‘Useless House’ is the brand new benchmark for online game remakes

Written by Jeff Lampkin

Within the cut up second earlier than a necromorph slides its arm blades into Isaac Clarke’s abdomen, it seems to be like the large monster is giving him a bloody, snarling, over-excited hug. This exact second, frozen between horrific brutality and a comforting embrace, captures the essence of the Useless House remake. As a fan of the 2008 sport, enjoying the brand new Useless House is a comfortable expertise, even amid all the phobia, dying and gore. Hell, due to these components. The Useless House remake is massive, lovely and higher than the unique, whereas sustaining the magic that made the primary sport an prompt basic. Seems, nice sport design is timeless.

Man, EA used to make some good video games. Useless House got here out on the top of EA’s golden period, a yr after the primary Mass Impact and a month earlier than Mirror’s Edge, and it outlined the sci-fi horror style in a method that persists as we speak. Useless House was the sport that launched HUD-less horror environments, incorporating well being and talent meters into Isaac’s go well with, fairly than displaying static indicators over each scene. The remake makes use of the identical immersion system, alongside a pop-up stock that doesn’t interrupt gameplay. Shops and improve benches are scattered across the USG Ishimura, the principle ship the place the nightmare unfolds, powered by credit and nodes that gamers discover whereas slicing their method by the monsters onboard.

Within the remake, the Ishimura is a maze of twisting metallic corridors and locked rooms, and it’s bursting with secrets and techniques. I discovered myself checking each nook for glowing containers to stomp on or shiny bits of ammo and credit, and my exploration was typically richly rewarded. By no means too wealthy, although — asset administration underscores the sport’s rigidity, and Isaac is consistently prone to working out of ammo, stasis vitality, oxygen or well being. He’s all the time susceptible not directly. In an action-horror sport, this sense is paramount.

Isaac has his basic arsenal of improvised and scavenged weapons, together with the plasma cutter, disc ripper and flamethrower, however with some trendy updates. The secondary mechanism on the flamethrower, as an illustration, deploys a wall of fireside fairly than an explosive orb, and it’s an ultra-satisfying technique to reduce off encroaching hordes. Taking pictures the necromorphs’ lengthy limbs will all the time be extra highly effective than a headshot; stomping on mutant corpses nonetheless releases goodies (and any lingering participant frustration), and the stasis capability stays a important instrument in managing enemies, quickly freezing them in place. Kinesis is extremely helpful as effectively, permitting Isaac to select up and hurl objects at any time, with limitless length.

Isaac Clarke, the protagonist of Dead Space, aims his weapon at a necromorph that is standing, menacingly silhouetted against a harsh light on a space ship.

EA Motive

Isaac good points new weapons and talents at a speedy tempo, and these instruments circulate into one another easily throughout locked-room fight scenes. Gamers are in a position to strategy fights in quite a lot of methods and swap methods on the fly — although stasis, shoot, stomp is all the time a legitimate strategy. Save and refill stations are positioned generously all through the environments, whereas ammo and well being drops have a tendency to seem proper after they’re wanted. Typically, it doesn’t really feel like the sport mechanics are working towards you — that’s solely the murderous mutant area monsters.

Other than vital graphical enhancements, the one greatest enhancement within the Useless House remake is the addition of zero-gravity flight. This mechanic opens up the sport in a method that feels genuine to the supply materials — as if that is what builders needed to do again in 2008, however {hardware} limitations made it unimaginable. Within the unique, Isaac leapt from floor to floor in zero-gravity, however now he floats and soars freely by these scenes with boosters on the soles of his boots. Whereas flying, he can shoot, freeze and fling objects at enemies in any path. 

Boss fights and large-scale puzzles are dynamic in zero-G, and flying adjustments some sections of the sport drastically. Isaac’s last battle towards the Leviathan (an enormous tentacle blob) is now a fast-paced, no-oxygen, in-literal-space occasion with three turrets, requiring a mixture of kinesis, mid-flight strafing and taking pictures expertise. Within the unique Useless House, this battle has Isaac firing on the tentacles from a gunner seat contained in the Ishimura. There’s no denying, the remake does it higher.

About the author

Jeff Lampkin

Jeff Lampkin was the first writer to have joined He has since then inculcated very effective writing and reviewing culture at GamePolar which rivals have found impossible to imitate. His approach has been to work on the basics while the whole world was focusing on the superstructures.