Dead Space 3 PS3 preview

 

Key gameplay changes are limited to the crafting benches, which allow you to make your own weaponry from parts scavenged throughout the ship, and of course Dead Space 3′s co-op. The former works as intended, but – initially at least – is underwhelming: I manage to make nothing more than a standard Line Gun, a weapon that was prominent in the first game back in 2008. (As for the latter, we’ve covered co-op in this preview, and will run the rule over it in full in our review, forthcoming on February 5th).

Other tweaks are more subtle, and arguably less welcome: enemies are too well armoured for the series’ trademark dismemberment to be as enjoyable and effective, and they rush forward in manic waves that makes combat a less tactical affair.

What is more promising is that the Marker arc looks like reaching a satisfactory conclusion in the franchise’s third instalment: it turns out that rather than generating energy the destructive relics are actually receivers for it, and the main source of power lies within the snow clad planet below. And so with the message of ‘turn it off’ repeating in his brain like a catchy ABBA chorus, Isaac knows what’s required. Hope you packed your snow shoes, lad.

The game’s opening two hours are a mixed bag: the under-wraps prologue is enjoyable, the escape from the lunar colony far less so. And then we’re into familiar territory, although the game has far more of the action-flick feel of Dead Space 2 as opposed to the original’s claustrophobic survival horror vibe. Which, for me, is a shame. So far there’s nothing we haven’t seen before, but what there is is an accomplished and brutal sci-fi movie in which you can once again take centre stage. Lose a leg.

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