After weeks of rumors that EA and Motive would spearhead a Dead Space remake, we finally got confirmation during the 2021 EA Play Live event. While we didn’t see much, it was more than enough for Dead Space fans to pump their fists in the air and get excited. To many, it was the candle in a dark room as EA had originally killed off the team behind the Dead Space series, Visceral Games series. Now, years later, EA and Motive (Star Wars Squadrons) would return to the USG Ishimura, with our reluctant hero, Isaac Clarke, along for the ride.
As a massive fan of Dead Space, I’m excited yet skeptical of it all, and I have a few concerns/talking points regarding the remake.
Why is EA working on this remake all of a sudden?
That’s a great question, and it’s one I’ve been asking myself. EA has had possession of the Dead Space IP since day one, and it’s been roughly four years since Visceral Games went defunct. So, why now of all times? Honestly, and this is just my speculation, but EA has seen how well Capcom’s Resident Evil 2 and 3 remakes have done. Both of which went on to make Capcom some serious dough, and I bet you someone over at EA took notice of this and likely said, “Hey, we got a fantastic IP that fans have been asking us to do something with.” Hence the Dead Space remake is now confirmed to be in development.
It also didn’t hurt that Glen Schofield started this studio, Striking Distance, and announced that he was working on a spiritual successor to Dead Space called The Callisto Protocol. You may have heard me talking about that game a few times already. I also wrote a piece that analyzed the Dead Space references I found in The Callisto Protocol’s announcement trailer. I fully believe that if The Callisto Protocol had never been announced, we would have been waiting much longer on the Dead Space remake.
Give me those visual upgrades!
Given that all of the Dead Space games were developed and released during the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, it’s amazing that those games still stand the test of time. The gameplay is still top-notch, the music still beats the pants off of most horror survival games, the atmosphere still makes people crap in their pants, and the visuals still look good. However, if we’ve learned, one thing is that upgraded visuals can do fantastic things for games. Both of the Resident Evil remakes look amazing, but damn, if Demon’s Souls doesn’t take the cake, it’s so damned beautiful, and it puts the original game to shame. It’s not just the visuals that I feel can benefit from the visual upgrade, but also the frame rate.
All three games are stuck at 30 frames per second, even on the PC. Yes, I’m aware you can disable V-Sync on the PC version and unlock the framerate, but that also causes other issues, and there’s the tearing, and I’m not about that. Let’s face facts; Visceral Games may have wanted to do more but was limited with the available technology and means of that decade. Now, look at where we are; amazing gaming consoles that were nothing more than dreams a few years ago. Just imagine what Visceral Games could have done if they had access to this technology. And this is why I’m excited about the Dead Space remake. I’m already envisioning playing the Dead Space remake at a silky smooth 60 frames per second, or even more. Not to mention at a 1440p/4K resolution with upgraded visuals. So yes, this remake is a good thing, as least in terms of taking advantage of the newer technology that the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X can afford — yes, and the PC. You know I can’t leave the PC hanging.
Dead Space had some of the most original and amazing-looking baddies of all time. Can you just imagine how they’ll look in enhanced visuals? ‘m already drooling….. excuse me.
Make it accessible for all.
The original Dead Space games weren’t good in terms of accessibility. Mainly because the conversations that we’re having in this day and age didn’t happen then. Now, we’re considering that all gamers, those both able and those who have handicaps, should be able to enjoy games. That’s important and hopefully something that will be considered with this remake.
But aren’t you worried about changes to the game?
With any remake or reboot of a game or movie you hold near and dear, you always worry about possible changes. We saw this in the Resident Evil 2 remake, as the tank controls were changed. We saw this with the Demon’s Souls remake with the simplified HUD, added ceramic coins, and graphical changes. It wasn’t like those remakes had drastic changes such as removing certain levels, additional enemies that weren’t in the original games, or gameplay changes. However, these changes were for the betterment of the games, and despite purists not being happy with those changes, the games mentioned ultimately benefitted from the changes. Everything that made those games so amazing in the first place was intact, and with the Dead Space remake, I expect more of the same. Yes, I was initially frustrated that EA was spearheading the Dead Space remake. Especially after the bungles that were Mass Effect Androdema and Anthem; however, with Motive involved, I have faith.
Ironically enough, I tweeted out my thoughts about this and wondered what Glen Schofield thought about the remake. To my surprise, he was excited to see what EA Motive was going to do with the series.
I'd love to know what Glen Schofield thinks about Dead Space getting a remake. #deadspace.
— Keith “Shadowhaxor” Mitchell (@Shadowhaxor) July 22, 2021
“Directing the original Dead Space was one of the highlights of my career. Excited to see what the EA @MotiveStudio team does with it!”
— Glen A. Schofield (@GlenSchofield) July 22, 2021
Glen wasn’t the only one to show their excitement and appreciation either. A co-worker and another person who worked on the original Dead Space series, Steve Papoutsis, also showed some love to EA Motive and the Dead Space remake.
Congrats to the team at EA @MotiveStudio on their Dead Space announcement. I hope you have as much fun working on this title as I did, and look forward to playing it at launch.
— Steve Papoutsis (@leveluptime) July 22, 2021
When the people responsible for making one of my favorite gaming series aren’t worried, this fills me with confidence that the game is in good hands. Of course, things could go crazy wrong, which could end up being the worst remake ever known to humankind. Or, it could end up being so damned great that EA could greenlight the fourth game of the series. It could go both ways, but I’m praying that it does the latter. And if you’re a fan of either Dead Space or great games, you should as well.
Still, despite it all, there’s one bit that does frighten me a little, and it’s the bit of “Improved story.” What do you mean, improved story? Dead Space already has an amazing story; there’s no reason to change any of it. That would be, of course, unless there were things left on the cutting room floor that were dropped. But if that was the case, where they dropped because it changed things, or perhaps there wasn’t enough time to incorporate them? Of course, we don’t know how they intend to change it, but I’d be lying if I said that doesn’t concern me. I’d love to speak to EA Motive about the changes they’re planning on making; if they’d speak to me, that is.
Then there’s the little concern about microtransactions, which has already been handled. We all know EA is notorious for putting microtransactions in most of its games, including Dead Space 3, and was one of the reasons why fans of the series hated the game. For now, at least, they won’t appear in Dead Space. According to Phil Ducharme (IGN), the senior producer of the Dead Space remake, the EA Motive team developing the remake was learning from some of the franchise’s past missteps and is ensuring the remake won’t look for ways to goose extra money out of players. That’s a huge relief, if anything.
It’s not that I’m opposed to changes because I’m not. I am opposed to changes that are added simply because they can be, not because they do something to enhance the game. Again, I point towards the weapon schematics and the co-op gameplay added in Dead Space 3, both of which did nothing in my mind to improve upon what was established in the first two games.
As more news gets released regarding the Dead Space remake, I’ll be around to cover every nook and cranny because I love the series. Until the game gets released, I’ll remain excited yet skeptical until the game is in my hands.
EA Motive’s Dead Space remake has no release date yet, but we’re hopeful we’ll see it sometime in 2022.