Dead Space returns today with just a few tweaks from devs Motive Studio, and among these are a bevy of accessibility options. One noticeable standout is the option to receive a warning when something potentially sensitive or disturbing is about to happen during Isaac Clarke’s Necromorph-filled trek around the derelict, deadly USG Ishimura. Players are even able to hide any disturbing scenes, if they want. It’s an interesting option to provide in a full-on horror game.
“The first option will warn you of a potentially disturbing scene ahead of time by displaying a non-intrusive pop-up that gives a brief description of the type of event that’s waiting around the corner, or in an audio or video log before you play it,” Dead Space’s lead senior experience designer Christian Cimon explained in a blog post.
“The other option will actually hide the upcoming scene behind a screen effect. You’ll still hear any audio, but a blurring effect will hide the visuals until the scene has played out.”
Cimon points out that players’ attacks on Necromorphs aren’t hidden even with the setting turned on, because those are part of the core of the game. He also acknowledges that what is and isn’t considered disturbing can be a subjective thing. As such, Motive have been “mostly focusing on scenes involving intense violence against humans, strong psychological horror, or self-harm”. The setting is, of course, optional, and it's turned off by default.
As someone with longstanding visual issues, I always appreciate when studios make an effort with accessibility. Motive haven’t just added in the scare warnings for players, either. They've included a whole bunch of varied options to tailor the experience. These range from control customisation, aim assistance, and colourblind mode, to turning off camera shake and the game’s iconic floating menus. My particular favourite is the option to adjust font sizing for subtitles, because tiny and hard to read fonts have stopped me from playing games far too many times.
You can read the full list of accessibility options here, or watch the video below:
Even though the original is still very playable with some adjustments, our Liam reckoned the new game was an excellent remake in his Dead Space review. “Enhanced. Upgraded. Put together carefully by caring hands. Nothing is broken, except that which begged to be replaced,” he said. “Iron out those stuttering issues and what you have here is one of the best action-horror games I've ever played.”
The Dead Space remake is out today on Steam and the Epic Games Store for £50/$60/€60. Anyone who pre-orders on Steam will get a complimentary copy of Dead Space 2, too. If you’re wondering who this Isaac Clarke lad is then check out Rachel’s deep dive into his storied CV.