Dead Space review: an excellent remake of the horror classic

Wells. They definitely do it again Dead space. With a few small but welcome exceptions, Dead Space is a one-on-one remake of the 2008 original.

Your opinion on whether that’s a good thing or not will depend on how you feel about the attempt to remake the game from fifteen years ago in the first place. As far as I know, this remake allows me to replay one of my all time favorite games in a lavish new form and in that sense, Dead Space is extraordinary.

If you’d like to see the game in action, you can watch the video version of this review instead.

For the uninitiated, Dead Space follows engineer Isaac Clarke, who is sent on a routine repair mission for USG Ishimura. The giant planet cracker had a problem with its communication equipment and certainly wasn’t infiltrated by a hostile alien virus that made all its crew verbose and dribbling. . Oh no! That’s exactly what happened! Trapped aboard the ship, Isaac must jump from one end of Ishimura to the other like a bloody pinball, extinguishing a growing series of mechanical problems while battling hordes of persistent baddies.

Killing the bad guys said it wasn’t as simple as shoveling a little lead into their crumbs. Entire Dead Space Thing are heavily mutated saboteurs who have infiltrated the ship so determined to stab you with their raw bone blades that they can only be stopped if all their limbs are forced apart. from the body. You do so not with guns but with tools, pieces of engineering equipment that can cut and tear flesh and bones as easily as iron and steel. Your original weapon – the plasma cutter – still feels remarkable in the hand, its secondary fire allows you to change the angle of your bubbling slices to remove hands, feet, and more Other types of meat grow better.

A laser slice opens a necromorph in Dead Space
Enemies pop open with an A) raw and B) raw juicy cry.

This particular fighting rhythm remains unique to Dead Space. Being forced to focus your attacks on individual limbs makes even small groups of enemies a significant threat, tension increases as you attempt to target an individual joint through a sea of ​​growling roars was encroaching. This remake makes combat even tighter. A little snappier. Nothing major, but it supposedly doesn’t need to be redone. The most notable addition is what developers Motive call (and I apologize for having to read the next two words put together) “The Peeling System”. Capturing the limbs sheds the skin, muscles, and tendons of the back, visually indicating which appendages are about to fall off so you can take more calculated shots. It’s absolutely disgusting, but it’s the same way as popping a pimple or pulling a strand of syrup-covered hair out of a bathroom drain. It stirs up your stomach, but, you know, it’s also, like, it scratches the itch, right? Continue.

The weapons have also received a general tweak to make them viable as powerful plasma cutters. New side-fire modes give you additional options during combat – especially in the face of larger crowds – while visual and audio feedback has been tweaked to make things easier. become prominent. For the first time, I was willing to use a weapon other than a plasma cutter when fighting Ishimura. A real improvement over the original. In particular, the contact beam now exhibits a devastating alternative flame that unleashes a single focused laser blast so powerful that it literally melts anything unlucky enough to stand in its way. Why worry about amputation when you can just turn solids into gas instead?

Elsewhere, annoyances like the asteroid-shooting minigame (ah) and the rigid anti-gravity jumping bits have been completely reimagined, with the latter now allowing you to fly as freely as in the previous installments. next. You also no longer have to travel between parts of Ishimura by tram. Chapters begin and end naturally as you explore, and most areas of the ship are now reachable through cramped maintenance tunnels or by other methods, with trams used Use it as a quick way to get back if you want. Everything is more cohesive. Isaac’s experience is now a single journey rather than a fixed set of levels.

Speaking of Isaac, now Isaac spoke up. This is the change that worries me the most, as the oppressive isolation of the original is one of its best features. Thankfully, Isaac can chat but he doesn’t talk much. He doesn’t give suggestions for puzzle solutions or bark about where he should go next. Most of what he says is made up of dialogue from other characters in the first game, much more meaningful technical stuff remarks coming from Issac rather than geek geek Kendra or staff. Hammond security. He’s largely remained a silent protagonist. At least where it matters most.

Isaac watches a holographic video in Dead Space
Dead Space is probably the darkest video game I’ve ever played. I mean literally dark. Not just by theme. You spend most of your time alone in a series of pitch-black hallways with only a flashlight to protect you from whatever is scratching at the other end (a vandal).

Gunner Wright, who voices Isaac in the sequels, delivers a stellar performance here. Confident without being ridiculous. Patient. Gently slipping away from reality due to his low mental state. He is not alone. The entire cast is in top form here, and together they breathe new life into the game’s story without sacrificing the lousy core that made it so endearing in the first place. The story itself is also expanded by the addition of side quests and a holographic video log that sheds light on some of the darker aspects of the original. Special focus is given to the relationship between Isaac and his partner Nicole, who is stationed aboard the Ishimura, the mysterious Unitology church, and the soulless Dr. Mercer, who acts as the villain. reality of the work. Everything is polished up. Tighten a little. Are you feeling a theme here?

It’s still a great story, though. John Carpenter’s Event Horizon. Horrible and silly. A brightly paced rope that refers to religious fervor, body transformation, betrayal, mistrust, and madness! Madness in its purest, most Victorian form. Soft voices whisper sweet songs in your ear as you pause to organize your inventory. Things appear before your eyes that you cannot believe. Play this game in the dark with headphones on. Trust me on that.

The biggest difference is obviously the visuals and Dead Space looks absolutely phenomenal. In particular, the lighting is remarkably well done, flooding the dark corridors and illuminating the spaces with a sinister orange glow. There was a feeling that Ishimura himself, not just its crew, was subject to the rot and rotting of the alien infection. Flashing lights and fizz. Dirt and blood covered every surface. The shimmer of the flames reflected precisely on the bronze plates of Isaac’s suit. Seeing classic areas from the original rendered in such vivid detail is a special thrill.

Oh and machines! Dead Space has great machines. The engine rattles. Chunky buttons. Crispy door. Even in his hospital bed, Ishimura lived a terrifying life.

Isaac hovers in a ruined room in Dead Space.
The anti-gravity parts are still a bit unwieldy, but much better than the original.

But, and I hate that there is a but, but there is. The performance of Dead Space on PC could be better. On my 3080, the game is more than capable of hitting high frame rates on its extremely high preset, but no change in settings can prevent stuttering when entering areas new or seemingly random doors. Even when installed on an SSD, Dead Space has the occasional but noticeable micro-jitter. It was a blow to what was largely a very solid release, one that happens often enough to detract from its excellence. Maybe it will be patched. I really hope it gets patched.

In many ways, Dead Space is a great example of just how developed the game is, in terms of lighting, sound design, structure, and recording. It also highlights how little the language of the game – third-person shooters in particular – has changed over the past fifteen years. The main difference between Dead Space and the 2019 Resident Evil 2 remake (to which this game will certainly be compared) is that the original Dead Space still feels like a modern game. The source material is playable. Enjoy. Not clearly a candidate for a modern refresh.

Even so, the Dead Space remake is excellent. increase. Upgrade. Put together carefully by caring hands. Nothing was broken, except the one that was requested to be replaced. Let’s deal with those stuttering problems and what you have here is one of the best action horror games I’ve ever played.

Does Dead Space need a remake? YES. Sure. Why not. This is currently the best way to experience Visceral’s classic horror, luxuriously enhanced in small but considered ways. Especially for those new to the series. And for those who have played it? I mean, it’s Dead Space. Again. But better.


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