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RC's Dead Space 3 Review

A Review On: Dead Space 3

Dead Space 3

Rated # 79 in PC Games
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Price paid: $59.99
RagingCain
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Pros: Read Review (Quick Pros at the top)

Cons: Read Review (Quick Cons at the top)

The Quick Pros:
Weapon Crafting
Graphics & Lighting
Story & Game Length (Real Length)
Excellent mouse and keyboard controls (over the previous DS releases)
Most QTE fights have been removed.

The Quick Cons:
Suit selections and their incorporation (it’s disappointing.)
Repeated plot points and story interruptions.
Some of the characters are over the top.


Dead Space 3 (PC) Full Review & Thoughts
DEAD SPACE 3 - 84.16%

Genre: Survival Horror, 3rd Person Action/Adventure
Rated: Mature
Developer: Visceral Games
Publisher: EA Games
Release Date: Feb 25th, 2013

Versions: Standard, Limited Edition, Developer’s Collector’s Edition

Steam Powered: No
Steam Collector's Edition Availability: No
Steam Game Guide Availability: No
Steam Achievements: No
*On going EA / Valve problems prevented release on Steam, may change in the future

Origin: Yes
Origin Collector's Edition Availability: Yes
Origin Achievements: Yes

System Requirements:
CPU: 2.8 GHz processor or equivalent
RAM: 1 GB RAM (XP), 2 GB RAM (Vista or Windows 7)
HDD: At least 10GB for installation
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 6800 or better, ATI X1600 Pro or better, 256MB, Shader Model 3.0
DirectX: 9.0c

Major Game Changes & Comments:
The trilogy continues with the previous protagonist, Isaac Clarke, but this time joined by a partner: John Carver. Going into this I was extremely worried about EA’s contribution as publisher to Visceral Studios. I had some biased feelings being burnt by Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age II already. If DS3 became a dismal failure, I could swear off every single IP that Electronic Arts was involved with. This will review will see if that has finally happened.
Major changes include:
Resource Gathering
Campaign Coop, Chapter Segmentation & Selection
Weapon & Item Crafting
Suit Selection / Upgrades
Side-Missions (Optional)
Non-laggy controls with mouse and keyboard, with key remapping on day one.

The Suits:
One of my favorite parts of the original Dead Space game was the ability to upgrade your suit parts and slowly watch your basic engineering suit become an epic quasi futuristic armor. Dead Space 2 replaced a lot of this with generic RIG upgrades by power nodes and physically replacing suits as you found them or unlocked them via storyline. Each suit though had bonus stats related making some better to play styles than others.

Dead Space 3, has for some reason, really simplified the whole process and nearly every suit is identical in stats. It’s a little strange but there is virtually no depth here. So don’t rush off to buy the launch DLC’s with the bonus suits hoping they will give you an easier starting adventure either.

Instead, the suits now correspond with needing thermal protection (on Tau) or not. The game will refuse to progress at certain points without a thermal suit on for example. While they could have done a lot with this, such as needing a suit for space walking, soaking massive damage, or thermal protection, they essentially let you just wear what you wanted 90% of the game.

While the suit designs are new, not rehashed, I am always disappointed when games remove depth. I don’t mind simplification if things are overly complicated, but enough of the “dumbing” things down.

8 / 10

The Weapons, Items, and Crafting:
There are over 30 weapon blueprints I found in this game and there are epic combinations of weapons. While not as vast or comical as Dead Rising 2, there is something for everyone and definitely more than enough to satisfy die hard action game fans. That’s right, action game. Dead Space 3 is no longer a survival horror, it is a horror action game. The sheer weapon choice and types is a testament to that.

The weapons are easily obtained, the ammo is constantly obtained, or crafted (which I couldn’t ever see happening really.) You craft your weapons based off of blueprints, which is little more than a page telling you what resources you need. Resources gathered, such as “Rations” or “Tungsten”, allow the assembly of the devices at “Repair Benches”. You gather resources from Necromorph loot drops or through Scavenger Bots obtained later in the game. You may also disassemble old devices and items for a fraction of their parts cost. You can even upgrade your favorite devices with more damage or fire speed as well. All being said, I do like the new weapon crafting system.

9 / 10

Linear-ness:
Much like the predecessors, Dead Space 3 is linear. Now, I never have had a problem with linear games, as long as it was done right. Dead Space was inferior to Dead Space 2, in the fact that the momentum was always forward in Dead Space 2. Dead Space had a lot of backtracking and getting from point A to B to C, then back to B, then back to A. Dead Space 2’s formula was still A to B to C, but then a new path opened up getting you back to A, and usually in a new manner such as at rocket speed in space. Dead Space 3 is arguably a similar concept as Dead Space 2, momentum is always forward, but the distances have been artificially inflated in length / time to achieve. There are moments of eye-rolling repeated situations. An example is a security system activates threatening to kill you and must be disabled to go forward. When that is “disarmed”, electricity goes out, and must be turned on now. I call this game fluffing. Not to be confused with porn fluffing, although they do get things “up.” In DS3’s case, it grossly raises the amount of time to complete the game that is trivial and unnecessary. I hate to criticize a game that is “long” but there is a right way to do it and a wrong way. Dead Space 3 suffers a bit of this artificial inflation a little too often. You can easily shave off two or three hours of game time and have moved the story forward, which for me was over 18 hours of play time. That being said, it is no disservice to the fans, in fact, the fans should feel grateful as it seems they were trying to give a very complete and lengthy experience to their fans.

