Dead Space 3 hits UK shelves today, a lushly adorned corridor crawler in which returning lead Isaac Clarke journeys to ice world Tau Volantis in search of living dead to stomp on. Our review haled the elegance with which such controversial additions as co-op, an exterior setting and a cover "system" have been integrated into the threequel, but criticised the game for its weak story and bland, recycled structure.
Buying Dead Space 3? Feeling a little out of your depth? Fear not - I've put together a quick survival guide. Dead Space pros may prefer the company of this interview with Visceral's Yara Khoury, which explores how the game retains that eerie Dead Space vibe and where the franchise might go from here.
Use the Force
Those spiky Necromorph limbs chop off a sizeable chunk of health, don't they? Fortunately, they hit even harder when used against their erstwhile owners. Once you've downed a Necromorph, you can tear off appendages using Isaac's inexhaustible Kinesis power and propel them violently away from you. Besides being enormously satisfying, this is a good way to conserve ammo.
Optimise your gun
I've already written about how to craft the best Dead Space 3 weapons, but here's one in particular to aim for if you lack the patience to read a feature on the subject. Whack a Precision Adaptor onto a Military Engine to create a hard-hitting rifle, then stuff it full of upgrade chips that boost clip size and power. You can bolt on a scope too, if you're the surgical kind, but don't bother with anything better than the bog-standard variety - Necromorph seldom allow you the luxury of fighting from afar. Combine this with a close range Force Gun - Plasma Core plus Conic Dispersal tip. Result: a weapon that generally kills in one hit while keeping enemies at arm's length.
Look out for specialised parts
There are unique weapon frames to find in Dead Space 3, many hidden slightly outside the playable area and thus only obtainable using telekinesis. Keep an eye out for those telltale winking coloured lights.
Pimp out your Stasis
You would not believe how useful the ability to mire foes in slow-mo gloop can be - particularly later in the game, when the impossibly fast Twitchers show up. For this reason, you should prioritise upgrading the duration and splash radius of your Stasis module when fiddling around with Isaac's suit. A tactical tip: when fighting several foes in tight spaces, aim for the leading Necromorph and you should be able to trap the others behind it.
Dead Space 3's most significant new Necromorph breeds are the Feeders - relatively docile carrion eaters who communicate with unearthly clicks and whoops. They'll leave you alone providing you don't attract their attention by shining a light on them, moving near them or, of course, shooting at them. This is often wiser than going on the offensive, even when you're rolling in ammo and health - individual Feeders aren't too tough, comparable to the Pack from Dead Space 2, but riling one of them usually sparks a massive wave of reinforcements.
Let us know how you get on. Any thoughts on the likelihood/nature of Dead Space 4?