Clarke’s mission takes him to some of the most sinister reaches of deep space, where evil things lurk in wait for the unwary and a sense of creeping dread is never far away. Blood curdling shocks abound, and it’s a sign of the developer’s expertise that the suspense never comes at the cost of action. Fast and frantic combat is the order of the day, with legions of rotting Necromorphs queuing up to be blasted by all manner of mind-blowing weapons.
One of the game’s most exciting features is the freedom it gives you to develop your own custom arsenal. As you cut a bloody swathe through deserted spacecraft and hostile planets, you can collect items and equipment dropped by dying foes. These can be used to build and modify weapons – so if you want to weld a grenade launcher to a plasma cutter, there’s nothing to stop you. You can also dismember undead enemies with well-placed shots then use their body parts to finish them off. It all amounts to some gloriously creative destruction – and means you’ll never be stuck for new ways to deal out death.
When your guns stop blazing for a moment, there are puzzles to solve, artillery turrets to storm and beautifully rendered environments to explore. One minute you’re stalking through an eerily abandoned space frigate, the next you’re jetting through a cosmic abyss or abseiling up frozen cliffs to face off against jaw-dropping monsters with a hunger for human flesh.
Everything from the tiniest gobbet of flesh to the grandest starscape looks and sounds stunningly cinematic, and that’s one of the best things about Dead Space 3: it’s like stepping into one of your favourite sci-fi flicks and finding yourself thrilled and chilled on a blockbuster scale.