Bad things come in threes — Dead Space 3 Preview

In space, no one can hear you scream. It’s the most quiet, desolate setting.  While several horror films have used this as a plot device, it’s surprising that more video games haven’t.  Maybe this is why the Dead Space series has become so popular, spawning two sequels.  Pretty soon Dead Space 3 will be available for us, but it looks like we’ll be exploring more than just the far reaches of space.

So far the Dead Space series has been known for tight corridors and dismembering Necromorphs.  While the series still contains those elements, the developers are expanding the entire experience.  First of all, they plan on giving the player more freedom by giving Dead Space an open world feel.  Instead of traversing steel hallways, the level we saw was on a planet that is constantly getting snowed upon.    This planet holds the secrets behind the Necromorphs and the Markers.  You’ll also be able to get from point A to point B whichever way you feel is best, without feeling like you are being constantly guided by the hallways.

[singlepic id=7738 w=320 h=240 float=left]When Issac wakes up, he finds himself on this frozen planet with his health in the red.  He wanders out, barely able to see through the snowstorm.  Once he is able to get past the storm, he grabs health packs and ammo by stomping on boxes to get them open.  As he gets closer to his destination, he encounters some Necromorphs that we can clearly tell were human at one time by the jackets they had on.  He shoots them to the ground, then stomps on them to make sure that they won’t get up again.  It’s much better than wasting ammo on a finishing shot.  He also uses some kind of stasis power to temporarily freeze enemies, making them easier to dismember.

He eventually reaches a wall gate that a colleague is patrolling.  Issac enters a room within this gate and turns a switch to give power to a lift to the top of the wall. Normally this gate would be high enough to protect the area from any Necromorphs.  However, a large spider-like Necromorph has climbed up the wall.  Issac climbs up to try to help the guard, but it’s too late.  He moves to the end of the gate and ends up getting slapped by the Necromorph.  He grabs onto the edge of a mechanical cockpit by pressing a button for a quick-time event.  He gets inside with another button push, but the Necromorph tries to climb through the top of the cockpit and ends up wrestling it to the ground, throwing Issac out and no longer giving him any protection.  Out in the open like this Issac is quickly dispatched.

[singlepic id=7740 w=320 h=240 float=right]Since we have been shown the trouble getting through this sequence, the developer invites someone from his Friends List to join him.  He shows up as Carver, the character that we’ve seen in the already released screenshots with the red glowing eyes.  We can tell from the start that this will be a much different experience by the banter shared between Issac and Carver.  When they enter the room with the switch, a short in-game cutscene is triggered.  It shows that Carver really doesn’t trust Issac, but Carver wants to get to be bottom of this plague that has endangered them all.  After the switch is turned, a new snow suit is revealed for Issac.  He enters into the chamber to change into the suit and Carver activates it.  The suit looks different and provides protection from the cold.

Both characters move to the top of the wall gate and encounter the giant Necromorph.  Once they are both tossed from the machine cockpit, it fixates on Issac.  Both he and Carver concentrate on taking out the tentacles and then shooting the weak point when it is revealed.  Once it is taken care of both of them move on forward.

The two encounter a camp of Unitarians, and they fire at you.  This is the first time you’ve ever needed to face them and kill them.  As Issac and Carver move, they automatically go into cover when up against an object.  They also don’t get stuck, because you just have to move left or right to get out of cover.  It’s a rather simple solution, but it’s effective.

During the fight against the Unitarians, as they are killed off you can see that some of them are infected because they turn into Necromorphs.  Their harrowing screams echo as new limbs extend from inside them.  They are drawn to Issac, even before they are formed completely, showing how Issac has some kind of connection to them.

[singlepic id=7741 w=320 h=240 float=left]Once past the Unitarians, Issac and Carver enter a small hallway and are blocked by a giant drill stuck in the rock.  They activate the drill, but its damaged and starts to move erratically.  They try to deactivate it, but the controls are inside the drill’s radius.  While it moves around it takes out several Necromorphs, but Issac uses his kenesis to slow down the spinning of the drill and exposes the power core inside the spinning blades.

Once past the drill they exit outside and encounter a ten-story tall Necromorph.  It is covered with a heavy armor that looks like bone.  As Issac and Carver stand in front, it releases pods that spawn more Necromorphs.  It also tries to suck in Issac and Carver while they shoot at its weak spot.  They try to grab onto anything on the ground as they slide on the slippery snow.  While it looks like Issac and Carver may get the upper hand, they both end up getting sucked inside.  We eventually see Issac at what looks to be the top of the throat of the Necromorph, until he is swallowed and enters the stomach acid of it.

Is Issac alive?  Will Carver and Issac get along?  Will they discover the origin of the Necromorphs?  Will it answer enough questions, or will it raise even more?  We’ll find out when it is released on the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.

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