Dead Space 3 Writer Would Redo Story ‘Almost Completely’ If Given The Chance

Dead Space 3 Writer Would Redo Story ‘Almost Completely’ If Given The Chance

Dead Space trilogy story producer Chuck Beaver says he would “redo Dead Space 3 almost completely” if given the chance and focus on a “broken Isaac [Clark]” reckoning with the ending of the second game.

As first reported by VGC, Beaver deconstructed the Dead Space story in an interview with YouTuber CaptainBribo and discussed why Dead Space 3 was less successful than previous installments, as well as his own personal issues with how the story played out.

Beaver explained that there were “some calculated risks that we all made” that the team thought would allow them to hit the “return on investment number” but that it “didn’t work out” in the case of Dead Space 3

CaptainBribo suggested this was due to a cap on how many players at the time wanted to delve into single-player horror experiences in comparison to multiplayer titles, while Beaver said that cap sat at around “2 million people who are really wanting to see it,” which, when taking into consideration development costs, was “literally nothing.” 

Beaver says it was decided that Dead Space 3 would incorporate other elements to draw in a larger audience as opposed to dialling down on single-player survival horror, but that it didn’t play out well. “The plan was that we would expand into other gameplay genres and stuff, and I think all those bits together not only didn’t generate a new audience, they lost the old audience,” he said.

“The gun mechanic, the re-crafting, [we] missed a lot of the stuff that everybody loved about the old one, and then created a whole bunch of exploration space – we were on a big wide open planet because of that,” he said. “All these decisions had lots of follow-on. And then co-op – the hits just kept coming – it was like ‘what? Co-op?” Beaver particularly touched on co-op inclusion in the game as a major “narrative challenge” to slot into the story and have it make sense after two titles without it.

Beaver says Dead Space 3 ultimately lost its way, which contributed to its lessened success. “We weren’t allowed to make a horror game from the beginning, so [creative director] Ben [Wanat] and I were like, well, what are we making?” he said. “If you look at it, it’s a beautiful Drake’s Uncharted game, an adventure with puzzles and set pieces.”

Beaver said he would start from “complete scratch” if given the chance to redo or revamp Dead Space 3 and completely change direction. “I would make this…about the end of Dead Space 2,” he said, “he’s broken, and now this is the adventure of Isaac in Dead Space 3 – broken Isaac. He tried to do the thing, tried to do the truth, it broke him, and now we’re in the consequences of him being broken.”

“And I would make it like a Tyler Durden thing, an unreliable narrator where you’re like ‘what happened?’ and the player maybe doesn’t even know, Isaac certainly doesn’t know.” Beaver also suggested that in his ideal remake of the game, a “dark Isaac” would manifest, leading to a climactic final battle between the protagonist and the dark version, with dark Isaac winning and setting the scene for a fourth Dead Space story.

Dead Space 3 sits at a mostly positive rating on Steam these days, a decade on from release, but at the time of launch in 2013 reviews were pretty mixed with many calling it the weakest in the trilogy. Kotaku’s own review called the game “boring” and suggested the series had “lost its momentum” after two memorable predecessors.

Whether Beaver ever gets the chance to bring audiences a more broken Isaac and a new, updated story with a clear vision is anyone’s guess, but Dead Space fans are bound to be mourning what could’ve been after this.

Lead Image Credit: Visceral Games / Ea

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