It has been around two years since the second installment of Dead Space was unleashed to the public and each of its players has one story or another to tell you about how they jumped out of their seat or screamed in shock when Visceral Games’ twisted story had its way. The highly anticipated third game will be released the 5th of February and to have the community excited for the game, Visceral have released a demo which was available to download one week early if you signed up to the official Dead Space page. The early access demo was available on Xbox 360 only as the demo will be available to the public on the 22nd of January via PS3 and Xbox 360.
The beginning of the demo sees you waking up as crazy protagonist Isaac Clarke who has been through a very tough period aboard the Ishimura in the original Dead Space and then during his time on the Sprawl in Dead Space 2. Your ship has crash landed on a planet called Tau Volantis which is covered in ice and snow and these conditions add an extra element of fear to your journey. The demo of course doesn’t provide much of the story to you but the main aim is to try and find your group. Contained in this group is Ellie who helps you escape in Dead Space 2 and the new co-op character John Carver. The game eases you into the all-too familiar controls for the Dead Space veterans and as you are making your way through the snow, a Necromorph leaps up in front of you and makes you leave whatever food you had digested, on your seat.
That is why I and many others love the Dead Space series. The constant fear that you never know what is round the corner or when something can jump up and attack you. The game’s unpredictability is what makes it special. Although many had written the game off to not feature as many scares and an environment and situation similar to Lost Planet, Dead Space 3 seems to maintain the benchmark set by the previous two games for a sense of danger and terror. The setting (in the demo at least) is perfect for the Dead Space universe as a Necromorph could leap from the snow below you and tear you to shreds! As well as the snow-laden Necromorphs, there are a few new enemies to deal with including Wasters, the Nexus and Feeders. Each enemy has a different way to try and cut short your stay on Tau Volantis.
One part of the demo felt strange, however. In the previous two games, you were gunning down and stomping on these vile creatures who were trying to end your life and now (in some small parts) you have to battle with fellow humans who are trying to gun you down. There is only a small part of the demo this applies to but the truth is (as you find out in the demo) the Unitologists need Isaac Clarke dead in order to see that people shouldn’t mourn their loved ones who are dead, they should celebrate them and hope to join them instead as the humanity is reborn.
Two new features of the game include the weapon customisation and Kinect functions (Xbox 360 only). Throughout the game, you will find different components and materials to use to create and customise different weapons. In the demo, you can only carry a few weapons at a time and the classic Plasma Cutter is available and has the ability to be customised. A great feature which has been implemented is that multiple weapons have lower tools to use as attachments for different situations. In the demo you are able to get a glimpse of what is on offer from as far as the weapons bench is concerned but Visceral has promised complete customisation options for the retail release.
When the Kinect functions were revealed to be a part of Dead Space 3, some of the community were disappointed with the feature but I have been pleasantly surprised. Even with my broad Scottish accent, the game and Kinect were able to hear my commands clearly and use them effectively. The commands were simple ones however including ‘Pause the game’ and ‘Find objective’ which are easy enough to utilise using the controller but I was surprised with the reliability of the Kinect during the demo.
Dead Space 3 will no doubt be one of the games to look forward to in the early part of the year and possibly could be a contender for one of the games of the year. The demo only shows a small glimpse of what is in store for the full retail release. Dead Space 3 will be everything that is expected of the Dead Space series.