I can't even tell what Dead Space 3's monsters are anymore.

Posted by whatisdelicious (1261 posts) -

Before Dead Space came out, I loved watching the developer diaries that came out because it showed just how much thought and care was being put into it. They'd talk about how the designs for the Necromorphs told a grotesque story of pain: bodies twisting, bones breaking, skin tearing. And that story was what made them so terrifying. You could see how the transformation happened just by looking at them, and that was my favorite part.

Now let's watch the new trailer for Dead Space 3:

Okay.

Let's just ignore how tonally different it feels from Dead Space for a minute. Let's ignore how it feels claustrophobic not from tight, dangerous corridors where you're never more than a few feet from a monster viciously stalking you, but from too many people, too much dialogue, and too much story. Let's even ignore how the power dynamic has shifted from the first game's trailers that simply showed all the gruesome ways Isaac can die to all the empowering ways Isaac (and Carver) can kill.

Let's instead focus on what the hell was that?

Seriously, just look at this thing:

What is that? I mean, I guess it used to be a baby judging by the size, but what was the transformation process? Did it just get overtaken by black goo like in Spider-Man 3 and have an allergic reaction on its back? Does it feed through the top of the baby's skull now? What?

Or this:

I don't even know what I'm looking at anymore. I don't even know which direction this thing is pointing. How can I possibly be scared or grossed out by it if I can't even tell what it is? It's just some dumb mass of flesh.

And check this guy out:

Okay, this is just getting embarrassing. The guy looks like he fell out of a PS1-era Resident Evil. Is he seriously holding a pickaxe? They don't even use pickaxes anymore in Dead Space; that's what plasma cutters are for. And why are his eyes glowing? Ooooooh, scary. I'm shaking in my zero-gravity boots.

Remember in the first game when you watch the body of the Ishimura's captain get turned and you witness firsthand exactly how the Necromorphs are made? Remember all the care that was put into the opening scene of the second game where a guy gets transformed just inches from your face?

Those were stellar scenes that legitimized the Necromorph presence in that world, forgoing the typical notions of "nothing is scarier than the unknown" for a detailed look into the game's monster closet, and I loved it. The way Dead Space 3 seems to be tossing all that believability out the window in favor of visually incomprehensible beasts, crusty zombies with glowing eyes, and "human enemies [with] guns" is really disappointing to see.

I want to be excited for Dead Space 3, but everything they've shown off has inspired zero confidence in me. Here's hoping that it doesn't turn out as bad as that trailer makes it look.

#1 Posted by whatisdelicious (1261 posts) -

Before Dead Space came out, I loved watching the developer diaries that came out because it showed just how much thought and care was being put into it. They'd talk about how the designs for the Necromorphs told a grotesque story of pain: bodies twisting, bones breaking, skin tearing. And that story was what made them so terrifying. You could see how the transformation happened just by looking at them, and that was my favorite part.

Now let's watch the new trailer for Dead Space 3:

Okay.

Let's just ignore how tonally different it feels from Dead Space for a minute. Let's ignore how it feels claustrophobic not from tight, dangerous corridors where you're never more than a few feet from a monster viciously stalking you, but from too many people, too much dialogue, and too much story. Let's even ignore how the power dynamic has shifted from the first game's trailers that simply showed all the gruesome ways Isaac can die to all the empowering ways Isaac (and Carver) can kill.

Let's instead focus on what the hell was that?

Seriously, just look at this thing:

What is that? I mean, I guess it used to be a baby judging by the size, but what was the transformation process? Did it just get overtaken by black goo like in Spider-Man 3 and have an allergic reaction on its back? Does it feed through the top of the baby's skull now? What?

Or this:

I don't even know what I'm looking at anymore. I don't even know which direction this thing is pointing. How can I possibly be scared or grossed out by it if I can't even tell what it is? It's just some dumb mass of flesh.

