Dead Space 3 sees the return of protagonist Isaac Clarke who has crash landed along with his crew on the frozen planet called Tau Volantis. The crew's ship was destroyed and scattered upon entry, and the crew members that remain alive will soon meet up with Isaac in order to discover the secrets of the planet that could end the Necromorph threat forever. Isaac will be joined by a new protagonist named John Carver that will appear randomly throughout the single player campaign, but is also a playable character in the game's cooperative campaign. Dead Space 3 begs for multiple playthroughs, since both the single player campaign and cooperative campaign feature slightly altered storylines and missions, and playing as Carver rather than Isaac will produce some interesting results of its own. The storyline of Dead Space 3 is still just as suspenseful as it ever was, and if cooperative play isn't your thing, there is still plenty to experience in the game on your own.
Dead Space 3 retains the classic gameplay that fans have come to expect from the series over the last two releases with some minor changes. There are still plenty of ugly Necromorphs to battle as well as reanimated gunmen, and giant drills and stasis based puzzles are still a major part of the game, as are special quick-time events. Clarke and Carver can also visit work benches to modify their guns with spare parts found throughout the game, but now, guns can be completely built from the ground up using no blueprint for some of the most unique weapons ever featured in the series. Once you've created a one-handed or larger, two-handed weapon, you can equip the gun and share the blueprint with other players. Creating new guns is more fun than it should be, and searching and scavenging for parts will take up a large portion of your time with the game. Of course, there are plenty of new enemies and some massive creatures to do battle with in true Dead Space fashion, and the action portions of the game may feel a bit lazy at times, but they never take away from the feeling of survival horror for long.
Dead Space 3 is easily the best looking of of the trilogy of games, and the game looks great and runs smoothly on Xbox 360 whether playing solo or online co-op. The Xbox 360 version of the game also includes special Kinect exclusive voice features that allow you to perform various actions such as activating stasis blasts, calling out for help from a teammate that places a glowing blip on your partner's map or allowing the quick exchange of med kits and ammo clips. A fantastic soundtrack composed by BAFTA award-winners Jason Graves and James Hannigan builds tension nicely and keeps you enthralled and on the edge of your seat. From the moment the game begins with a frostbitten and bloody Isaac hanging upside down in the wreckage of his ship, the feeling of dread and desperation never lets up, and now you'll be battling the elements as well as Necromorphs. Dead Space 3 is a worthy sequel and the best release of 2013 so far!
Dead Space 3 is now available from all major retailers for the MSRP of $59.99 and can be purchased for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. Dead Space 3 is rated M by the ESRB for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence & Strong Language. For more information on the game, check out the official Dead Space 3 website.
Developer: Visceral Games
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 (reviewed) & PC
Release Date: February 5, 2013