Visceral Creative Director Discusses Dead Space 4
The difficulty developers and publishers face in marketing large budget survival horror games is one that I am sure many of us are familiar with. Unfortunately, the niche nature of the genre makes reaching the necessary sales to justify the required budget a behemoth of a task. The former creative director at the now defunct Visceral Games, Ben Wanat, had an interview with Eurogamer in which he discussed the development of Dead Space 3, and shared his various ideas for Dead Space 4.
Wanat expressed a strong interest in more non-linear gameplay, citing the ‘flotilla’ section from Dead Space 3 as inspiration. He elaborated by saying, “The notion was you were trying to survive day to day against infested ships, searching for a glimmer of life, scavenging supplies to keep your own little ship going, trying to find survivors.”
“The ships you would visit are where the game would get really diverse. The Ishimura had some inkling of that diversity with the variously themed decks. But imagine an entire roster of ship types, each with unique purposes, floor plans, and gameplay. Our original prototypes for the Dead Space 3 flotilla had some pretty wild setups that I wish we had been able to use.”
Recently, Tango Gameworks’ The Evil Within 2 demonstrated how effective open-world survival horror can be if executed properly, and I think a game like Dead Space, which features a heavy focus on combat and item management, seems like it could make an easy transition to the more open gameplay structure Wanat describes.
Wanat also shared some of his thoughts in regards to Dead Space 4‘s story. The protagonist of Dead Space 4 was up in the air. While it is possible that the series could have seen the return of Issac or Carver, Wanat expressed interest in either having Ellie or even an entirely new character take the lead.
Dead Space 3‘s story was left intentionally vague as to leave opportunities open for the next installment, but Wanat confirmed that humanity was on the verge of extinction at the end of the Awakened expansion. As Wanat believes there is a chance that the Dead Space franchise could be revived one day, he didn’t want to go too in-depth as to what the plot of the game would have been, but he did leave a painful teaser.
“I don’t want to give away the lore, but I will say that we spent a bit of time working out the origin of the Necromorphs and what purpose humans held in this dark universe. Would players find a way out of the Necromorph apocalypse? I’d say yes, but they might be sorry they did. Sometimes you’re better off with the devil you know…”
What the hell could be worse than Necromorphs?
If you are interested, you can read the full interview here. You can also check out Eurogamer’s video that sheds light on Dead Space 3‘s development below.