Dead Space Remake Almost Didn’t Have Pause Functionality, Developer Reveals

Motive Studio flirted with the idea of not allowing players to pause the game, but ultimately decided against it.

Posted By | On 13th, Jan. 2023

dead space remake

Dead Space is widely regarded as one of the best and scariest survival horror games of all time, and as it is, developer Motive Studio is looking to significantly ramp up the scares with the upcoming remake in more ways than one. If, however, things had gone a little differently during the course of development, the Dead Space remake may have ended up making another crucial change that could potentially have drastically raised the horror elements even further.

Speaking recently with InverseDead Space’s Realization Director Joel MacMillan revealed that Motive Studio considered removing pause functionality altogether, so that players wouldn’t have that constant crutch available of being able to pause the action and take a breath when things got too intense.

“In horror games, you can pause and you have a moment of safety there,” he said. “You can take a breath. And I think you get a reprieve from that. It deflates some of the tension. But with persistent online games, you’re playing with dozens of other people, and you can’t just pause everybody’s game.

“I think removing that as a feature would make horror games far more impactful — You would truly feel like you’re never actually safe.”

“I still tend to get jittery when I play these games,” MacMillan added. “So I do like to have a pause button, personally. But if you really wanted a frightening, on-the-edge-of-your-seat, anxiety-ridden experience, removing that pause button would help.”

Of course, ultimate Motive Studio decided against the idea, and the Dead Space remake is going to let you pause the action after all- though it’s certainly an intriguing idea, especially for this genre in particular. Not being able to pause in the middle of gameplay can raise the tension dramatically – a number of FromSoftware games have proven that beyond any doubt over the years – so hopefully we’ll get to see how something like that can impact a horror experience in the not-too-distant future.

Meanwhile, in the same interview, the developers of the Dead Space remake also confirmed that its in-game remake map will be 2D, as opposed to the original’s 3D map, and that the game will feature a New Game Plus option.

Dead Space is due out on January 27 for PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.


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