Rumors surrounding some form of a revival for the Dead Space franchise were bubbling for a while, with speculation of a remake or Dead Space 4 being tossed around by various sources. This beloved horror series started way back in 2008 with the original game and only got two sequels before EA famously closed down the development studio Visceral Games. Despite how poorly received the third game was, that hasn’t stopped people from wishing the series could return in the style of those first two entries.
EA Play Live 2021 gave us a ton of announcements for upcoming titles to look forward to and finally put all the rumors and speculation to bed. Developer Motive will be taking on the responsibility of remaking the original Dead Space. We only got the briefest of looks at this remake, but plenty of more details were shared beyond what the small teaser trailer showed. There are still some details shrouded in mystery, but here’s everything we know about the Dead Space remake.
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The Dead Space remake has finally gotten a release date of January 27, 2023. The announcement came with the following statement from Phillippe Ducharme, Senior Producer of Dead Space. “We’re making great progress on our road to hitting Alpha and we’re happy to announce that the game will be launching in January next year. We can’t wait for players, both old and new, to see how we’ve elevated the original experience in the remake to be just as impactful for this generation.” We just hope that date holds.
All of the platforms that the Dead Space remake will be coming to were listed by EA along with the announcement. The game will come exclusively on current-generation hardware, that being the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.
This tiny teaser is all the footage we’ve got for the Dead Space remake. For anyone who played the original, nothing in it will be all that shocking or surprising. We get some industrial sounds followed by a beautifully realized look at the broken and bloody hallways of the USG Ishimura, with the faint singing of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, a callback to a trailer for the first game, and a shadow look at a necromorph. We end with a shot of our protagonist, Isaac, whose health bar on his back refills as he stands up in front of the “cut off their limbs” message scrawled in blood on the wall.
As far as how Motive intends to adapt the game, senior producer Phillippe Ducharme had a few choice quotes. “The Dead Space franchise made a huge impact on the survival horror genre when it was released 12 years ago, and I came to Motive as a fan first to specifically work on this game. We have a passionate team at Motive [that is] approaching this remake as a love letter to the franchise. Going back to the original and having the opportunity to do so on next-gen consoles excited everyone on the team.”
We also got a vague statement that the game will feature an “improved” story and characters. What “improved” means, in this case, remains to be seen, but perhaps this remake will serve as a new jumping-off point for the series to continue with new sequels. One thing that was confirmed via the latest livestream, where Motive showed off a bit more of the game, was the fact that Isaac will have a speaking role in this remake. Gunnar Wright, who voiced Isaac in Dead Space 2 and Dead Space 3, will reprise his role despite the character originally being silent. He even posted a little video announcing his return on the Dead Space Twitter account.
Two rules were outlined for how Isaac will speak to preserve the tone of the original. He will “primarily only speak when spoken to” and “sometimes speak in a situation where it would feel weird if he remained silent.”
Along with changes to the story, we also heard that the gameplay mechanics will see some changes as well, although no details here were given either. Ducharme stated in a press release, “As we look to modernize the game, we’ve reached out to dedicated fans and invited them to provide us with feedback since the early stages of production to deliver the Dead Space game they want and for new players to enjoy as well.”
While it is somewhat concerning to hear that the gameplay will be undergoing changes, the fact that they’re listening to old fans and new players does give some hope that nothing that made the original game such a masterpiece will be lost. The iconic dismemberment system was shown off, now running in the Frostbite engine, and it works just like it did before, only now, it’s even more gruesome, thanks to a new “peeling” process the developers have implemented. What this means is that every shot will result in visible chunks of the enemy’s flesh and skin being peeled off.
We also believe the immersive HUD will see a return as well, just based on the teaser showing Isaac’s health and stasis meters on his back. Dead Space was ahead of its time for never actually giving you a break from the horror by incorporating your inventory, map, health, and ammo into the game. You could pause the game, of course, but not for switching weapons or healing. You were always at risk when doing that.
A new blog post from Motive detailed what the team defines as the keys to a successful remake. While the team acknowledges how challenging remaking a classic can be, they state, “It’s about rebuilding the game from scratch and adding new content and modern enhancements into the mix — but never, ever betraying the original.”
Aside from honoring what people loved about the original, what most have been eager to learn more about is what exactly will change. For one, they aim to expand the lore presented in the first game to better fit the larger narrative the series would build to, which involved the choice to make Issac voiced, as well as provide some characters with more screen time and backstory. An example given was that they created an entire side quest that will let you discover what happened to Nicole when the outbreak first occurred.
This time, the game will also be made to be one uninterrupted shot, with no camera cuts or loading screens (as long as you don’t die, of course). Also, The Ishimura will no longer be segmented based on level; instead, they’ll be fully explorable and able to go back to previous locations at any time.
The zero-G controls are also getting updated to give more freedom of movement and better give the feeling of being weightless.
The first official gameplay trailer dropped out of nowhere and cemented what Dead Space will be — a faithful remake. Aside from Isaac responding to other characters, nothing shown was unexpected for those who played the original. It’s just far more beautiful … in a disgusting sort of way. We see Isaac stalking the halls, confronting a standard necromorph, and blasting its limbs off.
The stasis appears to have new effects on it, with a blue bubble appearing around whatever it hits. We see zero-G gameplay as well, expanding on what was stated in the blog post. While the clips were short, it looks like the movement system from Dead Space 2 was brought back in which you had full movement control instead of simply leaping from point to point. This will no doubt make the Leviathan boss much different.
Both Dead Space 2 and Dead Space 3 forced multiplayer into the game, the latter far worse than the former. Considering this is one of the main reasons gamers give for why the third game killed the series, we have to assume Motive is aware of this landmine and will completely avoid it. We don’t want any tacked-on competitive modes, and we really don’t want co-op. Just give us a solid, isolating, and terrifying single-player experience like the first game, and this game will do just fine.
This is where the Dead Space remake and Motive could actually stretch creativity a bit. If we’re right in thinking this game could be a potential reboot for the series to come back, some original DLC that expands on the ending to lead into a new sequel could work great. Anything else, assuming we get our wish and there’s no multiplayer component, just wouldn’t sit well. Again, Dead Space 3 really poisoned the well by having too many microtransactions forced in, and the last thing we want is to see some new DLC-exclusive guns or suits in our single-player experience.
Thankfully, Motive has gone out of its way to confirm that this remake will not feature microtransactions of any kind.
Pre-orders are up for all platforms via the EA website. You can choose between the standard and digital deluxe editions, for $70 and $80, respectively. The only bonuses the digital deluxe edition has are three unique suits and two suit textures.
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