Dead Space 3 interview
PLAY talks to associate producer Yara Khoury
PLAY: What’s the best thing about Dead Space 3?
Yara: I think the big new thing in Dead Space 3 is the co-op experience, drop-in drop-out co-op. It allows you to play the entire campaign with a friend and it’s really cool because it gives you two games in one. It’s huge replayability value. You get your classic gameplay experience that you’ve come to love in Dead Space 1 and 2, but if you were to choose to play with a friend you get John Carver joining your game and get to learn a bit more about that really cool individual.
PLAY: Were there concerns when making the game that introducing co-op would detract from the atmosphere and the scares?
Jara: Absoloutely. So when we decided to make co-op we had to figure out the best way to do it. We explored different things, we talked for example about maybe having an AI follower (in single-layer) but we quickly turned down that option because it really takes away the atmosphere and the mood that are so specific to Dead Space. It’s very important that players that love Dead Space for what its been so far can find that in Dead Space 3. So we discussed a lot of different things and I think we got to the point where we are proud of our co-op experience, because not only does it not impact the single player experience, but it brings something really new to the franchise. We’ve explored more psychological horror, like you experience when you are under dementia, and Carver and Isaac are gonna see different things in the world. Carver is really subject to dementia and this is something absoloutely unique to Dead Space no other game has ever done that before.
PLAY: We just played the first 4 chapters alone, just Isaac. In co-op would the story change so Carver is with him?
Jara: Yes. Your friend would be playing with you, the cinematics would adjust dynamically to that, Carver would be in the cinematics, Carver would be slightly different so he would be much more of a main character rather than a background character.
PLAY: Besides the co-op, what makes Dead Space 3 a better game than Dead Space 2?
Jara: I love our weapon crafting feature. It enables players to craft their own weapons and they get to explore the world, find weapon parts, find resources. They go back to the bench and craft their weapons based on how they like to play, the kind of weapons they like to use. This is a new huge addition to our game because there are thousands of different combinations and we had to build a system that really would allow for a lot of customization. We couldn’t just throw out five weapon parts. We built a very big new system that entirely revamped our inventory management, that kinda adds an RPG twist to the game, makes it much deeper and opens up the strategies of combat.
PLAY: Does competitive multiplayer make a return?
Jara: There is no competitive multiplayer in Dead Space 3 , we decided to focus solely entirely on co-op.
PLAY: Is the co-op playable in splitscreen?
Jara: No, we would have had to sacrifice graphic quality and we like to make something that looks beautiful so, no.
PLAY: What was the most fun part of making Dead Space 3?
Jara: I really like the challenge. With Dead Space 3 we brought so many new things, I was personally working on the cinematics, and our motion capture tech has evolved so much the cinematics look absolutely stunning. This is just yet another way we have innovated. The fun part was to see the game evolve and get better in every single aspect of it.
PLAY: How has the character of Isaac evolved in Dead Space 3?
Jara: You can totally feel in DS3 that he has matured. He’s gone through two necromorph outbreaks by then, he’s very much more in charge but at the same time he’s a little tired. I think playing with Carver is gonna give him a little boost because it’s interesting to see these two characters both together and influence each other.
PLAY: What’s Carver’s story? How does he differ in his approach from Isaac?
Jara: He’s very different, Carver is a military soldier, coming from EarthGov, Isaac is more of an engineer, shy and smart. Carver is as equally damaged as Isaac, he lost his family to the Necromorph outbreaks and so he truly has his inner demons as well. He seems to be a little more extroverted but as you go through the game in co-op you’re gonna find out about his journey and see that he actually has a lot of things inside his mind that he doesn’t necessarily express from the get go.
PLAY: What does the future hold for Dead Space? Have we seen the last of the franchise?
Jara: We never set Dead Space 3 to be the last of the franchise. What I like to say is that if players love it and buy it and ask for a fourth, we’ll make one.
PLAY: And you’d be happy to make another?
Jara: I’d love to make another! Something that is so great with a sci-fi franchise like Dead Space is that it‘s so rich, we put a lot of work into establishing a very rich universe with interesting characters and thematics and I think with the imagination of our creators we could go on for years exploring this universe.