Fully Playable Left 4 Dead Prototype Discovered 15 Years Later

Some people holding guns walk through a long hallway.

Screenshot: Valve

A trove of Counter-Strike maps recently leaked on the internet, including a mod that was the predecessor to the survival co-op game Left 4 Dead. The mod is even fully playable, as long as you know how to set up your own server.

According to gaming leaks streamer Tyler McVicker, the prototype originated as a game mode in Counter-Strike: Condition Zero. Players would assemble in groups of up to four people and play as the terrorists. The goal was to plant a bomb while defending against waves of infinitely respawning hordes of counter-terrorists. These enemies only used melee attacks, which made them the perfect predecessor to L4D zombies.

Valve’s Earliest Left 4 Dead Prototypes Leaked. WOW.

The developers at Turtle Rock Studios clearly thought that the mode had a lot of potential. They polished it further during the development of Counter-Strike: Source, where it was renamed “Terror Strike.” L4D director and Turtle Rock co-founder Mike Booth confirmed the mod’s existence over Twitter. “It was our lunchtime go-to game,” he wrote. “We wanted Valve to release it but never got traction for some reason.” Turtle Rock was known as “Valve South” after Valve acquired it in 2008. They had already started development on the survival co-op, but they didn’t have an advocate within the parent company.

Former Valve writer Chet Faliszek told Kotaku that Turtle Rock had already started working on L4D before he became involved. The game caught his attention, and he became its “champion.” “I was one of the people who checked it out and told Gabe about it at lunch,” said. “I went on so much about it, he said I should just go work on it.” As a result of his involvement, he was able to increase the scope of its production. Faliszek recruited over a hundred Valve developers for L4D after the company had acquired Turtle Rock.

Valve published the zombie survival co-op in 2008. A sequel followed in the very next year Turtle Rock eventually separated from the publisher and became an independent studio in 2011.

It’s pretty neat that such a prolific game originated as a mod that its creators had been personally passionate about, rather than a carefully planned product. If you want to see what L4D looked like back in its ideation stage, you can download the mod here.

Dead Google Stadia Game Lives On Through Sneaky Steam Update

Image for article titled Dead Stadia Game Lives On Through Sneaky Steam Update

Image: Necrosoft

As Google prepares to kill off its Stadia streaming service for good, there have been a few parting gifts to emerge from its demise. Users got a final game, along with the ability to unlock the Bluetooth capabilities of their controllers (even if that was something they should have been able to do from day one), but one of the last surprises can be enjoyed by all of us. Especially those of us who never paid for Stadia in the first place.

Back in 2020 Necrosoft (finally) released Gunsport, a sci-fi take on 2D volleyball, as a Stadia exclusive. It was pretty cool! It was also, as a Stadia exclusive, a game that most of us never got to enjoy. In June 2022 it was followed by a sequel, Hyper Gunsport, which was much more widely available, since it came out on PC, Switch, Xbox and PlayStation.

Gunsport Stadia Teaser

While two completely separate games, they’ve now been brought a lot closer, with Necrosoft saying in a tweet earlier today “Since we care about game preservation we’ve made an offline version of Gunsport available in the Steam version of Hyper Gunsport, through the beta channel.”

You can see a video of this game-smuggling move (done by Necrosoft’s Lotte May) in action below:

If you’ve never had to use a Steam game’s beta channel system before, the video above will give you a quick rundown on how to activate the original game, then be able to easily switch between playing it and the sequel.

This is a very cool move! Not just because people are getting essentially a free video game, but because this is a super interesting way to implement a form of game preservation, one that thinks way outside the box but which, thanks to the way Steam is structured, also seems to work pretty damn well!

Dead Space Remake Review Round Up: Great Visuals, Smart Changes

Following its announcement in 2021 and a refreshingly open development period, EA’s remake of the horror classic Dead Space is out tomorrow, January 27 on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. And reviews from various sites around the net suggest the remake is something very special, elevating the original while remaining true to what made the creepy space game so beloved all those years ago.

