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Dead Space 3


Alan Stock
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See, the gameplay mechanics are pretty much your average DS game - but you get assaulted by so much, sometimes in ridiculously tiny spaces. It becomes a case of thinking, "OH FUCK A SMALL ROOM WITH SOME VENTS THIS IS GOING TO BE SHIT," and it invariably is.

It's a fucking piece of shit, and I can't wait for the moment when Smitty finally finishes it, then grabs the DLC, and loses his FUCKING MIND at how bad it all is.

(Though I liked the ending)

I haven't played the dlc but overall this was pretty crazy. I actually thought the last place before the end was really interesting though. I also thought there were a lot of interesting sci fi ideas in the whole crazy backstory but it's also mental and not told well.

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Fucking hell, looking back through the thread I can see it took me around a year to finally complete this! I knew if had taken a long time with literally multiple month gaps in between returning back to it at times but fucking hell a whole year!

That really shows you how I felt about this.

---edit---

Wrong, it was over a year and a half. I was first talking about the game on February 2013. I finished it sometime in August/September (in one marathon session). That's really remarkable to me, it truly demonstrates my lack of enthusiasm.

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I finished this last night, and thought it was pretty good. The

lost city

at the end was suitably creepy and unpleasant, it made me think of Ryleh. The love triangle stuff was laughable Ellies boyfriend was hilariously and inappropriately petty and childish towards Isaac, while theyre in the midst of a life and death situation to boot but I dont play Dead Space games for the plot, I play them for the environments and atmosphere and sheer oppression, and that was all up there the first two games. I especially liked Tau Volantis, and the feeling of absolute despair that it evoked sad little huts huddled into the rock, with just electric bar heaters and depressing country music to keep the occupants warm and sane. No wonder they all went nuts.

The SCAF facilities, with their peeling paint and knackered old computers and seventies boards of lights and dials, were really well implemented too.

The weapon crafting worked well, too the temptation was to stick with a couple of favourites, but pretty much every weapon I made towards the end just turned into a favourite, like the acid ripper or the exploding javelin gun, or the bolas gun that was like having a Bad Taste-style flymo. In a way, I think this made up for the move away from the targeted limb destruction of the previous games crafting combinations of weapons to deal with any situation, like a stasis revolver / knife combo for close-up brutality combined with a rocket launcher and seeker rifle for human opponents.

Of course, you could just craft a mega-powerful shotgun, but wheres the fun in that?

The end level is blatantly based on a vision of Ry'leh (I immedietly thought of that on starting the level) but that's fine by me - it looked spectacular (max settings on PC), had bags of atmosphere, has interesting design and I just find the whole idea presented in the game just fascinating. I thought it was spooky and a great horror and equally sci fi location. Digged that foreboding

and imposing sense of age that and that green mist.

Loved the designs of the tiling, the huge statues, the weird machinery and the haunting and distinctive sounds sounds you use on the doors.

The game has some good ideas and great locations with some amazing work by a hard working art department but overall it's just a mess.

I loved the ancient machine, the idea of freezing the moon, the dead race, the dead city, even in some ways the galactic malware. Now granted this stuff is bonkers but it's also kind of of ambitious and admirably crazy. But it just doesn't all together satisfying to me and the story is not well told.

But I like the ideas, I like epic, ancient stuff in sci fi sometimes.

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Pre-owned copy of Dead Space 3 on my pile of shame for over a year.

Finally decide to play it.

Install disc 1 to Xbox 360 HDD.

"Disk read error. The disc cannot be installed because it may be dirty or damaged..."

Look at the disc, one radial scratch that must be deeper than it looks.

Contemplate taking it back to Game, or even paying for another copy.

Fuck it. That's the universe telling me that Dead Space 3 should not be played!

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  • 2 years later...

It's a good video. The idea of having each player see different things in co-op is an interesting one, but it already happens in a lot of games and it's generally caused by lag. I suspect the players would mark it down to a bug rather than dementia, but it depends on how it's done I guess.

