Dead Space Remake Review Summary: Great graphics, smart changes

Dead Space's Issac Clarke looks down at a group of thumbs up emojis floating next to his head.

After its announcement in 2021 and a refreshingly open development timeEA’s remake of the horror classic Empty room Coming to PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC tomorrow, January 27th. And reviews from various sites around the web suggest that the remake is something very special, one that upgrades the original while staying true to what made the spooky space game so popular all those years ago.

The original Empty room, Released in 2008 was a bit strange. A survival horror game developed by EA Visceral Games (then EA Redwood Shores) a studio that up to Empty roomShe had mainly worked on things like Tiger Woods, The Godfather, and The Sims. But despite its strange origins, 2008 Empty room going on to become a massive hit for EA and a favorite among survival horror fans for its chilling, atmospheric horror and ammo-counting action. And this latest Empty room should also thanks to him become a classic among fans of the genre stunning next-gen graphics, improved controls, expanded narrative and the added attention to detail. Not only is Empty room received rave reviews—it currently has an 89 on Metacritic– but it sounds like it could be the blueprint that other massive remakes should follow to move forward.

kotaku not get access Empty room‘s new remake ahead of its release, but we expect to have our own coverage of the game at a later date. But in the meantime, other reviews and critics say about the latest entry in the Empty room Series.

The story of the original is largely intact, but with some key elements either remixed or expanded with greater context based on the lore established later in the series. Aside from tightening the continuity and adding welcome background for supporting characters, these differences don’t dramatically change the flow or events of the story. The exception is a surprise change to a memorable moment later in the game – a rework that makes enough contextual sense that I prefer it to its original incarnation now.

Empty room‘s captain is humanized even further in the remake by his ability to speak, rather than just accepting orders from his crewmates without a silent nod of approval like he did in the original. Actor Gunner Wright who provided the voice for Isaac Empty room Sequels, delivers a suitably stoic performance, and it makes Isaac feel like a far more influential figure when he’s actively discussing plans of attack with Chief Security Officer Hammond, rather than just approaching each task like a space-dog body. Thankfully, this is done sparingly: Isaac only speaks when spoken to, and doesn’t deliver Nathan Drake-style jokes while chopping off the limbs of space zombies like they were the bloodiest bonsai trees. Instead, his moment-to-moment status is indicated by his heavy breathing and rapid heartbeat, which can be heard during moments of eerie stillness, just as it should.

This remake brings the Ishimura back to life in a visually stunning way. Its decks, quarters and airlocks have been recreated in minute detail. It’s undoubtedly the star of developer Motive Studio’s remake, a more believable and varied ship than the one in the original game. But it’s only part of Motive’s overhaul: weapons, characters, and progression have all been rethought, resulting in the best possible version of Isaac Clarke’s journey through a veritable hell – and hopefully reviving a horror game franchise that burst into flames too soon .

The remake’s overhauled visuals are phenomenal across the board, bringing the suffocatingly dark bowels of the Ishimura to life with a sickening glow. It’s an iconic place for a reason, and the visual upgrade and sheer attention to detail help make it feel more alive than ever. Whether it’s the abandoned suitcases strewn about the arrivals hall, the cramped crew quarters and their glimpse into the drab existence of the people who work on board the ship, or the posters for a product billed as a “carbonated hard bar”. which offers the only semblance of color between its metal-carved hallways. The peeling system is a facet of the remake’s improved graphical fidelity and has a delightful impact on every combat encounter. It ensures layers of skin, fat, and muscle are ripped off with each successive wound from enemies, leaving the exposed bones prone to snapping in half after a well-placed round or two. The green light running up the back of Isaac’s suit is a visible indicator of his health, and this makes the Necromorph’s own bodies a reminder of theirs.


There are new rooms hidden between the old layouts – additional chambers for a handful of side missions that deepen the fate of certain characters, including Dr. Mercer and his terrible hunter. Some areas and their quests have been completely changed: the original game’s asteroid blasting sequence with mounted cannon now lets you dash around in zero-G (the remaster borrows dead space 2the more user-friendly jetpack from ), sync the ship’s cannons with your weapons while boulders rain down on the hull. The pesky boss fights are back, weak points painted yellow and such, but there’s a ton of worthwhile new puzzle variables, like powering another system.

The combat is as great as ever, especially in the survival horror genre. Empty room has carved out a sort of niche of its own for limb-smashing action that the original (and this remake) tries hard to make clear to new players through a notoriously hilarious amount of environmental queues. Most weapons are more than capable of clipping enemies by the approximate length of their shins, but some fill more niche roles, like the flamethrower. And in case you were wondering, the pulse rifle is still junk.

the Empty room Remake also follows people like GTA5‘s PS5 iteration by giving console gamers a choice of either a “Quality” or a “Performance” mode. Essentially, the former represents the game at its best, in 4K UHD resolution with ray tracing but with a framerate capped at 30 fps. The latter, on the other hand, maintains a steady frame rate of 60 fps, but at 2K QHD resolution and without ray tracing. How you play is of course up to you, but I will say if you can overlook the negligible difference between 30fps and 60fps, Empty room looks great in quality mode.

Seemingly, Empty room has a kind of reactive “AI director” that tracks players, and it is capable of generating different types of enemy encounters. It puts an interesting wrinkle in the way I usually play these games where if I grossly abuse resources in combat I might die on purpose and streamline my process the next time I try. I can’t count on that here, though, as the enemy layout, including loot drops, isn’t static. Those damn rules because they push back the survival horror strategy of streamlined survival. I’m just playing normally, but I’ve been forced to drain a lot more health than I would normally in a game like this because there’s no guarantee that trying again in a room will give me a better result.

The improvements on offer here are significant, but without a rock-solid foundation no remake could succeed on this scale. When it comes to the Ishimura’s overall layout, story, artistic direction and Gameplay Design, Motive doesn’t deviate far from the 2008 version and doesn’t have to. Controls, graphics, performance and the chunky 3D map have all been improved this time around.

The result is not only an outstanding survival horror game – but one of the best games of all time. Even if you’ve played the original many times, I can’t recommend the remake enough.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure what Motive’s success means here. I saw the game compared to a Director’s Cutbut none of Empty roomThe original main creators of are involved, and the term suggests a level of respect for designers that EA simply hasn’t shown. Empty room remains a relic from an age of standalone prestige shooters that almost certainly won’t come back; I’m not even sure Motive’s approach would work for redesigning the other games in the series. But none of that takes away from the ludicrous pleasure of ripping apart a zombie with a saw blade and stomping it for loot. Dead Space Remake Review Summary: Great graphics, smart changes

Curtis Crabtree

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