How Dead Space Remake Improves Isaac Clarke

Isaac Clarke sitting in a cockpit unmasked in the Dead Space remake

The new remake of the hit space horror game Dead Space has officially released. The timing of this remake is just about perfect, as it comes immediately on the heels of both HBO’s live-action adaptation of The Last Of Us, which has been a major hit and brought horror-themed video game stories to the front of public attention. The release also follows that of the new video game The Callisto Protocol, which was unfortunately something of a flop, but heavily reminded long-time gamers of Dead Space.

This means that many video game players are going to be enjoying this new Dead Space remake. Those who’ve played the original will quickly notice one major difference from the original version: the protagonist, Isaac Clarke, himself. Here’s how the remake changes and vastly improves Clarke as a character.

Related: The Dead Space Comic Perfectly Embodies the Spirit of the Video Games

Isaac Clarke Is No Longer a Silent Protagonist

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First and foremost, fans who played the original 2008 version of Dead Space will immediately notice that protagonist Isaac Clarke has a speaking voice in the remake. Of course, there’s nothing inherently wrong about a video game having a silent protagonist. The Legend of Zelda‘s Link and Portal‘s Chell have been wildly successful silent protagonists, after all. However, Isaac Clarke did have a speaking role in Dead Space 2 and Dead Space 3, so changing that aspect of Clarke in the remake does bring him more in line with the type of character he was in those sequels, and develops him as a much more consistent character overall.

Further, Isaac Clarke takes off his iconic helmet more often than he did in the original Dead Space, particularly during conversations with the other major characters. This means that players will be able to see more of Isaac’s feelings and expressions during these sections, making him feel like a far more humanized character.

Related: What Sets The Callisto Protocol Apart From Dead Space

Side Missions Add a New Layer to Dead Space’s Protagonist

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Back in the original 2008 Dead Space, there wasn’t much in the way of treading off the beaten path. Players would typically stick to a straight line, occasionally stepping off into a side room to pick up some ammo or an audio log that added a bit to the lore. However, the remake has added several side missions to flesh out the game even further than before. These missions are all optional, of course, but many players may wish to do them, as they have been made easy to find and offer valuable rewards upon completion.

More importantly, though, these side missions expand upon the lore and story of the game and even expand upon Isaac Clarke himself. In this way, players can help Isaac Clarke to assist his crew mates, investigate what happened on the USG Ishimura, and even look into the origin of the Necromorphs themselves. Unlike the original portrayal of Isaac Clarke as something of an everyman placeholder-style character to make players feel the terror and isolation of the original Dead Space for themselves, the new side missions show Clarke to be a more well-rounded character who is intelligent, empathetic, and ready to take action.

Related: 10 Iconic Game Franchises Almost Killed By One Bad Entry

A Secret Ending Sets Up Isaac Clarke’s Future

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In the ending of Dead Space, both in the original and the remake, Isaac Clarke escapes in a shuttlecraft and begins to fly away to safety. He then witnesses a hallucination of his girlfriend Nicole jumping out at him, ending the game in one final jump scare. However, in a new secret ending that was added for the remake, Clarke has a full conversation with the Nicole hallucination and describes his need to “build a little something.” The camera then pans out, and it is shown that symbols from the Marker have been drawn all over the ship, implying just how deeply Clarke’s exposure to the Marker and the Necromorphs has affected him.

Given the fact that, by the start of Dead Space 2, Isaac Clarke is found to have been locked up in a mental hospital for roughly three years with no real explanation of how he got from the shuttlecraft to that point, the original ending has always felt like it left something of a major gap between the two games. The secret ending, however, definitely seems to shed some light on this time period and makes the story fit more succinctly into what will happen in Isaac Clarke’s future.

Players can unlock this secret ending for themselves by beating the game and then loading up a New Game Plus file. Afterward, the player need only collect all 12 Marker Fragments hidden around the Ishimura and take the Fragments to the Ship Captain’s Quarters.


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