Test – Dead Space Remake – Better Than Original | Xbox One

Luckily for the calendar, Dead Space Remake ends just a few weeks after the release of The Callisto Protocol, a new license founded by the alumni of Visceral Games, the studio to which we owe the first Dead Space trilogy. It must be said that EA’s expectations were very (too?) ambitious at the time, and despite its commercial success (the third episode sold more than five million copies, making it the best-selling game of the trilogy), the studio closed and the license was shelved. If The Callisto Protocol managed to find its audience (despite mixed critical reception), all eyes are now on the remake of the original Dead Space. For the best or for the worst?

Once upon a time in space

Our main character, Isaac Clarke, is undoubtedly one of the most famous and unlucky engineers in the world. Departed to carry out repairs on the USG Ishimura, a giant freighter originally responsible for asteroid extraction, he and his crew quickly realize that the distress signal the building is emitting is anything but ordinary.

Once there, death and destruction await them as many parts of the ship are destroyed and corpses litter the halls of the space base. Are you telling yourself that we can hardly do worse? Think again, because the dead don’t stay alive for long, the current evil (certainly at the beginning of Ishimura’s injury) has an alien nature and is capable of awakening the deceased, confronting us at full speed. danger horror based on rotting flesh, tentacles and various hooks. Our unfortunate hero will have to go through many trials to repair the ship and find the source of this disaster.

The story is unchanged or little changed compared to the original version released in 2008. Here and there, some additions to the narrative are felt, such as a more important place given to certain secondary characters, or the presence of the Monolith from this first episode, the meaning of which we will keep quiet so as not to spoil the discovery. We feel the desire to connect the story of the first part more closely with the rest of the trilogy, a desire that does not end in the screen work.

Elements taken from 2 and 3

Since it’s the first scene of the game, it can’t be mentioned directly. Our hero Isaac Clarke now has a face and voice! Completely silent (aside from his grunts) in the original game, he was given personality in Dead Space 2 and 3.

So the studio took the same face and the same voice (Gunner Wright, stuntman for the suites) to finally give our beloved engineer some personality. Communication is now in the form of dialogue, Isaac often has a say in the situation. Everything makes the story more fluid, blurring the feeling of controlling a robot that can only respect orders.

Another addition taken from later episodes is the ability to use fuel and move freely in zero-gravity zones. Historically, during these phases in space, it was only possible to fly from wall to wall, where we can move wherever we want. These crossings are also visually stunning, offering a unique and colorful spectacle every time.

However, we regret that there is some lack of clarity in these new parts, especially when under enemy attack, danger can come from all directions.

But the changes do not end there. If we can consider this remake as a modernized vision of the original title (the game has been completely reworked under the Frostbite Engine), it allows for a few feel-good additions that go beyond the visual norm. Our weapons benefit from alternate fire, for example, the flamethrower can now create a fire barrier. Similarly, it is equipped with an automatic grenade launcher.

These secondary shots enhance the variety of approaches of different weapons without compromising the balance or difficulty of the game, thus offering other effective ways to capture the confrontation with the necromorphs. Especially since they are wild and numerous.

On my cruel ship

The structure of Dead Space was divided into chapters, first by name, with a clean break from one to the next. This is no longer the case. We can now easily retrace our steps thanks to the tram (which already existed at the time, but acts as a transition from the end/beginning of the chapter).

Some entrances and passages now require special accreditation, which we unlock as the adventure progresses, which prohibits certain entrances during our first passage and forces us to retrace our steps if we want to explore everything. . This very light metroidvania approach offers a more organic and open progression to the adventure, which is taken into account by the enemies. Gone are the scripted encounters, necromorphs can now spawn anywhere thanks to a new AI system that takes into account our lives and remaining ammo to send the beautiful little monsters our way. This forces us to be cautious even when revising known passages.

As for the skirmishes, we take the basics that made the series famous, which is tearing apart our enemies. Isaac’s primary weapon is a plasma cutter, which can be aimed vertically or horizontally, allowing him to slow the legs and claws of necromorphs and then stomp them in close combat. The new graphics also allow enemies to calculate damage based on visible muscles and bones.

In addition to all this, there are also more impressive weapons for a complementary arsenal. We also have access to very quick telekinesis powers, stopping time or sending objects, very practical in certain situations. Overall, the gameplay has been pleasantly modernized, with the weight and toughness of our hero present without interfering with the game’s fluidity.

All of this equipment, our weapons like our armor, can be upgraded through a redesigned, simplified skill point system to get down to the basics in terms of increasing our stats.

A decent render by 2023?

In the context of a remake like this, we come to the most important part in the context of the graphics and overall performance of the title. It’s hard not to be impressed by the work done by Motive, the studio behind this remake, as the final render screams the teams passion for the source material. Each zone, corridor or passage testifies to the care taken in the reinterpretation of this classic.

The lighting effects are particularly impressive, the game plays with the contrast between light areas and shadow areas to create surprise, the only source of light is often the flashlight on our weapon. The same goes for the many particle effects that give the graphics a lot of comfort. The atmosphere is almost palpable in certain scenes, we regularly pause to take in the graphic imagery, and the claustrophobic anguish we feel as we wander through Ishimura’s maze of corridors is always very present.

Ditto for the soundtrack, which manages to amp up the intensity of the suspenseful scenes. Hearing terrifying screams behind doors or monsters crawling through air ducts literally freezes our blood. For maximum excitement, we recommend playing it with headphones (or not, depending on your ability to control your fear).

On the graphics side, the game offers two options: quality mode and performance mode.

If the performance option really convinced us, it showed a stable frame rate at 60 while enjoying the 2K resolution, the quality mode seemed less stable. No bugs on the horizon, the version we were presented with shines with a high-quality finish. The only minor downside is the nearly minute-long load times, something we’ve almost gotten used to with the current generation of consoles.

A good remake art?

Then comes the eternal question: can we justify full price for a remake of this type? This question caused a lot of ink to flow, especially with the release of The Last of Us: Part I, which was priced similarly to this remake of Dead Space, and also for a single-player game with around ten players. hour.

The debate remains the same, and the answer will certainly vary according to your budget, but for us, yes, the quality offered in this case is enough to pass inspection or return. Because we’re not only dealing with an exemplary remake, but one of the best survival horrors out there. Seeing one of the best solo experiences as long as you like to be scared.

Testing was done on Xbox Series X.

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