I had anticipated getting my hands on this iconic remake after hearing the announcement back in July 2022, and it’s safe to say that after months of waiting, it did not disappoint.
My initial thought on playing the remake was how much nostalgia the creators had encapsulated from the previous version. The original was released 15 years ago when I was around nine years old, and introduced to me by my older brother, who I would nag continuously to let me play. I wasn’t prepared for its blood-curdling tension and suspense, it soon had a huge role to play in fuelling my love for horror-based games in the future.
To those new to the story, the game puts you in the shoes (or space boots, for that matter) of Isaac Clarke, an engineer sent to investigate a gigantic mining spaceship, the USG Ishimura upon hearing it had gone silent. As Isaac boards the Ishimura, he soon realises that he’s in for a challenging and chaotic ride as the ship is infested with Necromorphs, mysterious creatures created by an alien artifact known as the Marker. As you journey through the ship, you must take down the grotesque enemies to uncover the story behind the marker and the USG Ishimura vessel.
Although the original was a masterpiece in itself, the remake has given it a fresh feel and a well-thought-through facelift on the old title; the story remains intact yet enhanced by new content, more mechanics and expanded areas. The tram system featured in the older version now allows you to return to sites previously passed giving you more freedom to roam the ship and the HUD built into Isaac’s suits gives it a more immersive feel. The graphics have had an impressive improvement and bring the gore and horror to life, the textures and environments are packed with detail, and the lighting effects are phenomenal. The game also features some great sound design which really helps set the mood.
The variety of weapons is notable, ranging from traditional firearms to futuristic weapons such as plasma cutters and line guns. Upgrades can be located throughout and used on weapons and armour, as well as Isaac’s health and stasis abilities. These upgrades can be helpful when facing the game’s more formidable enemies, for example, the bosses you must defeat to progress. These bosses are some of the most challenging enemies in the game, and they require a combination of skill and strategic thinking.
What I love about this game is that it gradually plays with your mind, keeping you on edge as you advance through the game. This remake has a great level of replay value and is a game I highly recommend to not just fans of the original, but to anyone looking to sink their teeth into a good butt-clenching graphical horror in 2023.
Written by Jodie.
Edited by Alexx.