Our Dead Space 3 review is live, a two-page tale of interplanetary terror and diminishing returns. I've done my best to address the issues you broached a couple of weeks back in the text - but alas, though the spirit may be willing, the mind is often weak. Just as well we've got the time-honoured apparatus of the Q&A to fall back on, then, isn't it?
Read on for more details of this troubled, generally worthwhile project. I've taken the liberty of combining questions and topics where it makes sense. If there's anything else you want to know about, by all means pitch me a comment.
Do you need to play co-op to enjoy Dead Space 3 in full?
Those who play single player only will find this every bit as substantial as preceding games - there's a 10-15 hour storyline (including optional missions) with some extravagant New Game + options to wade through. That said, you'll miss out on aspects of Carver's backstory and around an hour or two of additional exploration if you skip the co-op.
Is weapon customisation a worthwhile feature?
Yes. The weapon creation options are both hugely varied and fun - among other things, you might equip an SMG that inflicts a small amount of Stasis slowdown with each shot, strapped to a lightning cannon. It's possible to recreate all the guns from the previous two games, or mix-and-match their capabilities to suit your style. Collecting resources to spend on customisation is a bit of a chore, perhaps, but that's arguably compensated by the fact that you no longer have to worry about different ammo types.
Are there achievements for different difficulty settings?
No, but you'll get Achievements when you complete the various New Game + modes.
Are there many new enemies?
It's hard to say without spoiling the plot, but there are a couple of pleasantly unnerving new foes. The Feeders, for instance, are a mix of Dead Space 2's Pack and Left 4 Dead's Witches - they'll ignore you providing you keep your distance, and don't make yourself conspicuous (e.g. by shining a light on them). There's a persistent "snow crab" boss which is reasonable fun to fight, too, and some new humanoid enemies who morph into different things depending on how you dismember them. Certain old enemies have been creatively restyled - you'll run into Slashers who've gotten mouldy after years of inaction, and Lurkers who used to be dogs. All that said, don't come to this game expecting a brand new menagerie - the bulk of the foes will be very familiar.
Is it scary?
Occasionally, yes, which is saying something given that the Necromorphs you'll face are mostly returning breeds. Visceral is a dab hand at the old closet scare, and the dynamic score and sound effects instil a reasonable amount of suspense. That said, the game sometimes falls back on sheer frenzy, crowding you with attacks rather than trying to build up scares. It's also worth noting that Clarke isn't as afflicted by hallucinations as once he was - you'll run into more of the latter while playing Carver.
Is Isaac Clarke a more appealing character this time?
I can't say he won me over. He's no generic action man, but he's paper-thin - and sadly, a large part of the plot is devoted to his torrid, wooden relationship with the equally unconvincing Ellie. Dead Space 3's story is definitely its biggest weakness - there isn't a single likeable character in this game, by my lights. Something else to note: Carver's storyline is very comparable to Isaac's from Dead Space 2.