Killing Necromorphs still requires a modicum of skill, requiring you to target specific limbs and quite literally blow them to bits. To make up for Isaac's increased weapon arsenal, Visceral has increased the number of enemies Isaac has to fight. This means that while combat isn't as tense in the scary, permanently on edge way, it is still an adrenaline pumping experience.
At times we literally found ourselves backs against the wall firing our weapon on full automatic trying to slow down the sea of angry alien monsters assaulting our position.
We also found that the amended combat and weapon creation mechanics helped improve Dead Space 3's replay value.
Dead Space 3 features the same New Game+ mode seen on its predecessors. The mode lets you restart the game's story while keeping all the upgrades, items and weapon parts you salvaged in your previous play-through. Overall, while the plot didn't give us an overarching desire to take advantage of the mode, its weapon creation system did.
More often than not, we were inclined to investigate Dead Space 3's danger ridden environments because we wanted to find more parts to improve our weapon, not because we cared too much about the story.
Outside of its amended combat, Electronic Arts has also made a slew of changes to Dead Space 3's gameplay. Unlike the original games, Dead Space 3 isn't a completely linear game. While the story is still pretty much chapter based, tasking Isaac to go from one area to the next, Visceral has tweaked the formula, adding cooperative and side missions.
The optional side missions pop up every now and again and provide added insights into the game's world. Generally the missions appear when one of the game's non-player characters sends Isaac a message telling him they've found something interesting near his location.
These can include everything from an ammo dump, to an automated message asking for help. The missions are a welcome break from the general game's story and generally offer some interesting angles on the area you're in.
For example, in one mission we investigated an ammo dump only to find it had been booby trapped and controlled by a survivor of the original crew, who had long since gone insane. Playing through the mission, the crazed crew member would regularly scream interesting snippets of truth about the surrounding area's history at us, adding an element of intrigue to the game's otherwise by the numbers plot.