Dead Space 3 Review

DEAD Space 3 review

Negligence has not yet turned into outright disrespect, but because of it, horrors are still forced to grow on infertile soil. The irony is that the genre that suffered more than others from self-repetition generates the largest number of sequels. Freddy Krueger appeared on the big screen a total of 9 times, and during that time, he transformed from a mysterious villain into a jester.

The repulsive and clumsy necromorphs from Dead Space 3 are not trying to be sharp yet, but perhaps it could have been guessed that in the third part of the Visceral Games series, they decided to shift towards action. There was almost nothing here except walking through ominous rusty corridors and sudden creatures that make you jump out of your seat.

Not that Dead Space was a pure horror before. True horror requires increased vulnerability, but here we control a person clad in heavy armor and armed with tools for tearing flesh and telekinesis capable of holding monsters in place during dismemberment. The game always aimed for jump scares and bloody anatomical details.

After a short prologue about events from 200 years ago, we meet Isaac Clarke again, living in a lunar colony reminiscent of “Blade Runner”. A call from Ellie Langford, one of the survivors from Dead Space 2, suggests that Isaac had met her, but they recently broke up for unclear reasons. A strange plot twist, but it will help explain the subsequent events.

The markers continue to cause problems, and the Unitologists who worship them are starting to resort to terrorism. Ellie sets off in search of the source of these monoliths. But, as you might have guessed, soon communication with her team is lost. Gloomy soldiers, Captain Robert Norton and Sergeant John Carver, make Isaac get back to work, playing on his feelings for Ellie. And they arrive shortly before the Unitologists, sent by their leader, demagogue Danik, to destroy Isaac, the “Marker Killer,” and for that, they could easily blow up the entire quarter.

Then you briefly learn the story of the first part of Dead Space, while Isaac explores the abandoned fleet of drifting ships until he finally reaches the icy planet Tau Volantis. By this point, the game will be about a third completed. And even there, you will have to wander a lot on the snowy surface and through more familiar gloomy corridors before finding an NPC who suddenly becomes the love of Isaac’s life.

New Necromorph Types

There are new types of necromorphs here, but the battle strategy against them remains the same: keep your distance and tear them apart.

Dead Space 3 never turns into a “game about a real macho”, but it can’t get rid of the desire to constantly immerse you in various kinds of fancy action. You deal with armed villains on the roof of a moving train. You remember the rail shooter Panzer Dragoon as you control a falling ship in the atmosphere. You control gun turrets and fly in space with jet boots. You descend a mountain slope. You climb a mountain slope. Similar moments occurred in previous installments, but not as frequently.

It’s a very exciting game, but it has serious issues with self-identity. Shooting and movement are polished to perfection, but they are clearly designed for a slower and more methodical gameplay. Shootouts with humans are unsuccessful, the cover system and rolls don’t really help. Unfortunately, the encounters with necromorphs are also not satisfying – you need to maintain a fast pace, but increased mobility is lacking, and often Isaac has to literally walk over corpses.

What Dead Space 3 does well is scare the player. Monsters hide everywhere – and an attack from the front is almost always accompanied by a sneaky attack from behind. The game also has an unhealthy obsession with broken doors that lock you in a confined space with a bunch of creatures crawling out of every crevice. It’s a tried and true horror tool, but Dead Space 3 uses it so often that it becomes more annoying than scary. Isaac can dodge attacks with rolls, but despite the overall shift towards action, he still can’t shoot from the hip – a real problem in such dense, manic encounters.

However, these massive battles provide valuable resources. Since Visceral didn’t make any significant changes to the core gameplay, they focused on secondary elements. Gone are the old days when you would find simple weapon upgrades right under your feet, although you will occasionally find them. Now it’s more efficient to do everything yourself – luckily, at special crafting stations (workbenches, benches), you can assemble anything from a medkit to suit upgrades. To do this, you’ll need to find the necessary components in boxes and cabinets, as well as among the mutilated bodies of defeated enemies, trampling them with your heavy boots.

Here, your main currency will be sensors, semiconductors, scrap metal, somatic gel, and tungsten. And here is where something more repulsive than necromorphs comes out – I’m talking, of course, about microtransactions.


