After the existence of Dead Space 3 was leaked out only a few days before E3 it was clear that Electronic Arts was going to have quite a title to show off during the event. Now the biggest question many will have about Dead Space 3 is whether or not it is in fact still scary despite featuring co-op gameplay. Well if what we were shown behind the scenes at EA’s booth was anything to go by, it very much is.
At the beginning of the presentation we join Isaac Clarke shortly after his crash landing on a frozen planet. This frozen planet provides a number of different features that past titles could never have made use of, such as whiteout conditions from powerful blizzards making it nearly impossible to see enemies even if they are only a few feet in front of you. As one may expect this raises the tension in the game immensely because players are given only a small field of view, while enemies could be lurking anywhere past the walls of snow. In fact, enemies are even capable of emerging from the snow covered ground, which caused quite a scare in the room.
Now Isaac Clarke appears to have learned quite a few new abilities in-between the events of Dead Space 2 and 3, because he is now capable of dodge rolling, allowing him to avoid potentially lethal attacks, take cover behind objects through the use of the game’s adaptive cover system, as well as crouch. Now while this may not be too big of a deal for dealing with necromorphs, such as the pickaxe wielding type shown off in the demonstration, these mechanics help immensely when dealing with a first time enemy, Unitoligest soldiers who will lay into you with not only gunfire but grenades as well.
As one may expect, many of the game’s past weaponry returns, such as the disc launcher, machine gun and plasma cutter and so do Isaac’s abilities such as stasis and telekinesis. Telekinesis is quite useful in certain battles, as players are even able to lift grenades tossed by enemies and throw them back at the enemy before they explode. Oh and don’t worry, you will be able to slice off the limbs on human enemies just the same as necromorphs.
But what about the co-op element you ask? Well your potential partner goes by the name John Carver, a man who is on a mission of vengeance against the Unitoligists. Now Dead Space 3 will feature drop-in and drop-out co-op sessions, but what makes this co-op even more interesting is the fact that certain story elements will play out different ways when there are two players at the same time. In fact, entire story sections may change if there are two players working together, creating an interesting replay mechanic where gamers may be interested in seeing the game solo as well as with another to see how everything has changed.
Besides the standard necromorphs, a new type has appeared and was shown off during the presentation. This new enemy type is called a Feeder and is capable of climbing onto a dead body, replacing the head and controlling the body as if it were alive, creating a necromorph capable of using weaponry. We were presented quite a brutal death at the hands of the Feeders, where one grew close enough to Isaac and was able to devour his head and replace it with its own. It sure seemed that the newly revealed suit, called the Snow Suit, didn’t help protect him from that violent death.
The rest of the presentation followed both developers making their way through a number of enemies and finally facing off against the same giant necromorph creature shown during EA’s pre-E3 conference. The fight lasted much longer this time, but still ended the same way with the creature sucking Isaac and John into its mouth and the two ending up within its stomach with only a few viable options of survival. Despite this additional co-op feature, the game still retained its scary and suspenseful nature as not only could enemies appear from anywhere in the frozen wasteland, but they are just as powerful, if not more, than anything we have seen in a Dead Space game so far.