So I’ve recently finished up the third installment in the Dead Space franchise and have to say I am quite surprised. So there I was trudging along through dark, dank hallways doing my dead space thing. When all of a sudden something incredible happened. Dead Space let me choose in which order to attack certain key objectives. It opened up the world and said okay here’s your little box, go out and do whatever in your little box. And of course this little box was in a zero grav environment revolving round the frigid Tau Volantis. Scattered with bits of fallen SCAF vessels. A Catacomb in a vacuum, overrun by morbidly mutated necromorphs. It’s also a section where co-op is available. There’s something very fun about exploring such an incredibly realized reality with one of your close friends, not sure how you’re going to survive this tragic situation. By far one of the most impactful moments I had in the game. From this stemmed a stream of thoughts that made me very excited about the future implications of this franchise.
The love letter is one of the purest forms of hope and love. A promissory note of all the great things that will come once time has had its chance to pass. What is Dead Space 3 possibly professing to us? I would say Visceral is at a threshold and just beyond is something quite spectacular. That moment in the game where I had my little box and I could play the game my way. I want more of that. I want to explore the Dead Space world on my terms and I want to experience this with my friends. With the next generation of consoles comes new game design opportunities. Already we see this burgeoning sudo single player/ multiplayer experience in games like Destiny. Dead Space could very much take advantage of this system and give you the chance to explore the world on an incredibly personal level.
But what kind of implications would this have on the horror elements of Dead Space? It’s quite clear at the moment that Visceral has headed more toward action than horror, but opening up the game could actually allow Dead Space to head back to its roots. One of the main reasons Dead Space was such a scary experience was due to the usg ishimura feeling so realistic. Even though the experience was linear, you were free to travel to where ever on the ship you wanted to go at just about any time. It becomes scary when the familiar changes on you. When what you believe is safe becomes very much the opposite. Dead Space did this constantly, having you traverse the same areas multiple times and watching those environments change over time. Having an open environment gives that sense of exploration and fear of the unknown back to the player.
This is certainly just a big opinion, but what does it make you think? Would you like an open world Dead Space? Would the open world setting destroy what you find so great about Dead Space? Curious to hear people’s thoughts if you find this.