The Dead Space Remake brings back the classic Dead Space game from 2008 but is completely rebuilt with new features, visuals, audio, and gameplay improvements. The new developers, Motive, recognized the importance of the original game and tried to stay as faithful to its vision as possible. As a result, the story essentially remains the same, with the most significant changes they made to item locations and puzzles to fit their newly added features. You might be hesitant to purchase yet another expensive remake because you feel you will be let down, and it will ruin all of those glorious memories of when you played the game 15 years ago. Trust me, I was the same, but let me tell you, I was pleasantly surprised, and you will be too.
Aboard the USG Ishimura
Dead Space Remake is set aboard the USG Ishimura, a massive mining ship classified as a planet cracker. The ship is 5,300 feet and 1,550 feet tall and features nine decks with seven subsections. It was home to 1332 crew members before the Necromorph infection, where it served as both a mining vessel and medical research and development vessel while orbiting Aegis VII.
I provided the above facts about the Ishimura to give you an idea of how massive it is and why it provides a perfect space for the Dead Space game to take place in. From the Medical Deck to the Hydroponics Deck to the Tram Station, you will experience what it is like to be aboard a space station in astonishing detail that will hit all your senses. But, of course, the Ishimura is not just a space station but an infested space station, which is every sci-fi lover’s dream and nightmare. So what would you do if you were in Ellen Ripley’s shoes?
No sci-fi game would be complete without experiencing space, and you will get to see this firsthand with the damaged parts of the Ishimura, letting in the void that is space to make your journey that much more difficult. Navigate the difficulties of Zero-G and no-oxygen environments while solving puzzles and fighting Necromorphs.
Isaac Clarke and Crew
At the start of Dead Space Remake, we meet Isaac Clarke, voiced by Gunner Wright, and the rest of the USG Kellion crew: Corporal Aiden Chen, Corporal Johnston, Computer Specialist Kendra Daniels, and Senior Security Officer Zach Hammond. I enjoyed my reunion with the Kellion crew after 15 years and had to remind myself that they weren’t long for this world. When Chen met his untimely demise at the beginning of the game, I clasped my hand to my mouth in shock and awe because it was more brutal than I remembered.
As the game progresses, we meet the USG Ishimura crew through holographic recordings, voice logs, and text documents that unravel what happened to the USG Ishimura, its crew, and the colony on Aegis VII. So with these logs, we learn that Ishimura was more than just mining, and the crew members we meet show us two sides of the coin. The first is the poor unsuspecting crew members who were there to do their jobs. The second is those who knew the real reason for their journey and were trying to figure out the horrors that unfolded unknown to the rest of the crew.
The Necromorph Outbreak
Our story takes place in 2508, when Isaac Clarke and his fellow crew members on the USG Kellion were dispatched to the USG Ishimura, known as a planet cracker, for an emergency maintenance mission to find and repair the cause of the communications blackout. Unfortunately, Clarke and crew realize things aren’t right, as no one answers their initial hails. Once aboard the Ishimura, in spectacular fashion, if I might add, things quickly take a horrific turn. This is when they find the crew of the Ishimura is all slaughtered, and mysterious creatures called Necromorphs are roaming the massive mining ship. To make matters worse, Clarke’s partner, Dr. Nicole Brennan, has gone missing with the rest of the crew. Can Clarke survive the Necromorph infection and find Nicole while keeping his crumbling sanity intact?
I love this story. I loved it when the original game came out in 2008 and loved it with the Remake. The visual updates and 3D atmospheric audio allowed me to experience it repeatedly and did not disappoint. I played Dead Space Remake with my Steam Deck using headphones while laying in bed late at night with the lights off. This created an eerie atmosphere that got my heart racing and made me invested in Clarke’s survival during most parts of the game. This feeling is why I love horror games and feel Dead Space Remake successfully earned its immersive survival horror tag.
Classic Survival-Horror and Third-Person Shooting
Like most, my love for sci-fi horror comes from the movies Alien and Aliens. While they are two completely different movies, with Alien firmly rooted in the survival-horror genre and Aliens in the third-person shooter genre, I feel Dead Space Remake owns both genres and does it exceptionally well.
In parts of the game, I felt like Ripley on the Nostromo as I traversed the Ishimura while constantly watching out for Necromorphs from sneaking up on me in an ever-changing environment. Dead Space Remake includes a new AI-driven system called the Intensity Director, which comprises content organization, spawning, and a pacing control system. There are over 1200 unique events with a countless variety of combinations possible. This allows the game to adapt and change from room to room, which adds to the uneasy feeling of not knowing what you will encounter at any moment. This includes Necromorphs spawning in a wall vent, lights turning off, showers turning on, and fog making visibility difficult. The goal was to create peaks and valleys of tension and a unique playing experience for every player.
In other parts, I felt like the Colonial Marines from Aliens as I was going toe-to-toe with waves of Necromorphs using weapons, modules, and the environment to defeat them. While the Necromorphs were challenging to beat, I never felt underpowered because of the Remake’s better weapon upgrades and alt-fire modes. The combat was also satisfying because of the game’s new peeling system, which represents the damage you are causing to the Necromorphs when shooting them through the visual representation of meat chunks falling off them. This was an excellent feature because slicing off the limbs of Necromorphs is a massive part of combat, and it just adds to the realism and feeling of going up against them.
Remake vs Original
The burning question that you and most folks that haven’t bought Dead Space Remake are asking is how the Remake holds up to the Original and whether it is with the hefty price tag. Let me answer this question right away by giving you a resounding yes. My answer is yes. I’ve already discussed some reasons above, like the game has no loading screens, which add to the immersion, the Intensity Director, visual improvements and 3D sounds, improvements to the existing weapon, and upgrade systems. But, if that isn’t enough to get you to buy the game, additional features include New Game Plus and new side quests that delve deeper into the story. In addition, this alternate ending fits the game much better than the original, and the new traversal uses Zero-G. I can preach about the game all day, but I want you to experience it firsthand.
We are frustrated that the things we love are being ruined due to being rebooted or remade. Whether it is done poorly, taken from a bygone era, or made so different, it’s riding on the coattails of the original’s successes. We don’t like seeing our favorite things that aren’t up to our standards. When this happens, we scream at whoever will listen that they should never have been touched. It is then scarce for something to be better while still being faithful to the original, and we need to praise it when it happens. This is the case with Dead Space Remake because it is better than the original in every way.
The first time I died while playing Dead Space Remake on Impossible Mode, I couldn’t help but say Hudson’s iconic line from Aliens: “Game Over, Man! Game Over!” to myself as I started the game over. While watching the intro cutscene, I couldn’t help but snicker to myself because of it. When I beat the game on Impossible Mode, I breathed a sigh of relief and smiled, knowing I was about to have a ton of fun playing on New Game Plus with the game’s foam finger.
After watching the game’s alternate ending, I wanted a Dead Space 2 Remake because, in my book, Motive has proven that they can remake one of my most cherished games, and I want to experience the rest of the franchise as I did with Dead Space Remake. I know you will love this Remake just as much as I did.
- This article was updated on February 2nd, 2023