E3 2012: Dead Space 3 Is Playing With Some Serious Co-op Tech

So to know one’s real surprise, EA and Visceral Games showed off Dead Space 3 for the first time at E3 2012.  The game showed off main protagonist (and the galaxies unluckiest space engineer) Isaac Clark, teamed up with newcomer John Carver.  In the demo, the two work together to solve a puzzle where a massive drill was out of control and they needed to shut it down.  It also featured a high action combat section against other seemingly human soldiers when suddenly a giant boss creature broke forth and attacked the men.  The demo ended with Isaac being swallowed by the monster whole and waking up inside the creature.  Disgusting and very disturbing, perfect for Dead Space. While all of this may be exciting, I’m here to talk about another aspect which you may or may not have known about.

Here’s what really surprised me about the co-op mode however and it has nothing to do with gameplay.  Dead Space 3 features a brand new co-op element that allows players to drop in and drop out seamlessly.  Player one controls Isaac while player two picks up with Carver.  Here’s the very interesting aspect to this: Carver isn’t always around during the single player campaign such as a game like Resident Evil 5.  So no need to worry about a clunky AI partner this time around.  Instead of having an AI partner, when another player joins the game, Carver joins up with Isaac.  When player two takes off, the game shifts back to single player seamlessly.  There are also times during the campaign where Isaac will meet up with Carver, but for the most part, single player will indeed be a solitary experience.

When you think about it, this means that two versions of the same game had to be created where the engine could shift back and forth depending on what the players were doing at any given time.  Cutscenes and dialogue also had to be changed to prepare for either scenario happening. 

In a similar move to what Blizzard does with Diablo, the difficulty will rise when another player enters the game with you.  You’re also able to carry your leveled character when joining another person’s game which is a nice touch.  Better yet, so much effort has been put into co-op that it’s replacing the very generic multiplayer mode from Dead Space 2. 

So far, Dead Space 3 looks like a welcomed addition to the franchise.  I’m looking forward to seeing more on this title as we get closer to it’s 2013 launch.

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