"With EA announcing a new Dead Space title will be coming next year, fans of the series are no doubt jumping about with glee. Well, brace yourselves: the latest rumors point to
Dead Space 3 featuring drop-in and drop-out coop. You heard that right.
Dead Space 3 will see a new character join Issac Clarke in his mission, serving as a guide throughout the main campaign. No name was given, but the man will wear their own RIG suit – though, unlike Issac, this one will emit a red glow from the helmet. When his helmet is off, players can expect to see a lovely scar on his face. We wonder if this is the Shadow Isaac that was mentioned a few months ago.
According to IGN's source, this new character will also serve as a co-op partner, with players able to drop in and out of co-op at whim. However, those playing solo will see a slightly altered story. For example, players in co-op will see Issac and the new character appear together in cutscenes, while those who play solo will only see Issac. As well, Issac’s moments of psychological torment will be absent during co-op play. Well, at least he won’t appear in solo games.
The co-op mode will also see players work together to solve puzzles, using some of Issac’s staple abilities such as telekinesis and stasis. Interestingly, once a player goes down they cannot be revived, the checkpoint will instead be reloaded – makes sense considering the gruesome ways Issac can die in the first two games.
Now, I’m an open minded guy; I don’t really have problems with change in a game. If a studio thinks it’s a good idea to 'modernize' or 'streamline' their games, I’m all for it. But this just seems… off. It’s not that co-op wouldn’t work in the Dead Space universe – it worked well in Dead Space: Extraction- but for the core titles I’ve always felt that it was about the solo experience, being isolated and able to explore the environment at one’s own pace. That said, if what IGN‘s source says is true, then co-op is entirely optional. Let’s just hope there aren’t any co-op only achievements – since some players won’t likely have an interest in playing Resident Evil 5with necromorphs.
Oh, and apparently Issac is now able to crouch, do evasive rolls and get into firefights with human enemies. Another series of controversial choices." -Source.
"John Carver does not get along with Isaac Clarke. The hardened soldier, a new character for the franchise and the second player in Dead Space 3’s cooperative campaign, has no interest in Isaac’s psychological scarring and personal trauma.
'They're reluctantly paired together,' Dead Space Art Director Ian Milham tells IGN, 'They have an arc…and they have different perspectives on stuff.'
The most divisive subject in the Clarke/Carver relationship is Ellie Langford, Isaac’s savior on The Sprawl. A crash-landing on the ice world of Tau Volantis leaves Ellie missing, Isaac obsessed with finding her, and Carver unsympathetic to the cause.
Carver is the best possible character foil for Isaac. He’s why co-op works in Dead Space. The only partner that makes sense for a fragile hero in a horror game is, of course, a desensitized sociopath. Sounds like the dynamics between the two of them will be interesting. Maybe Ying for Yang. Kind of reminds me of Dantec from Martyr.
On paper, Dead Space 3 sounds terrible. A two-person campaign should ruin a franchise reliant on isolation to instill fear. Visceral Games is banking on co-op so confidently that it’s replacing Dead Space 2’s maligned and misplaced online mode; competitive multiplayer won’t be part of Dead Space 3. Sooo glad they're getting rid of multiplayer, and emphasizing singleplayer and co-op.
What’s reassuring is how clearly the developer understands co-op. 'We preserve the great horror experience in the single-player for the person who wants to do it. Playing co-op is a different mindset, you have different goals,' Milham says. Isaac Clarke can cross the hostile environment alone in search of Ellie, fending off armed and militant Unitologists as well as necromorphs. He’ll interact with Carver, who’s crucial to the story regardless of how his role is presented, and proceed as Dead Space fans expect. Personally I can't wait to fight some Uni's. They are crazy and at the very least, deserve a bullet to the face.
Co-op truly is a different experience. It's arguably superior to single-player. The story and key characters are the same, but the interactions unfold in an appropriate new fashion. Carver and Isaac have longer, more meaningful conversations. The relationship between Clarke and Carver becomes more complex when Dead Space 3 lets them spend more time together. At the outset, Carver seems abrasive and unfeeling, but that doesn't mean he won't have the opportunity to grow. We saw a glimpse of humanity in Carver's introductory comic, after all.
Visceral continues to defy its usual formula by compromising claustrophobia. Exploration is important to Dead Space 3, both on the surface of Tau Volantis and in the openness of space.
Milham explains space as an 'unknown' open world for Isaac and Carver to investigate. 'There’s no over-world or map [to navigate],' says Milham. 'You just go,' whether that’s leaping into zero-g in your suit or riding a fast-travel transit shuttle to poke around ships and other places. Like how this is sounding.
