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Why Dead Space 3 proves survival horror isn't dead

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OPINION: The third instalment in Visceral's trilogy hasn't abandoned its roots, argues Tamoor Hussain

Between you and me, I was lying when I used to tell people that I enjoyed noticing the similarities between Dead Space and Event Horizon back in 2008.... read more

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Why Dead Space 3 proves survival horror isn't dead

Postby DAEDALUS79 » 13 Feb 2013, 18:50

Hate to break it to you Tamoor (and the many others like him who say this) but Dead Space is not survival horror at all, nor is resident evil 4. Dead Space and Resi 4 are both Action horror games, bloody good ones, but not survival horror. Survival horror is about simply surviving, the goal is simply to escape in one piece. Fancy guns, crazy GOW bosses and huge set pieces dont belong in Survival horror games. A good survival horror game, like Silent Hill or Amnesia, can scare the living daylights out of you without the need for QTE's and huge set pieces.
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Why Dead Space 3 proves survival horror isn't dead

Postby JD_Method » 13 Feb 2013, 18:53

I really didn't like the Dead Space 3 demo. Might have to give the game another chance at some point, though I still need to finish the first Dead Space. Picked it up for 95p a couple of months back, but still haven't got round to finishing it.

Would also need to play Dead Space 2, I guess.
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Re: Why Dead Space 3 proves survival horror isn't dead

Postby ginsin » 13 Feb 2013, 19:21

Yeah, Dead Space was never really a survival-horror game, more of a space-horror-corridor-shooter type thing. But anyhoo, I'm definitely enjoying DS3 so far. It's still got that great atmosphere and tension from the first two games.
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Re: Why Dead Space 3 proves survival horror isn't dead

Postby Audest_Oggust » 13 Feb 2013, 19:48

JD_Method wrote:I really didn't like the Dead Space 3 demo. Might have to give the game another chance at some point, though I still need to finish the first Dead Space. Picked it up for 95p a couple of months back, but still haven't got round to finishing it.

Would also need to play Dead Space 2, I guess.


The Dead Space 3 demo was nothing more than marketing, I believe. I've played through the game in its entirety, and the part in the demo was one of the more action-oriented moments of the game. I think the demo was made just to pull the action-loving gamers into the series. The majority of the rest of the game isn't shooting soldiers or dodging explosions. Yes, it's in there, but they cover a lot of it in the demo.
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Re: Why Dead Space 3 proves survival horror isn't dead

Postby budge » 13 Feb 2013, 19:56

It sounds just like the second game. The first few hours are quite tense and atmospheric but everything eventually turns into a Hollywood action fest.

You almost convinced me to buy this game, Tamoor. Almost.
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Re: Why Dead Space 3 proves survival horror isn't dead

Postby Chris Scullion » 13 Feb 2013, 20:01

DAEDALUS79 wrote:Hate to break it to you Tamoor (and the many others like him who say this) but Dead Space is not survival horror at all, nor is resident evil 4. Dead Space and Resi 4 are both Action horror games, bloody good ones, but not survival horror. Survival horror is about simply surviving, the goal is simply to escape in one piece. Fancy guns, crazy GOW bosses and huge set pieces dont belong in Survival horror games. A good survival horror game, like Silent Hill or Amnesia, can scare the living daylights out of you without the need for QTE's and huge set pieces.

Having also played Dead Space 3 I agree with Tamoor. "Survival Horror" is a loose term that some people just feel is restricted to older games where movement was limited and ammo was scarce.

Turn up the difficulty in Dead Space 3 and it definitely begins to feel like a survival horror game to me. There may be more action and gunplay than in "classic" survival horrors, but the monsters do feel genuinely dangerous and the ammo is scarce.
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Re: Why Dead Space 3 proves survival horror isn't dead

Postby flash501 » 13 Feb 2013, 20:04

DAEDALUS79 wrote:Hate to break it to you Tamoor (and the many others like him who say this) but Dead Space is not survival horror at all, nor is resident evil 4. Dead Space and Resi 4 are both Action horror games, bloody good ones, but not survival horror. Survival horror is about simply surviving, the goal is simply to escape in one piece. Fancy guns, crazy GOW bosses and huge set pieces dont belong in Survival horror games. A good survival horror game, like Silent Hill or Amnesia, can scare the living daylights out of you without the need for QTE's and huge set pieces.


