"Far from Dead"
If the first Dead Space can be compared to the first Alien film, and Dead Space 2 can be compared to the follow-up film, Aliens, then it's probably a sigh of relief that Dead Space 3 doesn't compare to the weakness that is Alien 3. That is, except for the fact that Dead Space 3 is just not as good as the first two installments. Whoa! Fanboys! Don't get angry yet! I didn't say Dead Space 3 isn't absolutely spectacular either! Confused? Read on.
First, let's leave the whole controversy of the Dead Space series turning away from its roots of survival horror to a more action-based game behind. That topic is irrelevant on judging how good this game actually is. Can we do this for a minute? Good! Let's continue!
What's important about Dead Space 3 is that overall, gameplay has been refined to almost perfection this time around. Each Dead Space game has impressed me with its gameplay and control design, each becoming less sluggish and slicker. Dead Space 3 is now the apex of the series (as it should be), but it's also an example many games can (and should) go by. Severing limbs off of necormorphs has never been so sweet and so precise. These are the types of controls that keep you in the game. The kind of controls we wish we had for Resident Evil back in the day.
Courage to walk through the dark and mysterious worlds of Dead Space comes from the fact you know your controller is going to respond to what you do. You don't have to fight with the controls; you just have to be good. This is how gaming should be.
Of course, there are two other elements which have always put the Dead Space series into top notch territory: sound and graphics. Dead Space 3 brings back the intense, frightening and atmospheric soundscape that has been a pinnacle of this series. Play the game in the dark, with 5.1 surround, and you're playing Dead Space 3 as it is meant to be played. While not always "scary", Dead Space 3 always provides a sense of frantic intensity. Throw in an amazing atmosphere (such as the snowy planet of Tau Volantis), the detail of the necromorphs, and the smooth flowing graphics, and everything within Dead Space 3 just seems to have been perfected. The world is so detailed, in fact, that you almost never think that you are outside of the world of the game, which is vital for a horror-survival-action game.
New features in Dead Space 3 include an upgrade to, well, upgrading. Dead Space 3 gives a much broader and versatile system of weapon-building. By collecting parts and assembling items, exploration becomes much more exciting as you attempt to build the most powerful items and equipment. This also adds to the replay value of Dead Space 3. It's the sort of game you can plow though fairly quickly, or you can take your time and get a good 20 hours or so out of it.
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