It was 2008 and a friend had lent me his PS3 to test this new generation. Just a game in the library, the promising Dead Space that looked like a real scandal. What Visceral Games achieved marked me forever and left the experience lived in the horror game in the absolute Olympus of my horror games. USG Ishimura.
Now, 15 years later, it’s time to walk the damn halls with Isaac Clarke again. EA Motive set out to improve and apply a coat of paint to one of the great references of survival horror. Was necessary? Of course not, but here we are to see if the changes to the necromorphs and company have been worth it.
A new generation horror
If you are one of those who know each other inside out the Dead Space original, you will notice the changes in the remake from the first moment. The best example of this is the entire first chapter, where we will see to what extent the development team has been able to fine-tune with the title. The Kellion ship’s approach to the space station now features an increased amount of dialogue, with Isaac uttering more words than in the entire original game.
It is a moment that is used to introduce concepts that will evolve at the plot level throughout the title, with Clarke commenting that he wants to see his girlfriend Nicole or planting the seed that the relationship between Hammond and Kendra Daniels is going to be quite tense. Do you remember the two pilots who died at the beginning? Here they come to have names and although their importance is not excessively relevant, the work team has decided to give them more space to express themselves.
Where there was a first-aid kit in the Kellion’s cabin, we now find a document that shows a profile of Isaac recounting his past and introducing the concept of Unitology from the beginning. Small nuances that are repeated throughout the remakewhich add depth and allow us to continue feeling that we are playing Dead Space created by Glen Schofield.
As we well know, the work is designed for the new generation, that is, PS5, Xbox Series X / S and PC. A next-gen project that is justified in every frame we see. Isaac, Hammond, Kendra, the Kellion, the Ishimura… everything is at a spectacular level thanks to the use of EA’s Frostbite engine and it flexes when we’re in zero gravity. The protagonist’s legendary spacesuit glows metallic, is drenched in blood everywhere, and engulfed in nitrogen. Isaac’s face has changed slightly, although Gunner Wright is still behind his voice, not only in the original version, but also in the Spanish one.
Great job regarding dubbing into Spanish, since the entire cast from 15 years ago has returned -with the exception of Hammond- and they once again offer a sound repertoire to match. Details that add variety, but it’s not that they break your head either, until you start exploring the Ishimura. After building the plasma cutter, not picking it up, those with the coolest Dead Space original will begin to realize.
And it is that the rooms, routes and doors that we can go through are different. I’m not talking about huge and unrecognizable modifications, but slightly alternative versions of the ones we already knew. If in the original we were in a room with two doors, now there will be a third where we will find ammunition, credits or some other sound/textual record. What would be on the other side of the monorail or in that corridor above us? We will continue to walk through all those places that we keep on fire in our minds, but it has still managed to make them feel fresh for the veteran player.
The Ishimura cruises, you tremble
Without leaving the first chapter, we have the perfect mirror with which we can see how the years have passed. On deck 1 of the monorail we will have to power a door, but instead of using the classic battery -which still exists- now it is time to change circuit breakers to redirect the electricity. Therefore, we will run out of lights on the whole stageideal situation to make the way back.
And here is that feeling that had not gone through my body for a long time and I was happy to see that the remake de Dead Space succeeds perfectly: I was completely screwed up. When the game goes dark, you don’t see one to three necromorphs on a donkey. There are hardly any dim emergency lights to covertly mark the path, so it will be time to go with your weapon raised to see what we have in front of us. Obviously, the ambush of necromorphs is not long in coming.
These happy and recognizable enemies are exactly the same ones that Visceral Games created, although with a noticeable difference. The dismemberment system devised by EA Motive is not striking because of how the limbs break, which is also, but because of how the rotting skin of necromorphs is shed. It is very easy to expose the bone of their bodies with shots that do not break the arms or legs, which can lead to nightmarish situations. Imagine using the flamethrower on one, which will burn their skin, it falls off in pieces and you have a nice skeleton with blades coming at you. There are no new creatures, but they are still the same scary.
Because yes, the Ishimura is very, very dark. Not to the point where it’s annoying, but it does go along the lines that the tension is heightened by it. The lighting, the vapors or the sparks are elements that also look scandalous and provide this metallic, worn and mechanical touch to a device that floats inert in space. Isaac speaks yes, but we will also listen to his body in the silence of the ship.