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I think they were probably going to go for something like "I can't believe we had to just shoot a giant baby" and "Wait, I saw a glowing monster made out of spare HR Giger bits", not "I am sure that was six feet further to the left than you say it was".

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Yeah, it depends on how well they execute it. I seem to recall that there was a remnant of that idea in the final game - or the developers discussed it pre-release, at any rate - so that in certain bits, one player would be attacked by monsters that the other player couldn't see. I remember thinking that this sounded more like a bug than a cool feature, but I guess it would have been better thought-out if they'd been allowed to lean into it a bit more. 

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  • 1 year later...

I found this article on Visceral’s ideas for Dead Space 4 fascinating:

 

https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2018-07-13-visceral-had-some-cool-ideas-for-dead-space-4

 

The notion of freely exploring a ghostly flotilla of ships drifting through space is such a good take on the open world concept. Travelling between ships, natural zero-g elements, each ship a different design and feel, using your engineering skills to power up ship systems. It could be terrifying and captivating, and you could weave a gripping “what happened here?” plot around it all. It sounds a bit like the Sky’s Edge plotline in Alastair Reynolds’ book, Chasm City. 

 

I didn’t know DS3 had a proto version of this idea. 

 

Let’s hope they get to make something along these lines, even if it’s not using the Dead Space IP. 

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Yeah saw that as well. I never did play Dead Space 3 in the end because it got ruined by EA's meddling. Those ideas for Dead Space 4 are awesome though, reminds me of those Mass Effect missions where you explore abandoned ships in the flotilla. Even if it was just linear with the ships you encountered, imagine the variety of cool ideas for ships you could have in it. And with resources always low you'd be forced to explore and scavenge whatever you could despite the risks. Someone has to make this game! Btw if people like this kind of game idea, check out Duskers - a survival game set in a kind of Aliens low-tech sci-fi. In that you control drones via text commands and navigate them around derelicts. It's a survival game with supplies carrying on from mission to mission, and its very tough. Resources are always low and you have to deal with deadly alien threats which can wipe out your squad in an instant - it's tense as hell despite the low-fi graphics.

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On 14/07/2018 at 13:14, Pob said:

I found this article on Visceral’s ideas for Dead Space 4 fascinating:

 

https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2018-07-13-visceral-had-some-cool-ideas-for-dead-space-4

 

The notion of freely exploring a ghostly flotilla of ships drifting through space is such a good take on the open world concept. Travelling between ships, natural zero-g elements, each ship a different design and feel, using your engineering skills to power up ship systems. It could be terrifying and captivating, and you could weave a gripping “what happened here?” plot around it all. It sounds a bit like the Sky’s Edge plotline in Alastair Reynolds’ book, Chasm City. 

 

I didn’t know DS3 had a proto version of this idea. 

 

Let’s hope they get to make something along these lines, even if it’s not using the Dead Space IP. 

 

Ahem

 

 

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On 14/07/2018 at 15:39, Alan Stock said:

Yeah saw that as well. I never did play Dead Space 3 in the end because it got ruined by EA's meddling.

 

 

Mandalore does a good job breaking down some of the games problems. It's a perceptive analysis.

 

Some examples.

 

  • Designs became more generic to have a wider visual appeal
  • You don't need to aim for limbs anymore anymore
  • Some bad/bland environmental design in the ship graveyard
  • Terrible human enemies
  • Even necromorphs are shooting at you now
  • Bad cover system, limp combat
  • Weapons ruined to shoehorn microtransactions system
  • Universal ammo
  • Enemies are much faster (some can cross a room and attack you in 2 seconds) and higher in number
  • The difficulty curve is mad and the wrong way round, with powered-up weapons totally wrecking the enemies as you go on
  • The aiming system works differently
  • The time-to-kill is lower
  • Confused direction - wants to be an action game without going all the way, whilst remaining a horror game. Both aspects suffer because of this.

