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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Dead Space 3 frightening, worthwhile fun despite appearance of overdone zombies

By Kirsten Mahon/tr news editor

Fear is the driving force behind the acclaimed Dead Space series. Necromorph and zombie encounters are the heart and soul of gameplay and developer scare tactics. Photo courtesy Electronic Arts
Fear is the driving force behind the acclaimed Dead Space series. Necromorph and zombie encounters are the heart and soul of gameplay and developer scare tactics.
Photo courtesy Electronic Arts

Isaac Clarke. He can fly through space shooting bombs while dodging large particles of space trash. He smashes zombie-alien corpses with his limbs. He’s the go-getter, the small-time hero, the face of the only zombie franchise truly deserving an award.

Let us not forget that everything short of original during this decade probably has zombies in it. When the Dead Space franchise began, this plague of zombie obsession wasn’t quite so bad. We were living in better times then. But now, as zombies come out of the woodwork left and right, if you’re writing a book, game or movie that has zombies in it, you’d better be original.

This is the downfall, if the only one, of the new, thrilling and hopefully last installment in Electronic Arts’ Dead Space series. This time instead of finding something fresh to slap over the genuine Necromorph (a zombie-alien crossover created in the Dead Space story), a one-of-a-kind creature that exists nowhere else in sci-fi thriller or fantasy — literal zombies are part of the story.

All the best twists of the story are in the first 10 percent of the game. After that, you may predict the middle and the end. Bet on it, and win. This is why we shouldn’t expect a fourth Dead Space. 

In the face of its flaws shines the brilliance of its finesse. Yes, the story was overdone. Yes, we’ve seen too many zombies recently, but let’s not forget that Dead Space is, hands down, one of the scariest games of all time. Changing the repetition in the story would have to be done delicately and thoughtfully with careful consideration of the game’s history. It’s sad to say, but without the constant mission to errand-run, which is a common error for the same reasons in most newer games, there might never be an encounter of Necromorphs or zombies. Yet, these encounters are what make Dead Space.

The graphics are beautiful. Dead Space is still running in the higher sector of graphics: elite, smooth and dreamy.

Sometimes, you don’t even want to play this game in broad daylight. The designers kept it classic with no heads-up display, and the controls dutifully supplement that. To keep the excitement, hidden goodies do nothing but make gameplay more fun, multiplying throughout the story. It becomes apparent the developers were thinking about their fans who play Call of Duty and Halo. That’s no doubt the reason why you find yourself running and gunning in the first 10 percent of the game as if you were a soldier on earth rather than a space trooper hundreds of years in the future. The art of seduction comes in when the game begins to give you its best features to offer only after you’ve completed a third of the campaign.

Once again, the story is weak, but who cares, other than IGN? This is Dead Space, the game to scare you out of your pajamas, the game you don’t play in the middle of the night with Surround Sound.

When developers have accomplished a setting that’s creepy, they don’t have to do much else to make it worth our while. Those of us ballsy enough cannot resist — we want this scare. The fun is worth your time, and worth you peeing in your pants, promise.

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