And check this guy out:

Okay, this is just getting embarrassing. The guy looks like he fell out of a PS1-era Resident Evil. Is he seriously holding a pickaxe? They don't even use pickaxes anymore in Dead Space; that's what plasma cutters are for. And why are his eyes glowing? Ooooooh, scary. I'm shaking in my zero-gravity boots.

Remember in the first game when you watch the body of the Ishimura's captain get turned and you witness firsthand exactly how the Necromorphs are made? Remember all the care that was put into the opening scene of the second game where a guy gets transformed just inches from your face?

Those were stellar scenes that legitimized the Necromorph presence in that world, forgoing the typical notions of "nothing is scarier than the unknown" for a detailed look into the game's monster closet, and I loved it. The way Dead Space 3 seems to be tossing all that believability out the window in favor of visually incomprehensible beasts, crusty zombies with glowing eyes, and "human enemies [with] guns" is really disappointing to see.

I want to be excited for Dead Space 3, but everything they've shown off has inspired zero confidence in me. Here's hoping that it doesn't turn out as bad as that trailer makes it look.

#2 Edited by believer258 (12102 posts) -

Don't you remember the Hive Mind in the first game? Or the giant thing that had attached itself to the side of the Ishimura? This isn't anything new, Dead Space has had tons of crazy creature designs before. For that matter, I believe Necromorph eyes have always glowed a bit.

Anyway, I thought it was kind of odd to put human enemies in this game but that's fine with me for two reasons: 1) There were humans trying to kill you in the second game, there just weren't any gameplay sequences where you actually had to shoot back and 2) That sounds good for mixing up the combat a bit. I do hope that human enemies aren't all throughout the game and only appear occasionally, but their presence doesn't bother me.

Finally, on the subject of horror, something stops being scary the more you experience it and the more you learn about it. Dead Space 2 wasn't very scary at all, so that progression just plain doesn't bother me much. I'm sorry, I just don't see how moving from horror to action is a really bad thing when the series doesn't have many scary tricks left up its sleeve.

This isn't to say that nothing about Dead Space 3 has made me a bit wary, but I don't think it's going to be bad. In fact, I think it's going to be pretty good, but I'll be very, very surprised if it's as good as Dead Space 2 and, really, that will be its biggest downfall - the first two games are just so damn good that topping them will be almost impossible for the third outing.

EDIT: And, on the topic of pickaxes, humans still use a whole lot of ancient technologies that you'd think would be quite outdated by now. We still use pen and paper despite the speed of a keyboard and PC, we still have bookstores despite the incredible advantages apparent in something like a Kindle, and I really doubt that a pickaxe wouldn't be a standard tool to have in a mine even with the presence of extremely powerful cutting tools. Why? I don't pretend to know anything about mining but I'm pretty sure they would be able to find a use for something so tried-and-true.

#3 Posted by mordukai (7184 posts) -

Don't forget they added a coop mode and that lowers down the feel of dread by about 100%, more or less. Human enemies...give me a fucking break. Game should be called Deads of Space.

#4 Posted by ShaggE (6636 posts) -

Yeah, abstract enemies and glowy faces will ruin Dead... uhh...

Dead Space... 3...

(don't take that too seriously, I share your apprehension)

#5 Posted by whatisdelicious (1261 posts) -

@believer258: Yeah, the Hive Mind and the Leviathan were both pretty huge and weren't just repurposed human corpses, but they still had a clear design. I can't tell what that thing is here. I can't tell what its body parts are or where it's facing or what it's doing. It's just incomprehensible.

As for humans, in Dead Space 2, the whole reason why it was cool is because you didn't fight them. You just unleashed the Necromorphs on them. It was awesome. I don't want to engage in firefights and take cover against live humans and Necromorphs that possess dead bodies and force them to use guns and melee weapons. That's dumb. That's Resident Evil. Necromorphs are supposed to break your body in half in the most painful way possible to turn you into a weapon.

And as for the pickaxe, it just strikes me as dumb because this is the future. They're doing crazy space excavating where they rip planets in half with tethers from orbit. They invented plasma cutters and line cutters and rippers and etc to replace the manual labor of archaic items like a pickaxe. What's the point of setting it in the future and going through the trouble of designing all these weapons if you're just going to fall back on the tropes of today?

