It seems like every day we learn something new about Dead Space 3. After weeks and weeks of rumors (here and here) EA has finally announced that there will be a third instalment in the Dead Space franchise. And they confirmed that it should be on shelves by March of next year. While Visceral, the team behind the series, have been looking for ‘avid FPS players’ to help with the multiplayer, EA have kept pretty tightlipped, refusing to share any further details.
But now we’ve found out more.
To recap, we suspect that Dead Space 3 will be set on a desolate snow planet called Tau Volantis, with the story surrounding events occurring around an unidentified facility. Isaac Clarke will star again and there is the chance a few other familiar characters will also return for the third instalment. And that seemed like all we’d find out until EA decided to offer anymore. But today an IGN source highlighted a number of changes that, if true, will completely alter how Dead Space 3 plays in comparison to it’s predecessors. How different will it be?
Well, along with a drop-in drop-out cooperative mode, there is the chance that Isaac will be facing human foes as well as the returning Necromorphs, a new companion who acts as a guide for Isaac and our player will have the ability to roll and crouch. Already the gameplay is sounding a lot different from previous experiences. So what should we expect?
During the solo campaign, a man with a ‘gnarly scar on his face’ in an engineering RIG suit similiar to Isaacs will appear as a guide to help Isaac on his missions. But, if you decided to play with somebody else, Isaac will instead fight alongside this man. Whichever way you play it, he doesn’t sound like a guy you’d want to mess with.
The Co-op missions will mirror the single player campaign but there will be a few changes to accommodate for the introduction of a second player. In one scene Isaac and his companion emerge from a burnt out wreckage together. But if you are playing alone, only Isaac will walk away all bloody and wounded. In addition, certain traumatic events caused by Isaac’s continued psychological breakdown will only occur in single player, otherwise they will be skipped.
Furthermore players will need to work together to interact with pieces of the environment. Telekinesis, for example, might have to be used in conjuction by both players before you can move on. You are also able to share ammo and heal your partner but if somebody gets killed then both players will have to reload from the last checkpoint.
The idea of playing with a friend certainly adds another dimension to the game but it does raise some doubts. After all, the tension and fear in the previous instalments was created by the fact you were alone. By adding in somebody to assist you throughout the campaign it Dead Space 3 might lose that edge. Hopefully it will increase the game’s longevity but perhaps it might be best to play solo first for those added sections before dipping your toes into the multiplayer section.
Our mentally damaged, hallucinating hero hasn’t changed much throughout the series. Well perhaps a little bit crazier; after all you can’t keep getting into nightmarish scenarios without suffering in some description. But that hasn’t stopped him from learning a few tricks. Not only is he capable of crouching and taking cover behind objects, Isaac can also complete evasive rolls! This is definitely the biggest change from the prequels in terms of gameplay. Whether this makes the game better or worse, time will tell.
New game, new guns. Most notably, Dead Space 3 intends on introducing different alternate-fire modes to help boost Isaac’s arsenal. Previously, the Plasma Cutter had a horizontal and vertical shot. Now switching from the default mode will give you a knock-back effect similar to the Force Gun. The Pulse Rifle has also changed as the secondary firing mode is, wait for it, saw blades. These changes point towards an upgraded workbench which could allow you to customize weapon combinations. After all Isaac is an engineer so it’s about time he proved himself with some weapon modifications.
Furthermore, telekinesis is more complex in Dead Space 3. Not only can you hold objects, you now have the ability to rotate them in midair. The result? Expect a bigger variety of puzzles to harness your new skill.
The Necromorphs have upgraded. But that isn’t the biggest news.
For the first time in the series, Isaac will be fighting against humans. Heavily armoured soldiers armed with guns and grenades are ready to take you down. And if you do kill them, be ready to fight them again when they transform into Necromorphs. Fantastic. And that’s not all.
As you are making your way through open areas, steel walls will occasionally form around you. To make matters worse enemies then start attacking you from all angles. We aren’t sure how successful these battle arenas will be, but with spinning drills that kill you on impact, we advise you keep on your guard.
Oh and don’t forget the spider-like creature which, if you aren’t fast enough, will devour you whole. Wait what? Oh yes. Unless you keep moving, shoot it’s weak spot (look for the orange tint) its legs or its protruding sacks Isaac will die. Worse still, even if you start to kill it, the beast escapes into a cavern before you can finish it off. A good chance that it’ll turn up again later then. Super.
What else is there? Well during one scene, Isaac observes an enormous worm-like beast bursting through the ice. Fans of Gears of War 2 might recollect a similar beast during that campaign. Whether Isaac has to kill it at some point is unknown at the moment.
So what do you think? Do these features inject new life into the franchise? Or do they take away from what made the Dead Space games great? EA haven’t confirmed anything beyond the release date but with E3 on the horizon, there is the possibility we’ll find out more soon. Let us know what your thoughts are so far.