Dead Space 3: it’s definitely happening, but will it be scary?

Posted: June 4, 2012 by Joel Kost in Gamenomics - Video Games, Microsoft/Xbox, Sony/PlayStation

Happy E3 everyone! While Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo focus on their technology as well as actual games, it’s the EA and Ubisoft press conferences that tend to reveal the bulk of the titles. This year EA revealed the highly anticipated third numbered entry in the popular Dead Space franchise, and I am BEYOND excited. The Dead Space games are some of my favorite titles, and so far the games have never disappointed. But, as fans know, Dead Space belongs to the horror genre, and as past horror games have shown (like F.E.A.R 3 and Resident Evil 5) horror sequels have a tendency to to deliver a lackluster experience. Dead Space 2 was a great game and still managed to scare the pants off of me, but there are plenty of reasons to believe that Dead Space 3 won’t be scary.

For one, there is co-op. I love co-op games; there is nothing like sitting down with a buddy and tackling levels in games like Portal 2. But co-op takes away the scare factor from horror games by always having someone there by your side. In Dead Space 1 and 2 you were completely alone.  Not only did you have a feeling of isolation in the darkness, but if you were low on health or ammo it was up to you to get yourself away from the flesh-eating necromorphs.

Then there’s the location. The live demo showed some classic Dead Space dark rooms and corridors, but it also showed the new frozen planet that the game takes place on. All I could think of was Lost Planet, and there’s nothing scary about Lost Planet. The combat looks like it received a major upgrade, too. Players will now be able to fight against actual human enemies, which means taking cover behind barriers in a Gears of War like fashion is a must.

All of this new content screams one thing to me: Resident Evil 5. RE5 wasn’t a horror game; it was a third person action game. The forced co-op, the cover mechanic, and the atmosphere just didn’t scare me. I fear (pun intended) that the Dead Space 3 team will be making the same mistakes.

Ok, so I’ve been bashing Dead Space 3 for a while. Does it looks fun? Yes. Are the graphics good? You bet. Am I interested in Isaac Clarke’s relationship with the new protagonist? I am. I’m not saying that Dead Space 3 (or RE5 for that matter) will be a bad game, but I am saying that game looks like it won’t be scary. It’s still very early to determine what the end product will look like, but in the meantime lets keep our fingers crossed that Dead Space 3 won’t be another RE5.

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