Dead Space 3 is only a few weeks away and every fan of the necromorph infested series was greeted to a small taste test with the release of the official demo last week. Showcasing the weapon crafting system, plus a section of the games campaign in single and multiplayer. So in true Dead Space 3 spirit, George Sinclair and Jamie Briggs throw on their warmest gloves and suited up for their adventure on Tau Volantis.
The cooperative play.
George – News/Reviews/Bearded Editor.
“Overall, it worked quite well. Far better than I was expecting. Visceral have taken special care weaving John Carver into Isaacs story quite well. Thoughts go to the heavy machinery on the bridge as it’s collapsing where I, (playing as Carver), was briefly separated from Isaac and had to climb the machinery just as it was about to collapse”.
“When I got to the top I had to help Isaac open the door to the cabin that was trapping him. The cool thing here is how the perspective changed and I could see Isaac inside trying to get out with me pulling on the other end. When you play this on single player, John isn’t there to help you so Isaac ends up breaking out himself. I thought it was a cool touch.”
Jamie – Managing Editor/Australian.
“I am with you there, I have been with the franchise since the start and I love the universe Visceral have created. I will be the first to admit, I didn’t have high expectations for Dead Space 3, but the demo certainly showed me how wrong I was. I particularly loved the change of setting, the snowy world of Tau Volantis looks stunning and it’s intriguing to think how levels will take place further into the game.”
“See, I didn’t even notice Carver helping to get the door open, once I burst through the door it was such a fast moment. That is a finer detail that really is starting to make me think that the co-op campaign may actually be the superior way to play.”
“Comparing my single player adventure to our co-op display of ass-kicking; the single player campaign barely had me interacting with Carver, whereas the interaction certainly came off strongly co-operatively.”
“Yeah, I agree with you. During the single player, I was expecting to see more of Carver even if it meant he was just an NPC. Of course, this could be the case in a later level but right now, it doesn’t look to be the case.”
“Some argue that Dead Space has moved beyond the realm of being a survival horror game. I’m not one of those people as I think the game still has the potential to be scary in single player. With co-op, I think that Dead Space 3 has two different approaches: The survival horror for single player and the action game for co-op. I like that. I like the interaction between Isaac and Carver.”
“If you’ve done some reading on Carver, you’ll see he has an interesting background as an EarthGOV agent whose family was presumably killed in a Necromorph outbreak on Uxon. It’s interesting to know that all this crazy stuff doesn’t just happen to Isaac. Did I mention Carver will also be suffering from Marker induced hallucinations? I think that has the potential for some interesting story between the two.”
“Agreed. From the example they showed (albeit it a small slice), Carver seems like he will barely be seen in single player. Of course, as you said this may change later on. I think the idea of getting a fleshed out story for both characters seems more interesting rather than just small snippets during single player.”
“Dead Space 2 did give me a different feeling than the original. I wasn’t as scared and it was easy to predict when enemies were going to pop out. But this idea of two separate campaigns that feel differently, play differently and don’t feel tacked on is great in my books. Nobody enjoys a second player being in the game and never acknowledged, this is a problem we will never have to endure.”
“That is what excites me about the Carver/Clarke co-operative experience. The idea that both characters could be together, then Carver starts shooting at what he is seeing on his screen, when I see absolutely nothing on mine is very interesting. Off the top of my head, has another game even attempted this idea? If it truly works, it could really set the bar for unique co-op experiences.”
“I don’t recall another game doing quite that with its co-op, no. I’m sure I’ll be corrected but co-op in games either see’s a character placed in, with no impact on or receives no recognition from other characters, (Killzone 3′s in particular springs to mind) or games will have a dramatic change in co-op. Uncharted 3 did that. That was a really good co-op mode that definitely wasn’t tacked on but it changed the storyline heavily, almost completely.”
“I think that whilst it is a horror game, Dead Space 3 is trying to tell a more integral story with an in depth focus on character. I don’t think it’s possible to recapture the feeling of Dead Space 1, as Dead Space 2 showed. Don’t get me wrong, Dead Space 2 was great and had plenty of “OH CRAP!” moments but now the claustrophobia is gone and has been replaced with Dead Space 3′s more open environments, I think it’s going to prove itself to be a more challenging action game.”
“It was evident with the drill part. We got swarmed and then we were killed by the drill. If anything, I still felt a pang of desperation. Desperation to get that drill stopped and to just survive.”
