VIDEO GAME: The weakest link

Courtesy of MCT

Courtesy of MCT

In the grand tradition of trilogies, there must always be a weak link in a franchise.

For every Godfather I and II, there will be a Godfather III. Video games are no different since there must always be one game less entertaining than past installments.

Fans of the Dead Space franchise can breathe easy for the time being, as Dead Space 3 cannot be considered “bad” in any sense of the word.

The good news is that Dead Space 3 is a great game by all means. The bad news is that it is also the weakest installment in the main trilogy of games.

However, the Dead Space series isn’t exactly a let down, mostly because Dead Space and Dead Space 2 were a perfect blend of survival horror and third person action shooters. The stories were top notch (and very creepy). The voice acting left gamers with chills in their spines and goose bumps on their arms.

Dead Space 3 simply fails to live up to the amazing standards that were created by the previous games. The scares of Dead Space 3 paled in comparison to the startling atmosphere of the first two games, as there were too few new enemies compared to Dead Space 2. 

The bottom line is that Dead Space 3 leaves its players feeling lackluster simply because parts I and II were so damned good.

The story is a culmination of the Dead Space lore with the main character, Isaac Clarke, setting out to stop the spread of the undead monsters that are hell-bent on exterminating all of mankind. Clarke will have to figure out how to stop the spread of the necromorphs and ensure the safety of him and his crew.

The most interesting part of the plot, as always, deals with the religion of Unitology: a creepy Scientology-esque church where members believe that the destruction of humanity will unite all people.

In short: get ready to shoot a lot of monsters and religious fanatics and to walk down the many creepy hallways that Clarke will face against unspeakable evil.

The best new aspect of Dead Space 3 is, hands down, the weapons creation bench. The variations of the weapons bench adds depth. Each crafted weapon can be as simple as a shotgun or as complex as a weapon that is a submachine gun on the top and an electrified saw blade shooter on the bottom (seriously, it’s called “Desperation”).

The nearly limitless combinations mean that details such as adding a coat of acid to ammunition, faster reload speed or putting a grenade launcher on a shotgun are all meant to be a personalized Dead Space 3 experience.

Coming up with new weaponry is a lot of fun, and Visceral Games know that carnage is a major part of gameplay. So while creating specific functions to a gun might seem like a waste of time in some games, in Dead Space 3, it means that the gamers’ imagination is what will ultimately save their skin.

However, the customization of firearms are the only aspect of the game where it defeats its predecessors. Dead Space 3 falls short in terms of horror and action.

Consider the original Dead Space to be like Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic, Alien; it’s dark, atmospheric and claustrophobic.

It does a great job telling a minimalist story but somehow it’s packed with character development as Isaac Clarke starts as a simple space engineer and becomes a monster-killing machine.

Dead Space 2 is like James Cameron’s Aliens; it’s action packed with ample amounts of scares, but more story-driven than its predecessor.

Dead Space 3, at times, does not know what it wants to be. It teeters on survival horror, but it doesn’t have the scare factor the first game had. It has some great action sequences, but they aren’t as epic or daring as the best parts of Dead Space 2. The end result is that fans were given a product that was worth owning, but somehow inferior to the previous installments, kind of like David Fincher’s Alien 3.

However, it is pretty cool to have electrified saw blades as a means of protection.

About Raymond Mendoza