The original Dead Space, released back in 2008, was a bit of an oddity. A survival horror game from EA developed by Visceral Games (then EA Redwood Shores) a studio that, up until Dead Space, had mostly worked on stuff like Tiger Woods, The Godfather, and The Sims. Yet, despite its strange origins, 2008’s Dead Space would go on to become a massive hit for EA and would become a favorite among survival horror fans due to its creepy, atmospheric horror and ammo-counting action. And this newest Dead Space is also likely to become a classic among fans of the genre, thanks to its impressive next-gen visuals, improved controls, expanded narrative, and the added attention to detail. Not only is Dead Space receiving rave reviews—it currently has an 89 on Metacritic—but it sounds like it might be the blueprint other massive remakes should follow moving forward.

Kotaku didn’t receive access to Dead Space’s new remake ahead of its release, but we expect to have our own coverage of the game at a later date. But, meanwhile, here’s what other reviews and critics are saying about the latest entry in the Dead Space series.


The story from the original is largely intact, but with some key elements either remixed or expanded with greater context based on lore established later in the series. Outside of tightening continuity and adding welcomed background on side characters, these differences don’t dramatically alter the story’s flow or events. The exception is a surprising change to a memorable moment later in the game – a rework that makes more sense in context to the point that I now prefer it over its original incarnation.

Dead Space’s main man is humanized even further in the remake by his ability to talk, rather than merely accept his crewmates’ orders without so much as a silent nod of acknowledgment like he did in the original. Actor Gunner Wright, who voiced Isaac in the Dead Space sequels, delivers a suitably stoic performance, and it makes Isaac feel like a far more influential figure when he’s actively debating plans of attack with chief security officer Hammond, as opposed to just tackling each task like a deep space dogsbody. Thankfully, this is done sparingly: Isaac only speaks when spoken to, and doesn’t deliver Nathan Drake-style quips while he’s pruning limbs off space zombies like they’re the bloodiest kind of Bonsai tree. Instead, his moment-to-moment status is indicated by his heavy breathing and his hurried heartbeat heard in moments of eerie silence, exactly as it should be.

This remake brings the Ishimura back to life in visually stunning ways. Its decks, quarters, and airlocks have been rebuilt in painstaking detail. It is undoubtedly the star of developer Motive Studio’s remake, a more believable and varied ship than the one seen in the original game. But it is just a part of Motive’s re-engineering: Weapons, characters, and progression have all been rethought, resulting in the best possible version of Isaac Clarke’s trek through a veritable hell — and hopefully the revival of a horror game franchise that flamed out too soon.

The remake’s overhauled visuals are phenomenal across the board, bringing the Ishimura’s suffocatingly grim bowels to life with a disgusting sheen. It’s an iconic location for a reason, and the visual upgrade and sheer attention to detail contribute to it feeling more lived in than ever. That’s true whether it’s the abandoned suitcases strewn across the arrival lounge, the cramped crew quarters and the glimpse they offer into the dreary existence of those working aboard the ship, or the posters for a product described as a “carbonated hard bar” providing the only semblance of color amongst its metal-carved hallways. The peeling system is one facet of the remake’s improved graphical fidelity, and it has a delightful impact on each combat encounter. It ensures that skin, fat, and muscle layers are ripped off enemies with each successive wound, making the exposed bones vulnerable to snapping in half from a well-placed round or two. The green light running up the spine of Isaac’s suit is a visual indicator of his health, and this makes the Necromorph’s own bodies a reminder of theirs.

EA

There are new rooms tucked in amongst the old layouts – add-on chambers for a handful of side missions that deepen the fates of certain characters, including Dr Mercer and his awful Hunter. Some areas and their tasks have been totally transformed: the original game’s mounted-gun asteroid blasting sequence now sees you zipping around in zero-G (the remaster borrows Dead Space 2‘s more user-friendly jetpack), synching the ship’s cannons to your weapons while boulders rain down on the hull. The annoying boss battles are back, yellow-painted weak points and all, but there’s a sprinkling of worthwhile new puzzle variables, such as circuit-breaker panels which invite you to choose between, say, switching off the oxygen or the lights in order to power another system.

