When it comes to monsters, Dead Space is second to none. Thanks to the Dead Space Remake from Electronic Arts and Motive Studio, all of the nightmare fuel creatures from Dead Space 2008 are back and scarier than ever on PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S. Dead Space’s setting, the USG Ishimura, is home to a number of frightening denizens, providing a habitat for an entire ecosystem of horrific creatures. Let’s examine how these horrors stack up, as we rate all of the monsters of the Dead Space Remake from least to most scary. Note: These will not include phantom variants of Necromorphs. Also, be wary of some minor spoilers ahead.
Say it ain’t so! Although Wheezers have a terrifying design, they are the least scary enemy of the Dead Space Remake. The toxic gas-spewing Necromorphs present minimal threat to Isaac, as they just sit around and wheeze noxious fumes. If these creatures fought back, they would easily rank in the top ten, but if anything they are more tedious than scary, as having to find and kill eight of them in Chapter Six is a little time consuming. If you want to destroy these Necromorphs, just stab their neck as you walk away.
16. The Leviathan
The Leviathan is a ten kiloton monster, with massive tentacles, that shoots explosive projectiles from its Sarlacc Pit-styled maw. So why is one of the game’s major bosses ranked so low? Simply, it’s hard to be scared of something that is not particularly realistic or relatable. Additionally, once you understand its weaknesses and attack patterns, the boss fight isn’t very difficult, making the Leviathan a well-designed creature, but not exactly scary.
Exploders are frightening, with uncanny movements and creepy design. However, what keeps them low in the rankings is the monsters’ major evolutionary design flaw of having a large, glowing explosive sack for an arm. Exploders are one of the easiest enemies to kill in the game, which diminishes an otherwise scary creature.
Slashers are the most common Necromorphs found on the USG Ishimura, with impeccable creature design that makes them truly frightening and iconic in the annals of videogame history. The problem? You fight so many of them over the course of Dead Space’s campaign that the Slashers progressively become less and less scary. You might even find yourself thankful when facing off against Slashers, compared to some of the other horrors in Dead Space.
Jeepers, it’s a Leaper! Similarly to Slashers, Leapers are very common enemies, but have some grotesque anatomical features that make them slightly creepier. The lower limbs of the body have been replaced with a razor sharp tail, as they skitter on their hands, jump, and fly at Isaac from across the room, and are particularly powerful in zero gravity settings. Once again, if they had been featured sparingly, Leapers would rank much higher, but instead remain one of the most basic, easy-to-kill enemies in Dead Space.
Brutes are first encountered in Dead Space’s fourth chapter and are large, rumbling mini-bosses rarely seen throughout the campaign. While being charged by one of these space pachyderms for the first time can be a little traumatic due to their invulnerability to frontal damage, Brutes become less scary when players discover the Achilles heel combination of stasis and shooting them in the back legs.
11. Wall Tentacles
Wall Tentacles, or just Tentacles as they are otherwise known, are used for jump scares, grabbing Isaac right as he is about to enter another room, pulling him towards a hole in the wall for a snack. Although these scenes are frightening, the fact that the tentacles have a giant yellow bulb that can be shot for an easy escape dulls some of the terror, and ultimately keeps them just slightly outside the top ten.
Swarmers might be a surprising entry in the top ten scariest Dead Space monsters, after all they are the smallest, easiest enemies to kill, and can’t do major damage unless in large groups. What makes the leech-like Swarmers scary is their chilling theme music and eerie movement as they scurry toward their next meal. Swarmers might not be the biggest threat, but there is no denying their spookiness.
Pregnants are similar to Slashers, but are differentiated with a bulbous gut. What are they “pregnant” with, you might ask? It’s not a bundle of joy in their bellies, but a hive of Swarmers that can be unleashed upon death. Despite the fact the Pregnants are kind of a two-for-one package of terror, they aren’t quite as scary as some of their kin.
Lurkers have one of the most memorable introductory scenes of any Necromorph, when a poor scientist survivor is used as a demonstration of the danger presented by these creepy Necromorph babies. Even though they somewhat resemble human infants, Lurkers remove any doubt about their lack of humanity through disturbing alien noises, quadrupedal movement, wall crawling, and hanging from ceilings, as they stalk their prey. What’s more, is that Lurkers have the ability to unfurl three long limbs, which they use to release a barrage of sharp projectiles at anything that stands in their path. Eventually through the course of the game, you will likely find Lurkers to be more annoying than scary compared to some of the tougher enemies though.
