Dead Space is one of the most underappreciated franchises of its time. As a gruesome survival horror game, it is admittedly a part of a niche in the gaming world. And even its succumbing to the Resident Evil Syndrome didn’t manage to save the franchise. RES is a path that a lot of survival horror games take, by eventually incorporating more action mechanics, and lessening the survival aspects. This is done to try and appeal to a larger crowd. It rarely works.
Despite seeing Dead Space die itself in recent years, Michael Condrey, one of the games creators, is now head of the new 2K Silicon Valley development studio, is working on a mysterious title, and had stated interest in the past of continuing to work on Dead Space.
So, many people are rooting for a Dead Space spiritual successor. While we probably won’t get to see the tale of Issac Clarke continued, the lore behind the series is so deeply vast that any number of new stories could be potentially told. But what exactly should the game entail?
Putting Survival Back Into Survival Horror
Dead Space 3 is by no means a bad game. It has a good plot, enjoyable combat, and added a lot of new mechanics to the series that worked very well. But, it took the survival horror aspect of the series and put it on the back burner. The game became more of an action game than anything else.
It was still fun, and trying new things to mix up the formula of a game franchise should be encouraged. Unfortunately, it just didn’t work here. Dead Space 3 is instead regarded as the worst mainline game by most fans, and is generally forgotten by most.
So, if a spiritual successor is on the horizon, hopefully Condrey will focus on incorporating the aspects of the series that created the foundation of its reputation back into the game.
While survival horror games aren’t the most financially successful genre in the industry, they have a very passionate following. And, with the recent success of Resident Evil 2, the genre is in the limelight. More people are willing to test the waters of the survival horror niche.
Crafting and Suits
One thing that Dead Space 3 did right was incorporating a higher level of crafting and unique suits for you to acquire. These mechanics added something that’s common in survival horror games. But did so in a game that lacked that classification.
So, adding those and giving them more depth would really add that formula mix up that the series needs. I want to be able to craft mismatched, rugged weaponry and armor. Seeing as how the most common settings for these games are abandoned space ships or stations, there’s plenty of random equipment to make things out of.
Just don’t go the Deadrising route. Making the crafting so over the top that it’s just kind of dumb. Dead Space is an incredibly serious franchise. And it should remain that way.
We’ve already touched on how Issac won’t be returning. Instead, they should use this opportunity to tell a story involving different forces set in the universe. We’ve seen a lot done with The Makers. Use this opportunity to create something new. Still incorporate Necromorph creatures, but maybe don’t have them come from the same source.
Spicing up everything that made the world what it was is needed for a spiritual successor. It isn’t a true sequel, since EA owns the rights to the series not 2K.
Reference Dead Space
While the game can’t be directly tied to the original franchise. That doesn’t mean it can’t pay homage to the series. From audio logs or other collectibles you can find in game. Or anything else really. Dropping the name Issac Clarke or The Makers would be something easy, that would also please a lot of the fans of the original series.
But, there are also some qualities that should try and stay the same as well. Keep the look of the suits, the functionality of weaponry, keep it in third person. While mixing up the styles the games had originally is okay, you don’t want to differentiate too much from the first two Dead Space games. After what happened with the third, this is the perfect opportunity to draw in new and old fans.