Welcome To Tau Volantis: A Beginner's Guide To Dead Space 3

by Tim Turi on Feb 05, 2013 at 02:00 AM


Isaac Clarke has a tough mission ahead of him on the frozen planet of Tau Volantis. Players must outwit blood-thirsty space zombies by using their dwindling supplies as effectively as possible. I’ve played a lot of Dead Space 3, and have assembled a list of tips after being bloodied and beaten. Whether or not you survived the necromorph outbreaks of the previous Dead Space titles, you should give these a look before diving into Dead Space 3.

You Do Not Need Microtransations

There are plenty of resources, ammunition, and health to be found in the expansive game world. Take the time to explore it and ignore the option to purchase resource-enhancing DLC, it's not necessary.

Veterans Should Play On Hard

The difficulty of Dead Space games varies depending on what type of gamer you are. If you’re a good shot, thorough scavenger, and frequently tinker with weapon creation, you won’t have a problem beating Dead Space 3 on normal. Players who are familiar with the series or want a truly tense experience should start out on hard – unless a surplus of resources, health, and ammo appeals to you.

Ignore Your Waypoint, Find Riches

Isaac’s waypoint navigation device is an effective way to stay on the critical path. However, Dead Space 3 consistently rewards players for trotting off course. You’ll be rewarded with extra loot, lore-expanding artifacts, and even some fun optional missions. Explore! Think of the device as the thing that tells you where to go after you venture down the other available paths.

Play Single-player, Then Co-op

If you don’t care about the Dead Space series’ trademark tension and isolation, go ahead and play co-op first. But if you want a spookier experience, be sure to play through Isaac’s odyssey solo (there is no AI co-op player, so it feels similar to previous Dead Space). After playing single-player, play as Isaac’s partner, Carver, in the co-op. He experiences Kane & Lynch-style hallucinations in side missions that Isaac’s player won’t see, creating a unique perspective.

The Survey Bot Is Invaluable

Isaac acquires helpful robots that help him gather resources, which are used for constructing items and upgrading weapons. You can set these little buggers loose in almost any room, and they’ll automatically gather a decent chunk of resources and return them to your bench. You can score even more resources by using the survey bot’s radar to hone in on a hot spot. The extra effort is worth it. Don’t forget to scan a room after you clear it of bad guys.

Tinker With Your Weapon Consistently

Weapon crafting is core to Dead Space 3. You start off with a pre-made weapon, but even that can be immediately dismantled and reconfigured. You might play half the game thinking you’ve got the best creation possible, but it’s worth breaking everything down and rebuilding from the ground up frequently. You don’t lose any upgrades or items in the process, and you’ll probably emerge with something better.

Create Upgrade Circuits And Weapon Parts

I didn’t notice this option until I was a few hours into my first playthrough of Dead Space 3, but you can craft your own upgrade circuits (e.g. +1 Damage, +1 Rate of Fire) and weapon parts (new frames, flame ammo modifier). Players find a good deal of these crafting elements, but being able to churn out any part you want is a powerful ability (assuming you have the requisite resources).

Always Carry A Tungsten Torque Bar

Unlike the previous Dead Space games, there are no power nodes in Dead Space 3. These rare nodes were used to upgrade weapons and open locked rooms filled with loot. These goodie closets still exist in Dead Space 3, but you need to craft a tungsten torque bar to open them. Tungsten is the rarest, most valuable resource, so deciding whether to open these hidden caches is still a difficult choice. Be smart and carry a spare with you always.

Go All-in On A Plasma Cutter

Isaac’s plasma cutter got the job done in every previous game. Fully upgraded, the deceptively simply mining tool is the perfect tool to dismember necromorphs with. The same holds true in Dead Space 3, but you’ve got to build it from scratch. My best plasma cutter had a custom weapon frame with built-in upgrades, tons of damage-boosting upgrade circuits, stasis-enhanced ammo, and a bottom-mounted flamethrower. Get creative.

Abuse Stasis

Isaac has the ability to freeze enemies dead in their tracks with stasis. I recommend pumping resources into your stasis immediately, upgrading its recharge time and the amount of shots you can store. The splash radius of stasis also seems wider than in previous entries, making it easier to stop larger groups of enemies. Don’t forget to stomp frozen enemies. 

Don’t Upgrade Your Air

Upgrading the capacity of your oxygen reserves has always been nonessential in Dead Space (unless you dawdle too much), and the same goes for Dead Space 3. In fact, Isaac has more air than ever before by default. Save your resources for more important upgrades.