Dead Space 3, the latest in the Franchise, takes a different turn from its predecessors, but manages to keep the game feeling like Dead Space! The addition of crafting workbenches (replacing the shops), customization of your weapons, cooperative game play, resource gathering, and multiple new game plus modes adds for a lot of replay value.
Dead Space 3’s Story takes place not too long after the events of the second game, and also features a “previously on Dead Space” extra’s feature, in case you haven’t played the previous games. This extra gives you a quick warm up, but I still prefer you play the previous entries to get entirely caught up on the events that came up to the third game’s events. The story doesn’t change that much between single and cooperative modes, but John Carver, the second player and key character to the story, offers more insight and extra dialogue when playing with a friend, as well as “Cooperative Missions”, which adds more details on John Carver’s back story.
The game play is where this game really shines, and offers more in this game than the previous installments. The aiming and controls are improved upon, as well as a dodge and crouch button to evade enemies, and overall just feels better. The weapons in the game are a different beast now, as you can now craft your own weapons, and include a second weapon underneath, adding to a lot of customization features, with all the weapons from the previous games at your disposal. You can find these weapon parts by progressing through the story and optional missions!
Crafting these weapons, suit upgrades, items, and more require resources. You can find these resources off of enemies, boxes, spare part boxes, and using scavenger bots. Scavenger bots can be deployed just about anywhere and found by progressing the story. When you deploy them, they will scurry about and collect items, and after a time they will return to the nearest crafting bench and you will get a tally on how much you collected. “Ration Seals” are a special resource I have found by using the scavenger bots, and these are used in buying the resource packs, which will give you more resources and special assembly parts only achieved through this method. You can also buy them with real money using your platform’s currency (Microsoft points, PlayStation wallet, etc), if you prefer to do so, but the big thing here, to quell any concerns regarding the micro-transactions, is that they are entirely optional and doesn’t require purchase to get everything in the game!
Another item you can find and craft are the microchips, and these alter your upper and lower weapons. Microchips alter the damage, firing speed, reload time, and clip size, and are found throughout the story and optional missions. Once you acquire any part, including weapon parts and more, you can spend your resources to create more of these parts, and share them with your cooperative partner, provided they aren’t exclusive unlocks, like MK-V parts or progress unlocks.
Also new to this game is the optional missions, which deter from the main path and allow you to explore new sections of the game, often providing new weapon parts and resources along the way. There is also “Cooperative Only Missions”, which require a partner to explore, and open up more of John Carver’s Backstory too. These missions are really fun, and are worth your while to explore and find new parts, chips, and much more!
You can also find artifacts as well in this game, which offer more back story to the universe of Dead Space, and are also part of the progress unlocks, which will give you new and exclusive items, such as powerful chips and new suits! As you complete these progress unlocks, you will gain access to these powerful items, and add the challenge to unlocking them all, and by playing the harder difficulties and New Game Plus game modes! New Game Plus offers a regular replay option, which lets you keep your items and play on harder difficulties if you wish, or play the new options, which include a “classic Dead Space mode”, a “Hardcore mode”, and a “Pure Survival Mode”.
Overall, Dead Space 3 is a great game that features high replay value, lots of collectibles, cooperative play, and great fun overall. I recommend this game to any Dead Space fun or survival horror fan in general!
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