Finished the game yesterday.
I was very impressed by the amount of polish the game exhibited. The graphics were beautiful, and there were hardly any glitches encountered at all for me - only a few isolated visual ones that righted themselves quickly, and one program crash as i exited the game, that never happened again.
I played on the normal difficulty setting, as is my usual policy with games. However, I found it far too easy - enemies were rather weak, and resources were being chucked at you from all sides, to the extent that resource management wasn't even part of the gameplay. Only at the very end of the game, where the challenge was the highest, was there any element of 'survival' for me.
I think this was because I must be what's considered a 'Veteran', having had played the first two games. But what's more attributive was probably my extensive experience with Mass Effect 3's Multiplayer on the harder difficulty settings, where just a single lowly mook has enough strength to kill you in a few seconds. Indeed, I found the combat gameplay of DS3 to be extremely similar in feel to that of ME3MP, sans the cover-focus. And as such, I find myself absolutely loving it, about as much as I love ME3MP's combat.
Perhaps my favourite part of the game was the
Tau Voltanis crash-landing sequence - that was incredible. I know it's just like the "on-foot" zero-g speed sequences, but hell, those are awesome too. The dynamic of being in a considerably less maneuverable, much larger ship just made things feel 10x more intense. And then there's the conceptual "meshing" of freefalling, and the piloting of a crashing ship..
God, that part was awesome.
Another thing I loved was the weapon crafting system. The multitude of armament configurations really kept things fresh for me all the way through the playthrough, and I got a real kick out of trying out all the different combinations; figuring out what I liked best. In the end, that ended up being:
1. A Heavy Elite Bullpup Rifle + Rocket Launcher
; with Splash Guard and Acid Bath or Flame Glaze attachments; The Rifle upgraded/specced for damage and reload, and the Launcher specced for reload and clip. I don't know if the Blueprints had a name for this weapon, and I'm sure there are other names for it out there, but I called this thing 'The Boss Killer'*, because that's what I used it for. This was my fallback weapon as I experimented with various other configurations in the other weapon slot. And it did indeed make quick work out of most of the bosses that came my way.
*(alternatively, 'Boss Neccra')
2. A Heavy Elite Javelin Repeater or Chain Gun + Force Gun or Anchored Bolas
; with any, and Electric Charge attachments; the Repeater/Chain Gun upgraded for damage and rate of fire, the Force Gun specced for clip and reload, and the Anchored Bolas specced for everything.
At the end of the game, I pulled out the Plasma Cutter I stowed away in the beginning of the game and upgraded the crap out of it, focussing on damage and reload, and sticking a Stasis Coating attachment on it. More specifically, I ended up with:
3. A Compact Elite Plasma Dispenser with Rotator Cuff Module
; with Ammo or Damage support and Stasis Coating attachments; upgraded for damage and reload.
It was at this point I realized that the Plasma Cutter was the ultimate Necromorph killer. And fair enough, too - it's objectively the most iconic, and in my opinion, the most badass weapon of Dead Space.
Also, on the topic of DS3 weapons, the inclusion of the "HUNE1 Badger" fan-contribution weapon made me lol.
"Mjolnir" was obviously a likely inclusion based on the current popularity of Thor/The Avengers, but apart from the name and cool concept, I found the weapon to be rather useless. Lol
IMO the RIG's/suits in this game don't look as good as they did in DS2. However, the main one (Arctic Survival Suit, shown on cover/promotional material) is on par with the main suits from Dead Space 1 and 2 (Advanced Engineering Suit and Advanced Suit respectively).
There were some rather dubious actions taken by the characters at various points, such as:
Trusting a message from the Marker/marker influenced people ("Turn it off").
Not expecting the bigass crustacean to awaken when all the other necromorphs around them survived long periods of time within ice.
Multiple, ridiculous, self-sabotaging monologues by Danik. You'd think a 'man of science' would learn the first, or even second time his blabbering 'experiment' goes wrong. But three times? Are you kidding?! What is this, a Saturday morning cartoon?
And the worst of all: Trying to reach Santos and Ellie conventionally when you have FREAKING TELEKENISES ON YOUR WRIST. Isaac's moved starship engines with that thing; is able to pick up human bodies on a regular basis. Just kinesis them and pull them to safety, you idiot!
It baffles me how the writers could have overlooked such a glaringly obvious possibility.
