Why the plasma cutter is the only weapon you need

Why the plasma cutter is the only weapon you need

Dead Space’s iconic Plasma Cutter is an underwhelming starting weapon, and remains the only thing players really need in Motive’s remake.

EA Motives Dead Space remake recently launched, and as with any remake or retelling, it’s exciting to see what has been changed, improved or kept. Dead Space is an atmospheric survival horror game with psychological and action-oriented influences, and that mood is established throughout USG Ishimura. Claustrophobic corridors are made terrifying with sudden necromorphic sightings, but protagonist Isaac Clarke is hardly deterred while wielding the iconic plasma cutter.


Few survival horror games have the variety of weapons Dead Space, not to mention how satisfying the Stasis and Kinesis modules are in combat. The subject’s Dead Space implements Dead Space 2Kinesis as well as its zero-gravity flight system, and a wide catalog of other quality of life changes are also integrated to make this remake the definitive Dead Space experience. But while there’s a lot to experiment with in terms of weapons, the Plasma Cutter is still the only tool players need.

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Dead Space’s Plasma Cutter reigns supreme

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As Blood borne‘s Saw Cleaver or Halo: Combat Evolvedhis M6D pistol, Dead Space‘s Plasma Cutter is a force to be reckoned with. Among the games whose starting weapons are immediately the best players get, this tool is multifaceted and unique in its strategic potential.

The plasma cutter is introduced during an iconic moment where players see the words “Cut Off Their Limbs” painted in blood on the wall, and the combat mechanic explains that Dead Space is most known for. The plasma cutter fires plasma energy in three narrow beams that cut as a short, straight line, which can be rotated to cut vertically or horizontally.

This is used to hack at necromorph limbs until the flesh degrades and the limb is severed. Cutting two or three limbs kills most necromorphs, although others are more formidable. The weapon’s power has not been diluted in Motives Dead Space remake, if anything it is made stronger through subsequent upgrades that were not present in the original.

Players can find three unique upgrade modes for the Plasma Cutter: Cartridge Rack, which greatly increases ammunition capacity; the heat accumulator, which gives the plasma energy a damage-over-time effect; and Weighted Blades, which strengthen players’ blows enough to knock enemies prone.

Motive’s Dead Space still has great weapon variety

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To be fair, Dead Space has fantastic weapon variety beyond the plasma cutter. Each firearm is inventively unique and has its own advantages in combat, but there are several reasons why the Plasma Cutter remains the only weapon players need. The Ripper, Flamethrower, Force Gun, Contact Beam and Line Gun offer interesting gimmicks in terms of their creative fire types, but cleaving necromorph limbs is just too easy and satisfying with the Plasma Cutter.

Additionally, players also run the risk of oversaturating their inventory with ammo for multiple weapons if they choose to have them all out of storage. Using multiple weapons will create countless ammo from each type, but it also makes it harder to find ammo players actually need at any given time. This can lead to players exclusively picking up contact energy, for example when they want to find more plasma energy. Instead, players can cut their way through Dead Space with only the plasma cutter as long as they always have an abundance of plasma energy available.

Dead Space is now available on PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X/S.

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