Now that the most recent adventure of intrepid engineer Isaac Clarke has come to an end, it is time to consider the future of the Dead Space franchise. Starting out as counterprogramming to the Resident Evil crowd, Dead Space has now grown to include a vast lexicon of video game titles, comics, and movies.
Developer Visceral Games and publisher EA have already expressed interest in the idea of Dead Space as a series that would continue to scare gamers for more years to come, but it isn’t easy to “keep the ball rolling,” as they say.
By now a great number of gamers have had a chance to check out Dead Space 2, and they might be wondering where Visceral could go from here, so Game Rant figured we would explore three of the most feasible possibilities and present them to you.
Since this editorial does examine a future in the context of the events from the various games, it goes without saying that if you haven’t played both Dead Space 1 and 2, you should go out and play those first before reading any further.
#3. Isaac's Quest
The obvious and probably the most feasible of continuations for the Dead Space series would involve Isaac’s quest to find and destroy more of the evil relics known as markers. Responsible for some, not all, of the terrible happenings in the Dead Space universe, the marker on Aegis VII started it all, but it wasn’t the first marker -- it was actually a replica created from one found on Earth (more on that later).
While the Aegis VII marker may have been the reason for the events of the first Dead Space, and Isaac’s encounter with it the reason for Dead Space 2, a brief hint during the credits of that sequel indicate that there are many more marker sites now. Having grown into a more accomplished fighter, and having survived two Necromorph onslaughts, Isaac should be well prepared to search out these other marker locations and destroy them.
What makes this option the most feasible is how well it lends itself to a series that wants to continue on for years to come. With an overarching mission — destroy all of the marker sites — each future entry in the Dead Space franchise could introduce new locations, new characters, and new enemies with which Isaac can interact. It’s simple, easy to execute, and will ensure that gamers return for more, as they will want to see how it all pans out.
#2. New Faces
Option two, the second most likely option, borrows a little bit from the first option, but puts a unique twist on it. The previous sub-entries in the Dead Space universe, like Extraction and Ignition, have each been centered on one or several completely new characters instead of starring Isaac Clarke. While some of these characters have been connected to Isaac in one-way or another, the events they experienced shed light on the overarching storyline.
If Visceral still wanted to explore the idea of several marker sites, but wanted to move away from the character of Isaac Clarke, they could do so here, with the third title. Though Clarke, with his new characterization in DS2, became a character that gamers connected with, he experienced a very satisfying story arc between the two games. Moving from a game where he was ostensibly an extension of the player to becoming a broken man on a quest for acceptance, Isaac’s story, for all intents and purposes, came to an end with Dead Space 2.
Sure, it would be great to see Isaac carry on his Necromorph stomping duties, but Visceral has set up the Dead Space universe as not just being about Isaac. Visceral didn't even see a need to include Isaac in the game's upcoming Severed DLC, which says something about how the developer prioritizes story over character. Perhaps a new character, one that shares similar qualities to Clarke, but that has his or her own unique story to tell, could spearhead a new adventure or two, and bring along that sense of discovery that made the first game so memorable.
Most will probably have a hard time parting with Isaac, but in the interest of telling a story that is both compelling and doesn’t wane on its audience, perhaps Visceral needs to move on. It would be sad to see Isaac go, but that doesn’t mean he can’t pop up here and there, or maybe make a surprise return for the grand finale.
The final, and least likely option -- not because of its feasibility, but because of its end-game properties -- is that the next Dead Space game takes players back to Isaac’s home planet of Earth. Since the very first game, players have figured that at some point the Dead Space series was going to have to make its way to Earth for several reasons.
First and foremost, as indicated by the information contained within the first game, we know that the marker that was created on Aegis VII is actually a replica of a marker found on Earth. That marker was built on Aegis VII in order to see what it is capable of, and now that we know it is capable of some very bad things, it has become a priority to destroy it.
On top of just eliminating the marker that started it all, taking players to Earth would be Visceral’s chance to design our home planet in the 25th century. Just getting a small glimpse of the futuristic world contained within the Sprawl should have got players thinking what Earth in this future looks like.
While coming to Earth is certainly in the cards for the Dead Space series, it might not be happening just yet, as destroying Earth’s marker is definitely the last act of Dead Space's overarching storyline. It seems that with stories in which the first couple entries take place in the vast reaches of space, eventually the developers have to show the gamer what their version of Earth looks like. Still, an epic Necromorph battle on 25th century Earth would be the most fitting way to end the Dead Space series.
Obviously there are plenty of other storylines that the next Dead Space title could explore, and of course there are sub-plots within the Dead Space universe, like the mysterious origins of the cult-like Church of Unitology.
Now able to wrap their heads around the universe a little better, as demonstrated by Dead Space 2, Visceral has as wide a frontier as the vast reaches of space in front of them. Where they choose to take the storyline of Dead Space 3, if that is to be the title of the next game, is ultimately up to them, but we hope that whichever route they go down delivers a solid title with plenty of gory action and bone-tingling scares.
Where do you see the next entry in the Dead Space series going? Do you think Visceral will choose one of the three routes presented, or do you see them pursuing an alternate storyline?