I loved Dead Space 2; I credit it as the game that got me back into gaming. Back when I was maybe 12 and received a PS2 for Christmas, my non-gaming-savvy mother, sold my beloved N64 unbeknownst to me, thinking that with the new system, I'd have no need for it. I was crushed, and after I finished Kingdom Hearts, basically lost interest in new games.
I mostly stayed that way until last year, when my boyfriend (now husband) was watching a best death scenes compilation on YouTube, Dead Space 2 clips kept showing up, and the creative gruesomeness piqued my interest. However, I hadn't played a modern game in some years, certainly never a horror. So the next time we went to a game store, I begged him to buy Dead Space 2, so I could watch him play. He disliked scary games, but after some convincing, relented. That night we started the game, but after a few too many Necromorphs made surprise appearances, he refused to play any more. I was intrigued, however, and had to see the game through, so I took over the controller. With time, the death scenes came less and less often, and soon I was a Necromorph's nightmare with my fully-upgraded plasma cutter. I was expectedly ecstatic when Dead Space 3 was announced, and being a romantic, I ended up getting it for Valentine's.
That said, the basic formula of Dead Space 3 will be very familiar to fans, and all of the original de-limbing fun is there. However - and maybe Dead Space 2 desensitized me - there were many less heart-pounding scares in this iteration. Areas became repetitive and predictable, typically ending in a swarm room where Necromorphs pour in by the dozen. I just waded through it by sheer will, wondering when it would be over. This seems to be an attempt to make Dead Space 3 more of a shooting or action title than its predecessors - but there are already plenty of such games on the market, and this new direction ruins everything that made Dead Space so appealing.
The plot also ripped me out of the game world with how fantastical it became. Before, I could just kill Necromorphs; I didn't care how they got there - they just needed to die. Now I was faced with all of these increasingly unbelievable mechanisms.
Admittedly, the big pull of this game was supposed to be the co-op, which I haven't tried yet. However, I feel like a good game should be able to pull its own weight in single player.
Finally, I did play through the DLC (Awakened), which is really necessary to enjoy the game and to see its true ending (a dick move on EA's part).
Overall, the game is worth a play; stomping and slashing is still satisfying entertainment. The customizable weapons feature adds hours of tinkering enjoyment to find the perfect boom. Dead Space 2 is definitely the better of the duo, though, and Dead Space 3 doesn't really add anything savory, new, or lasting to the series.