After the underwhelming reception to Dead Space 3 in 2013, the franchise is finally making a comeback with a remake to the original Dead Space. Developed by Motive Studios, it will be coming to PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC with the team using Frostbite Engine to rebuild the original from the ground-up. Senior producer Philippe Ducharme and creative director Roman Campos-Oriola spoke to IGN about the developer is staying true to the original.
Interestingly, the team is looking all of the original assets instead of what’s on the final disc. As Campos-Oriola notes, “We started with the original level design of the original Dead Space. What’s funny is that you can see some of the iterations that were made prior to ship by the team. In the first chapter, you can see some corridors that they wanted to do first in a certain way, and then you can understand why they changed it for technical constraints or [some other reason].
“Then in terms of visuals, sound, gameplay, everything, we are rebuilding all of these assets. We are not porting them, it’s not uprezzing the texture or adding more polygons to the model. It’s really rebuilding all these elements, shooting all the animations, et cetera.”
Though development is still at an early stage, Motive is looking at how the Xbox Series X/S, PS5 and PC can add to the experience. “We want to make that immersion even deeper with a fully interactive experience, from the start screen to the end credits. We don’t want anything to pull you out of the experience and we don’t want any cuts. [The faster SSDs of new consoles mean] there’s not going to be any loading. There’s not going to be any moment where we’re going to cut your experience, where we’re going to cut your camera. You can play it from the start screen to the end credits seamlessly.”
Ducharme adds that, “As an objective that we gave early on to everyone, what we’re trying to achieve is an immersion where you never want to put your controller down. Dead Space is not a 60 – 100 hour game. Ideal scenario, you don’t actually want to get up to go to the bathroom because you’re so immersed within the universe and you want to play it through in one sit-down.” Another key aspect of the immersion is the UI, which displayed all relative information in-game instead of a separate menu.
This is still the case but Motive is looking at enhancing it along with the game’s ability to keep players focused on the world. If things weren’t scary enough, then fans will be happy to hear that additional effects like volumetrics and dynamic lighting are being used to enhance scenes.
“[We wanted to] make sure that the improvements we were making were inside the DNA of what Dead Space is, and not just, ‘Oh, we can add more texture res and more polygons, let’s just throw them at it.’ We really wanted to convey that feeling of Dead Space. The addition of volumetric effects and the dynamic lighting inside these scenes add a huge element to the atmosphere that we’re trying to convey.”
3D audio will also be utilized to add to the immersions. “We wanted to use the sounds you’re used to as well and improve those sounds, and improve this immersion so the sounds of the door that you’re hearing, the sound of the health bar, the sound of the creatures… we’re building on top of the original and recreating it, but [we] make sure it is true to the original and that we are honoring the legacy of the original game.
“3D audio [will also add the] understanding of where the sound comes from, having the right propagation, in the corridors, making it come from the vents above you, or behind you. These are all things that we’ll be able to expand on to increase the level of immersion,” said Ducharme.
The Dead Space remake doesn’t have a release window. Stay tuned for more details and updates in the coming months (and maybe even years).