Tonight's Dead Space remake stream made clear ahead of time that what EA Motive would be showing wasn't polished gameplay, but "an early prototype." And so it was. But if you're interested in where EA are taking the survival horror series, it's still worth a watch - particularly once they started showing the "dismemberment gym."
Here's an archive of the Twitch stream from Gamespot's YouTube channel:
"When we say, 'Cut off their limbs', we want you to experience every gory detail of dismembering iconic necromorphs," said one of the hosts. "Now we'll showcase our dismemberment gym. The dev team has created a peeling system that will be implemented into combat."
I am just wild about both "dismemberment gym" and "peeling system" as phrases. I hope these are bullet points on the back of the box.
What those phrases mean was that we got a chance to see in-development necromorph-slicing in a development environment. Effectively, a big, greybox testing level with switches to make static enemies appear that the developers could then use weapons on.
It was used to show dismemberment just like you remember it: lining up shots with Isaac's lasercutter, and blasting off limbs. Developers Philippe Ducharme and Roman Campos-Oriola also spoke about how they're making other parts of combat feel better than the original game, however. For example, weapons other than the cutter will now blow flesh off necromorphs and reveal the bone underneath, better showing the impact of your attacks and giving you weak spots to then slice at.
Dead Space still looks thoroughly like Dead Space, albeit with more detailed metallic walls and fancier lighting. There was no sign that the game was becoming more of a shooter or action game, as its sequels did.
Instead it looks like a faithful remake and extremely early days. That's not an enormous revelation, but I'm glad that EA are unafraid to show in-progress games so honestly.