I like the Dead Space series. I’ve played a fair bit of DS1 and enjoyed a few moments of DS2 before our PS3’s hard drive died a fantastic death (rackety, rackety, clack clack…Woop woop…woop woop, it went). A few months on, I still haven’t picked them up again, in spite of both being very competent action/thriller games. EA today released the specification requirements for the third iteration of the series and while it will be awesome, I’m just wondering if anyone else is tired of straight-from-console ports?
Dead Space 3 drops into the wild next month and it will probably be here before my next birthday. Since I bought my PC in 2010, I’ve begun playing more and more games on it as opposed to the PS3, chiefly because the games become much cheaper in a shorter time and I don’t have to share my monitor with anyone. I do a fair amount of research before I buy and I avoid console ports as much as possible. I find that often the games aren’t optimised for a mouse and keyboard, which is my main concern with any console port. I may even get myself a Xbox 360 wireless controller because a lot of games support it and occasionally it has a better or more comfortable control scheme.
Given that consoles are the common denominator, however, I’ve grown to reluctantly accept this fact that we’re shoved aside because many more casual players flock to the console platforms than the PC. Most developers and publishers seem to target features planned for a specific platform and when porting, don’t change the formula because they don’t want to spend too much money or time on it.
That seems to be the case, at least at the outset, with Dead Space 3 for the PC. Its to be a straight console port with no extra graphical fidelity settings or options for a DirectX 11 render path. Underneath the hood there may be some changes, but I’m thinking that’s pretty unlikely – at least it won’t be like Dark Souls for the PC. In the same vein as Transformers: War For Cybertron, the only options available will be slightly increased detail, some resolution options as well as limited AA modes added in for some edge smoothing. At this time there are no plans for any updates, such as a high-resolution texture pack. While the game does look great from what we’ve seen in the last few months (and as NAG will probably attest to in the coming days), there’s still a relevant argument from PC owners that their hardware doesn’t get pushed as much by these multi-platform titles, somewhat dumbing down the experience and negating the need for them to buy into anything more powerful than a Core i5 and a GTX660 Ti. Its also a safe bet that it will be GPU-limited.
Of course, there are some games on the PC platform appearing on consoles that do push the boundaries of what modern hardware is capable of and do pay attention to optimisations for the desktop. However, I’m less of a graphics nut than I am picky, so I like it when a company not only ports the game, but also optimises it so that the mouse and keyboard support doesn’t feel tacked-on. Whether or not Dead Space 3 for PC suffers the same half-hearted porting attempt as other multi-platform titles remains to be seen. I really hope it doesn’t.
As for the system requirements, the basic requirements listed are barely higher than the hardware inside the PS3 and Xbox 360. That’s good news for gamers with older hardware and those of you who have invested in AMD’s APU, but may not be music to the ears of owners of modern mid-range and high-end rigs. Then again, you may not mind so much as I do and I know I’m somewhat of a unique case in this regard. Dead Space 3 launches in North America and Canada on the 5th February, with the rest of the world, including Europe and East-Asian countries, receiving it on the 8th. You can bet your dollar that NAG will review it in due time as well.