Preview of Dead Space: Rise from the Dead

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The more things change, the more they stay the same. It’s a hackneyed proverb, but after a few hours of working on the singing and dancing remake of the pearl of the action movie Dead Space from EA, we get a new and improved experience that strengthens what originally made Dead Space so wonderful.

To understand why this is so important, you have to understand Dead Space. Dead Space is not interested in thinking about its horror. It’s scary in a more Westernized sense of splatterpunk: you’re a big engineer in a huge metal suit, and if something alive or undead attacks you, you’ll ruin everything with your array of heavy weapons. You are just an engineer—worker sent to fix a faulty spaceship with your wife on board. Then, transforming horror monsters burst out of all the vents, and you just deal with it. Necromorphs are scary only because you may not have time to cut off their limbs before they kill you, ghosts are scary because you can’t shoot them yet.

Personally, this is my comfort zone. Dead Space is my favorite horror franchise because even though I’m going to die anyway, death is mostly scary because of the elements of bodily horror or because of intense combat encounters that increase the likelihood that you will be killed before you have time to get rid of the monsters. attacks you from all sides.

The remake of Dead Space retains that sense of tension— it’s like being stuck inside a scene with a cooling tower from “Aliens”— while working with new elements that complement what’s already there, and in just a few hours I’m sure this could be the final edition of the game, demonstrating exactly what the original wanted to do. a team not constrained by the technical limitations of the Xbox 360 at launch.

There are some nice improvements to this: you’re no longer navigating Ishimura’s doomed spaceship by boarding his tram and sitting on the loading screen for a minute or so. Technically, the entire Dead Space is one frame, especially since your inventory and all the other UI elements appear on a screen projected from your cool spacesuit, so you pretty much spend all the time looking at Isaac’s back. It’s a cool improvement, but for the most part it just means Dead Space gets a little weirder, forcing you to wade through service elevators and maintenance hatches between chapters.

One of my favorite updates is the “cleaning system”, which allows you to cut necromorphs into pieces. Dismemberment is a major part of the Dead Space experience, but the new cleaning system allows you to blow chunks out of clumsy beasts as they approach you. Poorly aimed shots will cut the skull to the bone, and firing someone with a pulse rifle, you will punch holes out of it.

Playing with lights is an important part of Dead Space, as one of the new mechanics allows you to use batteries to power areas. During the practice session, I had to choose whether to turn off the light from the light or from the elevator in order to move on. Realizing that I needed an elevator to get back down, I knew I would need to turn off the lights around me to move on. It’s unpleasant and makes you the architect of a shitty situation that you need to try to survive — necromorphs attacking you in the dark seems like a delightful way to punish players.

Even the most terrible weapons in Dead Space are so powerful that it’s hard to scare them. During my hands, I played with a plasma cutter as well as a pulse rifle. The huge problem with Dead Space was that there really wasn’t much reason to use anything other than a plasma cutter, but here the pulse rifle has an alternative melee mine that’s invaluable for protecting your flanks when you’re attacking from all directions.

And even better, using the module, you can pick up items and throw them at enemies. Picking up the severed arm of a necromorph with blades and throwing it at another to pin him against the wall seems fantastic, and it’s a great way to show how the technology behind Dead Space has received a modern update. If the future is impaling necromorphs with their own hands, then I am a convert.

As a remake, it’s pretty accurate. The biggest change in the established storyline is a real push to put the player character in more horror episodes. An early example involves a flying necromorph bat that can transform corpses into new necromorphs. In the original game, this enemy is introduced as he infects the captain behind reinforced glass before the necromorph breaks into the main room. Here you are in a room and exploring the captain’s body when a bat attacks and the captain turns into a necromorph, sprawling on top of you.

Having a reason to use other weapons makes combat a little more fun, as does adding the Dead Space 2 ability to stomp dead enemies, turning them into meaty chunks, dropping any loot they could carry as if they were a big meaty pinata. However, you won’t get too upset about the mess: ray tracing means that dark blood shines in the dark, it looks sticky and unpleasant.

Dead space can be something special. A reliable and detailed update, true to the spirit of the original, as well as giving avid fans a reason to replay the game. Isaac Clarke may be talking now, a change that doesn’t bother me as much as I thought, but he’s still the same old engineer ready to pave the way through the doomed Ishimura USG. You’ll want to join him.

Dead Space is released on January 27, 2023 on PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X/Series.

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