‘Lifeless House’ hands-on: Grotesque sci-fi horror has by no means felt so comforting

The Lifeless House remake must be higher than Lifeless House. The unique got here out 14 years in the past and imploded widespread concepts of what a horror sport ought to be: It decreased the ability of the headshot and stripped away all on-screen icons to immerse us within the ravaged corridors of the Ishimura, the place we had been stalked by half-human monsters with freakishly elongated limbs. Lifeless House was terrifying and thrilling and shocking, and these feelings have solely made the sport shine brighter in our recollections. That is the model of Lifeless House that the remake has to compete with — the one which lives solely in our heads, filtered by nostalgia. It looks like an unimaginable customary to achieve. However I believe the Lifeless House remake nails it — largely.

Motive Studio and EA held a demo occasion for Lifeless House final month, and I received to play the primary three chapters of the remake, stopping simply after Isaac restarted the centrifuge. This was the complete sport in pre-beta kind and I performed on PC with an Xbox controller. It was instantly spectacular by trendy requirements: The metallic rooms of the Ishimura had been stuffed with crisp, horrific particulars, and the well being indicator operating up Isaac’s backbone was clearer than ever. Tense instrumentals and mechanical buzzing noises rose and fell as he explored the ship, and sharp audio cues stored the sense of impending doom alive. Among the sounds tapped instantly into my nostalgia neurons, notably on the save stations and whereas selecting up gadgets.


The Lifeless House remake has recent voice appearing, puzzles, storylines and mechanics, and an AI-driven director that maximizes the horror of every scene. This technique doesn’t randomize the habits of enemies, however it units off environmental options like steaming pipes, harsh whispers and flickering lights. Regardless of the horror director was doing throughout my playthrough, it labored — I used to be suitably scared in each setting.

Within the demo, Lifeless House adopted a well-recognized cadence of darkish hallways and towering necromorphs, however it additionally supplied a handful of surprises. For one, the heartbeat rifle had a brand new various fireplace that threw out a small proximity mine, relatively than a 360-degree spray. (Nothing in regards to the plasma cutter was modified as a result of the plasma cutter is and at all times has been excellent.) After which there was the revamped zero-gravity mechanic — as a substitute of clinging to surfaces and leaping off of them in an prolonged soar, the Lifeless House remake let me swim by way of the air, opening up new puzzle and exploration alternatives, particularly along side the stasis and kinesis talents. All of it felt completely pure, as if this was what builders needed to do with Lifeless House the primary time round, however our 2008 {hardware} simply couldn’t deal with it.

Dead Space


Actually although, immediately’s {hardware} can’t deal with this model of Lifeless House, not less than not in its present preview kind. There are not any loading screens within the remake and this function induced crucial issues throughout my playthrough. I encountered vital and chronic framerate points all through the demo, notably after strolling by way of doorways, as background loading kicked in. My sport crashed as soon as and I voluntarily restarted it one other time, after slogging by way of a number of scenes of stuttering animations. The framerate points had been extraordinarily irritating. Isaac additionally felt sluggish at sure factors, inflicting me to misfire my weapons or waste time stomping on already-dead enemies. I wasn’t the one participant within the room to expertise these issues, although some demos appeared to run simply tremendous from begin to end. Builders at Motive made it clear they had been conscious of those points and promised they’d be resolved earlier than launch day, however my preview expertise was lower than seamless.

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