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Dead Space 3 co-op experience based on psychological horror

By: Moses Abaortae

  |   November 12th, 2012   |  
EA Main

The executive producer of the game, Steve Papoutsis, explains how the co-op experience in the game will depend on the players and how they approach as he draws comparisons to horror movies in the cinema.

Visceral games is a studio that has made a name for itself by not knowing how to hold back and its unabashed approach to gore and sensitive content. The studio created, Dante’s Inferno, which took players into the seven circles of Hell, with each circle bringing the torment and disturbing imagery associated with that particular circle.

The game made a name for itself for reinvigorating the survival-horror genre with the original game. With the likes of Resident Evil resorting to a more action oriented approach and Silent Hill fading away, Visceral saw the opportunity to make a name in the genre and took advantage of it.

Dead Space 2 leaned more on the action side of things but still had enough scares with the intense atmosphere that fans now come to expect from games in the series. However, the more action oriented approach did alienate some ‘purist’ Dead Space fans.

If anything, the third game seems to be the most testing with its inclusion of co-op in the story mode. It may be optional but many gamers feel unsure about the mode, especially how it pretty much removes any element of horror.

However, Steve Papoutsis, the game’s executive producer, has pointed out that the game still retains the element of horror but it transforms into a different kind of terror during co-op.

“When you have another character in the scene with you, it’s a different approach to the horror – it’s more psychological. That’s a new feeling that you’ve never had in a Dead Space game. That’s how we’re injecting horror into the co-op.” explained Papoutsis.

He continued, “There’s a lot more to horror than things just popping out at you. There’s the atmosphere, the sound, the events, the things that you see in the environment – those all have different impacts on people.”

Papoutsis went on to explain how the co-op partner would also determine the experience by drawing comparisons to how movie goers experience horror movies.

Either they “sit there as horror fans and really get into it” or “talk through the movie or laugh at what’s going on.”

Whatever the case, it seems fans need to prepare themselves for the next game in the series, which the developer hopes will raise the bar in terms of quality and scale of not only the Dead Space games but also set a benchmark for the rest of the industry as well.

But what do the readers think; will co-op be able to evoke those feelings of horror in the player or has Visceral Games taken things one step too far?