Recent rumours have suggested that Dead Space is being reimagined with EA Motive. We’ve also now heard that the Director for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has joined that studio. While this doesn’t mean that Dead Space will be an open world game, it is an interesting thought. Traditionally, the series has forced players through a series of tight corridors in which there are enemies out to kill them, and barely any ammunition. However, I think the same horror could be grasped if the game took all of that and applied it to an open world. Sure, it might sound terrible, but hear me out.
Imagine the protagonist finds themselves on a world where the necromorphs haven’t even started savaging things yet. Players would need to go about the protagonist’s day job, probably as an engineer, and learn the game’s mechanics through a series of initial missions. During this time, the world could start to lay the groundwork that the religious zealots who love the Markers are getting out of hand, though at the time the protagonist wouldn’t know what this means. They’re just there to keep their heads down.
Cut to a few days later, and the necromorphs could be starting to pop up. Being a part of an open world, an actual living and breathing world in space where colonists have settled down, as it goes to hell would be incredible. The challenge here, for the developers, would be to accurately portray the madness and death as it happens. Players would need to see things getting more and more out of hand over time, until the world is unrecognisable. I also think that a mechanic that makes ammo more scarce as time goes on would make exploration vital. Pushing players to get out there and find something to protect themselves, even if they don’t want to advance the story.
Dead Space is a universe built to be explored in more depth. Side stories and collectibles would achieve this, and the main story could be the real draw of that open world. I think there’s a lot of potential in this idea, and EA Motive has the capability to pull it off. We’ll just have to wait to see what they do.