Even though it did have good parts, I still find it painful to think on.. so I wrote them a bit of a response, and because I love venting about Dead Space 3, I figured I would post said response here, for posterity.
Man... so much more is wrong than just story issues though. The pacing, I loved the slower plodding pacing you felt in the original, with a feeling of tension, that I never got bored of, which when changed into an action game, was almost completely missing.
Also the weapons changes, instead of having classic, easy to remember weapons, you had a pile of random components, that never formed anything fun or enjoyable.
Suspension of disbelief also became a problem, in Dead Space 2, you only had one or two minutes where the game felt like it lost the plot, and Isaac could be flung through space like a rag doll without suffering great harm, or suddenly feeling like he was something out of an Anime.
In DS3, suddenly with the "action" focus, this often felt like it was a norm. These scenes 100% of the time felt contrived, and as if someone had paid to have them put in to attempt to garner a larger audience.
As I mentioned before, about the feeling of tension being lost, this is also an issue caused by the actual environments themselves. While above the planet, you still get a fair few good vibes from the environments, long as you ignore the fact that the ship interiors are repeats of one another. (Even though that kinda makes sense for mass produced space ships.)
Problem is, once you get to the planet, even though there are some truly beautiful small interiors, they are almost always forgotten when you are in bland concrete corridors, or in the shocking un-inspired outside.
Imagine for a second that instead of the snow being a white wash, it was more of a gray, not because the snow is gray, but because it is so dense, the sun is getting blocked out. Now imagine, instead of vents being something you have to fear 100% of the time, the shadows you always see dancing around you in the snow are your true enemy. Never knowing when a shadow will actually lean forward & attempt to remove you from the living world, or if it is just a dense clump of snow drifting by. If they had done this, instead of having enemies randomly pop out of the ground, it would have been far more interesting. Give you a directed target to fear, not just "all of the ground can kill you." Let you fear the shadows in the snow.
Back onto story, I have a billion minor complaints, but the more I think about it, the more I think it was a good story, just poorly executed- except for one aspect of the DLC. The Spheres talking to you. They had One voice.. it didn't sound like a billion souls speaking as one, but just 2-7, if that. If they were to speak to you, let every time they speak, the world around you fill with those that you have lost, or, since DS3 decided to go the idiotic rough of Isaac suddenly killing an assortment of Unitologist terrorists, have hordes of those he had sent to their maker surround him.
Even if the Spheres do not truly hold the spirits of the diseased, why should they ever drop the charade. Why try to get Isaac to show them to Earth.. so he won't try to stop them, what could one man have done in the end anyway? The gameplay in the DLC felt far better than the rest of the game, like a return to form, but the story itself in this part did leave me feeling rather ill. Particularly the very end, which just felt too fantastical, and too standard sci-fi fair.
(YT edit I made, when I decided I had more to say) Edit: As for the multiplayer, I think they failed... miserably... With a game that focuses so greatly on the Phychological effects of the Markers, they barely touched on it with characters seeing something different. The few times they did, it was simply replace X model, with Y model, and call it spooky. How about Isaac sees you in a run down bunker/facility, but you... you are back home, in a proper moon-base house, that just happens to have the same turns as the bunker, but overall, nothing you are seeing is the same. Dear lord, I remember Jesse Cox's playthrough of DS3, when Dodger sees the "bleeding walls" of the elevator, she describes them as something truly fantastical, and horrifying! So I go to watch her video.. only to discover that nothing impressive had happened, only a simple texture switch of the elevator walls. Flat textures, next to no depth.
If they did "teleport" one person to another environment, their body would remain still, fighting unseen enemies- if you are going to do this, separate the players physically before you lock one of them "in their head" that way the player who is not experiencing anything out of the ordinary has more of a clue- or better yet, have the character move about in their environment, acting strangely,and not just shaking their head.
In many ways, the multiplayer felt tacked on... which can often be a good thing, because it means the game is still viable to play Single Player, as one would expect you to play a Dead Space game. At the same time, they did just enough to the environments to make it painfully apparent that there were supposed to be two people there. Like the ladders to get up a 3 foot ledge, when a stairwell, or an already extended ladder would have been suitable for gameplay. Then there is of course, the multiplayer only sections of the game, which you would expect them to go all out on, which of course, as I described above, they most certainly did not.
As for "playing it with friends" I never really wanted to get a friend involved in Dead Space, and when Dead Space 3 came out, I found I had none I could convince to come on a journey with me. Not to mention, knew of no one who would take the game as seriously as I, and hence did not want to involve them. If they like the game, let them experience it their own way, just as I would like to experience it my own way- except in an attempt to make the game open up for a new audience, they killed so much of what made Dead Space beautiful.
