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Dead Space 2 doesn’t need a remake. It’s already perfect

Dead Space 2 is, in my opinion, one of the greatest games ever made. One of the reasons for that is because it uses the best ideas from its predecessor, the original Dead Space, as a brutal jumping-off point both mechanically and narratively. Dead Space was a fantastic starting point, but Dead Space 2 upped the ante on nearly every front. Following the success of the recent Dead Space remake, many fans are expectantly looking at the game’s developer, EA Motive, and hoping that it’ll announce a remake for Dead Space 2.

As a die-hard fan of the franchise, I hope they don’t make one.

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There is a lot to love about the way that the Dead Space remake reimagines the 2008 survival horror classic while also staying true to its roots. While I was a big fan of the remake, it feels like a fresh coat of paint rather than a new foundation. Its new colors sure look nice, but they’re all pulled straight from Dead Space 2‘s palette. While that helps modernize the aging 2008 original, its sequel doesn’t stand to gain much from the same refresh.

Reanimating Dead Space 2

On nearly every level, the Dead Space remake innovates on ideas present in the first game to make for a snappier, more engaging title. However, Dead Space 2 already did that in 2011, so most of the major changes that are featured in the remake simply bring it up to speed with its sequel. For instance, the zero-gravity sections have been reworked to function exactly as they did in Dead Space 2, Isaac’s kinesis RIG has been upgraded to allow the player to use it more aggressively in combat, Isaac is fully voiced by Gunner Wright to give his character a bigger part in the narrative, and the whole game follows Dead Space 2‘s lead of being one sequential, uncut shot.

A promotional image from Dead Space 2 of Isaac Clarke holding a plasma cutter.

Those changes are all excellent, but it just means that EA Motive hasn’t made a case for how it could push Dead Space 2 forward with a similar treatment. The original Dead Space needed those changes, so its sequel made them. The only notable improvement that EA Motive could make would be improving its graphical fidelity, but that seems to be the scope of a remaster rather than a full-blown remake.

Fans of the Dead Space remake might argue that EA Motive could improve on Dead Space 2‘s exploration mechanics by connecting everything and making it worthwhile to return to previous areas with security clearance levels. Although that’s not necessarily a bad idea to consider, the reason it worked in the Dead Space remake was because so many areas were reused in the original game, and exploring them at your own pace felt like a natural part of uncovering the game’s mystery.

Dead Space 2 is a much more linear, action-focused title that rarely reuses its locations, so an interconnected world wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense unless a remake were to completely revamp the story. However, EA Motive showed just how faithfully it wants to adapt the series with the Dead Space remake in terms of narrative structure, so it seems a little far-fetched to expect the studio to alter Dead Space 2 like that.

A screenshot from the Dead Space remake that shows Isaac looking at writing on the wall that says "Cut off their limbs" in blood.

Dead Space 3, anyone?

With a remake of Dead Space 2 feeling like a redundant prospect, EA Motive’s time could be better spent making a new game in the Dead Space franchise. Luckily, the studio mentioned in a Reddit AMA that it’s interested in continuing its work with the series in the future. There was no mention of what that project could be, whether another remake or a brand-new title, but it’s good to see that there’s a future where we get more Dead Space from EA Motive.

The studio created a remake that was able to outshine its source material. Now that it’s proven itself, it should take the best ideas from the series as a whole and use them as a jumping-off point, just as Dead Space 2 did. There’s no point in remaking something that’s already nearly perfect, so Dead Space 2 should just stay as it is.

That way, EA Motive can feel free to go nuts on fixing up Dead Space 3.

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