The lights are on
Power Member - Level 10
See what I did there? Right, 'cause it's a horror game, ya know? And it's beginning to...no? Okay.
I've talked extensively about Dead Space (on more than one occasion, actually). My feelings on the series are well known. But if you haven't read my earlier discussions on the series, then allow me to sum it up now. In my opinion, Dead Space is one of the top 5 current-gen series. Actually, I'd argue that closer to fact. My opinion is actually that it's top 2, fighting for the lead.
In other words, I like it a lot.
And like anything we love with all our heart, we don't want to see it corrupted and perverted (I'm talking to you, George Lucas). We want each iteration to basically be more of the same, but with some new elements that continue to improve on the formula. Dead Space 2 did this brilliantly in my eyes, though I know there are many on the internets that would disagree. That's fine, everyone's entitled to be wrong. (Before you post some enflamed comment below, please bear in mind that I am joking. Sort of.)
But lately I've been hearing some things that are making the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, and it's not the sound of a necromorph sneaking through a vent behind me. At least, I don't think it is...uh, I'll be right back.
Okay, now that I've moved to a position where I can see all the entry points into the room, I shall continue.
No, what has me worked up is the details we're getting regarding Dead Space 3. Granted, we don't know much at this point, but what we do know has me worried. Let's start with the screenshots that have surfaced recently which seem to show Isaac with another character, someone who is also dressed in some sort of uniform. The conjecture is the series is introducing co-op. Again, details are scarce, but this really has me worried.
Isolation is scary
Remember Resident Evil 5? One of the major criticisms leveled at that game was the persistent presence of a partner throughout the experience. Never once were you alone, even in single player. This did wonders for cooperative play, as the narrative just moved along with either one or two players without a hitch. But it also completely undermined one of the core aspects of survival horror games. Being alone is a large part of what makes these games work, and in RE5 they took that feeling away. As a result, the game was much more of an action game than true horror. I still liked it, but not nearly as much as its ancestors.
Having a co-op mode is fine. In fact, it can add greatly to the replay value. But please Visceral, don't give Isaac a full-time partner for the main story. The game is at its best when his only companions are the manifestations of his own fractured psyche. I play these games at night, lights off, headphones on, wife and kids in bed. I do this specifically to isolate myself from the world so that I can get the most out of the experience as possible. I don't need or want some onscreen protagonist to replace my kids.
Tight corridors with multiple points of entry are scary
Another thing that concerns me is the supposed change in setting. Rumor has it the game takes place on an ice planet, but nothing more than that general statement is known. This does not inspire me with confidence. I LOVE the atmosphere of Dead Space, and double that the section of Dead Space 2 when you return to the Ishimura. The metallic groans and creaks are a big part of what makes the games so immersive, and I felt a lot less vulnerable on the space station than I did during those times.
So how would they handle the setting on a planet? Is there an atmosphere? I feel that would be a huge mistake. Will there be much outdoor gameplay? Again, that really messes with the dynamic in my opinion. And this may sound strange, but some station or structure on a planet just doesn't sound near as cool as a free-floating object in space, which already has a healthy dose of claustrophobia built-in.
Snooki is scary
I'm probably just being paranoid, but it's little signs like this that make me nervous about a sequel to a franchise I deeply care about. Visceral has made two incredible games, and I should have confidence in them continuing to meet or exceed my expectations. But I will cry if my beloved scare-fest turns even partially into a buddy-cop flick. It's likely Dead Space 3 will debut at E3 this year, so I may not need to wait long to see if my fears are founded. Until then, I remain cautiously optimistic. Please don't let me down, Visceral.
if the entire cast of Jersey Shore were in the game and died off horribly one by one, I would easily forgive the lack of seclusion