When I think about Nathan Drake, Leon Kennedy, Marcus Fenix, and other adventure game protagonists, I’d like to think they manage to find some well-deserved R&R in between the adverse situations they find themselves in sequel after sequel.

But Visceral Games refuses to give Dead Space's Isaac Clarke a break. If the beginning of Dead Space 3 is any indication, he might not have to worry about marker-induced hallucinations, but he will still have his hands full with necromorphs. If that weren’t enough, he has angry Unitologists and an emotionally loaded rescue mission to deal with. Here are a few other things we learned from a recent hands-on session of Dead Space 3’s first four chapters.


Beyond the much publicized outdoor winter setting, Dead Space 3 appears to be Visceral’s attempt to go beyond the single setting confines like the USG Ishimura and the Sprawl from the first two games. Dead Space 3 not only encompasses multiple locations, but also multiple time periods.

I got to explore a bit more of the snowy wilderness of Tau Volantis and recovered a cylindrical device of some value. I also rappelled down a mountain as parts of a crashed ship rained around me. It was a surprisingly unremarkable sequence, though at least it was brief, and the subsequent events of the next cutscenes were unexpected.

As a contrast of locales, a later chapter featured a chase through the dark streets and vacant offices of a space colony. There were plenty of necromorphs to take on and I had both ample firepower and time-slowing kinesis to give me an edge. Visceral also laid out some inventive opportunities to use kinesis beyond combat, though we’ll let you discover those exercises yourself.


If you thought Tau Volantis was a drastic change for the series, imagine having to defend yourself against unmutated Unitologists. That’s right, this is the first time you get to kill humans in the Dead Space series. Is it a blasphemous direction for the series that runs the risk of being like every other third person shooter out there? You could say that, but at least these fanatics give you every reason to kill them, and you don’t have to worry about these guys getting back up after you pull off a headshot.

The Unitologists are long tired of EarthGov’s “abuse” of the powerful and mysterious markers and are terrorizing colonies one by one. In the first chapter of Dead Space 3 (not counting the prologue), the Unitologists have caught up with series protagonist Isaac Clarke. It’s bad enough that he lives in a crappy apartment and is late on his rent; the followers of the late Michael Altman want Isaac dead.

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