“Dead Space 3” livens things up


Photo from Edge Online (www.edge-online.com)

Video Courtesy of Microsoft

Jared Thornburg and Jared Thornburg

The third installment of the Sci-Fi Horror series has made some major changes with a new writer, a new setting, and not one but two playable characters, making this game the most dynamic entry.

“Dead Space 3” starts us 200 years into the past; giving a little insight into what happened before the first two games. Then we get whisked away to the game’s “Present Day,” which takes place shortly after the events of the second game. We see Isaac Clarke, the main protagonist in the series, still disturbed by visions and torn by the fact that his girlfriend Ellie has left him. The military bursts in to his apartment and tells him that Ellie is in trouble, and that they need his help because he’s the only one that knows how to deal with the events that are taking place.

In the two previous games, the main antagonist has always been the Necromorphs, an alien like parasite made up of human body parts that needed to be shot in the limbs to be killed.  Even though you still have to fight them, you now have to deal with the Unitologists as well.

Unitologists are a religious group who believe that the Necromorphs and Markers are the next step in human evolution. While they have been nothing more than a harmless group in previous games, they take on a much larger role in this entry, having overthrown the government and releasing Markers upon the Earth. These bad guys can be taken down in the traditional sense, with a well-aimed shot to the head or chest.

The game takes place in more than one location, but you will be spending most of your time on the icy planet of Tau Volantis, which is thought to be the home world of the Necromorphs. This planet felt very much like I was in the 1980 John Carpenter film “The Thing,” which actually inspired the parasitic monsters.

Aside from the scene change, Visceral has added a drop in/out co-op feature, allowing a friend to play alongside you in the campaign mode. The bench feature, which allows you to upgrade your weapons, now enables open building and supply crafting, which comes in handy when supplies are scarce. There are also a number of different suits for Isaac to wear, unlike the previous entries.

Even though Isaac has gotten used to dealing with these monsters, the game is still very scary and will have you jumping when Necromorphs pop up out of the snow, in elevators and out of vents. With the same enemies from previous entries, and some new ones to adapt to, you will find yourself fighting to survive.