Once the survival-horror genre’s greatest savior, Dead Space is now reaching the end of a trilogy. Whether or not the series will continue beyond the third installment is still unknown, but we can say for sure that there are some major changes coming to the series with Dead Space 3 that could very well change the way we see survival-horror games.
Dead Space 3 will pick up a mere two months after the events of its predecessor and will feature a much more sane Isaac Clarke being called upon by a group seeking answers to the mystery surrounding a 200-year old infestation of Necromorphs on the planet of Tau Volantis. His experience with the monsters has led to Isaac becoming a very integral person in the fight against the growing numbers of Necromorphs, although it also helps that he is one of the only people who has ever met the creatures and lived to talk about it.
In Dead Space 3, players will see all the various forms of Necromorphs they have come to love and fear from previous installments as well as some new forms that are sure to make their heads spin. Dead Space 3 is also looking to take things further with some of the largest enemies the series has ever seen. Believe it or not, Isaac will have more to worry about than monsters in Dead Space 3. A group of humans from the Church of Unitology are looking to protect the Necromorphs and make Isaac’s struggle just that much harder. Not a lot is known about this group as of yet but it will add a new level of intelligence to the enemies throughout the game.
Indeed, a lot is changing with the latest installment to Visceral Games’ survival-horror series, but the most notable change comes in the form of the game’s newly introduced co-op element. The lone survivor will, for the first time, be joined by a new character named Sgt. John Carver. Originally, the co-op element came as an unwelcome surprise to many. Many believe that adding a friend into the mix takes away from the overall element of scare that the series is so renowned for. There was also the issue of John Carver seeming like more of a stereotypical space marine that the video game industry is quickly shying away from. Both of these elements are now looking to be very much untrue as more information regarding Dead Space 3’s co-op element and new character has emerged.
Dead Space 3’s co-op feature will be completely optional throughout the game’s campaign and will not affect the overall story or any major elements. However, playing co-op will introduce certain challenges that players must overcome. John Carver has recently been revealed to have a less than stable grip on reality. Suffering from the insanity-like effects of the Necromorph Markers, John is struggling to keep himself together under the pressure of hallucinations. Isaac, on the other hand, is mostly keeping himself together. Having already suffered and recovered from the effects of the Markers, his main struggle is to fight for his life with a partner who is not exactly combat ready.
Visceral Games has also noted that Dead Space 3’s co-op element is designed to be completely smooth and easily accessible via a drop in/drop out system that is available at any point during the game. This way, players can have a friend join in for one section then go in alone for the rest or have them join in as needed.
Most elements of the past Dead Space titles have been quite satisfactory and generally required no real improvements. However, the weapon upgrading system could have been better. Dead Space 3 will incorporate a completely redesigned upgrading system that allows players to build their own weapons with various parts, allowing for unprecedented customization and a much more personalized feel to the game’s overall combat.
As a bonus element to Xbox 360 players, Dead Space 3 has been made compatible with Kinect. This will be the first known Kinect title that encourages players to curse at their televisions. Dead Space 3’s most unique aspect of its Kinect compatibility is the ability for certain aspects of the game to react to certain curse words. It is an interesting feature that is sure to see its fair share of criticism from the public but remains a fun way to help bridge the gap between playing a game and being a part of the game itself.
Dead Space 3 is looking to be one of the more promising games in what will be an exciting year for gaming. A demo for the game is available now on Xbox Live, PSN and PC. Dead Space 3 will be available Feb. 5 on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.