The classic space action horror series is back with a next-gen upgrade of the original 2008 console hit.
And it’s even more scary than before thanks to an impressive overhaul from top to bottom.
The 15-year-old title was a critics and fans success story back on the PS3 and Xbox 360.
Folks loved how it took the basic premise of an Alien-style video game and mashed it up with even greater horror monsters and puzzle solving gameplay.
That all remains in this Motive studios remake for Electronic Arts, but the firm has added in a host of tweaks and changes to bring the game to a new generation of players with modern gaming expectations.
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The developer has focused on three key things here; upping the horror thanks to next-gen console graphics and immersion, the ‘unbroken experience’ of not having any noticeable load times, thanks again to the new machine’s processing power, and more creative gameplay.
So now when you play Dead Space the USG Ishimura feels like a real space ship.
You seamlessly progress, or oftentimes retreat back from the beasties, through it’s seemingly never ending corridors. Whereas it felt far more like you had to wait for your console to load up each time for the next bit of the ship in the original.
That helps to propel the storyline forward and gives you a greater momentum as you battle off Necromorphs by chopping off their limbs with a laser cutter.
It remains incredibly gruesome too, and thanks to the amazing graphics of the PS5 we tested it on, you got incredibly detailed gore when slicing and dicing a wild monster using the new skin Peeling System built into the remake.
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That gorgeous Frostbite engine can make you grimace with its lifelike rendering, but that’s exactly what a horror game should do right?
The pacing of the story is spot-on with clever little additions, like hero Isacc Clarke’s new talking parts, really helping to nail down the narrative better than before.
Audio is sharp, menacing and really builds atmosphere ahead of key fight moments, doubling down on jump scares you know are coming but still can’t help but ‘eek!’ to.
Top tip, play this with earphones on to get a real sense of a devastated space mining ship, listing through the black and full of terrors. It’s truly scary and raises the heart rate.
Gameplay is fluid and, as an unabashed fan of the Dead Space series, instantly familiar to anyone who’s played an over-the-shoulder shooter game before.
Headshots won’t cut the mustard here, it’s all about accurately slicing away the arms and legs of the oncoming villains, even taking away individual layers of bone, tendon and muscle in the process of deconstructing a baddie in a bloody mess.
That gives a new depth to the combat and makes it feel far more detailed this time around.
The puzzle solving remains as before, very much back-and-forth, turning off switches, slowly working out how to get from one stage to another part of the ship while trying not to be killed.
Everything is added to, from new story details and side missions to collectibles and lore to discover as your scour the ship. But it doesn’t waver from the core game that everyone loved.
This takes all the betters elements of its sequel Dead Space 2, adds them into the original and then turns everything up to 11.
It’s atmospheric, scary and adrenaline-inducing space fun.
A top remake.
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