A Public Appeal For More Dead Space

Time For a Dead Space Revival

In February 2011, my wife and I were expecting our first child. The town we lived in didn’t have an adequate maternity ward, so, a few weeks before the due date, we had to drive four hours south, in the dead of winter, to a larger community. We booked into a hotel, which would be our home while we waited for our firstborn to have their “Hello World” moment.

I brought my Xbox 360 with me and was playing the recently released Dead Space 2. I enjoyed the first Dead Space, but something about the sequel just completely absorbed me. It was truly one of the greatest games I had ever played. My wife and I had no less than a dozen or so potential baby names… but we could not come to an agreement on a boy’s name. While playing Dead Space 2, the world would often whisper the protagonist’s name. It was spooky and haunting. “Isaac”… “Isaac”…  The name infected my brain. At one point between gaming sessions, I turned to my wife and asked, “What about the name Isaac if it’s a boy?” She loved it. Finally, a name we could agree on. And so, when our son was born, we named him Isaac, after Dead Space’s Isaac Clarke. Dead Space will forever have its mark on our family.

A Franchise As Vast As Space Itself

The Dead Space trilogy is arguably the best collection of space-based sci-fi horror games to ever grace gaming. This isn’t just my personal opinion; on Metacritic, Dead Space earns a solid 89/100, Dead Space 2 earns an even better 90/100, while Dead Space 3 takes a slight dip down to 78/100. Here at COGconnected, we gave Dead Space 3 a well-deserved 83/100 and ended the review by noting, “…though I feel Dead Space 3 may not be the strongest of all the three Dead Space games I found I still enjoyed it thoroughly and feel that it is definitely a title that should be on every action gamer’s radar.”

The Dead Space trilogy has spawned three spin-off games, two animated movies, a limited-series comic, and several novels. While the three main games focused primarily on Isaac Clarke’s story, the spin-off content has explored a whole variety of aspects in the Dead Space franchise, creating such an incredible universe that even rivals that of Mass Effect.

Dead Space 3 launched in February of 2013. Four years later, the studio behind Dead Space, Visceral Games, was shut down, and the Dead Space franchise was essentially shelved. Key members of the development team have gone on to new projects at different companies. It would be almost impossible to get the old team back together. So, is it even worth hoping for a new Dead Space? You’re damn right it is. Here’s a fun fact; the development team for Dead Space evolved and changed throughout the trilogy. Each Dead Space featured different writers, directors, and producers. The point I’m trying to make is that despite the constant changing of the guard, each Dead Space game has been brilliant in its own right, and it stands to reason that a new dev team could just as easily make a thrilling fourth Dead Space if they’re truly as passionate about the franchise as us fans are.

Deadly Options

What should EA do with the Dead Space franchise at this point? In my opinion, there are two options, and if I called the shots, EA would do both in quick succession. First, remaster the Dead Space trilogy. EA would dedicate an existing studio or maybe open a brand new studio and task them with remastering the original trilogy. The remaster wouldn’t make any deviations from the original games. There is no need to cut or add content; just update the visuals and add some quality-of-life & accessibility features. There was quite a jump in visual quality between Dead Space and Dead Space 3, so this remaster will create a visually cohesive package. Fans and newcomers will get an opportunity to re-live these amazing games on modern hardware. Additionally, the dev team would get hands-on experience with the franchise to ensure they know how to develop the second option, Dead Space 4.

Dead Space 4. The thought alone gives me goosebumps. I’m no sci-fi writer, so I’m not going to sit here and suggest what the Dead Space 4 plot would be. However, according to one of the developers, we do have some idea as to what was being planned. And while some of these ideas sound interesting, I’m no fan of them shifting the focus away from Isaac Clarke as the main protagonist. To keep things simple, I’m just going to offer a simple breakdown of what I would and wouldn’t like to see in Dead Space 4.

What must be included in Dead Space 4?

  • Isaac Clarke returns as the main protagonist.
  • Isaac Clarke’s suit is still used as a HUD, and there are plenty of new suits to find.
  • Strategic dismemberment returns in all its gory glory – but dial it up even more. Let me dismember as little as a finger or as much as a whole limb.
  • The Plasma Cutter is back, along with some other favorite weapons like the Line Gun.
  • Jason Graves does the soundtrack, or we riot.
  • Graphic, horror content is back. I want to be constantly on the edge of my seat.

What can be left behind?

  • Zero-G environments. These open space areas were visually impressive but ended up being a bit awkward to control in.
  • Fully customizable weapons. It sounded great on paper, but in the end, I’d rather focus on the game rather than micro-managing things that go pew-pew.
  • Co-op mode. While it wasn’t that bad in Dead Space 3, it definitely made the game feel less scary.

Of course, this is just one fan’s opinion. Who knows exactly what the next Dead Space could look like. It’s worth mentioning that one of the Dead Space creators, Glen Schofield, has opened a new development studio, Striking Distance Studios. Their first game, The Callisto Protocol, is set to launch in 2022 and has been often referred to as a Dead Space spiritual successor. Is it possible The Callisto Protocol can fill the Dead Space void? Only time will tell. However, all fans can agree that the Dead Space franchise includes some of the best sci-fi horror games ever made, and it would be a damn shame if we never suit up in a RIG again.

Thank you for keeping it locked on COGconnected.

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