#6 Posted by obcdexter (639 posts) -

Yeah, it's crazy how little interest everything shown so far has evoked in me. I loved both Dead Space and the sequel, but all these trailers just paint an image of this new instalment that's kind of the antithesis of everything I care about in these games. Wouldn't say the monster-design falls into that category though, I always found that to be a rather weak spot of the series, with only very few exceptions.

Maybe it's just terrible marketing, though. Maybe the final product will indeed deliver - trailers can actually suck as much as they can get the hype train moving. If a simple "don't get your hopes up" is what they're aiming for - I'm getting the message.

#7 Posted by whatisdelicious (1261 posts) -

@ShaggE: I actually thought about mentioning the Nicole eyes and mouth from 2. One of the only parts of 2 that I thought was just silly. It seems like more of a Japanese horror thing to me.

#8 Posted by ShaggE (6636 posts) -

@whatisdelicious: Yeah, her first appearance was creepy and fun, but they could have made her so much scarier... I've never found Dead Space to be scary in the first place, but the Nicole hallucinations were chock full of missed opportunities. Imagine going down a dark corridor and seeing nothing but the lights from her eyes and mouth, slightly bobbing as they slowly move toward you, with that scream/screech effect getting louder and louder, and then a sudden Necromorph in your face. It could have been amazing.

#9 Posted by believer258 (12102 posts) -

@whatisdelicious said:

@believer258: Yeah, the Hive Mind and the Leviathan were both pretty huge and weren't just repurposed human corpses, but they still had a clear design. I can't tell what that thing is here. I can't tell what its body parts are or where it's facing or what it's doing. It's just incomprehensible.

As for humans, in Dead Space 2, the whole reason why it was cool is because you didn't fight them. You just unleashed the Necromorphs on them. It was awesome. I don't want to engage in firefights and take cover against live humans and Necromorphs that possess dead bodies and force them to use guns and melee weapons. That's dumb. That's Resident Evil. Necromorphs are supposed to break your body in half in the most painful way possible to turn you into a weapon.

And as for the pickaxe, it just strikes me as dumb because this is the future. They're doing crazy space excavating where they rip planets in half with tethers from orbit. They invented plasma cutters and line cutters and rippers and etc to replace the manual labor of archaic items like a pickaxe. What's the point of setting it in the future and going through the trouble of designing all these weapons if you're just going to fall back on the tropes of today?

I was just saying that I'm sure they could find an everyday use for the tried and true. There's also the rule of cool and the rule of scary, whichever one this particular thing falls under, meaning that its purpose is to scare you, not to be practical.

Either way, I'm not an expert on mining and no one is an expert on mining in the Dead Space universe so I cannot pretend like I know for sure whether a pickaxe would be useful or not. All I know is that that zombie has a pickaxe and I do not want it near me.

#10 Posted by whatisdelicious (1261 posts) -

@ShaggE: Yep, some real missed potential with the PTSD aspect too. Not enough of Isaac seeming messed up from the last game. There was a great moment where a shadow in the showers early on turns into a Necromorph and you turn around and nothing's there, but just a couple cheap stingers beyond that. Though the sequence on the Ishimura was fucking brilliant. That was meta-PTSD. The whole time I was just thinking "oh god I know what happened in this room. Nothing good happens in this room. Fuck fuck fuck fuck."

#11 Edited by Cold_Wolven (2287 posts) -

We all knew this was coming since E3, Dead Space 3 will try to appeal more to the mainstream for increased sales so expect co-op, cover taking, lots of ammo and plenty of explosions. Even Dead Space 2 was moving away from what made the first game feel so lonely and insecure.

#12 Posted by whatisdelicious (1261 posts) -

@believer258: I agree about why the pickaxe is there, and normally, that'd be fine, but in the fiction, they've replaced them, so it seems more silly than anything to me. It's too impractical and cliche for me to have the suspension of disbelief, especially given that the first game started on a "planet-cracker" mining ship. It cracked planets. I think they're beyond pickaxes.

