That said, EA has promised a few tweaks courtesy of the Frostbite engine, including “an improved story, characters, gameplay mechanics.” Let’s just hope it’s nothing too drastic.
With the revival of the Dead Space franchise, there’s a more important question to be asked. Is EA’s return to survival horror games — something that seemed like a distant dream back in 2017 — the next step in a potential resurgence of the genre across other big-budget publishers?
In 2013, Dead Space 3 was only the latest prestige horror series to meet a gruesome end. Capcom had already decided to take one of its crown jewels back to the drawing board after Resident Evil 6 took a big spill in 2012. The Silent Hill series was all but dead at Konami after 2012’s horrid Downpour and the cancellation of Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro’s Silent Hills. In the absence of these prestige horror franchises, it largely became the job of indie games like Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Outlast, Five Nights at Freddy’s, and others to keep the genre alive and introduce some new ideas along the way. (That’s not to say other AAA publishers didn’t take a stab at survival horror during this time — The Evil Within and Dying Light launched during this period, for example.)
But when survival horror came home to Capcom in 2017 with Resident Evil 7 (9 million copies sold as of March 2020), and the blockbuster remake of Resident Evil 2 outsold the original game in 2019, it began to feel like a resurgence was afoot. Classic big-budget survival horror series could still sell well if publishers invested in thoughtful sequels and remakes that weren’t just trying to rehash the latest gameplay trends.
For the moment, EA seems to agree. In fact, according to reliable GamesBeat reporter Jeff Grubb, who broke the story ahead of the official announcement, EA’s approach for the Dead Space remake is heavily influenced by Capcom’s recent success with Resident Evil 2 and 3.
“Expect the next Dead Space to use the original game as a strong foundation. But it should also have modern visuals. And it will likely bring in new gameplay mechanics inspired by other entries in the franchise,” wrote Grubb earlier this month. “And speaking of Capcom, it is likely a major reason a new Dead Space is happening. While EA has let its horror franchise wither, the Resident Evil series is larger than ever. And Capcom has provided an easy blueprint for EA to follow.”
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