When the original Dead Space was released in 2008, players were not ready for the journey they were about to embark on. Following the main character, Isaac Clarke, who was a space engineer. Isaac is sent to the USG Ishimura to investigate why the emergency communications had failed. Unfortunately for him, there was much more to the story than communications failing, with his team immediately entering the ship to check it out. While Isaac waits outside the room and his team of gunners check out/clear out the area, they notice no signs of movement. Within a flash, the shadows start to move and something appears behind the entire team. As Isaac watches without the ability to do anything to save the team, each one of them are ambushed by a necromorph, killing everyone he boarded the ship with. Almost immediately, this leaves Isaac as our sole survivor, or so we think, having to venture through a horrifying ship with aliens who will kill on sight. Isaac eventually meets others who survived the outbreak of necromorphs, moving his way along to get off the ship. Through heartbreak, trust, and betrayal, Isaac experiences it all in this beautifully dark journey. Now, we have yet another chance to play this masterpiece again, in an upgraded engine with a complete overhaul of everything. Released on January 27, 2023, Dead Space is a fantastic franchise to get into for any horror fan or any upcoming horror fan.
The future of games looks bright in 2023. Let’s take a look into why Dead Space remains one of the best horror games of all time, and why you should play the remake and the original in all its glory. Will you have the bravery to step aboard the USG Ishimura one more time?
Dead Space Remake in all of its glory and dark beauty.
Known for its gore and dark corridors, Dead Space starts with Isaac catching what appears to be a human at the end of the hallway. All we see is a shadow smashing its head against a wall, while we approach that shadow. As the shadow turns into a putrid necromorph alien, we are shown one of our first conflicts against the species. How do these necromorphs exist? Well, they are reanimated bodies in the form of an alien species that looks to infect anyone and anything it can at all times. Controlled by a signal called The Markers, we are forced to fight against friends and family who have been reanimated into a virus-like alien that only seeks to destroy all human life in sight. The USG Ishimura fell to the necromorphs rather quickly, with survivors like Jacob Temple and his wife, Elizabeth Cross. Interestingly enough, Isaac is not the only engineer alive on the ship, with Jacob Temple being the true USG Ishimura engineer, who unfortunately meets an untimely end when he is captured and killed. The Necromorph may be the largest problem going on with the ship, but the humans who are still alive are the true issue.
Another aspect of the game that contributes to its horror atmosphere is the limited resources available to the player. The player manages their health, ammunition, and other resources carefully, as they are often scarce. This forces the player to make decisions on the spot on how to engage the Necromorphs, adding to the tension and suspense of the game. The game has a similar style of inventory management to older survival horrors such as Silent Hill and Resident Evil. The management of ammunition is crucial, or death may be certain to those who come unprepared. Boss battles are difficult and can be lethal if played without strategy.
Dead Space uses sound and lighting to create suspense and build up to jump scares. The dark plays a strong sense in making the gamer feel as if their surroundings are always unsafe and that there are no safe-zones such as Resident Evil or Silent Hill offer. The game wants the player to feel on edge at all times, making them uncertain on if or when a necromorph will jump out to ambush Isaac like it did to his friends. The game’s horror elements come from the player’s vulnerability and the Necromorphs, while the game’s action element comes from the ability to fight back with weapons and tools provided to the players. The game’s science fiction element comes from the game’s setting, the Ishimura and the surrounding story, which provides a rich background and a sense of mystery to the game. While newer horror games like Dead By Daylight focus more on action, while offering you the ability to buy Dead By Daylight accounts, this game relies on vulnerability to scare you. The combination of these elements creates a unique and immersive horror experience that is both terrifying and exciting. The game’s sound design makes use of ambient noises and sudden, loud sounds to create a sense of unease, and the lighting is used to create shadows and obscure the player’s view, making it difficult to see what lies ahead.
The lore of the game is fantastic, with subtle pieces of it being told through hidden objects. For example, a character I mentioned earlier has his story told through audio tapes that depict things in a scary way. Jacob Temple, the former USG Ishimura engineer, has his story told through these audio tapes that he drops on his way across the ship. Being one of the only people who took the outbreak seriously, he did not hide as he knew that would be certain death against the necromorphs. He ventured across the ship in search of his love and documented the fall of everyone around him, while he survived through the horror until his untimely death in front of Isaac. However, players can go through the entire game without even knowing what happened to this man. The drops don’t have to be picked up and that is the beauty of it. There is hidden horror behind the story, and that is unappreciated.
The Dead Space remake looks to emphasize all of these points in our battle on the ship yet again. With updated graphics and certainly better gameplay, we will venture back to the dangers of space. Hopefully, the new remake can showcase newer fans that horror is not all the same, and that third-person horror games reign supreme. Those who had the pleasure of playing the original upon its release will be happy to know that the development team didn’t change much from the core gameplay and hopefully the story. Keep an eye out for the vents and don’t expect any help when you lose communications on the Ishimura.