But yes, grand scheme of things, it's pretty minor and is clearly just there in a "don't think too hard about it; zombies with pickaxes are just scary" kind of way.

#13 Posted by ShaggE (6636 posts) -

@whatisdelicious: Oh man, that Ishimura visit was what sealed DS2 as one of my favorite games of this generation, and made me glad I muddled through the first game (which I didn't particularly care for). Another brilliant moment is Stross subtly breaking the fourth wall by staring at the player camera and freaking out, which is an honestly chilling moment when you realize what he's doing.

All this talk is making me really want "Amnesia... IN SPAAAACE", incidentally. I'm jonesing for some scares.

#14 Posted by Yummylee (22296 posts) -

I'm right there with you, and I find how horror games in the vein of Dead Space leaning ever closer towards more action per sequel to be just so damn lazy. Like, the most creative ideas you had floating in your head was to add more set-pieces, a roll ability, coop, and guys with guns? Horror games are too hard to design so, iunno, universal ammo's cool I guess? Inventory management only gets in the way of the killing! Unfortunately for me Dead Space 3 is now looking to be just another shooter; a very well made and fine tuned shooter, but a shooter non the less. I've got Gears of War Judgment queued for my cooperative TPS requirements in 2013, and since this is looking to basically be another Dead Space 2 (which I was also iffy about the faster pace and increase in set-pieces and arena combat) just with an additional slice of action, I'm probably going to give it a miss until I spot it during a sale or something.

Least this is actually looking to be a good high-octane action game, though. Unlike a certain other example...

@ShaggE said:

@whatisdelicious: Oh man, that Ishimura visit was what sealed DS2 as one of my favorite games of this generation, and made me glad I muddled through the first game (which I didn't particularly care for).

Oh jeez, I actually forgot about that part... OK, yeah, that was genuinely pretty damn scary with how it played with your expectations and it's one of the greatest moments across both games.

#15 Posted by HistoryInRust (6380 posts) -

After the direction Dead Space 2 went, I'm not at all surprised by any of this.

#16 Posted by EXTomar (4922 posts) -

Initially I thought they were going to try to pull in the second character as a miner like they pulled in Isac as an Engineer where this new miner character would be using future mining tools as weapons to dismember necromorphs. Oh well.

#17 Posted by l4wd0g (2011 posts) -

I watch the Dead Space 3 trailer, I though it was Lost Planet 3

#18 Posted by jillsandwich (762 posts) -

I don't understand eighty percent of what you're trying to say.

#19 Posted by Rafaelfc (1417 posts) -

@ShaggE said:

abstract enemies

Went to see them live at The Metro, they were totally overhyped.

#20 Posted by killacam (1286 posts) -

@believer258: i think dead space 2 was far less scary simply because visceral (EA) focused more on action that time around. It's not the redundancy; each of the core Silent Hill games are mind-shatteringly terrifying, but the formula remains largely the same throughout.

#21 Posted by Humanity (9870 posts) -

All the enemies look fine because they look like gross monsters - and Dead Space was always about gross monsters. You had to fight human enemies already in Dead Space 1 when that military ship crashed into the Ishimura so thats nothing new. The co-op looks like it is handled in a very clever way. Dead Space 2 did everything right but taking the original game and tweaking controls and systems to make it a more fluid playing experience. Wait for it to come out before passing judgement.

#22 Posted by ShaggE (6636 posts) -

@Rafaelfc said:

@ShaggE said:

abstract enemies

Went to see them live at The Metro, they were totally overhyped.

Yeah, but Glowy Faces brought down the house.

#23 Edited by NTM (7519 posts) -

I see no problem here, you just hope that every single monster shown in Dead Space has a familiar attribute, when from the get-go, not all monsters were. Not every Necromorph you see even from the first you'd go "Oh, yeah, yeah, there's what would usually function as the human's spine." Or something along those lines. It doesn't have to be something familiar to us as long as it looks nasty, but I do understand how it can lend to a sort of dread where you realize that it was once part of something that we knew of.

