Games: Dead Space 3 (PS3/360/PC)
A RE you all right down there?" inquires a concerned comrade over your crackly communicator. "I'll let you know when I'm not being stabbed in the face," you reply, dryly.
The humour in Dead Space 3 can be as dark as the ominous space stations you nervously scour, wondering when the next horror will lurch out of the blackness. From simple decapitation to being stripped of your limbs and used in a game of torso conkers by angry aliens, you'll find yourself chuckling at the many and varied ways you can meet your demise.
Taking on the role of Isaac Clarke once more – older, greyer and even a little lovelorn this time – you continue the struggle against the necromorphs.
These strange, mutated and decidedly unpleasant creatures require the usual mix of light strategy and heavy weaponry to be defeated.
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Yes, you can blast them but you should also consider using your stasis gun to freeze them in time or hurling dismembered body parts their way through thoughtful use of telekinesis.
It's gloriously gory and cleverly paced, with hectic shoot-outs broken up by tranquil spacewalk interludes and odd games of Tetris with space junk, but this does lack some of the tension of previous instalments.
You never feel vulnerable enough for this to qualify as "survival horror" and the shocks are inevitably subdued if you've tussled with these extra-terrestrial nasties before.
Nevertheless, the addition of a well-thought out co-op mode, the myriad of methods you can pimp your weapon and the way the action seamlessly flows from claustrophobic airlocks to beautiful astral vistas make this a fine addition to the series.
And I still say the squelch as you stomp on alien carcasses is the most satisfying sound effect in videogames since Defender's blaster.
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