I open the door, hold up my weapon, and peer into the darkness, questioning everything. I think about how much ammo and health that I have left, and frankly, I don’t think that I have enough. Then I take a sip from my energy drink, sigh, and walk through the door expecting the worst.

That is how I felt throughout most of Visceral Games’ and Electronic Arts’ newest installment in the Dead Space franchise: Dead Space 3.

Dead Space 3 was released earlier this month with a substantial buildup of hype and anticipation. But is the buzz surrounding this title justified? Do the zombie-like necromorphs still pose a challenge? And is it actually scary?

Here is my review:

The Atmosphere and Level Design

The first of two things that I will review is the game’s atmosphere and level design.

Now, I particularly love this franchise’s incorporation of sound and music into the moments of terror and isolation.

An aspect, that I am happy to say, is well executed in this title. The bursting air vents created cringes and the squeaks of wheels turning inside the mechanism of every door made me feel like I was slowly losing my mind; which made the overall experience very satisfying.

Another thing that was done very well in this game was the vacuum of space itself. Dead Space 3 goes above and beyond all expectations when it comes to the space experience. The zero-gravity and the expansiveness of the space-levels enticed me to explore when (due to a lack of oxygen and necromorphs out to kill me) I really shouldn’t have.

However, with the above pros to this title, there are a few shortcomings.

Even though there was a lot of ingenious level design, there were a few moments where rooms felt recycled; particularly in the game’s optional missions.

I wanted more from Dead Space 3 in this department, the optional missions (for single player) had essentially the same objective: get through x amount of rooms and you’ll be rewarded with a supply crate that’s full of materials and upgrades.

Don’t get me wrong, with the highly beneficial bonuses the optional missions (in both single player and co op mode) were worth the 4-5 hours that I spent on them, but the bad thing is that I can probably map out each optional mission due to the “recycled” feel.


Much like Dead Space 2, Dead Space 3 brings much more to the table than its predecessor while keeping most of the great aspects as well.

At first, I was very skeptical of this game’s installment of a co-operative mode because, well, I didn’t see how a survival-horror could still maintain the same level of tension if there’s someone else for the enemies to eat, maim, and attack.

But I was happily proven wrong, for the most part. There were quite a few times where my co-op partner and I walked into a room, and completely annihilated any and all foes without any challenge whatsoever.

On the other side of that coin, Dead Space 3 found new ways to scare and test both me and my friend. The co-op missions were surprisingly fulfilling and challenging. Each character had their own trials and tribulations (inside the mind and out) which made the co-op mode stand out from others in the industry. That being said, I’m not going to divulge or ruin the scares for those of you who love to feel a good chill down your spine. I will say this though: for some, you will never see them coming.

These traits filtered into the single player campaign as well; it provided a slew of new experiences which succeeded in sustaining a feeling of being alone in a hostile environment. But there were moments (in the gameplay and story) where things could be easily predicted.

As a whole, the Dead Space franchise has delivered a unique form of combat, and this game doesn’t fall short in that regard. The weapons feel real and their effect on enemies is very very satisfying; which leads me to the last aspect that needs to be covered, Dead Space 3’s new addition of a weapon and supply crafting system.

Throughout the game, there are “benches” that players can use freely to craft supplies from materials collected in the environment. You can create things like: health packs, ammo clips, and door unlocks; making the player’s decisions and resource management all the more crucial.

However, the piece de resistance of the entire game is its weapon crafting system. Players can obtain a variety of parts from the harsh environment and later construct whatever weapon that suits their “personal needs.”

Once built, the character can choose to add attachments and upgrades to their weapon. To name a few, some attachments can freeze enemies, set them on fire, slow them down, or some can benefit the player’s ammo consumption and health regeneration.

This made the game, for me, much more personal and rewarding than Dead Space and Dead Space 2.

In conclusion, the experience of Dead Space 3 is fun. The environment is very well crafted, moments of terror can be unexpected and shriek-enducing, and the weapon crafting system is a fresh addition that I welcomed with open arms.

However, the recycled rooms and missions, along with predictable attempts to scare, take away some of Dead Space 3’s shine.

9 out of 10