The combat is as great as ever, especially within the survival horror genre. Dead Space sort of carved out its own niche of limb-slashing action, which the original (and this remake) tries very hard to make clear to new players through a notoriously hilarious amount of environmental queues. Most guns are more than capable of shortening enemies by the approximate length of their shin bone, but some fill more niche roles, like the flamethrower. And in case you were wondering, the Pulse Rifle is still garbage.

The Dead Space remake also follows the likes of GTA 5‘s PS5 iteration by offering console players the choice of a ‘Quality’ or a ‘Performance’ mode. In essence, the former portrays the game at its best-looking, in 4K UHD resolution with ray-tracing, but with a 30fps capped framerate. The latter, on the other hand, maintains a steady 60fps framerate, but with 2K QHD resolution and no ray-tracing. How you play is up to you, of course, but I will say that if you can overlook the negligible difference between 30fps and 60fps, Dead Space looks gorgeous running on Quality mode.

Apparently, Dead Space has a reactive “AI director” of sorts that is tracking players, and it’s able to generate different kinds of enemy encounters. It puts an interesting wrinkle into how I typically play these games, where if I grossly misuse resources in combat, I might purposely die and streamline my process the next go around. Here, though, I can’t count on any of that, because the enemy layout, including the loot drops, aren’t static. This friggin’ rules, because it pushes back on the survival horror strategy of optimized survival. I’m only playing on normal, but I’ve been forced to use a lot more health than I normally would in a game like this, because there’s no guarantee that trying a room again will net a better outcome for me.

The improvements on offer here are substantial, but no remake could succeed to this extent without a rock-solid foundation. When it comes to the overall layout of the Ishimura, the story, art direction, and gameplay design, Motive doesn’t stray far from the 2008 version, and it doesn’t need to. Controls, visuals, performance, and the clunky 3D map have all been improved this time around.

The result is not just a standout survival-horror game — but one of the best games of all time. Even if you’ve played the original many times over, I cannot recommend the remake enough.

Sadly, I’m not sure what Motive’s success here means. I’ve seen the game compared to a director’s cut, but none of Dead Space’s original primary creators are involved, and the term suggests a level of deference toward designers that EA simply hasn’t shown. Dead Space remains a relic from an age of self-contained prestige shooters that almost certainly isn’t coming back; I’m not even sure Motive’s approach would work for remaking the series’ other games. But none of that diminishes the sheer ridiculous pleasure of ripping up a zombie with a sawblade and stomping it for loot.

 

The Division 2 Isn’t Dead, But It Did Just Break In A Big Way

The Division 2 was recently due to get its season 11 update. Instead, the entire game ground to a halt after the tool the development team relies on to issue updates went completely offline. The damage is now being repaired, with “compensation” planned as players wait for the promised update. How did it happen? Ubisoft’s explanation is a fascinating window into the challenges and pitfalls of live-service game maintenance.

“In preparing for Season 11, we began experiencing a series of delays in our localization process, consequently impacting the experience for many players around the world,” The Division 2 development team announced on February 3. “Therefore, after much discussion, we have made the difficult decision to move the release of Season 11 and the livestream to a later date.”

It seemed like a momentary hiccup and a temporary delay, but on Thursday the developers behind the Tom Clancy loot shooter revealed the damage went beyond just a single update. “This past Saturday, in the process of creating the update which would resolve the issue, we encountered an error that brought down the build generation system for The Division 2,” the team tweeted early yesterday. “As a result, we cannot update the game until this system has been rebuilt.”

Normally, when a new Division 2 season is delayed, Ubisoft simply extends the existing one, looping the weekly mission and loot changes until the new content is ready to go live. “Unfortunately, this is not possible in the current situation,” the team explained, “as we are unable to make server- or client-side updates until the build generation system is restored.”

Now an emergency fix has solved that issue, but Season 11 is still nowhere in sight. We have successfully created and deployed a server-side update,” the team tweeted on Friday. “This is now live and extends Season 10 content. We deeply appreciate your support and patience! More news about Season 11 and in-game compensation will be shared at a later date.”

