Dead Space Remake Review

About 15 years ago, Dead Space 08′ introduced an unsettling new view of the sci-if genre of survival horror. Visceral Games created grotesque monsters in a solitary space setting with the hopes of truly terrorizing the gamers of today and even beyond. Some might argue the game Dead Space 08 did not need any remake, in the same way, that it survived remarkably well and, do I dare say that I’m hoping to like the 2023 version just a bit more.

                 The Ishimura is completely revamped to appeal to the modern age. 

Make Us Whole

Re-stepping into the powerful armor that was Isaac Clarke, our protagonist is once more thrown into the abyss of hell on the Ishimura spaceship, a planet-cracker suspended over the bleak Aegis VII. Players are brought back to various characters which include Daniels, Hammond, and Mercer which is created to make them more intimidating than before. Dead Space 23 gives a more fleshed-out characters’ lore and gives each player a little more character. Daniels shows to be compassion and sympathy for Isaac’s desire to locate Nicole and Hammond’s grizzled military character becomes softer later on in the game, after having lost one of his valuable soldiers. Isaac himself has an accent that isn’t the silent emotional man we saw in the version of 2008. Gunner Wright reprises his role and does a fantastic job helping to build on Isaac significantly. Certain elements of the story have changed at times in ways that are logical such as those Wheezer injecting missions performed by Elizabeth Cross where you use Wheezers to make an enzyme that kills the Leviathan that is encroaching on Food Storage.

                                Mercer appears to be more dangerous at the moment. 

All Too Familiar

Dead Space 23 is a perfect recreation of the Ishimura and makes it appear like an enormous ship thanks to the innovative ways Motive has developed the tram and sequences for spacewalking. There are no loading screens while traversing the space of the ship, as each element of the journey is seamless and seamlessly connected. Trams are now rapid-travel options rather than a chapter-based progression system. The planet cracker creates a more frightening atmosphere, challenging players to make every move a careful one because anything could happen in the next turn. Dead Space 23′ makes use of an Intensity Director which controls the surroundings that surround the player. Retracing back to earlier rooms could be riskier with the new necromorphs appearing from vents, lights flickering, and voices that ensure the user is kept guessing as to what is coming the next time. Running back to a clearing-out zone that is considered safe may be overwhelming again if you happen to be less cautious about what could happen.

                                                Could this be a bit excessive?

Cut Off Their Limbs

Necromorphs aside, the developers at Motive have improved the look of each monster, allowing some terrifying portrayals. They have also added the Frostbite engine totally transformed the appearance of the various enemies, especially the common slasher. They are aggressive, snarling, and abrasively mindless creatures. Many varieties of slashers are able to be seen in various uniforms offered by Ishimura and clearly portray them as former targets of the presence of the Marker. Inflicting damage on these creatures can transform them into dangling pieces of bone and flesh, an exciting new visual element that greatly improves the experience of fighting. Isaac could even cut their limbs, to the point where they can be ripped off with Kinesis. A motive has done an excellent job of capturing the real horror that these legendary monsters have infused into the minds of gamers and bringing back the nostalgic feeling of terror that we experienced when playing the original game for the first time.

                                                         This is what having COVID is like.

A Good Day to Be an Engineer

Dead Space is an action-packed franchise with unique weaponry, which was utilized as tools for mining and engineers in the universe. The plasma cutter is a classic that returns, which is that are used to cut out the arms of the Necromorph, with precise precision. The weapon’s design is an almost 1:1 replica of the original model, but with additional features that can be incorporated into it via The BENCH which is Dead Space‘s principal upgrade station. One example is that one upgrade path can result in damage to fire that is sustained by each shot, while a different option greatly increases the power that the weapon can handle. The plasma cutter comes back however, every weapon in that original title is now available however with only minor changes to certain weapons’ firing options. For example, the pulse rifle fires a proximity mine, instead of the incredibly FUBAR A-O attack of the original. It was once a straightforward burst of flame, the fire throwers’ secondary mode now produces walls of flames to block the path of approaching necros. It is said that if something isn’t broken and it’s not broken, don’t fix it and this is exactly what Motive has stuck to with this new remake.

Just As I Remembered You

Within the Ishimura game, the primary story is largely unchanged, with the exception of some gameplay events which help enhance the gameplay. For example, Dead Space 08′ had a painful turret area that required shooting asteroids down for a specified period of time before the system’s tracking system became automatic. It was extremely unwieldy and slow and also slowed the pace. Motive revamped the sections to allow Isaac to travel through space beyond the Ishimura and attach guns to turrets. This enabled him to focus and then tag an asteroid which could help the turret figure out what it required to shoot. Three turrets were required to finish the sequence, however, they just five or six asteroids per turret to trigger auto-targeting, which makes for a more enjoyable experience than the outdated methods used in the OG. Side missions have become a regular feature in the new version and add more stories to the game than ever before. Isaac is able to explore the depths of the ship in a way that was not possible previously, discovering hidden bits of history that had previously been unknown. Isaac can follow the holograms of Nicole’s journey with the outbreak on one of the missions and uncover the real story behind The hunter and Mercer’s greatest research in another.

Final Thoughts

Dead Space has truly had one of the most faithful remakes I’ve seen and is on par with similar games like Demon’s Souls and Resident Evil 2. Setting the bar for future games Motive has created a masterpiece in telling a story that’s been around for 15 years by making it look new and fresh, making new avenues to future possibilities. Apart from the technical issues such as slight frame-rate drops and occasional crashes, Dead Space is an absolute masterpiece.

Developer: Motive Studio

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X/S, Windows PC

Release Date: 27th January 2023

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