Most of your time playing the Dead Space remake is spent trying to find a way off the USG Ishimura, which makes sense given the horribly reanimated Necromorphs screaming all over the place. Given the traumatic, horrifying events Isaac is forced to contend with just to keep the ship from falling apart around him, one might wonder who in their right mind would want to go through all of that again.
As it turns out, there are some pretty compelling reasons to subject Isaac to all that misery once more. Players will have a head-start this time around thanks to all the stuff Isaac gets to keep from the previous playthrough, and there is even some new content to find.
And for fans who weren’t content with EA Motive reusing Dead Space’s original ending from 2008, well, I hope you like scavenger hunts.
What You Keep
Players might be remiss to start a new playthrough on New Game Plus out of fear of starting over, either being unable to use their favorite weapon or losing upgrade progression. Thankfully, Dead Space is very generous in what it lets you keep between playthroughs:
- All of your weapons
- Suit & Weapon Upgrades
- All of your credits
- All collected schematics
While you don’t have immediate access to your weapons after starting New Game Plus, you can re-acquire all of them from storage after reaching the store at the first tram station. Players will likewise have to progress a short way through the story to re-acquire the stasis and kinesis modules, something I only realized after I couldn’t freeze a Necromorph barreling down on me.
Your suit and weapons retain all the upgrades you’ve applied to them, which can make the beginning portions of the game a bit of a breeze. The persistent upgrades also make it feasible to finish out the upgrade trees of your suit and four main weapons partway through New Game Plus. Myself, I managed to max out my loadout by Chapter 5.
One thing that does not carry over is Isaac’s clearance codes. Players will once again need to collect credentials over the course of the story that increase their security clearance in order to open the requisite doors and containers. Since schematics carry over (assuming you collected them), the only thing you’ll miss out on without proper clearance is basic loot like ammo and consumables. Without the cash sink that was upgrading my weapons and armor, however, I found myself able to buy most of the ammo and health packs I needed.
What You Unlock
After beating the game, players are met with a message detailing the rewards they’ve earned for their hard effort:
- 50,000 credits
- Ten Power Nodes
- Level 6 Suit Schematics (Advanced Soldier Rig)
- Phantom Necromorphs
- New ‘secrets’
The extra credits are a nice way to help you stock up on ammo after how much was used in that final fight, or you could start saving up for the pricey 99,000 credit Advanced Soldier Rig. It affords players 30% damage protection and 25 inventory slots, so it’s definitely worth picking up.
The inclusion of phantom Necromorphs is perhaps the most dramatic change. These upgraded enemies have increased health, deal more damage and sport eerie red eyes. You don’t want these enemies hitting you or you’ll be going through med packs faster than you can find them, although stopping them from closing the distance is more difficult thanks to their increased limb resilience. Be sure to make your shots count!
One change that isn’t as obvious is the supposed secrets included in New Game Plus. This refers to the collectible ‘Marker Fragments’ now spread throughout the ship, often tucked away in corners or shelving you might not think to check. There are twelve of them scattered across the Ishimura, and players can take the full set to the quarters of Captain Mathius to unlock an alternate ending. After placing all twelve markers, players will simply have to finish the game as normal to see what the new ending has to offer.
A New Game Mode
Assuming you’ve beaten the game on hard mode, you will have also unlocked the hardest difficulty mode in Dead Space. Entitled ‘Impossible’ mode, it is exactly the same as hard mode except for one crucial difference: dying means restarting the game from the beginning. A bit harsh, perhaps, but the difficulty lives up to its name.
You might think that such an endeavor would be a cakewalk on New Game Plus thanks to everything that carries over. I have a feeling the developers thought the same thing, though, since starting impossible difficulty requires a fresh save file. No shortcuts here!
Players who find triumph over this gauntlet will unlock the ”Untouchable’ achievement, the Burnished Suit cosmetic, and the all-powerful Hand Cannon (a foam finger that explodes enemies in one shot). Chances are that anyone who got to this point wouldn’t need such a powerful weapon, though, having already beaten the game’s ultimate challenge. That said, who can deny the appeal of taking on horrible space zombies with a novelty foam finger?
And that’s everything, those are all the changes you’ll see after beating Dead Space. What do you think? Is it worth returning to the Ishimura, or are some secrets better left buried?