Dead Space Remake Review: The Return of Sci-Fi Horror

Survival horror makes a glorious return with the Dead Space Remake.

DISCLOSURE: This game was reviewed on the following platform: PC – Check out our Review Policy page for more information.

When I was a young kid in 2011, I first saw a trailer for Dead Space 2 and thought “wow, I want to play that game”, knowing full well that I get scared easily when playing horror games (you can blame Resident Evil 2 on the original PlayStation for that). But I did see that Dead Space 2 is obviously a sequel to the original Dead Space that came out in 2008.

Naturally, I had to play it before I even play the sequel.

The man himself, Isaac Clarke

Fast forward to Christmas time, me and my mom went out to buy the original Dead Space. She didn’t really bother to ask why there was a severed hand on the cover, but she knew that I loved horror movies and games, so she decided to let it slide. We then went home and I popped the game into my Xbox 360 and played it. Naturally, young me was scared to the point where there were times that I could’ve browned my pants.  

I had to play only one chapter every day because my heart was beating too fast, and I was afraid I was going to die from a heart attack. Eventually, after 12 days, I beat the game and thought to myself “wow, survival horror games are awesome”. Then I went and played Dead Space 2 which came out a couple of months later and my love for the Dead Space franchise grew.

So much so that I read almost all of the entries in the wiki and even read some fanfiction. However, my heart would be broken a couple of years later when after Dead Space 3 did not do well enough to warrant a sequel, the franchise was shelved and Visceral Games was shut down.

I may rag on this game from time to time, but I actually grew to appreciate it. It’s just not a good Dead Space game

I truly loved Dead Space, and it was one of the first franchises that I really got into. So seeing Dead Space get shelved with no possibility of a sequel made me incredibly sad. But, life goes on as I had to enter the next journey of my life: college.

Fast forward to 2020 during the height of the pandemic, I was working in a job that I didn’t like and was just trying to earn money to make a living to support myself and my hobbies. Lo and behold, a trailer for The Callisto Protocol dropped, and once I discovered that it was made by the creator of Dead Space, my sci-fi survival horror heart started beating again.

Only to be disappointed when it came out.

Yeah… this did not do well

However, before the release of The Callisto Protocol, we also got the announcement that the Dead Space Remake was coming, and I was happy that sci-fi survival horror was making a comeback with The Callisto Protocol and the Dead Space Remake (but that was before The Callisto Protocol turned out to not be good).

With The Callisto Protocol not doing well, my worries about the Dead Space Remake became increasingly apparent. What if it does poorly? Will I never get a chance to see a proper Dead Space 4 if it flops? Will it even run decently on my PC? So many questions and some of them were answered when I played the remake.

It. Is. Good.

Dead Space Remake is a Remake Done Right

For almost half a decade, we have been getting remakes of popular video games. We got a Resident Evil 2 and 3 Remake, Final Fantasy VII “Remake” (I say “remake” because it doesn’t really feel like one, it feels more like a new game in the Final Fantasy VII universe), Yakuza Kiwami 1 and 2, Demon’s Souls, even The Last of Us Part I.

All of these games are amazing in their own way and offer something that the originals did not have. However, I personally feel like the Dead Space Remake is in another league of its own. The game unleashes the full potential of the game that was held back by its hardware back in the day. Not saying the original is bad by any means, it’s still fantastic. But I feel like the remake was able to bring out everything the original could not do.

When games are remade for modern hardware, we sometimes get hits or misses. An example of that is Resident Evil 2 and 3. Resident Evil 2 was a fantastic remake that also did it right. It was a game that was faithful to the original, all the while adding things to make it unique and improving original gameplay features, all while staying true to the source material.

Resident Evil 3, however, was a remake that felt rushed and incomplete, which is evidenced by the fact that there are reports that the game had to cut out certain parts that were in the original game. In the end, we got a 6-hour game being sold for 60 dollars with little to no content and replayability.

Dead Space Remake takes the path of the Resident Evil 2 Remake but goes above and beyond.

The game not only improves graphically, but also in sound design, level design, gameplay mechanics, and character models, and they even got my man, Gunner Wright, to voice Isaac Clarke again after years of not being able to do so, and oh boy does he still got it.

Sound Design and Ambience are Top Notch

There are two things I consider very important when playing a horror game: the sound design and ambience. Most people would think it’s the designs of whatever monster is chasing you, but not to me. In a game like Dead Space, sounds and the ambience of your surroundings is an important ingredient for a great survival horror game, and my god this game hits it out of the park.

The creaking of the ship that’s slowly falling apart, the sound of Isaac’s heartbeat, the whispers in his head that’s signaling the Marker’s effects slowly infecting his mind, even Isaac’s heavy footsteps as he travels through the Ishimura shows that the developers understood that in order to immerse the player into the game, they have to get the sound right.

