It's natural for gamers to be worried about the Dead Space franchise. The first two games in the series introduced fans to a new Sci-Fi survival horror game that was able to successfully implement heavy action elements to the formula. Now that EA knows it has a hit, though, Dead Space could fall victim to the publisher's tendency to broaden games for a wider audience, often by inserting multiplayer or social aspects where they have no place. Dead Space 3's new big feature is co-op gameplay, meaning there's at least some cause for concern.
Luckily, gamers will get a chance to try out the action this January, when a demo for the game will be released. The demo will hit Xbox LIVE and the PlayStation Network starting January 22, just weeks before the game's February 5 release date. Xbox gamers will also have the opportunity to play the demo starting January 15 if they sign up for early access on the Dead Space website.
The co-op in Dead Space 3 revolves around series protagonist Isaac Clarke and the mysterious John Carver. Due to his dementia, players who take on the role of Carver will experience different things on-screen than those who play Isaac. It's a thoughtful touch that should help differentiate the gameplay from other bland co-op modes.
Hopefully, the demo will demonstrate whether this mechanic works for the story and gameplay. It would be sad to see such a promising franchise go the way of Resident Evil 6 - bogged down with over-the-top action gameplay, mandatory campaign partners, and ResidentEvil.net.