 

 

The game design has really suffered across the board. Enemies are both harder and far more trivial than before. It's a mess.

 

He makes an interesting comparison to studio interference in Alien 3.

 

Dead Space 3 is a great example of how a sequel can look very similar at first glance but actually be quite different in its game design when you look closer.

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On 08/02/2013 at 19:16, Smitty said:

I'm saying I understand why the tone had to shift, as it has with DS2 and this. But I also suspect that, as with DS2 pre-release, this game isn't going to quite the disaster some expect because of these changes. I kinda heard this all before with DS2 'oh it's an action shooter now'. No, it was more actiony, but it was still damn scary. It was very much Dead Space.

Anyway, as for the shift I'm not saying I like it. I'd love a totally hardcore DS3. Then again I want new stuff and some variety.

Point here is that it's hard to meld all of this stuff.

I could be idealistic and refuse to play the sequels for not being as pure and scary as DS1 (well relatively, I found DS2 plenty scary still, just less so), but I know that EA is a capitalist company and it simply will not support IPs which don't make it money.

We've got a near masterpiece and a great game so far. I'd rather have a masterpiece and two great games then just one masterpiece.

That video review I posted up made it obvious - the idea that this is now a dudebro shooter is ridiculous hyperbole.

More action? Yes. Less scary? Yes. And of course you can criticize it for that. That is completely valid.

But it doesn't mean its become something else entirely. There's no need to exaggerate and say it's Gears of War now.

The other part of the argument is that different people get different things from it. Ultimately, for it's impact and purity, I think DS1 is a better game than DS2. But that's no sleight on 2, it's a brilliant game. It's not quite up to the first one though. It's arguably a fuller, rounder game though. And it has even more impressive art, design and visuals.

The thing is that plenty of other people disagree with me. They preferred DS2, maybe even by quite a margin over DS1. They like more dynamic stuff, more variety and so on. Maybe they like the horror stylings but don't find it scary anyway, so it isn't so important to them. Or maybe you hated DS2. Whatever.

You can't please all of the people all of the time.

i hope the survival mode makes the game more pleasing to the DS1 crowd.

 

I've made a terrible mistake.

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  • 1 year later...

Over the bank holiday weekend I replayed Dead Space 1 and 2. The prior still holds up and remains one of my favourite video games of all time, the latter after a very strong start fall flat on its face and turns into an awkward clunky shooter with far too many enemies. Now, 3. I forgot most of that game truth be told and according to my old saved game I never even finished it (which I refuse to believe truth be told). I booted it up yesterday to play through it and was reminded this has coop. If I am going to play through it, I might as well do it on coop right?

 

So, who is willing to play through this with me on the PS3?

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On 03/03/2014 at 19:49, df0 said:

Well, finished it. Took me about 13 hours. I must admit, for most of the run it entertained me enough :) A terrible Dead Space game but a fun sci-fi horror adventure shooter.

Ow so I did finish it.

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23 minutes ago, df0 said:

Over the bank holiday weekend I replayed Dead Space 1 and 2. The prior still holds up and remains one of my favourite video games of all time, the latter after a very strong start fall flat on its face and turns into an awkward clunky shooter with far too many enemies. Now, 3. I forgot most of that game truth be told and according to my old saved game I never even finished it (which I refuse to believe truth be told). I booted it up yesterday to play through it and was reminded this has coop. If I am going to play through it, I might as well do it on coop right?

 

So, who is willing to play through this with me on the PS3?

 

Did you play through all this stuff on the PS3? How do those versions hold up?

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10 minutes ago, Kevvy Metal said:

 

Did you play through all this stuff on the PS3? How do those versions hold up?

The art direction truly stands out, both games are gorgeous to look at. When it comes to technical issues, I did not notice the issues I mention below on my old LCD telly so I assume it's because of the OLED (forum favourite LG B7) I use nowadays.

