the original dead space is a classic survival horror experience, thanks to its gratuitous use of guts, gore, and seriously disturbing imagery. The 2008 game doesn’t hold back, and that’s all part of the draw for its supporters – the weirder and creepier the visuals, the better. And in the new remake, which will be released on January 27, developer Motive Studio has added some accessibility options that retain the original game’s bite while broadening the appeal.
dead space begins with a content warning: “dead space contains graphic violence, including explicit depictions of dismemberment, impalement, gore, gore, vomit, and death. The gameplay and cinematic scenes depict many traumatic events and portray harmful behaviors associated with mental health. Topics include self-harm and suicidal ideation, death of coworkers and relatives, claustrophobia, psychosis, visual/auditory delusions, and obsessive behaviors.
This is, in itself, a very good content warning! Compare and contrast with The waya 2021 horror game, which opens with a brief trigger warning: “The way was designed and developed by a diverse team of diverse beliefs, political views, and ideologies. He tackles very sensitive subjects with the intention of treating them seriously. Despite this, some players may find certain scenes and themes triggering.
It’s well-meaning, but essentially unnecessary – the equivalent of an allergy warning on a food product indicating that it was prepared by a diverse team of chefs. Cool, I guess. But that doesn’t actually tell me if the product is safe to consume.
Motive and publisher Electronic Arts take this specific initial warning even further, with an in-game toggle that displays content warnings before various scenes. At the infamous moment when Isaac hears a thud boom, boom, boom in the distance, you can rightly assume it’s a mean beast, only to approach to find a poor Ishimura employee slamming his face against the window. If you turn on the accessibility toggle, you’ll see a warning that reads, “The upcoming section contains depictions of self-inflicted death.”
Additionally, a second toggle exists to “hide disturbing scenes”. This will blur those scenes (although the audio is unaffected). It also blacks out Isaac Clarke’s death animations, which can be really graphic and gruesome. While some fans revel in the horror of seeing Isaac pulled from limb to limb or brutally decapitated, others might find it a little too spicy for their tastes.
Electronic Arts has an external site that lists the system and even includes a chapter-by-chapter breakdown of every in-game warning and what content it covers. Some of the warnings are for things as obvious as suicide or amputation, while others are for more specific triggers, like medical malpractice or needles.
These options are entirely optional, and most players may not even seek these toggles – for them, murder, mayhem, and discomfort are all part of the fun. But dead space is a fantasy game dripping with tension, atmosphere, and mystery aside from the gory aspects. Now more players will be able to explore the Ishimura and help Isaac escape. I’ve never seen this before in a game of this size and scale. And that’s great.
How to Enable Content Warnings in Dead Space Remake
From the pause menu, go to Settings, then Accessibility. The fourth and fifth options relate to content and disclaimers. Enable “Show Content Warning” to have in-game warnings appear in the top right of your screen, and “Hide Disturbing Scenes” to place a window that hides the game’s most graphical content. Both of these options are disabled by default and can be activated at any time throughout a game.