The ‘Dead Space Remake’ Is Utterly Terrifying


WARNING: Spoilers Below

The ‘Dead Space Remake’ throws you right into a atmospherically horrifying hellscape that reveals more of it’s sinister self by the minute.

From the very beginning the player is put into the midst of a distress call stating there is a prominent alien threat aboard a planet “cracking” ship named the USG Ishimura.

The engineer of the USG Kellion crew, Isaac Clark, responds to the call to find out it’s being made from his girlfriend, Nicole Brennan.

As they approach the ship, events don’t appear as they seem and more of the mystery begins to unfold as the narrative progresses.

Once the player boards the USG Ishimura, the atmosphere and environmental storytelling is one of the elements that hits instantaneously.

But the crew of the USG Kellion is suddenly taken back to reality as one of their own is brutally ripped apart by an alien aboard the ship.

At this moment, they know something more sinister is taking place on the ship because not only do they see their crew member die, but they see him being overtaken by force and transformed into a monster.

And as the player, this is where things start to ramp up in the narrative, although most of it is told through text and audio logs.

A feature I am not a fan of, unless it adds to the overall story being told. In this case, it acts as a replacement altogether.

Unfortunately, there are very little to no cutscenes which as an avid lover of linear based narratives is a bit of a shocker.

Although this remains true, I’ve been able to gather a significant amount of lore through the environmental storytelling alone.

For example, there are mysteries that are slowly uncovered surrounding the origins of what caused the mass emergency across the USG Ishimura.

Through the splices of information gathered, the player starts to question whether it was something planned or just a freak mining accident.

With the narrative being told this way, gameplay reigns champion through this sci-fi horror adventure.

This is especially true when maneuvering through long dark corridors lurking with aggressively oppressing alien foe that seemingly want to rip your head off.

More notably, the way they’re revealed to us is nothing short of terrifying and once they get a hold of the player, their deaths aren’t pretty.

Survival is not guaranteed and with limited resources to work with, it’s challenging to say the least, especially in the later parts of the game.

Luckily, weapons and their respective upgrades feel powerful to utilize in combat. Varying, unique and quite frankly unsettling scenarios that the protagonist, Isaac Clarke, is put in grants the player choice or freedom to approach it in any which way.

Additionally, this rings true in the frenetic implementation of sequences in zero gravity which create disorienting but fun set pieces to traverse through while fending off different types of enemies.

During encounters like these, resources are of upmost value elevating the tension of the already anxiety driven core gameplay loop.

And, at times, this can be effectively spoiled in a drastic way through slight dips in frame rate depending on the instance.

These frame rate dips aren’t anything that will sour the experience on a large scale, but it is something to take note of.

For the most part, the frame rate on PC, which is where I play on, rode steadily between 130 and 140 frames per second.

The performance not only exceeds expectations, but blows them out the water by maintaining it even when providing the highest level of fidelity.

In combination with the setting, the graphics are able to push the level of detail in each environment even under the deathly eerie and low visibility corridors.

As a result, lighting is mastered and sets the tone for what lurks in the shadows of the USG Ishimura.

I wish I could say the same for the mission structure though, especially when nearing the finale.

At around the 12 hour mark, the missions started to feel just a bit too repetitive because they all played out relatively similar.

Usually, it’s due to the large amounts of backtracking you’ll do when trying to get the USG Ishimura back into commission.

Instead, what they could’ve done is let the player breathe by giving more time in between missions through different story beats.

Maybe this could have created an even separation between gameplay and story which I would have preferred, but this in the grand scheme of things is a minor issue.

With that said, the ‘Dead Space Remake’ by EA Motive has exceeded the expectations of fans from the original 2008 release, while welcoming new players to jump into a refreshingly horrifying take on a tale lost in space.