Dead Space Remake Review: Remarkably Reanimated

By | February 4, 2023

Dead Space has drifted aimlessly in space since 2013 after Electronic Arts unceremoniously severed its umbilical cable. It died on its worst entry, one plagued by bloat, a lopsided appetite for action, and a ridiculous ending that was both too silly and not silly enough. It was almost a mercy killing, but still a premature one at that. A remake of the original was the smartest way to reset the franchise, and that’s the route Motive Studio went down with its 2023 remake. Instead of just mindlessly reconstructing the 2008 hit, the studio has honed in on its many strengths, smoothed out its rough spots, and developed one of the best remakes of all time.

Thanks to Capcom, there are a handful of impeccable horror remakes out there, but this Dead Space one still stands out because of how brilliantly Motive tweaked the very foundation of the game. While the 2008 original was a linear rollercoaster through the USG Ishimura, the studio has taken the cart off the rails and allowed players to travel to almost every corner of the ship via the tram right up until the end of the game. Unitologists are delusional lunatics, but at least they keep the trams running on time, even during deadly outbreaks.

more than 1,200 unique events, the game leans on simply spawning enemies in front of the player more often than not. This is still effective since the persistent threat of a mangled, screaming monster jumping out of the ceiling is terrifying, but there are more subtle ways to mess with players. Lights sometimes turn off and the tram may stop suddenly, but there aren’t quite enough of these unique and less bombastic scares mixed in.

Motive’s changes go far beyond the mechanics, often manifesting in understated ways that can easily be overlooked. These adjustments range from accurately labeled rooms to an easily readable map to wider, denser areas that are decorated with more items, debris, or fleshy goop, whichever is more applicable. Necromorphs even take noticeable battle damage, a seemingly cosmetic flourish that, along with being grosser, clearly demonstrates which limbs are closer to snapping off.

And while moving freely in Zero-G is frustrating because of how slow and disorienting it is, the Dead Space remake is filled with many types of improvements that add up to equal a more immersive experience with a modernized presentation. A handful are particularly clever since they subvert what happened in the original for the sake of a better scare, thoughtful payoff, or more involved gameplay segment.

SCORE: 9.5/10

As ComingSoon’s review policy explains, a score of 9.5 equates to “Excellent.” Entertainment that reaches this level is at the top of its type. The gold standard that every creator aims to reach.

Disclosure: The publisher provided a PlayStation 5 copy for our Dead Space review. Reviewed on version 1.000.003.