Dead Space 3 REVIEW

Dead Space 3 Review

Isaac’s nursery really wasn’t very suitable for little ‘uns

Release Date: Friday 8 February
RRP: £49.99
Format Reviewed: Xbox 360
Also Available On: PS3 and PC
Publisher: EA

Dead Space 3 is a rambling love-letter to John Carpenter’s The Thing. The space-bound horror series has always had Rob Bottin’s creature designs in mind with its assimilated human-meets-xeno Necromorph monstrosities, but the third entry takes it further than ever. Tentacled-dogs, disembodied spider-heads, and a plethora of snow-suited terrors roaming a deadly ice planet means Dead Space 3 is a MacReady away from an official tie-in.

Though the game’s opening act takes place in the now-familiar, vent-riddled mix of spaceships and futuristic cities, returning engineer Isaac Clarke and his companions eventually crash land onto a frozen planet. And the ice is hiding a raft of new features. Human enemies, weapon customization options, rappelling action sequences, Kinect voice-command support, and a drop-in/drop-out co-op campaign introducing new protagonist John Carver are all debut features.

All these additions have resulted in one major subtraction: horror. Sure enough the Necromorphs continue to burst out of air ducts (and now snowdrifts, too) but jumps and rising moments of terror are incredibly rare. Instead of handing you a cutting tool and little in the way of ammunition, the combat’s new modus operandi sees you tooled up with extra-powerful guns and handed more universal ammunition (say goodbye to survival horror’s all-important resource management) than you could ever reasonably fire while floods of Necromorphs are hurled at you in one go.

It’s a numbing prospect for long-term fans. Huge explosions and impressive vistas aplenty will undoubtedly wow newcomers and action seekers, but that brilliant survival horror game where you tip-toed through the shadows and desperately tried to dismember the horrors that caught you off guard before you became Isaac a la carte? It’s been well and truly left out in the cold.

Matthew Pellett

Dead Space 3 preview.

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