Visceral: Dead Space 3’s ‘roller coaster’ pacing keeps scary moments scarier

With Dead Space 3 possibly being the last game in the current story arc, how will Visceral Games ensure players will have a better experience than from previous entries? According to Senior Producer David Woldman, the studio is hoping the game’s roller coaster pacing will offer just that.

A few weeks ago, I was allowed to play the first three hours of Dead Space 3 at a press event. One of the biggest elements of the game that I particularly noticed was a few action-packed set pieces. They were thrilling moments that caught me off guard since I expect Dead Space to startle rather than exhilarate me. So when it was my time to talk with Woldman, I asked him about the set piece moments and whether or not players can continue to expect them late in the game.

"There is something we like to call ‘roller coaster’ pacing," replied Woldman. "It was something we introduced in Dead Space 2 with big epic moments. I think you’ll have them [in Dead Space 3] at roughly the same frequency. What they serve to do is to give the player moments of empowerment where they feel good and rewarded for doing something with like a ‘throw your hands up in the air’ kind of moment and say, ‘Wow, that was awesome’ then get back to the second-to-second gameplay."

Fans may question if such over-the-top set piece sequences are appropriate for a survival-horror game. Some are concerned that Dead Space will loose it’s horror element, as many feel recent games in Capcom’s Resident Evil franchise have.

Woldman feels the inclusion of these moments of action will only help in frightening players more. He explained, "What we find is the scary moments are scarier and the high moments are bigger, when you have this roller coaster pacing."

Stay tuned to PSU for more Dead Space 3 news and my full interview with David Woldman.