Dead Space 3 Rumored: How Soon Is Too Soon?

Less than a year after the January 25th release of Dead Space 2 and rumors have already been circulating on the web about the apparent sequel. As eager as I am to slice my plasma cutter once more through the appendages of necrotic alien flesh, I am poised to ask: is less then a year too soon to hear information surrounding the development of a sequel?

This console generation has seen sequels arrive more swiftly than ever. Indeed, if one ganders the shelves at the local game shop, it is not difficult to surmise that gamers are currently living in an “age of sequels.” If a title, even one with a perfectly stand-alone story, establishes financial success or critical acclaim at the hands of reviewers it is almost unheard of for it to not receive a follow-up game.

After all, anything that becomes an established franchise in the market becomes more credible in the eyes of the consumer and worthy of their cash. Slap a 2 or a IV at the end of a title, and it is almost more than guaranteed to out sell it’s predecessor. Evidence? GameInformer provides the numbers, divulging that Dragon Age 2, Crysis 2, and Dead Space 2 all surpassed the 2 million mark in sales. Added to this is the fact that (via GameInformer) “EA also said that Dead Space 2 sales are 40% higher than sales of the first game over a similar period of time.”

Why are we, as gamers and consumers, more likely to purchase a sequel? Is it simply that we have more faith in any product that is simply good enough to “deserve” an expansion of it’s narrative and universe? Do we place less credence in a new title, wary in that it has yet to “prove itself” as a sellable product?

The truth is, not all sequels are superior to the original title. Yes, a good amount certainly are better, with improvements to combat and upgrades to graphics, but there are also just as many sequels that are on perfectly even ground with their successors, and even some that fair far worse.

And this is what I fear for Dead Space 3. Obviously enough, if rumors prove to be accurate, then Dead Space 3 has been in the works since the immediate release of the latest title. What I fear is that this need for EA to cash in on the success of the franchise may prove detrimental to the overall quality of the newest installment.

I absolutely enjoyed the heck out of Dead Space 2, but I don’t want to play Dead Space 2 again. New settings and new characters don’t necessarily count.
Here’s the rumored Dead Space 3 leak, via Siliconera:

“Early in Dead Space 3, Isaac crash lands on the planet. He believes he may be the only survivor and makes his way to an abandoned waystation, which he uses for shelter from the snowstorm. There he finds a survivor who is severely injured. Isaac speaks to the near dead comrade who reveals there are other survivors that trekked off to another facility. One of them is Ellie, a key character from the original Dead Space game. Isaac grabs a snowsuit and heads into the blizzard.

Later in the game, Isaac reunites with Ellie and a new character named Jennifer. The trio scale a mountain, but Jennifer is reluctant to do so. She’s a tech type excited over finding a codex and plans to reverse engineer research by a group called Rosetta to gain access to it. As they climb up the mountain, they hear a howl from below, but cannot spot what kind of creature made the sound.”

Familiar? Nah...

An ice planet, hm? I can’t help but recall the 1982 thriller “The Thing,” (which ironically enough, is receiving the prequel treatment!) in which Kurt Russell’s character combats ancient aliens capable of shape-shifting into his fellow research partners after killing them and harvesting their DNA. All taking place on none other than the isolated frozen continent of Antarctica.

As much as I would enjoy a divergence from space ships and space stations, I’m left feeling a little perplexed. Is this homage intended, or has originality merely been cast aside in favor of pumping out a sequel faster than Kurt Russell lost his 1980’s action hero status?

Of course, the sequel plague isn’t just restricted to the video game market. Hollywood is notorious for pumping out film franchises with hopes of creating the next big blockbuster series. Remakes and sequels are on the rise with no signs of stopping, despite the often public outcry for more original material. Because even if consumers moan and groan over this recycling of material, we often come back for it. It’s all in the sales.

All that fans of Dead Space can hope for at this point is that the 3rd chapter in hero Isaac Clarke’s story will be just as satisfying as the previous. Please, EA, don’t rush this one out the door. As impatient as gamers may often appear to be, we’re willing to wait as long as the quality reflects this consideration.

In closing, I couldn’t help but be reminded of a Ben Stiller parody just yesterday when I caught wind of the anticipated Die Hard 5:

It appears Mr. Stiller wasn’t far off the mark with Die Hard 12: Die Hungry. After all, with a 2012 release scheduled for the latest Die Hard installment, we’re almost halfway there.

What do you think of the numerous sequels dominating the market? Do you enjoy your yearly Call of Duty for Christmas, or do you find yourself craving more original titles? Or feel free to respond to one of the rhetorical questions posed earlier in this article. Leave a comment and let us know!

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