The multi-locale design of Dead Space 3 is further emphasized by the inclusion of side missions, a first for the series. These become available once you reach the derelict fleet floating above Tau Volantis. You’ll have the option of investigating various ships in the fleet before--we presume--you touch down on the planet itself. Yet it just so happened that this preview build ended right at the moment I got to choose which ship to search first.

No matter, I actually had prior hands-on time with one of the optional ships: the USG Greely, a research vessel. My main takeaway from these side missions is that they’ll hopefully provide the suspenseful, confining and tense situations that series fans are looking for. These new areas will also offer their share of pickups that expound on the backstory of this lost flotilla and the game series itself. Plus, more pickups also means more weapon parts, which leads us to....


The more I played around with crafting, the more it felt like Visceral were simply making all the classic Dead Space weapons more accessible. Is that what the studio was going for, to have a submachine gun and a plasma cutter in the same weapon? It doesn’t feel like you’re making new weapons so much as you’re making your weapon inventory expansive beyond the four weapon limit you had in the previous games. Not that we’re complaining; more weapon options are always a good thing. We’ll just have to see how inventory management works in the long run now that we have all these different kinds of ammo to manage.

On a side note, we were pleased to discover that you’re not tied to any weapon configuration every time you close the crafting workbench. In other words, any weapons you make you can unmake into their separate parts and play with new combinations without penalty or consuming resources.

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