19 August, 2013

Dead Space 3, your mother and I are very dissapointed

written by Blain Newport on Sunday, 18 August 2013

I haven't finished Dead Space 3 yet, but my completion percentage is over two thirds, so I think it's safe to say I'm not a fan.  There are worse games, but Dead Space 3 feels so much less awesome than Dead Space 2 that it makes me sad to play it.

The opening space section feels like tons of pointless padding.

The crafting system is a huge step backwards.  I played through DS2 three times, leveling up most, if not all of the weapons.  And they were mostly awesome.  I made a bunch of guns in DS3, and many of my initial efforts were pretty weaksauce.  That's partly because in the midst of different frame types, upper and lower tools, upper and lower tool tips, and two different types of attachments, I didn't realize that if you don't slot upgrade circuits with damage and spend the tungsten to slot _all_ the circuits, your guns will be weak.

Even still, giving my guns decent punch didn't really solve things as many ambushes would see a stream of enemies attacking from multiple directions faster than I could kill them.  Just like most of the scares are cheap cat scares, most of my deaths in combat were cheap swarming.  I get the feeling that I'm being punished for not playing the game co-op where I'd have a partner to watch my back.  Worse yet are some of the boss fights and "puzzles" where the mechanics are poorly communicated.  There are three different ways you activate devices in the game and only one is explained, so you will encounter puzzles and think you're doing it wrong when in fact you were never taught what to do in the first place.

And last, but certainly not least, DS3 feels tame.  DS2 showed bad things happen to good people in horrifying detail.  DS3 does not, and the stakes feel so much lower and more generic for it.  Yeah, yeah.  We're saving the human race.  Who isn't?

I could go on. DS2 has pacing and variety and a sense of escalation not present in DS3.  And it's probably got a bunch of other stuff DS3 doesn't have either.  I just... I wish I knew why they let this one get away from them after the hundreds of millions of dollars and hundreds of person years of work invested in this franchise.

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