We have the dingy corridors of Dead Space (2008), we also have the pretty corridors of Dead Space remake (2023), and now, we can enter the Ishimura a third time with Dead Space Demake (2023, but it looks like 1996.) The fan-made Dead Space Demake takes the horror classic’s oppressive environment and brutal aliens, and recreates them in a PS1-style polygonal aesthetic. It’s out now on itch.io and it’s totally free.
The Demake acts as more of a demo, rather than a full recreation of the original game. It begins with gaming's most iconic PSA, the “cut off their limbs” room, and continues for the next 20 minutes roughly. Isaac’s plasma pistol returns and is capable of alien dismemberment, just as you remember it from 15 years (or 3 months) ago. The stasis ability is also intact, but Isaac’s heavy stomp is the only notable omission in the early game. Apart from that, Dead Space Demake is as charmingly spooky as ever.
The polygonal necromorphs lose their disturbing fleshiness, but it’s replaced by a deadpan, soulless stare. Other iterations seem instinctual like they’re attacking you for food; these demade aliens come at you with mechanical aggression. As if these ancient rectangles have been attached together for one murderous purpose, bringing them even closer to the USG Ishimura’s industrial design. Although, maybe I’m just projecting.
Dead Space is far from the first game to be demade as Bloodborne PSX and countless others have received similar treatments. Getting to see how technology affects art, design, and atmosphere is an interesting exercise. Sure, the remake lets you practically hear the sound of bones crunching. Is it a scarier experience because of that fidelity? Or is a low-detail approximation more effective, letting you imagine the horrors you can’t see? Either way, seeing a familiar setting in a new light is always good fun.
You can download Dead Space Demake over on itch,io and you can find creator Frasier Brumley's other work here. The game also supports gamepad and keyboard ‘n mouse controls. And if you haven’t played the remake already: it’s good! Liam’s review said it was “luxuriously improved in small but considered ways.”