have been doing this since day one…just saying. I found that crafting your own weapons is most definitely worth the price of admission, it is arguably the best part of the entire game! I’ve probably spent 5+ hours in the crafting room alone trying out everything under the sun. Just like the demo, in the crafting room you have unlimited ammo and health, but I’ve found a problem with this. The unlimited ammo part is pretty awesome, however when you get into the real game you can find yourself blowing through ammo like there’s no tomorrow and find yourself scratching your head trying to find ammo somewhere between your 15 Small Health Packs and 25 Stasis Packs. I made a Chain Gun with a Shotgun underneath that had bullets that caused a stasis effect on enemies and it had an ammo support attachment, I called it Fuck Your Face. Well, Fuck Your Face was a pretty awesome weapon in practice, but in the real game it blew through way too much ammo and I found myself getting killed the by enemies that don’t appear in the crafting room. Eventually I found a nice median to all my problems and ended up with a nice SMG/Shotgun combo that never seems to fail.
It took me about 10 hours into Dead Space 3 to notice something very horrifying. To most people this is just a small change, a “No big whoop” if you will, but to me it was very important. They took out the Brutes. One of the favorite enemies has been removed. What the fuck!?! I was waiting for a huge hulking mound of human flesh to come charging out of nowhere practically the whole game, but it never came. Granted, they did add a few new challenging enemies such as the assholes that turn into different things depending on what body parts you shoot off, the necromorphs that shoot guns, the Feeders (Really skinny assholes who try and tear your head off, there you go, now you remember!), the alien necromorphs and the Unitologist soldiers. I’m not going to lie, I don’t think the Dead Space series is ready for human enemies. I enjoyed the fact that Issac usually doesn’t see a living soul for hours at a time, but now Issac shoots them in the face every 5-10 minutes. It’s the sense of being completely isolated and on your own that helps make Dead Space a very scary series, throwing human opponents into the mix just fucks that atmosphere all up.
Terror is the name of the game, actually it’s Dead Space 3, but whatever. Throughout the whole game I was waiting for a time when I was so afraid to continue, I would just turn off the game and go to sleep, and when I mean sleep I mean check my closet 8 times and then lie in my bed for 4 hours listening to every creek my house makes. Surprisingly this never happened, and needless to say I was quite upset. All of the earlier games scared the fuck out of me and they had such a scary atmosphere to them that I almost never wanted to continue. I don’t know if I’ve just become accustomed to this franchise or if I’ve just figured out the series’ patterns to the point where I know if I’m going to get attacked or not every time I walk into a room. Don’t get me wrong, there were a few times I was scared, but never the same fear I got the first time I played the first game. Whatever the issue is, I hope the next one will make me cry.
Over the past 5 years, the Dead Space series has been kind of, how shall I say, been under the radar. What I mean by that is, I could ask 10 regular people who play videogames from time to time and if I asked them “Have you played/heard of Dead Space?”, I’m guessing (I know) only 1 or 2 of them would say yes. Dead Space 3 finally made the splash the series as a whole should have done years ago. For a game series that has a big money budget and a big studio behind it, EA Games and Visceral Games haven’t done a bang up job with promotions. I know it’s hard to promote an over the top violent game, where one minute you could be curb stomping every dead body in sight and the next you could be ripping bladed arms off of dead enemies, to impale living ones into walls. In my humble opinion, Dead Space, Dead Space 2, and Dead Space 3 are easily in the Top 10 of the best survival horror games of the all time, and EA Games and Visceral Games need to start promoting Dead Space like it is.
For what it’s worth, Dead Space 3 should not have a Metascore of 78 (Some sources say 79 and 77, but the average I’ve been seeing the most is 78 so I’m sticking with it.). 78 isn’t bad, but I don’t think that a 78 reflects how good the game actually is. There has been a lot of mixed reviews of the game and Game Informer’s 9.75 rating took me by surprise because they rarely give scores in the 9.75-10 area. Obviously the game isn’t a 100, but it sure as hell isn’t a 78.
Following tradition, I will give a sentence or two as my review score and check back with the site soon, we will have the websites official review of Dead Space 3 up.
My Score: If you enjoy shitting in your pants instead of the toilet and enjoy never getting a good nights sleep, then Dead Space 3 is the game for you!
P.S. I left a secret message in this article, first one to find it wins nothing!