The Dead Space Remake from Electronic Arts and Motive Studio provides a variety of difficulties and challenges for gamers to undertake during their travails through the legendary USG Ishimura. However, to achieve true Dead Space mastery, the most impressive feat in the game is completing an entire run on Impossible difficulty. If you have already finished Dead Space on a lesser challenge setting and are gearing up to give the game’s permadeath mode a try, here is everything you need to know about Impossible Difficulty and how to beat it.
Impossible Mode Explained
Unlike the original Dead Space, Impossible Mode in the Remake is a permadeath mode, which means if you die once you have to start over. According to the description, Impossible Difficulty is, “A special challenge mode. Completing it will earn a unique suit and weapon. This mode has the same damage settings as Hard Difficulty, but autosaves are disabled; only one save slot is available, and one life. Dying prompts a full restart, or continuing on Hard Difficulty.”
While it sounds daunting to complete an 8-12 hour game with only one save file, it is actually much easier than it sounds. In truth, you can save as many times as you desire, just only on a single save slot in Impossible Mode. Also, you can even quit and reload your save, so you don’t have to complete the entire game in one sitting. Now that Impossible Mode has been explained, here are some important tips and tricks that you need to know before you start.
Dead Space Remake Impossible Mode Tips and Tricks
If you are like me and always end up creating the maximum number of save files in a game, be warned that you need to make sure to have one available save slot before you begin an Impossible Mode run in Dead Space. The mistake that I made in my first jaunt through Dead Space’s toughest difficulty was that I had (unwittingly) reached the maximum number of saves before I started Impossible Mode. After I began my first run on the permadeath mode, by the time I realized my mistake, I was already fifteen minutes into the game with no ability to save for an 8-12 hour campaign, which meant I had to quit, restart, and play the entire introduction over again. As great as Dead Space’s intro sequence is, you would be wise to ensure that you have room for a save file before you start Impossible Mode.
Save, Save, and Save Again
As mentioned earlier, despite having only one save file you can save as much as you desire on that single save slot in Impossible Mode. This means you should be saving as much as you can in order to make the permadeath mode go as smoothly as possible.
You Can’t Murder Me, I Quit
If you die on Impossible Mode in the Dead Space Remake, you have to start over from the very beginning or continue on Hard difficulty. This can be extremely disheartening if you’re trying to complete the achievement list on Xbox Series X|S, or seeking to earn the PS5 platinum trophy, as both require completion of the game’s highest difficulty setting. If you are in the midst of an Impossible Mode run and find yourself near death for any reason (damage, oxygen depletion, being crushed by machinery, etc.), before Isaac dies, hit pause, then exit and reload your save so you can try again.
Impossible Mode requires knowledge from previous Dead Space playthroughs in order to survive the increased challenge. It is important to remember where you may have struggled on the lower difficulties, recall the best tactics to use in boss fights, and have a general knowledge of the dangers lurking around each corner of the USG Ishimura.
The main enemies of the Dead Space Remake are Necromorphs, nightmarish mutated humans that each maintain unique strengths and weaknesses. There are a large variety of Necromorphs encountered in Dead Space, so it is of the utmost importance to understand strategies for taking them down as quickly as possible and conserving ammo.
Related: The Scariest Monsters in Dead Space Remake, Ranked
On Impossible Mode, ammo is much more scarce compared to lower difficulties, which means that using Kinesis in conjunction with objects in the environment can save you down the line. Explosive canisters, stasis lanterns, sharp objects, and even dismembered Necromorph blades are deadly environmental weapons in the heat of battle, and help to conserve ammo for when you really need it later.
Merely a Flesh Wound
When you have no choice but to call upon Isaac’s weaponry, the most effective use of ammo is to take out Necromorphs legs, which significantly slows the fearsome creatures. While even a downed Necromorph is a deadly threat, in segments against larger groups of Necromorphs, taking out enemy legs can buy some extra time, and be the difference between life and death.
In order to build a stockpile of ammo, a useful strategy (particularly in the early game segments of Dead Space) is to use melee for one-on-one encounters. Simply unleash some stasis at the enemy to freeze them in place and wail away with a furious barrage of melee attacks. For bold gamers, sometimes you don’t even need stasis while using fisticuffs, as enemies tend to get stun locked during their pummeling, but this can be a risky endeavor.
Find Upgrades and Schematics
Due to the hard-hitting nature of enemies on Impossible Mode, it is essential to upgrade Isaac’s RIG and weaponry through finding schematics that are hidden throughout the USG Ishimura. These schematics can provide special abilities and buffs for weapons and even improve Isaac’s health and armor stats. Speed running isn’t necessarily the best strategy for an Impossible Mode playthrough, as many times it’s worth making an extra trek through rooms and hidden locations to fully maximize Isaac’s arsenal despite the risk of unnecessary Necromorph attacks.
Specialize Your Weaponry
There are a finite amount of findable Power Nodes in the Dead Space Remake, which means that you can’t fully upgrade every weapon on your first run (unless you cheat). Because of this fact, you should prioritize upgrading just a few weapons, to build Isaac an arsenal of two or three powerful weapons instead of seven peashooters. While my Impossible Mode run made use of upgrades for the Plasma Cutter, Ripper, and Line Gun (as well as the occasional use of a Flamethrower without upgrades), you should experiment and think back your own experiences and preferences with Dead Space, to determine your arsenal of choice.
Related: All 7 Dead Space Remake Weapons, Ranked Worst to Best
A useful tactic to use in Dead Space, as well as the survival horror genre in general is to save resources for when you really need them. In the case of Dead Space, placing extra health packs, stasis, and ammo into storage can be a helpful tactic for later in the game when the difficulty increases. In my successful Impossible Mode run, I frequently stockpiled excess health packs and ammo in storage, which provided an overabundance of health items and ammunition near the end of the game. Disciplined saving and wise use of resources is not just beneficial in Dead Space, but is very useful in other survival horror titles too.
You Ain’t Got Time to Bleed
Lastly, while there are plenty of combat encounters in Dead Space that require players to kill every enemy, such as when rooms become quarantined due to detection of “hazardous anomalies,” there are certain sections and levels that allow you to run past Necromorphs without consequence. When you are leaving an area that you won’t be coming back to, it might be worthwhile to save your ammo if you can escape Necromorphs without taking damage. Basically, it is imperative to be cognizant for when you need to kill enemies vs. when you can evade them and run away.
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