After its reveal as a co-op-centric shooter during E3 2012, Dead Space 3 — despite being the next sequel in one of the best-received survival horror franchises of this generation — has quite a bit to prove when it releases on Feburary 5. The mechanic adds a whole new layer to Dead Space’s gameplay — one that some fans have argued contradicts an axiom so fundamental to its genre: isolation.
Fortunately, however, skeptics and believers alike will be able to get a taste for the experience early. In addition to bestowing us with the Dead Space 3 “Story-So-Far” trailer above, Electronic Arts and developer Visceral Games have announced that a Dead Space 3 demo will release January 22 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. Xbox 360-owning Necromorph meat can earn a week-early access code by signing up at demo.deadspace.com, although EA cautions that quantities are limited.
While Dead Space 3 will always give players the option of playing through the campaign alone, the demo itself appears to emphasize co-op. Electronic Arts was sparse with the mission specifics in their press release, but promises “deep space terror when unwilling hero – Isaac Clarke – and all-new co-op companion – Sergeant John Carver – crash land on Tau Volantis, an unforgiving ice planet teeming with Necromorphs.”
Whether or not that means players will be precluded from flying solo remains unclear — but in the case of Dead Space 3 testing out cooperative play seems like a borderline necessity. With EA already confirming that it contains exclusive gameplay sequences, gameplay mechanics, story details, and even Kinect voice commands (not to mention the self-aware but ardent praise of the mode from EA executives), there’s no doubt that co-op will be crucial to the atmosphere and narrative the game attempts to convey. If the demo provides even a small feel for how Issac Clarke and John Carver, horror-hardened engineer and battle-scarred sergeant, survive the new open-world ice planet of Tau Volantis, Dead Space 3 could further solidify its position as one our most anticipated games of 2013.
Dead Space 3 releases on February 5 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.
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