I think the atmosphere in DS3 is a lot less potent than in the previous games. But perhaps this perception is due to my experience with the game difficulty. Maybe if I had chosen a higher difficulty setting, the introduced resource management/survival aspect of gameplay would have increased the tenseness in the atmosphere.
Another notable thing is that, probably due to the frequent chatter between the characters, I didn't get a sense of loneliness from the game's atmosphere, which I think is probably a core concept of the DS games.
I don't feel miffed by the exclusion of it in DS3, however. It's just different... I can't say if it's better or worse.
As for the general potency of the atmosphere of the game, the question must be asked: how many times can you repeat the same formula within a series, before it loses its effectiveness?
I didn't mind the cliches in DS3's story, but I do think they weren't as well done as in the original game (which, imo, is what warrants their inclusion).
The lack of cliche execution quality is not to a game-condemning extent though, so that's good.
On the subject of cliches though,
I was thinking, couldn't everyone just survive? For once?
One particular thing I found strange was the interactions between Isaac and Carver in the SP campaign. You can see little snippets of results of character development when they meet up; I would assume there would be a considerable about of banter between them throughout the CO campaign, but in SP there is virtually none, so the interactions they have when the do meet up appear strange and disjointed since there is virtually none of the actual character development in between. Carver goes from being a hardass dick to a mellowed bro in just a few cutscenes, but with no explanation in between.
Imo they should have had separate SP and Co-Op campaigns. I can only imagine that it must have been prohibitively effortful to do so. Or perhaps it's a voluntary design decision.. in which case I think they should have done the writing better, in this Isaac-Carver-interaction context.
Originally Posted by Lynk Former
...Assassin's Creed III... all where the main character (seemingly) dies.
At least give a warning or something before discussing other games' spoilers. ಠ_ಠ
As for the whole Mass Effect thing people are talking about... you guys are reaching. If anything, you should be thinking of Unicron Think about it.
I assume by "reaching" you mean that the connection between the two concepts are a stretch, to which I'd say that while the Unicron saga(s) may correspond more directly to the story of Dead Space (I am not familiar with the specifics of the Transformers mythos, so I can't say if it is or isn't), I certainly don't think the correlation between Dead Space's and Mass Effect's stories is contrived at all. IMO the main parts of the stories are basically identical. The gameplay, of course, happens to be similar too.
Originally Posted by Lynk Former
So this is what I think has been happening over the course of all of the games and other Dead Space media...
So over two million years ago, the alien species that lived on Tau Volantis discovered a marker which then affected them and they ended up using their superior technology to construct a whole bunch of markers, I'm assuming for research purposes. We don't know the specifics of what happened but apparently enough of them were able to withstand the effects of the marker signal enough to realise what it was trying to do and construct a machine that would flash freeze the planet to contain marker outbreak and even a convergence event itself. I'm kind of assuming that they knew that they couldn't stop the marker from infecting them so the few that were able to built the machine to stop the Necromorphs from achieving convergence while they still had the chance. Convergence finally happened but the alien race succeeded in stopping it from becoming fully realised and the Necromorph moon which resulted was only partially complete. The alien race also knew that all they could do was contain the Necromorph moon but not destroy it since once the button was pushed, their species existence was over. Being the highly intelligent beings they are, they left instructions for any space-faring species that discovered their world to finish what they had started and destroy the moon completely.
Meanwhile, using its marker transmissions, the Necromorph moon sent out a distress signal to all of the markers within its range, including the one on Earth which is still of unknown origin that crashed on our planet 65 million years ago. It was that familiar message "Make us whole" that has been repeated throughout the series which being transmitted. Once anyone got within range of Tau Volantis it also added "Turn it off" to the message. I don't exactly know what it was trying to accomplish or how it was trying to do it, but I think it was trying to get help in the only way it knew how, by actively pinging a marker to instruct its creators into creating copies of the marker which they would seed on other planets. I think the whole "Dead Space" effect that was initially described in early Dead Space works was so that convergence could be prevented. I think the true purpose of the markers, at least the ones created by humanity was to have them seeded on different planets so that eventually humans could use the marker transmission to triangulate them back to Tau Volantis, essentially calling an intelligent species there to turn off the machine that was imprisoning the Necromorph moon. I also think that some of the markers that humans made were faulty, like the one on Titan station which was more concerned about creating a convergence event itself than in helping the Tau Volantis moon with its distress signal.
