In addition to being an absolutely terrifying work of video game horror, Dead Space is known for the unique way it asks you to deal with the Necromorphs, the horrifying reanimated and transformed corpses that stalk the claustrophobic USG Ishimura spacecraft. The game famously asks the player, as the engineer Isaac Clarke, to cut off their limbs. This is still true in the forthcoming Dead Space remake, but said limb-cutting looks like it will be even gnarlier than before.
On a livestream from the Dead Space remake developers at EA’s Motive Studio, the developers showed off extremely early footage of a prototype displaying the game’s reworked limb-cutting. (Or severance package. Get it?)
Much like in the original game, this is done with sci-fi versions of industrial tools like plasma cutters, and by targeting the Necromorphs’ various extremities to lop them off with lasers and various lethal acoutrements. The remake keeps this intact, but adds some strategic depth. Now, each weapon will affect different kinds of Necromorph in varying ways — some will stagger, stun, or shred depending on what enemy type they’re used on. It’s a change that will likely encourage players to use more of the game’s weapons as opposed to sticking with the handy plasma cutter for their whole playthrough.
Additionally, the increased detail afforded by current-gen hardware and EA’s Frostbite engine mean that dismemberment will be rendered in even greater detail, with layers of flesh and bone flaying away before the Necromorph is out of commission. In keeping with the ethos of the original game, this isn’t just for cosmetic reasons – the amount of flesh on the Necromorph’s body is now an indicator of health.
The remake will also address one of the few sore spots in the first Dead Space: the game’s zero-gravity sections. Motive showed off a brief demo of a zero-gravity section, displaying the new game’s improved take on zero-G controls that will likely serve to make those parts much less frustrating.
It’s still very early in the process — according to Motive, Dead Space is only about a year into development — but from this first look, the Dead Space remake appears to be an extremely faithful rebuild of the 2008 game with some small tweaks throughout. Bigger changes were teased, but it may be a while before we get to see any of them.