Rumors surrounding some form of a revival for the Dead Space franchise were bubbling for a while, with speculation of a remake, Dead Space 4, being tossed around by various sources. This beloved horror series started way back in 2008 with the original game and only got two sequels before EA famously closed down the development studio Visceral Games. Despite how poorly received the third game was, that hasn’t stopped people from wishing the series could return in the style of those first two entries.
EA Play Live 2021 gave us a ton of announcements for upcoming titles to look forward to and finally put all the rumors and speculation to bed. Developer Motive will be taking on the responsibilities of remaking the original Dead Space. We only got the briefest of looks at this remake, but plenty of more details were shared beyond what the small teaser trailer showed. There are still some details shrouded in mystery, but here’s everything we know about the Dead Space remake.
The most disappointing bit of information missing from this announcement was a release date. The trailer itself didn’t even have any gameplay to show (more on that below) and showed work-in-progress footage. All that said, we can only take our best guess as to when the Dead Space remake will come out, and it likely won’t be very soon. Unlike remasters, full-on remakes take just about as long as a new game to create. Considering that, the best timeframe we can for to get back into our engineering suits and creep down the halls of the USG Ishimura is sometime in the fall of 2022, but possibly later.
All of the platforms that the Dead Space remake will be coming to were listed by EA along with the announcement. The game will come exclusively on current-gen hardware, that being the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. Leaving out the PS4 and Xbox one also hints that this game is still a far way off from being done.
This tiny teaser is all the footage we’ve got for the Dead Space remake. For anyone who played the original, nothing in it will be all that shocking or surprising. We get some industrial sounds followed by a beautifully realized look at the broken and bloody hallways of the USG Ishimura, with the faint singing of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, a callback to a trailer for the first game, and a shadow look at a necromorph. We end with a shot of our protagonist, Isaac, whose health bar on his back refills as he stands up in front of the “cut off their limbs” message scrawled in blood on the wall.
As far as how Motive intends to adapt the game, senior producer Phillippe Ducharme had a few choice quotes. “The Dead Space franchise made a huge impact on the survival horror genre when it was released 12 years ago, and I came to Motive as a fan first to specifically work on this game. We have a passionate team at Motive [that is] approaching this remake as a love letter to the franchise. Going back to the original and having the opportunity to do so on next-gen consoles excited everyone on the team.”
We also got a vague statement that the game will feature an “improved” story and characters. What “improved” means, in this case, remains to be seen, but perhaps this remake will serve as a new jumping-off point for the series to continue with new sequels. One thing that was confirmed via the latest livestream, where Motive showed off a bit more of the game, was the fact that Isaac will have a speaking role in this remake. Gunnar Wright, who voiced Isaac in Dead Space 2 and Dead Space 3, will reprise his role despite the character originally being silent. He even posted a little video announcing his return on the Dead Space Twitter account.
Two rules were outlined for how Isaac will speak to preserve the tone of the original. He will “primarily only speak when spoken to” and “sometimes speak in a situation where it would feel weird if he remained silent.”
Along with changes to the story, we also heard that the gameplay mechanics will see some changes as well, although no details here were given either. Ducharme stated, “As we look to modernize the game, we’ve reached out to dedicated fans and invited them to provide us with feedback since the early stages of production to deliver the Dead Space game they want and for new players to enjoy as well.”
While it is somewhat concerning to hear that the gameplay will be undergoing changes, the fact that they’re listening to old fans and new players does give some hope that nothing that made the original game such a masterpiece will be lost. The iconic dismemberment system was shown off, now running in the Frostbite engine, and it works just like it did before, only now, it’s even more gruesome, thanks to a new “peeling” process the developers have implemented. What this means is that every shot will result in visible chunks of the enemy’s flesh and skin being peeled off.
We also believe the immersive HUD will see a return as well, just based on the teaser showing Isaac’s health and stasis meters on his back. Dead Space was ahead of its time for never actually giving you a break from the horror by incorporating your inventory, map, health, and ammo into the game. You could pause the game, of course, but not for switching weapons or healing. You were always at risk when doing that.
Both Dead Space 2 and Dead Space 3 forced multiplayer into the game, the latter far worse than the former. Considering this is one of the main reasons gamers give for why the third game killed the series, we have to assume Motive is aware of this landmine and will completely avoid it. We don’t want any tacked-on competitive modes, and we really don’t want co-op. Just give us a solid, isolating, and terrifying single-player experience like the first game, and this game will do just fine.
This is where the Dead Space remake and Motive could actually stretch creativity a bit. If we’re right in thinking this game could be a potential reboot for the series to come back, some original DLC that expands on the ending to lead into a new sequel could work great. Anything else, assuming we get our wish and there’s no multiplayer component, just wouldn’t sit well. Again, Dead Space 3 really poisoned the well by having too many microtransactions forced in, and the last thing we want is to see some new DLC-exclusive guns or suits in our single-player experience.
Thankfully, Motive have gone out of their way to confirm that this remake will not feature microtransactions of any kind.
As usual, until EA and Motive come out with a firm release date, no pre-orders will go up. We expect to have a good long wait before we see more of this game, but whenever the pre-orders go live, however many versions of them EA wants to make, we’ll update this post so you can figure out which version you want and where to get it.