Dead Space 3 reintroduces Isaac Clarke, who happens to quite possibly be one of the unluckiest engineers in space history. Visceral Games’ Dead Space 3 brings the survival horror genre to a more action-thriller spin with the introduction of a second character who is welcomed, thereby breaking away from the palpable fear of isolation in the first two series. While Dead Space 3 retains quite a lot of thrills to be had, much of the storyline is bleakly blatant and the actual character development has diluted into something rather disappointing.
Dead Space 3 continues from the ending of Dead Space 2, which we will not disclose here for those players who have not finished 2 yet and are just reading this review as an add-on to their future purchase. Isaac Clarke carries on the fight against the Necromorphs on Tau Volantis, but this time Sgt. John Carver has joined the fight with Isaac after losing his family to a group known as the “Inner Circle,” destroying Markers places around colonies to stop the Necromorph infestation.
Dead Space 3 does not introduce much newer in terms of upgrades or the experience progression system to allow for a stronger Isaac. Instead, it includes a cooperative play mode in terms of the single-player campaign that allows someone to jump-in and out of cooperative mode. The game’s mission structure itself spans 19 chapters of action thriller rather than survival horror isolation mode, but the bulk of the formula remains the same minus many elements of storyline that give it a unique feel. Isaac Clarke is a half-ridden ghost of his former image and does not have much in the way of the plot and mission development structure. Carver’s storyline sidequests of the tragic fate of his family is included but only through cooperative play rather than single-player play through mode. Jump-in and jump-out cooperative mode is a bit shaky with the checkpoint system. Some elements of Carver’s story can be left out if there is no Carver during the cooperative campaign mode, which is an annoying issue that really only serves to be something Visceral Games did not bother to clearly and fluidly maintain.
The music and general atmosphere of Dead Space 3 has changed from tight-dim lit corridors to include for more open-ended areas in terms of climate. This does provide more thrills in a more open-ended environment, but also slightly takes away the thrill of a corridor that is dark and has a lot of ominous quality to it.
Dead Space 3 overall maintains a similar vibe to the other titles, retaining the formula and adding cooperative gameplay, but unfortunately it does little to truly amp up the survival-horror into something that is memorable due to a wavering storyline of the main protagonist Isaac Clarke. Regardless, the title does provide a lot of fun, thrills, and excitement even though it falls short. Dead Space 3 sees Isaac Clarke trying to give a final fight to a once great threat that scarred him forever. This threat is far from over.