FINALLY! It’s been nearly 10 years since a Dead Space game came out…which, as a huge fan of the series, is 10 years too damn long! It’s even worse when you consider that Dead Space 3 ended on a cliffhanger, with Isaac coming back to Earth and seeing it overrun!

Of course, we couldn’t get a Dead Space 4 after all these years. Nay, the gaming gods are fickle and cruel. To finish up the saga would end the torment for those of us who’ve waited for continuation. We must be made to suffer, so a Dead Space remake was created instead.

…but hey, at least it’s a new (or new-ish) entry in the series, right? Better than nothing, yeah?

So here is it then, we’re back to the beginning all over again.

Was it worth it? Is Dead Space worthy of a remake?

What is Dead Space?

Dead Space is a single player third person survival horror title developed by Motive and published by EA.

It’s a remake of the 2008 game (also called Dead Space), and is available for PC (I’m reviewing the Steam version), Xbox Series S|X and the Playstation 5. Nintendo Switch and last gen gamers are unfortunately out of luck. It’s time to upgrade folks!

Our copy of the game was awesomely provided to us by the folks at EA! Thanks a ton for the game!

For review of the game, we were running a rig off these specs:
– MSI B550M Mortar
– AMD Ryzen 9 5900X with NZXT Kraken X73 RGB Liquid Cooler
MSI GeForce RTX 3080Ti Suprim X 12GB
– 64GB DDR4 RAM (Teamgroup T-Force Dark Z 16GB x 4 @ 3600MHz)
– Samsung 980 PRO 2TB SSD

Settings were all set to the maximum, with DLSS set to Balanced at 4K resolution.

A side mention; both our motherboard and GPU were awesomely sponsored by the great folks at MSI. I can honestly say the MSI GeForce RTX 3080Ti Suprim X 12GB is a hell of a GPU and more than worth its asking price. Great performance in games, looks damn cool with its RGB stylings too!

Thanks to MSI and their kind generosity, we’ll be reviewing more PC games now since we have the hardware to deliver a quality review experience.

Anyways, back to the review!

In Dead Space, you’re Isaac Clarke. Sent with a team to investigate why the USG Ishimura has gone dark, Clarke and his team soon find themselves in a fight for their lives as they encounter monstrosities that reside aboard the doomed ship.

There’s a lot more depth to the plot than that but I’ll be saving the spoilers in case you’re new to the series. After all, if you’re a veteran like me, you’ll know everything that happens in the game anyways. The game’s rather linear, though there are optional objectives (in the form of personnel RIGs you can find) scattered throughout.

If you’re new, then know that Dead Space doesn’t begin and end with the numbered games. There are side stories (comic books, animated movies, novels and games) that details the events before, during and even after the plot of this game. Oh, you’ll want to excuse the piss poor art for the comics and animated movies though… because trust me, the lore is good.

I don’t know whether EA is resurrecting the whole media franchise, but I sure hope that they at least rerelease the spinoff games (maybe even include the comics and animated movies as secret unlocks for new games in the series) at some point in the future.

There’s a huge and complex interwoven plot that the main games barely scratch and I really hope that EA doesn’t let that go to waste. If you’re interested in the lore, then do yourself a favour and look into the other games, comics and novels.

Anyways, back to Dead Space and its review.

For veterans, the return to the USG Ishimura will be bittersweet.

We’ve all been aboard before, though I dare say most of us will be making the return pilgrimage for the remake with much anticipation. I know I did! Seeing the ship on-screen as Isaac and crew make their approach raised goosebumps on the back of my neck!

It’s a ‘Honey! I’m hooooooome!’ moment definitely.

Familiarity is a both a curse and a blessing however. Despite some new and atmospheric lighting and environmental effects, the layout of the ship (including room layouts) in the remake is largely the same.

In fact, a lot of things remain the same. When the biggest new change is that Isaac Clarke now has a voice in the game, you know things are a bit thin in the updates department.

Enemies attack via the same sequences as in the original game, entering through the same vents. They have the same vulnerabilities. It’s all very deja vu. This is the biggest criticism I have.

With modern consoles and the power of PCs today, you’d think that enemy entrances can be more dynamic.

Jump scares (in the form of enemies suddenly crashing through grates or reanimating when you go near them) abound but quickly wear out their welcome by how predictable they become. Yes, it’s the same spawning patterns as the original, but I’m disappointed EA didn’t do more elaborate entrances or change enemy placements for the remake.

The setpieces are similar too…mostly.

Some are much cooler now (such as the ADS reactivation). There are a couple of enhanced cutscenes (and a handful of new ones) and the in-game text logs seem to be more cryptic (I don’t remember them referencing the colony events so much in the original) but overall, this is Dead Space, just visually updated for modern times…and made much much harder.

