If EA is making another Dead Space—and it's starting to appear that it is—it may be a radical rethink of the sci-fi horror series. Gone may be the dark corridors of space ships and far-flung planetary settlements, replaced by an icy wasteland inhabited by an all-new strain of monster.
Siliconera reports that it has first details on the fiction of Dead Space 3, claiming that the next entry takes place on the planet Tau Volantis. The planet's "white-out blizzard conditions" may trade the blackness of previous Dead Space games for pure white, a new method for keeping the beasts of Visceral Games' horror franchise well hidden from view.
Those beasts, according to Siliconera's mole, are known as "the hive mind" in Dead Space 3.
EA and Visceral are rumored to be already hard at work on Dead Space 3, but none of this is official yet.
More rumored details on the story, potentially spoiler-ish, at Siliconera.
The source of that possible proof of Dead Space 3's existence—in logo and concept art form—comes from Israel's channel 10, via IGN. Amid footage and character art from Dead Space 2 is what appears to be a peek at new 3D character models, one familiar looking logo and some sketches of future Necromorphs.
So don't get too excited, unless you were thinking that another Dead Space game might not happen. You should, though, since Dead Space 2 has "sold in over two million units" as of July, according to EA.
EA's response to the apparent leak was typical "no comment" stuff, saying it didn't "have any news" about another Dead Space game.
Dead Space 3 Confirmed? [IGN]
You should know him, though, as a video game concept artist who's worked on games like BioShock 2, Dead Space 2, and Dragon Age: Origins.
Chan works at Massive Black, a creative agency that specialises in concept art for movies, TV and video games. They do good work; we've featured a few of their artists here on Fine Art before, like Coro Kaufman and Wes Burt.
In the gallery above you'll find a selection of his video game work, as well as a his contributions to Coke's 2011 Super Bowl ad and few trading card game pieces (World of Warcraft included) to go along with them.
To see the larger pics in all their glory, either click the "expand" icon on the gallery screen or right click and "open link in new tab".
Lots of video games claim to be scary. Amnesia, Dead Space, you name it, if it's dark and things jump out of closets at you, it's "scary". Don't let video game developers tell you what's scary. Let science.
User experience studio Vertical Slice has conducted research into scary games, using a 500-person psychological database, six live test subjects and fancy gear that measured stuff like skin temperature, sweat levels, and heart rate.
That's the good stuff. The bad stuff? They only tested on the Xbox 360, and then only tested from a shortlist of games deemed scary enough to be on the shortlist. Some titles considered, but ditched, included Left 4 Dead 2, Gears of War 2, Condemned 2, FEAR 1 & 2, Dead Space 1, Silent Hill: Homecoming, Alone in the Dark and Mass Effect 2. Likely because half of them aren't scary in the slightest.
The four titles picked in the end to test on the live subjects were Alan Wake, Resident Evil 5, Dead Space 2 and Condemned.
In the end, the study found that casual and hardcore players were affected differently by horror in games, core players being less susceptible to scares (because we know basic game design, like what an area looks like when there's fighting to be done).
It also found that across both groups Dead Space 2 was the scariest game of the lot, proving that monster closet gags may be clichéd, but they also work.
So sorry, Amnesia. And sorry, Sherlock Holmes. Maybe next time they'll expand the platforms a little and include you too!
Scary Game Findings: A Study Of Horror Games And Their Players [Gamasutra, thanks Gavin!]
Artist Michael Myers was brought in by t-shirt team High Score Society to design a range of gear in which modern video game heroes were rendered in a stylised 16-bit-ish form. The results? Wonderful.
He did five designs in all, one each for BioShock, Gears of War, Killzone, Dead Space and Halo. You can check out all five in the gallery above, and if you like what you see, you can get the shirts here.
This isn't the first time we've featured Myers' work here on Kotaku; earlier in the year he did a great series of Star Wars pixel art that ticked both my "Star Wars" and "Swords & Sworcery" boxes.
Pixel Video Game Characters - High Score Society [Michael Myers]
Dead Space's Isaac is normally running around in the dark scared out of his mind. Here, he's just a kid. Kickin' it on the playground. Maybe with an imaginary friend. Note I said imaginary friend, which is good times. Not imaginary dead girlfriend. Which is bad times.
If the style looks familiar, it's another giant-headed gaming masterpiece from Aussie artist Ben Guy, and if you dig this like you dug his other stuff (and live in the the Melbourne area) he's putting on a whole show of them, starting tonight, at The Vic in Abbotsford.
With Dead Space 2's multiplayer component suffering the same fate most of its peers—namely, being entirely forgotten shortly after release—EA reckons a couple of new maps might be enough to tempt you back into the game.
The Academy and The Concourse are the maps, which will be available on Xbox Live on May 31 and the PlayStation Network on June 3. They combine to form the "Outbreak Map Pack", and unlike similar offerings from other big-budget games, will be released for free. So at least it's got that going for it.
If you bought the fancy edition of Dead Space 2, you would have got yourself a little replica plasma cutter, one of the game's more memorable weapons. As is, it's useless, but this guy will show you how to turn it into a laser gun. That can set stuff on fire.
You can see the complete how-to in the video above. If you just want to see what the fully armed and operational plasma cutter can do to a balloon and a T-800 holding a pair of matches, skip to around 2:05.
Note: if you're going to actually try this, please heed the warnings in the video. Proper lasers can be dangerous!
[via Super Punch]
Dollar days appear to have just begun for EA Mobile's offerings on the iTunes App Store, where Dead Space, including its HD version on the iPad, is just 99 cents. FIFA 11 is likewise a dollar on both platforms. Dollar apps for iPhone only include NBA Jam, Fight Night Champion, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, and Battlefield: Bad Company 2. [h/t Zinger314]