Is Dead Space a Remake or a Remaster?

Is the game brand new from the ground up, or just a polished version of the original game?

Image via EA

The difference between a remaster and a remake can be confusing, especially since the lines between the two terms can be blurred. When it was announced that Electronic Arts was re-releasing a version of Dead Space on modern consoles and hardware, fans wondered if the new Dead Space was going to be a remake or remaster. Though both terms seem to describe the same thing, there’s an actual clear difference between a remake and remaster, and fortunately, we know where the 2023 version of Dead Space lands.

Related: The best graphics settings for the Dead Space Remake

What’s the difference between a remake and a remaster?

Image via Activision

Remake and remasters describe games that are re-adapting previous release titles. A remake means the adaptation is rebuilt from the ground up with a brand-new engine, graphics, and features. A remaster means the adaptation enhances the previous release title with updated visuals and quality-of-life functions. Making a remake requires a studio to develop a brand-new game almost from scratch, whereas a remaster only alters what is already established.

Final Fantasy VII Remake and the recent Resident Evil remakes are good examples of what makes a game a remake. Those are brand-new games built from the ground up with newer hardware. Sometimes a remaster could look and feel like a remake, but that isn’t always the case. The Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy features the first three Crash games in brand new graphics, plus updated art design. However, the N. Sane Trilogy is considered a remaster because the gameplay and level design are virtually the same.

Is 2023’s Dead Space a remake or a remaster?

Image via Electronic Arts

EA and the developers at Motive Studio have made it clear that 2023’s Dead Space is a full remake of the original Dead Space. The Dead Space Remake covers the same storyline and has similar level layouts as the original title but uses an entirely new graphics engine that’s different from the original. The Dead Space Remake functionally looks and plays like the original game, yet it uses brand-new assets and features that make it a remake and not a remaster.