Dead Space 3 Hands-On Preview

Editor: Brady Ruiters

So Dead Space 3 is out really soon and a demo was released on the 22nd of January to give players a small taste of what’s to come. The game continues the story of Isaac Clarke, the engineer who always seems to find himself in harrowing situations. Okay, so maybe his first outing was just another day on the job, but investigating that distress call from the USG Ishimura would set events in motion that would scar him for life. However, those events would also make him the best person to combat the Necromorph menace; kind of like Ellen Ripley from the Alien films. I managed to download the demo today and got my first taste of Dead Space 3.

The demo starts with series protagonist, Isaac Clarke waking up while upside down in what seems to be a crashed space ship. After getting to his feet and closing the visor of his suit, Isaac faces the exit of the ship to see that they have crash-landed on a frozen planet called Tau Volantis. Armed with his trusty Plasma Cutter, Isaac begins the search for any sign of his crew.

While trying to find shelter from a snowstorm, Isaac encounters the first enemies of the demo. They seem to be humans wielding ice axes, but something tells me that they aren’t all human; must be the yellow glowing eyes. They attack with the same aggression of Necromorphs but then grow tentacles, after being shot enough times. Yep, looks like my guess was right; these fellas were just waiting to show me what they really look like.

Dead Space Hands-On Preview

A little while on, after stomping a few bodies and crates for loot and other materials (more on that later), Isaac stumbles upon what looks like an old, abandoned train which is sitting quite precariously on the edge of a cliff. After stepping off of the train, it begins to slide off the cliff, activating a Quick Time Event (QTE) in which Isaac has to escape being pulled off the cliff with the train.

After narrowly escaping a plummet to his death, Isaac pushes on. There’s a cave ahead and I can’t help but think “This is totally going to end well”. After entering the cave, I find myself ambushed by 3 Slashers who I take down one by one using a mixture of shots from the Plasma Cutter and Telekinesis.

Emerging from the cave, Isaac arrives in a wide open space with a large structure. After walking forward a few steps, a cutscene starts depicting John Carver (an Earth Defence Force officer) under fire while on a balcony.

Before heading up to the balcony to lend assistance, I decide to enter a room that houses a bench and a suit kiosk. These features are nothing new to the franchise but the bench has been modified a little bit. Players will now be able to modify each weapon that they find to suit their needs. To modify a weapon, players will need different resources in order to craft different mods for their weapons; resources can be found in crates and on bodies. These resources will also be used to upgrade Isaac’s rig and to create items such as ammo clips, stasis packs and med packs. Modifications come in a large range of options; the upper tool of the weapon would be the primary fire option while the lower tool would be the secondary fire option, but not all weapons sport a lower tool. The upper tool part decides what kind of projectile would be used by the weapon while the upper tool tip decides the way the projectile is fire. The same goes for the lower tool and lower tool tip. So a player could use a plasma core as a projectile type and then use a tip to either fire standard shots, wide shots or rapid fire shots. It makes gameplay a lot more interesting. Blueprints can also be found in the game so players can create new weapons. It is also possible to save custom blueprints of weapons that you have created on your own.

After leaving the room and riding the elevator up to the balcony, the elevator is attacked by a Snowbeast. The enemy rips the elevator apart and Isaac ends up on the ground once again. After a very close call, I damage the beast enough to cause it to retreat while pulling down a walkway in its haste.

Dead Space Hands-On Preview

After proceeding through a few rooms, Isaac walks straight into a scuffle between human enemies who want to kill him and Slashers who want to eviscerate him. After dispatching every enemy in the area, he walks into another room where he encounters The Swarm for the first time, Necropmorphs that are able to take over a corpse of an enemy and use a firearm that the corpse may be holding; getting rid of these guys quickly is a must.

After moving through a few areas and dispatching a few more enemies, Isaac finds himself in a room with a giant drill that is obstructed by 2 gates. Once the gates have been opened, the drill activates and the enemies begin to pour in. The only way to take out the drill is to hit it with Stasis and then shoot at the yellow fuse in the middle. It sounds simple but it’s rather tricky when trying to deal with enemies as the same time.

After dealing with the drill, the path is then opened up and Isaac is free to proceed. Emerging from the previous room, Clarke is reunited with Carver and part of his crew in the middle of a firefight. After a moment, a giant monster comes from around the corner and attacks everyone in the area. However, as its blow hits the ground, the Dead Space 3 logo pops up, signalling the end of the demo.

Dead Space Hands-On Preview

The demo also features the all new drop-in/drop-out co-op system. I decided to try out this feature and was able to partner up with someone else who was also trying out the demo. Matchmaking happened rather quickly and before we knew it, we were thrown into the action. The co-op campaign is pretty much the same as the solo campaign but this time Clarke and Carver don’t ever really separate. People were worried about not being so scared when playing Dead Space 3 with a friend but I still found myself jumping at the various scare points. I’m really looking forward to playing the full game when it is released.

Dead Space 3 is expected to be released on the 8th of February 2013 on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.

Known as Brady Ruiters by day and GuitarDemon by night (Well, on the PSN mostly…) Professional, creative and frank, a self-proclaimed gaming journalist moulded by a passion and fascination for gaming and music, and in turn, taking a crack at shaping the rest of the world with the very same obsession. That, however, remains a trying task.

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