Sometimes in pop culture, it’s best to leave things alone if they were fantastic the first time. Movie buffs often cringe when remakes of classic films are announced, dreading a change in tone or direction. Video games are different, though. Ever-improving console technology provides clear ways to make even beloved titles shine brighter for both new and returning fans.
With corroborated reports from GamesBeat, Eurogamer, and Gematsu, a Dead Space remake is likely on the way, possibly to be revealed at the 2021 EA Play Live event. The early reports suggest that Motive will draw on what Capcom’s Resident Evil 2 remake did so well: Staying faithful to the original game while adding some new elements to the mix. That got us thinking: What would we love to see in the Dead Space remake? Here are five things that sprung to mind faster than a necromorph out of a vent.
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5. Focus on Horror Over Action
This is an easy call. While Resident Evil 2 had to change up some gameplay mechanics to make combat more fluid, Dead Space really doesn’t. Most of the complaints about Dead Space 3 zeroed in on Visceral Games’ decisions to amp up the action (including one particular choice we’ll get to in a moment), taking the series away from its isolated, terrifying beginnings.
More than anything else, we want a Dead Space remake to scare us, using all the new console tricks now at the developers’ disposal. Lighting (including ray tracing), sound, controller feedback — we’re after the whole nine yards of horror. The combat will probably be just fine without major changes.
4. A More Streamlined Story
The Dead Space saga played out over not just three games, but also DLC, comics, and an animated film. All of it added welcome bits of background color to the overall lore, but it demanded a lot of fans to follow it all.
The remake has a chance to fold that extra material into the main game, which is something we’d wholeheartedly endorse. The result should be a richer story, and would help justify the higher price of a PS5 or Series X/S console title.
3. No Multiplayer
Maybe this is a far-fetched hope considering multiplayer is almost necessary to monetize a big budget game in our games-as-a-service reality. But EA has plenty of titles like that already, so keeping a tight focus on a single-player experience makes sense for a Dead Space remake and could fit just fine into the company’s current library. A big part of the magic of Dead Space is facing the terror of the necromorphs alone. If there was ever a game to resist shoehorning a multiplayer mode into, this is it.
2. New Weapons
Perhaps the most unique characteristic of the necromorphs in Dead Space is how you defeat them: Instead of headshots — the weakness of video game monsters too numerous to count — you have to sever their arms, legs, and other limbs only describable as the stuff of nightmares. With that in mind, the original creators gave protagonist Isaac Clarke a number of weapons perfect for chopping enemies up, including the iconic Plasma Cutter.
But why rest on the original game’s laurels? There are an infinite number of guns in video games these days, but a serious shortage of interesting weapons made to dismember. Keep the Plasma Cutter of course, but we’re hoping to see some new ways for Isaac to separate his foes from their limbs.
1. A Variety of Difficulty Settings
The Resident Evil 2 remake was near perfect in its handling of difficulty settings, with options that ranged from as accessible as possible to fiendishly challenging. Part of the need for their inclusion was how much time had passed from the original to the new incarnation; gaming had changed in the interim.
That isn’t quite as big a factor for Dead Space — it’s only been 13 years since the first game hit PS3 and Xbox 360. Still, the original had an Impossible difficulty mode you could only access after beating the entire game once — a system that feels unnecessary in 2021. Ideally, the remake will offer a super easy mode to give casual gamers a way to get through an incredible, horror-filled story, as well as a hardcore mode for maximum challenge straight from the off. The more steps available in-between, the better.
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Nick Tylwalk is a longtime writer and editor who wants everyone to remember that mobile games are games too. He’s also a fitted hat aficionado, and a racing and combat sports enthusiast. Follow him on Twitter @Nick_Tylwalk.