Dead Space Remake Proves Dead Space 3 Needs a Re-Do to Make the Series Whole
Key Art by EA

Dead Space 3 Is Dying For a Re-Do to Make the Series Whole Again

The wrongs of the past can be put to right, but only by starting from scratch.

It’s odd to say, but Dead Space is back on top after the fall from grace that was Dead Space 3 more than a decade ago.

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The Dead Space Remake has been released to wide acclaim, with almost everyone speaking about how well it captures the series’ original spirit. The terror of wandering a derelict ship ravaged by an alien outbreak, blended with more modern graphics and expanded content that further fleshes out the narrative, has resulted in an optimized experience that elevates what the original title offered.

This, of course, has led people to speculate on the chances of the rest of the series being remade in the same style. After all, it would only make sense for Motive and EA to keep the momentum going and capitalize on the renewed interest in one of their more unique franchises. Not only that but Dead Space 2 offers an evolution of the design framework of the first game that would lend itself beautifully to a modern glow-up.

As is always the case with this series though, a problem emerges with Dead Space 3. While the microtransactions entrenched in its design were certainly an issue, there were other key problems the game had which aren’t exactly salvageable. Aspects like the introduction of more humanoid enemies, and the removal of survival horror elements like diverse resource management to make way for more standard shooter mechanics, would still rear their heads if the title were remade one for one.

Even with new story content or honed graphics, it would still be such a large departure from the series’ core ethos that the wider series might be dragged down by its inclusion all over again. So how, then, should it be approached? How do you continue remaking a franchise when an entry serves as a clear dead-end?

Simple: Motive and EA can opt out of remaking Dead Space 3 one-to-one and instead reimagine the third entry in the series via a complete re-do.

Image via EA

While not exactly standard practice in the video game industry, a stripping down and rebuilding from the ground up of the third game would allow for changes that it so desperately needs. The aforementioned issues of adding in more generic action elements at the expense of the series’ horror could be replaced with design choices that were proven to have worked in the first two games and Dead Space Remake.

Instead of prioritizing streamlined shooting mechanics and cover-based combat, focus can instead be put on the horror of trying to survive the threat of the Necromorphs in wide-open environments with weather hazards. The long-term effects of the Marker on Isaac’s mind can be further explored with hallucinations, and a proper setup can be established for future entries in the series.

The elements that worked from the original title could be honed or reworked as well. For all of the criticisms held against it, Dead Space 3 did offer some interesting narrative developments to the established canon, as well as an interesting setting in the snow-swept arctic terrain of Tau Volantis.

If anything, these facets should have been given more time to shine. With a heavier focus, they could help provide the kind of distinct atmosphere Dead Space Remake has, with its characters unraveling the causes of an earlier Necromorph outbreak and trekking their way across a setting that is decidedly distinct from the first two games.

And then, there’s the co-op. To be sure, its inclusion did lessen the horror of what players were facing due to the removal of the prior games’ single-player approach and sense of isolation. And yet, the feature managed to show real potential for applying horror elements to a multiplayer experience.

Carver’s gameplay segments, wherein one player experiences hallucinations while the other sees nothing, could be fleshed out further to create an experience that necessitates playing the game from the perspective of both characters. This may even result in new avenues for future titles to explore, with Carver serving as a more integral part of the series or even a potential protagonist in his own titles.

Image via EA

Most important of all, though, is that a re-do of Dead Space 3 would finally allow the series to continue in earnest. While the Dead Space Remake is an exceptional title, it’s still a retread of an existing game from the franchise. It definitely offers a framework future titles could use as a base, but at best, it sets the series up for further remakes and rehashes.

By recreating Dead Space 3 and building a better foundation for the series’ future, there would finally be some new blood coursing through the series’ veins. This could help the franchise finally move forward and grow in a way that allows it to see just as much longevity as something like Resident Evil.

Would undertaking such a feat present challenges for Motive and EA? Undoubtedly. They’d likely have to pour quite a bit of time and effort into rebuilding Dead Space 3 from scratch, and that would be after a sizable amount of work goes into remaking Dead Space 2.

Even then, though, it would be a worthwhile endeavor. The love for the Dead Space franchise has held firm even all these years since a new entry, and the recent Remake has only stoked those feelings among fans. There’s a real opportunity for the franchise to stay revitalized and grow into something greater, and it all starts with setting things right where things fell apart in the first place.

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Keenan McCall
Keenan has been a nerd from an early age, watching anime and playing games for as long as I can remember. Since obtaining a bachelor's degree in journalism back in 2017, he has written thousands of articles covering gaming, animation, and entertainment topics galore.