The voice of Dead Space’s Isaac Clarke explains the remake’s character changes

when the original dead space Released in 2008, it ushered in a new era of horror video games. Players meet the now legendary and initially silent protagonist Isaac Clarke, a space engineer trapped in a nightmare that makes Stuff looks like a preschool date This installment was followed by two sequels that increased the horror and gore, as well as giving Clarke a full voice.

Dead Space Official Launch Announcement | Humanity ends here.

The franchise goes back in time this month with a remake that explores Isaac’s first adventure into the fear-filled void. Like dead space 2 and 3 did dead spaceThe remake of takes everything to a higher level. One of her biggest changes is that she lets Clarke talk this time around, giving players more to work with than a silent hero who only feels grunts. To bring Clarke to life, EA brought in series veteran Gunner Wright to revise the role and breathe new life into the character.

In an interview with Wright and dead spaceDirector of Production Joel MacMillan, you both told me why it was necessary to go back in time like this. Giving Clarke more to say was not an easy decision to implement; it got the team thinking about where the original game’s silence didn’t fit with its final arc.

revisiting isaac

“I’m so blessed to have a character like Isaac Clarke, who I feel very similar to,” Wright tells Digital Trends with a laugh. “We are very similar in design and DNA. So it was a treat to go back and revisit that character.”

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While Wright was more than happy to return to the role, what sparked the change in the first place? MacMillan and Motive Studio did not want him to look like a “kid” as he was in the original. MacMillan points out that dead space it now seems as if the non-player characters are telling Isaac what to do and forcing him to do it, and his lack of response makes it seem like he doesn’t know the world around him. This created a disconnect that the team felt they could resolve.

“We wanted to give him more freedom and put him in the driver’s seat,” said MacMillan. “Our version of Isaac is more solution oriented. He is more pragmatic. He’s an aerospace engineer who gets the job done. I think he gives the player a little more engagement, puts him in line a little more and gives him a sense of being capable and working with a capable protagonist.”

Such a change was not a simple task, but a complicated creative process for EA. As we talked, I found that giving Isaac a voice wasn’t as dry as writing the script, bringing Wright to the studio, and shooting. There was a lot of careful consideration and self-control on the part of everyone involved. Wright would actually go back in time to complete the puzzle of Isaac’s growth seen in dead space 2 and 3. This meant adopting a new way of thinking that suited the environment, the time, and the tone. Wright, as the physical manifestation of Isaac, came in knowing exactly how to best deliver what was needed.

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“I just kept it like an open book,” says Wright. “Isaac Clarke is a character who only finds himself in circumstances, whether they’re extreme or normal for him… At the beginning of the story, aside from his personal issues with his girlfriend, he’s just going to get the job done. I trusted a lot on Joel and the creative team to help me navigate it and ground it like I was seeing it for the first time, the advancement of technology in the world of games and the actual production helped in a weird way because it was so new to me. I was able to literally look at it with new eyes.”

There are narrative games where the protagonists do a lot of commentary and that brings a sense of lightness and comedy to the experience, something we didn’t want to do.

Game narratives have changed a lot since 2008, as has their reception. MacMillan notes that he, Wright, and the rest of the Motive Studio team wanted to find a thoughtful medium that would pay homage to that original voiceless Isaac while he implemented a whole new immersion and experience using his voice as a tool.

“We immediately said that Isaac only speaks when spoken to,” MacMillan tells Digital Trends. “We wanted to make sure Isaac wasn’t too talkative throughout the game. There are narrative games where the protagonists do a lot of commentary and that brings a sense of lightness and comedy to the experience, something we didn’t want to do. Isaac walks those halls and he’s alone and it’s scary. We wanted the player to feel that way, and if we had Isaac speaking in those moments, he would reduce that tension a bit and give the player some artificial security.”

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Isaac Clarke explores the ruins in Dead Space Remake.

Respect for heritage

For the team, it was about honoring Isaac Clarke’s legacy, not rewriting it. “We were very subdued when we put in his dialogue,” says MacMillan. “If you see something like brutal bullying in front of your eyes and you don’t react, that would be a bit strange. In 2008, our sensibilities would have been different. Today, we expect the characters to react in a different way.” little more than they did in the original, and that’s kind of the metric and the guiding light that we’re going with this. But we didn’t want to betray the Isaac that the original was meant to define. So we were aware of that. the road and tried to ride the razor edge very finely.”

dead spaceIts new version aims to be the definitive entry in the series by adding a more well-rounded approach to the characters. While adding a voice to accompany players through the adventure seems simple, Wright and MacMillan make it clear that such a move requires more thought than you might think. Finding the balance between a talkative and silent protagonist does not seem easy, but dead space Seems to do the job.

dead space launches on January 27 for Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5, and PC.

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