The first thing I noticed was the improvement in graphics in this one. Dead Space has a noted attention to detail, and Visceral Games left nothing to the imagination when they designed this latest game in the series. The deepest voids of space look real enough to just reach out and touch. It feels as though it could really go on for billions of light-years in all directions. Visceral used their Godfather engine to render everything, and it all comes to life in a detail that can only be described as “horrifyingly real”. That may seem like an overstatement, but I think I could still play this game if there was no real gameplay involved. Just walking around, exploring.
The next thing I noticed was the sound quality. And yes, I do mean that every single kick, step, slam, and shot is brought to life in crisp detail. But the music is another thing that adds depth to gameplay, and all too often it gets overlooked by reviewers and gamers alike. During my interview with Olivier Derivier (here), the composer on Alone In The Dark, he told me that it takes months to compose and time music so that it has the exact intended effect at the proper time. James Graves and Jason Hannigan, the composers for Dead Space 3, are also in the club of composers who pull no punches. The soundtrack is amazing, and works flawlessly with the vast “world” you’ve been given to explore.
I went into this game honestly expecting the worst and hoping for the best. I expected things to be a little glitchy and sluggish in co-op, but I was happily proven wrong. And while co-op mode takes away some of the horror of knowing you are alone in a place as terrifying as it is, it adds a little something to the experience. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but it seemed like it was something not unlike security. Knowing that someone has your back and that you aren’t fighting this fight alone, as you did the previous two times. And believe me, there are times when you’re glad that your partner is there. And there is the added bonus of alternative dialogue and side missions that you two can work together to complete. Still not interested in playing co-op? You can still play through in single-player and enjoy the game as well.