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Dead Space 3

Bloody, gory sci-fi action sequel, now with co-op support.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Educational value

Dead Space 3 wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning. 

Positive messages

It's a bit of stretch to suggest Dead Space 3 has any positive messages -- as it's such a violent and gory game with plenty of profanity sprinkled on top -- but because you're trying to eliminate an evil force, it at least has this fact in its favor.

Positive role models

Isaac Clarke, the main protagonist, is an engineer in love with his estranged girlfriend, Ellie. But his tech skills aren't enough to ward off the alien threat -- so he uses a number of weapons to blast them into pieces. The other protagonist, John Carver, is more of a hardened soldier out to avenge the death of his family. Clarke isn't happy about the situation but Carver has more bloodlust.

Ease of play

Generally speaking, Dead Space 3 isn't too difficult to play but sometimes can be tricky -- such as when you're flying the air in zero-gravity and using Kinesis to remotely manipulate objects. Also, the work bench controls, when customizing a new weapon, can take some getting used to.


Dead Space 3 is an extremely violent, bloody, gory, and scary action game. Not only do you kill thousands of alien critters using an assortment of weapons, but they can also explode into red chunks, rip in half, catch on fire, and be dismembered and decapitated. The heroes, too, can die a dramatic death in slow-motion, including being cut in half or decapitated. You'll see execution-style murders and suicide (self-inflicted gunshot to the head) within the first few minutes of the game. You can stomp on alive or dead creatures and hear a "squish" sound.


Not applicable

The game has very strong profanity, including many variances of the F-word. This includes "f--k," "f--ker," "Get the f--k off me," "Call for f--king backup!" Other strong swear words include "s--t" and "a--hole."

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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Dead Space 3 is extremely violent, bloody, and gory sci-fi action game that earns its "M" rating. You can craft and use a number of weapons -- ranging from laser blasters and automatic rifles to flamethrowers and explosives -- and the alien creatures explode into bloody chunks. The cut-scene sequences can also be very gory. Dead Space 3 has strong profanity.

What's it about?

Without giving away too much of the single-player campaign, the story picks up a few months after the events of Dead Space 2. Once again, you play as Isaac Clarke, an engineer in the 26th century, lured back into battle against an alien menace. Isaac's estranged love, Ellie, calls for Clarke's help to battle against the Markers, ancient and powerful relics, and the deadly Necromorph creatures they produce. The entire campaign can be played solo or you can team up with an online friend to take down these threats together. The second player can drop-in and drop-out at any time, and they play as John Carver, an EarthGov soldier who has his own reasons for destroying the Markers. A few optional quests can only be completed in co-op with two players. The first portion of the campaign –- a good seven or eight chapters, in fact -- has you fighting aboard a huge flotilla, but the remainder takes place on the frozen planet of Tau Volantis.

Is it any good?


DEAD SPACE 3 is a stellar sequel that won’t disappoint fans of the original Dead Space (2008) or Dead Space 2 (2011) -– as it retains its intense action yet adds new features such as online cooperative (co-op) play. However, this sequel doesn’t quite deliver the "fear factor" found in its predecessors. As with the first two games in the series, this is a third-person action game that has Clarke (or Carver) aim and fire a number of upgradeable weapons at alien creatures, temporarily freeze time through Stasis powers, use Kinesis to manipulate objects from a distance (handy for puzzle-solving), fly through the air in Zero-G missions, and scavenge the environment for med packs, ammo, weapon parts, and other items to help you stay alive long enough to fight against this evil force. Along with crafting your own weapons, online co-op is the standout feature of this game. To play co-op, however, be aware you need to sign up for an Origin account –- EA's gaming service -- if you don’t have one already. Plus, a code in the box is also required for online play. Some gamers might not like either of these restrictions, so be aware before you buy. On that note, those who rent the game won't be able to play co-op if the code has already been used.

If the PlayStation 3 version we tested is any indication, Dead Space 3 is an excellent sci-fi action thriller for one or two players –- whether you're a fan of the franchise or brand new to it. While not as creepy, it's bigger and better than previous games, and will no doubt keep you glued to your TV or PC for many hours on end. Note: The game is the same for all three platforms, except the Xbox 360 version also supports voice commands via Kinect.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether this game is more fun to play alone -- like the previous Dead Space games -- or alongside an online friend in the co-op mode, an exclusive feature in this version of the game. How is the experience better or worse?

  • They can also discuss the impact of media violence.

Game details

Platforms:PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
Subjects:Science: engineering, electricity, energy
Language & Reading: following directions, reading
Skills:Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, decision-making, memorization
Collaboration: teamwork
Creativity: producing new content
Available online?Available online
Developer:Electronic Arts
Release date:February 5, 2013
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires, Science and nature, Space and aliens
ESRB rating:M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language

This review of Dead Space 3 was written by

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Teen, 14 years old Written byWhalelord69 February 9, 2013

Great fantasy game

Dead Space 3: I'll address each issue listed above separately 1)Violence: For starters, everything the site review states about the violence levels is definitely correct. This is a gory game. However, it does fail to mention how unrealistic the game is. If you are worrying that this will turn you or your child into an ax murderer, then you may rest easy. All violence in the game solely revolves around undead (and clearly not even remotely humanesque) creatures called necromorphs. They range from spider like tentacle monsters to something similar to an extremely deformed dinosaur. While you may clear a planet or two of hordes of these (un)lifeforms. It is way to unrealistic to truly be taken to seriously. In short, its HALO on steroids. 2)Language: Although a bit excessive, There is nothing here that any high- schooler hasn't heard millions of times before. Positive Role Models: Protagonist Issac Clark is an innovative ex-engineer who's motives are pure as he only fights to save others. This isn't your faceless call of duty soldier who's only in game purpose is to kill. In summary.... If you are mature enough to handle the over the top unrealistic violence, come for the engrossing story, interesting setting, stellar game play, and fun co- op mode (which is essentially a whole new game to enjoy with a friend). In short GO BUY IT, will enjoy yourself.... a lot.. (Review by a 15 year old)
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent of a 7 and 12 year old Written byStephen the great February 24, 2013

mature 11 year olds

This game is a horror game. Horror game usually focus on scaring people. I let my mature 11 year old play this game. He was fine with it. The violence isnt that bad and it isnt scary at all. The only problem is the language. There are tons of f*** and s***. Its up to you to decide. Try this game but if you think its to violent stop your child and give it to them when they are slightly older. In my opinion it is ok for a very mature 11 year old. I hope my review helped!
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 15 years old Written bySampandora February 21, 2013

Fun, but not as scary as Dead Space 2

This game is very fun and entertaining. I do find it scarier while playing alone in the dark, but when I play co-op with my friend I tend to laugh off and make jokes about the scares. I have owned Dead Space 2 and now 3, while I am no expert on these games I can significantly tell a difference between the scares. Dead Space two had more suspense and jump scares while Dead Space 3 has a more twisted and awkward to watch feel to it. IT is violent and there is profanity, but when you live in an age where this is normal to kids and young adults, it tends not to be an issue. The game is difficult to learn how to adapt too, like the zero gravity, gun crafting, and kenesis. I recommend this game to anyone who is into suspense or challenging and thought provoking games. I play with a head set on in the dark which ups the scares a little, but if you are wary about being scared, it is OK to play the game with the lights on and with no volume (subtitles are available). I hope this was helpful.