7. The Hive Mind
It shows how scary Dead Space is when the final boss only garners the seventh spot. Granted that the Hive Mind faces similar problems to the Leviathan, such as its absurd size, which limits any relatable element to the horror, the final boss’s creepy anatomy tells a different story. Wiggling finger-like projections surrounding its ribs (if you can even call them ribs), bulging yellow eyes, corrosive spit, and massive tentacles truly make the Hive Mind a force to be reckoned with.
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Now we’re getting into the truly scary stuff of Dead Space. Infectors are the winged creatures that reanimate the dead, helping to create the army of Necromorphs on the USG Ishimura. Their blood curdling shrieks, speedy crawling, and visceral reanimation powers make them a priority to kill as quickly as possible in every fight. While their ability to bring back the dead is terrifying, Infectors would probably rank even higher if they weren’t so easy to kill.
In the real world, dividers are the things you use to organize binders, but in Dead Space, they are tall, lanky Necromorph variants, which are actually a composite of at least a half dozen smaller, independently minded pieces. For fans of John Carpenter’s film The Thing (one of the influences of Dead Space), Dividers are the most similar to Carpenter’s movie monster of any creature in this list. To borrow a quote from the film, “every piece is self-sufficient, an animal unto itself.” When you battle a Divider, there are two fights you must survive. First, you must battle against against the combined pieces, then outlast the creature when it breaks apart into a number of tiny, wriggling limbs. The Dividers’ smaller pieces don’t merely seek to kill Isaac, but attempt to morph the protagonist into a new Divider, which can be witnessed in a brutal death scene if you are unlucky enough to perish in combat against them.
One enemy sure to make you fail a sanity roll in Dead Space are Guardians, arguably the most disturbing monsters in the entire game. These creatures are former humans that are grafted to corruption walls and their limbs have been replaced with tentacle appendages sprouting from their thorax. All vestiges of human behavior are gone from the Guardians, as they lay eggs called “Pods” which serve as a defense mechanism. These enemies are sure to make you stop in your tracks and are one of Dead Space’s most terrifying abominations. Thankfully, there’s an explosive canister near them most of the time.
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No, this isn’t another word for Twitch Streamer (although they can be scary too, sometimes). Twitchers are the Necromorphs encountered on the USM Valor in Chapter Nine of the Dead Space Remake. They are similar to slashers, but are lightning quick thanks to the stasis units of the infected hosts. It’s not just Twitchers’ speed that is fear-inducing, but the uncanny, bizarre way they move, which is sure to send a shiver down your spine. You’d better hope you have some stasis handy before going up against these freaks of nature.
2. The Hunter
The Hunter is first encountered in Chapter 5 of Dead Space and remains a thorn in Isaac’s side throughout a large portion of the game. The monster is reminiscent of The Tyrant/Mr. X from Resident Evil 2, as it is unkillable, and can really throw a wrench in the works when Isaac is trying to explore/repair systems within the Ishimura. The hulking creature is a slasher on steroids, hitting much harder than other Necromorphs and can only be killed or stopped in very specific ways, proving its worthiness of a second place finish among the terrors of Dead Space.
1. Doctor Challus Mercer
You might be surprised that a human takes the first spot over the throng of Necromorph enemies, but by every metric Challus Mercer is without question the scariest monster of the Dead Space Remake. Though some may argue that the devout Unitologist is a also victim of the Marker found on Aegis VII like the rest of the Ishimura’s crew, Mercer’s actions show him to be a willing participant in the madness. While Necromorphs are animalistic and feral, Mercer’s cold, calculating human intelligence make him even more dangerous, as his master plan is to bring the Necromorph outbreak to Earth. Not only does Mercer help to create The Hunter through his “cellular regeneration” science, but the doctor even goes as far as to trick Ishimura survivors into entering his spider-web Medical Deck, where he subjects innocents to disturbing experiments. Mercer is not just a mad scientist, but a traitor to the human race, and is undeniably deserving of the title of scariest monster in Dead Space.
However, one thing that’s even more scary than Challus Mercer is not making Prima Games your go-to source for gaming news, reviews, guides, and features.