The Dead Space Remake has me Excited and Worried


2008 is arguably one of the best years gaming has had in recent memory. Many great games like Left 4 Dead, Fallout 3, Grand Theft Auto 4, Super Smash Bros. Brawl among many others came out during this year. And among them is arguably one of the most terrifying games ever made in Dead Space. Well, recently, publisher Electronic Arts (EA) has announced a remake for this sci-fi horror classic. And while I am an avid fan of this franchise, this remake has me both excited and nervous for its eventual release for several reasons.

Let me first start off by talking about the original game. It is a third-person, over-the-shoulder perspective, survival-horror game, taking much inspiration from games like Resident Evil and films like Alien, but with its own special twists that make these games truly unique. For one, things like health meters, ammo count, inventory, etc., are all not on the screen but are a part of the game itself, adding a huge level of immersion without having any clutter on the screen, not that stuff like that have bothered me anyway, but still incredibly cool nonetheless.

As for the game itself, you play as the mostly silent protagonist, Isaac Clarke, a ship engineer, and he and his crew of fellow engineers are responding to a distress signal from the USG Ishimura, a massive ship known as a planet cracker which were constructed in order to mine resources from other planets after Earth started running low of its own. Isaac’s girlfriend, Nicole, is also aboard the ship, and Isaac was looking forward to seeing her again. But things aren’t quite as welcoming on the Ishimura as Isaac expected.

Once you board the ship, you learn that it has been taken over by the terrifying Necromorphs, a species of alien that reanimates dead corpses and transforms said corpses into them, and can only be killed by cutting off their limbs. With half your team killed and everyone separated, your job is to try and fix as much of the ship as possible and reunite with your crew and Nicole in order to escape this giant, metal, deathtrap.




The original games were developed by Visceral Games, a studio owned by EA, and needless to say, this game really did take off during this generation of gaming. The success of Dead Space would eventually spawn two number sequels with varying takes in quality (the second was incredible, the third was just okay), a surprisingly amazing on-rails shooter in Dead Space: Extraction for the Wii and PS3, a pretty decent mobile part of the first game, two animated movies, and a very, very awful puzzle game in Dead Space: Ignition.


Visceral Games, however, weren’t meant to last. After Dead Space 3 in 2013, Visceral was sorta forced by EA to make games like the pretty solid Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel that same year and the incredibly underwhelming Battlefield Hardline in 2015. They were eventually shut down by EA in 2017, canceling a game they were working on in the process, an untitled Star Wars game under the codename “Project Ragtag”. With this, the Dead Space franchise was considered, pun intended, dead. That is until recently.


At E3 2021, it was revealed that EA and developer Motive Studios were working to make a remake for the original Dead Space. When I first heard this remake was in development, I was incredibly excited. At last, one of my favorite game franchises is getting put back in the spotlight. But as time went on and I started rewatching it, my worry started to grow. For starters, this is EA we’re talking about, a company that has been voted the worst company in America twice, and has had a massive slew of anti-consumer practices in the past.

As well as this, EA has also been known for having terrible work and crunch hours, as well shutting down many studios in the past, from Visceral Games to Black Box (made Skate and some Need For Speed games), Danger Close Games (made Medal of Honor), Maxis (made The Sims, SimCity, and Spore), Bullfrog Productions (made Populous and Magic Carpet), and Westwood Studios (made Command and Conquer) just to name a few.


Then there are the new developers, Motive Studios. They haven’t really been around for that long, only since 2015, and were founded within EA themselves. They’ve only worked on two games so far, in 2017 they worked as an assistant developer on Star Wars Battlefront II, which, while a really fun and incredible game nowadays, during its first year of existence was a microtransaction, loot box infected mess that was best described by Hawaii Rep. Chris Lee as “a Star Wars-themed online casino designed to lure children into an addictive cycle of gambling money”. The other game, Star Wars: Squadrons, which was released in 2020 and was an arcade-style combat game where you pilot and command a team of either X-Wings or Tie Fighters, and was received somewhat positive reviews, but was not really very enjoyable if you weren’t a massive fan of Star Wars.

And finally, the engine they are making the game on is none other than Frostbite. Originally created by another EA-owned developer, DICE, Frostbite has been in use since 2009 and has been used in many EA game franchises you may be familiar with such as Battlefield, Madden, FIFA, and Need For Speed. Now while it is impressive that this engine has persevered as much as it did, it has not aged well, at least in my opinion, with the last major game being last year’s very hyped and very horrible Battlefield 2042, which is still an incredibly buggy and unplayable mess by the way.

So yeah, Motive isn’t exactly the most experienced in the gaming industry yet, they are using a very aged engine to build the game with, and EA, though mostly clean and has not been entangled in any massive controversy recently, is still remembered for the massive slew of awful things they contributed to. Now, while all of what I just said has been a bunch of doom and gloom, that doesn’t mean hope should be lost for this game.

Motive has been pretty open about the development of the game. The developers have been posting regular updates and livestreams on the official Dead Space YouTube channel. The game seems to be progressing steadily, with graphics looking absolutely incredible and Isaac Clarke looking better than he has before. Now while I personally think the Dead Space games have aged rather well, it is still an improvement that I have to give Motive credit for. 

Sound design has also been highlighted as well, which gives Dead Space its atmosphere and terror that it is known for. They also made the, in my opinion, wise decision to delay the game from late 2022 to early 2023. Fingers crossed this remake doesn’t get canceled and that we, to quote the original Dead Space here, can “make us whole again”.