13 years on from its launch, Dead Space continues to be considered among the finest horror video games ever made, particularly throughout the neighborhood of devoted followers that to this present day mourn the loss of life of the franchise. Unable to fulfill writer Digital Arts’ more and more formidable gross sales expectations, the ultimate loss of life knell for the collection was 2013’s Lifeless House 3, an action-heavy sequel that deserted the scarier tone and environmental storytelling of the unique for co-op shooter gameplay meant to enchantment to a wider viewers.
“Survival horror is difficult. Horror video games normally are costly to make and exhausting to promote. Individuals would give us the suggestions that they love Lifeless House however don’t purchase it as a result of it’s too scary. Type of works in opposition to itself,” former senior stage designer Zach Wilson famously told Gamesindustry.biz in 2017, only a week after EA had shuttered Visceral Video games for good. Wilson went on to elucidate that even Lifeless House 2, which offered 4 million copies, did not recuperate the price of making the sport within the first place. By 2017, with the cancellation of Visceral’s Star Wars sport, EA had been left chilly to single-player titles altogether.
However like a necromorphized crewmember on the USG Ishimura, Lifeless House is getting a brand new lease on life. A brand new remake completely for next-gen consoles and PC was revealed throughout EA Play 2021, the corporate’s greatest gaming showcase of the 12 months. Whereas no precise gameplay footage was proven within the quick CG announcement trailer, EA confirmed in a press launch that the sport is being “fully rebuilt from the bottom up” on the writer’s Frostbite engine by Motive, the studio most just lately behind Star Wars: Squadrons.
The quick video, which largely serves as a demo for what the brand new engine will be capable of do with the creepy, viscera-covered hallways of the Ishimura, does counsel that EA’s focused on recapturing what made the unique so nice — the ambiance, to call only one aspect in an extended listing of issues — fairly than reshaping it for mass enchantment. (And in contrast to in 2008, horror is having fun with a brand new golden age within the mainstream in the meanwhile, anyway.)
That stated, EA has promised just a few tweaks courtesy of the Frostbite engine, together with “an improved story, characters, gameplay mechanics.” Let’s simply hope it’s nothing too drastic.
With the revival of the Lifeless House franchise, there’s a extra essential query to be requested. Is EA’s return to survival horror video games — one thing that appeared like a distant dream again in 2017 — the subsequent step in a possible resurgence of the style throughout different big-budget publishers?
In 2013, Lifeless House 3 was solely the most recent status horror collection to fulfill a grotesque finish. Capcom had already determined to take one among its crown jewels again to the drafting board after Resident Evil 6 took a giant spill in 2012. The Silent Hill collection was all however useless at Konami after 2012’s horrid Downpour and the cancellation of Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro’s Silent Hills. Within the absence of those status horror franchises, it largely turned the job of indie video games like Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Outlast, 5 Nights at Freddy’s, and others to maintain the style alive and introduce some new concepts alongside the way in which. (That’s to not say different AAA publishers didn’t take a stab at survival horror throughout this time — The Evil Inside and Dying Gentle launched throughout this era, for instance.)
However when survival horror got here dwelling to Capcom in 2017 with Resident Evil 7 (9 million copies offered as of March 2020), and the blockbuster remake of Resident Evil 2 outsold the unique sport in 2019, it started to really feel like a resurgence was afoot. Traditional big-budget survival horror collection may nonetheless promote effectively if publishers invested in considerate sequels and remakes that weren’t simply making an attempt to rehash the most recent gameplay traits.
For the second, EA appears to agree. In truth, according to reliable GamesBeat reporter Jeff Grubb, who broke the story forward of the official announcement, EA’s strategy for the Lifeless House remake is closely influenced by Capcom’s current success with Resident Evil 2 and 3.
“Count on the subsequent Lifeless House to make use of the unique sport as a powerful basis. However it also needs to have trendy visuals. And it’ll probably herald new gameplay mechanics impressed by different entries within the franchise,” wrote Grubb earlier this month. “And talking of Capcom, it’s probably a significant purpose a brand new Lifeless House is going on. Whereas EA has let its horror franchise wither, the Resident Evil collection is bigger than ever. And Capcom has supplied a simple blueprint for EA to observe.”
Whether or not following that blueprint will show helpful for EA stays to be seen. And what may Lifeless House‘s return imply for the different status survival horror collection we’ve been dying to see again on cabinets? Studies of Silent Hill‘s resurrection have reached a fever pitch previously few weeks, due to a new partnership with famed horror studio Bloober Team in addition to a Reddit conspiracy theory involving Konami, Sony, and Hideo Kojima. With Resident Evil, Lifeless House, and Silent Hill all again within the gaming dialog, it does certainly appear to be a brand new golden age for survival horror is simply inside attain.
No launch date has been set for the Lifeless House remake. The sport is coming to Xbox Collection X/S, PlayStation 5, and PC.
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