Image via EA

Dead Space Remake Review: Make Us Whole

I'm not trapped in here with you. You're trapped in here with me!

When presented with a remake, I often wonder, "why?" Why not advance the plot of a series? Why remake something that doesn't necessarily need one? Why not create instead of reiterate? Dead Space has been stuck in limbo since Dead Space 3 was released in 2013. In some ways, a remake is even worse than a prequel. At least a prequel adds to the story, even if it's in the wrong section. A remake simply adds nothing.

Recommended Videos

After playing through the Dead Space remake, I realized just how wrong I was. A remake can be so much more than the foundation it was built on. In the right hands, in this case, Motive's, a remake can keep everything beloved about an original work of art and elevate it with modern mechanics, graphics, and sensibilities. A remake can show you pieces you didn't even realize were missing.


Image via Motive

The greatest horror is rooted in sadness. Isaac Clarke is a man on a mission to save the woman he loves after arriving on the ship she serves on, the USG Ishimura, for repairs. It's quickly revealed that the ship is infested with monsters with a penchant for murdering everyone they see and rudely not staying dead themselves.

As Isaac works his way through the ship, restoring critical systems and flitting from one emergency to the next, it becomes clear that something worse than the monsters has happened here. There's something sinister that pervades the walls.

Dead Space has and continues to be just as much psychological horror as body horror. It's got something for everyone, whether fans of gore, jump scares, finely crafted dread, or twisting perceptions. It takes the player and their avatar of Isaac Clark and slowly warps what they see, turning Isaac into an unreliable narrator. It's a slow, gradual process and one that works beautifully. We see a man become broken but are convinced that what he's seeing and experiencing is the truth.

Aside from the immediate narrative of what's happening in the game, Dead Space sets up a rich world of lore with the Markers, Unitologists, Altman, and more. It worked wonders for the original trilogy and after going through the remake, I'm hoping that Motive continues to the masterpiece that was Dead Space 2 and then fixes the mess that was Dead Space 3. This franchise is very dear to me, and to see a new studio appreciate it in the same way is uplifting.

Score: 5/5

Related: Dead Space Remake Patch Notes – All Changes

Visuals and Performance

Image via Motive

On the PlayStation 5, Dead Space ran and looked like a dream. There was an option for a "performance mode" that would adjust the resolution and more to keep the game running at a solid 60fps, but even with it off, I didn't notice any frame drops or resolution loss while running at 1440p. So, without any noticeable downfall, I opted to make Dead Space as pretty as the PlayStation 5 would allow it.

The grisly details in the necromorphs with their distorted and twisted bodies are exactly how I imagined them when playing through the 2008 original. Issac's suit becomes full of wonderful nuanced accessories, plates, and more with each RIG upgrade. That is unless you ordered the Deluxe Edition, equipped the 2008 suit, and spent a few chapters wondering why Isaac lacks textures.

Even with densely packed environments, items floating through zero-gravity sections, and ominous corpses littering the Ishimura, it all ran smoothly. There wasn't a single stutter, crash, or mishap throughout our playthrough of 13 hours.

Score: 5/5


Image via Motive

Maybe it's all the nostalgia talking, but the Dead Space remake plays precisely how I remember the original playing. Everything from how Isaac moves to how Kinesis works felt like slipping on an old, familiar pair of gloves. Or, I suppose it was more akin to riding a bike. Whatever the analogy, if you're used to the original trilogy, you'll feel right at home with the remake.

One notable improvement is the zero gravity sections. It felt natural to slip into flight mode and navigate the disorienting spaces of the Ishimura. This was a struggle in the original and something that Motive has clearly figured out.

Otherwise, the hits are all here. With his trusty plasma cutter in hand, Isaac is more than equipped to handle the horrors dwelling in the hallways of the haunted Ishimura. Shooting off a leg or an arm and then moving in for the stomp to finish them off quickly becomes second nature. Throw in some Kinesis for a little variety in killing necromorphs and there's no shortage of inventive ways Isaac can dispatch his foes.

