|System: PC, PS3, Xbox 360|
|Dev: Visceral Games|
|Release: February 5, 2013|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
by Angelo M. D'Argenio
Recently, we got a chance to sit down with EA to talk about Dead Space 3's weapon crafting system, and it's far more involved than you probably thought. When they said the system could keep you occupied for hundreds of hours, they weren't kidding.
This new crafting system totally replaces credits and even totally replaces guns. You are only ever given one gun in Dead Space 3, and that's the gun you start with (which EA is not yet commenting on.) Every other gun in the game has to be built from scratch by finding parts and combining them together at workbenches strewn around the game's maps.
Resources in Dead Space 3 can be found in multiple ways. The most basic way is via enemy drop. Kill an enemy and it may drop a part for you. Unfortunately, this also means enemies drop ammo less frequently. Though there is only one universal ammo type in Dead Space 3, this makes ammo itself somewhat scarce. This certainly helps to reinforce the survival horror feel of the game.
However, parts can be found in numerous other ways as well. They can simply be found as treasures or pick-ups lying around the nooks and crannies of the map. They can also be received as rewards for optional missions or boss fights. Finally, there is a scavenger bot that you can equip and use like any other gun. When equipped, it will find hidden resource packets for you. After finding one, he will get to mining the resources for you, and after about ten minutes he will return and add them to your inventory.
Though the design team was hesitant to say there was a "grind" in Dead Space 3, per se, they did say the game was designed to make players want to play through levels multiple times to farm parts for gun crafting. You can create incredibly powerful weapons this way, which will make later levels easier. You can also share parts with your co-op friends if they need a boost in order to get ahead.
There are also blueprints that can be found over the course of the game. These blueprints tell you a formula for a pre-made gun. Most of these reflect weapons from Dead Space 1 and 2, such as the Plasma Cutter. However, some of these will reflect weapons that were designed for Dead Space 1 and 2, but that never made it into the game due to time constraints. You can also make blueprints for the guns that you design from scratch and then share these blueprints with your co-op partners.
There are five main categories of parts in Dead Space 3. The most basic are the Frames and Tools. Frames determine whether or not the gun is one- or two-handed, though this is just an aesthetic affect at this point. They also determine the amount of upgrade circuits that can be slotted into the gun. Upgrade circuits act like gems in Diablo; they increase the parameters of the gun in lieu of an actual upgrade tree. You can include upgrade circuits to increase firing speed, clip size, reload time, damage, and more.
The tool is the type of projectile that the gun fires. Inserting the plasma core tool will cause your gun to fire plasma projectiles. Similarly, you can insert tools to allow you to fire traditional ammo, sawblades, rivets, fire, and just about any other projectile you have seen in Dead Space.
You can attach special "adapters" to tools in order to make them operate differently. For example, attaching a compressor to standard ammo would create a shotgun, while attaching it to a torch would make it a flamethrower. All adapters affect the way your primary ammo behaves, and some combinations can create devastating effects. Bouncing ammo is one effect that the team said can get particularly ludicrous.
Modules can be attached to a gun to affect its alternative fire. The example given was the plasma cutter from Dead Space 2. The ability to make the cutter spin in multiple orientations would be an effect of a module which can then be added to essentially any gun in the game.