Fans will prefer the early stages, where you will wander through eerie ghost ships, just like in the good old days.

If you lack a certain resource, you can buy it with real money from the crafting interface. Technically, you don’t have to do it. I completed the whole game without spending a penny and without feeling deprived, but for the same reason, I often lacked just a little bit of resources. I resisted, but when you don’t know how much is left until the next crafting terminal, the temptation can be very strong – especially when one component is noticeably rarer than others.

That’s how microtransactions work here. There is no hard coercion, no one forces the player to pay. They entice him subtly, constantly reminding him of this possibility, it’s like an open box of candy within arm’s reach. Someone can easily not eat them, but sooner or later, many will take a couple, simply because they can.

This doesn’t affect the gameplay of Dead Space 3 too much, but it is noticeable. The scarcity of resources has always played a significant role in horror games, forcing you to save ammo and health, but now, when useful items are dropping from everything, the process sometimes resembles a loot-oriented RPG. You break every box, stomp on every corpse, search every corner, just to have an abundance of everything at the next crafting station.

This is also reflected in the side quests – local variations of raid dungeons – the entrance to these locations is blocked until you open it with a lever you collected yourself. Here, you will encounter even more battles than in the main storyline, and a box with valuable loot awaits you at the end of an entirely linear level.

Bond Villain Danik

Actor Simon Templeman, who gave voice to Kain in Legacy of Kain, voices the sci-fi equivalent of a “Bond-like” villain – Danik in the English version of DS3.

The crafting system helps to free yourself from the tyranny of a fixed set of weapons. You only have two weapon slots, but now you have the right to construct and customize any barrels for yourself: you can combine them for shooting in alternative mode and install various attachments and upgrades. Want a rapid-fire shotgun with an underslung flamethrower? You can build one. Prefer a classic plasma cutter, but want it to shoot electric balls that can bounce off or stick to enemies? You can build that too.

This is an excellent system, flexible and intuitive; one of the main pleasures in Dead Space 3 is customizing new weapons and testing them on the first encountered necromorphs. Here the game reveals its strengths. Dismemberment is what helps sell Dead Space – not the fate of Isaac Clarke, whose transformation into the hero of the franchise turned out to be somewhat awkward, nor the plot with all the Markers and religious cults. When a monster rushes at you in attack, and you start tearing off limb after limb – the little sadist inside you rejoices just as before.

The downside of the system is its exceptional power – deadly combinations are chosen automatically, significantly simplifying the gameplay. The aspect of being armed further diminishes everything that can be called horror in this series of games.

In addition, the introduction of cooperative mode contributes to this. In addition to adding more monsters and missions, co-op cleverly weaves Carver into the plot and skillfully uses the difference in what each player sees. A quite elegant solution for a game where you have to stomp on corpses with your feet.

Unfortunately, the co-op system itself is not as elegant. To join a game, you need to find someone who hasn’t started playing yet, or wait for someone to reach the next checkpoint. This can take some time, especially considering the story inserts that cannot be skipped. Again, if a player leaves your game, you will be thrown back to the previous checkpoint. Sometimes, one player stands at the console solving a puzzle while the other fends off monster attacks – the “lucky one” who got the intellectual work is left completely defenseless. There are plenty of such moments, but the system still has its advantages. And even though it’s not at all scary – mowing down necromorphs with a friend is still quite entertaining.


Xbox 360 owners can use Kinect commands to share resources in cooperative mode. Although you can also simply press a button.

Whether you will like Dead Space 3 will inevitably depend on how you perceive the series. If for you it embodies a guiding beacon, shining with terrifying salvation in a cheerful world of downloadable goodies, annoying social features, and brave shootouts, then, unfortunately, the third part went in a completely different direction. It is just as detached and restless in its desire to reach the widest audience as any other modern blockbuster.

