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The Most Brutal Deaths In Dead Space Ranked

The "Dead Space" franchise is well known for a few things: scary monsters, the iconic design of its protagonist Isaac Clarke's helmet, and lots and lots of gore. The series sees players trying to survive against terrifying monsters called Necromorphs. While many players may not understand the full history of the Necromorphs thanks to the series' complicated timeline, even gamers who haven't played "Dead Space" for themselves might be familiar with seeing Isaac getting dismembered in horrifying and brutal ways. Decapitations, explosions, stomping machinery, and more awful deaths make frequent appearances throughout the series.

Now that EA has resurrected the series with the release of the "Dead Space" remake on newer consoles and PCs, the series is able to showcase some of its most brutal deaths yet — and all in stunning graphical fidelity. So, whether you want to see the gore without subjecting yourself to the terror of actually playing through the game, or just want to know just how much one game can punish an innocent space engineer, here is a ranking of the most brutal deaths in 2023's "Dead Space" remake.

Spoilers ahead for 2023's "Dead Space."

12. Chen's death starts things off on a nasty note

The opening of a horror game is crucial for establishing the game's tone, showing players what they're in for, and setting the stakes. While some feel that the opening scenes of "Dead Space" go a bit too far, it undeniably manages to do all three of those things splendidly. The game's story starts when a small group of people, including protagonist Isaac Clarke, board a mining ship called the USG Ishimura after it sent out a distress call. The group has no idea what actually took place on the ship and caused the distress beacon, which allows the terrifying Necromorphs that have taken the ship over to easily catch them off guard. 

Shortly after boarding, Isaac is sent into a windowed room to find the controls for some doors while a small group of others stand guard in the adjacent room. This sets the scene for the game's first death, in which a soldier named Chen is brutally slaughtered right in front of Isaac. A Necromorph comes up behind Chen, impales him with its arm blades, then throws him against the very window that Isaac is standing behind. Chen screams in surprise and pain, leaving only a bloody smear as the soldier falls to the ground. 

This early sequence serves to show the brutality and effectiveness of the Necromorphs when it comes to killing, and really comes out of nowhere for first-time players.

11. Hammond is killed by Chen

As Isaac struggles to survive on the Ishimura, he receives the help of a few precious allies. One of the more notable of these allies is Hammond, the squad leader of the armed men who initially accompanied Isaac on the mission. Hammond manages to survive the ambush that opens up the game, but not for too long. Eventually, Hammond assists Isaac in getting to the core generator of another ship, the Valor, so they can use it to power an escape vessel. Sadly, Hammond never leaves the Valor. 

Isaac and Hammond find the core overloaded, which means they have to figure out how to interrupt the flow of energy and reset it before it can be extracted. While Isaac is once again behind a window and unable to do anything to help, a Necromorph drops into the core's small room with Hammond. To make matters worse, this Necromorph is the mutated form of Chen, who Hammond felt very close to as his commander. 

Hammond's concern — and perhaps the influence of the artifact known as the Marker — allows the Necromorph to walk right up to him and stab him with both of its blade arms. His suddenly "wakes" Hammond from his trance, allowing him to see Chen for what he really is before driving both of them into the core, resetting it and causing both of them to explode into a mist of blood as they are completely obliterated. 

10. The Infector finds its mark

Whenever the player is killed by a Necromorph in "Dead Space," they are treated to horrifying animations of Isaac being torn apart or otherwise maimed. The first notable death animation to appear on this list is the one that players see when they are killed by an Infector. These Necromorphs resemble bats with their membrane-like wings, which allow them to soar at targets, catch them off guard and grapple them. Once and Infector has its prey in its clutches, it forces its tentacles into the victim and turns them into a Necromorph. 

The death animation for Infectors in 2023's "Dead Space" is particularly brutal thanks to their spiked tails. After the Infector tackles Isaac to the deck, it repeatedly stabs him with the spike. The worst bit comes at the end, though: The killing blow sees the spike getting lodged in Isaac's skull, requiring the Infector to jerk it free with a sickening amount of effort.

