EA Motive has been exceptionally chatty throughout the development of its Dead Space remake, with the studio hosting various live streams to show off its improved art, audio and gameplay changes – but now, with the game’s launch the January 27 ever closer, we got our clearest glimpse yet of how all of these elements will fit together, thanks to a new eight-minute gameplay walkthrough.
Hot on the heels of 2 minute gameplay trailer from last weekEA celebrated the 14th anniversary of Dead Space today with an extended sequence from the remake’s third chapter, in which protagonist Isaac must explore the infested USG Ishimura in order to reach the ship’s engineering deck and repair its engines. .
The streak began in Ishimura’s hangar – an area that’s now much larger than it was in the original (a side-by-side comparison made the differences very clear) – with players now able to move to zero in the area. Some of the remake’s environmental changes were made to improve the atmosphere, while others were necessary to account for the fact that the Ishimura is now a seamless, interconnected ship, with players no longer needing to rely on the tram to get around.
This move to a huge, interconnected space that can be traversed and re-traversed presented EA Motive with an interesting challenge – how to authentically fill a space that didn’t exist in the original game – and it calls the solution Intensity Director. Now, if players backtrack or choose to explore away from an objective, they might encounter a “completely different experience” dynamically generated from varying degrees of systemic events.
These moments are built from elements – including enemies, ambience, and lighting – based on an intensity curve designed to maintain tension and keep players nervous. So, for example, following a dynamically generated fight, the Intensity Director may choose to create quieter, tenser moments, with players suddenly discovering that a previously visited hallway is now full of flashing lights and of spooky sounds – all meant to ensure things remain “unpredictable and provide additional tension and challenge”. The director can even mix things up and scare the jump into a seemingly safe area.
Later in the walkthrough, EA Motive showed a sequence in which Isaac must navigate the ship’s machine shop to reach the refueling station. Here we get an example of a scripted scare, in which a necromorph falls from above. Many of these aspects will be familiar to those who have played the original game – EA calls them “memorable moments authentic to the original” – although changes have been made to enhance encounters, including “tons of graphical improvements who take charge of the strategic dismemberment”.
At this point, EA Motive’s walkthrough has advanced again, this time to a sequence in which Issac must find a way into the fuel management office and access the power functions controlling the refueling station. Here EA notes that one of its goals with the remake was to add more context to the objectives and “expand on what was there and bring in a bit more detail and depth”, and we have one. example once inside the fuel management office.
To progress, players must route power to the refueling station, but this forces them to choose which systems they will deactivate to do so, changing the flow of the sequence. Cut life support, for example, and players will have to rely on oxygen canisters until they reach the refueling station. Alternatively, they can turn off the lights – as shown in the walkthrough – forcing them to progress in the dark.
EA Motive’s next stop is the Ishimura Decontamination Room, where the studio demonstrated how it used “new technology” to “raise the tension”. Specifically, dynamic smoke is deployed here to create a claustrophobic “thick, opaque atmosphere” that makes it harder to see prowlers, even when they’re inches from the player.
Finally, we’re at the centrifuge, where EA talks about the new effects it’s using – including particle effects, lighting, and floating debris – to create a more “awesome” location that’s both “imposing [and able to] telling a story at the same time”. Additionally, the expanded zero-g space impacts gameplay, with EA noting that incoming necromorphs are now more difficult to track, requiring greater spatial awareness.
Everything presented in the eight-minute walkthrough above, but the full 14th anniversary live stream had some more chatter after that. In general, the details were light, but they did reveal that EA had created more diverse looks for the slashers – to make them feel more like individuals from Ishimura’s crew – and discussed the new voice. of Isaac in a little more detail.
While the focus of this latest addition was intended, as EA said, to improve Isaac as a character and give him a bit more agency, the studio once again stressed that it would only gossip not throughout the experiment. Instead, to preserve tension while exploring the Ishimura, Isaac will only speak (except for one or two instances) when he has spoken – essentially, the times when it might feel weird if he showed no emotion or had no reaction.
All in all, it was another hugely promising look at EA’s Dead Space remake, and it won’t be long before all of its secrets are revealed – with the game launching on PC, Xbox Series X/S and PS5 on January 27 next year.