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Dead Space 3 gun crafting: five deliciously devilish tools of death

Get creative with the business of wanton destruction

If you've played Dead Space 3's demo, you may be aware that one of the game's high points is its weapon customisation system, which allows you to mix and match Necromorph-dicing techniques to create the ultimate in Scarface-esque silliness. You can also share the resulting blueprints with friends in co-op, cue the warm buzz - or as the case may be, buzzsaw - that springs from a shared commitment to well-optimised bloodshed.

I've had the chance to poke around the system at length, thanks to a hands-on event the other week and the official Dead Space editor, and now consider myself the foremost weapons architect in all the land. You could be just like me! Simply peruse the following creation tips and list of the best Dead Space 3 weapon combinations, then extrapolate to your heart's content.

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Let's begin at the beginning, in accordance with commonly observed laws of space-time. Most guns in Dead Space 3 are comprised of a frame, a tool and a tip. There are two broad categories of frame, one-handed Compact frames which are the basis for most pistol or SMG-type weapons, and two-handed Heavy frames, which are the basis for rifles, launchers and impossibly powerful ordinance at large.

The kind of projectile you'll fire is determined by tools, of which you can normally equip two per frame - one Upper, one Lower. A Military Engine, for example, is the starting point for all the boringly effective, classic shooter weapons- clamp it onto a Compact frame for a no-nonsense submachine gun. Equipping a Heavy frame with a Survey Charge, meanwhile, produces a vanilla grenade launcher. The trick, naturally, is to combine tools in such a way as to offset the weaknesses of each. Sling a Plasma Core below that Survey Charge, for instance, and you'll be able to knock your victims back with kinetic pulses should they evade the righteous fury of your grenades.

Finally, and by my lights most thrillingly, there's the tip. Each tool sports a serviceable default to start with, but you can swap in a fancier variety to completely change the gun's capabilities. Feel like your grenade launcher lacks a certain sparkle? Bolt on a compressor to transform it into a freeze gun, or a Directed Suspension shield to level-up to a rocket launcher.

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Each frame also sports two slots for attachments, including scopes and safety guards to cancel out self-inflicted splash damage, plus a number of slots for upgrade chips, which apply boosts to reload speed, fire rate, damage and clip size. A sizeable percentage of attachments are designed with co-op in mind - Medic Support cuts your partner in on the benefits when you heal up. The more interesting specimens are those that apply RPG-style buffs to the ammo you fire, allowing you to coat bullets in Stasis juice to slow down charging foes, or a potent acid to inflict damage over time.

If the thought of concocting a bespoke gun leaves you yawning, you can always build new weapons in their entirety once you've acquired the relevant blueprints, using either real money or resources scavenged in-game. The presence of micro-transactions gave me pause, at first, but there appears to be nothing you can't build or create in Dead Space 3 the old-fashioned way, so no harm done I guess. You might want to lay down a few no-pay-to-win ground rules when you invite a player into your game, however.

Got all that under your belt? Let us now take a tour of my own personal arsenal. Gird your loins and turn the page.

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