9. Daniels meets the Hive Mind

Kendra Daniels gives Isaac a human antagonist to reckon with as she repeatedly tries to sabotage his efforts to destroy the Marker and escape the Ishimura. However, this doesn't stop Isaac from trying to save her, just like everyone else aboard the ship. Their rivalry culminates in the climactic final encounter with the building-sized Necromorph known as the Hive Mind, which sports a massive mouth and tentacles and towers over both Isaac and Daniels.

Those aforementioned tentacles enable the Hive Mind to throw Daniels off a balcony, where she lands close to Isaac. At this moment, Daniels finally sees some reason and asks for his help. She and Isaac reach for one another, but the Hive Mind refuses to let her off that easily. Instead, it crushes her with a tentacle before subsequently dragging her around the deck and tossing her off to the side. The death happens so suddenly and is so violent that players (and Isaac) can't help but feel shocked, even with Daniels having played an antagonistic role throughout the entire game to this point. 

8. The Lurker strikes

Even without a brutal kill animation to call their own, Lurkers are extremely creepy. After all, many of them are created when infants are infected and become Necromorphs. They crawl around on all fours, still have the head and face of a human baby, and sprout multiple bladed tentacles from their backs. They are simply terrifying to look at and think about in any way — and this is before they try to actually kill Isaac. 

In the "Dead Space" remake, the animation of Isaac getting killed by a Lurker is more brutal-looking than ever before. When the Lurker gets Isaac where it wants him, he'll begin struggling to hold the creature away from himself as it starts stabbing him repeatedly with the razor-sharp appendages that extend from its back. As blood splashes all over the screen, the Lurker will eventually wear Isaac down until he collapses to the ground. The attack is brutal enough on its own, but it's just made so much worse by the fact that it's a corrupted baby doing all of this to the poor engineer.

7. The tentacle shows mercy?

Isaac is attacked numerous times by mysterious tentacles as he makes his way through the Ishimura. Each time they attack, these tentacles yank him through hallways, smashing him against the walls and attempting to drag him into holes where an unseen part of this larger Necromorph is able to finish him off and eat him. As the tentacle pulls Isaac toward his death, the player has to try and shoot at its weak point during small windows of opportunity. This is much harder than one might expect, which often leads to another disgusting end for Isaac.

One of these encounters seems to end with Isaac escaping — at first, anyway. The tentacle pulls him toward a massive hole in the wall of a hallway, only to seemingly give up and let him loose. Isaac is free for a brief moment and starts to get back to his feet, only for the tentacle to suddenly jump back out of the hole and pull him into it. Blood then spurts out of the hole as Isaac flatlines. 

The death is shocking in how fast it turns on the player's expectations. Also, while not quite as gory as other deaths in the game, the fact that Isaac is yanked off-screen allows the player's imagination to run wild as they wonder what exactly happened in that hole. 

6. Temple's long goodbye

Temple is a surviving engineer from the crew of the Ishimura with whom Isaac interacts on a few occasions. Temple tries to help Isaac, but is manipulated by Dr. Mercer, a fellow crew member who is corrupted by the Marker and driven to assist the Necromorphs in achieving a mysterious process known as Convergence. Temple confronts Mercer when he realizes that the doctor has been working against the interests of the humans aboard the ship. And yet again, Isaac is stuck on the other side of a big window as the horrible scene plays out. 

Mercer manages to put Temple in stasis before the engineer could get the drop on him, freezing Temple in place. He is then about to shoot Temple in the head when Isaac starts talking to him in an attempt to stall. Instead, Mercer launches into a raving monologue and refuses to listen to reason. Then, he walks behind Temple and shoots the man directly in the head with an industrial nail gun. Because Temple is in stasis, Isaac is forced watch as his head slowly explodes from the shot and he tumbles to the floor. If that wasn't bad enough, Mercer also reveals that stasis prolongs death for those inside of it, meaning that Temple is forced to experience the painful murder as it drags on and on from his perspective.

5. Grabbed by the Hive Mind

After the Hive Mind kills Daniels, Isaac is forced to face the monstrous Necromorph all on his own. The boss fight can be a tricky one, as players must avoid swinging tentacles and flying debris while shooting at the Necromorph's scant weak points. The difficulty level isn't too surprising. This is the final boss, after all, so the encounter has to be a proper cap to the game's adrenaline-fueled storyline. However, this does mean that most first-time players will have to witness a particularly brutal death animation at least a few times before conquering the challenge. 