@believer258: And don't forget how not only is it mixing it up, but there will be times necromorphs and humans will fill the screen, and they'll fight one another as well (usually the humans losing).

#24 Posted by NTM (7519 posts) -

@Humanity said:

All the enemies look fine because they look like gross monsters - and Dead Space was always about gross monsters. You had to fight human enemies already in Dead Space 1 when that military ship crashed into the Ishimura so thats nothing new. The co-op looks like it is handled in a very clever way. Dead Space 2 did everything right but taking the original game and tweaking controls and systems to make it a more fluid playing experience. Wait for it to come out before passing judgement.

You never fought any of the humans that were aboard the USM Valor when it crashed into the Ishimura, I don't know what point you're trying to make there by saying you fought humans before.

#25 Posted by Brodehouse (10107 posts) -

They have axes in Dead Space, it's your melee attack in Extraction. The first level is you being a miner and then everyone you see has... glowing eyes and mouths, just like that one guy, and then at the end it turns out you're crazy and you went on a rampage.

Also they've had weirder looking monsters previously. As people have stated. So far the comeback has been "but that was different because it was Dead Space 1 and not 3!"

There are reasons to not be excited or whatever for DS3, or frustrated with the marketing, but these are bad, incorrect rationalizations that don't fit.

Even then, it's not like DS1 and 2 had good marketing either. They were the exact same rock guitars and guns and monsters you're getting from 3.

#26 Posted by Humanity (9870 posts) -

@NTM: The crew of the valor, those commandos, were the most human-like enemy I can remember. The point I was trying to make is that you fought human-like enemies as I thought that was the issue, that you weren't fighting some grotesque monsters anymore. Personally I don't see what difference it makes what ends up on the other end of your gun before you pull the trigger. In all honestly I never thought most of the monster designs were that interesting and I love Dead Space. Basically what I am trying to communicate is that I really love the franchise and the main protagonist so I am going to give it the benefit of the doubt. The E3 demo had me thinking they are mucking it up but then subsequent gameplay videos showing side by side comparisons of how the game plays with co-op and without made me realize it was actually pretty cool. I had faith until the very end in Hitman: Absolution and that turned out pretty bad no matter how much I really, really wanted it to be good. I'll continue believing Dead Space 3 will be another great installment in the series and hopefully this time I won't be let down.

#27 Posted by Undeadpool (4989 posts) -

Ehhh, it looks fine to me. I thought by the title of this thread they were going to go the RE5 direction and just have every single "boss" be a writhing tentacle mass.

#28 Posted by NTM (7519 posts) -

@Humanity: Right, you never fought them though, that was what I was saying. You only fought the infected ones after a while of going through the ship, the twitcher's, which are just a fast type of regular necro's. It's far different than fighting humans, unless you consider something to be of human form (two arms, two legs and a head) to be human-like, but then you could just say that for the majority of the things you fight in Dead Space.

You also fight them in Severed. I just wanted to make sure you remembered or knew that you never once actually fought humans. You've only witnessed them dying from either the crash or by being killed from necromorph's. Other than that, I agree entirely with you. I'm ready to buy it. If you are indeed a huge fan and have any questions, as well as a Facebook profile, you should go here and ask whatever questions you have about three (or Dead Space in general); whoever replies there is good with communicating; not something I can say the same for many other game companies that have a page there, but that's understandable.

As for asking about three though, they'll probably just tell you to wait, ha ha. I'm not one to have ever doubted Visceral, and from the get-go I thought they were making a fine product, horror intact or not. There were a few of things I had problems with, that was that the shooting didn't feel very impactful from what I saw; early on it seemed rather early to announce the game since both Dead Space and Dead Space 2 are fresh in my mind because of playing those a lot, but checking the time between one to two isn't very different at all, and the human A.I. looked dumb. I guess we'll see when we finally play it though.

