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Добавил: admin, 2013-08-10, 06:42 - 0 комментариев


Three games in and the Dead Space series has got problems. And I’m not referring to the fact that protagonist Isaac Clarke has cleverly managed to crash-land on an inhospitable ice planet that may hold the horrible secret to the entire Necromorph space-zombie menace. The problem is the Necromorph menace itself. Or rather, the fact that, after all this exposure in the Dead Space games, it isn’t really that menacing anymore. Example? Early on in the latest Dead Space 3 demo, I was wandering around another abandoned space hulk looking for another way to get past another locked door when a Slasher dropped down from the ceiling in front of me, accompanied by a sudden shriek of sound design. I should have leapt from my chair.

Instead, I just took aim at a juddering limb and idly wondered how the thing managed to climb all those ladders with talons in place of hands. Visceral Games has at least one decent solution to the problem of audience complacency, as it happens. It’s a new kind of Necromorph called the Swarm Infector, and while it’s a piddling thing on its own, scrabbling across the floor with tiny tendrils flying, it’s capable of pulling an extremely unpleasant trick.

Like the much larger Infector from the previous games, it can reanimate any nearby corpses, sending them spasming into epileptic life. They judder around for a few horrible seconds, then the gristle starts to warp outwards and—presto—you’ve got another Slasher on your hands.

It’s standard Dead Space stuff, perhaps, but combining the Infector with the series’ diminutive Swarmers has resulted in a genuinely unnerving combination. Corpses can no longer be treated as mere set dressing, and there’s something new to squash underfoot.

Elsewhere, if the team has to struggle a little harder in order to scare you, the consolation prize is that Dead Space 3 still looks like an atmospheric and fiercely competent action game. Isaac is generally a little quicker on his feet this time around and can now combat-roll away from danger when things get bad.

He’s also joined by a brand new co-op partner in the form of Sergeant John Carver, an EarthGov super-soldier whose family has been wiped out by the Necromorphs.

Co-op play is drop-in, drop-out, and although it will open new paths through the levels and even unlock the odd additional side mission, it’s entirely optional. Inevitably, it makes the whole thing even less scary than it already is at this point.

If Dead Space 3 can’t always keep you quaking in your spaceboots, it should at least keep you busy.

That’s not the ideal path for a survival horror franchise to take, but it’s better than the alternative, which is generally an accidental lunge toward painful self-parody.

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