By Joseph Leray
The scariest part of “Dead Space 3,” Visceral’s dark, sci-fi third-person-dismemberer, will be when the pricing for the game’s microtransactions are revealed.
Eurogamer spotted an in-game prompt in the game’s weapons-crafting system when the player doesn’t have enough resources to build the Necromorph-blasting machine they want. Scrap parts to build weapons can be picked up from the player or by scavenger bots, but they can also be purchased from an in-game store.
Associate producer Yara Khoury described these purchases as optional: “You can buy resources with real money, but scavenger bots can also give you the currency that you can use on the marketplace,” she explained. “So you don’t have to spend [real world] dollars.”
Optional microtransactions are well and good, but “Dead Space” fans should be concerned that the game’s design might suffer as a result: if scavenging enough parts to buy useful weapons becomes a chore, or if the game is too hard to complete without super-weapons, players may feel coerced into spending more money for in-game weapons. I’m not sure that players should have to pay to avoid tedium, or to play on easy mode.
It’s also strange that Visceral would introduce a brand-new crafting system to the third game in the series, only to give players the option of bypassing it completely.
Visceral hope to keep the game balanced, though -- having deep pockets shouldn’t be an instant ticket to success. “There are a lot of weapon parts that are only available to buy later in the game,” Khoury explained; “Unless you’re playing through it again [on New Game Plus].”
Khory also mentioned that currency in “Dead Space 3” will be sold in different packs and be priced accordingly, though specific costs are still unavailable.
In any case, these details will become clearer come February 5, when “Dead Space 3” is released for PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.