Since it was first announced, EA Motive has had one ambitious promise for the upcoming Dead Space remake: that it will stay true to the original, while also being fully rebuilt from scratch in a new engine. A new blog on the topic has explained a little more about where the game has been expanded and modernized, and how Motive has tried to stay faithful to the original.
In terms of upgrades, one big difference is that the game will be playable as “one sequential shot,” as described by senior producer Philippe Ducharme. “From the moment you start the game to the moment you end the game, there are no camera cuts or load screens–unless you die. The Ishimura is now fully interconnected, so you can walk from Point A to Point Z, visit the entire ship, and revisit locations… It’s now a completely unbroken experience.”
While many remakes focus on technical upgrades, Motive’s Dead Space will also be making changes to the story, updating and extending the lore of the original game to accomodate for details and characters added later in Dead Space 2, 3, and the comic books. Isaac becoming a voiced character is one of the major changes we can expect, but the developers have also promised more narrative side quests, and bigger roles for certain characters.
“Some characters who were a bit more secondary, who only appeared in audio logs, like Dr. Cross–we gave them some actual screen time,” explains creative director Roman Campos-Oriola. “And we wanted to give a bit more background and agency to some of the characters from the cast, like Nicole. So we’re creating a whole layer of narrative side-quests that will allow you to see, for example, what happened to Nicole during the outbreak.”
With the remake being fully rebuilt in the Frostbite engine, Motive have had to rebuild every asset from the ground up, promising serious technical improvements. One of the features that has seen big improvements according to the developers is navigating in zero gravity.
“There’s much more 360-degree freedom; now when you play Dead Space you feel like you’re in space,” said Campos-Oriola. “This also allows us to revisit some of the old content and create new ways to navigate, new paths, and new environments with new challenges.”
Motive also points out big technological improvements to lighting, volumetric effects, and to Dead Space’s novel dismemberment system.
Through all of the development process, Motive has continued to consult with a “Community Council” made up of some of the franchise’s most “diehard fans,” who have been allowed to see what the studio is working on and give their feedback. Motive has also been notably responsive to online feedback to development progress it has shared publicly, such as fan feedback on the audio treatment for some of the game’s most iconic weapons.
The Dead Space remake will release on January 27, 2023 on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.
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