Average User Score: 6.4Feb 10, 2013I love the first two outings for the Dead Space world, and so was eagerly awaiting the third instalment even going so far as to order it for launch day (which is very unusual for me). After a day playing it however I'm left disappointed and am considering going back to my current play through of DS2 for my precious weekend's gaming. There are several issues I have with the new game which seem retrograde steps rather than progressive ones.
Firstly, however, let me say what's good. The world is even more deeply immersive than before. The addition of ladder climbing seems small but adds more plausibility to the environments. The graphics are sometimes simply breathtaking, and there seem to be more "real" objects around that you knock over as you pass or can pick up and fire at enemies.
The sounds is also superb. Music quickens when baddies attack (although I'm not a fan of "music is still attack music so baddies must still be around even though I haven't seen them" audio cues) and the squelching and snarling of enemies is sometimes stomach-wrenchingly good.
Optional missions too are a great feature and are implemented beautifully.
However, despite these standouts, there's something deeply lingering that disquiets me. The game dynamic has subtly changed, and not for the better.
Stomping corpses now is mandatory. Often corpses only drop loot if they're stomped. But there's no way to spot unstomped corpses. Missing loot annoys me.
Default weapons aren't powerful enough and enemies too fast. This sounds like the ultimate wimp-out criticism, and maybe it's a tactic to force more use of stasis, but here's how it goes. An enemy appears. I shoot it to remove a limb. Now it takes two or three shots to sever a limb instead of one. In the meantime the baddy has rushed me and so I end up button pounding or melee attacking. This is happening MUCH more than in the previous games. And it's a drag. An enemy appears and it's on me before I can shoot it enough times to kill it. Of course that hurts, so now I need more medical supplies. But now there seems to be something of an abundance of those. Guys, that is no substitute for balanced gameplay! Whereas enemies in previous games were sometimes a shock, there were never times when I thought one single enemy could conceivably kill me while I stumble around trying to shoot it now it's inches away and moving around me.
Let me talk about the new weapon system. What was wrong with the old one?! My first visit to a bench had me thinking "wow that system is way powerful but I will never be bothered to learn it". I'm all for making games you have to invest a bit of time in, but I will never be found planning my weapon upgrade strategy.
More generally, I've found that there is too much do-something-get-attacked about the game. An example is restarting a generator to provide power to a ship. I run around the gantry for ages figuring out what to do, and when the penny finally drops (it's not obvious enough and I had to be hinted to by the game) and I made progress I suffer a wave of enemies. Where were they for the previous two minutes of me running about looking stupid? And we have to do this three times. Pause. Progress. Wave of baddies. The scripting of waves of enemies is laborious for someone like me who moves slowly through these environments (particularly now I don't know if a corpse needs stomping or not).
It's a peeve of mine, but I always play this type of game on the easiest mode first, then replay harder. I expect "easy" or in this case "casual" to mean just that- not challenging, if you like. I like to think of it as "just FUN". The casual mode of DS3 is far from it. Two monsters at once is almost enough to kill me, which just isn't fun.
I guess that about sums things up for me. As a casual player, I want to dip in, have fun, and dip out. I can see DS3 has meat for a serious gamer, but for me, the mark of a game is how compelled I am to explore and enjoy it. Right now I'm wondering whether I want to play it again today- it seems far more like work. I'm actually thinking "well maybe half an hour on DS2 before I go back to DS3". Please, please, let that change as I come to know the game more...… Expand