A great live-service culling at the start of 2023 killed a bunch of online games, but The Division 2 wasn’t one of them. Despite a period of malaise two years into its post-launch life, Ubisoft announced a series of modest updates coming to the game in a new content roadmap published last year. With some players still roaming the streets of a post-apocalyptic Washington D.C., Ubisoft has kept the lights on as it waits for a free-to-play spin-off, The Division Heartland, to finally ship. Whether we’ll ever get The Division 3 remains to be seen.

            

Dead Island 2, Delayed For Years, Now ‘Coming Out A Week Early’

Back in June 2014—nearly a decade ago at this point—Dead Island 2 was revealed with a very good trailer and a 2015 release window. Only now, in 2023, following numerous delays, multiple studios, and even canceled versions, Dead Island 2 is almost here. In fact, it’s coming out a week early now, and only eight years late.

The first Dead Island, developed by Techland, launched in 2011. It wasn’t a perfect game, but its mix of first-person combat, open-world hijinks, co-op zombie killin’, and gorgeous tropical beaches connected with enough people to warrant its publisher trying to turn the game into a multi-game franchise. That flopped hard. Yet, that didn’t stop open-world zombie RPG Dead Island 2 from being announced at E3 2014 with that very memorable trailer involving a jogger. And then the game was delayed and delayed and different teams worked on it and it was thought to be dead and then re-announced and now, after all these years, Dead Island 2 is somehow coming out early. 2023 is weird, y’all.

As announced today, Dead Island 2, developed by Dambuster, is set to come out on April 21, 2023. Originally, it was due on April 28. The news of this “early” release came via a video showcasing comments from players asking if the game was ever coming out to which a man says “Abos-fucking-lutely” before revealing the new release date of April 21.

Dead Island 2 has been on a journey, to say the least. Its original developer, Techland, went off and worked on a different zombie game, Dying Light. Meanwhile, Yager took on the task of developing the sequel. After being announced in 2014 with a 2015 release window, the game was delayed and Yager left the project in July 2015. Then in March 2016, Sumo Digital took over, and for the next two years or so, publisher Deep Silver kept telling people the game wasn’t dead and was totally still being worked on. But in August 2019 the publisher’s parent company, THQ Nordic, announced that Sumo Digital wasn’t working on it anymore and that instead an internal team at Deep Silver known as Dambuster was developing Dead Island 2. 

It’s wild to think that, after all these delays, Dead Island 2 is finally catching a break. I remember when the game was first announced in 2014. I was barely 22 and didn’t work at Kotaku. I lived in a different state. The Xbox One and PS4 weren’t even a year old. Truly a different era.

Dead Island 2 comes out April 21, 2023 on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC. Hopefully.

Dead By Daylight’s New Killer Ends Game’s Foot Fetish Trend

The newest Dead by Daylight killer isn’t just making a killing in the tech industry, she’s also murdering the series’ track record for having its original female characters expose their toes.

A couple of days ago, Behaviour Interactive announced its newest original killer, Adriana Imai AKA the Skull Merchant. Introduced as the 31st killer among DBD’s roster, Adriana sets herself apart from the pack with the techno-infused vibe she has while stalking and murdering her victims. As you’ll see in her announcement trailer below, the “self-made” evil tech billionaire utilizes drones with skulls rigged to them to locate her prey before dicing them up with her Wolverine-esque robot claws. She even has a diamond-studded half-mask for added poshness.

Behaviour Interactive

Read More: 13 Killer Strategies For Dead By Daylight

What was that about DBD’s foot fetish stuff?

Now, what you’ve been waiting for: the Dead By Daylight foot fetish stuff. When speaking with a friend of mine about Adriana’s announcement, they put me on to the bizarre bit of trivia that Skull Merchant isn’t just special because she’s an evil CEO. Adriana’s also the first original female DBD character to not have her feet exposed in her default skin. And no, this isn’t one of those “I say a friend of mine told me but I really mean myself” kinds of situations. Players have been noticing this trend for a while now. After cackling at the ceiling, I did some digging and sure enough, Skull Merchant is in fact the first original DBD character to put her bare grippers away.

