Lets get this out of the way first, this game is absolutely the least scariest game of the dead space series.
Which didn’t bother me as much as i thought it would as its still a hell of a lot of fun to play as i can handle the scares being nearly non existent if the game is still fun. Which it is! As always you reprise the role of isaac clarke the poor engineer with a penchant for being the right man in entirely the wrong place (almost like a non mute gordon freeman) he is seemingly a bit more sane than in dead space 2 although the game starts out with him brooding over his ex girlfriend ellie who was in dead space 2 also, but the kicker is she’s gone missing on a secret mission and earthgovs last battallion of soldiers “request” isaacs help in rescuing her….And by “request” i mean force by gun point so he has no choice.
When you finally get control of isaac it feels the same as always with the health bar “crammed” into your back, the resi 4 camera system etc its all still there just as you remember it. Which is great because why fix what isn’t broken? There are of course your standard array of collectibles and also new to this game weapon upgrades and blueprints so you can effectively make your own gun and tailor it to your needs and or situation which is really cool, it allows you to make combinations such as attaching a sniper rifle underneath a shotgun or a javelin gun with a ripper blade slung underneath it, you have to wonder if the developers were inspired by dead rising 2 as that was the first game in my experience that let you combine weapons to make even deadlier ones.
Either way its a very fun mechanic with quite a few possibilities to it, however once you find your favourite guns and combinations you’ll get more reluctant to experiment with different weapons (if your anything like me). Which means the resource collecting gets more and more irrelevant save for using left over scrap etc for making ammo and medkits which is very useful as there are a few spots where the game gets tight for med packs. Resource items are also used to upgrade your RIG (armour) to increase your health, stasis, kinesis range etc but of course once these are maxed out that leaves you with even more useless scrap that you can’t get rid of save for making a million med packs leaving your inventory with no space for anything else!
There are also scavenger bots which collect loot for you, you just set it down at a location and it’ll come back to a bench where it’ll deposit the resources its found for you. This also brings me to another point which i don’t think has been talked about very much, which is the micro transactions the game has in places. In exchange for microsoft points you can purchase rescource packs and top notch weapon upgrades, i avoided using that feature as it feels a bit too much like cheating the game to get ahead. Although you can collect a resource item called ration seals which can be used to buy the packs instead which is a lot more palatable because you earn them through in game action rather than spending extra money on your game to get ahead.
There is also the inclusion of a co op mode where you can play through the story mode with a friend, i was sceptical to begin with but considering the shift in tone they’ve taken with this game it really works, you get your own seperate loot thankfully so your not always stealing it from your partner and the frantic combat really adds that element of teamwork with your buddy during intense fire fights.
As for the lack of scares well, either they deliberately wanted to change the tone to make it more action oriented or have forgotten how to make something scary, although thinking about it with the increase gun play and emphasis on weapon crafting can horror truly work if the player is tooled up to the nines? Also there can’t be any build up of tension of any kind when your being attacked by monstrosities by the truck load, theres no fear of what is around the next corner beause you already know and always assume that the supposed dead bodies are actually alive and there sole function is to act as a jump scare. One can’t help thinking that the combat has been influenced by mass effect (since EA publishes both series) and there’s nothing wrong with that but you just can’t help feeling the similarities.
All that being said however, i really enjoyed this game and i plan on going through it on multiple difficulties because the game does kind of manage to stand on it’s action alone (which is great because if it tried to stand on its horror elements it wouldn’t have a leg to stand on…). This is a really enjoyable game it’s well worth a look.
Thank you for reading