I just finished Dead Space Remake. Yes, I just said in another thread that the series did not interest me. Well, that's true, in 2008 I literally had zero interest in the game or series for a variety of reasons, but I dunno, something compelled me to buy the Remake and try it out in 2023 and I'm very glad that I did because I just had a great experience. The visuals, atmosphere, story, combat, and horror elements are solid and I was deeply engaged the whole way through. The interface and some of the gameplay elements do feel a bit dated, especially for someone who has never played the game, but this is forgivable when you factor in everything else.
The game takes place about 500 years into the future (sidenote: I don't like when plots time jump so far ahead into the future because it's almost 100% certain that it's going to be absolutely nothing like that in actuality) and you play as Isaac Clark, engineer onboard the USS Kellion sent to investigate the mining ship called Ishimura that has gone silent. Isaac's wife, Nicole, was also onboard so he has personal reasons to be on this mission as well. Things immediately go wrong and creatures called 'necromorphs' start attacking the crew and your goal is to gather the survivors and try to get out, naturally. It reminds me of 'Alien(s)' and 'Event Horizon' as the story unfolds.
Gameplay is very survival horror-ish, your given limited ammo that you have to be careful with and shoot at the right areas of necromorph body parts. The game takes an opposite approach of standard norms of headshots being weak points and introduces the "Limb Buster" mechanic where shooting arms, legs, and tails is a much more effective solution than head and body shots, which works fine. Most of the weapons are pretty unorthodox, and they're not even labeled "weapons" in the game but "Tools", not sure I love this approach but it works, you just gotta spend time learning how each "Tool" functions and get the hang of it, which requires some work. Since you're given very limited upgrade "Nodes" in the game and spending them on your 'Suit' is vital, I found myself just sticking with the flamethrower (Seriously, roasting 'necromorphs is very fun) and the pulse rifle, and had those two weapons fully upgraded when I finished it.
Visuals are solid, but there is some noticable in-game lag that I hope they fix in a future patch. The environment is very creepy and claustrophobic at you traverse the Ishimura, a lot of the ship looks and feels identical, but I think that's what they were going for here, to get a feeling of consistent dread. There is backtracking and revisiting previous areas to unlock previously locked areas, which is crucial for a GREAT survival horror game and this does it adequately. Unfortunately though, since the envirionments are very tight, claustrophobic, and look nearly identical, and the interface feels very dated (getting to your map and navigating where you are on the menu is quite a chore), it is quite tough to find your way around in this game, I think better design and a more user friendly interface could have gone a long way here, because travel is so poorly implemented you literally need a navigation feature to help guide you along, which I think is a lazy solution. Design the game so you don't need to rely on a magical GPS, please.
Buying, selling, and upgrading in this game is serviceable, but also feels a bit dated. Every weapon has 3 upgrades that you need to find in the game that unlocks node slots where place a node in each one which upgares things like damage, reload speed, ammo capacity, etc. It's a decent system, but again, it just feels....old. Going to a store to buy ammo and health spending credits is such a dated system, I mean it's probably more advanced than many other popular games, I just wish crafting and upgrading went a step or two deeper especially in a survival horror game. Nevermind buying and selling, how about Making everything from scratch, including ammo? I hope survival horror games in the future really add some depth to weapon and ammo crafting.
I digress though, I will give the game a 8/10 for it's overall great engaging atmospheric survival horror experience with a great story and backtracking, but some flaws like in-game lag and some dated mechanics like shooting red blobs to advance the story and kill bosses and a weak and dated interface.