The one known as EA Motive’s ALIVE system It is as simple as it is effective, especially if we play on PS5 with a DualSense in our hands. If we run, Isaac will pant insistently; if we face dangerous situations, the heart will begin to pump at an accelerated rate; If we are in a space without oxygen, his footsteps will rumble. All this is transmitted through the headphones and is felt with the controller that we have had to play, which presents phenomenal haptic feedback and resistance on the triggers when shooting. The game knows perfectly well when to make the music boom, a ventilation duct burst suddenly, or let us see in the background the horror that awaits us.
Once again, Isaac is recognizable, but he is not exactly the same as we remember. In it Dead Space Originally his body felt heavy, moving all that engineering armor as he ran. Here it is easier to make him turn, have greater control over his movements and we are talking about an improvement in the quality of life of the game that we also find in the sections of zero gravity.
Taking what Dead Space 2 did as a reference, we are done with jumping around rooms without gravity. By pressing L1+R1 the suit’s thrusters will be activated so that we can fly without limits and comfortably. This is especially useful in situations such as reaching the rescue ship Valor, redefining boss fights, and take a look at other sections that are now lived outside the Ishimura.
Relive your nightmares
Of all the statements offered by EA Motive since the announcement of the remake de Dead Space, there was one that particularly caught my attention: we will be able to return to other already visited stations of the Ishimura. If you remember what happened in the original, the sense was only linear, with no other option than to go forward to end the blissful plague of necromorphs. That has changed.
The monorail is now at our disposal if we want to go from the Medical Deck to the Command Bridge, passing through the Hydroponic System. What good is backtracking for us? As we go through each place, we will see that there are some new doors, lockers and boxes, but all of them are closed. Instead of the typical “locked” word, a number from 1 to 7 appears that forces us to carry a pass of that level in order to open them.
Thus, there are always reasons to return to explore, to find out what is inside that room that is so guarded. If it seems little to you, take note because there is more. If we advanced to the chapter in 2008, we would leave any important object that was in that area. It is not that it was a very big loss, since there were no secondary objectives, but in the remake yes.
There was talk of a secondary mission focused on Nicole and her experiences, but it is not the only thing. We’ll see more about what exactly Dr. Brennan was up to since the plague began to spread and we’ll have to get the DRI of various crew members, for example. As the name itself indicates, they are missions that we can do or not, but that will reward us with more context about what happened.
Regarding weapons, they are the same as we remember. We’re actually talking about engineering tools, but the Shredder Saw, Line Gun, or Pulse Rifle are now scattered throughout the Ishimura. Isaac collects them and we can improve them through the nodes, although there are nuances. Not all slots will be accessible, but we will have to find different pieces of improvements. They are distributed throughout the different spaces of the space station, which once again encourages us to walk through the corridors already visited. In addition, some of them have alternate shooting methods that were not present in the original work.
Even considering their potential, they are not the only way to defend yourself. Using kinesis, we can get hold of sharp bars, necromorph blades or fire extinguishers that can well put enemies on a pain trip. On the other hand, if we find ourselves greatly outnumbered by the number of rivals, especially during quarantines and in the final chapters, we can pull the stabilizer module that slows down movement. All this as long as we do not take advantage of the flaming or electrical leaks that exist throughout the ship.
I am of the firm opinion that If you are going to return to the past, do it with a compelling reason. Of course we all want to see our favorite games of yesteryear completely revamped, but that’s a task anyone could do. I really appreciate that the studios in charge of making the remakes dare to vary the original concept.
Either in a radical way, like Tetsuya Nomura, or opting to improve, deepen and adjust the screws of a machine that was already well-oiled in its day. EA Motive has actively and passively insisted that the team is made up of fans of the Dead Space original and that has been noticed in the more than 10 hours of departure. The 2023 revision is the definitive edition of a must-have game on your bookshelves.
Being intelligent at the plot level, deciding firmly and with respect and collecting everything that was already done wonderfully in its day to expand it, the Dead Space remake is an outstanding in all its sections.
Dead Space PS5 | video games | Castilian
Platforms PS5 (reviewed version), Xbox Series and PC Multiplayer Non-Developer EA Motive Company EA Released January 27, 2023
The Frostbite suits the Ishimura wonderfully. He respects his past and masterfully expands on it. He’s still as scary as he was in 2008.
Any extra in the form of an enemy or weapon would not have been left over.
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