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The team working on the Dead Space remake have spoken more on the horror’s re-imagining, revealing that in rebuilding the game from scratch, they’re also working with assets that weren’t found in the original 2008 release.
Speaking to IGN, creative director Roman Campos-Oriola said “We started with the original level design of the original Dead Space. What’s funny is that you can see some of the iterations that were made prior to ship by the team. In the first chapter, you can see some corridors that they wanted to do first in a certain way, and then you can understand why they changed it for technical constraints or [some other reason].”
Campos-Oriola went on to talk about the extent of the work being undertaken to rebuild the game in the Frostbite engine. He said “Then in terms of visuals, sound, gameplay, everything, we are rebuilding all of these assets. We are not porting them, it’s not uprezzing the texture or adding more polygons to the model. It’s really rebuilding all these elements, shooting all the animations, et cetera.”
Of course, the increased power of the newer hardware (the game will be exclusive to PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S) means the team can enhance the terrifying atmosphere of the game. In a blog on EA Motive’s website, Senior Producer Philippe Ducharme elaborated on that. He said: “We’re playing with volumetric effects so instead of just having sprites, you’re really able to feel the depth of a room, the thickness of the air. We’re playing with shadows, with dynamic lighting, so not only does it create the mood and the atmosphere, but it also has an effect on gameplay, because the player has the ability to control the lighting in certain areas of the ship.”
That goes into the sound design of the Dead Space remake too. Ducharme continues: “Audio also plays an important role reinforcing that sense of immersion. This is one area of the original game that still resonates with players. We are working on enhancing the experience and providing believable audio that focus on objects positioning and 3D sounds propagation.”
It’s clearly important to EA Motive that they stay true to the original, even bringing on staff members such as Dead Space 2’s Art Director Mike Yazijian. But as Yazijian states himself, they’re willing to change things up where appropriate: “We make sure we’re following the story, the art direction, everything, out of respect for the original game. We are taking the opportunity to also do away with some things that don’t work, and make sure the game stays relevant to modern audiences — but even that has to be done surgically.”
The Dead Space remake was revealed just last week, and will be coming at an as yet-unannounced date to Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5 and PC. Even the series’ original co-creator Glen Schofield has said he’s excited for it.