Seriously, there’s a massive lack of ammo this time around.

Enemies usually only drop credits (when they used to drop plasma cutter bolts by the boatload), which means accuracy takes precedence over pretty much everything else.

My tip? Keep the Pulse Rifle and Flamethrower (both for their alternate fire modes) and sell everything else to buy ammo for the Plasma Cutter.

If you’re wondering if the plasma cutter is still the best weapon in the game, the answer’s a resounding yes. Necromorphs get sliced apart like butter with that bad boy.

With the enhanced gore in the game (shots actually take off chunks of flesh, so you can literally see the damage you’re doing), pretty much every fight will end with Isaac drenched in blood.

It is awesome.

Even after more than a decade, the game’s focus of dismemberment still holds up very well.

Unlike The Callisto Protocol’s melee-centric focus on combat, Dead Space is still all about ranged fights. You fight enemies from range as much as possible, taking shots at limbs to dismember and stop the necromorphs before stomping them for items.

Therein lies another one of my criticisms.

Not having a melee weapon (the laser chainsaws or mining tools seen in the movies would be great to have!) sucks really bad. It was inexcusable the first time around and it’s even more inexcusable (since Motive had all the time in the world to add in melee weapons) now.

Again, EA had the chance elevate the remake but instead chose the easier route.

Thankfully, EA did opt to make the visuals better.

There are now lots of neat environmental effects like fog and steam spurting out of vents.

Lighting is also massively overhauled and looks incredible. The USG Ishimura never looked better…or worse in this case. It still amazes me to no end how much creepier a hallway can get just with atmospheric lighting and fog effects.

Medical is still the stuff of nightmares, which is a good (or bad) thing depending on how much sleep you’d like to have.

You don’t really need me to talk about the Necromorphs right?

The new visuals only make them look worse (in a very good way). There’s immense detail to their character models now and I just LOVE blasting flesh and sinew to get at the bones to dismember them. The lighting makes them even more creepier, especially if you turn on the Ambient Occlusion Ray Tracing.

Just take a look at the screens!

All of them are insane!

If you told me they were from a game a decade ago, I’d have laughed at you. The visuals in the game legitly look like cinematics when you play with everything maxed out.

The sound design is just as good too!

I play with a Samsung HW-Q50A Dolby Atmos 11.1.4 soundbar setup, and I constantly have to hold back from peeing (or pooping) myself every time I get scared shitless.

The screams, the background ambient noises…they all contribute to make exploring the USG Ishimura a terrifyingly horrific experience. I think playing with headphones would be even more intense!

Playing through the game, I did encounter a few quirks here and there.

For one, early cutscenes would stutter and reduce the game’s frame rate. Every time that happened, I had to ALT+TAB in and out of the game to fix it. I still have no idea what’s the issue but it doesn’t occur anymore past Chapter 2 so hopefully a launch day patch irons things out. Note, I’ve tried replaying the game and the issue doesn’t occur anymore, so it might just be a one session thing.

There’s also the issue of a weird lighting pop-in on the bridge, near the Save Point. Lights near the viewport behind the Save Point would suddenly turn on whenever you get near. It’s not a feature though…it’s a bug.

Other than that, the game’s performance was exemplary. Reloads from death were decently quick (around 6-7 seconds on average for me) and the game was buttery smooth throughout, even with tons of effects, necromorph parts flying around and all.

The Bottom Line.

It’s about damn time EA brought back Dead Space. I’ve always been a huge fan of the series and to see it finally return to prominence is awesome.

However, being impartial for a moment, I’m a bit disappointed by the lack on new stuff in the remake. Dead Space was incredible for its time (and it still holds up), but EA and Motive could’ve done much better with the remake by adding in more new stuff, like Capcom did with its Resident Evil 2 and 3 remakes.

That aside, Dead Space is still a great survival horror experience even after all this time. It’s a bit tougher this time around, but it’s still just as awesome in 2023 as it was in 2008. After all, it’s pretty much the same game…though one with insanely awesome visuals and sound.

Here’s hoping EA brings remakes all the other games in the series (yes, including the lightgun game Dead Space Extraction) for modern systems!


Great remake with not much new other than visuals but still more than worth a replay. Game of the Year contender for sure.

The Good.

  • The visuals and enemy design.
  • The combat.
  • The atmosphere.
  • The lore.
  • The sound design.

The Bad.

  • Not much new content.
  • Minor technical issues.

Sal's been in the industry since the early 2000s. He's written for a ton of gaming and tech publications including Playworks, Hardwarezone, HWM and GameAxis. Recently, Sal served as a juror for the Indie Game Awards at Taipei Game Show 2020. A geek and hardcore gamer, Sal will play everything, on any platform.