Ever wonder why those horribly mutilated bodies in Dead Space look so damn good? Here’s the secret.

Glen Schofield, general manager at EA Redwood Shores and executive producer on the upcoming Dead Space, said in a new article for Edge that gore is a major part of the game’s horror experience, and stressed that it was both very important and very difficult to do properly. “It’s something that you’ve got to get right, because if you don’t, the effect isn’t horrifying, it’s just ludicrous,” he wrote.

“In the story of Dead Space, there was a war that happened on the ship before Isaac, the main character, gets there,” he continued. “So he’s going to find a lot of nasty stuff, corpses in various states of annihilation. We knew this would be difficult to portray, because sometimes gore in games looks cheap and unrealistic. Sure enough, the first few corpses that we did, just weren’t convincing enough. I rejected them.”

And when confronted by such adversity, what did the dev team do? They stepped up.

“This sounds horrible, but we had to go look at pictures of car accidents and war scenes and things like that because we had to get it right; we had to portray scenes of terrible carnage and realism. It’s a big part of making that experience convincing,” Schofield wrote. “The corpses that we ended up making are just horrible. When you see them like that, they’re pretty disgusting. We had to have some gore to be sure that it was much more realistic then any game before.”

Now that’s what I call going above and beyond. Dead Space was released today for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and comes to the PC next week.

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