Dead Space’s Annoying Asteroids Minigame, and How to Beat It

deadspaceminigame

Can’t get past that insanely annoying asteroid-destroying minigame? Here’s what you need to do.

I’ve been playing Dead Space, and it’s a definitely a fantastic game: high on atmosphere, stylish with its cinematics and intense with its action. And then, like a curveball, the developers throw this at you: a shoot-the-asteroids minigame. Everyone loves minigames, right?

When will devs learn? The cannon-firing minigame from Knights of the Old Republic was one of the most vexing parts of the game, and sadistically enough, EA does the same with Dead Space. It isn’t impossible, but sure looks like it if you’re not doing too well.

I did get past it, after some 15 tries, and so I’ve decided to compile a bit of a guide. Note that the following guide is intended for the PC version, but most ideas should work with consoles too, of course.

The Basics

  • You can fire with both the left and right mouse buttons (one for each cannon). Most people forget this, assuming either that the other cannon is malfunctioning, or they just don’t notice the other cannon because they’re too busy aiming.
  • Your big gun can get overheated big-time, throwing you out-of-action for a few seconds.
  • Large asteroids break up into smaller asteroids, but for some reason, the smaller asteroids maintain their parent’s velocity and direction.

What You Should Know

  • Larger and faster asteroids cause more damage. And as you’d imagine, asteroids that are both fast and large are twice as dangerous.
  • The closer an asteroid is to the window, the more dangerous it is.
  • Remember that the goal of the game is to survive, not to destroy as many asteroids as possible.
  • You can beat the game even if you survive with just 1% Hull, so your priority should be to cut down the major damage, not the smaller hits.
  • A little overheating isn’t bad, but you do not want your cannons to overheat right when a large number of asteroids come flying at you.

What You Should Do

  • Aim far, and try to blow up asteroids as early as possible, rather than waiting for them to get closer.
  • Fire only one cannon at a time. Overheating with one cannon is much slower than with both cannons together.
  • Fire with both cannons if you’re tackling a large asteroid. This cleans up the smaller asteroids that break off.
  • Fire moderately. Don’t keep your guns blazing throughout or you’ll end up overheating. Don’t “spray-and-pray”.
  • Keep your fire concentrated in the center. Ignore the asteroids at the fringes, they are largely harmless or cause too little damage.
  • If you’re in a bind, prioritize. Shoot down the asteroids closest, largest and fastest.

What You Can Tweak

If you really can’t seem to get past the section, maybe it’s time to do a bit of tweaking.

  • Brightness: Turn the brightness up as much as possible, both in the game and on your monitor. This is so that you can see asteroids from a distance. The earlier you see an asteroid, the faster you can eliminate it.
  • Graphics: Turn down graphics (especially resolution) to the lowest. Not only will this improve frame rate, but it will also cut down the shiny distractions. Plus, I’ve observed that mouse movement is faster at lesser resolutions.
  • Sound: Turn your sound off, one more distraction down.
  • Mouse Sensitivity: Turn your mouse sensitivity up, all the way to full. FPS players might say that lower sensitivity makes for better aiming, but the problem with Dead Space’s minigame isn’t that you can’t aim, it’s that you can’t aim fast enough.

If nothing seems to work, you should just keep practicing. Or maybe hand over the reins to somebody that loves playing aiming minigames like this one. Everyone knows someone like that.

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