With survival horror making way for all-out action, Dead Space 3 will wrong-foot players hoping to rely on past tactics to see them safely through the latest Necromorph outbreak. If you want to give Isaac a fighting chance in his toughest challenge yet, vacuum up our top deep-space survival tips.
1. HOW TO... NEVER RUN OUT OF SUPPLIES
Stores are gone: in their place is an extended BENCH suite with which you must craft all the items you need to survive. The change makes the new resource-collecting scavenger bot the one mechanic that'll elevate you to untouchable status. Don't even think about touching the item-crafting DLC: use the scavenger tools sensibly and you'll be drowning in so many odds, ends and spare parts that Isaac could set up a roaming Maplin outlet without difficulty. Press up on the D-Pad when you've got a scavenger bot to bring up a radar display.
The solid cone points you in the direction of the nearest resource deposit while arrows on the screen's sides tell you if the deposit is higher or lower than your current position. When you reach a resource-rich area, the radar screen will flash concentric circles. Be sure to mine these deposits at every available opportunity to build up supply reserves in order to craft more large med packs and ammo clips than even the worst player could reasonably plough through.
2. HOW TO... SCAVENGE EVEN MORE RESOURCES
When you do encounter your scavenger bot's first resource point (it's in the same loading dock as the bot itself) make a mental note of the area's sound effects. This beeping will sound whenever you're in a resource-rich area, regardless of whether you've a scavenger bot equipped on not, so keep your ears waxed and you'll find most areas by aural clues alone.
And if you're after visual telltales then heed this advice: down on Tau Volantis you'll also find multiple snow caves off the beaten path with three or four dead ends splintering from the centre. These caves will yield scavenger areas without fail.
3. HOW TO... ACCESS ALL AREAS
One of the first items you should craft when the opportunity presents itself is the Tungsten Torque Bar. These disposable one-use-only levers replace power nodes as the means to access locked storerooms filled with goodies. Aim to have keep your inventory topped up with three Tungsten Torque Bars in your inventory at all times (they don't take up any space in your limited carrying pack but you won't need to waste resources on building any more than three at a time). The rewards for accessing these areas far outweigh the material cost for crafting the levers.
The only other locked areas in Dead Space 3 are the three co-op-only Optional Missions, which you'll have no alternative but to jump online and buddy up with somebody else to access. These appear in chapters 4, 11, and 14.
4. HOW TO... GAIN FREE HEALTH
Follow our scavenger bot advice and you'll turn mountains of somatic gel into a hospital's worth of med packs in no time. But if you're still finding yourself rationing health (especially on higher difficulties,) know this: all suit upgrades will automatically top up your life juice.
Simply swapping into an old suit won't do you much good, but plugging upgrades into your RIG will top up your health, sparing precious health packs for upcoming misadventures on the road. You'll never have to upgrade your O2 meter (oxygen tanks are plentiful in even the biggest vacuum area) so it's worth saving this branch for emergency health upgrades when needed.
5. HOW TO... WIPE THE FLOOR WITH UNITOLOGISTS
The biggest danger when it comes to human foes is the lack of feedback from their bullets - it's easy to be caught unawares by a draining health bar. Whenever humans are around click the right stick to duck and ready your TK powers: stasis grenades, explosive grenades and, later, rockets will all be headed in your direction, so pluck them out of the air and throw them back to turn the tables on your attackers. If there are Necromorphs in the area it's always worth ducking behind cover and letting them take chunks out of each other before getting involved.