Although E3 2021 is over, Summer Game Fest remains underway, with a few more events planned for the near future. The most notable upcoming event is EA Play Live, a showcase planned by publisher Electronic Arts, set for July 22.
Not much is known about the show’s lineup, but according to GamesBeat reporter Jeff Grubb, the publisher is planning to revive “an established IP,” and that fans will “be happy” oncer they learned which franchise this refers to. “It's that one — it's the one — and we're gonna see it … If we're not dead first,” Grubb hinted.
While there are a handful of dormant EA franchises that need to come back such as Fight Night and Burnout, one in particular stands above the rest. And it’s one that could make sense with Grubb’s strange hint.
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We’re talking about Dead Space, of course, and judging by Grubb’s statements, it’s looking increasingly likely the beloved horror series will make a return — with a possible announcement next month.
Dead Space has been dead for the past eight years
To set the stage, you should be aware that Dead Space has been dormant since 2013. That was the year Dead Space 3 launched, which wasn’t the best game in the series, despite having a few neat ideas. Since then, EA has been quiet about the fate of the series, leaving everyone to wonder if we’d ever see it again.
The worst part is that EA officially closed down the studio responsible for Dead Space — Visceral Games — in 2017, which has likely contributed to the franchise’s disappearance.
While Dead Space was always critically beloved, it has garnered significant attention in recent years with the rise of survival horror games like Alien: Isolation and Returnal. Many have gone back to play the series way after it initially launched leading to a large demand for it to return.
The original Dead Space — arguably the best in the series — brilliantly subverted expectations at every turn. Survival horror was practically non-existent at the time of its release in 2018, which made it easy for Dead Space to stand out. This was a time when Resident Evil turned into a shooter, and FPS games were on the rise thanks to the success of Call of Duty and Battlefield.
There was something so special about Dead Space. Creepy monsters are scary enough, but when you add space to the mix, it increases the horror factor in more ways than one. The fact that its protagonist, Isaac Clarke was simply an engineer with no combat training raised the stakes and created much more tension throughout the experience.
Its tight, over-the-shoulder camera in conjunction with claustrophobic level designs enhanced the fright factor while still giving you a chance to breathe every now and again with more open areas. Plus, the emphasis on survival encouraged players to scrounge around every nook and cranny for useful items.
Would a remaster or new entry be better?
Based on Grubb’s statements, it’s possible the revival could be a remastered collection for modern consoles, which would be an excellent way to gauge interest in the series. After all, there isn’t a great way to get your hands on the Dead Space games these days, making it difficult for newcomers to give it a try.
It’s available on PC, of course, as well as older generation hardware like the PS3 and Xbox 360. All three games are actually available via backwards compatibility through Xbox Game Pass, which is nice, but again, these are from an older generation. Aside from being able to play only the third installment via PS Now, you can’t get the rest of the series on PS4 or PS5, so it’s largely inaccessible for many consumers. That’s why we’d love to see a remastered collection for PS5 and Xbox Series X|S (and Nintendo Switch, too).
Even if an entirely new Dead Space entry were in the works, we’d still love a way to play the rest of the series on modern hardware, similar to what EA has done with the Mass Effect Trilogy. The Dead Space games don’t look awful by today’s standards, but could definitely use a fresh coat of paint.
So, is it possible Dead Space will make its triumphant return? Well, based on EA’s history, the company isn’t opposed to remastering and bringing back old franchises. If the reports are anything to go on, we could very well get an announcement at EA Play Live on July 22.