Color-coded meters for health and stasis, Clarke's special ability to slow down the necromorphs, remain on his backpack, negating the need for the kind of heads-up display that too often clutters a game's screen. Ammo level is displayed just to the right of an aimed weapon.
A new co-op play mode adds a second protagonist, John Carver. He's a great addition, though solo players will miss out on some optional quests that are available only when playing with two.
In either mode, the main story follows a linear track that has Clarke dismembering necromorphs as he gathers weapons parts or flight recorders, and solving puzzles to open doors or start up machines. Some of these missions begin to feel repetitive, but the fast-paced action makes up for a less compelling story.
Horror movie sequels have a hard time living up to the originals, and perhaps sci-fi video games face the same challenge. The yanked body trick in the flick "Paranormal Activity" is not going to get the same reaction in "Paranormal Activity 4."
Still, unlike the aforementioned movie, "Dead Space 3" provides an enjoyable ride, even if you know there'll be a leaper creeping up from behind. Three-and-a-half stars out of four.