The reason this is such a vital element to Dead Space 3 is twofold. First and foremost, it establishes atmosphere through narrative discoveries. 'There are core locations key to the story where [main] missions happen,' explains Milham, 'but there are other ships and locations you can go to in space that are purely optional.' Sounds like we may have a little more free roam in this game, at least stepping away from linearity a little bit.
Secondly, Clarke and Carver will find resources hidden across the world, both as they stumble onto secret areas and as enemies drop them. Milham doesn’t budge when I ask what they’re for, and he laughs when I try to connect them to the new weapons system. LOOT!
Fur for the future.
Universal ammo makes micro-managing easier, but the real star here is crafting. You can combine two weapons, 'and even way beyond that,' in Dead Space 3. Isaac comes equipped with a Line Gun/Ripper combo in my demo, as well as a Plasma Cutter fused with a Force Gun. Currently, having two weapons means just one fire mode for each. 'We’re working on that,' Milham says, emphasizing that Visceral 'didn’t get rid of anything' when I ask about secondary fire. Dead Space 3 is all about new features, even if it's as minor as an evasive roll or cover system -- neither of which can be abused or ruin the game, mercifully. Cover is limited to firefights with humans, and you can roll into a problem as quickly as you dive away from it. Crafting and weapon combos! PC and FG are my two favorite weapons in both games. A combo of those two would bring a tear to my eye.
Expanding the workbench gives Carver the opportunity to become a different kind of combatant than Isaac. Both men have the same skill set but can branch out however each player pleases. Maybe Carver improves his stasis so Isaac can lay into a frozen foe. Maybe Carver focuses on his Plasma Cutter's damage output, leaving Isaac to worry about his own lethality. Them having separate skills/abilities will make their play style as different as their personalities. Sounds amazing.
Streamlining the weapon system and opening up the options for two players should mean a more complicated building system, but Milham reiterates we’ll learn more about the workbench leading up to Dead Space 3's February 2013 release date. *Sighs.* Too long to wait for DS3.
Until then, know that Dead Space 3 is an experiment on the right track. It has an interesting cast, strong new mechanics, and more faith in itself than ever. Probably because it's bringing a friend for support." -Source.
So far DS3 is sounding pretty legit to me. Personally I think the person behind the first articles are spot on. Dead Space is best served in solo. Co-op will certainly take away some of the fear that made the first two so good. But... if we have to have co-op, they're doing it perfect. First off drop in/drop out co-op is perfect. Co-op games are very frustrating where if someone leaves, the game ends. Props for that. Like the person said, we don't have to play the game in co-op if we want to. Perfect. I still feel Resident Evil 5 was lessened by having a forced co-op partner with us at all times. Whether we liked it or not, there was someone hold our hands at all times. Didn't have that same "Oh crap!" feeling like the previous games. I'm glad to hear that DS3 will give us the option to play it in solo, or with a friend.
It especially sounds interesting to me that we'll be able to play through the game in two different ways, depending on if it's solo, or co-op. Besides the visual differences, sounds like the co-op partner's personality will be greatly different from normal Isaac's. Very cool how the story will be a little different depending on how you play it, giving a different feel for the two. "As well, Issac’s moments of psychological torment will be absent during co-op play." Also cool that the cutscenes will be different when one mode is played.
It's cool that there will be co-op puzzles that require kinesis and stasis. Should be a more calm break from all of the necro killing. Also cool that if one player goes down, you must revert to the previous checkpoint. There will be no hand holding like there is in RE5 and the LFD's. Sounds like there will be no revival. This will probably and hopefully make the co-op mode a little more intense, and encourage more teamwork. Hopefully this will cause less people to play through the game Rambo style with no fear of the consequences, as seen in RE5 and the LFD's.
After the first game, the developers made DS2 more action-packed and theatrical because a lot of people complained the game was too scary. Many people complained at this move, but in the end I feel it turned out great. Very theatrical and more action-packed, but just as scary. Hopefully the game is still scary (I'm sure it will be) with the new control abilities like crouching and evasive roles. More control in my opinion is a good thing. I'm pretty sure they will stay true to the horror-filled tension that is so great about the series.
The thing I didn't like about RE5 was that whether we liked it or not, there was a walking/talking/shooting/inventory box/medic next to us at all times. We won't have to play with a partner, but we'll have the option to. After I beat the single-player mode FIRST to completion like I did in DS1 and DS2, I'll be able to switch over to co-op for a different experience. Personally I really enjoy co-op games, and enjoy playing them just to play them. Never gets old for me playing them while helping others to complete things. Should add much longevity to the game for me. I was sort of hoping if there was co-op, Ellie would be the second player, but the other guy sounds cool too. For me the way they're doing it, means I get to have my cake and eat it too.