This death scene begins with Isaac being hoisted up by one of the Hive Mind's tentacles. If Isaac fails to free himself in time by shooting a weak point, he is dragged into the boss' enormous mouth, where his entire body disappears as he is chewed up by the creature. Isaac then re-emerges without his arms, only to be chomped on some more. In the end, all that is left of him is the lower half of his body, which is unceremoniously spat out onto the ground in front of the Hive Mind for the player to look at in horror. 

The developers of "Dead Space" have revealed that the team tried not to go too far when it comes to cartoonish dismemberments of human characters, but this death definitely rides that fine line right to the edge.

4. Divider and conquer

One of the most terrifying aspects of the Necromorphs is that they are capable of surviving without most parts of their body. Rather than aim for the head like a traditional zombie, the games teach players to focus on dismembering these monsters. But even then, players quickly get used to Necromorphs that refuse to die and continue attacking while missing multiple limbs. In fact, it is even possible for players to be attacked by Necromorphs that are made up of nothing more than a corrupted human head. Say hello to the Dividers.

If Isaac Clarke dies to one of these severed heads, the player is also treated to one of the most disturbing deaths in any game. Since the head doesn't have any limbs, its only option to attack Isaac is by wrapping tentacle-like growths that sprout from its neck tightly around Isaac's head. The doomed engineer will fight to free himself from the Necromorph, but it eventually squeezes tight enough that it manages to severe Isaac's head from the rest of his body. 

What makes the death particularly brutal, however, is that the head will then snake its tentacles into Isaac's neck to take control of his body. In the end, Isaac's body will convulse and hunch over before turning to look at the camera to taunt the player one last time — the Necromorph's transformation finally complete.

3. The tentacle does its worst

Another one of Isaac's encounters with a massive tentacle leads to yet another awful death on the Ishimura. When players fail to free themselves from the tentacle this time, they are treated to a death animation that somehow manages to show Isaac's suffering at the hands of a Necromorph while leaving just enough obscured to let the player's imagination run wild.

For this kill, Isaac is dragged into yet another hole by the tentacle — but this time, only his bottom half disappears into the depths. His top half stays visible and flailing as something inside of the hole begins tearing him apart. Isaac struggles to pull himself free from a few moments, screaming and straining against the monster. Finally, explodes out of the hole all around him and Isaac is pulled entirely into the abyss. At last, all that is left is an uncomfortably calm black hole with blood dripping from the edges.

2. The Brute takes a bite

The Brute is a terrifying miniboss in "Dead Space," so it should come as little shock that it boasts a shockingly brutal death animation to accompany its imposing appearance. The monster is significantly larger than most average Necromorphs that players face during the game, which means it has next to no problem with manhandling Isaac and tossing him around like a child's toy. 

When Isaac falls to the Brute, he is subjected to a painful series of knocks as the Brute picks the helpless engineer up and repeatedly crashes him into the ground. The sounds accompanying Isaac's impacts with the metal flooring is hard enough to hear, but what comes next is even worse. The Brute hoists the stunned and helpless Isaac into the air and then bite his head clean off, the engineer's helmet offering little resistance. 

To finish the entire ordeal off, the Brute then easily tears Isaac in half at the waist. It's one of the most shocking ways Isaac can die, and repeated failures/viewings never manage to dull the impact. 

1. The Hunter admires its work

The Hunter is a special Necromorph that has grown particularly attuned to its host. While it resembles the most common Necromorph form that Isaac encounters throughout his hellish journey, it is much more powerful and sinister. Not only is the Hunter relentless in their pursuit of Isaac, but it has a unique killing animation that is tough to stomach for players who can't outrun or beat it.

When Isaac dies to the Hunter, he is systematically dismembered with a series of stabs and chops from the creature's arm blades. The process takes a shocking amount of time as the player is left to watch Isaac helplessly be torn apart, all while the Hunter seemingly takes its time and enjoys the kill. Yes, it's the Hunter's apparent curiosity that really makes this death more upsetting than the numerous other ways in which Isaac can be sliced to pieces. It repeatedly pauses to watch Isaac's reaction to losing parts of his body, cocking its head to one side like a curious pet. This subtle touch adds a chilling layer to the entire ugly process, making it one of the scariest parts of the entire game.