Dead Space Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary


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EA’s critically acclaimed survival horror game Dead Space turns 10 today. While it eventually leaned towards a more action-adventure tone by the end of the trilogy, the Dead Space series went on to sell over 10 million copies, and extended beyond just video games with spin-off stories across different forms of media. So, in order to celebrate the title, here’s a look back at the series starting with the origins of 2008’s Dead Space, but be forewarned as SPOILERS ARE INBOUND.

While EA Redwood Studios (who would eventually be rebranded as Visceral Games) wanted to develop a proper sequel to System Shock in the mid 2000s, EA decided against the pitch from the studio at first. However thanks the success of 2005’s Resident Evil 4, EA decided to green light the project, so long as it implied more of a horror setting. From those ideas came what is known by many as the original Dead Space, which takes place in the 26th century and centers around series protagonist Isaac Clarke, as he and his crew are sent on a rescue mission to the USG Ishimura.

dead space 2 isaac clarke

Throughout Clarke’s journey aboard the Ishimura in the original Dead Space, he’s forced to encounter horrific creatures called necromorphs. The necromorphs serve as the primary enemies throughout the entire trilogy.

Created by what is called the Red Marker, which causes the dead to reanimate, necromorphs are different from most enemies seen in other games in that in order to kill them, the player much shoot off their limbs, rather than go for the typical head or body shots which are the norm in most other shooters. Necromorphs take on different forms throughout Isaac Clarke’s trio of Dead Space adventures, ranging from larger boss fights to smaller creatures, which cause normal humans to transform into necromorphs in a matter of seconds.

Dead Space, Sunset Overdrive Headline April's Free Games with Gold - Cut off their limbs

Continuing on with 2009’s Dead Space 2, players are rejoined with Isaac Clarke three years after the incident of Aegis VII and the Ishimura. Clarke has been relocated to the space station Titan, and must destroy a new Marker located within the Sprawl.

Dead Space 2 also sees Clarke suffer from severe hallucinations due to exposure of the Red Marker from the first game, adding yet another dangerous element to Clarke’s journey. The sequel went on to sell more than four million copies, yet due to the game’s large development budget, sales were still considered below expectations.

dead space 3 clarke carver

The final game in the trilogy, Dead Space 3, takes place a few years after the events of Dead Space 2. This time around, Clarke has to venture into space once again in order to find his companion from the second game, Ellie Langford.

Upon embarking on a search and rescue mission in Dead Space 3, they learn Langford is lost on the planet Tau Volantis, which turns out to be the home world for the Marker. In an effort to be rid of the horrors of the necromorphs, Clarke inevitably sacrifices himself in order to eliminate the supernatural alien race for good. Development for Dead Space 3 pulled the series farther away from the survival-horror aspect the franchise was known for in an attempt to attract a larger audience, incorporating online cooperative play and focusing on more action-oriented combat.

There were plans for Visceral Games to continue the series with a fourth Dead Space game, with the possibility for a female protagonist. However due to the unfortunate Electronic Arts’ unfortunate closure of the studio last year, those plans have been put to the wayside. While any news for a new Dead Space is unlikely for quite a while, if ever, the series’ first game has left a lasting impact for fans with a masterclass in survival horror that is still tough to match.

Dead Space is available for PlayStation 3, Windows, and Xbox 360.

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