Dead Space: Rewrite and Improve Classic Horror Story – IGN First

Original Dead space is a classic video game and a horror story that many people will remember. The story of an engineer fighting for survival in the gloomy, corpse-filled corridors of a dead mining ship has left a lasting impression, and so when it comes to the remake, the developer EA Motive has been careful in its approach to the story.

But there are some changes. Just like the remake looks different, it also has a different script. That’s because all the teams working on Dead Space have the same goal.

“Overall, it gives the story the same kind of excitement as anything else,” said Jo Berry, senior writer for Dead Space. “As a player, generally what you want is to get the same feeling again, to feel like the first time you played it. And so some of them are looking at how do we tell this story to people new to the series? […] But for veteran players, we wanted to give them a little surprise, like ‘Oh, this is a little different’. You change that direction very slightly and it can take you to a very different place. So it’s kind of a dichotomy between making sure that newcomers feel welcome but that the long-time players are caught off guard too, because if you don’t let your guard down you won’t be scared. “

The first major change you may notice is that Isaac Clarke can now speak. The once-silent protagonist now has a full script and will chat with both the other characters and himself. To make sure Isaac’s new dialogue was as authentic as possible, EA Motive looked at other games in the series where the character spoke.

“There’s a lot to see in Dead Space 2,” Berry said, “and see the key scenes. ‘How does he react in this moment? How’s his sense of humour? How does he react under verbal pressure? What’s his speech like?’ […] And it’s just trying to get that personality right. Trying to make sure he feels like Isaac, he doesn’t feel like any other character. You always just wanted to be the one player character you wanted to be, so Isaac is a very smart, understanding and empathetic guy. He has salty language and he’s really fun to write.

Our goal is to give the story the same excitement as anything else.

Dead Space’s script rewrite gave the screenwriters the opportunity to improve on the original’s storytelling. One of the elements the team wanted to emphasize more was the Unitology-like church, introduced relatively late in the original game. In the remake, the characters begin discussing the church much earlier, which forms the basis for its important role later in the story.

“What I didn’t want to do was write Dead Space where Isaac was like, ‘What is the Church of Unitology? I’ll go with them, I’ll trust them,'” Berry said. “Because every veteran player screams distrust of Unitologists. So then you end up with a situation in the beginning of Isaac, like, ‘Yeah, I hate the Unit Church’. And then people new to the series might say, ‘Okay, what is Unitology? It’s really interesting’. Veterans will say, ‘Why does he hate Unitology at this point? Because apparently he has a reason later on, but why does he hate Unitology at this point?’. And then unravel the mystery of why he has that relationship with the church, what kind of philosophy they have, and why he’s so opposed to the idea. It personalizes it, and I think it’s kind of like a theme that runs through the script, making things personal.

The effort to make things more personal means that some scenarios from the original game have been expanded into new, more emotional storylines. Chen, once just an NPC killed in the game’s opening, is now a more important character who embodies the true horror of the spirit names.

Berry explains, “Chen’s transformation made the Necromorph transition very personal to the crew. “That means the Necromorph is very personal to Hammond. […] So all of this is in the original game, it’s just trying to find those moments and polish them, just put them out a little bit more. And that’s really all, because again all these seeds are there, it just helps them to bloom.”

Dead Space’s script isn’t the only thing driving the story. The environment is equally important, so the corridors, rooms, and deck of the Ishimura spaceship are all designed to tell a story.

Taylor Kingston, an environmental artist on Dead Space, revealed: “A lot of the game’s early design took a lot of themes from gothic motifs, gothic architecture, as well as lots of iterative skeleton structures. repeat. “So that’s where you see the repetition throughout the whole thing. That’s meant to evoke a little bit of the feeling of being inside a creature, a skeleton. Ishimura himself is often referred to as a living being, as if it were an entity that you are inside, and that Ishimura is sick, dying, and that’s what you are there in part to try Try to help.”

Our challenge is ‘how can we bring more life to these environments?’

In the remake, the power of modern-day consoles and PCs has allowed EA Motive to improve on the original game’s excellent environmental storytelling.

Art director Mike Yazijian said: “We went back, looked at every location and came up with ideas. “And our challenge is, ‘how can we bring more life to these environments? How can we make it feel like the crew lived there, making it their real everyday space?’”

“If you look at Nicole’s office, for example, there are a lot of props and things that say a little bit more about what she does,” he continued. “If you go into medical areas, for example, it’s more like a real medical floor than a general space. Other fields like hydroponics will bring more life, more plants.”

Thanks to its industrial, practical nature, Ishimura is flooded with all sorts of signs. And, thanks to HD graphics, each is a whole new opportunity to inject more story into every corridor and crevice.

“Dead space has a lot of labels, posters, signs,” says Kingston. “A lot of the content in the original game is so low resolution, you can’t really read the content there. And now that’s something you have to consider, if you put a warning label on the wall, you can walk over there and read all the individual steps.”

“There was a time when I was working with our artists, and they said, ‘We have all these articles for The Marker about Unitology, and you can’t read them in the original because they’re so low resolution. in this moment. What text do you want here?’,” Berry recalls. “And it’s trying to think about that because people have 4K screens and high-resolution content, they can read all this content. So I’ve tried to make sure that when there’s text you can read, it makes sense and has numbers in it.”

On your journey through Ishimura, you’ll find a variety of diaries and recordings, many of which you might recognize from your initial journey through the ship.

“A lot of them are very similar or verbatim,” says Berry. “We have some new ones for a variety of reasons. […] But some of them have actually been translated into AR scenes. For example, in the original game when you go to the doctor, you can get a video log from Nicole. When we consider that, this seems like a great candidate for the AR scene, where we actually see Nicole trying to save a patient and record a message saying, ‘Commander won’t help us, we are overwhelmed. We need help. This guy is about to die. I need someone to help me’. And again, just personalize it and include it in the moment. And also create this atmosphere, it’s almost spooky to see these ARs around the ship.”

Unlike the Final Fantasy 7 remake, Dead Space doesn’t attempt to completely reinvent itself. EA Motive’s story approach resembles Capcom’s approach to Resident Evil 2; It’s an updated, polished story that players know and love. And, from what we’ve seen so far, it promises to make the horror classic a little bit better.

For more Dead Space, check out how the developers have recreated its iconic gunsand ours comparison between remake and original game.

Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK Feature and News Editor.


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