Puzzles make up the core of Dead Space's activities and push the narrative forward. The Ishimura has been severely disabled for reasons not clear until later portions of the game. It's up to Isaac to restore critical systems to keep the ship in orbit and produce life-saving oxygen. Each section of the ship forms a chapter and gives the game a natural flow and reason for why Isaac is doing different things.

The puzzles themselves aren't too difficult. Players won't be sitting there in frustration as if they were playing Portal. On the same token, they're not so easy that players will simply breeze through them. The mechanics are engaging, make sense, and build upon the systems and tools available to players.

Score: 5/5

Related: Best weapons in Dead Space Remake – All Weapons, Ranked


Image via Motive

The Dead Space remake sticks true to the original. There are several difficulty options available to cater to all skill sets. Those that simply want to experience the story and not worry about getting murdered are entirely able to. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the Insanity difficulty, which will push Isaac to his limits and bump players down to a lower difficulty if they die once.

Otherwise, players can take advantage of the New Game+ option and work their way up the difficulty tiers. This allows them to conquer the game like a mountain, one step at a time. Throw in an intelligent design that alters what necromorphs spawn and where and no two playthroughs are the same.

Systems like these have made the Resident Evil remakes so popular and will keep Dead Space in the zeitgeist longer than the Callisto Protocol. Allow players to explore at their own pace and roll their progress over from one playthrough to another, and not only will they play it longer on that initial run, but they are also more likely to come back to it.

Score: 5/5

Verdict - The Return of the King

I was nervous when the Dead Space remake was announced. When it was released, it felt like a cult hit. Sure, it had success, but horror titles don't really command headlines the same way games like Call of Duty do. Then the second one came out and expanded on everything I loved about the original. Finally, EA got greedy and tried to make the series into something it wasn't with Dead Space 3 which may have killed the series until now.

15 years later, Motive has gotten its hands on it and completely knocked it out of the park. This remake elicited all those feelings of nostalgia I had hoped for. It also delivered new content, like sidequests that made sense, gave Isaac a voice, and expounded on his background without feeling forced.

Whether this is a return trip to the USG Ishimura or your first visit, you're bound to have a good time. Aside from an amazing trip down memory lane, it taught me that not all remakes have to be bad. Sometimes, they can deliver an experience you never knew you were missing.

We received this code from EA for reviewing purposes.

For more Dead Space goodies, check out How to fix Dead Space remake stuttering on PC on Pro Game Guides.

Pro Game Guides is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article Will there be any Dead Space Remake Mods?
Read Article Dead Space Remake Patch Notes – All Changes (Update 1.000.003)
Read Article Dead Space Remake – All 7 Weapons, Ranked (Worst to Best)
Read Article How to fix Dead Space remake stuttering on PC
Read Article All weapon upgrades in Dead Space Remake and how to get them
Related Content
Read Article Will there be any Dead Space Remake Mods?
Read Article Dead Space Remake Patch Notes – All Changes (Update 1.000.003)
Read Article Dead Space Remake – All 7 Weapons, Ranked (Worst to Best)
Read Article How to fix Dead Space remake stuttering on PC
Read Article All weapon upgrades in Dead Space Remake and how to get them
Christian Dawson
Christian has been playing games since he could hold a controller in the late 80s. He's been writing about them for nearly 15 years for both personal and professional outlets. Now he calls Pro Game Guides home where he worships at the altar of Destiny 2.

Write A Comment

Dead Space Remake Review: Make Us Whole

Comments are on moderation and will be approved in a timely manner. Please read the following rules before commenting:

  • All comments must be on topic and add something of substance to the post
  • No swearing or inappropriate words
  • No asking or begging for anything free
  • Do not attempt to start a poll in the comments
  • Comments in all CAPS will be removed
  • We reserve the right to remove a comment for any reason
  • Do not impersonate a staff member or influencer

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.