Thanks to the PS5 controller, you really feel the dismemberment in Dead Space

Issac struggling in Dead Space remake
(Image credit: EA / Motive)

While the Dead Space remake is bringing general improvements across the board, making for a modern, smooth experience with luscious ray-traced lighting, Sony wants you to know the sci-fi horror game will play a little bit better on PS5.

It all comes down to the DualSense controller on PS5 and how its unique technologies, such as haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, are used to make Dead Space even more immersive. The PlayStation Blog details all the different ways the game uses the console’s hardware, but I’m most excited about what this will mean for dismembering Necromorphs aboard the USG Ishimura.

By utilizing the DualSense’s adaptive triggers, the remake does justice to Dead Space’s iconic Plasma Cutter. That’s because, through localized vibrations, you’ll feel the kinetic nature of the plasma energy round surging in the trigger before you unleash the full force of the beam. After you fire, the triggers quickly re-engage, so you can charge another shot and fire at the enemy Slashers, Hunters, and Wheezers. 

If there’s anything to know about this space survival game, precision is key above panic. True to the genre’s nature, you aren’t ever flush with ammo, meaning you must carefully choose when to fire your shots and what limb to aim for. That’s because bullets (largely) don’t work to slow the horrors that stalk the decking of the spaceship you’re exploring Dead Space

Isaac Clarke walking down a corridor

(Image credit: EA / Motive)

The more traditional weapons in Dead Space are getting the full treatment of the PS5 controller hardware, too. The Pulse Rifle, a largely straightforward automatic weapon, features precise weight and recoil through a mixture of haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. This is reflected in the weapon sway, the suitably heavy kick with each round, and how the gun feels after each bullet leaves the chamber. It’s the blunt sledgehammer of Isaac Clarke’s arsenal, after all, lacking the surgical precision of the engineer’s more technical inventory. I’m glad to hear that it’s as chaotic in the remake as in the original game.

Haptic feedback is just as important to the experience as triggers, especially when it comes to Issac’s suit and other instruments of survival. One of the smaller touches I’m looking forward to is the zero gravity and air locker moments. That’s because you’ll not only be able to feel the atmosphere evaporate as those hanger doors open through the PS5 controller but there is also a surging weight to Clarke’s boots magnetizing to the steel of the ship as well.

Your Kinesis and Statis tools have received the same DualSense treatment. Vincent Wang, senior Brand Manager at Motive, says you’ll get “real-time feedback” when slowing down environmental items and enemies or throwing things around. Dead Space isn’t the first PS5 horror title to utilize this tech in this fashion, the game’s spiritual successor, The Callisto Protocol, adds an extra layer of violence thanks to the PS5 controller. In that deep-space horror game, you have a tool called a GRP that lets you levitate objects and throw them around the environment. There, too, you can feel energy surging in the device and the weight changes of objects you pick up.

Tomb of the Mutilated 

Dead Space remake environments

(Image credit: EA / Motive)

Most delectably, EA Motive has completely redesigned how you’re able to dismember the various undead creatures in the game’s corridors and crawlspaces. A look at the Dismemberment & Body Destruction Tech Demo reveals what’s in store for the nasties you’ll encounter, and it isn’t good news for them. 

Just as the rig on your character’s back displays his health, Statis and Kinesis reserves, the Necromorphs also have their in-world way of showing information, too. It’s much less high-tech, but as you deal damage to your enemies, you’ll see bones break off and layers of rotten flesh rip away brutally. This primes you to dynamically see where weak spots for prime dismemberment are in real-time without needing an elaborate HUD or anything that breaks the immersion.

Necros can even be reduced to a mess of skeletal remains only to continue their undead assault in a weakened state. It’s new to the world of Dead Space, and should go the extra creepy mile to make you feel even more vulnerable in the doomed mission to find your girlfriend and make it out alive. Remember to stomp the bloody hell out of those corpses, because they could only be mostly dead, and I can’t wait to see what surprises are around the corner when the game launches on 27 January.  

Aleksha McLoughlin

Aleksha McLoughlin is an experienced hardware writer. She was previously the Hardware Editor for TechRadar Gaming until September 2023. During this time, she looked after buying guides and wrote hardware reviews, news, and features. She has also contributed hardware content to the likes of PC Gamer, Trusted Reviews, Dexerto, Expert Reviews, and Android Central. When she isn't working, you'll often find her in mosh pits at metal gigs and festivals or listening to whatever new black and death metal has debuted that week.