Today’s big Dead Space livestream focused on some pretty detailed elements of the upcoming reboot, such as sonic occlusion, weapon sound effects, and the ALIVE system that controls the heart rate, breathing, and dialogue of player character Isaac Clarke. But we also have something more interesting: the launch window.
“We want to make sure that the game we’re about to release lives up to the expectations of the fans,” said Senior Producer Philippe DuCharme. “That’s the most important thing. So right now, we’ll say early next year. We have a date, we want to make sure everything fits together for this.”
DuCharme said the game would be playable from start to finish in just a couple of weeks,” although he added that it would still be in pre-alpha at that point. a position to be able to do the proper polishing, the proper debugging, and meet the date we have in mind. But for now, I’ll say early next year.”
The start of 2023 isn’t the most accurate dating I’ve ever come across, but it gives us something to look forward to and honestly, it’s closer than I expected considering the last time we watched the Dead Space reboot, September 2021 sounded very far away. The year is not inevitable, but it is at least within sight.
>> STATUS UPDATE GETTING…ARRIVAL WINDOW: EARLY 2023…#DeadSpace pic.twitter.com/Et89fS617WMarch 11, 2022
Parsing the ALIVE system reveals an interesting little thing about the original. When Isaac Clarke was running, injured or stressed out in Dead Space, the altered sound effects played over the normal breathing sound – it was literally two separate audio channels playing at the same time. It’s a pretty subtle effect – I never noticed it, or at least I don’t remember noticing it – but there will be a “breath rate transition” in the reboot, so Clarke’s breathing will actually change smoothly.
However, the ALIVE system is more than just enhanced sound effects: EA says it aims to simulate the human limbic system, the part of the brain that controls behavioral and emotional responses.
“When you watch a horror movie or play a scary game, the limbic system can trigger an adrenaline rush in the body, causing a physical response such as an increased heart rate,” senior voice designer Terry Kaliko says in the video. “In our game, adrenaline comes from various values, driven by external factors that have a direct impact on Isaac’s heart rate. Isaac’s level and health. We want Isaac to reflect how anyone would physically react in the scenario he’s in.”
The live broadcast also took a detailed look at the audio occlusion process, which “aims to provide players with an unparalleled sound experience by creating a realistic sound projection experience”:
And weapon sound improvements:
And thankfully, we won’t have to wait as long for the next Dead Space livestream as we do this one: there’s an online art presentation scheduled for May.