Dead Space 4 Would Have Seen Ellie as Protagonist Fighting For Survival Day to Day

Dead Space 4 Would Have Seen Ellie as Protagonist, Fighting For Survival "Day to Day"

Richard Walker

Before Visceral closed its doors for good, it appears that the studio had been percolating more than a few potentially very interesting ideas for Dead Space 4. But with the developer drafted to create Battlefield Hardline, before tackling its own linear story-driven Star Wars game that will now never see the light of day, the fourth Dead Space game was swiftly nipped in the bud.

Had it gone further, however, Dead Space 4 could have potentially seen you playing as Ellie Langford, taking the reins from Isaac Clarke as the lead protagonist, and placing a greater emphasis on exploration, scavenging for supplies and seeking any signs of life amid the remnants of humankind as it faced almost certain doom. These ideas come from former Dead Space Creative Director - now Creative Director at Crystal Dynamics - Ben Wanat.

Apparently, a jumping-off point for Dead Space 4 was the flotilla sequence from 2013's Dead Space 3, and the kind of non-linear gameplay that could have been implemented in a possible sequel. "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," Wanat told Eurogamer.

"We would have finessed a lot of existing mechanics. The flotilla section in Dead Space 3 hinted at what non-linear gameplay could be, and I would have loved to go a lot deeper into that," he added. "I figured you'd start in a section of space, maybe following a trail of ship carcasses to an orbital station you think might have the parts and fuel needed to get your ship Shock-capable."

'Shock-capable' being primed for interstellar travel using a ShockPoint Drive. As you'd move from ship to ship, you'd have fought hordes of Necromorphs, and each ship would have been built with unique purposes in mind, with some original prototypes that Visceral had for the Dead Space 3 flotilla boasting "some pretty wild setups", according to Wanat. The weapon crafting would also have received an overhaul, he notes. "There would have needed to be a focus on re-perfecting the weapon balance while still giving players plenty to tinker with," said Wanat.

Necromorphs would have also posed a far greater threat during Dead Space 4's zero-G sections, with Wanat stating that if you could "make a zero-g enemy that can snake through zero-g corridors, propel itself in open space, and grapple with the player to tear off his mask and eat his face? Then I think you'd have yourself a good old time." Who doesn't love a good zero-G face chew?

As for Ellie taking over from Isaac or Sgt. Carver as the lead character in Dead Space 4, Wanat would have seen this as a "clean break" for the series. "With the apocalypse, there was the opportunity for a clean break," he explained. "It wouldn't be necessary for the story going forward to include any of them." As such, Wanat imagined Ellie as the protagonist for a Dead Space 3 follow-up.

With five years since the last Dead Space game, a comeback for the series is looking increasingly unlikely, and indeed, once Dead Space 3 was finished, Visceral and Wanat could already see that the writing was on the wall for the sci-fi survival horror series. "After the third game, some folks stayed on to finish up the DLC, but the rest needed to move on to help other projects. At this point, it was pretty clear that Dead Space 3 was going to be the last instalment," he said.

Wanat adds that Visceral had spent time "working out the origin of the Necromorphs and what purpose humans held in this dark universe," adding that it was possible that the player could have even found a way out of the Necromorph apocalypse, "but they might be sorry they did," he teased. "Sometimes you're better off with the devil you know..."

Still, there's hope yet that Dead Space could one day be resurrected, and should such a thing happen, Wanat sees it as an IP with heaps of untapped potential. "I think the Dead Space universe is a solid piece of original IP. It's a big enough space for sequels, new stories and new ideas," he observed. "You never know. Someone might look back at the old EA catalogue one day and say, 'Whatever happened to Dead Space? Maybe we should bring that back'."

As far as EA's dormant franchises go, Dead Space does seem ripe for a revisit. Hopefully EA will see sense and bring us a new entry in the series.

