E3 12; Dead Space 3 takes the dead out of space and onto the planet Tau Volantis
Dead Space 3 was Electronic Arts big reveal of E3 this year, and the game introduces audiences to a whole new kind of Dead Space. The biggest news is that the game will feature drop-in/drop-out co-op, pairing Isaac Clarke with the newly introduced John Carver. Now that you’re no longer alone, questions arise as to whether or not Dead Space 3 can still deliver the same survival horror atmosphere as its predecessors.
Tau Volantis is a desolate planet covered in ice and snow. Isacc Clarke has found himself crash landing on the planet looking for Ellie, one of the lone survivors of the Necromorph attack from the last game, who has gone missing. He is reluctantly joined by Carver whose intentions clearly don’t mimic his own. John Carver is a unsympathetic brute of a character who doesn’t care much for anything Isaac says or does really. As you make your way across the planet, there’s plenty of banter between the two to get this point across. Isaac’s goal seems to be focused on finding Ellie, while John simply wants to survive.
The introduction of co-op somewhat takes away from the chilling atmosphere that being completely alone in the first two games created. Knowing that someone’s got your back (for now, at least) relieves some of the tenseness of the game. That’s not saying there aren’t any typical Dead Space surprises. The blistering cold winds of the planet confine your vision to just a few feet in front of you, and Necromorphs have a tendency to randomly pop out of the snow. It’s these elements that remind me that this is a Dead Space game, and not just another third person co-op shooter.
While the game can be played entirely solo, there are advantages to taking on the Necromorphs with a partner. Entirely new cutscenes are being added for Isaac and John that flesh out the story even further. The same point in the game may feature a completely different scenario depending on whether you’re playing solo or with a friend. Whether or not it be enough to entice fans of the series to adopt the new co-op gameplay has yet to seen.
From the little we’ve seen, Dead Space 3 has enough features of the franchise that it feels familiar enough, and the addition of co-op looks promising so far. Dead Space 3 is currently set for a February 2013 release.