Note: This article has been translated from Italian by ChatGPT and may contain errors.
Ever since I decided to challenge myself with the Impossible mode of Dead Space Remake, a thought has been lingering in my mind: I’m not young enough for these things anymore. I mean, apart from the fact that I could have a heart attack at any moment, I’m too old for this nonsense. Yet, in the end, I managed to accomplish the feat of completing the game at this insanely difficult level. So, here’s an overview of my experience with Dead Space Remake on Impossible and some advice!
Anxiety, Come to Me
Dead Space Remake on Impossible is the very essence of Dead Space: adrenaline and tension cranked up to a thousand. What does this mode entail? Simple (figuratively speaking): the difficulty is tuned to Hard, but there’s a catch; if you die, you have to start the game from the beginning. The save file, in fact, is one and only one, and it gets deleted upon death. You can save as many times as you want, but upon death, it’s Game Over. Now, I’ve read on the web that dying on Impossible mode downgrades the save to Hard, and by continuing on that difficulty (using that save slot), you can still earn the trophy associated with Impossible mode. Is it true? How would I know! It might have been the case before a patch. Currently, I have no idea if this trick works or not, as I completed Impossible mode without resorting to any cheats. Those with PS Plus can back up their saves to the cloud and use it in case of death, making it much less anxiety-inducing. Without PS Plus, I faced this challenge without any safety net. There’s just one thing I could do… and here comes the first piece of advice.
Exit and Reload
The only trick you can leverage is this: pause the game in moments of extreme crisis or when you’re almost certain you’re about to die and return to the main menu. At that point, simply reload the last save and continue from there. Given that the game provides many save points, you usually won’t lose too much time. During my playthrough, I might have lost a maximum of seven minutes in a case or two, nothing compared to having to redo the entire adventure from the start. How many times did I use this trick? Not too many, actually, maybe around ten or even fewer.
Dead Space constantly puts the player on the brink of death. Everything can be fatal: the necromorphs, of course, but even the environment. Needless to say, I tackled this mode with extreme concentration, and it proved tense from the very beginning. I spent the seven and a half hours needed to complete it in constant tension. I’m not kidding. Even when the game was off, anxiety still lingered, thinking about those moments of panic that awaited me once I put the disc back into the PS5. So, I tried to finish Dead Space Remake on Impossible as quickly as possible.
Infamous Necromorphs Bursting Out of Damn Walls
One thing that stands out at these high difficulties is the precision required for dismemberment. Forget the “ease” of the original chapters; here, much more care is needed as the enemies’ limbs must be hit repeatedly in the same spot to effectively dismember them. There’s a much finer and “technical” damage system that requires greater precision. And those bastards are tough to take down. You have to unload bullets after bullets to bring them down, so you can imagine the anxiety in situations when you’re surrounded. Each chapter provides heart-pounding moments. There’s hardly any time to breathe, you can’t let your guard down even in seemingly calm situations. You never know from where those damn necromorphs will appear.
If you want to take on the Impossible mode and are curious about some advice, well, there’s not much to say: it all depends on your skills and composure, but let’s try to make a small list. How many times did I face this difficulty? Just once. The first attempt was the successful one.
- Exit and reload your save in the worst cases: this method I mentioned earlier is your lifeline. If you’ve wasted too much ammo/medikits in a fight or are about to be torn apart, go back to the main menu! How many times would I have died without this trick? I can’t say for sure, but definitely three or four times. If you have PS Plus and can save your data to the cloud, the Impossible mode will prove, well… much less impossible. Note: unfortunately, on PS5, saving game data to a USB drive is not allowed. In that case, it would have been mentally less burdensome.
- Precision is crucial: here, it’s serious. You need to be precise in dismemberment. Always hit the limbs in the same spot, or you risk wasting a lot of ammo. If you focus on a limb, continue on it until you sever it before moving to another. Easier said than done, especially in hectic moments.
