After a brutal week of what seemed like delay after delay and crushed dream after crushed dream, a small green light shone at the end of the dock- the Dead Space remake got a release date of January 27, meaning that it’s only half a year until we’re all screaming in space again. Not that anyone will hear us.
This is exciting for a number of reasons. First and foremost, seeing Dead Space return after so long is a cause for celebration, even if the original team behind it is sadly not at the helm. Secondly, it looks fantastic and is already capturing the spirit of the original while evolving the formula in clever ways, such as changing how Isaac’s infamously loud breathing works and letting it affect which dialogue plays in certain scenes.
The most exciting thing, though, is how upfront, honest, and open EA Motive has been about every facet of Dead Space’s existence. Right from when it was first announced, Motive quickly set expectations by saying that it’s only for current-generation consoles, let there be no confusion on its status as a remake, and then quickly started showing off behind-the-scenes footage of the game.
That initial reveal was all the way back in July, but since then, we’ve already got a (hopefully) concrete release date, heard plenty about what the remake is aiming to do, and even seen gameplay footage of it. We’re still waiting on a full gameplay slice, but even that now has a planned date in October. EA Motive has been left to work on the game and show stuff when, and if, it wants to.
Those behind-the-scenes showcases are perhaps my favourite part of this whole thing. Almost immediately after being announced, Motive took to social media to show off a very early look at the game, with some of the streams being an hour long. They were full of technical information over gameplay, but it was clear from watching how passionate the team was, and getting to see an honest look at Dead Space before any more hyped up trailers was a treat.
Some of what was shown focused things that probably wouldn’t have been noticed otherwise. Finding out all about how Isaac’s breathing will change his dialogue and how they’ve tweaked elements of the system so that he more naturally swaps between calm and distressed was interesting and shines a light on the work that’s gone into the remake.
That approach has also already led to changes being made to Dead Space for the better. After the first showcase, some complained that the weapons didn’t sound right and needed changing, which Motive then did, quickly confirming that it was looking at the feedback and then even quicker showing off the final product, which fans were happy to see.
To my memory, no other developer has done something like this, especially for a single-player focused remake. Sure, constant changes and communications are expected for live-service games, but not for something like this. The extra effort on Motive’s part has been incredibly endearing. Not to sound like an edgy YouTube comment underneath a Star Wars Battlefront 2 video, but all of this honesty coming from EA, of all places, is really great to see.
There are far too many examples of games being announced way too early and then going for long stretches of time without any kind of update from the developers. There’s a very fair argument to be made for gamers shutting up and letting a game be made rather than needing to be babied with screenshots and teases, but it can also be just as frustrating to be excited for something and simply get nothing back for years on end – just look at The Elder Scrolls 6. What have we seen since that vague teaser of a mountain range?
With the Dead Space Remake, EA has set a precedent – announce the game when it’s close to being ready, let the developers and community interact with one another, and be honest and upfront about how development is going. It’s something that the industry could use a lot more of.
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