phatmac's Dead Space 3 (Xbox 360) review

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A different kind of Dead Space.

Dead Space 3 Review

My favorite part of Dead Space 3 is the space walks.
My favorite part of Dead Space 3 is the space walks.


I'd say that I'm a big Dead Space fan. I'm still one of those people that vastly prefers Dead Space 2 over Dead Space 1 so take that how you will. I'm in the camp for more action in Dead Space so it's no wonder as to why I liked it more than the original. Both games are still fantastic so you should play both if you haven't already. My expectations for Dead Space 3 weren't that high to be honest. Video game trilogies usually follow the pattern that the third game in a franchise will mostly likely be disappointing. I also didn't have high hopes for the initial presentation for Dead Space 3 with it being presented with co-op. That didn't mean that I was going to skip Dead Space 3 but that my expectations were low for this game.

After beating it I can safely say that it surprised me with the innovations that it introduced to the franchise. Most of it is smart and proves that Visceral Games isn't just making the same game again. However, some of these additions like micro transactions and the removal of credits made my experience with Dead Space 3 flawed overall. I like Dead Space 3 overall but it isn't as great as it could have been. The ending left me disappointed since it sort of ended everything that the franchise had started poorly. The ending sequence and the story fall off a cliff and never come back. It leaves me uneasy for the prospect of another Dead Space game.

You're not alone anymore

Dead Space 3 includes co-op which is a new addition to the series.
Dead Space 3 includes co-op which is a new addition to the series.

I mostly played Dead Space 3 by myself as I wasn't sold on the co-op at first. After playing several chapters by myself I finally decided to play co-op with my friend. I found the co-op experience to be enjoyable for the most part. It wouldn't be the ideal way for me to play Dead Space 3 but it was still a different way to play the game. You may want to play the whole game with a friend as there are certain missions that are co-op only. These missions involve Carver(the character you play as if you aren't isaac) and his back story. Those co-op missions aren't crucial to the story but they are a nice addition to an already length campaign.

Speaking of the story, I have to say that the story overall is terrible. The story in previous Dead Space games weren't that good to begin with. However, they weren't as important to the game when compared to Dead Space 3. The story and lore in previous Dead Space games was mostly ambiguous with concepts like Unitologists and markers being left in logs or in movies about Dead Space. Dead Space 3 is different as it tries to wrap everything up. All of your unanswered questions are tackled in Dead Space 3. The question I ask you is if you really want these answers? Do you reallywant to know about the origin of the markers and necromorphs? Isn't that stuff fine without some stupid explanation that ruins the mystery of Dead Space? I was fine without the answers to some of these questions but Dead Space 3 insisted that I really should learn the origin of all of these things. It's all mostly crap though.

It's more Dead Space but with more bullshit

Fighting human enemies is one of the flaws that Dead Space 3 has.
Fighting human enemies is one of the flaws that Dead Space 3 has.

The combat still feels like Dead Space. If you enjoy killing necromorphs with dismemberment than you'll be satisfied for the most part. The new things to combat that Dead Space 3 adds is with the ability to craft weapons. The system for crafting weapons is pretty complex at first. It certainly took me a while to finally understand how the whole process works. It mostly comes down to finding parts for certain weapons like a plasma core(for plasma cutters) and fitting them into the right frame. You can only make a plasma cutter with a single-handed frame and you can only make a shotgun in a two-handed frame. You have two slots for a single frame so you can make a plasma cutter that has a flamethrower at the bottom of it. You only have two slots to carry two weapons but with the bottom section of a frame you really are holding 4 weapons. At first you don't have many materials to craft weapons.

This is why seeing a download content inidcator at the bottom of a bench so offensive at first. If you can't find the part to a ceratin weapon you can try your luck by buying different packs with real life money. You can also buy these packs with in-game credits that are called ration seals. The more sinster aspect of the materials is that they act as your currency. Dead Space 3 removed credits which were the only way that you could buy health packs and ammo at shops. The shops are replaced with benches so the only way you can buy health or ammo is with materials that you either find in the game or buy with real money.

Aren't microtransactions the best?

Don't be like that guy over there. He payed for material packs with real money!
Don't be like that guy over there. He payed for material packs with real money!

I actually came close to buying these packs as I spend most of the material that makes health packs on upgrading my rig. Near the end of the game I couldn't make a lot of health packs so I had to rely on finding health packs in the enviornment. This scenario isn't the end of the world as normal difficulty isn't too hard to beat the game on but it proved to be a challenging ordeal. I was left with a playthrough that was mostly me dying repeatedly due to not having enough materials to craft health packs. There is an even more evil aspect to the microtransactions in Dead Space 3 that I've failed to mention.

So you get these little material robots that help get you materials in the game. You can have 5 robots that you can deplot by searching the area with a sensor. There are certain areas that'll have an audio cue which tells you that these areas have a lot of materials that can be collected by these robots. The problem with this whole system is that it takes each robot 10 real time minutes to go and collect these materials for you to use. You can speed up the process by paying real money in order to shorten the delay. So in short Dead Space is now Farmville. It's all gross and makes both Visceral Games and EA desperate for your cash. Keep in mind that this isn't a free game. You still have to pay 60 dollars for this game. The amount of times that you're pressured into paying for these things is despicable and it really hurts the immersion that you have in the game. You don't have to pay for any of this to beat the game so most of this stuff can be ignored.

So should you buy it?

I liked Dead Space 3 overall. I was surprised by how much fun I had experimenting with new weapons. I had fun killing enemies with a shotgun rocket launcher. The weapon crafting system is a new aspect that I hope is kept for the next game in the series as it does change the quite a bit. I still like the combat and really enjoyed some of the side quests early on in the game. It's one of those games that starts of well but than falters in the second half of the game. The space ship debris area at the start is the best part of Dead Space 3 as it doesn't have human enemies and is most reminiscent of the older Dead Space games. Once you get to the ice planet the whole journey stops being all that fun. I'm still impressed by how much content there is in this game. It took me 20 hours to beat this game so there is a lot for you to do. You can also keep beating the game to unlock more difficult modes and even unlock a retro skin for the whole game which sounds interesting.

I didn't like the story in Dead Space 3 as it answers all of the questions in series poorly. The ending sections in particular left me disappointed in Dead Space 3. I wasn't a fan of human combat since that sort of combat felt unnatural when compared to regular combat. It feels like the engine wasn't made to handle human enemies. Seeing Isaac crouch just doesn't feel right to me. I didn't like the copy and paste side missions that were in the ice planet. It felt like I was just playing the same areas in order to get more materials that are in a loot chest. The microtransactions are also a sticking point that I wasn't a fan of. With all of that said I still liked Dead Space 3 and I recommend that you check it out.

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