EA Motive has confirmed that it's targeting an “early” 2023 release window for its upcoming Dead Space remake.
The release window was revealed during a recent developer livestream. During the stream, senior producer Philippe Ducharme was asked when fans might be able to get their hands on the “final, final, final version” of the game and he confirmed that the game is in the pre-alpha stage of development, with the team “actually just a couple of weeks away from being able to do our first full walkthrough”.
Ducharme said that the studio wants to get to a place “where the game that we're going to deliver is going to be building on the expectations of fans” and that, right now, they're targeting a release window of “early next year”.
According to Ducharme, Motive does actually have a more solid release date in mind for the game but it's not ready to share it just yet.
“We believe that we're going to be in a solid position to be able to do the proper polish, the proper debug, and to meet the date that we have in mind,” Ducharme said, “but for now, I’ll say 'early next year'”.
This confirmation comes shortly after a report on the game’s release window from VentureBeat journalist Jeff Grubb, in which Grubb said that after “originally considering an October 2022 timeframe” which was never publicly announced, EA had moved its internal target to 2023.
Other than this release window revelation, the almost hour-long livestream gives glimpses of early footage of the game, with a primary focus on the Dead Space remake's audio design and how it’s being used to create a more atmospheric, immersive experience.
Of particular interest is the game’s A.L.I.V.E system which “encompasses all components of Isaac's breathing and heart rate, vocal excursions, and dialogue influenced by a variety of driving gameplay features.“
Broken down, the A.L.I.V.E acronym stands for Adrenaline, Limbic System Response, Intelligent Dialog, Vitals, and Exertions. It builds on the effective sound design of the original to make protagonist Isaac sound more realistic. Players will find that being fatigued or in a low-health state can impact Isaac’s breathing and scripted dialogue, with delivery changed to better reflect his current state.
Dead Space fans can expect another update on the game’s development in May, when the team will focus on the game’s art design. When it does launch early next year, the Dead Space remake will be playable on PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC.
Analysis: A promising prospect
This latest development update follows a livestream in August 2021 in which EA Motive touched on how the game’s story, combat, and gameplay mechanics have been tweaked for the PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC reboot. One particularly memorable detail from that livestream was the ‘dynamic flesh peeling system’ which is... well, it's exactly what it sounds like.
Something that’s striking about these development updates from EA Motive is the level of attention to detail that the studio is putting into this remake of Dead Space. Rather than offering a straightforward polish of the original, the studio seems to be aiming to build on it in effective ways, remaining faithful to the original while still utilizing the latest technology to enact meaningful changes that will make a difference to the game’s atmosphere and immersion.
EA Motive’s development livestreams are proving a very effective way of communicating where the game is in its development and what the studio hopes to do with it. While we don’t have a more solid release date just yet, the team’s caution around revealing one is understandable. As it is, early 2023 is now a window Dead Space fans can focus on.
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Emma Boyle is TechRadar’s ex-Gaming Editor, and is now a content developer and freelance journalist. She has written for magazines and websites including T3, Stuff and The Independent. Emma currently works as a Content Developer in Edinburgh.