7/10

The Graphics:
A console port, with a lot of love given to it. A week before the release there were a lot of comments from PR, developers, and Visceral Studios that irked some of the community. I knew going in, if the gamed looked as good as Dead Space 2, I would be happy. The phrasing of some of the comments just seemed out of place. Looking back, Visceral Studios had said that the PC didn’t need a lot of special treatment, they basically want the same experience everywhere. Looking at the game and the third release/upgrade of the Godfather engine, there were times I was blown away. This game excels at lighting, level design with intricacy, and Bokeh DOF. The only complaint was a few times the low resolution textures (console optimizations) took center stage. This was either on mobs, decals, or occasionally just a bad floor / wall. Why I believed Visceral Studios down played it a lot is I think simple, they simply started from the ground up with scalability in mind. The PC scaled extremely well with all the eye candy you could throw at it and a triple digit frame rate. They built the game with it in mind they “shouldn’t need to” give the PC any more love as the engine will take advantage of what is available. Dead Space 3 may very well be one of the best looking DX9 titles after Witcher 2. Third place, to me, would still be Dead Space 2.

9.5 / 10

The Story:
The story is long. Artificially inflated too much at times. The optional missions are fantastic for completionist types, or a nightmare, since there are quite a few of them. A side mission is a secondary arc, mostly going through a story of a platoon or individual that was there 200 years before. Sometimes creepy, sometimes full of action, but usually they were worth going for just for pieces of story line. Other than the collectibles that can sometimes only be found during the side missions, you were rewarded with a pretty nice cache of prizes towards the end of it… if you do live that long. The story of Isaac Clark though was fairly decent. He has changed a bit, he started as support guy in the series (just an engineer) but has fully developed in to a crisis handler and leader. If you have follow Isaac’s story from the beginning, the action pace the series has taken makes sense. He isn’t a timid bunny fighting the undead mutated corpses from hell for the first time, he is now a name taker and ass kicker. The down side at times are basically the scripted events that just annoy you and some of the character drama as well. You are like… really? After all this, this is what… you know what? Never mind, I will just shoot you in the face. The human antagonists are annoying, a lot of the times, you just want to join the necromorphs to take care of these idiots. I am not saying they are necessarily poorly done, in fact, I think they are stupid and annoying as part of the design. You get angry at how blind these Unitologists are, but some of it is more, nobody would be that retarded. The story of the Markers are exposed at some of the end-game, but not at all is the story over nor is everything explained which… is slightly disappointing.

8 / 10

The Ending: Original Ending Review (Click to show)
The ending was concrete to me. Do make sure to watch past the credits for a movie style bonus to it. I wish there was more, but not nearly the “Mass Effect 3” level of it. They definitely were careful here to reveal enough to warrant the actual play through of the game, but it is slightly disappointing missing a lot of key plotlines. I won’t go over any spoilers, but the plot twist and its origins are completely unexplained, nor is Tau Volantis life forms fully explained either. Nothing about this game was perfect but the ending was again, to me, not disappointing.

So, now that the DLC was released roughly a month later. We are given the "canon" ending to Dead Space 3. For an extra 15$. Immediate points taken off for that.

5 / 10

The Multiplayer & Coop:
Yet to be reviewed with a friend (serious atmosphere.)

~8 / 10

Conclusion:
Is Dead Space 3 a good game? Yes. Is it the best game of the series? No, I don’t think so. Visceral Studios released a good game, to a great series. There is nothing wrong with that, but I had hoped for a little bit more horror, creative scares, and less artificially inflated story length. I wish they had spent more time figuring out how can we scare the crap out of players, how can we keep the player on his toes, and how can we do it with out over doing it or repeating it too much. The game was still head and shoulders over recent movie releases over the past 5 years though. This game will make you jump at night with the headphones turn up. The other down side is the game can be boring towards the end, with more skilled players just wanting the damn game to be over with. The coop is great if you have a good friend to play with. I had one matchmaking dude who was as useless as a poopy flavored lollipop. If I didn’t know any better he was six years old playing video games for the first time, but no sensible adult/parent would have allowed that I am sure.

Game score averaged out to 77.85% (price taken into consideration as well.)
77.85% @ 59.99$ + 14.99$ DLC



Best Way To Play:
Keyboard + Mouse, Lights Off, Good Headphones / Sound Card.

Worse Way To Play:
Lights On, Lights on w/ Distractions, No Headphones.

System Used:
The DeadSpace Rig v4
i7 3770K @ 4.5 GHz + 32GB DDR 3 @ 2000 MHz
2x XFX Radeon HD 7970 BE @ 1000 GHz
ASUS Xonar Essence STX Sound Card
Headphones: Beyerdynamics DT990 Premium (600 Ohms) / NAIM headphone amp.
Controller: Razer 360 Controller

Related Media:
Movie: Event Horizon
Movie: Alien & Aliens
Movie: Pandorum
Movie: The Thing & Prequel
Game: Dead Space 1 & 2
Game: The Thing
Game: F.E.A.R.

Links:
Overclock.NET Dead Space Fan Club: http://www.overclock.net/t/1360161/ocn-dead-space-fan-club/0_50
EA: http://deadspace.ea.com/
Wikia: http://deadspace.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page

Other Reviews:
IGN: http://www.ign.com/games/dead-space-3/pc-22618
Kotaku: http://kotaku.com/5981589/dead-space-3-the-kotaku-review
IUP: http://www.1up.com/reviews/dead-space-3-review
GameSpot: http://www.gamespot.com/dead-space-3/reviews/dead-space-3-review-6403319/

1 Comment:

I have decided to lower the score to a solid 78% after playing the DLC.

My reasoning behind this was simple, I felt the game was artificially inflated in length and the end of the story was all we were getting. Turns out the actual canon ending was DLC. That just pissed me off.

For the entire story, you needed 75$ if you bought game at release. Shameful.
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