 

Dead Space 1 - I could never get the brightness right. It was never too dark, but some parts were obviously far too bright to the point where you saw low resolution textures meant to be hidden in the dark. After some tinkering I settled for one setting and just accepted those bright low res textures.

Dead Space 2 - that long hallway with ton of enemies on the Ishimura was ridiculously dark. It added to the atmosphere, I'll give it that but it was clearly not be be this dark. Other parts were completely fine.

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For what it's worth here's what little I know about DS3. Wasn't on the team, never played the games but was running Criterion at the same time - as maternity cover.

 

DS3 was 'finished' pretty much a whole year before it was scheduled to be. The Leads all moved over to get started on the 'urban Battlefield game' super early.

 

I know this because I was directing "NFS MW" (2012) at the time and hassled weekly as to why we had little to show after a year when these guys had gotten their whole game. We saw incremental changes built upon two games that were quite close in scope and content. Whereas we were building an entirely new open world - and that takes a lot of time. Not quite the same thing - as anyone who has worked on open world games can attest.

 

The development phases are "you have nothing', then have a long phase of 'still got nothing', then (in year 2) you have 'it's mostly there but looks bad' - then you get asked 'can you just work on one section and make it look nice?' - then 'some of it's there' and then 'it's finished.'

 

Internally, there was excitement from a few people as they felt that they had "a 90" in the bag and ready to go.

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I've never played it, and I bet it's probably really good. 

The forum at the time will have been particularly sick of whatever thing was being shoed into everything at the time, like action sequences and co-op rather than just the same as before. 

 

Compare that to now! Where every game is open world and takes 60+ hours just to even finish the main quest line. I'd take a tight 10 hour experience any day of the week right now. 

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22 minutes ago, Kevvy Metal said:

I've never played it, and I bet it's probably really good. 

The forum at the time will have been particularly sick of whatever thing was being shoed into everything at the time, like action sequences and co-op rather than just the same as before. 

I can barely remember anything about Dead Space 3 so personally it must have never reached that "really good" threshold. I posted in 2014 that I liked it enough as a silly shooter.

 

About your second point, surely there's some truth to that but can you blame me/us? Dead Space had an identity and a vision. Perhaps because of budget reason and technical limitations, but it felt laser focussed. A neat little mystery set in space with set up and a pay off. With memorable characters and motivations, locations and events. Betrayal, uncertainty. Easy-to-recognise enemy designs and less than a handful of action-packed fights followed by moments of tense serenity.

 

The sequels turned the combat up to 11 and muted almost every else.

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1 hour ago, Kevvy Metal said:

I've never played it, and I bet it's probably really good. 

The forum at the time will have been particularly sick of whatever thing was being shoed into everything at the time, like action sequences and co-op rather than just the same as before. 

 

Compare that to now! Where every game is open world and takes 60+ hours just to even finish the main quest line. I'd take a tight 10 hour experience any day of the week right now. 

 

People at the time flipped out because it had microtransactions, introduced human enemies and because it moved even further away from the pure horror of DS1, but I’d argue that none of these things really had a significant negative effect on the game. If the first game was modelled on Alien, and the second was modelled on Aliens, it feels like DS3 was inspired by Event Horizon because it’s got the same mixture of extremely OTT gore, a wonky plot, and weirdly earnest hard SF pretensions.

 

It’s definitely the weakest out of the three Dead Space games, but that’s more due to the fact that it’s tonally a bit of a mess, and dangles co-op-exclusive sections on front of you that make you feel like you’re missing out on big chunks of the game if you’re playing alone. The DIY weapons are fucking hilarious, and if you’re not too attached to the bleak, uncompromising tone of the first game and are happy for things to go a bit early Peter Jackson, then it’s worth playing. It’s from that 2011 – 2013 end-of-generation period as well where developers had pretty much mastered the 360, so it still looks splendid.

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