Dead Space, 5 things to know about the remake

Dead Space is reality. There is a teaser that testifies it, the official website, the confirmation that it will arrive on PS5, Xbox Series X | S and PC, the Facebook page is active again, in short, enough evidence to not make us fear in a ghost project: it’s true, we don’t have not even a probable year of launch, although the fact that it comes out on the latest generation consoles suggests at least a late 2022, if not even beyond, but we have solid evidence of its existence. A project that has rekindled the enthusiasm of fans, but also an intriguing operation, we cannot deny it. After all, and unfortunately, the Dead Space saga died with the third chapter eight years ago and the closure of Visceral Games certainly did not play in favor of its potential revival.

Instead EA wanted to bet on it once again, a decision that finds us absolutely favorable, but above all curious about how we will want to approach: unlike Resident Evil, which despite having its twenty-five years on its shoulders has always moved forward over time, approaching new players from time to time, Dead Space has had a setback that alienated it from the knowledge of the wider, generalist audience – the one that really makes a difference in sales, compared to a niche of people who, however passionate , it does not weigh much on the scales.

This means having to rethink it in a perspective that is familiar and above all current, in order to attract the slice that matters. We have no idea how he wants to do it but in the meantime let’s try to summarize all the information available: here 5 details you may have missed on the Dead Space remake.

It’s a full-fledged remake

A scene from the Dead Space trailer

Understandably, the fears surrounding the announcement mostly concerned the possibility that EA had opted for a remaster – a rather popular choice lately. Senior Producer Philippe Ducharme and Creative Director Roman Campos-Oriola have instead made it clear that Dead Space isn’t just a refined version of the original, despite being their obvious starting point. The game will be rebuilt from the ground up thanks to the Frostbite Engine: graphics, sound, gameplay, everything will be developed from scratch.

It’s not a port, it’s not about augmenting textures or adding more polygons to models. We are talking about a real reconstruction of every single element, to create an experience so immersive that you don’t want to leave it. While development is still in its infancy, Motive is already thinking about how to leverage the latest technology to enhance an experience that was already incredibly immersive during the PS3 / Xbox 360 generation.

Microtransactions? No thanks

The Dead Space teaser trailer

It may surprise you to associate the word microtransactions with Dead Space, but those who have played the third chapter are certainly no strangers to this stain in the curriculum of the series: a decision that in its time had generated many controversies and for this reason it will not be repeated.

Phil Ducharme assured it, specifying that EA Motive is indeed looking at this experience as the sum of old and new, but missteps such as microtransactions are not part of their plans. The new Dead Space is therefore designed so that the need for microtransactions never arises, following in a certain sense the steps taken by Respawn with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order for the single player experience.

We can breathe a sigh of relief.

New on the gameplay front

As we wrote in our preview of Dead Space, it is legitimate to think the developers are thinking of solutions that can balance past and present, making Dead Space a game that speaks to fans but is above all attractive and accessible to the current public.

The idea, therefore, that this first chapter serves above all to lay the foundations for a rebirth of the franchise is not so far-fetched. While not having shared any specifics on how they will go to update the gameplay, Ducharme and Roman Campos-Oriola have opened a small window on the team’s line of thinking, as regards the refinement of the original gameplay.

For example, sections a zero gravity introduced in Dead Space 2 could find space already in the original chapter, thus opening up new scenarios for those who know the game like the back of their hands. Or, and this we must admit we are very curious, they are also working to evolve the famous mechanics of dismemberment: no details have been shared but the general idea is not only to make it more bloody but, above all, to give a further twist to one of the supporting pillars of the series.

Precisely for this reason EA Motive does not just include enthusiasts in the development team, it also involves the community to better orient itself in the direction to take.

It will make the most of the next gen

The horror of Dead Space

The horror of Dead Space

Taking up what was written above, the developers are evaluating how to make the most of the latest generation technology to improve an already immersive experience in its time. In this sense, Campos-Oriola stated that the intention is to delve even further into this immersion with a completely interactive experience, from the initial screen to the credits. In practice, it particularly refers to loading times, which thanks to faster SSDs will no longer exist: the game will never be interrupted and can be played seamlessly from start to finish.

After all, Dead Space is not a long-lived experience, one of those that take up fifty or more hours, so one of the main objectives is to make every single minute of the game meaningful. Reason why a fundamental aspect to focus on from an aesthetic and sound point of view, in particular, is the atmosphere: on the other hand, anyone who knows the game knows it well, Dead Space was an atmospheric masterpiece that even at the fifth or sixth match knew how to convey the same anxiety as the first.

Capturing the science fiction essence of the game but re-proposing it with the equipment, visually and otherwise, is extremely important for the developers: it is not a question of just adding textures and polygons, but of taking the DNA of the series and transposing it, improving it, in this remake. : the addition of volumetric effects and dynamic lighting are two fundamental elements in the construction of the aforementioned atmosphere.

An authenticity that, as anticipated, also covers the sound design. As specified several times, the reference material is the original one and from here the developers will improve those sounds that we have come to know, fear but also look for, where they convey a temporary sense of security. This is where 3D audio comes into play.

Implementing it will allow, among other things, to understand the point of origin of the sound thanks to a correct propagation, making it come from the corridor in front of us, from the air vents or from our shoulders. Like Resident Evil 2, which stands out in a particular way in sound design.

It will expand the original narrative

A scene from the Dead Space trailer

A scene from the Dead Space trailer

Last but not least, the narrative aspect. Once again the word passes to Campos-Oriola, which specifies how for EA Motive the basis is the story of the original Dead Space. This means that it will be considered canonical and slavishly followed; nevertheless, he added, it is possible to make some improvements not because at the time the narrated events did not work, but rather to take into account what was told later and start “suggesting” it to the player, creating a link to this or that. another aspect introduced both in videogame sequels and in other products such as novels or animated films.

This makes Dead Space a potential soft reboot, because it cannot be excluded that some aspects are slightly modified to better adapt them to a choral narrative structure, which in turn suggests the desire not to stop at a chapter. Everything will depend on the finished game and above all on the reception of the public but the desire not to limit oneself to a sterile nostalgia operation, proposing the best chapter of the series forgetting the rest, seems to be quite marked.

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