Everything comes back. Bell-bottoms, bare midriffs, mustaches, maybe even a perm soon. After a two-year break, events are now taking place again, in this case for a game that has also been there before – Dead Space! However, as the presentation points out right at the start, the return of Isaac Clarke is a remake, not a remaster. Means: Instead of giving old building blocks fresh paint, Dead Space for the year 2023 will be made from brand-new parts, and the Frostbite Engine will serve as the motor. We didn’t just see the result, we played it, for several hours from the beginning of the adventure to the end of the third chapter. What we have experienced? A lot of. What did we survive? Even more!
To Dead Space (buy now €67.99) To explain this, we have to go back to 2008. It wasn’t Demon’s Souls yet, Guitar Hero was a big thing, and pretty much everyone was playing GTA 4. While Resident Evil had just embarked on a path towards action (and is getting a remake soon), classic horror wasn’t a thing at the time An exception in the gaming landscape: an indexed Sega title, Alone in the Dark and Silent Hill made the blood freeze in the veins of players. Dead Space was still something special because it was new.
The setting on a huge spaceship was fresh, and the tool-based weapons felt just as fresh, most notably the iconic plasma cutter. And while there are supernatural psychological horror elements in the world of Dead Space, it is the Necromorphs who spread most of the terror on the seemingly abandoned ship USG Ishimura. These are the horribly disfigured corpses of former passengers, twisted, mutated and reduced to instinct-driven beasts that crawl through air vents, survive in a vacuum and, even while still maimed, try to rip Isaac to pieces. In addition to the hair-raising action, there are always quiet moments in which puzzles need to be solved. At least as calm as a moment can be, with the constant fear that a Necromorph could break out of the wall at any moment.
Dead Space delivered something players didn’t realize they wanted and needed for a long time: a sci-fi survival horror shooter. As great as the reviews were – and they were top-notch – the game’s success was modest. Nevertheless, Electronic Arts stayed tuned, Visceral Games (the studio was closed by EA in 2017) were allowed to program a sequel with Dead Space 2, which was released three years later and not only received critical acclaim, but also received more attention. Only: part 2 didn’t pay off either. It was followed by spin-offs, comics, novels and with Dead Space 3 the provisional death knell. Too action-packed, too far away from the roots, according to players and editors.
Original vs. Remake – Scene example
So now EA wants to go back to its old strengths, combined with a contemporary look and other slight improvements. Is the remake a reaction to Callisto Protocol, the spiritual successor to Dead Space, which is due out before Christmas 2022? In any case, the public first heard about the new, old Dead Space more than half a year after the announcement of the competitive game. But how long EA has really been working on the new version is not known.
If you played Dead Space in 2008, you’re probably asking the same question as we are: what should be improved about the original adventure? In fact, Dead Space has aged extremely well, which we were able to see for ourselves at the event, as it was also installed on the machine and ready to be reviewed. And it’s really the subtleties that only stand out in a direct comparison, apart from the much nicer graphics in the remake (the price for this is steep minimum requirements on the PC, by the way). So Isaac moved slower and more sluggishly back then, and the Necromorphs weren’t quite as quick on their feet – or stubs, depending on the species. Individual puzzles have been tweaked slightly, but the heritage remains intact, the remake isn’t a shoot-out like Halo, Call of Duty or, well, Dead Space 3.
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