Motive Studios have detailed some of the ways that their upcoming remake of classic sci-fi survival horror Dead Space will differ, just as new screenshots of the game have cropped up on an early Xbox Store listing. A blog post from the developers shares how they’re reworking the game’s setting of the USG Ishimura, along with bringing protagonist Isaac Clarke into line with Dead Spaces 2 and 3. They’re also finding time to flesh out the story with extra side quests.
Motive say that the core of Dead Space will remain the same, but among the changes coming to Dead Space is “re-injected” lore from the original’s sequels and the comics. Part of this has been giving Isaac a voice, just like in the later games. Some of the secondary characters are also being brought into the game more, in what Motive are calling “narrative side-quests”. Thanks to technology advancing since the original, Motive are now able to turn the Ishimura into a “fully interconnected” ship too.
“We’re also actually creating the entire game as one sequential shot,” says 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." You’ll be able to take Isaac all around the ship, going back to areas to scope out things he may have neglected. Blame the helmet.
All of this is Motive insisting there’s more to the Dead Space remake than just a straightforward technical and graphical overhaul for the 2020s, but they have put some effort into that too. Lighting and shadows are enhanced, and the Necromorph dismemberment is more detailed than before. You’ll be able to blast away down to their bones, peeling away their flesh. There’ll also be some soupy volumetric fog to get lost and nervous in.
The remake devs have set themselves the tricky job of “rebuilding the game from scratch and adding new content and modern enhancements into the mix—but never, ever betraying the original”. I think I understand what they mean, but it could be easy to lose fans by overreaching. Motive say they’ve tried to avoid this by engaging a group of Dead Space die-hards as consultants of sorts, meeting with them regularly and giving them “full access” to the development process.
Along with the extra info from Motive, three screenshots of the remake have emerged on a US Xbox Store page. The new images show Isaac exploring the USG Ishimura and facing off against a lone Necromorph enemy. It’s a substantially brighter picture of how Dead Space is being reimagined with EA’s Frostbite engine than the dark and moody screens currently up on Steam’s store page for the game.
We haven’t seen too much of Motive’s new take on Dead Space in action yet. While the developers have shared a few behind-the-scenes videos since the game’s existence was revealed at EA Play last year, the fresh screenshots give a much clearer impression of what this Dead Space revival will look like when it launches in 2023. I particularly like the look of the Necromorph, although Isaac’s zero-gee boots look very cool too.