First rumored early in 2021, Electronic Arts (EA) officially announced a Dead Space remake during EA Play Live 2021. This isn't going to be a one-to-one recreation of the original game but fans of the iconic horror franchise should be hopeful, given what we've seen so far. The original is an absolutely beloved game, so there's a chance this remake could end up being one of the best Xbox games available.
The original Dead Space trilogy was created by Visceral Games. While Visceral was shut down in 2017, a new developer has stepped up to take players back to a world of nightmarish creatures and severed limbs. Here's everything we know about the Dead Space remake.
What is Dead Space remake?
The Dead Space remake is a retelling of the original Dead Space, which was released in 2008 for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. This third-person survival-horror game takes place in the year 2508 and stars engineer Isaac Clarke, who is part of a crew assigned to help get the USG Ishimura up and running again. Clarke is also working to find his girlfriend, Nicole. On the Ishimura, Clarke encounters the horrific threat of Necromorphs, infected corpses mutated into monsters that can only be killed by being cut to pieces.
While Dead Space, Dead Space 2, and Dead Space 3 were all developed by Visceral Games, that studio closed in 2017. Some of the original team, including the studio's co-founder Glen Schofield, are working on a spiritual successor called The Callisto Protocol, which is set in the PUBG universe.
This remake is being developed by Motive Studios, a studio at EA that has worked in a support capacity on numerous games and also developed the 2020 dogfighting game, Star Wars: Squadrons.
"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," said Phillippe Ducharme, Senior Producer of Dead Space. "We have a passionate team at Motive who are 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. 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."
Motive Studios has talked extensively about treating this remake with "care and respect," and there are even some staff who worked on the original Dead Space trilogy, such as Art Director Mike Yazijian, who was part of the team on the 2011 title Dead Space 2.
"I actually found my old notebooks from Dead Space 2!" Yazijian says. "So that really comes in handy, seeing all the notes from the sequel, everything the Visceral team had shared with us as we were making the game with them. We've got concept art, visual guidelines, source materials, notes on the conversations we had with them, the knowledge that they gained — it's all here. It's all going into this game."
The game is being directed by Eric Baptizat, who formerly worked at Ubisoft as game director on Assassin's Creed Valhalla. Before that, Baptizat worked on other entries in the Assassin's Creed franchse like Origins and Black Flag.
Dead Space remake trailers
You can check out the teaser trailer from EA Play Live 2021 below. It's a little sparse in terms of content, but it at least confirms the rumors.
What is changing in the Dead Space remake?
Speaking with IGN, Motive Studios makes it clear that this is a remake, meaning nothing is being simply carried over from the original game but instead, everything is completely rebuilt from the ground up. "Then in terms of visuals, sound, gameplay, everything, we are rebuilding all of these assets. We are not porting them, it's not uprezzing the texture or adding more polygons to the model. It's really rebuilding all these elements, shooting all the animations, et cetera."
The remake is being developed using the Frostbite engine, which combined with the focus on current-generation hardware, allows for much higher-quality visuals to be pushed while maintaining the aesthetic Dead Space is known for.
Moving into gameplay and story elements, Motive indicates that the game could draw on things found later in the franchise, such as how Dead Space 2 improved zero-gravity sections by allowing the player to fly around instead of jumping from one point to the next. The diegetic interface that shows player health, menus, and more as a natural part of the world is a keystone of the franchise, as is dismemberment. Motive has implied that both of these features will be improved, though to what extent remains unclear for now.
There will also be new accessibility options that weren't available in the original game, with Creative Director Roman Campos-Oriola saying that "Something that is also really important for us that was not there 12 years ago... is all those options or different ways to play the game if you need it. All those elements of accessibility will definitely be something important for us in terms of opening the Dead Space experience to a broader set of people that didn't necessarily have the opportunity or could play the game when it came out."
Much like other EA titles currently in development, the team is taking feedback from major fans of the Dead Space franchise, in order to make sure the developers aren't "siloed" and making something fans don't want.
"When you are talking about an IP with such a strong fanbase, it's particularly important we incorporate their voices. The community has such a strong understanding of the story and the characters, and the experience they want to have," EA Chief Studios Officer Laura Miele said. "Another great example in addition to Command and Conquer and Skate was Mass Effect Legendary Edition. We took the time to act on the community feedback. That was an investment in service of our players- making sure we were making the game they wanted to play."
Will the Dead Space remake have microtransactions?
Motive Studios has confirmed that there will not be any microtransactions in the game. The presence of microtransactions in Dead Space 3 was heavily criticized, by both critics and players alike. EA has also been criticized in the past for its use of microtransactions and loot boxes in more recent games like Star Wars Battlefront 2 so to see the move away from them is a big step in the right direction.
Will Dead Space remake have multiplayer or co-op?
As far as we're aware, the Dead Space remake won't have any multiplayer or co-op functionality. Technically, this hasn't been confirmed yet but considering how Motive Studios is trying to take a faithful approach in recreating this game, we'd be very surprised if multiplayer or co-op were in the game, as this kind of change would radically alter how Dead Space works.
With that said, Dead Space 3 did feature co-op, and Motive Studios has explained that the team is looking to Dead Space media outside of the original game to look for gameplay improvements.
What platforms is Dead Space remake coming to?
The Dead Space remake is being developed exclusively for current-generation hardware, meaning it'll be available on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PC and PS5. As a result, the game will have NO loading screens whatsoever, thanks to the ultra-fast SSDs in these consoles and the fact the game isn't required to run on older, slower hard drives.
Will the Dead Space remake come to PS4 or Xbox One?
No, there won't be a version of the game built for older consoles. This allows the developers to have a higher baseline and take advantage of the latest hardware without having to hold back.
When is the Dead Space remake release date?
Right now, the Dead Space remake doesn't have a release date. The developers note that "development is still early" so it's unlikely the game will be available in 2021. A release date of sometime in 2022 is more plausible but the lingering effects of the global pandemic have altered much of game development, so we'll have to wait and see.
Jeff Grubb, a reporter at VentureBeat who initially leaked the existence of the Dead Space remake, indicates that the game is being aimed for a fall 2022 release window, assuming development goes smoothly. It's worth noting that game development is still currently affected by the ongoing interruptions of the pandemic, which could cause unforseen delays.
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