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Dead Space 3 Demo Highlights New Features

Posted on January 26, 2013 AT 10:54am

Any amount of time between two games in the Dead Space franchise is far too long for me, but that time is drawing to a close with the impending release of the third installment.  In the meantime, EA has seen fit to release a demo for Dead Space 3 to get everyone hyped before the game’s February 5th release date.  Being a huge fan of the series, I’ve seen all the movies and even read the books, I had to sink my claws into this trial so I could get an early taste of the action.

If you’ve seen the demo that Visceral was showing off last year at E3, you’re going to be familiar with what you see.  The demo takes you through two boss encounters and gives you a decent taste of everything the game has to offer.

The first section features Isaac emerging from his crash-landed ship and heading out into the snowy world of Tau Volantis.  The first few feet has you learning the ropes and picking up some items until, actually catching me off guard, a necromorph bursts onto the scene and the fun begins.  Remember cautiously approaching corpses laying on the ground suspecting them of being necromorphs ready to jump up and assault you?  Well, that feature is back, but instead of them laying out in the open, they’re covered in a few feet of snow, so you’ll never see them coming.

There are a number of new features to the game that the demo makes sure to touch on during your short Tau Volantis excursion.  The new and improved weapons bench looks to be a very interesting system that I look forward to diving much deeper into once I get my hands on the full version of the game.  You can take materials that you find while you’re out and about and use them to craft weapons.  These weapons can be finely tuned to your play-style while you’re crafting them and can then be upgraded with a system similar to the power node upgrades you had before.  Instead of power nodes, you use upgrade circuits to provide specific types of upgrades that you can purchase using the materials you find in the environment.  You can also use these materials to craft health and ammo if you so choose.It’s a huge update to the system and takes a lot better advantage of Isaac’s past as an engineer.

Another feature it brings to the table is the inclusion of human enemies.  I’m pretty good at playing Dead Space games at this point and this was the one point in which I died playing this demo.  They’ve added an automatic cover system that has Isaac ducking into cover when you aim nearby something to hide behind.  First impressions are that the system works okay, but I hope they tweak it just a little before release, because it definitely was not perfect.  The part I really enjoyed about the human enemies were the moments when necromorphs came into the picture and did some of my work for me taking out the unitologist enemies.  The one thing you have to watch out for at that point is if they get taken down by a necromorph, suddenly instead of one human and one necromorph, you have two necromorphs.  It was fun trying to use this to my advantage by taking down the necromorph just before it finished off the human and then easily picking him off.

The last new feature they show off is the cooperative mode.  At any time, a friend can join your game as Carver and he’ll run up to join Isaac.  Playing as Isaac alone is very much like the Dead Space experience I’ve grown to love.  This is the best possible way to include a multiplayer element without upsetting the single-player formula.  The worst thing you can do to someone trying to play a single-player horror experience is giving them a brain-dead AI to babysit.  Dead Space 3 completely dodges this by taking Carver out of the equation while you’re playing alone.  He’ll still pop up in the distance occasionally to spout off some dialogue, but for the most part he’ll stay out of your way.  I’m actually looking forward to playing through the game both with and without a co-op partner to see the differences in dialogue and cutscenes for the game.

If this demo is any indication, this is going to be one heck of a game.  Download it and experience the awesomeness right now for Xbox 360 or PS3.

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