EA's announcement that it would be remaking Dead Space was not clear. The company would be completely remaking the space horror series. Is it more of a remaster? This would upgrade the original graphics 13 years ago for the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 as well as modern computers. Interviews with Star Wars: Squadrons studio EA Motive provided a bit more information. It was difficult to determine what the remake would accomplish, as it is not easy to compare Dead Space to remakes of 90s games such as System Shock.
The Dead Space remakes developers are now filling in the gaps. Motive hosted a Twitch livestream session with members the studios creative team. They showed off very early footage that demonstrated how the level design and gameplay could work. We don't have a release date. The game was confirmed with a few key features that will make it stand out, but not necessarily transform it.
Isaac Clarke will speak, and he's getting a familiar voice actor
In the original Dead Space, Isaac Clarke was the silent protagonist. However, Gunner Wright has voiced him in every game since. Wright was on EA's livestream today to confirm his return for the remake.
Wright's return makes Dead Space seem more like a retroactive continuation and not a complete reimagining. EA clarified that Isaac will speak the same way as a polite Victorian child.
He may swear while stomping on boxes.
More complicated dismemberment will be required
Joshua Rivera, my Polygon colleague, describes how simulated limb severing technology evolved significantly since 2008. Some very early renderings of the games' necromorphs were shown on the livestream. They seem to be affected by weapons in more convincing ways (these are still space knife zombies being shot with plasma so I won't say realistic).
You can now see how much damage you have done by removing the flesh from limbs. It has weak points that feel less artificial than the original game's glowing joints. There are more options for how a weapon affects a given Necromorph.
The Dead Spaces weapons had more variety than people sometimes give credit for. You are missing out if you only have the plasma cutter to play the original and the sequel. The remake clearly puts effort into rebuilding them.
Zero gravity allows you to float!
One significant change was confirmed by the livestreams, which often showed very little in-game footage. Dead Spaces remake allows you to float in zero gravity (like in the sequels), instead of having to jump between surfaces with your feet anchored to the ground.
Its zero-G controls, like the original Dead Spaces weapons, get an unfair reputation. Levels are built around jumping and it is strangely satisfying to bounce between walls. The remake can be modified to allow for free motion.
Microtransactions are not allowed
Did we know that EA won't be bringing the infamous microtransactions from Dead Space 3 to the Dead Space remake? Yes. It was nice to hear Motives developers reiterate that promise today. It is obvious.
An lore infusion is on the horizon
Motive and EA had previously indicated that they would build Dead Spaces. Today, however, they provided more details about what that could mean. Roman Campos Oriola, creative director, stated that they aren't going to alter the story's foundation because it is so iconic. We want to enhance the story and narrative of Dead Space. We want to be more connected to what has come before, whether it's the anime or the books.
This can be achieved subtly by changing the environment, but Campos Oriola suggests that some additional changes might be necessary. Dead Space was a lore-heavy series that ran across three main games as well as a variety of tie-in media. The Dead Space remake seems to be more concerned with acknowledging and changing this lore than it is changing it. Although the team did not discuss the most popular Easter egg in the game, it felt safe to say that Peng is always there.
The game's side characters will be fleshed out.
The Dead Space remake aims to give more depth to Isaac's characters, including Nicole Brennan, his girlfriend, who he spends most of the game searching for. Campos-Oriola stated that we want to give players the ability to look for Nicole Brennan, the girlfriend he spends the game looking for.
The details are not clear. Motive displayed the remake in ways that showed its incompleteness. For example, Motive put enemies on a stage made of untextured blocks. Many of the changes were only discussed theoretically. It is still disappointing to see a new Dead Space title after EA shut down Visceral Games, the original studio behind the series. It is becoming easier to see what the remakes creators want, regardless of whether they succeed.