I love Dead Space. All three of the main games were released and even the extra content has been generally awesome to me. Now that I have gotten my bias out of the way I need to address what they did wrong.
What hampered and killed the series was EA’s (who I will never forgive) making the business of making games interfere with the art of creating a solid game. Now yes I know it is a business, but there is a fine line between the two and give me a moment to explain.
EA killed it by dictating what the game needed and defining the deadline on the game. They did this not by understanding what made the first two masterpieces, but what ‘they felt’ the community wanted. When you handcuff the creative team like that you are only going to create a textbook, not a piece of art.
Dead Space is not the only game to get this treatment. To me, it was the most egregious and has a paper trail. Documents were released from the now-defunct Visceral studios on not only what they wanted for Dead Space 4, but what they were going to do in 3 instead.
A quick hit on this is: Don’t let the business side of the game Handcuff the creative side.