If they wanted to make a Multiplayer Dead Space game, then they should have done so. Not as "Dead Space 3" but as it's own stand alone game. After Dead Space 2, for a time I actually wondered what human vs human combat looked like in their universe, I wanted a game set there, not a Dead Space game, not something to do with the Markers, with Convergence, with Unity, but something just set in that same world.
Something I forgot to mention before, the combat; in the original two, as I did mention, the combat could feel plodding, slow, determined. In Dead Space 3, they decided to try to mix things up, not as they did in Dead Space 2 by creating new creatures for us to rest our eyes upon, but by changing the way things worked. They did indeed create a few new enemies to fight, most of which never felt like Necromorphs in the slightest.
First, the starving bastards you find locked in their bunkers. Starving for food, emaciated, running madly! Like a zombie.. just like a zombie. Nothing interesting, or unique about them, in Dead Space 2 they had something like this, but it was horrifying, it was painful to shoot at them, because they were children. Something pure, that should be full of joy, slain, and changed, charging at you, deformed bowls, and twisted hands! Not something that starved to death, that looks like a survivor from a twisted camp. Like something a Artist would make just to pass the time, on a particularly standard day.
Second, the pic axe wielding buggers- Very cool... in no way shape or form. Even worse than a zombie, it resembles a crazed man- bu no fear, in the end they are Necromorphs are they? Surely beneath their clothing or armor lurks something more insidious? No- of course not, this is a game designed to appear to a new audience, designed not to scare those who were too terrified to play the previous ones, even though as "horror" games go, they were not considered so terrifying.
With so many of these, you could not even rely on tried and true method of combat, aim for the limbs! Remember, the previous games, they kept saying this one. In fact, in the second one, they repeated it quite often out of fear of the player forgetting what was one of the main draws of Dead Space 1. So much so, that some of the original advertisements, and talks to get people into the first game, pointed out their "strategic dismemberment" system. The fact that you were to aim at specific limbs to get the job done.
With two games of "training" under ones belt, at first sight of something not right, you aim for the limbs, slow them down, arms, even Necromorph arms are not as fast a way to move as legs- until Dead Space 3 that is.
A "pick axe" bastard, for instance, if you were to shoot off his leg, he would fall to the ground, and begin moving at the same speed, or faster. So, let's improvise them, aim for the arms, or even for some silly reason, maybe the head. No? What has this done? Disabled it, no arms, no head? Oh, good, it has changed, this feels unique. But wait! How is it changing?
Once it's upper limbs are gone, does its chest burst open, to attempt in a last ditch effort to impale you with it's ribs, now twisted & pushed outwards? Maybe possibly burst two smaller limbs from it's abdomen, as Necromorphs of the past have been seen to have, then try to grab you?
No? None of that, well, what does it do? Oh.. it splits in two- a necromorph, a being which uses necrotic flesh to form new shapes, or at least the very least refit existing shapes, now throws away 50% of it's biomass, 50% that still has back muscles a spine, and assortment of other things- to have 3 small spines all of a sudden, and to try to stab you with them.... wonderful. Very original, not an instant reminder of another series that had undead creatures attempting to kill you.
Luckily, the devs did create a few new creatures. Bosses, something Dead Space 2 was missing, saw their return in Dead Space 3. The devs also added "aliens" to their list of creatures.
Now as much as this seems like it should be a boon to the game, it is not. It would have been a boon, if the creatures that attacked you in the depths of that planet, had not looked like the statues surrounding you. If they were Necromorphs, similar to the Axe buggers above, why had they not been changed? Laying down in those forgotten tunnels, should they not have decomposed, leaving only twisted wretches to be re-animated. Why did they still hold so much of their shape, when on the Ishimura, these freshly killed beings found themselves distorted & twisted so quickly.
Then we have those quick buggers, which again, looked so very much like a man in a suit, or standard zombie. Remember in Dead Space 1, when you ran into the military troops who had been changed? Their armor split, their body forced in an unnatural way, it looked like something was wrong with them, and their suit.... since it was the suit, and it's stasis module that allowed them to move so quickly... but on that frozen planet, suddenly you have beings that barely look like they have been through a rough winter, maybe with a few tears to their back.
So many others felt like re-skins, such as the dogs, and frankly so did the aliens down below much of the time. While they replaced these old necromorphs, I still found myself missing some of the other types we once saw. The fat ones, the charging ones, luckily the "raptors" still returned, but overall, the game felt like it was made by a different studio almost.
I long for the days of walking through a Dark ship or station, listening to the sounds in the walls, wondering what amalgamation might show itself next. Not a love triangle, set on a painfully bright world, full of bog standard undead creatures.