“The open environments will definitely lead to some interesting gameplay differentials from previous games, but I have a sneaking suspicion we may see some tight corridor action down the line.”
“Desperation is definitely the right word, enemies coming from all angles but also knowing that the drill is bearing down on you. It also allows for some strategic gameplay, one player focusing on the enemies and one focusing on the mission at hand. I think this will definitely be a teamwork inspired adventure.”
“The snow wasn’t helping any movement either; the addition of rolling is something simple but definitely helped in the end. I did feel the game was fairly easy with a partner, and from what we played it seemed the higher difficulty is the way to go with friends.”
“Let’s get down to the gameplay. For me, it felt like I was playing Dead Space. The guns that are slow to kill enemies, the heavy space suit restricting your movements. It was all there. But along with the co-op, we now have human AI trying to kill you which I think is very interesting.”
“Whilst we died like miserable failures of spacemen, we quickly sorted ourselves out and fought them off easily. I also noticed that there were a lot of supplies even though we were playing on Normal. I’d have to imagine that playing on Easy would mean that we’re invincible” *laughs*.
“That is very true; there were so many drops I was left with ammo to spare. Since it seemed like there were no enemy additions of enemy scaling, we had twice as many bullets for the same amount of enemies.”
“Did you try out the weapon crafting system demo they provided?”
“Yeah, I briefly tooled around with it and created a weapon. It’s a bit complex but it’s quick to get used to. I like that stuff is dotted all around the world. It encourages some real digging.”
“As for human based combat, I thought they approached that well. The player merely crouches behind cover as opposed to hugging it like they’ve just woken up from a bad dream. I particularly enjoyed how it turned into three way combat. Isaac vs Unitologists vs Necromorphs. It’s interesting combat to say the least.”
“How did you get on with the weapon crafting yourself?”
“I found the weapon crafting system to be very complex, but not in a bad way. I am very excited to find more parts and create some truly awesome weapons. Killing necromorphs with style? Yes please. I can see some people getting confused and avoiding the system, but either way it’s a nice addition.”
“I found the cover based mechanics to lack the quality of something like the Gears franchise, in all honesty I barely used it. I like how it forces you to change the way you play, focusing on Necromorph limbs and then focusing on headshots for human opponents. Even though human interaction was short in the demo, I am interested to see how it freshens up the gameplay during the game.”
“Hmm I prefer the lack of a Gears type cover system, as popping behind cover in that fashion would ease up combat against the Necromorphs, but when they’re charging you, it would be an unnecessary hindrance. That constant feeling of being surrounded by danger is highlighted again here”.
“What I like is that because while I was doing headshots for humans, I ended up doing the same for Necromorphs, and quickly realised it wasn’t right and that I’ve taken a step closer to my doom. Whilst human combat was sparse, I think it will really open up later on and if Visceral play their cards right, we could have a more fleshed out villain because of this rather than brief glimpses from behind a window or something.”
Jamie – Wrapping up the conversation.
“From the small amount we played, it seems like more Dead Space, which cannot be a bad thing in my book. Definitely looking forward to it now, in what is a very crowded first half of the year.”
“So George, final thoughts. From what you have played, Dead Space 3. Yay or nay?”
“As for Yay or Nay: Big Yay from me. This might be the first Dead Space I buy. I’ve always played my brothers copies but this has really perked my interest. The changes made had me wondering whether the franchise had gone on for too long. Don’t forget that Dead Space launched in October 2008, that’s over four years ago. Once I played the game, the changes that Visceral have made and the content they have put in make it a very enticing package. What they’ve done seems to work well for Dead Space.”
The demo is live on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade now, so make sure to download and check out the latest Dead Space adventure. The game will be landing on shelves on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC this February 5 in North America, February 7 in Australia and February 8 in Europe.
What did you think of the demo? What was your preference; single player or co-operative? Let us know below and for all the latest Dead Space 3 news and our upcoming review, stay tuned to Analog Addiction.
Analog Addiction is where you can find all the latest news, reviews and previews. Jamie Briggs is the managing editor of Analog Addiction and you can catch up with him on Twitter, IGN and Youtube. George Sinclair is a news editor as well as an occasional reviewer. You can find him also on Twitter and IGN. Don’t forget to check out the Facebooks, the Twitters and the Youtubes for Analog Addiction.