Hands-on with Dead Space 3: Survival teamwork and swearing at Kinect

Why the blockbuster horror will have us shouting and screaming more than ever

We've all been there: backs to the wall, out of ammo, knowing there's no way out and still desperately pleading to the gaming gods for help. For the last goodness knows how many years they've never answered, but that all changes in Dead Space 3. In Dead Space 3 those gods might actually help us survive the unsurvivable situations and topple the untoppleable odds.


"I need ammo!" you might yell, and a second later you'll be given a lifeline in the form of line racks or saw blades or good old fashion bullets. "I need a health pack!" you could also squeal after a pesky necromorph's rudely invaded your personal space and had a cheeky nibble on your collar bone. And afterwards you could find yourself with a crucial flask of life-giving nectar waiting to be glugged down to refuel waning vital signs.

You've always got a fighting chance as long as you're working together...

Your rescuer won't be some contrived deus ex machina, however, but your partner in crime: a man just as vulnerable as you are, and someone who might well be calling for help from you also. Help you need to be giving when you can afford to. It's a system exclusive to Kinect, and it's one that streamlines a lot of the games options and further does away with the menus and HUD noise that developers Visceral so famously hate. In co-op you can trade items regardless of the distance between the characters. It might not make a whole lot of sense but from a gameplay perspective it encourages constant cooperation and means Visceral can drop you into some nasty situations and know you've still got a fighting chance if you work together with your partner.


Kinect isn't just used for giving and receiving items, however. Quick heals, checking objective pathways, locating your partner, and even using powers are all things Kinect can handle. Some are more useful than others: tapping B is normally a fine way to top up health but when you're in the middle of a fight and your gun's raised it's safer to yelp three words than it is to drop your aim, even for a moment.


Calling "Grab object" to initiate TK, on the other hand, isn't quite as useful: it only works when you're already aiming, and there's a currently small amount of processing lag after the command's been issued, so it ends up being slower than just pressing the button.

And there's more. As well as the standard list of commands Visceral paid attention to play-testers and noticed a striking pattern of blue responses when they were unwillingly up close and personal with the gnashing necromorphs and have created some secret Kinect inputs as a result. So, might yelling, "Get the bleep off me you bleeping bleeper!", when you're in a wrestling match with enemies trigger unique, secret execution animations, perhaps? "Oooh, that's pretty smart! You might be onto something there," says Visceral head Steve Papoutsis. Sadly he wouldn't tell us what those exact commands might be, and even if he did we probably couldn't publish them.

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