And done with Dead Space 3.
Honestly? It was much better than I expected. For these last 10 years (dang, it’s already 10yo) I was convinced it was a pretty mid game. But no, it’s very much on par with its predecessors. What changes there are to the overall gameplay is actually fairly minute and not really for the worse per se.
Even the co-op actually improves the experience. My only gripe is that you technically have to play the game 3 times to get the “full” experience to see how the game changes, a single player playthrough, a coop playing as Isaac and a coop as Carver. But that’s only because the game is smart in how it handles the coop. It’s not tacked on or hackneyed, the players legit sees different things based on who’re they’re playing as. Frequently, say, Carver will have hallucinations. Which makes sense as Isaac made himself resistant to Maker influence at the end of DS 2. In gameplay terms this means that the person playing as Isaac will see Carver stand still and clutch his head at points, and Isaac will have to fend off a wave of necromorphs as the Carver player has their own short but exclusive little story beats. Neither player can see what the other is doing or seeing in their hallucinations, so it really drives home the point that these guys really are seeing their own ghosts. Not many games actually commit to the concept like this one does, and I respect it.
Also I was turned off on the idea of weapon crafting being introduced. But honestly? After trying it out I prefer it to the previous entries of finding prefabbed guns ready to go. There’s a surprising variety of combinations and variations you can do, but it’s much simpler than it seems at first glance. It more or less boils down to “pick an ammo type, pick a fire rate, maybe slap on bonus effects”.
As for the story, 10 years ago it kind of sucked to hear the series concludes with the bad ending. Everyone dies. But honestly after all this time I kind of like it. Having accepted that the series was cancelled, it makes me appreciate the downer of an ending. A lot of games like to ape cosmic horror and other Lovecraftian aesthetics, but this series actually commits and says that yeah, space is scary AF and humanity’s only defense is not getting noticed in the first place. If the series had continued then I would say it should’ve let us have a happy ending. But since it didn’t ending with humanity getting eaten is serendipitous.