Dead Space remake: everything we know about the revamped sci-fi horror classic

(Image credit: EA)

Dead Space remake is a ground up reconstruction of the 2008 sci-fi survival horror classic, the one that spawned a series people have been nagging Electronic Arts to reboot for years. It's in development at EA Motive, the Canadian studio responsible for both the well-received Star Wars: Squadrons, and the controversial-but-ultimately-decent Star Wars: Battlefront 2. 

Since its announcement in July 2021, we've had a chance to get our hands on the Dead Space remake and can confirm what to expect, which is basically: Dead Space, but better looking. The gnarly aliens are gnarlier. The gruesome deaths more gruesome. The carveable limbs are... well, just as carveable, really. But they look great!

Here's everything else we know about the Dead Space remake, including the release date, and what changes we should expect compared to the original.

When is the Dead Space remake release date?

The Dead Space remake will release on January 27, 2023. And luckily, it'll release natively on Steam, meaning no Origin nonsense that'll get in the way as you revisit the Ishimura.

Interestingly, pre-purchasing the remake will get you Dead Space 2—just the original, not a remake—as a bonus and mild time paradox.

Here's a Dead Space remake gameplay trailer

The first proper trailer of the Dead Space remake released back in October of 2022, showing all the latest revisions of the original's carnival of severed space meat. As expected, it's all much prettier, provided that nastiness is a component metric of your definition of "pretty." Even the age-old wisdom of "cut off their limbs" is reimagined in high-fidelity blood graffiti. Truly, the future is a wondrous place.

An earlier teaser trailer provides some atmospheric mood-setting, if you're left feeling like you need just an extra touch of horror while you're waiting to revisit the space dismemberment.

How will the Dead Space remake differ from the original? 

The Dead Space remake is being built from scratch in the Frostbite engine, so it really is a remake in the truest sense. But in the same spirit as other modern remakes, like Resident Evil 2 and Final Fantasy 7 Remake, it won't be a perfect 1:1 recreation. No, it'll be adapted to suit more modern sensibilities, and it will also harken to the events of Dead Space 2 and 3 —games that didn't yet exist when the original released.

EA Motive expanded on some changes in an interview with IGN. In addition to the dismemberment mechanics getting a good spit and polish, you can also expect the zero gravity sections to be a lot more frictionless, and for a bunch of modern features to be added, such as 3D audio and vastly more advanced effects and lighting. The whole game will play out as "one cut," with no loading screens separating different areas of the ship. And according to creative director Roman Campos-Oriola, EA Motive was able to pull off things EA Redwood Shores / Visceral Games had planned, but were unable to achieve due to tech constraints.

Dead Space reboot comparison image

(Image credit: Electronic Arts)

As our own Tyler Wilde wrote in his Dead Space remake preview, it's a pretty faithful update of the original game, down to the video calls with Isaac's girlfriend and the crewmates of the Ishimura, the magnetic physics puzzles of plugging big batteries into battery-shaped holes, and the hallmark audio logs and corpse dioramas of late-'00s environmental storytelling.

That said, there are some interesting new additions, too: in the 2008 original's zero-G sections, Isaac could only clomp along the Ishimura's plating with his boot magnets. Now, he can float around with suit-mounted thrusters like in the sequels. Some new fusebox-based puzzles mean, for example, that you have to make your progress scarier by shutting off the lights to activate an elevator. Revisited areas won't be free of enemies like they were in the original, and an "intensity AI" will improvise additions to scripted scares by adding surprise necromorph attacks and meddling with the ship's lights.

Wait a sec. More on the Dead Space limb-cutting system, please. 

I'm glad you asked. As you'll see, it isn't gameplay footage per se, it's just Isaac Clarke in an untextured environment slaying some baddies. At the time of that airing, senior producer Philippe Ducharme said: "We wanted to [show] this because we wanted to be open with the communication, and open with how we're tackling this game. This is not a gameplay reveal trailer." 

It does look pretty cool though, at least, as far as gruesome dismemberment can be classified that way. You'll be able to carve those pesky aliens up in "super-precise" ways, according to Campos-Oriola. "The body destruction technology that we're developing, that is allowing us to really remove the flesh off of the bones of the enemy, and to give you a good sense not only of gore ... but also of how much damage am I doing to the opponent? Is my weapon actually useful against this one? How close is it to dying? That's something that to me is really interesting." Me too. Me too. 

Dead Space

(Image credit: Electronic Arts)

With the remake coming, can I still play the original Dead Space? 

Yes you can. It's on Steam and GOG, and is also part of the EA Play subscription service. 

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.