Dead Space 3's Cute Scavenger Bot Just Wants Your Money

There's a handy little robot in Dead Space 3. It's designed to collect resources for you in the new sci-fi horror game, released for Xbox 360 and PS3 today. But as helpful as it is, it may be a little too helpful. Like, too helpful at getting you to open your wallet.

We already know that Dead Space 3 features DLC that looks a lot like microtransactions. You can pay real-world money for in-game items like suits, skins and upgrades.

But my gut tells me that the cute little scavenger bot was built with a specific purpose outside of getting you resources. Sure, it's handy. I can send my bot out and go to the workbench to find a ton more tungsten or semiconductors that I can use to outfit my rig or craft new weapons with. But wouldn't it be easier to dock the price of resources on these upgrades? Or simply give me more loot to find around each map?

Several of the already-available downloadable content packages centre on the tiny bot that Isaac (or co-op partner Carver) can equip to send out on scavenging-for-resources missions. It scurries around dead bodies to find you resources that you can use on weapon and rig upgrades while you're off killing Necromorphs and listening to audio logs.

You can access downloadable content through Dead Space 3's workbenches. You can see the content that's already available for purchase with real money or, in the case of certain packages, in-game resources.

Resources can be gathered off of corpses, loot boxes and other storage containers too. But sending out the bot gets you a lot more with nary a finger lifted. You can then turn those resources into items to craft bigger, badder weapons. And weapon-crafting happens to be one of the best things about Dead Space 3.

I don't have a problem with the existence of microstransactions so long as it doesn't interfere with my own game. If I'm not being held back in a significant way by not forking over real cash, I'm ok. I'm sceptical of the intentions behind DLC like this, but I also don't let my need for weaponry and achievements and random in-game swag get the better of me.

The scavenger bot is a conduit for paying for the privilege of more resources, faster harvest times and, sure, a personality modifier. The scavenger bot feeds into the most obsessive gamer's desires to collect everything, and collect it fast. Want that sweet HUN-E1 Badger shotgun? Want it now? Pay for some scavenger bot DLC and we'll expedite that right away! It's a neat trick.

Of course, fragmented game experiences chopped into DLC is nothing new. Paying for DLC-specific weapons is nothing new. Paying for privilege is nothing new. Heck, Dead Space itself has been there in the past. But the scavenger bot is the perfect excuse to make an extra buck out of the situation without making it seem too much like that's what its purpose is.

Yet, when you think about it, doesn't it seem obvious?


Comments

    Remember when Dead Space was scary because you had low ammo and would regularly search every corner for an item box that might have ammo or stomp a corpse you've already stomped in a desperate attempt for some ammo that might pop out to slightly help you in the next fight and it felt good when you found a few rounds and felt scared progressing when you didn't find anything but had to move forward anyways, but you felt even better when you somehow managed to make it through that area with what ammo you had without getting hurt at all?

      If you just stuck with the plasma cutter you would end up with way more ammo than you actually needed.

        Which is why I didn't like using it, aside from the achievement in the first game.

          Personally, I loved it. I felt it fit the theme of Isaac being an engineer rather than giving him the arsenal of a soldier.

            But there was only like, 1 weapon (2 in Dead Space 2) that could be considered "soldier" weapons. The rest were exaggerated tools that I like to believe were altered by Isaac off screen to be used as weapons. I was hoping they would have continued this theme and created more tools that acted like tools rather then just weapons that were skinned to look like tools. I would have prefered if the flamethrower wasn't in the series and instead you used a blowtorch. Would be awesome, high powered, precisision close range weapon, the secondary fire mode could be a quick blast of wind and fire that stunned foes.

              I only used the plasma cutter for my playthrough of dead space 1. Was great playing an engineer with his one work tool surviving the odds. Kinda like Gordon freeman and the crow bar.
              Dead co-op space 3 can die on a fire with its micro transactions.

    The more I hear about this game the less I want it. I think I'm going to skip this one until it's in the $20 pile.

    EA: IT'S IN THE GAME.*

    *Not actually in the game. May be available as DLC to put it in the game. Extra purchase may be required to get all of the game in the game. The game may be on the disc, but not in the game. Online pass may be required to put it in the game. We reserve the right to shut down the servers at any stage, in which case it will no longer be in the game.

    I was going to disagree with the article and rant, now having played Dead Space 3 and experienced what the scavenger bot does. But I feel the 'EA games must die' sheep have already spoken, meh.

    Thanks for the memories Dead Space.
    Damnit EA, I don't even want a hint of temptation whilst I'm playing through my first attempt at a game. Sure, provide add-ons separately for those who want to pay for a quick upgrade or pay real money for ingame money or experience. I think everyone playing a game like this should be made to initially work for their next weapon upgrade etc. Whatever, I'm not interested anymore and I find that sad...I loved Dead Space and mildly enjoyed Dead Space 2. I am obviously not the intended demographic for the game anymore, no matter how many times the developers and PR assure us it's 'scary' and 'don't worry long time fans'....endth rant.

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