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The story producer of the original Dead Space trilogy has said he would like to “redo Dead Space 3 almost completely”.
Chuck Beaver was the story producer for all three Dead Space games as well as spin-offs Extraction, Sabotage and Ignition, and its various comics, novels and movies.
In a new interview with YouTuber CaptainBribo, Beaver explained why he wasn’t entirely happy with Dead Space 3 and gives his opinion on why it wasn’t as successful as its predecessors.
Explaining that when working on a franchise an artist’s vision sometimes has to take a back seat, Beaver said: “There’s a return on investment number that has to be hit, so there were some calculated risks that we all made that we thought would do it, and it didn’t work out.”
After CaptainBribo suggests that this is because there was a cap on the number of players who wanted to play single-player horror experiences at the time, as opposed to large multiplayer games.
“I mean, that’s almost inarguable at this point,” Beaver replied, “because the cap seems to be around 2 million people who are really wanting to see it.” He then pointed out that while 2 million people may seem like a lot, when development costs are taken into consideration “it’s literally nothing”.
Beaver explained that in order to address this, the decision was made to expand Dead Space 3’s design so it was no longer just a single-player survival horror game but also incorporated other ideas to bring in a larger audience, but argued that this was ultimately the game’s downfall.
“The plan was that we would expand into other gameplay genres and stuff, and I think all those bits together not only didn’t generate a new audience, they lost the old audience,” he said.
“The gun mechanic, the re-crafting, [we] missed a lot of the stuff that everybody loved about the old one, and then created a whole bunch of exploration space – we were on a big wide open planet because of that. And all these decisions had lots of follow-on. And then co-op – the hits just kept coming – it was like ‘what? Co-op?’
Ultimately, Beaver said Dead Space 3 lost its direction because it was no longer clear what the series’ vision was.
“We weren’t allowed to make a horror game from the beginning so [creative director] Ben [Wanat] and I were like, well, what are we making? If you look at it, it’s a beautiful Drake’s Uncharted game, an adventure with puzzles and set pieces.”
He also stated that, given the chance, he would completely revamp the project and focus on the ending of Dead Space 3 in which Isaac loses his mind.
“I would just start from complete scratch and I would make this […] about the end of Dead Space 2,” he explained. “He’s broken, and now this is the adventure of Isaac in Dead Space 3 – broken Isaac. he tried to do the thing, tried to do the truth, it broke him, and now we’re in the consequences of him being broken.
“And I would make it like a Tyler Durden thing, an unreliable narrator where you’re like ‘what happened?’ and the player maybe doesn’t even know, Isaac certainly doesn’t know.”