When Dead Space 3 hits the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC platforms on February 5 of next year, fans of the space horror series will once again enter the shoes of protagonist Isaac Clarke (or Sergeant John Carver in the game’s co-operative multiplayer mode) to brave the vast universe of terrifying abominations unto nature. Though we’ve seen quite a bit from the upcoming survival-horror title (E3 revealed that co-op feature we mentioned, while Gamescom brought a new trailer), today publisher EA and developer Visceral Games have decided to generously bless fans with a surprisingly long, guided video walkthrough of one section of the game’s single-player experience.
Described as an internal singleplayer demo for the game, the walkthrough (which you can find embedded below) drops players onto a spaceship known as “Eudora.” As one would come to expect from the Dead Space series, Eudora is a poorly-lit wreck, with fires burning out of control in places and ominous cascades of electrical sparks pouring from likely necessary electronics. As Clarke you’re immediately tasked with escaping this flying coffin, but of course it couldn’t be as simple as just finding the exit. Thus, Clarke undertakes a number of minor quests to find his way off of the ship that just happens to serve as a nice segue for new players into the mechanics and quirks of the Dead Space franchise.
Though the clip is often interrupted by the game’s creative director and senior audio artist who serve as hybrid hosts/narrators for the walkthrough, this is undoubtedly the most concrete look at the game we’ve seen to date. Obviously the title has yet to be completed, but the opening segment’s tonal and aesthetic similarities to the thrilling zero-gravity opening sequence from Mass Effect 2 proves that making players weightless is always an exciting concept. Surrounding that weightless player with explosions and ominous noises that may or may yes be unspeakably horrific space monsters is simply a solid extension of the brand’s key attributes, and offers a good reason to follow the in-game instructions demanding that you exit the rapidly deteriorating Eudora.
Following that initial burst of excitement though, things return to “normal” for the franchise. The latter half of the walkthrough is full of pitch-black corridors, jump-scares and tense audio cues. Though we initially didn’t understand why Visceral would tap its senior audio artist to narrate the walkthrough, it all makes perfect sense when you listen to him point out the game’s various aural tricks and attempts to one-up the typical Hollywood horror movie audio routine. If nothing else, we’re impressed by how each character maintains an individual, instantly-recognizable tone while speaking to one another through their standard-issue space explorer headsets. The amount of static during conversations is just right, but more importantly, Visceral doesn’t seem to rely on these communication devices to mysteriously cut out immediately prior to the appearance of big, scary monsters.
In sum, the clip offers either ample reason to be excited for the game’s imminent release, or abundant evidence that you can continue to ignore EA’s premier horror series. Whichever way your opinion shifts, it’s nice to have something like this months before the game hits store shelves.