The lights are on
Alright, yes, it is the first (and possibly only) game I will give a 10/10 for. It's story has a few hiccups, the opening gives a different vibe than rest of the game will have, and I definitely wish they had expanded on the second act a bit more because oh my gosh that felt so Dead Space 2.0, so much moreso than Dead Space 2. That said, every aspect of the game turns out for the better. Enemies and combat are far harsher. I can play Dead Space 2 on Hardcore without dying, but I couldn't beat Dead Space 3 on Hard without dying nearly seven times.
This is one of those games where I just don't get what people are complaining about. With the upped difficulty and genuinely new types of scares, this was the first entry in the series to actually make me -tense-. It's far more unforgiving, even if you've got a stockpile of ammo and stasis. Often times I'd run low on medkits, especially whenever human enemies arrive.
Instead of being detractors from the experience, humans add far more challenge. They can do more damage in less amount of time than necromorph, and often force you to approach situations differently. The enemy types haven't varied much from the norm, although the focus on making them mutate after being defeated means there's more variety per every single enemy. Cut off a Slasher's arms, he'll turn into a leg bound Leaper.
The customizable weapons equally allow you to adapt on the fly. Between the beginning and end of the game, I made around ten different guns, some only tweaking original designs, others flat out new concepts that I then tested in the field. I started out depending on a revolver/plasma cutter combo, but came to instead depend upon a rivetgun/linegun combo with a damage modifier and electrically charged shots and an electrogun/melee ax for up close encounters.
The game isn't really just horror anymore. Dead Space 3 is definitely Dead Space, but it's more like three games in one. The first one does admittedly feel a bit more like a rapid pace modern shooter, but then not too long afterward you get Dead Space 2.0, and then you get the pay off of finally getting to show the Markers who's boss. The story getting you there might take dips in quality, but the finale is actually one of the best across the entire series. The revelations of what's going on are surprising, but will also actually remind you of a certain other brand that EA has published. If you get what I mean, then prepare to laugh your ass off at the fact that Dead Space does it better, and actually shows what it means for something to be decided because of actual creative wishes rather than to get a game out early.
The side quests actually pay host to some of the best ideas and probably the more challenging and horror-style moments of the game, and they'll often reward you for surviving with a crap ton of resources that will at least restock what you may have lost trying to get to them. The game actually remembers people can be mentally pushed a bit more by finally adding some puzzles that, while not exactly brain teasers, push you to think about how to accomplish them when, say, necromorphs keep attacking you every step of the way while you're trying to TK an object into place. They blend into the gameplay far better than the stupid hacking game from Dead Space 2 (although it unfortunately makes at least five appearances in DS3), and don't feel like a complete and utter waste of time. That said, there's one part near the end where you realize they're reusing a puzzle from the ship and it will be like "really? Really guys?" but at least it means you know what to do with it.
"Yes, I know, I can't believe it either! A 10/10. Now we know the world is ending."
In summary: It's smart, it's fun, and I'm looking forward to trying out co-op with a fellow GIO member. It's worth the price of entry if you liked any of the earlier Dead Space games, and anyone who complains about it just seeming to "action-y" clearly hasn't tried playing Uncharted and Dead Space in the same day. This is still Dead Space, it's just not trying to make you **** your pants every ten seconds. If that's the only reason you were playing, then man were you missing the real highlights of the game.