games / Previews

E3 2012: Dead Space 3 (Xbox 360, PS3, PC) Preview

June 23, 2012 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris

EA and Visceral Games treated us to a special behind closed door preview of Dead Space 3 at E3 this year. This looks like it will perhaps be the final journey of Isaac Clarke as he looks to put a stop to the Marker and Necromorph threat for good. The game features a radically new setting for the franchise as the game is set on an icy, wasteland planet not unlike Hoth called Tau Volantis. The live demo begins not long after Clarke and his comrades, Ellie from Dead Space 2 and new character John Carver, have crash landed on Tau Volantis. The hazardous wasteland is filled with Necromorph beasties and also heavily armed humans, likely nefarious Unitologists. The live demo begins not long after the crash landing. Clarke’s RIG suit is badly damaged and he’s been separated from Ellie and Carver. Clarke is able to find Carver and the two are attacked by a nasty arachnid Necromorph monster while using a service elevator. Clarke is able to arm himself with a new, specialized RIG snow suit perfect for the hazardous, icy terrain of Tau Volantis.

For the first time in the Dead Space franchise, Dead Space 3 will feature two-player co-op gameplay with John Carver in the role as the new playable character. For those who think this messes up the flow of classic Dead Space gameplay, playing two-player with Carver is optional. If you don’t have a friend playing as Carver, he will appear in the game as a NPC. Visceral Games showed off the differences in some of the storyline and cinematics when playing with Carver as playable and without. So it should give the game a nice little bit of added replay value. Carver is annoyed with Clarke and his “obsession” with Ellie and is determined to destroy the markers and wants Clarke to get his head in the game.

In another action-packed sequence, Carver and Clarke have to activate a powerful drill while also dealing with more Necromorph baddies. While the Dead Space franchise is very rooted in the survival horror genre, Dead Space 3 does look like it will have a lot more action. Watching the gameplay, the game looked to be more akin to Gears of War and Lost Planet than previous Dead Space games. So I’m not sure if fans will be OK with the changes and differences in gameplay this go around.

In the final sequence of the live demo, Carver and Clarke face off against a giant centipede Necromorph. The boss battle looked pretty tight and it climatically ends with the monster sucking Carver and Clarke in its maw and swallowing them whole! The video then goes into a cut scene and shows Carver and Clarke going down the monster’s esophagus and being digested into its stomach and stomach acid! The video comes to an abrupt end as Carver and Clarke are stuck about to be literally digested in the innards of the centipede. I wonder if they will make it out. I think the co-op gameplay looks good, and the new Necromorph monsters are nicely designed. Visceral Games was extremely mum about the human combatants on Tau Volantis and their identities. Ellie does clearly have two eyes in the game so I wonder what is going on there and if that will be explained considering she got an eye stabbed out in the second one. Graphics are already looking nice, but the setting for the game does come off as a little derivative.

Dead Space 3 is due out February of 2013 on PS3, Xbox 360, and Windows PC.

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Jeffrey Harris

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