by William Thompson
reviewed on PC
Luckily Isaac, engineer by trade, is able to craft his own weapons using the ‘Bench’ located at numerous locations. Throughout the missions, Isaac will be able to collect weapon parts and upgrades. When he arrives at a Bench, he can then join the parts together in any way that suits. For those that are unsure of which parts fit together, blueprints can be found that show exactly which parts to combine. Various upgrades such as Rate of fire, reload speed, clip size and damage strength further improve the weapons. Constructing the ultimate bane of Necromorphs can feel rewarding when they stop dead in their tracks.
Whilst at the Bench, Isaac can also craft consumable items such as ammunition and med packs with the rest of the scavenged items he has accumulated.
If you’ve played the previous Dead Space games, you will feel right at home with the controls of Dead Space 3. Movement is standard fare for a third person shooter, as are the weapon controls. Destroying crates requires one keystroke whilst picking up much needed ammo and med packs, weapon crafting parts and various upgrades are all controlled with another key. Yes, it is probably due to some console-porting, but it does work well in each context. Isaac can take cover when available, although if a crazed Necromorph is charging at you, hiding behind cover will be of little use.
The audio really sets the tone. Although the game isn’t really a horror survival game as was the case for the original, the brilliant audio certainly instils a feeling of dread. Walking from one corridor to the next, the music and sound effects really bring out the fear that something is lurking around the corner and the sound effects fit the situation perfectly. Doors shut with a metallic bang, giving the sense of emptiness around you and the gruesome squeals and roars that you don’t want to hear will have you trembling in your chair. The call of the hideous Necromorph creatures would be enough to send anyone mad, but because they come from all directions, it takes valuable seconds to locate them. The call does have its advantages though. It does let you know that they’re on their way.
The dark lighting effects further encapsulate the feeling of trepidation as you move throughout the locations. Flickering light, hidden corners and splatters of blood can be seen at almost every turn. I even found myself shooting at lifeless bodies in the hope that I would stop them from rising in some sort of demonic form. My gun was always poised with the flashlight attached so that I could see where I was going. And, as was the case with Dead Space 2 the screen is free of clutter due to all the important details such as health, Stasis oxygen meter and ammo counts being displayed on Isaac’s suit.
That’s no moon, that’s a space station
In reality, Dead Space 3 could almost be regarded as a stand-alone expansion pack for Dead Space 2. The single player gameplay is largely identical to the previous instalment. But, since I found Dead Space 2 an enjoyable experience, I find no fault with that at all. After taking some time to really get going, the story does round off nicely. The visuals don’t seem a huge improvement from the 2011 edition, but the audio certainly makes up for it, increasing the tense nature of the tight, Necromorph infested corridors. The inclusion of the drop-in co-op enhances what is already a fun, albeit tense experience. If you’ve played the Dead Space games prior to this, then you’ll definitely want to give this a go. The frightening horror moments have all but disappeared, but the tense, apprehensive feeling still remains.
Controls will be familiar to Dead Space gamers. Music and sound effects set the tone perfectly.
Less horror than in previous instalments. Linear gameplay for the main story.