After doing a bit of journalistic investigation, I discovered that of DBD’s 31 killers, eight of the game’s original female characters’ default skin have their little piggies exposed to the world. Those characters, for those curious, are The Nurse, The Huntress, The Hag, The Spirit, The Plague, The Twins, The Artist, and The Onryō.

Until now, whenever killer players tamper with equipment during DBD games, they are subjected to a first-person perspective animation of their characters breaking wooden pallets and generators with their uncovered tootsies.

A modified illustration of Dead By Daylight's Ada Wong and her survivor perk.

Illustration: Behaviour Interactive / Kotaku

Even guest characters like Resident Evil’s Ada Wong aren’t free from the grip of DBD’s foot fetish-leaning gameplay mechanics. The portrait for one of Ada Wong’s survivor perks “Low Profile” auspiciously displays an icon of a woman, presumably of Miss Wong herself, stepping out of her heels and walking barefoot in the grass.

“A graphics artist who joined BHVR in the past few months has a serious foot fetish going on,” Reddit user TigerXtrm wrote in response to a post about Ada’s perk titled “Behaviour we really need to talk about the feet thing.”

Kotaku cannot confirm that such an employee exists, but we’re sharing the quote to establish the trend was so prominent, everyday players were left wondering if something was going on.

“Ok but this perk icon is sooo cool/clever,” wrote Reddit user Scoobie101, clearly playing devil’s advocate. “Like heels are associated with being classy and high profile, so the act of taking them off both as a way to go ‘low profile” and to “get serious’ (bc you’re not keeping your heels on to run from a killer) just makes this badass in a way that suites Ada’s character so well.”

“Whilst we sense that something is afoot here, we can confirm that a character’s design choices are coherent with their universe, their backstory, and their personality. We leave it up to our players to discuss whether The Skull Merchant’s foot attire affects her performance as a Killer,” a Behaviour Interactive representative told Kotaku via email.

It should be mentioned that, while Adriana has broken DBD’s exposed toes track record, she still has a unique perk that’s literally called “Game Afoot” so she just barely clears the bar for not being yet another character that smacks of the horror game’s apparent, thinly-veiled foot fetish.

Ariana is a part of Dead By DaylightsTools of Torment expansion, which will release on March 7 for PC and consoles.

Update 2/17/2023 3:55 p.m. ET: Behaviour Interactive issued a comment to Kotaku about Dead By Daylight’s foot fetish allegations.

Dead By Deadlight Getting Movie From Iconic Horror Houses

Dead by Daylight is getting the video game adaptation treatment. Atomic Monster (Aquaman director James Wan’s production company) and Blumhouse (the famed horror production company behind Megan and Get Out) announced on March 2 that they are working with developer Behaviour Interactive on a feature film adaptation of Dead by Daylight (h/t Variety).

Read More: Dead By Daylight’s New Character Ends Game’s Apparent Foot Fetish Trend

Dead by Daylight is a 4v1 asymmetrical horror game that has a passionate fanbase. It often debuts new characters and villains that are tie-ins with popular horror franchises like Resident Evil and Stranger Things. Last year Behaviour Interactive launched a Dead by Daylight dating sim. Does this paint a clear enough picture?

The DBD movie announcement comes not long after Blumhouse declared plans to launch its own video game studio dedicated to creating horror games. Blumhouse Games will produce indie horror games with budgets of $10 million or less—the initial development of Dead by Daylight reportedly cost $2 million, so maybe Behaviour will also offer Blumhouse some advice while helping with the DBD movie.

Wan is best known as a horror director and writer (his credits include the muchmemed 2021 film Malignant, The Conjuring and Insidious franchises, and Saw I and III), but he’s also directed some big-budget blockbusters like Furious 7 and Aquaman. Wan even contributed to the story for last year’s cult hit, Megan.

