An in-depth look into Dead Space 3’s weapon crafting with John Calhoun

Yesterday I had the opportunity to participated in a round table call with John Calhoun (producer) of EA’s Visceral studios, to learn about the new weapon crafting system within Dead Space 3.  While I’m admittedly a huge fan of the Dead Space franchise, I’ve been slightly skeptical about some of the changes announced for DS3.  After hearing some of features John Calhoun mentioned in the conference, I feel quite relieved and even more excited for this title now. 

My thoughts aside, let’s talk weapon crafting.  Starting with the basics, how and where do you get the materials to build?  The only ‘standard’ gun you’ll ever get in the game is your starting weapon; he couldn’t reveal what the starting gun will be however.  You’ll find weapon parts off of normal enemies, boss monsters, treasure, and as hidden objects.  A big change in Dead Space 3 is that there won’t be credits like in the previous games.  These weapon parts are your rewards.

Dead Space 3 will be less linear than the past games.  This will lead you to exploring more with Isaac or John to make sure you find and experience everything there is to offer in this world.  Weapon parts will be hidden and through aid from your trusted scavenger bot, you’ll be able to find it all if you take the time.  It is expected to take a few playthroughs to truly find everything you’ll ever want.  While playing co-operatively, you can share / trade items with your partner.

Let’s talk about the down and dirty crafting system itself.  There are five categories of weapon parts: frame, tool, adaptors, attachments, and modules.

Dead Space 3 Weapons

Frame: This decides if the weapon is one or two handed.  There is no duel wielding and you get no benefits from having a free hand with the one handed frame models, it’s just more variety.  Frames are also where you insert the circuits for the weapon.  You can think of circuits as “socketting” in popular MMO games for more customization and stats.

Tool: Determines they type of projectiles you will fire.  You can add knockdown, impaling, freezing, and shotgun effects, just to name a few, on your gun.  Every gun can have two tools for more variety.  Different enemies are vulnerable to different weapon types, so stay armed.

Adaptors: These go at the end of your tools.  These parts determine how your projectiles fire.  An example would be adding acceleration to a projectile for extra damage.     

Attachments: These can be though of as buffs you can add to your weapon.  Each weapon can have two of these buffs.  An example would be a medical support attachment that heals your co-op partner whenever you heal.

Modules: Add effects to your primary fire.  This will buff your main damage source for your crafted weapon.

Dead Space 3 Combo #5

With these five part types and the near endless combinations you can add with circuits, you can experience a truly customizable weapon crafting system.  What makes the Dead Space franchise so unique is that Isaac Clarke is an engineer, so when he adds these crazy components to a weapon, it makes sense since he would actually have the know-how to make these alterations.

If you put one of your better weapon parts into a gun you never actually lose it, you can remove that part and put it into a new project anytime you visit a weapon bench; these benches can be found throughout the levels.  A feature I found to be particularly awesome, is that you can make a blueprint for free of any gun you make.  This blueprint serves no purpose but to give to your co-op partner so they can craft the exact weapon if they have the parts.  You can never straight up hand your partner a completed gun.

While on the topic of blueprints, you can find blueprints in the game to make the iconic Dead Space weapons you’ve come to love.  Every weapon in both DS1 and DS2 can be crafted.  You can literally craft everything and there will be a reward for doing so.  While you can only carry two guns at a time, you can make and store as many as you want.  The developing team has been working hard to ‘tune’ the weapon combinations so a player can’t craft that one ‘win gun’ that everyone will strive to craft.  The crafting system is made so players can truly play how they want to play.

Dead Space 3 Civ Saw

Since there are so many gun combinations, the designers decided to go with universal ammo.  While at first I thought this would hurt the whole survival horror genre, I now understand why they did this.  There would be too much ammo types for all the different combos.  On top of that, the play testers said the micromanagement was taking away from the fun.  To keep that hording survival horror feel, they will just limit that amounts of ammo instead of having different types.

Ideally this article has given you a better understanding of the weapon crafting system in Dead Space 3.  EA and Visceral have stepped it up with this new, almost RPG-like element in weapon creating.  If you want to try out a version of the system you can check it out on the Dead Space 3 webpage HERE.  Remember, Dead Space 3 comes out February 2013. 

@#$% Necomorphs up, the way you want to. 

Historian, teacher, writer, gamer, cheat master, and tech guru: follow on Twitter @AndrewC_GZ