Dead Space 3

Once again Dead Space protagonist Isaac Clarke proves that he has about as much luck during space travel as Sigourney Weaver, there’s no complaints here though, as it means we get to enjoy a third instalment of Visceral games’ third person action horror.

A demo of Dead Space 3 has been released for those who have signed up for a code through the Origin website, with general availability to the download coming next week and frankly it looks to be an awesome game.

New Location, Same Horror in Dead Space 3 - n3rdabl3

A whole host of new features appear to have been added for the full release in February, there are three big things that come out of the demo however, weapon and item creation, co-op gameplay and a massively changed location.

The overarching main feature is the new location, as Isaac awakes to find himself on a frozen planet one step behind another necromorph outbreak and armed members from the Church of Unitology.

This is a great update for the third game as with both the first and second games being set in space itself, and the second edition even revisiting the same ship that features in the first, the change to a large barren ice land will provide new, interesting surroundings.

The demo highlighted how Visceral Games will utilise this location to bring chilling gameplay once more, as it provides a whole host of new entrance points for necromorphs to jump out from. Previous editions of Dead Space have featured some stunning visuals with the sprawling skyline captured brilliantly and the latest release may match this with shots of the frozen wastelands being very easy on the eye. The reason it may be fair to claim the overarching change is the location is because it seems to frame other gameplay changes highlighted in the demo, such as weapon and item creation.

With the new setting the stores and bench systems that previous players will have become accustomed to on various space stations in older games will not play a part in the third game. To accommodate for the loss of buying pre made items and guns players must collect scrap parts from around the planet Tau Volantis and use these to create and modify weapons, forge items and create upgrade tokens. The freedom that is given to the player through weapon creation is rather impressive, as it unlocks the potential to essentially merge two weapons together and alter a whole host of factors, such as rate of fire.

This freedom is a fresh change from the previous instalments where the list of available guns was extensive but rather hard to utilise and get the right mix from such a long list of bog standard weapons, chopping and changing guns will be a great help. This weapon forging results in the generic item ‘ammo clip’ appearing in players’ inventory which seems to be applicable to all weapons, this will be a big improvement from carrying up to four different types of ammo, which can eat up inventory space like in previous games.

New Location, Same Horror in Dead Space 3 - n3rdabl3

The ability to play with a friend is the final big development in the third game and looks to add a new level of playability to the third chapter. EarthGov Sergeant John Carver will be the other playable character and has the same access to personal gun and item creation as main character Isaac.

Campaigns like those in Dead Space lend themselves well to co-op play and tackling the necromorph outbreak in a team will add another layer to the game once the solo campaign is completed as Visceral claim gameplay itself will differ if there’s two players.

Other updates include a rather predictable development to enemies, welcoming a new string of foes, the most significant of which is gun wielding members of the Church of Unitology sent to Tau Volantis to kill the main protagonist. A number of new controls accompany these fresh enemies, such as the ability to crouch behind low objects is somewhat necessary whilst facing off in a fire fight.

The storyline is kept pretty secret in the demo however it appears as though the origins of the marker and the necromorph outbreak as a whole may be revealed as more of the frozen nightmare is explored, building on the intricate depth set up in previous games.

For me the release of demos helps me decide whether I can wait a while after the game is released until the price is lowered or if I need to rush out and buy the game as soon as possible and with Dead Space 3 I can safely say it’s the latter.

As much as Dead Space 2 engrossed me and had me jumping at every corner it was a little repetitive of the first game, this is why I’m so eagerly awaiting the third entry as there seems to be a number of significant new aspects that promise to freshen up the franchise.

Dead Space 3 is due for release on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 on February 8.

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