THE COLD AIR SNAPPED around Isaac as he made his way from the crashed ship, flames burning in small pyres all around him. He needed to find shelter and soon, if the necromorphs caught his scent - the freezing conditions on this ice-ball wouldn't be his only worry...
I love the Dead Space series. I really do, there's something really cool about the whole IP and naming a character after Clarke and Asimov is probably a master-stroke of design call-back to a couple of superb sci-fi writers and masters of the genre. So recently when EA announced you could get the demo early and get a taste of things to come, guess what, that's just what I did.
I had to find out how the next chapter of the series unfolded and just what EA had done to make it follow the brilliant Dead Space 2.
Dead Space 2 was also a game which did Iron Man suit-flight better than any of the Iron Man games.
So what are the things we can look forwards to with Dead Space 3.
1. A refined combat mechanic - Dead Space 3 has a bunch of new features to help Isaac survive against his enemies. There's a snappier combat system this time around, with a better use of aim and a sharper reaction time.
2. Cover - Isaac can crouch and go into cover. It isn't the be-all and end-all of the system though, he's not Sam Markus Fenix Fisher for example, so don't expect cover to function as anything but a short buffer between you and imminent death.
3. Puzzle based combats - some of the boss battles and combats in Dead Space 3 are definitely puzzle based. Like the giant drill, you need to stasis the drill and shoot a core whilst you're under attack (constantly) by waves of necromorphs.
4. More weapons than you can shake a dead necromorph at: Dead Space 3 has a weapon bench which lets you make your own weapons. As you play you'll unlock parts, attachments and scavenge materials. Eventually you can turn all of these into component parts for a weapon of your own devising. Do you want a plasma cutter which doesn't rotate but doubles as a sub-machinegun for when things get hairy? You can do just that. Or how about a chaingun with stasis bullets and a powerful shotgun? Yeah, you can do that too.
5. Share and share alike: You can share your weapon blueprints and gear with a friend and trade stuff.
6. Cooperative gaming: For the first time in Dead Space 3 there's a second character and a whole set of dialogue/cut-scenes which come into play when you play co-op. Co-op hasn't spoilt the survival horror aspect of Dead Space either, because you can still play as Isaac through the whole game and finish it on your lonesome. There are a slew of cooperative options available and some of the weapon attachments allow sharing between coop players. It's also drop-in and out.
7. A nicer looking engine - Dead Space 2 was no slouch and Dead Space 3 ups the visuals and frame-rate to provide one of the best looking DS games yet.
So how does it play? It has some simple quick-time events and the bench interface has been retooled - even the suit upgrade system has been re-tooled to take advantage of the latest in Rig upgrade technology. The demo is promising and from the taster of the single player the game looks as though it's going to be a lot of fun, with more of the story unfolding and a lot of answers.
The king of the demo is the weapon design room where you can experiment with a few of the component parts to create a selection of nifty weapon designs.
We can't wait for the full game and hopefully we'll have a review of it on the site close to release.
See you out there!