Flash forward to 200 years before the events of Dead Space where the Necromorph moon is successful in its mission and Tau Volantis is discovered by a research team which is tricked into thinking that they found the marker home world and that there's a machine on the planet that is creating the signal which they should turn off. However, the deception is discovered and the research team which has a military leadership has determined that the entire human race is being under threat and the only way to ensure its survival is to cause an extinction level quarantine of Tau Volantis... which is why everyone killed themselves, they wanted to make sure that no one influenced would be influenced by the signal that was trying to get them to turn off the machine.
Now, when the order is given, a final transmission was sent to Earth by the research team telling the Earth council of what they had discovered. All of the marker sites that were created were quarantined and shut down, extinction level quarantines were ordered for all of those sites such as Aegis VII. The government body that existed at the time was eventually overthrown and EarthGov came into existence which formed out of the factions that opposed the old Earth Council. Now the Markers that were abandoned were hidden away and forgotten, like the one on Aegis VII, and were only rediscovered a couple of hundred years later to just before the events of the first Dead Space game.
Now think about this... what was the marker trying to do when it was discovered and taken off of the planet? It was 1. sending out the distress signal "Make us whole" and 2. it was influencing anyone it could to try to get it to bring the marker back to the planets surface because only from there could anyone have a chance of triangulating a course, using the marker signals, back to Tau Volantis. Of course, once the Aegis VII marker was destroyed, fragments of it were collected and information extracted from those who came into contact with it (Isaac Clarke and Nolan Stross specifically) were used to create a new set of markers which were spread out across different sites across the small corner of the galaxy that humanity had colonised. The new Earth government was making the same mistake the old one had done. The difference is that Ellie seemed to have discovered Tau Volantis before EarthGov since, at the time, they were having to deal with the rise of the Unitologists who, thanks again to the events of Aegis VII, actually came into contact with a marker for the first time since the religions inception from the discovery of the black marker on Earth. In many ways, the Unitologists represent the true intentions of the markers, convergence.
So it seems... Danik was right in a way... the Markers weren't being used for their true purpose since they weren't actively seeking convergence, rather the ones created by humans were distress beacons trying to bring people to Tau Volantis which had a Necromorph moon that hadn't fully completed its own convergence event.
Finally, on the whole issue with the Brethren Moons and how they've been laying dormant for all this time. There are apparently several of these moons in our Milky Way galaxy and possibly countless more in others for all we know... but the ones that are in our galaxy seem to be spread out far enough away from each other since they obviously need entire planets of life to feed on. I think when the Tau Volantis moon sent its distress signal, it did it in a way not to disturb the other moons that were sleeping because it knew that they would just come in and feed on humanity, leaving it incomplete. It's also why I believe the marker on Titan station was faulty since it appeared not to have a so-called "dead space" field around it like the red markers do. A new convergence isn't what it wanted, it just wanted to be freed to complete its own and THEN once it was completed it would consume the rest of Tau Volantis and then come after Earth and its various colonies. Then once it had consumed all life in the area it would have probably created its own markers and fired them off into the galaxy, letting them home in and crash on planets that supported life or was capable of supporting life and just sat there dormant until life was found and one of the markers it sent pinged it.
Of course, this never happened and before the Necromorph moon died, it most likely sent out a signal to its brothers that could hear it that there was life in this part of the galaxy to consume... hence the secret chapter titles being BROTHER MOONS ARE AWAKE... The DLC is definitely going to be something that'll shift the series into a different gear. So far humanity has been dealing with a Necromorph moon in distress... now it may have to come up against a fully formed Necromorph moon or even several.
...what do you think?
That is one really nice summary - coherent, succint, and complete. Considering the entire franchise's story as a whole in the way you've presented it gives me a sense of directiveness on the part of the writers. It appears they had a good idea of what they were writing, and where they were going. Personally, I find it rather reassuring; especially when coming off Mass Effect, where it was apparent that each instalment's story was created simply for the sake of putting out another game. Maybe this is the case with Dead Space as well, but either the writers have developed a clever scalable plot framework to work with, or they're just plain better. Either way, as I said: reassuring.
I can't wait for the Awakening, and further story DLC's that may be coming.
In the meantime, I'd like to (properly) experience co-op, but that's a mission in itself. :/