The Dead Space remake isn't the only return to the franchise's roots this year. It looks like one enterprising soul has developed a PS1-style Dead Space demake which, better still, has a playable demo.
The excellent Dead Space remake has rekindled mass interest in the series, so this 'demake' created by game designer Fraser Brumley is well worth checking out if you've been craving more Necromorph limb-slicing action, perhaps with a side of charming PS1 jank.
Playable via Brumley's itch.io page, the Dead Space demake features accurate PS1-era visuals, complete with affine texture mapping and the infamously odd warping that comes with it. There are some modern sensibilities in here, too, including the series' iconic limb dismembering and support for multiple control styles including mouse and keyboard.
Party like it's 1998
Demakes have certainly been in vogue over the past few years. Recently, we've also seen a Portal N64-style demake in the works. There's also the excellent Bloodborne PSX, which lovingly recreates the first few sections of FromSoftware's legendary action RPG. An April Fool's joke turned follow-up, Bloodborne Kart, is also in development from the same creator.
There's broader appeal to these demakes beyond nostalgia. That's a powerful factor, of course, but, arguably more significant is catching a glimpse as to what these franchises could've looked like had they launched on fifth-generation hardware. Bloodborne PSX, especially, doesn't look dissimilar to FromSoftware's output at the time. Especially its spooky dungeon-crawling King's Field series.
Demakes also seem to be an excellent way to learn the game development craft. As Fraser Brumley states on the Dead Space demake page, the "project was mostly a way for me to learn Unreal and the PS1 aesthetic so look forward to what I'll be putting together in the future."
And if that means we could be getting a more substantial version of this demo down the line, or for another popular contemporary IP, then color me excited.