Following on from their recent blog post (Inside Dead Space #1: Remaking a Classic), Motive Studio and EA dropped a new gameplay trailer on the 4th of October, which showcased some never-before-seen gameplay. This trailer exhibits a wealth of gameplay features, including both re-envisionings of classic elements and brand new additions designed for this time around.
The game looks as though it has a lot of beats reminiscent of the original, with the trailer showing off numerous weapons and story sections present in the 2008 Dead Space. We saw a good bit of the Plasma Cutter, Contact Beam, and Pulse Rifle, all of which keep their same designs. We also see iconic moments like when Isaac (our masked protagonists) first acquires the Plasma Cutter, or when he is being dragged to his death by the ginormous Necromorph tentacle, and even when he uses his stasis power to slow down an enemy. The visuals appear as almost shot-for-shot replicas, rebuilt from the ground up in EA’s Frostbite engine; now that there are no loading screens, this should hopefully be the most immersive entry in the series yet.
Moving on to what's new, it now seems that Isaac Clarke is voiced, an interesting feature not present in the original — the character was silent until the sequel, Dead Space 2. Gunner Wright returns to voice Isaac in the upcoming remake, fans may be pleased to know. We also get to see the reworking of the zero-gravity sections — again they appear to have taken note of later Dead Space titles, and re-incorporated their improvements into the remake. The once silent Isaac and rigid zero-gravity areas of old are gone, having both been replaced with more modern, series-faithful hallmarks.
Other new aspects not present in the trailer, but confirmed by Motive, are Isaac’s panic levels and the reworking of the enemy spawning mechanic. Firstly, Isaac will become panicked in certain situations, and his breathing and heartbreak will become louder and more erratic. This does not affect gameplay directly, but exists more to add a heightened sense of panic in the player during fights and times of survival. Secondly, to get full use out of the new hyperventilating Isaac, Motive has implemented the “Intensity Director”, which alters enemy spawns, attack patterns, and even environmental elements to keep players on their toes.
Notably absent from the gameplay trailer were the gory Isaac deaths — a very recognisable aspect of the series. Unfortunately, as they are not present, we can't speculate further on their implementation in the final game. It’s just strange they chose to omit them, as they were such a big part of the marketing throughout the franchise's initial run a decade ago.
Dead Space (2023) officially launches on the 27th of January, 2023, and is now available to pre-order on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.