The original Dead Space remains one of the greatest survival horror games ever made, so it’s only fitting that in this renaissance of the genre, we’re getting a full-blown remake of the 2008 classic that’s looking better and better with each showing. More new details continue to emerge everyday, and even though we’ve already spoken quite a bit about Dead Space here at GamingBolt, there’s still plenty to cover. To that end, here, we’ll be going over a few more key things that you should know about the game.
TAKES CUES FROM RE2
2019’s Resident Evil 2 is the gold standard not only for survival horror games, but for remakes as well, so it’s no surprise that Dead Space is taking cues from Capcom’s masterpiece in several ways. According to reative director Roman Campos-Oriola, the game takes a similar approach to reimagining the original, in terms of foundation and story intact while recreating and enhancing everything else. In an interview with VGC, he said: “There are multiple definitions of what a remake is, but for me it’s about moving to a new engine and completely rebuilding the game. Beyond that, depending on how much you remake from the original game, it can no longer be a remake and become a reboot. That would be more about sticking to the foundation, genre and story. A good example would be the recent Resident Evil 2 remake, which even though they changed the perspective, it’s still horror and for most of it it’s the same story. I feel that’s similar to us where we changed some things, recreated everything in a new engine, but overall we kept the same story and setting.”
One of the many areas where Dead Space is changing things up is its story, and how it chooses to tell that story. Developer Motive Studio has said several times that it’s main goal was to keep the major story beats unchanged, but to give everything around it a significant glow-up. That’s being done in more ways than one. For instance. Several scenes have also been changed in how they play out, from being slightly tweaked or remixed to putting a completely different spin on them without changing their final outcome. The game also uses a no-cut camera now, which should also change the storytelling in some interesting ways.
While Dead Space’s main story is not going to deviate from the source material in any drastic way, the game is going to add plenty of new content in the form of side quests, which will primarily serve the purpose of fleshing out side characters that maybe didn’t get as much screen time in the original as they should have. For instance, new side quests will show in much greater detail exactly what happened to Nicole during the outbreak. Similarly, Dr. Cross is another side character who’s going to get more time to shine.
One of the biggest changes that Dead Space remake is making to its story is Isaac Clarke is no longer going to be a silent protagonist. While Dead Space 2 and 3 did end up giving him a voice, he was completely mute in the original game. In the remake, with Gunner Wright reprising the role, he’s going to be a much more active part of the story, and we’re more than a little curious to see how exactly that changes things.
ISAAC’S NEW FACE
Isaac is being overhauled in more ways than one. Not only is he going to be fully voiced, he also has a brand-new face- though honestly, we’re not sure we like the new look. As opposed to his original gruff, semi-grey, wrinkled look, he now looks younger and clean shaven, almost like a knockoff Adam Sandler. Thankfully, Isaac spends most of the game with his face firmly inside of a helmet, so at least we won’t have to look at his ugly mug too much.
FULL VOICE CAST
As we mentioned previously, Gunner Wright is coming back to play Isaac Clarke, but what about the other characters? It’s a mix of new and familiar on that front. Nicole is being voiced by Tanya Clarke, who also voiced her in 2011’s Dead Space 2 (but not in the original), while Zach Hammond will have a new voice, lent by former NFL athlete Anthony Alabi. Then there’s Kendra Daniels, who is being played by Brigitte Kali Canales, best known for her roles as Rachel in Fear the Walking Dead and Trace Martez in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: The Bad Batch. Meanwhile, Challus Mercer is being voiced by Faran Tahir.
How will the remake mix things up on the gameplay front? We’ve spoken about a few of these in past features, but there’s still other changes yet that Motive Studio has recently gone over. A rather interesting new inclusion is circuit breakers. You’ll find these at specific points in the game and will be required to use to reroute the ship’s power, with the catch being that you’ll be choosing between, say, shutting off the lights or turning off the oxygen, which in turn will impact how you play through that section of the game. Interestingly, the game will also put a much greater emphasis on exploration. For instance, the Ishimura will have several new rooms that will be locked behind upgraded security clearance levels with hidden loot inside, encouraging players to return to older areas at later points in the game once they get that clearance.
The Dead Space remake is also making some notable changes to several of its weapons, though it’s approaching each of them in different ways. The iconic Plasma Cutter, for instance, is going to sport a somewhat redesigned look, but will largely function similar to how it did on the original. The Pulse Rifle, on the other hand, has an entirely new proximity mine launcher as the alternate fire, similar to Dead Space 2. There’s also the Force Gun, which is the most radically different one. Rather than only being used to push enemies away like it was in the original, in the remake, it can also create a gravity well to pull enemies to a spot. Add to that new upgrade paths for all weapons, and it’s clear that the remake is making plenty of changes on this front.
One of the most notable and exciting new additions in the Dead Space remake is what Motive Studio is referring to as the Intensity Director, which is essentially a system that will read gameplay situations and dynamically make changes on the fly to keep finding ways to scare and surprise you. Senior game director Eric Baptizat says: “The Intensity Director is a way for us to control the stress level for the player, to be sure there’s always something happening. It lets us control the emotion and tension, and to always keep the player on their toes, to keep them careful.”
Meanwhile, senior systems designer Dan Kim explains it as follows: “It’s a content organization, spawning, and pacing control system. And depending on how we count things, the system has more than 1200 unique events, with a massive variety of combinations possible. Different elements, like audio or lighting changes, fog or steam, enemy spawns—all that combined together in layers to create encounters that feel like hand-made situations.”
The USG Ishimura is a vital part of the Dead Space experience, and forms such a massive part of the game’s identity- so what sort of a facelift is it getting in the remake? For starters, the whole ship is entirely seamless now, with no load times whatsoever, which means exploration and backtracking can be done in a more uninterrupted fashion. Meanwhile, in addition to the previously mentioned new rooms, the USG Ishimura has also changed several areas in the remake to accommodate its new gameplay mechanics.