Yep, bang on. When a game gives you so many weapons and almost endless ammo to use with them, it ceases to be a survival horror game, imo. The Dead Space series was never really survival horror.
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Re: Why Dead Space 3 proves survival horror isn't dead

Postby Praetor1 » 13 Feb 2013, 20:26

Dead Space IS survival horror because for most of the game it is purely about survival. There is no incentive for the crew other to escape the ship. Also most of the weapons were just mining tools suitably adapted. It might just be my sound system but I thought it had the most atmospheric sound design of any game this gen. I thought the second game was ok but moving in the wrong direction.

Glad Tamoor enjoyed the third but it isn't for me any more.
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Re: Why Dead Space 3 proves survival horror isn't dead

Postby Down with robots » 13 Feb 2013, 20:31

DAEDALUS79 wrote:Hate to break it to you Tamoor (and the many others like him who say this) but Dead Space is not survival horror at all, nor is resident evil 4. Dead Space and Resi 4 are both Action horror games, bloody good ones, but not survival horror. Survival horror is about simply surviving, the goal is simply to escape in one piece. Fancy guns, crazy GOW bosses and huge set pieces dont belong in Survival horror games. A good survival horror game, like Silent Hill or Amnesia, can scare the living daylights out of you without the need for QTE's and huge set pieces.



The first Dead Space is definitely survival horror, by your own definition "Survival horror is about simply surviving, the goal is simply to escape in one piece." The objective of the game is to get off the Ishimura, it's only while you are doing this that you discover just what's been going on and that you are being used by one of your supposed team mates. 2 and 3 are mildly alarming action games, but 1 is definitely survival horror.
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Re: Why Dead Space 3 proves survival horror isn't dead

Postby DAEDALUS79 » 13 Feb 2013, 20:38

Down with robots wrote:
DAEDALUS79 wrote:Hate to break it to you Tamoor (and the many others like him who say this) but Dead Space is not survival horror at all, nor is resident evil 4. Dead Space and Resi 4 are both Action horror games, bloody good ones, but not survival horror. Survival horror is about simply surviving, the goal is simply to escape in one piece. Fancy guns, crazy GOW bosses and huge set pieces dont belong in Survival horror games. A good survival horror game, like Silent Hill or Amnesia, can scare the living daylights out of you without the need for QTE's and huge set pieces.



The first Dead Space is definitely survival horror, by your own definition "Survival horror is about simply surviving, the goal is simply to escape in one piece." The objective of the game is to get off the Ishimura, it's only while you are doing this that you discover just what's been going on and that you are being used by one of your supposed team mates. 2 and 3 are mildly alarming action games, but 1 is definitely survival horror.



I have to disagree, there are far too many weapons in Dead Space for it to ever be genuinely scary, or a proper survival horror game. Silent Hill 2 had weapons but the offensive prowess of James is so lacking you feel vulnerable. Isaac, despite being a miner, has the combat abilities of a soldier, and that destroys a lot of tension. Walking around with a multitude of weapons, grenades, armour and other items isnt survival horror. Dead Space is a great game, on of the best scary games of this gen (on a console at least) but its just not a survival horror game and I dont think its trying to be.

Ill pick up DS3 soon and give it a go, I hope its scary and pays homage to its routes, but everything that ive seen just reinforces my view that Visceral have focused on all the wrong things (combat, spectacle and simplicity, things SH doesnt need)
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Re: Why Dead Space 3 proves survival horror isn't dead

Postby fracturedrich » 13 Feb 2013, 20:44

Its a good game that strays from the first two,but i cant put it down i like both co op and single player.
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Re: Why Dead Space 3 proves survival horror isn't dead

Postby Onomatopoeia » 13 Feb 2013, 20:53

Dead Space 3 is a s**t whack a mole shooter that tries to be a survival horror by putting in monsters and dark levels. The closest Dead Space ever got to the genre was the first game and it fell short.

Survival Horror is old Silent Hill, Penumbra and Amnesia.
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Re: Why Dead Space 3 proves survival horror isn't dead

Postby MyloX » 13 Feb 2013, 21:00

Picked up the new one for free due to a pricing error on the Tesco website - made me slightly more excited for it tbh.

The first one was Golden.
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Re: Why Dead Space 3 proves survival horror isn't dead

Postby Agent75 » 13 Feb 2013, 21:11

The weapon system is crap though. In fact, it's p**s poor for a horror shooter thingamajig.
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Re: Why Dead Space 3 proves survival horror isn't dead

Postby Agent75 » 13 Feb 2013, 21:13

Onomatopoeia wrote:Dead Space 3 is a s**t whack a mole shooter that tries to be a survival horror by putting in monsters and dark levels. The closest Dead Space ever got to the genre was the first game and it fell short.

Survival Horror is old Silent Hill, Penumbra and Amnesia.


Silent Hill and Resident Evil are ironically now horror shows (bad games). They died years ago.
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