Dead Space 3: What we want to see
19th Feb 2011 | 15:30
Dead Space 2 is an absolutely stunning experience, there's no doubt about that. We won't go into all the reasons why we loved Visceral's sequel, you can read our gushes by checking out our Dead Space 2 review.
But you should have already bought the game, survived the carnage and begun winding up your hype machine for the third in the series.
We're already well on the way in terms of excitement, far enough in fact to have a pretty good idea of what we want to see in Dead Space 3.
Here are our polite requests for the next slog of survival. Don't forget to tell us yours.
GUNNING FOR CHANGE
Don't get us wrong, shooting those nasty Necromorphs is incredibly fun, it has been right through the Dead Space series. Being able to lob limbs of with carefully aimed shots, gradually dismembering your foe makes for a really sick kind of satisfaction.
There is one fairly big problem with Dead Space when it comes to gunning, however, and that's the fact that we're never encouraged to mix our arsenal up a bit. In fact, Dead Space 2 actually encourages firearm monogamy.
Ammo drops in the game are clearly geared towards whatever piece you're carrying, so it's all too easy to pick your favourite weapons and stick to it for the entirety of the game. That might not bother some people (it's your favourite gun afterall) but we think not forcing other weapons into play means wasted opportunities for variety.
Mass Effect had a similar problem; players upgraded their weapon but the system in place meant that it was all too easy to focus on tweaking one weapon, forgetting the rest entirely.
EA needs to come up with a new upgrade system for weapons in Dead Space 3, one that has a strong strategic element to it and encourages variety in your gun wielding.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION
Dead Space 3 had some of the most epic action sequences we've ever seen and the best bit was that control was rarely taken out of our hands.
Take the train sequence, for example. It starts of conventionally enough, just an eerie, light lacking creep through a train carriage. No great shakes.
It isn't long though before everything starts to go brilliantly wrong for Isaac. First of all he has to jump from one carriage to the next while both are moving at speed. Having the player make use of his trusty rocket boots to blast down the tunnel and jump the gap was exactly the right move by Visceral, having the train doors fly off and making us dodge them kept the jeopardy at maximum.
But it didn't stop there; sliding down the carriage as it topples and starts to fall keeps the action running at an incredible pace, and when we ran out of bullets hanging upside down and fighting off Necromorphs at the end of the sequence, well, we were pooped.
Dead Space 2's action sequences rivalled Uncharted 2's in the way they were sprung upon you suddenly and seamlessly. Basically, we want more of the same, but we don't want to lose any of the slow-burning scares that Dead Space is known for.
It was a controversial decision and it upset a fair portion of the Dead Space fan base, but we think taking off Isaac's helmet and letting us see the man underneath was a good idea.
Naturally, it made Isaac feel more human and helped to demonstrate his vulnerability; especially after he'd had a particularly bad beat down and we could actually see his anguish.
Isaac was also more exposed in terms of his back-story and learning more about our protagonist helped us to relate to the man we were controlling as well as providing some extra incentive to survive.
We don't want to spoil bits of the story for anyone who hasn't played all the way through Dead Space 2 yet but we especially liked the way Isaac's wife was integrated into the story as well. We want to see where that goes in the third.
Ultimately all of this served to make our main character more complicated and three-dimensional, which is always a good thing in our book.
Like we said, some people we sceptical about removing the helmet but we think it's opened up far more opportunities in terms of character development potential and we want to see that really grasped and extended in the third outing.
Dead Space 2's multiplayer doesn't really work and, in a way, that'll be music to a lot of survival horror fans who probably wouldn't hold back in hitting Visceral with a big fat "Told you so".
Dead Space's appeal is the expertly crafted atmosphere it manages to conjure by using various visual and audio techniques at the right time, progressing the story in a specific way or just straight up hitting you with everything it's got for a completely different kind of scare.
With multiplayer the ability to manipulate the gameplay in a controlled way like that is taken away from the studio meaning you can't get the kind of atmosphere in Dead Space 2's multiplayer that you do in its campaign.
Visceral wanted players to work together, especially when it comes to playing as Necromorphs where the idea is to play with the humans, sneak around and intimidate them before going in for the kill.
Most of the modes are geared towards teamwork as well but the scoring system in Dead Space 2's multiplayer actually favours people who play it like a basic deathmatch over those who work towards the co-op objective. Rack up kills on your lonesome and you'll rank higher than someone who has been working away at trying to gather the Shock Mine pieces in the Titan Mines mode for example.
So Visceral needs to work on multiplayer's scoring system to encourage people to play as was intended. Not only will that make for some more fulfilling team based gamery but it will go some way to creating some of the urgency and tension that the single campaign has as well.