A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Dead Space 3 wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.
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.
Violence & Scariness
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.
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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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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.