The Dead Space series was one of the most highly regarded games of the last generation. Coming off the heels of its studios closure last year, a former head developer reveals how the canceled Dead Space 4 would have turned out.
Visceral Games developed all three games before working on an also axed Star Wars game with Uncharted’s Amy Hennig. When EA closed the studio to focus on loot box games, gaming lost a lot of cool projects. Now, former Visceral creative director Ben Wanat has let the beans out that Dead Space 4 was to be an open-world experience.
Wanat now works at Crystal Dynamics, yet he hasn’t forgotten his unborn horror child in Dead Space 4. He mentions how the game was inspired by the flotilla section of Dead Space 3 with supply scavenging.
“The notion was you were trying to survive day to day against infested ships, searching for a glimmer of life, scavenging supplies to keep your own little ship going, trying to find survivors,” Wanat said.
The Scares That Were Never Had
Dead Space is generally about Isaac Clarke finding himself in horrifying experiences. He is usually stuck on a ship, city or planet full of monsters that will tear him apart on sight. The next entry was aiming to shake things up with a more open layout.
Wanat talks about changing up the chapter format of Dead Space. Players would start in a section of space and travel through “a trail of ship carcasses” to an orbital station. These stations would have the parts and fuels you need to get to another area. Think No Man’s Sky but with actual gameplay.
“You’d start to form a picture of what happened in that region while fighting through scores of Necromorphs from ship to ship. And you’d learn a new, critical bit of plot info along with the means to Shock to a couple of nearby sectors,” Wanat continued.
Instead of having decks having themed sections like the daycare in Dead Space 2, whole ships would feature different floor types, purposes and gameplay.
Staining your underwear from the grotesque Necromorphs is only half the fun in Dead Space. The other half is frantically firing the unique weapons and missing most of the shots as enemies lunge at you. Dead Space 4 would have enemies that could get you anywhere at anytime
In past entries, ground enemies couldn’t follow players into zero-g, essential creating safe places. Wanat’s answer was to “make a zero-g enemy that can snake through zero-g corridors, propel itself in open space, and grapple with the player to tear off his mask and eat his face?… I think you’d have yourself a good old time.”
Maybe Dead Space 4 Could Still Happen
The apocalypse ending in the third game provided a “clean break” for story-telling in DS4 according to Wanat. He didn’t want to give away the whole story, instead, he’s leaving fans with something to chew on.
“…We spent a bit of time working out the origin of the Necromorphs and what purpose humans held in this dark universe.” “Would players find a way out of the Necromorph apocalypse? I’d say yes, but they might be sorry they did. Sometimes you’re better off with the devil you know…,” Wanat said.
Anything is possible in gaming, it’s never out the question for a series to return from the grave. Wanat even thinks if not by him, then someone at EA one day will look the catalog, see Dead Space and say “maybe we should bring that back.”
Would you have wanted to play this open-world Dead Space 4? What is your favorite Dead Space game? Leave your comments!