Dead Space remake will be available this Friday 27th January 2023 on PS5, Xbox Series and PC. One of the big releases of the month – with Forspoken – we got a chance to learn a little more about it just days before the return of this now classic survival horror.
We were indeed entitled to a one-on-one with two main characters behind the game: Joel MacMillanProduction Manager and Actor Gunner WrightVoice actors for the hero Isaac Clarke in Dead Space 2, Dead Space 3. Here is our full interview with them.
The making of Dead Space Remake
Before we get to the bottom of Dead Space Remake, we wanted to take the temperature a few days before launch, find out what the mood of the two men was, and find out how the project came about. And if we could have a little doubt, this iteration will see the light of day, thanks in part to… Capcom!
game blog : How did you feel revisiting a survival horror classic like Dead Space?
joel MacMillan : For my part, I would say that we felt honored. All members of the development team were big fans of the original, so we were very happy to take this unique opportunity to take care of this remake. We all love narrative games and it was a fantastic opportunity to bring one of the most popular horror franchises of our time. We were all happy to embark on this adventure.
Gunner Wright : I owed that to Joel. And the fact that in many ways I never left the role of Isaac. I can’t tell you how many new people have discovered the game and how many fans have come to me over the years. On my website I was asked, “Can I send you my copy of Dead Space 2 or Dead Space 3 – or miniatures – for you to sign?” Not to mention the other courtesies I received. So when I got the call to say they were visiting Dead Space again, I couldn’t wait.
Gunner Wright : I haven’t had a chance to play the game yet, but seeing some of the interviews, illustrations and parts of the final version, I can only tell you that I’ve never seen anything like this before, in such detail. For example, the realistic rendering of the suit is the plasma cutter. All this got me shooting (Editor’s note : She Performance Measurement Sessions), no questions asked because it looks so good.
game blog : Was Dead Space Remake born due to the success of Resident Evil 2 remake?
joel MacMillan : I would say that this project came out of a real desire from the team. As I said, all members are big fans of the franchise. We had the opportunity to pitch the idea of a remake to EA and we were lucky that they accepted. They felt it was a good opportunity, thanks in part to the success of the Resident Evil 2 remake and the place horror occupies in pop culture, which is a much more accepted genre than it has been in the past decade. Horror has really found its audience, be it in terms of games, content on streaming services, and movies. It’s a genre that’s very established in our popular culture. And it wasn’t forced on the team by EA, it just happened. We all wanted to do it, we could submit the idea and we were lucky enough to be able to do it.
The development of Isaac Clarke
While Dead Space Remake will be an impressive graphical overhaul, it will also be an opportunity to improve a large number of points compared to the original. Exploration becomes smoother and the main character of the game becomes more consistent with the addition of a voice and also expresses their mental as well as physical state through the ALIVE system
game blog : Thanks to a new system, Isaac can now speak and express his condition. What were your intentions regarding this novelty? ?
Joel MacMillan : That’s a good question. We wanted to achieve different things by giving Isaac a voice. In the original, he didn’t respond verbally to NPCs at all, leading to dissonance and disconnection. It looked like he was ignorant, why didn’t he answer? We wanted to fix this problem, but also give this version of Isaac more autonomy. In the first game, the NPCs told him what to do and Isaac obeyed. He was an employee. We wanted Isaac to be a little more hands on and active rather than passive. So to give him that autonomy and really leverage his technical prowess, we needed to bring that voice to Isaac, and Gunner did a great job of that. And that makes sense because I feel like Gunner has become the embodiment of Isaac as the franchise has progressed.
Internally, we’ve referred to Gunner and Isaac as one and the same. We named the character Gunner Clark because he fits the role so well. When we decided to voice Isaac for our game, Gunner was a no-brainer. Can we bring Gunner back? Is it possible ? is he available does he want to do it Luckily for us it was. But I don’t want to speak for him.
Gunner Wright : No, seriously, it was such an honor. And to be honest, because I didn’t have time to tell you Joel, but what you’ve done in terms of technology, story and rendering is stunningly beautiful. I think that’s the best way to explain it.
Joel MacMillan : Thank you. Enchanting is the right term because it can refer to the whole game, it’s a very enchanting game.
game blog : What’s the difference to having a face now? Did you do performance capture for Dead Space Remake?
Gunner Wright : Excellent question. For this game I did performance capture and Motive Studios / EA brought in a great team dedicated to both motion capture and stuntmen. I did a lot on Dead Space 2 and 3 but considering the budget, time and technicalities they brought in an amazing team that I wouldn’t call a second team but did a phenomenal job.
Joel MacMillan : It was disturbing to see the opening sequence of the game. Originally there was this old version by Isaac Clark. Now that we’ve captured everything, the head and the moves when you play that opening sequence where you’re aboard the Kellion heading towards USG Ishimura, the first thing people do is when they realize they’re in control Rotate it to see Gunner’s face, because again, he’s the embodiment of Isaac. It was fun participating in all of the playtests because they all did. They were there, watching Gunner. It was really great and heartwarming to see.
Gunner Wright : I’ve never been to Dead Space, but what I loved and found interesting was this traumatized, aging individual developing linearly. I thought that was clever.
Joel MacMillan : Yes, it added some credibility to the character. Isaac is going through a lot. He’s being tortured, I think that’s an apt word to describe the player experience at USG Ishimura. And I think the fact that all of the characters and environments are more realistic and consistent really helps add credibility to what the player is experiencing. It’s not just window dressing. It’s not what I call “Starship Troopers Beauty” where everyone looks like a supermodel all the time no matter what they’re going through. It’s like there’s no blood or dirt on her face. We wanted a little more realism and believability than that. I think the performance capture, the lighting, and the various environmental effects all help to reinforce and convey that
Dead Space Remake: Radical Changes?
This version should be huge the original formula how far? Will it be much scarier than the 2008 game? How extensive are the changes on the set?
game blog : Does Dead Space Remake lean towards horror or action? Between the two ?
Joel MacMillan : That’s a tricky question, but I’d say it’s the horror that outweighs it. The DNA of the franchise is horror. The franchise eventually explored other territories, but we really wanted to stick to the basics, which is putting the horror first. And so, regardless of the encounters, the experiences, the fights, we wanted to make sure that we always had that level of horror, suspense, and fear. All of this was essential to the gaming experience, well beyond the action.
For example, during a confrontation you can dismember your enemies, this is part of the combat loop. But we wanted to emphasize the horror aspect by making the dismemberment as gory and uncomfortable as possible. When you dismember creatures in our game, you can see sinew, blood, skin, and bone. Everything is very realistic. And just to reinforce the horror dimension that precedes all others.
game blog : Is it getting more cinematic because of all the new stuff? Will the changes be massive or of the magnitude of detail?
Joel MacMillan : This is another good question that brings us back to one of the mantras that kept motivating us throughout the project. We all had ambitions when we started working on the project, but we kept asking ourselves, ‘Does this need to change? “. For example, what was done really well in the original? Should it really be changed or just improved? We therefore questioned ourselves and set ourselves the challenge of having this reflection for every sequence, every chapter, every experience of the game.
In the end we felt that some sequences needed to be added to fill in the gaps in the narrative. Geographically we had to take Isaac here and there, but how? We found ways to do this either immersively through gameplay or through an extended or dramatic action sequence. Our version also focuses more on characters and emotions. We had the opportunity to delve deeper into certain characters, and to do that we had to embellish certain sequences. You’ll see this in Dead Space Remake, while it wasn’t necessarily the case in the original version.