Video Game Review: Dead Space 3 (PC)

dead space 3 wallpaper hd1 Video Game Review: Dead Space 3 (PC)

Despite all the controversy surrounding the new micro transactions, the 11 pieces of Day 1 DLC, the pre release news that the PC version would be a straight up console port and my utter loathing of EA, against all logic I bought Dead Space 3 and for the PC no less. The title has thus far earned quite a bit of hate for not only its shady business practices but also the inclusion of co-op with many series fans (like myself) fearing that it would destroy the horror experience and while the game as a whole is nowhere near as good as Dead Space 2, it is certainly a cut above EAs last release, Medal of Honor Warfighter which was the biggest pile of crap since Battlefield 3.

In the game you play series protagonist Isaac Clarke, an engineer who had quite possibly the worst assignment of all time and is now caught up in a mission to save the galaxy from the necromorph infestation and a bunch of religious nut jobs called Unitologists with the aid of his new best buddy, John Carver.

So is the story any good? Well………….. Not really. I mean while the lore of Dead Space is really interesting and a lot of fun to learn, the main series has always had iffy storytelling and it kinda gets ridiculously bad here. The biggest problem is that the characters focus way to much on stupid bullshit instead of saving the galaxy. There’s this love triangle between Isaac, Ellie and Norton that becomes a big deal way to many times and it makes the whole thing come off as a poorly written sci-fi TV show.

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That’s the best way I can describe the story. Its basically people caught in this life threatening, galaxy ending situation and they spend way to much time focusing their attention on stupid bullshit (like their love triangle) than on the main task at hand. Keeping with the tradition started in Mass Effect 3 which continued in Assassins Creed 3, the ending is pretty terrible and there is no resolution to anything that’s happened thus far.

Although the side missions are very well written due to their self contained nature and they do deal with a lot of dark themes like cannibalism and they do add to the to total play time, it makes me wonder what moron wrote the main plot since some one competent in the writing department is clearly employed at Visceral.

That being said the gameplay is still good. If you’ve played a Dead Space game this one is going to be pretty familiar, you have these space zombies called necromorphs and you have to strategically dismember them to take them out, along the way you have to manage your inventory and customize your weapons to increase your space zombie killing capabilities.

It’s hardly a big departure or innovation from the established Dead Space formula, but the addition of weapon crafting does add something cool to do, until you realize it completely breaks the horror and it becomes a dungeon crawler style mess where you have to go through a billion menus just to customize a single goddamn gun part.

Dead Space 3 preview 1 Video Game Review: Dead Space 3 (PC)

This becomes a serious pain in the ass by the end of the game and I cringed every time I got near a weapon bench because I knew 30 minutes of menu swapping was about to ensue.

And you cannot ignore the weapon crafting because your standard guns are pretty useless and you have to customize them or else you might as well quit the game immediately. What made the previous Dead Space games scary for me was going anywhere, most of the time I just wanted to stay near a sure fire safe zone and was too afraid to go anywhere, not the case with Dead Space 3. Here the game pretty much encourages you to go everywhere and scavenge through stuff to get more components for customization.

Playing solo you will get the traditional Dead Space atmosphere, you are alone in these hostile place in the dark scanning every inch of the screen since the enemies can pop out of nowhere and it is pretty nerve racking. That is until you realize its all just jump scare after jump scare over and over.

Being the 4th Dead Space game I’ve played and after seeing the same enemy come out of the same vent for the billionth time just wasn’t scary and it felt like the developers just ran out of ideas this time. Once the scare factor disappears you will encounter some big holy shit moments when 8 necromorphs all come at you but this happens solely because the campaign was clearly made for two players but was cut down so that the fans don’t bitch.

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Sure you would encounter a lot of enemies in the previous games, but this time there are a lot of places where the enemy number is so large it’s painfully obvious that these encounters were made for two players in mind. Another detriment for playing solo is that you cannot experience the good part of the story which is Carvers.

He goes through a similar dementia that Isaac went through in Dead Space 2 and only by playing it in co-op can you experience the full tale and see what Carver sees. I will also admit that playing in co-op is really fun. Sure it completely breaks the tension but it also gives you a greater amount of options during battles.

You and your partner can create vastly different sorts of weapons through the crafting and in doing so can create all sorts of awesome and creative ways to kill enemies. While killing necromorphs is fun, battling the human enemies is really, really bad. You have this quasi cover system which barely works and since enemies can’t aim worth a damn you’ll hardly use it.

Plus the human A.I. is pretty terrible; they will constantly just stand around, fire into the air and wait for you to kill them. They don’t add anything to the game and in the end just bring down the total score.

Despite the rather all over the place feel of the game in terms of quality, the sound design remains consistent and it is just as creepy as before. You will hear all sorts of little sounds like necromorphs or people screaming in the distance and using these sounds to tell when a necromorph is about to attack could mean the difference between life and death.  The graphical quality is quite good and this is something the series has always done consitently well along with the sound. Now my PC is no powerhouse but I imagine that it on a very powerful rig it must look down right gorgeous.

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Now to talk PC specific features and I was surprised at the amount of options available to be perfectly frank. You can customize pretty large amount of graphical options including Vsync, bloom, glow, depth of field, SSAO, motion blur, decals, anti-aliasing, shadows, anisotropic filtering and few others. You can also change the FOV in the config file but I didn’t really need to do this since the camera works perfectly fine most of the time. All in the entire PC version does have a fair bit of graphical options and I dare say it’s actually a pretty good port in the respect I was honestly expecting something a lot worse.

In conclusion is Dead Space 3 a bad game? For everything it does right it manages to mess up and it results in a good but also very flawed game that is no where near as good as its predecessors. It’s apparent that the developers simply didn’t have enough time to truly craft the finale they wanted but hey im here to judge what we got not what could have been.

So should you buy this game? Honestly no because while the overall quality is good, I say don’t buy it simply because of the shady business practices by EA and constantly being reminded that I can simply pay to for more crafting items every bloody time I used a bench just fueled my anger further. Bit hypocritical of me since I bough the thing but hey its my job SO DONT YOU JUDGE ME!!!

If you’re a die hard fan chances are you bought this despite all the controversy, but if youre just looking for a great game to play, honestly go pick up DMC or just wait for Tomb Raider or the other dozen releases that are coming out in the next two months and skip this one.


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