DEAD SPACE has long been a highly regarded franchise in the horror community. Ever since its original release back in 2008, it has been highly praised for its atmosphere and gameplay.
Well, it’s 2023 and the team at Motive at EA Games has decided to bring the original game back, building it from the ground up with EA’s Frostbite Engine for a new audience and loyal supporters who have been waiting for a new title since 2013 and the series’ last entry.
For the most part, Dead Space remains the same game as it was back in 2008. The developers wanted to honour the legacy of the original game and re-introduce Isaac Clarke and the space ship USG Ishimura to the gaming world – now presented in 4K/30fps with raytracing or 2K/60fps resolution.
It starts out with a team looking to land on the USG Ishimura, as no one has heard anything from them and are sent out to investigate and give a lending hand where needed.
You play as Isaac Clake. An everyday engineer who, in the original game was a silent protagonist. This time round Isaac is fully voiced and looks to have had a makeover in the facial department, fans of the series will notice the different character models right away.
No sooner has the game started than you’re thrust into the action with an emergency landing where your spaceship is damaged and in need of repairs.
As soon as you leave the ship and investigate what is going on, the creepy atmosphere takes over, really hitting home that something bad has happened and all hell has broken loose.
You are quickly introduced to the main enemies of the game who you get to know as Necromorphs; They can pop out of anywhere and anytime making them formidable enemies in Dead Space.
One minute you’re taking a nice walk down a corridor and the next moment you are swarmed by enemies, attacking you from all areas. It was in these moments I wish the developers had added a quick turn function to the game; I would have found it a great addition.
For those not familiar with Dead Space, I won’t spoil too much of the story, but it must be known that to defeat the Necomorphs requires a different approach than in most other video games.
Shooting them in the head won’t kill them – you will be required to shoot off their limbs to incapacitate them and deliver a killing stomp for good measure, which is also how you get loot from them.
For those returning gamers to the series, there are subtle changes to the game such as expanded lore via text logs to keep in line with the next games of the series as well as all new security clearance requirements, new puzzles and much more quality of life improvements. I’ll leave the rest for you to discover.
Speaking of collectables, the game requires a certain level of item management as you won’t be able to pick up everything you want due to the fact you have limited carry space, even for ammo.
You will start off with the trusty plasma cutter and throughout the game find many more weapons, as well as gain access to a stasis module which will allow you to freeze objects (such as randomly opening/closing doors) and enemies to give you time to shoot them.
Make sure to use statis – It will save your life when getting swarmed.
Along with ammo, there are also nodes that are required to upgrade your suit and weapons as well as the introduction of item-specific upgrades as part of the small additions to the Dead Space game.
Along with the graphical overhaul, the audio has to be remade with new dialogue and much crisper audio. So make sure you turn to lights off, put a good pair of headphones in and get ready to take in the atmosphere as you will hear noises all over the place and in different directions that will make you turn your head.
I played this as a mixture of my Xbox headset with Dolby Atmos support and my Dolby Atmos soundbar. They were both incredible joys to play with as the audio in this game is top-notch.
Dead Space is a game worthy of the remake that it has received here. The story still holds up today and while yes, you can play the original on Xbox Game Pass, it is certainly missing the new audio and polish of this remake.
I’m glad that EA changed its stance on remakes; Dead Space is a game that is truly in need of a revival for both fans of the original games and horror fans playing this for the first time.
Like reading a good book, it was great to return to this cult horror game I enjoyed all those years ago. However, considering that the price is being charged at full AUD$RRP it’s hard to say this is a must own right away for returning players. Even if you were in it to enjoy the story, the game is essentially free as part of the Gamepass library.
If this was a little bit lower in price, i’d be more then happy to recommend it as a day one purchase to old and new players.
For what its worth thought, I’ve really enjoyed returning to this franchise and hope it’s successful enough to restart the franchise – I know I’m not the only one keen to return the world of Dead Space, and this remake is a great start.