#29 Posted by Whitestripes09 (427 posts) -

I feel after watching some game play of the demo that the enemies just aren't as frightening or original as they were in past games. I think if anything they seemed to be more of a pain to deal with. Primarily those little head guys that attach to dead bodies and use whatever weapon they have.

What seems to be lacking here is the fun horror house feel of Dead Space 1 and 2. The atmosphere of being caught in some installation in space with no real way of getting out other than with a ship and slowly walking through hallways where every possible vent or corner could have some sort of monster waiting for you seems to be gone in this one.

Not only that, but then they throw in this weapon maker tool kit that lets you create some ridiculous weapon. I felt like in DS1 there was this inanimate bond from the moment you picked up a plasma cutter. The plasma cutter was your life line that helped you survived. It wasn't even a traditional weapon it was just some mining tool that worked better than a gun for the purpose of cutting off limbs. Now it's more like "let me build my giant heavy machine gun that shoots death rays at everything."

#30 Posted by aquamarin (555 posts) -

Yeah, I've only played some 2 and kinda got the gist of what they were going for, so I'm admittedly not qualified to speak on Dead Space matters, but these characters, monster designs, scenarios, and wide open vistas in that video look like an idea that has just been taken too far past the original intent of the series.

#31 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

I believe Visceral lost key talent, when that Glen A. Schofield guy got bagged by Activision headhunters to build Sledgehammer Games. Well - the proof is in the putting - looking forward to see what he'll do with his studio. Visceral didn't do anything to impress me, other than Dead Space. Dante's Inferno certainly didn't improve their standing.

I think EA is only capable of quality games, if key personnel in the studio has the studio's vision for the game at heart, and the needed dedication and perserverance to push enough of that vision past corporate red tape, if it comes in the way of it. I'm not sure if that's still the case at Visceral. Only glancing at the new Army of Two game, I don't think that's something they really wanted to do. A simple hack job, and a clear indication of a certain lack of personality, which would be needed to give the studio character beyond Dead Space.

That's all conjecture of course. Dead Space 3's monster designs sure are a clear step away from the body horror of part one, which tells me Visceral is full of Yes-Men, saying "Why Not!", and no strong lead who says "No!", if need be.

P.S. Speculation and conjecture is fun! No offense intended.

#32 Posted by Brodehouse (10107 posts) -

So did I ever explain to you guys the INCREDIBLE GENIUS regarding how Dead Space has fictionally justified its unique gameplay element? The strategic dismemberment angle is actually backed up and stands as a key piece of the fiction.

While some people are locked into their 'space zombie' ideals, how Dead Space works is actually far different. The key item that causes necromorph outbreaks is not a virus that affects bodies, it is a signal given off by the Marker that causes delusions and insanity in the living, and animates dead flesh as the Marker's internal intelligence sees fit. The enemies you see are not specific monsters who respond to stimuli and react, they are literally just animated dead flesh being directed by a central intelligence; the Marker signal. Now, for humans, our limbs are less important than our vitals, because in order to act we need to have these systems working. For the necromorphs, the only thing that affects the specific necromorphs is whether or not the collection of dead cells is useful to the Marker's intelligence. To be useful in its intent (killing Isaac), it doesn't require a working heart, a head, lungs, the things living creatures need; it merely needs an avenue to attack. You are not 'killing' necromorphs by strategically dismembering it, you're merely removing its functionality as an agent of the Marker. The end of a necromorph's life is not a biological process, it's merely the retraction of the Marker's animation.

That's an incredible way to justify a gameplay mechanic as simple as "shoot the arms to make the arms blow off".

And also, the Marker has been shown to manipulate dead flesh to create better agents to kill with. The traditional 'slasher' necromorph is essentially a rush-job, just something readily available and requiring little construction beyond altering its bone structure to have sharp arm protrusions. With more time it can mold the tissue to be what it needs; these are the 'advanced' necromorphs you see. Like the Hive Mind and Gargantuan from 1, the Brutes, this worm monster from 3.

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