- Use stasis and kinetic module whenever you can: having a good supply of stasis is important to handle the worst moments when you’re attacked by multiple necromorphs at once. Avoid wasting ammo by using the environment elements like stasis canisters and explosives (condenser fan blades are great for slicing up monsters, as well as pieces of the monsters themselves). Be aware that chapter 11 and 12 are the most infamous in terms of enemy quantity. Try to prepare yourself as best as possible for every situation. And this brings us to the next point.
- Know the game: the advice is to complete Dead Space Remake at least a couple of times before embarking on the Impossible difficulty. Knowing what lies ahead is a great way to prepare. It might sound basic, but it can truly make a difference. Don’t get too scared by seemingly tough sections, and remember to stomp on corpses until they’re dismembered in rooms where there are several: this will prevent them from becoming necromorphs. Knowing how to kill each type of enemy best also helps.
- Run, Fools: whenever possible, avoid enemies. Run without looking back or stasis a few enemies and then run to overcome some situations with minimal damage or unscathed that would otherwise cause you to waste a lot of ammo. If the game allows it and you have the right maneuvering space, run! Necromorphs rarely follow you through vents. Of course, you need to know the game well enough to know when a “safe” escape is possible. Unfortunately, this strategy isn’t applicable very often. It’s a game that’s quite well designed and doesn’t allow easy “cheating.”
- Stay calm and focused: difficult, very difficult. To help me, I tried to play in a brighter environment (usually, I enjoy horror games in complete darkness). Playing at night, though, there’s not much to do… except turning on a light (which I didn’t do). I used headphones for the audio. While they can heighten tension on one hand, on the other, they help you recognize the source of sounds better, making it easier to figure out where the necromorphs are coming from. On a couple of occasions, however, I found a nice surprise behind me: a particularly quiet enemy trying to stealthily take me out! Instant heart attack risk! If you get agitated, it will be much more difficult. Rely on the fact that you can return to the main menu almost at any time (and not to raise anxiety, but if the death animation has started, I don’t know if this is possible or not, but in that case, you could try returning to the console’s home screen and closing the game; I can’t tell you if it works because it never happened to me). In any case, try to make your gaming sessions as comfortable as possible for you. Being charged and focused is equally crucial. You need to know what you’re doing. If you set a goal in your head, pursue it. For instance, against bosses, I prepared very well because I thought they would be tough. In reality, they’re all fairly easy to take down, just be careful and vigilant. The only boss that made me return to the main menu was the last one, as in the final phase, it grabs Isaac with a tentacle, forcing us to aim in an upside-down position while swaying left and right. It’s a really nasty moment; I couldn’t hit the enemy’s weak point, so after a few moments of panic, I preferred to retry for fear of being killed. I succeeded on the second try!
- It’s doable: know that it’s not an… impossible mode. In reality, it’s very doable, especially considering point 1. It’s more the mental aspect of permanent death that makes the experience “traumatic.” Don’t rush, play calmly, cautiously, intelligently, and accumulate as many resources as possible to upgrade your suit and favorite weapons as best as you can.
Dead Space Remake on Impossible proved to be a challenge full of tension. Sure, any title (even the most colorful and cheerful one) that forces the player to never die can lead to high levels of anxiety and tension; all the more so, an work like Dead Space can only amplify these feelings. Is this an experience you must try? Well, one could do without it, but as a fan, it still proved interesting and satisfying (fortunately). Personally, I found it more difficult than the maximum difficulty of the first Dead Space (which didn’t have permanent death) and even the maximum of Dead Space 3 (which did have permanent death but turned out to be rather easy to complete; and then, in that case, I was much calmer because you could transfer data to a USB drive). The Impossible mode of Dead Space Remake competes with the Hardcore mode of Dead Space 2, which was more difficult due to the limit of only three saves and put me to the test. Either way, Dead Space Remake on Impossible was one of the most anxiety-inducing and tense experiences I’ve ever had. I’m not young enough for these things. Playing it now on Medium difficulty is almost like taking a relaxing stroll!