In our Dead Space 3 review we described EA's threequel as a "technically impressive all-out action blaster" but added that it "betrays its roots and suffers for it."
Open season has officially begun on reviews, and various websites and magazines have now published their own Dead Space 3 verdicts. As usual, we've gathered up all the scores and put them in one easily digestible list.
- CVG - 7.3: A technically impressive all-out action blaster, but one that betrays its roots and suffers for it.
- Eurogamer - 7/10: Dead Space 3 is a contradiction. Gorgeous but scruffy; tightly packed yet stretched too thin; often frustrating, frequently thrilling and bursting at the seams with stuff, not all of which fits comfortably inside the boundaries the series has set for itself. It's certainly not a great game, except perhaps as a poster child for the kitchen-sink development mentality of a console generation in its twilight months. But it does manage to balance out every misstep with something worthwhile. Sadly, newcomers with no preconceptions will likely enjoy this rollercoaster more than the series' fans.
- OXM - 7: While a serviceable, vaguely scary and visually robust action title, Dead Space 3 is a project born of EA's thirsty pockets - one last blast at a moderately popular IP before next generation consoles arrive. Most of the things fans loved about the original are here, and the new features are cleverly mixed with the existing ones, but in terms of the structure, Visceral is treading water. Dead Space isn't dead by any means, but the spark isn't quite there
- Digital Spy - 4/5: As fans of the series we're happy to report that Dead Space 3 offers familiar thrills in unfamiliar territory.
- Edge - 7: There are moments of breathtaking ambience and grandeur in Dead Space 3, especially in those zero-gravity moments spent floating in a vast interstellar debris field, taking a break from the din of pistons and valves and blast furnaces. The sense of immersion is about as unparalleled as you can get without an Oculus Rift strapped to your head. But the campaign feels overlong and stretch marks begin to appear towards the end of the roughly 20-hour adventure. This game could have benefited from some strategic dismemberment of its own, performed by a shrewd editor who knows how to sever redundant limbs.
- Polygon - 9.5: Dead Space 3 is a monster of a game. Visceral avoided major deviations from the gameplay loop established by the previous games, instead choosing to refine those mechanics. But it has made major, substantive additions to the game's structure that make Dead Space 3 feel much more ambitious. Even more surprisingly, it has successfully executed on all of them. Visceral hasn't just avoided screwing up its game with co-op - it has made it feel natural and at home, and has done it without impacting the single-player experience in any negative way. That alone would be enough to make Dead Space 3 an achievement. But the new crafting system and bigger, more open level structure join co-op to make Dead Space 3 one of the best action games in years.
- GameSpot - 8.0: From its terrific weapon crafting system to its deep well of side content, Dead Space 3 is a massive game rich with options and personalization. Whether you choose to approach it with a friend or by your lonesome, using a plasma cutter or an acid grenade launcher, Dead Space 3 makes fighting for survival a delight.
- Kotaku - No score: This probably isn't the Dead Space game you were hoping for. It sure as hell wasn't what I was hoping for. But once I got over my frustrations with the direction the series has taken, and once I grabbed a friend to suffer the long ride of repetitive battles with me, I was able to focus on fighting interesting creatures with amazingly fun weapons. And maybe that's enough.
- VideoGamer - 5/10: Dead Space 3 isn't a let down because Visceral decided to turn it into an action game. No one can tell them what Dead Space 'is' - they decide to make whatever game they want. And there is enough lore and scope to make Dead Space an action game, even if that choice is probably a poor one. Dead Space 3 is a let down because it's not a very good action game, and a really substandard horror game. It is devoid of ideas, hung up on laborious combat and obsessed with making even the exciting seem boring. In truth, it's a bit of a shocker.
- Official PlayStation Magazine - 7: Dead Space is no longer what it was. If you've played the previous games you'll be able to spot the scares a mile away ("They'll burst out of that panel, then I'll hit that switch and that ceiling vent will collapse.") and you'll likely pine for the panic and purity of the original in the face of so many changes. But taken in isolation, Dead Space 3 is still an enjoyable and worthwhile experience: well-produced, polished and with enough narrative ups and downs (emphasis is very much on the downs) and set-pieces to sustain its ten-hour duration. But if we're going to get a successful fourth instalment, this ET- killer definitely needs to phone home.
- Game Informer - 9.75: Visceral laid the foundation for a terrific horror series with the first Dead Space. The clean, HUD-less presentation, dismemberment-focused gunplay, and expertly crafted derelicts have made each successive entry feel ahead of its time. Dead Space 3 evolves the winning formula into a title not only befitting of the fantastic series, but also one of the best games of this generation.
- The Escapist - 4/5: Dead Space 3 positively nails its science fiction storyline, slowly spiraling up to a go-for-broke conclusion. It's a different tone than the first Dead Space, for sure, but it's a damn good one. The fighting never evolves past point-and-shoot and the boss fights are dull , but the weaponcrafting is a lot of fun to tinker with.
- Joystiq - 4.5/5: Dead Space 3 is an exciting, shocking and mammoth adventure through the ghostly, unvarnished segments of space - and you do, thankfully, get to spend some more time flying. There aren't many games that can match the elegiac, liberating movements of Isaac Clarke in nullified gravity, or his vengeful, squishy stomps of victory.
- Destructoid - 8/10: Dead Space 3 could have been the best entry in the series, and in many ways, it still does provide some of the franchise's most energetic, thrilling, entertaining moments. The changes thrown into the game inevitably damage its charm, though, and make this a step down from its predecessors. A step down from Dead Space's high standards don't necessarily make for a bad game -- far from it, in fact, for this is still a bloody great game and well worth any fans' time. It's sad that market pressure and industry fear tried so hard to ruin things, but one can at least savor the victory of Dead Space 3's creative success in spite of commercial encroachment.
- God Is A Geek - 8/10: Tense and unsettling, yet fun to play, Dead Space 3 is another winner in the series despite the missteps, and manages to provide fun gameplay whilst staying true to the horror mantra for most of the time. It might start out with a few too many explosions, and there's a little too much bombast overall (especially in the second half), but during its best moments, this is still Dead Space at is core - dark, horrifyingly scary Dead Space.
- GamingNexus - 9.5: Dead Space 3 capitalizes on everything that made its predecessors great, and expertly executes everything new. It has the psychological scares and claustrophobic environments of the first two games, but proves they aren't the only ingredients for a tense experience, adding vast expanses that alter both the mood and gameplay. The whole experience blends a plethora of disparate parts into one cohesive whole that ends the trilogy as well as anyone could expect from Visceral Games. It's been a long, harrowing journey for Isaac Clarke, and I'm glad to have seen him through it, and eager to trek it again.
- IGN - 7.8: Dead Space 3 has some glaring problems, but the combat and the stunning presentation make it well worth playing.