Dead Space Remake: A Re-imagined Horror Classic

Dead Space is a sci-fi survival-horror game released in 2008 and became a cult classic among fans of the genre. The game follows Isaac Clarke, an engineer sent to repair the USG Ishimura. A massive mining ship that has gone silent in deep space.

Isaac soon discovers that the ship is infested with horrific Nechromorphs, which are reanimated corpses mutated into various forms. Isaac must use his engineering tools and skills to fight his way through the ship, while also dealing with his own psychological trauma and uncovering the dark secrets behind the Necromorph outbreak. Now, 15 years later, Dead Space has gotten a remake from EA’s Motive Studios, the developers behind Star Wars: Squadrons.


Remaking a Classic

The remake is not a simple graphical overhaul. It’s a complete rebuild of the original game from the levels to the weapons using the Frostbite engine. Developed by Dice this engine powers games like Battlefield and FIFA, so graphics were expected to be great to begin with. Motive heave really pushed the boundaries of creating atmosphere through great use of lighting and sound design. The lighting in this remake really sells the idea that you’re truly stuck in a derelict ship facing hoards of the undead. The remake aims to offer a deeper and more immersive experience, while staying faithful to the original game’s vision and story. So I wanted to take a look at all the major improvements made to the game by motive. See how much the game has changed and how much of the old has remained

Atmosphere and Graphics

The remake features jaw-dropping visual fidelity, with enhanced textures, animations, lighting and shadows. The game also supports ray tracing and 3D audio, creating a more realistic and atmospheric environment. The shadows are darker the steam from leaked pipes creates an eerie feel. With the new randomized 3D audio system you’re always second guessing what you heard. The Ishimura looks more detailed and lived-in, with signs of wear and tear, graffiti, blood stains and debris. The Necromorphs also look more gruesome and terrifying, with improved AI and behavior and a new layered system of dismemberment. They will react to Isaac’s attacks in different ways, depending on where he hits them and what tools he uses.

The Nechromorphs

By far the most prominent and standout feature of the entire Dead Space franchise. The Nechromorphs have gotten a significant overhaul in the Dead Space remake. The new 3D audio randomly plays the screams and sounds of these undead creatures as you explore the dark corridors of the Ishumura. Which gives you a good jump scare and keeps you on you’re walking the seemingly empty halls. Also the new layered dismemberment system is truly gruesome. If you’ve played the older games you know that unlike zombies, Nechromorghs are impervious to headshots. So you aim for the limbs to do significant damage. In the remake Motive have introduced a new peeling system in which each subsequent shot from you’re weapon slowly peels away the flesh and skin from the enemy as you watch in awe in all of its grotesqueness.

Level Design

The remake the Ishumura feels far more connected and much more like an actual ship. In the first title the tram system only acted like a loading screen moving Issac between the different areas of the ship. In the Dead Space remake the tram system is an actual tram system at the center of the ship that takes you back and forth between levels. Yes, there is also back tracking in the remake because new optional missions and rooms have been added. Some you can only access after you’ve obtained specific clearance. The tram plays a role to take you back to these older areas.


The remake feature some new narrative additions that were not present in the original game. For example, Isaac has a voice actor for the remake, giving him more personality and expression. The game also explores more of Isaac’s backstory and relationship with his girlfriend Nicole, who was aboard the Ishimura before the disaster. In the old game Nicole was more of a background character. The remake gives her a lot more dialogue and narrative involvement. The game will also have some new areas and rooms that were not accessible in the original game, as well as some new story elements that will connect to the rest of the series.

The Dead Space remake released on January 27th 2023 for PC (Steam), PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S. It was one of the most anticipated games of next year. It promised to revive one of the most beloved horror franchises of all time and the fans including me were not disappointed. The game achieves what it set out to do modernize a classic while keeping its soul intact. for many it has become the definitive first Dead Space and its hard to disagree.

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