EA Motive is doing everything possible to make the Dead Space remake a superior experience, with numerous improvements added from modern games. However, the remake almost had a fairly unique idea, as some of the developers wanted to remove the pause button entirely.
On paper, it’s a very good idea. Not having a pause button means that players will have to play the game intently. It also makes the horror feel more immersive, as not pausing makes the game feel like a living nightmare.
The idea didn’t push through and EA’s Dead Space remake will launch with a pause button intact. While we’re all for original ideas in gaming, most of us also need to use the bathroom and a pause button makes that possible.
Speaking with Inverse, EA Motive’s Realization Director Joel MacMillan said removing the pause button from Dead Space remake would have made it more impactful. MacMillan feels that pausing in horror games removes some of the tension, which is why a pitch was made to remove it.
“In horror games, you can pause and you have a moment of safety there. You can take a breath. And I think you get a reprieve from that,” says MacMillan. “It deflates some of the tension. But with persistent online games, you’re playing with dozens of other people, and you can’t just pause everybody’s game. I think removing that as a feature would make horror games far more impactful — You would truly feel like you’re never actually safe.”
Despite this explanation, MacMillan admits that he still prefers playing games with the pause button. The director admits that he gets jittery when playing these kinds of games and he’s not the only one.
Although it will have a pause button, the Dead Space remake has taken a cue from modern games to provide a better experience. The map will now be in 2D instead of the original’s 3D, making it easier to navigate through the ship. It will also take a cue from Sony Santa Monica’s recent God of War titles by following the “one shot” camera technique from those games.
EA’s Dead Space remake launches later this month on January 27 for the PS5, Xbox Series, and PC.