Being one of the most popular survival horror franchises on the market, it’s no surprise that fans everywhere became excited at the initial announcement of Dead Space 3. And while you’ll still take up arms as Isaac Clarke and blast the limbs off of Necromorphs just the same as always, there are a handful of new changes being added to the Dead Space formula in this third installment that are worth taking note of. With that being said, here are five reasons why Dead Space 3 is a must-see for horror fans.
EVERYBODY WORK TOGETHER NOW
When it was first announced that there would be a cooperative element to Dead Space 3, there was a universal outcry within the gaming community. Co-op in a survival horror game?
And it’s worth mentioning that the fears aren’t necessarily unjustified. After all, the game is one that relies heavily on its use of atmosphere to deliver the scares, and it does risk taking you out of the experience when you’ve got a buddy with you the entire time.
But in Dead Space 3, developers are aware of the risks of having another person to play through the game with. And in an effort to combat loss of horror elements, they’ve taken a whole new approach to cooperative play.
Isaac’s partner in the game is Carver, a man with a tortured past who finds himself in a curious predicament. He suffers from a horrifying dementia that leaves him seeing things and going on mind trips at random moments throughout the campaign. Players who take the role of Carver will have certain images and sequences appear in their game that those who play as Isaac will not see. It’s the disturbing nature of Carver’s condition that adds another layer to Dead Space 3‘s already unsettling atmosphere.
The stress of working with another player also serves to add tension to the gameplay, as you’ll be tasked with reviving your partner, managing inventory and trading items, and working together in combat. Ultimately, you’ll need to be concsious of the other player at all times, as things can go bad quickly.
And while you’ll still be able to play the campaign alone, it should be noted that those who play co-op will gain access to more areas and be able to achieve much more when working in tandem thanks to Carver’s ability to spot and enter new areas on the map.
NEW PLACES, FAMILIAR FACES
Dead Space 3 sees the return of everyone’s favorite disturbed miner Isaac Clarke, a man with an extensive knowledge of the Markers and a knack for shooting up the grotesque undead.
In Dead Space 3, Isaac takes to the snowy world of Tau Volantis as he tries to find the source of the Necromorph infection outbreak while running from rabid cultists that continue to hunt him. It’s a unique world with an eerie, isolated feel and a dark back story that slowly unfolds as you explore the planet’s varied landscape and learn about exactly what took place there.
There are returning and new characters that both make an appearance in Dead Space 3, including the aforementioned Carver and Ellie, who separates from Isaac after their ship breaks apart and crash lands in the beginning of the game. How much each character will appear and what their interaction with the overall narrative won’t truly reveal itself until we finally have the chance to sit down and play, but it’s a promising prospect nonetheless.
RETURN OF THE NECROMORPHS
At the heart of the Dead Space franchise is its iconic enemies, the Necromorphs. Essentially a race of undead with distorted human bodies, the Necromorphs make up the majority of the enemies Isaac faces as he goes up against the horrors of the Markers and the infection that has plagued so many.
Much like the characters of the main storyline, fans can expect to fight enemies old and new during their time on Tau Volantis. Creatures like the lightning-quick Twitchers make a return with an overhauled look and AI will attack Isaac, and new enemies in the zombie-like Feeders serve as a great reason to never eat Necromorph flesh under any circumstances. Like before, enemies all have their own unique strengths, weaknesses, and abilities that will challenge players in combat.
One of the most important mechanics in the game is that of scavenging for supplies and looting for items. While you’ll pick up standard things like ammunition and medkits, you’ll also be able to find items that will allow you to completely build your own tools and weapons. New tools like Isaac’s scavenger bot can actually be assigned to dig “hotspots” throughout the world and bring you the spoils in order to better customize your loadout. Developers say it’s not just a neat new feature they’re implementing in the game; it’s central to survival on Tau Volantis.
OH, THE HORROR
Over the past few years, true survival horror games have decreased in number, instead becoming an action/horror hybrid combining the best elements of both in an effort to capture a broader audience. One of the most notable examples, of course, being Resident Evil, a game everyone loves to hate because of its loss of “true” survival horror elements.
That’s just one of the many reasons why Dead Space is so popular; while it does have a fair amount of action, it is a survival horror game at its core. It has a powerful, eerie atmosphere, and it’s hard to argue that Necromorphs aren’t one of the creepiest creatures in gaming. So turn off the lights and turn up the volume, my friends. Dead Space is back.
Look for Dead Space 3 on PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 on February 5.