Finally, after almost a decade of radio silence, EA announced that Dead Space would be making a return. At the EA Play’s Live event, all the big upcoming EA titles and updates were shown, like Battlefield and the next Apex legend, but it wasn’t until the final minutes of the presentation that things got juicy.
We are shown a glimpse of some familiar-looking hallways caked in blood and bits while a woman slowly sings “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” A shadowy form with long sharp appendages can be heard eating just out of the light’s reach. Then the glimpse of Isaac standing with his back to the camera as he fills up his RIG’s health bar; the iconic words “cut off the limbs” etched into the wall next to him. Then it simply a cut to the title card.
EA hasn’t given us much more information besides that. It will be running on the Frostbite engine and will be developed by Motive Studios, who are the same people who made Star Wars Battlefront 2 and Star Wars Squadrons. While I have mixed feelings about those games, Motive already has a gameplay blueprint to follow with Dead Space, so their main concern is making it look and sound just as eerie as it did in 2008. In that regard, I have high hopes because, for all its faults, Star Wars Battlefront 2 is a beautiful-looking game and stays true to the Star Wars aesthetic.
Having recently played Dead Space, I didn’t think it looked too bad for being nearly 13 years old. The character models are rough, that’s for sure, and some of the textures and lighting could be improved. But it isn’t like the original is unplayably ugly. However, I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth because a remake gives me another reason to play through my favorite horror survival game again on new hardware.
I am curious how they will tackle the audio design. The sound of Dead Space is crucial to its overall feeling and initial success. The sounds help to cement the player on the Ishimura, and I worry that if a new team is trying to make everything sound more realistic or new, they might trample on some of the audio cues, ambient noises, and sound effects that made me play with the lights on back in 2008.
Given that we have such little information beyond this, it is hard to speculate much more, but I feel confident that this bodes well for the franchise’s future. Crash Bandicoot received a nice shiny remake, and that lead to it finally getting a new game after decades of being dormant. Now Dead Space has the opportunity to prove that it’s still relevant. Plus, it’ll be great for all the people who missed out when it originally came out.
Remakes come in all shapes and sizes, from collections like Spyro Reignited Trilogy to interesting gimmicks like Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, which allowed players to use old and new graphics during playthroughs. I don’t personally want a ton done to the gameplay, but it would be cool for extra features like developer interviews, behind-the-scenes stuff, and new Easter eggs would also be cool.
Give us even more of a reason to explore the blood-curdling halls of the Ishimura again. New collectibles, whatever style they may come in, would be huge for people like me who have played the first game dozens of times. They might even help other people become more involved in the series.
Hopefully, we don’t have to wait too long for more information regarding this remake or its release. When I first heard the rumors during E3 that Dead Space might be announced in July, I hoped it would release during October 2021. However, without a date in this trailer, I feel less confident in a 2021 release.
Then again, other games like Halo Infinite are supposed to come out in 2021 and still don’t have release dates, so I guess there’s still a tiny chance. We will just have to wait and see what horrors Motive Studios have cooked up for us.