Dead Space was a revelation. One of the games from EA’s stable when the company was really trying to push new IP, it brought survival horror back to light. Taking more than a few cues from the genre staple Resident Evil, Isaac’s mostly solitary adventure aboard the necromorph-infected Ishimura offered a compelling, and frightening experience.
Dead Space 2, like later Resident Evil games, took on a more action bent. Though it was still a great game – and found much favour with sissies who couldn’t make their way through the first game – dispensed with much of the horror. If rumours are true, The third game in the series will borrow even more from latter Resident Evil games – by adding co-op.
According to IGN’s sources, Dead Space 3 will feature drop-in, drop-out co-op. They say that Isaac will be joined on the desolate Ice-planet that’s rumoured to be the games setting by a fellow engineer who in single player will act as his guide. In co-operative multiplayer, the story will change to accommodate the extra player – by doing away with much of Isaac’s own psychotic hallucinations. It’s possible though that Isaac’s new friend could be a hallucination himself. Players will need to solve puzzles and overcome obstacles together; utilise a shared pool of weapons and ammo; and heal each other – but death of either player results in a checkpoint load; you can’t revive one another.
I’m not sure how I feel about this. Don’t get me wrong; I loved Resident Evil 5, and played through it with a co-op partner numerous times – but the last thing you could call that game is scary. There’s a certain chill of uncertainty that comes from the solitude in survival horrors, and I’m not sure how they’re going to manage to keep it scary with the addition of co-op.
With Resident Evil now almost wholly focused on action, Dead Space apparently going the same way there’s really just Silent Hill left in the way of AAA horror titles.