According to the press release, the two companies are looking for a director and screenwriter, so it seems Wan may not be set to helm the Dead by Daylight film. But a girl can dream—Wan has demonstrated a keen understanding of the thin line between horror and humor, which is tonally perfect for a DBD film. Plus, he seems genuinely excited per the press release:

In Dead by Daylight the Behaviour team has created a love letter to the world of horror, building an incredible environment teeming with atmosphere and terrifying villains — perfect for a scary cinematic adaptation. We’re big fans of the game at Atomic Monster, and are thrilled to be teaming up with Blumhouse to bring this frighteningly visceral world to the big screen.

It’s unclear just how Dead by Daylight will translate to film considering there’s virtually no in-game narrative and an entire cast of scary monster villains like The Wraith, The Trickster, The Hag, and more. But I’d bet some money that the film will follow a scrappy cast of snarky teens (think Bodies, Bodies, Bodies) who have to try and outwit and outlast a big baddie. Jury is out on whether that’ll be good, but considering how popular The Last of Us series is, expect DBD to be just the beginning of a new push for video game adaptations. Hold on to your hats.

New Mod Turns Dead Space Into Creepy First-Person Horror Game

The original Dead Space may not look as fancy as that new remake released earlier this year, but thanks to a new fan-created mod, you can play the original game in first person. Not only does this seem scarier, but it actually looks really good, too.

First released back in 2008, the original Dead Space was developed by Visceral Games and published by EA for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. It’s a terrifying third-person survival horror game that feels heavily inspired by Resident Evil 4 and sci-fi films like Event Horizon. Both the original Dead Space (and its flashy 2023 remake) rely on being able to see main character Issac Clarke’s back and body, as this is where your health and other HUD elements are placed. And having the camera back there lets you see around you more, helping save you from ambushes lurking around corners.

So what if a mod got rid of all that and turned the game into an FPS aka a first-person scary? Would the scares be scarier? Would health management be near-impossible? Would the experience be more difficult overall? Well, you don’t have to wonder anymore.

EA / Reverse Engineering Gamer

First Person Mod is the simply titled but excellent-looking Dead Space mod created by Reverse Engineering Gamer that does exactly as it suggests: it turns Dead Space into a first-person experience. The mod is out now and available to download via Nexus mods, though keep in mind this is developed for the original Dead Space, not the modern remake.

According to the mod creator, the “core” of the mod only took around five days to create. However, tweaking and tuning the mod to work as well as it does and making the game actually playable in first person took “several months” and involved a lot of work. Originally, the plan wasn’t to create a first-person mod, but to experiment to see what kind of camera mods could be implemented in the horror game. Kotaku reached out to the modder about what these other camera mods were.

“This quickly grew into a first-person mod project,” explained Reverse Engineering Gamer.

“Admittedly there were some frustrating times while making this mod, but overall I had a lot of fun creating this project. I hope that you guys enjoy playing/using this mod as much as I had fun making it.”

While the mod creator suggests you “enjoy” their creation, I think most people will be too scared to enjoy it as they desperately shove health packs into their faces, unable to tell if they are near death or not while being chased by some unseen pack of undead nasties. Have fun!

 

Dead Island 2 Devs Think ‘Development Hell’ Wasn’t Bad Actually

Dead Island 2, the zombie RPG that passed through so many hands someone forgot it in the development oven for over a decade, is finally coming out on April 21. This is a week earlier than anticipated, which we love to see. What’s funny, though, is that developer Dambuster Studios is out here saying the game’s development hell gave the studio “quite a lot of goodwill in the end.”

In case you forgot, Dead Island 2 was announced at E3 2014, with work reportedly starting sometime in 2012. Dying Light studio Techland was originally set to spearhead the project but wanted to focus on Dying Light instead. This led publisher Deep Silver to shop around for a developer to helm Dead Island 2 until Spec Ops: The Line creators Yager Development stepped up to the plate. Yager toiled away on Dead Island 2 for a few years, with the game making a couple appearances at conventions after being announced in 2014. Unfortunately, Yager didn’t stick. Deep Silver dropped the studio in July 2015, leaving Dead Island 2 lifeless until Hood: Outlaws & Legends studio Sumo Digital took over development in March 2016. Again, like Yager, Sumo didn’t stay long. Deep Silver shifted development hands one more time, this time putting the game in the lap of Homefront: The Revolution creator Dambuster Studios. If you lost track, this means Dead Island 2 has been worked on by at least four different studios throughout its over a decade of development.

