If like me you're a fan of space horror games, you might be tempted to buy The Callisto Protocol instead of the Dead Space remake, which went on sale today. After all, why play an old game when you can play a brand new title? And that would be as much of a mistake as thinking you can kill an ectomorph with a single shot. The reviews are in, and the Dead Space remake is everything The Callisto Protocol isn't.
I have a dog in this particular space fight: I loved the original Dead Space, which frightened the life out of me, and I was really excited at the prospect of a new game from its creator – so I followed the pre-release Callisto Protocol hype and couldn't wait to play it.
And when it arrived, I hated it.
Hell is other people (in a prison in space)
It wasn't just me – my best friend is a games journalist and she hated it too. We hated the way the lead character felt like he was travelling through treacle. We hated the level design of the titular space prison with its nonsensical house of horror fixtures and fittings. And more than anything, we hated that it kept making us remember what a great game Dead Space was by comparison.
I don't like giving up on games, but I rage-quit Callisto for the final time and traded it in. Now the Dead Space remake is in my PS5 (you can get it on Xbox and PC too). I apologise in advance to my neighbours, because while in space nobody can hear you scream you can't say the same about a flat in Glasgow. And I'm going to be doing a lot of screaming, with a fair bit of whimpering and swearing thrown in.
Now the press embargo has lifted the reviews for Dead Space are in, and they're unanimous: this sets a new bar for game remakes. It keeps everything that was great about the original (the environment, the mechanics, the fear), gives it a next-gen polish and updates it in ways that are sympathetic rather than damaging. The result: a game that'll scare the living daylights out of you.
I'll leave the last word to our pals at Gamesradar (opens in new tab), whose Joe Donnelly gave it four and a half out of five stars: "Motive Studio's Dead Space is a horror remake done right. It really is a sublime mix of fresh and familiar, and it's freaking terrifying in its loud and quieter moments."