Saturday, August 31, 2013

Dead Space 3 - Very Enjoyable

Having previsouly enjoyed Dead Space  and Dead Space 2 I am delighted to report that Dead Space 3, which I have just finished, is also a great game.

Like its predecessors delivers a good old sci-fi shooter with a long (27 hours for me) campaign and plenty of nasty monsters to shoot.  It adds to the formula with a really great weapon crafting system that is massively customisable. In fact the weapons in this game are downright great. Each frame holds not one but two separate weapons. Want to build a flame thrower with assault rifle attached? You can? Want to build a shotgun with a rocket launcher? You can do that too. I finished the game with a kick ass assault rifle / shotgun combination in one hand and a surprisingly powerful electric bolas thingy in the other but I am sure many other combinations work too. 

There are a few niggles that it is probably worth mentioning. The checkpoint save system is pretty dire. In a previous post I have already talked about some of the problems it causes but the arbitrary spacing of checkpoints that actually save the game is also very poor. If you live in the real world then I guarantee you there will be times when you have to stop playing but because you are nowhere near a checkpoint you will need to leave the game running or lose progress. Even if the devs did not want to include a save anywhere feature they should have given the player more control over when to quit. A simple fix might have been to save the game every time you use a workbench (upgrade station). These are scattered at regular intervals through the game and at least that would give the player control over when to save. 

The other big thing to realise about this game is that despite appearances it is quite different from Dead Space 1 or Dead Space 2. It is less scary for a start and the monsters come in bigger numbers. Weapons and tactics that worked well in the earlier games don't work so well here. To my mind it more than makes up for this with it superb weapon crafting system but you might take a while to adjust if you are used to the earlier games.

I think it is also worth mentioning the games uneven difficulty. I found the game much harder at the beginning than at the end and I think the upgrade system has a lot to do with that. You start out with crappy weapons and you tend to get surrounded by monsters. The lack of an effective melee attack is very annoying because the monsters always rush you and the guns I tried are useless at close range.  Once I crafted some better weapons things got much much easier and I could kill the monsters before they got to me. By the end of the game with upgraded weapons and armour I was a walking tank. I have no doubt that you can google uber weapon builds for the game but I wouldn't bother. Have fun experimenting for yourself. The game (on normal difficulty) showers you with crafting materials so you can afford to play around with crafting. I will give one tip for starting out players though - build a shotgun early on.

Should I mention the games awful love story? Perhaps it is better left unmentioned. Suffice to say Dead Space 3 proves once again that  video game writers would do better to stay well away from romance. Either that or hire someone from Mills and Boon to write the soppy bits. Even M&B would do a better job. They could hardly do worse.

1 comment:

Jayedub said...

In the end I like DS3 but I found the first half to much more enjoyable than the second half once you get to the planet. The pacing of this game is so up and down.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed weapons kind of suck at close range. I think that's were most of my rage at this game comes from. I feel the monsters are much faster in this game and there are a lot of instances where there are just way too many to deal with at one time.