Dead Space Remake’s sound design and its ambience is something that The Callisto Protocol successfully did, but done in a whole other level.

A Fully Explorable Ishimura is a Great Idea

Where it all began…

One other thing that I genuinely love about this game is that the USG Ishimura is fully explorable. Obviously not the whole ship, but compared to the original, the Ishimura could not be explored at your own leisure. The original was separated into chapters and once you complete a chapter, you cannot return to certain areas of the ship anymore.

In the remake, the developers made the right decision to make the Ishimura fully explorable. After completing a chapter, you are not locked out of the area. Instead, you can go back to the area should you wish by taking the tram. If you want to go back to Medical, you can. Mining? No problem? Engineering? Sure. All you have to do is take the tram to that area and you can explore again.

I recommend doing this when you reach Chapter 11 because, without spoiling too much, you will not be able to explore the Ishimura once you finish Chapter 11. The game will take you to a different area in Chapter 12, which is the last chapter of the game. So when you reach Chapter 11, make sure to do everything you can.

There are Side Missions in the Game

One thing that I was not expecting in the Dead Space Remake were side missions. Now hold on, before you get into a rant that this single-handedly ruin the game, just remember that Dead Space 3 also had side missions and as much as I did not like the game, the side missions were actually really cool. It offered a lot of backstories on what happened to the Eudora and Tau Volantis, and the same can be said for the Dead Space Remake.

The side missions aren’t just killing X number of enemies or tailing missions. Instead, we get side missions that explore other characters in the game, like the antagonist Dr. Challus Mercer and Senior Medical Officer, Nicole Brennan. We even get to see the origins of the Hunter, the regenerating Necromorph that hunts Isaac in the Ishimura.

There are only 3 side missions in the game, and one of them is more or less just about getting something to open doors, while the other two are about lore. However, it takes a while to complete them because the game will tell you that you cannot complete the objective now because the area you need to go to next is locked. Still, they are pretty good.

Main Story is Improved With a Fully Voiced Isaac Clarke

He kind of does look like Adam Sandler

Another huge change in the remake is that Isaac Clarke is now fully voiced and modeled after Gunner Wright, his voice actor. In the original, Isaac Clarke had a different face and was mute the whole game. He did not react to the deaths of his allies and mostly showed emotion through grunts and heavy breathing.

Now, with Gunner Wright being the face and voice of Isaac, Isaac reacts to the events around him as the game goes on, and I really love that. I never had a problem with Isaac being a silent protagonist in the original, but when I played the second game, I really came to love Gunner Wright’s performance that he gives when portraying Isaac Clarke. Going back to the first game after Dead Space 2 and 3 was hard because I would miss Wright’s performance.

With Isaac now fully voiced and reacting to the events of the first game, it made me realize that this game really did need a remake because my major gripe with the game was resolved now that we have a fully voiced Isaac Clarke.

Performance Issues on Both PC and Console, Surprisingly

Just like The Callisto Protocol, Dead Space Remake seems to be suffering from performance issues. Now, I don’t have the best rig out there. In fact, it’s an entry-level PC that I built last year. I got an I3 10th gen processor paired up with an RTX 3050 with 16 gigs of RAM. It’s not the best, but it gets the job done, especially with DLSS on.

During my playthrough, I would get severe stutter issues when opening doors and just generally moving around. It’s noticeable because my screen would freeze for a millisecond and then continue. Naturally, I just shrugged it off as my PC not being powerful enough to handle this game, but I soon find out that it was not just me that’s experiencing it.

People with PCs that are better than mine have reported stuttering issues as well. I’ve seen users with an RTX 40 Series GPU and an I9 13th gen processor report that they are getting stuttering issues. Hell, even a YouTuber that I was watching the other day was getting frame drops when playing on the PlayStation 5.

It seems that whatever is happening to The Callisto Protocol is also happening to the Dead Space Remake. However, I don’t really mind the performance issues. I grew up playing Batman Arkham Knight on a Lenovo laptop with 8 gigs of RAM and Intel Integrated Graphics at 640×480 resolution on the lowest settings and only getting 25 FPS.

Yeah, I was that desperate.

My Final Rating and Recommendation

Overall, this game is a 4.5/5. It’s a great game, just maybe wait until it’s on sale.

Dead Space Remake Review

Elija Hernandez



I absolutely love this game. As I said when starting this review, it is a remake done right. It didn’t change the main story a whole lot, only some story bits and information about some characters that make it easy to understand. It takes what made the original game great, and amplified that times 10. However, I cannot recommend this game at full price.

It’s a great game, but paying full price for a single-player game nowadays that only offers you a linear story with no open world isn’t a smart idea (for me, at least). Plus, there are still performance issues that are plaguing the game on PC and consoles.


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