In space, no one can hear you scream, unless you’re playing online co-op. In Visceral Games’ Dead Space 3, our hero, Engineer Isaac Clarke (the videogame equivalent of Alien’s Ripley), is back to battle the Necromorph menace, and this time he’s brought backup. Dead Space 3 adds co-op to the action-horror series, allowing you to play through the campaign with another player and experience additional side missions and cutscenes not found in the more traditional solo mode. And while dismembering hideously mutated zombies and solving puzzles with a friend is undoubtedly fun, it also kills any sense of the tension or dread the franchise is known for.
Fortunately, the game can still be played solo and in that mode it remains similar to its predecessors. Isaac still explores claustrophobic, darkly-lit corridors, where things go bump in the night and then run at you and try to slice you to pieces. And the game’s fundamental gameplay—a trifecta of slowing things down with the stasis ability, shooting spiky limbs off with various weapons, and then throwing them back at enemies with kinesis—is as satisfying as ever. Isaac’s quest to stop the Unitologists (think Scientologists if they wanted to end mankind rather than just hassle Katie Holmes) eventually lands him on a hostile, Hoth-like ice planet called Tau Volantis, where he must navigate blinding snowstorms and battle mutating enemies reminiscent of John Carpenter’s The Thing.
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