Dead Space 3 is a third-person sci-fi survival horror with action elements developed by Visceral Games and published by Electronic Arts. The title was released in 2013 for multiple platforms, which were Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.
Visceral Games was an American developer based in California. It was responsible for several games, including the Tiger Woods saga, The Godfather, and 007, among many others.
Electronic Arts is a developer that requires no introduction, creating, and publishing franchises such as Dragon Age, FIFA, Medal of Honor, and Battlefield. The Dead Space saga has only three entries, produced between 2008 and 2013. Due to the success of the franchise, neither company denied the possibility of developing a fourth part.
The context and history
In the events that occur in the third part of the franchise, as in previous releases, Isaac Clarke again takes the leading role. The adventures experienced in the two previous games left their mark on the hero. He became a traumatized and paranoid version of himself, who could not overcome the scars left by his constant encounters with the aliens.
The plot of Dead Space 3 takes place in the 2500s. The human race, on the verge of extinction, is condemned for its research of the effigies, a series of rare alien artifacts. It is responsible for creating necromorphs, humans reanimated by an alien infection with horrific forms and only to transmit their plague. In this context, the last force of the human race called EarthGov intends to destroy the Necromorph moon, which generates the signals to the effigies. After recruiting an Isaac who first refuses but then agrees to join the team since his ex-girlfriend Ellie Langford is involved, the mission begins. In addition to the two characters already mentioned, several others will appear during the adventure. Among them are Captain Robert Norton and Sergeant John Carver, essential figures for the development of the campaign.
New old enemies and a different threat
One of the strengths of this entrance is the great diversity of obstacles it presents. As in their predecessors, necromorphs take the role of the main antagonists, where they can be seen in great numbers a variety of forms. In addition to this classic and safe option of the saga, you can find among the enemies other humans belonging to a terrorist sect called “The Circle”.
This group is called uniologist, because they want humanity to join the Martian infection, they welcome it as an evolution and thus achieve immortality. As if this were not enough, a third force of power is added. During the whole game, the characters will meet a huge beast called The Snow Beast. This rival will appear at various times during the game, harassing the players and triggering several boss fights.
Big changes that go unnoticed
In terms of gameplay, the player’s weapon system, vitality, and oxygen make a return on the real-time inventory located in Isaac’s suit. A weapon construction system was also used. In case users don’t want to build them from scratch, they can choose between models made from the two predecessor titles. This creates a sense of comfort for older players, as changes become less important in the presence of such familiar aspects.
The modifications chosen for this new adventure may seem few and even irrelevant, but they change the style of play very radically. For example, a rolling system was added, which allows players to perform evasive maneuvers. This more than a tool that makes the adventure easier, it is an excellent excuse for the developers to increase even more the difficulty scale of the enemies. Besides, the campaign can also be played in cooperative mode, something very well implemented against all odds.
Dead Space 3: Awakened
It should also be noted that although there is still not a fourth part of the title, the development company launched a DLC called “Awakened”. Its history takes place immediately after the events of the main game. This release turned out to be a success because it not only revives the fear quotas of the full entries, but it adds a very innovative psychological terror twist to the saga. Today, this additional downloadable content is known to possess the most disturbing gameplay in the whole saga.
Visual strategies to impact the player
For the graphic part, the title uses the Tiger Woods graphic engine, named after its original implementation in the PGA Tour golf game. Far from using realism as its best visual method, Dead Space 3 uses many hidden resources to captivate the player.
First, much of the adventure’s exterior is covered in snow, so a cold palette full of blue is the most natural choice. In the more tense moments, the game breaks with this composition by adding an orange and red sky, thus creating a very intense scene due to the contraposition of colors. Speaking of oppositions, the developers constantly rotate between the open field with snow and the classic closed lab. In this way, they keep the claustrophobic feeling alive without the players getting used to the enclosure.
Regarding the more closed places and laboratories, they keep the classic aesthetics used by their predecessors. Each room is full of shadows and darkness, with a predominance of metal. The designs are futuristic, but always with an apocalyptic dystopian composition that perfectly accompanies the ravages caused by the infected beings.
The reception of the title by the critics was very positive, being very surprised by the more psychological and dark turn that the saga was taking and its implementation of the co-op. In short, Dead Space 3 is a title that not only feels faithful to the original material but expands its universe and is encouraged to try new ideas. Unfortunately, there is no information that a fourth part will be released, but with the success of its predecessors and its rise as a cult game, the possibility will always be there.