  • Seeing this title got me excited until I read further. Wish they'd remastered the trilogy but sadly that's not going to happen.
  • @1 There is no harm in doing a remaster of all the Dead Space games, if it sold well, then they could consider making a new one...
  • I would have loved to see this kinda game more so to get closure after 3.
  • Hopefully if the series gets revived, it'll be without EA shoving co-op and microtransactions for in-game crafting into it. :( It'd be really nice to see it again, especially with the popularity of things like Prey.
  • I would just settle for a remaster of the first game, as the others were either disappointing or outright terrible.
  • A new protagonist we were familiar with wouldn't be a bad idea. Horror games shouldn't have the same main character too often or else it gets silly. However, the way they described the game it sounded like they wanted to do openish world with lots of filler and tedious grind, potentially psy-oping the player for microtransactions. What really pissed me off was that the game required two players for certain sections with no alternative for a diligent player, like a Carver mode after beating it once. Then there was the post-game DLC which showed they *could* deliver on the Dead Space horror experience while incorporating the stuff the suits wanted, but somebody chose *not* to. Ending it where it did was possibly for the best.
  • DS3 was horrible. Co-op never should happened in games like this plus micros. It just haven’t got atmosfere of first one. Second was decent... for a shooter. Oryginal DS was one of my favorite game on ps3/xbox360 gen. I have no hopes for next Dead Space game under EA. Let it rest in peace.
  • I'd buy a Dead Space 1 remaster in a heartbeat!
  • please remaster 1 and 2.
  • Remaster 1 and 2!!!!
  • I enjoyed 3. Hate me all you want but I'd rebuy a remaster of it. COOP games are what keep me interested. (helps I have a friend though.. i would hate coop with randoms!!)
  • I loved Dead Space, thought the sequel was damn near perfection, and was severely disappointed with the third. I would be happy with either a remaster (at least of the first two) or a fourth entry in the series...however unlikely that is.
  • No open world! How do you craft a tense atmosphere if you can just wander around aimlessly for however long you want? The first game was great because it was so confined. You may not WANT to go down that dark hallway into the morgue, but you HAVE to. Under EA this would have just gotten worse and worse. Glad it stopped where it did so I at least have fond memories.
  • I loved ALL of the Dead Space games... BUT I don't think I'll survive the trilogy. For sure the devs will patch all the Peng dupes and the game will have to be played the way it was meant to be LOL... Unless Yewgin will come up with a clever walkthrough on how to trick the game.
  • Instead of a DS4, I would have loved a Dead Space prequel that sets the stage for everything that happened. Maybe the first outbreak or right after Michael Altman's death. On a side note, I really recommend reading the Dead Space novel, Martyr.
  • @15, there was Dead Space: Extraction which was really good. It was a solid arcade shooter that worked surprising well on the horror side. Plus the multiple perspective characters meant you were never sure who would survive.
  • People like to give the third one a lot of unnecessary crap for virtually anything they did differently. Shifting towards a more action oriented experience makes sense if you had to play as Clark. After killing 2 markers and surviving Ishmura/Titan how would you possible be able to portray him as an under dog? Hell, even the microtransactions gripe is weak. just using the scavenger bot regularly I had more material than I knew what to do with on every play through besides true survival without ever actively going out to farm. If we were to ever see a remaster of 3, I'd like the option to play as Carver in single player. That was my big gripe. And if we were ever to get back to the survival horror roots, we DEFINITELY cant play as Clark or Carver. Ellie really would be a good fit for continuity without needing a new face.
  • It would be pretty awesome that in time defunct games series' were to be put up for auction by the big companies as to allow them to continue on. Me and my friends have spoken about how awesome it would be if Naughty Dog were able to make Dead Space, or something like that. The only negative to this idea would be more than likely Microsoft would buy up everything as they don't have anything of their own really..
  • EA fucked Dead Space with their greed so fuck em
  • I loved all 3 games for different reasons. Would buy a remaster on a pre order. day one. would love to see part 4 start where the dlc to 3 ended on EARTH. but would buy whatever game they put out. the pre sequal sounded liked a good idea. someone has to revive this series. please best dlcs ever.
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