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Sunday, May 26, 2024

The Aggie Arcade

Game of the week

I wouldn’t call myself a fan of scary video games, but there have been releases that effectively manage to instill an overwhelming sense of fear and dread with tense atmosphere and obligatory jump scares. The first two Dead Space games are examples of this, and Dead Space 3 looks to continue the trend this week.

The third entry in the series wraps up the story of Isaac Clarke, but I’ve found the core game play mechanic of necromorph dismemberment to be far more compelling than the overall Dead Space narrative. Luckily the gory combat remains intact, but developer Visceral Games has made a few notable additions to the Dead Space formula.

One of the most notable additions is the new weapons crafting system, which replaces the upgrade bench from the first two games. Now players must seek out resources to help create useful weapons — this is especially important considering the change from four to two weapon slots. Those weapons can be put to good use in numerous side quests featured throughout the Dead Space 3 campaign.

Also new to the series is the inclusion of drop-in/drop-out cooperative play for up to two players. This change has been met with mixed feedback from critics — much of the game seems to be designed specifically with co-op play in mind, which in turn hampers the single-player experience. Personally, I can’t help but suspect that the tension established in the first two titles slowly dissipates with the help of a cooperative partner.

Even if Dead Space 3 does fall short of its predecessors — and that seems to be the consensus judging by reviews so far — I imagine fans like myself will still get some enjoyment out of title.

This week in news

After last week’s edition of the Aggie Arcade, Sony released a cryptic teaser video with practically no information and a single date: Feb. 20, 2013. Following this, numerous video game publications and websites were invited to a Sony event in New York City on the aforementioned date to “see the future.” The news is still buzzing around the video game community this week, so cue the next-generation console rumors.

Only this time, those rumors will likely turn out to be true. Sources have contacted The Wall Street Journal to confirm that Sony is in fact revealing the successor to the PlayStation 3 at the Feb. 20 event. The sources went on to claim that the new console will focus more on social and user interaction in addition to hardware features.

Video game website EDGE revealed controller details from anonymous sources following the announcement of the upcoming event. According to those sources, the controller will be similar in size to the current Dual Shock model but will feature a brand-new design. That includes a small touch pad in place of the start and select buttons and a share button that allows players to upload in-game screenshots and videos.

Obviously these are not official reports, so we won’t know the actual details until Feb. 20. But nearly all signs point to this event being the announcement of the PS3’s successor.

ANTHONY LABELLA can be reached at arts@theaggie.org.


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