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Dead Space 3 Single Player Demo Preview

There's a lot riding on not just Dead Space 3 but the franchise as a whole. With the Resident Evil series not being quite as great as it once was, EA's space-faring trilogy is heralded by many as the first "proper" survival-horror experience in a long time. The original received great reviews, praising the title for its terrifying atmosphere and dismemberment feature. The sequel garnered a fantastic response too, with critics calling it a huge step-up from its predecessor; but, with Dead Space 3, the road has been slightly rocky mainly because of the controversial addition of a co-op partner. So, now the demo is out, how does the third instalment hold up to the previous two in the sections on offer?

Dead Space 3

Graphically, Dead Space 3 is stunning and that's evident from the second the demo begins right until its conclusion. With the new setting Tau Volantis, the developers have the chance to ditch the dark, cramped corridors of the first two and go big and whilst they do undoubtedly do that, they never forget that small is good in the universe of the franchise. Corridors and halls are still atmospheric and restricting visually, meaning that when the game does open up occasionally, it makes those moments the more spectacular, including one genuinely breathtaking scene as Isaac stands on the edge of a huge cavern with an alien moon in the distance and a vast, indescribable "thing" rising in the middle. The contrast of white and orange has never looked so good.

On offer here is the chance to play a section of the game in either single player or co-op. The section on offer begins with Isaac awaking from a crash in the snow (not too unlike the beginning of Uncharted 2) and having to make his way to his partner who is elsewhere. To get there, Isaac must go through corridors and the edges of caverns fighting against the Necromorphs, dismembering all their limbs along the way. Also included in the demo is a small boss fight that is exciting but a bit too similar to what's been in previous titles in the series, although the end of the demo definitely hints at bigger things to come. And when I say bigger, I mean huge...

Dead Space 3

In terms of the gameplay, Dead Space 3 is vastly similar to what has come before: aiming your plasma cutter at the enemy and chopping off its limbs to kill it. From the time spent with the demo, it seems that the developers have done little to alter this formula due to the fact that it has worked so well for the past two titles. Dismemberment is as fun as it has ever been and it seems that this enjoyment will not falter throughout the entire title. However, the developers seem to be taking chances with Dead Space 3 by introducing enemies that are not of Necromorph origin but are in fact humans who will, and do, shoot back at you. How much these non-alien foes will play in the game remains to be seen but even the suggestion of human enemies is enough to make Dead Space 3 stick out from the rest of the competition.

From the brief demo on offer here, it's evident that Dead Space 3 is a game that does not, at least in the section previewed, stray far from the established rules but is also not afraid to mix the formula up slightly, enough to make the game not feel like a retread in new environments. In just half an hour of game time, the developers throw many exciting moments at the player, so many that it's hard to wonder if there's enough ideas present to keep them going throughout the rest of the game. In short, this demo suggests that Dead Space 3 will be an exciting ride full of scary moments and gory gameplay and will be more than enough to satisfy the expectations of the millions of fans that, and rightfully so, love this franchise.

Adam2208 | 30th January, 2013
Kaostic's picture
Great preview Adam; I wanted to try this out but my Xbox Live Gold lapsed

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