Nevertheless, if you are willing to set aside your expectations, Dead Space 3 will please you with most of the main advantages of high-budget entertainment. The game will keep you occupied for a long time – it will take about 16 hours to reach the end, not counting side missions and strictly cooperative segments, and unlockable modes and various goodies will invite replayability. And despite the abundance of innovations, the old mechanics are present here to a sufficient extent. A lot of effort was put into the game, and it shows, although the engine is starting to show signs of wear and tear: loading times are long and clumsily disguised, and character models do not look their best in close-ups.

Dead Space 3 is contradictory. Luxurious but aging, gripping and bursting at the seams with all sorts of stuff that simply doesn’t fit within the framework set by the series itself. The game, of course, cannot be called magnificent, unless as a perfect example of the console developers’ mentality. It covers up all its mistakes with something worthwhile, but unfortunately, newcomers without prejudice will definitely like Dead Space 3 more than devoted fans.

Dead Space 3: Awakened

DEAD Space 3: AWAKENED review

Don’t think that I have amnesia or something like that. It’s just that this game is too forgettable. If you read my review, then you already know that. I strongly criticized the third part of the title., which I used to consider one of the best sci-fi horror games.

The original Dead Space and its sequel were rich in scenes that left a lasting impression in my mind. Even now, I can vividly recall those memories, filled with genuine fear and horror. The first zero-gravity flight and the horrifying eye scene. The return to the Ishimura and the appearance of the necromorph child. These moments from the first two parts of the title still haunt my mind.

Dead Space 3, among other things, lacks these moments. The new installment of the horror-action game by Visceral Games is lacking in… horror. Where are the hallucinations? Where are the mind-bending twists? Where are the soul-chilling cultists?

They probably saved all of that for Awakened.

However, Awakened starts off quite weak. The expansion begins right after the events of the third part, when the miraculously surviving Isaac and Carver are left drifting on Tau Volantis. Their first task is to escape the inhospitable planet. It’s so far away, so boring. However, soon enough, they encounter followers of the Unitology Church, who are even crazier than any obsessed believer. These guys repeatedly whisper their chaotic thoughts out loud (including to the player) and engage in self-flagellation. Just what we need.

The religions of the world are different

Soon all these troubles reach the main characters as well. They begin to experience frequent and very painful hallucinations. Of course, most of these hallucinations are simple images that flash on your screen at random intervals. However, it happens that you have to frantically fight against new disfigured enemies (which you can observe, for example, in the video at the end of this article). Did someone hit me? Isolated me from my partner? It’s unclear. You can only shoot and pray, hoping that somewhere nearby there is at least one bottle of Advil that will help dull the relentless headache.

Soon both heroes start experiencing hallucinations, which creates an interesting plot tension: disagreements arise between Isaac and Carver. Damn it, yes! Finally, I can raise my voice at my partner. I always dreamed of that. Truly empathize with the person whose fate is entrusted to me. Dead Space 3 was literally filled with characters who were completely indifferent to me. I had to witness the relationships of a staged love triangle instead of delving deep into the psychological nightmare that Isaac experienced, and potentially other people as well.

Open space

Isaac’s unhealthy desire to cleanse the universe of necromorphs is becoming increasingly clear, and it sharply contrasts with Carver’s behavior, whose head is not filled with such nonsense. Carver balances Isaac, occasionally cooling his enthusiasm with a very literal slap.

In my previous review, I mentioned that Dead Space 3 is best played with a friend. The same can be said for Awakened. Immediately after the horrifying interludes, truly interesting cooperative tasks follow, which surprisingly are enjoyable to complete. Visceral has managed to implement several good ideas in the second half of the DLC. It’s not just about staring at your partner’s back while they shoot down crazy cultists. You work together to complete missions and interact in a very unusual way.

However, this DLC is not perfect. The pacing of the narrative is slightly strange, and the antagonistic side claims to be unique but still feels cliché. And yet, if the story didn’t solely focus on Isaac, Carver, and their desperate attempt to escape the planet, the main villain could have been a very interesting character. Furthermore, when considering Dead Space 3 as a whole, this add-on may seem too small and late. Although it does somewhat compensate for the lack of horror. And as for the wonderful cooperative gameplay, it’s just a great excuse to entice a friend to play this game together.

Dead Space 3
PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Action, Co-op
Electronic Arts
Visceral Games
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



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