Why I hate Dead Space 3
Anyone who knows me will be able to tell you that I am a tad partial to the horror genre no matter which medium it comes in. I have enjoyed horror books for a long time particularly Poe and Lovecraft, and have seen more than my fair share of horror films particularly the hammer horror films.
The third medium I tend to think of when thinking of horror happens to be video games (I am not discounting audio based horror either to be honest. The midwich cuckoos with Bill Nighy is an amazing radio play and terreffied me as a child) I have in my time played through most of what is usually considered 'the classics' of the form, things like the first two silent hill games and the resident evil games, and I have also tried more contemporary survival horror in it's many flavours (for anyone who didn't think pixels could be scary you need to play lone survivor)
Having said all of this I have also played the three games in the Dead Space series and I thoroughly enjoyed most of them. To elaborate what I mean is that I own and have played extensivly the first two games in the series, and while I am the first to admit that they weren't ever really scary they did have the atmosphere of horror games for the most part and a large part of why I enjoy horror is the atmosphere that surrounds it.
You may have noticed that I left out the most recent game in the trilogy from my list of dead space games that I have played and enjoyed. This is because I recently got the chance to play Dead Space 3 for free (For anyone who doesn't already know this Playstation Plus is awesome) and found myself thoroughly hating almost every single minute of it.
So sit back and strap in as I use this blog to once more vent my frustrated rage on a game I hate...or explain why I think the games bad whichever sounds better.
1. Co-Op features
For anyone who is not familiar with Dead Space it's really been a single player experience up until now. There may have been some multi-player features involved (I actually don't know I own both the first two on XBOX360 and never pay for gold because my desire for online play is so infrequent that it doesn't warrant a £5 a month subscription) but the main campaigns were always reserved for a single player experience only. This is primarily because a feeling of isolation can create a lot of the horror that one usually feels. The feeling like you are totally alone being overwhelmed by a titanic amount of gutteral horrors is a large part of the enjoyable atmosphere that surrounded dead space in particular.
This has totally been ruined in the third game by having the inclusion of Co-Op features. Apparently the developers felt that the games where going to get stale and tired if they didn't do something to change up the style of the gameplay, so here comes the Co-Op (just so everyone knows you cannot do this crap split-screen, it's on-line only folks)
Other than the destruction of the atmosphere, which admittedly is only a problem if you play the co op campaign instead of the solo one, is the changes to the gameplay that effect single player even if you don't want them to. The most noticable is the inclusion of elements and missions that you cannot use if you are on your own, this just serves to make you feel like you're missing out on something when you play the game in single player.
They also waaaaaaay scaled back the power of all your weapons so that it'd be more necessary for you to have two players. In dead space the enemies of the series are already dead and can only be put down permanently by removing most of there limbs, usually you are given engineering tools (your character is an engineer) which are designed for cutting through things meaning that you can slice and dice all you like. In DS3 your weapons don't even make the bad guys flinch half the time.
The lack of power beind the weapons coupled with upgrades that are specifically only useful if you're in Co-Op even if you happen to be playing in single player just make it seem like EA and Visceral the people behind the game didn't give a crap. They slapped together a single player campaign without changing anything and it just makes the game feel like it wasn't designed to be played alone at all.
speaking of guns...
If anyone is unaware of the term micro-transactions it basically means that instead of paying full price for something you have the option of buying in really small amounts for lower prices more often, that way the developers get a more steady income stream and those who don't want to pay for the micro-transaction products don't have to. These are usually in free to play games like Farmville or The Tribez so that the devs can support themselves without having to charge for the main game itself.
So why the hell does a full price game need these?
That's right despite being a game that you will have to pay full price for (unless you're me and you've got Playstation Plus) there are still micro-transactions in the game. These come in the form of 'resource packs' which you can use to help build parts to upgrade your weapons or armour, and if you don't pay for them they're usually found lying around on the ground as you play the game. So why would anyone actually pay for the resources?
Well if you remember in single player your guns have been so scaled down in power that if you don't pay for the micro-transactions you're probably going to have a hard time getting through the entire game. I mean I suppose it's arguable that I only think that because I am terrible at the game but I would ask you to remember a few things:
. I am playing on the easiest difficulty
. I have been playing games for nearly two decades now
Bearing this in mind shouldn't I be having an easy time of it on this difficulty setting? I mean I could be wrong and the micro-transactions having nothing to do with the scaling down of the weapons but it just smacks a little too much of bullcrap to me.
3. Cliche around every corner
I know I shouldn't really expect too much from a video game storyline that isn't produced by Bioware but the story of the first two games was at least passable. In the first you're sent to a space ship that's gone quiet to investigate and to see if it can be fixed. I don't remember much about the second games story other than it involved the main character havign his brain probed so that the government can make copies of the evil thing that made people turn into zombie (thanks obamacare. jk)
In the third game the 'evil' religion of Unitology (careful game devs!) has decided that they want everyone to be evil mindless undead zombies so they try to kill the protagonist because he has a history of destroying the markers. Apart from that not making much sense (1 guy has a history of destroying something meaning he is the ONLY GUY WHO CAN! so much sense) it just comes across as something a blockbuster hollywood film should be doing and not a horror film at that. The game coems across the same as any Sci-Fi action film and even has the cliched characters to match.
The guy who has stolen main characters girlfriend, who is obviously going to be a jerk so that the protagonist can get back together with his girlfriend
The big breasted Ex-Girlfriend of the main character who exists for cheap sex appeal, so she can get back together with the main man and so she can die at some point (Seriously she went from having an almost beleivable human being character design in DS2 to being pointless eye candy with clevage a mile long. For shame Dead Space 3, for shame)
The nerdy scientist who is just likeable enough that when she dies you feel sort of bad for her
The gruff old man who's seen his fair share of adventure/space travel/engineering etc
The 'oorah' commando block who is clearly there just to be teamed up with the protagonist so they can have a disagreement at the beginning and become friends at the end. (this is made worse by the fact that if you play single player he's not there throughout the game so they've had zero time to have this change in relationship)
Evil english dude...I shouldn't even have to mention why that's cliched
So there you have, the three main reasons that I am angry at dead space 3. Of course there are many, many MAAAAANY more reasons why this game is terrible and if I were to try and bring them all up on one blog post it would probably be about 5000 pages long and would cause several different types of coma (yes there are types) so I have restrained myself for now in reference to the slagging off of dead space 3.
See you next time I have sheathing to complain about.