Read More: Dead Island 2, Due In 2015, Now ‘Coming Out A Week Early’

Development hell resulted in some goodwill

Now, Dambuster Studios is asserting a VGC interview that after all this reshuffling and restarting, Dead Island 2‘s development hell wasn’t all that bad.

“It definitely concerned us at the start,” technical director Dan Evans-Lawes said. “I remember when we took the project on, I was thinking ‘Is this a poisoned chalice,’ you know what I mean? I think, though, that once we announced the game, people were interested because they knew it had been in ‘development hell’ for however long, and I think people were expecting it to be terrible, and so we were pleasantly surprised when it wasn’t. And I kind of feel like it’s actually given us quite a lot of goodwill in the end. But that’s obviously reliant on people liking the game. But as long as they do, which I think they will, then I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all.”

Dead Island 2 was a total restart for Dambuster

With going through so many hands, you’d be correct to assume that Dead Island 2 was restarted once Dambuster Studios got a hold of it. It was, though not everything was scrapped. Some stuff, such as the Los Angeles location, stayed intact. Most of everything else, however, was rebuilt from the ground up.

“It was basically a complete restart,” Evans-Lawes said. “Obviously there were some things that had been communicated out already, the [Los Angeles] setting and things like that, and when we looked at it the setting was something that we definitely did want to keep. We felt that it as an opportunity to have a really crazy, diverse cast of characters, and also it’s a very iconic location, so obviously we wanted to keep that. Other than that, it was totally from scratch.”

Read More: Sorry Y’all, Dead Island 2 Weapon Breaking Isn’t Going Anywhere

Kotaku reached out to Deep Silver for comment.

In a way, Dead Island 2 could be considered a normally developed game under typical circumstances. I mean, Dambuster Studios apparently started working on the game in August 2019, not long before the global pandemic impacted development on a plethora of games. Despite the challenges that come with development, especially under the effects of a widespread health crisis, Dead Island 2, under Dambuster Studios, has only been in the oven for almost four years. That’s not a bad timeline. It’s just wild for Dambuster Studios to insinuate that development hell has, in a roundabout sort of way, helped them. You know, if the game ends up being any good.

 

Dead Space Demake Developed By Fan, Released for Free On PC

A screenshot from the Dead Space demake

Dead Space originally came out in 2008. It was re-released to great fanfare earlier this year, its visuals updated for modern hardware. You might think that’s more than enough Dead Space for now, thank you very much, but we don’t always have to go so HD with these remakes. Sometimes we can go back.

Continuing in the tradition of everything from Elden Ring to Portal, Dead Space Demake is a recreation of EA’s horror game where the emphasis is on stripping so much of the experience back that it looks (and plays) like a PlayStation 1 game.

Created by Fraser Brumley, he describes it as:

Dead Space Demake has everything you want and more, from necromorph limb dismemberment to affine texture mapping errors.

You’ve played Dead Space (2008) and you’ve played Dead Space (2023) it’s time to soak in the horrid vibes of Dead Space (1998)

It’s of course not everything you want; this is more of a demo than a game, a fan-made showcase of a cool aesthetic rather than something you can grind through for 15 hours. And it’s missing Isaac’s bone-crunching stomp, perhaps the best thing about the entire game (aside from the map system).

But it still looks amazing, and has limb dismemberment, and is free. You can see how it all runs and works in this gameplay video uploaded by Retro Games Nostalgia. I love how he’s still got his suit-based health meter:

Dead Space Demake · PC · Fan Game

If you want to download and try out Dead Space Demake for yourself, its available on PC here, with controls for both mouse + keyboard as well as a controller. And if you want to check out more of Fraser’s work, you can find it at his Patreon.

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