Dead Space Review

Dead Space Review

Dead Space Review

Imagine a haunted house attraction that you first visited fifteen years ago. The wallpaper is peeling, the paint is cracking, and the animatronic ghosts are flimsy and discolored.

Then imagine someone tearing it down and rebuilding it brick-by-brick. They plaster the walls, draw in scary ghouls, and add scary new pictures to the frames.

You come into the house with trepidation – how can it mimic intimidation and thrill you? But as long as you go, you can’t stop smiling.

That’s exactly what makes this year’s remake of Dead Space so exciting. It proves that a timeless game built on a solid foundation can feel as fresh in 2023 as in 2008 – for newcomers and fans alike.

Updated graphics via Frostbite engine

15 years of improvements and EA’s Frostbite engine allowed many visual improvements. Everything from the character models to the ships saw a dramatically updated look.

no more loading screens

Moving to current hardware also means that dead Space can ditch loading screens. Removing them keeps the story (and the anxiety) flowing more smoothly.
The characters (and characterization) are clear

The characters you know and love are unchanged – with one exception. There’s a new member in the crew of the Kellion. However, she mostly stays on the ship.

Updated graphics via Frostbite engine

15 years of improvements and EA’s Frostbite engine allowed many visual improvements. Everything from the character models to the ships saw a dramatically updated look.

The lighting in the game has also undergone a huge change. It’s much more atmospheric (and creepy) now with volumetric lighting. There’s also generally less light to go around – entire rooms will be almost completely dark, forcing you to rely on your weapon’s flashlight.

shock the system

Your journey begins and ends in outer Space — humans have run out of resources on Earth and now travel to the stars in search of more.

You play as Isaac Clarke, a systems engineer following a distress beacon sent by the USG Ishimura, a massive ship equipped with mining capabilities that break open planets to extract their minerals and ores.

Of course, things immediately go wrong. Your ship crashes in the Ishimura, your crew members are separated or killed, and you soon have to fight for your life through unspeakable horrors.

Corpses litter the floor, cryptic warnings written in blood cover the walls, and the few survivors have completely lost their minds.

So it is up to Isaac to find his girlfriend – trapped on the Ishimura – and escape. Throw in a mad scientist and hostile alien life, and you’ve got some of sci-fi horror’s most common tropes checked off.

But while it’s not exactly new, Dead Space still feels like a fitting tribute to the stories that came from it, from Event Horizon to Alien.

finding a new voice

The Isaac Clarke of 2008 was silent and fearless as he battled demons and madmen alike, his face always hidden by his helmet. Sure, he opened up in Dead Space 2 and 3, but Clarke’s initial silence contributed to the first game’s sense of mystery and alienation.

This time, developer Motive Studios tapped Gunner Wright, who portrayed Clark in the older sequel, to reprise the role.

His dialogue fleshes out some of the story and characters, but it doesn’t seem excessive – and he certainly isn’t as talkative as many contemporary heroes.

Aside from a few script changes, this Dead Space plays out like the first, with updated visuals and audio enhancing its engaging and terrifying atmosphere.

The game turns the frustrating 3D map of the original into a 2D map, making it much easier to see where you’re going. Other tweaks are measured comparatively.

Rip and tear

However, the fighting is still as brutal as it was before. Dead Space pits Isaac against hordes of Necromorphs: the mutated remains of the Ishimura’s crew.

Over time, the game will teach you how to use your ever-growing arsenal to combat different types of Necromorphs. Each gun has a primary and secondary attack to give you the flexibility to take down each wave of terrifying creatures.

Isaac gets some minor powers as well. Her Stasis ability slows enemies down, and her Kinesis module lets you throw objects like explosive canisters for massive AOE damage. Both are vital to survival, and switching between guns, stasis, and kinesis is — literally — a blast.

The controls all feel smooth too, but the Zero-G sections can get confusing when you’re trying to make it floor-to-ceiling with necromorphs flying from all angles. At the same time, that disorientation must be intentional; the refined combat mechanics more than makeup for any resulting irritation.

If not broken…

Even though the graphics and audio may have benefited from the remake treatment, most of the user interface and environment design needed no improvements.

Directly inspired by Resident Evil 4, Dead Space expanded on the over-the-shoulder camera and minimal HUD. Isaac’s health bar and stasis meter glow on his suit; They are not abstractions that only the player can see. He may also publish a route to the next objective to make all the backtracking less confusing.

But the underlying story of USG Ishimura makes it a legendary horror setting on par with Resident Evil 2’s police station or Resident Evil 1’s Spencer Mansion. You don’t need me to tell you what happened; you can see how chaotic and bloody the Necromorph takeover got by walking around the halls.

The ship rarely provides real sanctuary. Even in what appear to be “safe” rooms where loot is plentiful, you are always vulnerable to ambush. You will be on your toes for about twelve to fifteen hours.

As game remasters and remakes flood the market, developer Motive Studios sets itself apart by preserving an original masterpiece in all its dignity while still improving upon it with modern tune-ups. This haunted house is worth another visit.

Thanks for visiting US Map of State

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