Which difficulty should you play the Dead Space remake on?

Dead Space

In space, no one can hear you pick Story

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The remake of the sci-fi survival horror classic Dead Space is out, and it’s brutal as ever. Necromorphs will team up, flank you, and do anything in their power to turn Isaac Clarke into bloody tin can. With that in mind, you might be asking, what difficulty should I play the Dead Space remake on?

The answer requires a degree of soul-searching, as you’ll need to truly ask, what do you want out of Dead Space? What do you seek within the metal walls and darkened corridors of the USG Ishimura? Thankfully, the team at EA’s Motive have given you a wealth of options to explore the game with your own preferred level of soul-crushing difficulty.

What difficulty levels are there in the Dead Space remake?

The remake of Dead Space clocks in with five different difficulty levels, ranging from the more laid-back to the absolutely demanding (though admittedly much more realistic). Options vary in terms of what they change and how they affect both the world and your own status, so let’s run them down quick:

  • Story: Isaac deals much more damage, takes much less damage, and his oxygen tank lasts much longer. Isaac also heals automatically, and enemy grappling attacks are much easier to escape.
  • Easy: Isaac deals more damage and takes less damage, and his oxygen tank lasts somewhat longer. Enemy grappling attacks are somewhat easier to escape.
  • Medium: Enemies and Isaac both take baseline damage.
  • Hard: Isaac takes much more damage. Enemies take much less damage.
  • Impossible: A special challenge mode. This mode has the same damage settings as Hard Difficulty, but autosaves are disabled; only one save slot is available, and one life. Dying prompts a full restart, or continuing on Hard Difficulty.

Also worth noting, completing Impossible earns you a unique suit and weapon, as well as an achievement.

Dead Space
Screenshot by Destructoid

Which difficulty should you choose for Dead Space?

Now that we know what each does, it really comes down to what kind of experience you’d like. The Story option is going to give you the easiest route through the game. Not only is doing more damage and taking less a massive boon, but regenerating health cannot be overstated as a huge bonus. Health is one of Dead Space‘s most expensive resources to replenish, and med kits sell for a pretty penny on the store.

While that option might be for those who only want to experience the story and drama of Dead Space (and don’t worry, there’s a lot), it’s Hard and Impossible that offer the big challenge. Impossible is itself an achievement, and not just in the virtual trophy sense. Truly, my hat’s off to those who clear this mode.

If you want my recommendation, I played through my first playthrough for our review of the Dead Space remake on Medium and found the difficulty was just right. Some early encounters felt like desperate bouts for survival, and some later fights felt a hair easy, but both sides of that spectrum felt earned. Over the course of my time, I got to really know every system in Dead Space, and could feel punished for mistakes without run-ending repercussions. Ultimately, pick what feels best for you!

About The Author
Eric Van Allen
Senior Editor - While Eric's been writing about games since 2014, he's been playing them for a lot longer. Usually found grinding RPG battles, digging into an indie gem, or hanging out around the Limsa Aethryte.
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