The demo for Dead Space 3 is scheduled to be released on 22 January 2013, but I managed to get an early invite.
The demo consumed about 1.93GB of space, so if you’re foresee having a shortage of space in the coming weeks, it’s time to get a bigger hard drive or upgrade your console.
The demo allows you to sample both single player and the new coop campaigns, and playing either one will entitle you to claim your Stasis Support attachment in the full game. If you like to have subtitles enabled, be sure to toggle it first before starting the campaign.
It starts off with you waking up from a crash site on snowy terrain. This introduces a new element of fear – one where your vision is constantly clouded by the haze. This prevents you from sporting danger early, adding tension to the mix. Perhaps, there’s other gameplay mechanic that will capitalise on this, but there wasn’t much in the demo.
Nevertheless, my favourite spooky moment in Dead Space is still present. As much I love being taunted by fear, I enjoy using the lasers of the plasma cutter to light my way ahead of dark corners and corridors. That, to me, is the epitome of what makes Dead Space stands out among other titles of similar genre.
The other highlight in the demo is the new Weapon Crafting section in which the Bench offers more than just merely upgrading your weapons within a predefined path. Instead, spare parts are now added as one of the items that can be scavenged (mostly by stomping crazily on crates and corpses). Spare parts can be used at the Bench to customise your weapons, and while I didn’t manage to recover many items in the demo, I suspect customisation is going to be a big key in replayability, especially when the game also allows saving of customisations in the form of blueprints.
Plus, when looting and crafting are combined in a game, I foresee myself spending a considerable amount of time finding as many parts as possible before advancing. The one question on my mind now is while the demo showed that Dead Space 3 objective progression is linear, and usually backtracking options are quite limited. I’m also not sure whether there will be sections in the game which will allow me to farm. Other than the option to buy and sell parts from the Bench, Im not sure whether there will be other in-game economy options.
Suits are another big thing for past Dead Space games and I’m glad there’s an unlockable suit in the demo, allowing you to watch ‘an animated cutscene’ when Isaac goes for a costume change. However, I wasn’t fond of its animated sequence. Isaac seems forcefully restrained in the enclosed chamber while undergoing the change. I recall the transition for a similar activity in Dead Space 2 as something that was calm but cool.
With some exploration and careful trekking, I took about 45 minutes to complete the demo, which culminated with an epic confrontation that can only be concluded in the full game.
In summary, while I love seeing improved game mechanics in Dead Space 3, I wasn’t keen on having Isaac in an open terrain. I’m sure there’s a reason for that in the plot and trilogy, but Dead Space 3 is still a definite must-get for me.
Enough rant for now; time to go and replay the demo and give the coop campaign a spin.
(Photos were taken off the screen using a Nokia Lumia 920)