Dead Space 3 Demo Impressions

dead-space-3-demo

A trend seems to be forming in the Survival Horror genre.  More and more games are turning away from the traditional horror experience, and are becoming some sort of action/horror hybrids with muscled bound action hero protagonists. (I’m looking straight at you, Resident Evil.)  Needless to say, I was skeptical going into the Dead Space 3 demo.  Upon playing, however, my fears were snuffed….for the most part.

The Dead Space 3 demo gives you the option to play a chunk of the single player campaign alone, or team up with a friend.  This is where Visceral Games shines.  You never feel like you’re missing out on anything no matter how you choose to play.  The single player campaign is just as creepy and tense as previous Dead Space titles.  Never knowing what is going to jump out at you at any given moment is definitely the franchises’ signature.  Team up with a friend, however, and you get to experience the same game from a completely different perspective.  There were a few times in the demo alone, where playing the same story in co-op triggered conversations and even cut scenes that weren’t included in the single player counterpart. Visceral Games pulls all of this off nicely by writing in another main protagonist named John Carver to share Isaac’s spotlight.  While playing alone, Isaac is frequently in contact with Carver throughout the course of the game.  Play with a friend, and Carver is right there along side Isaac the whole time.

Thankfully, the horrors have not been put on the back burner for the action.  There were plenty of occasions where I jumped out of my chair due to a Necromorph popping out of nowhere, and lunging for me.  Not to spoil anything but…I had nightmares of a severed head with octopus legs coming after me last night.  If you haven’t played a Dead Space game, I probably just sounded like a idiot.  If you have, deep down I know you know the feeling.  The demo is set on the frozen world of Tau Volantis. blizzards limit visibility, and Necromorphs growl beyond view, making the first part of the demo incredibly tense.  Eventually, the blizzard passes and the scenery opens up around you.  Visceral Games created a beautiful yet terrifying world to explore.  The only negative impression that the demo left me was the addition of human enemies.  They seemed stiff, dumb, and even more unrealistic than the monster’s that hunt them.  Shoot a round from the plasma cutter at a necromorph, the appendage you hit gets ripped off.  Do the same to a human, and they turn to you like you just gave them a charlie horse.

Overall, the impression that the demo left on me was a good one.  More than I can say about other horror game demos I’ve played lately (Once again I’m looking straight at you, Resident Evil).  Hopefully, the minor issues with human AI don’t plague what seems to be a great game that Visceral Games has in store for us. I’m excited to have a few sleepless nights once February 5th rolls around.

Dead Space 3 is available for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC .

Author: G Huff (Mingle)

Dylan Zellmer

I split time between games journalism and making video games. My love of it’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones), fitness and my family define me otherwise.