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Dead Space 3: Awakened DLC – The Verdict

Dead Space 3: Awakened DLC – The Verdict

This review contains spoilers for anyone who hasn’t yet completed the main storyline of Dead Space 3. If that’s you, turn away now.

“Even more gruesome and terrifying than ever before” reads the quote from Steve Papoutsis, boss of developer Visceral Games and in many ways he’s right. The fact that Visceral and EA have the nerve to charge near £7 for DLC that lasts around the same amount of time as one of the optional side missions in the main game certainly is horrifying for the average consumer. This coming from a game that’s already sprung controversy due to its inclusion of microtransactions, I would certainly have expected them to try and save face with this content.

The length is not the only concerning factor in the shoddiness of the newly released Awakened DLC. The story seems to have been passed off as an afterthought with little consideration of just how to join the pieces of the puzzle together. Awakened takes place just minutes after the conclusion of the main story. Isaac and Carver have defeated the giant necro-moon and against all the odds have lived to tell the tale. Just how they managed to traverse hundreds of miles of space to touch ground again on Tau Volantis without any mode of transport is never really explained. Carver and Isaac both audibly shrug it off as the work of alien technology and after a brief slapping in the head it’s time to hit the road again as if nothing ever happened. Even Isaac’s quest journal reads “We fell to our deaths, I’m sure of it”.

From here onwards what there is of a plot is highly predictable to anyone with at least a little knowledge of sci-fi films. The lines between sanity and delusion are seemingly stretched and Isaac is often left asking himself if what he just saw was real. To the player however, it’s abhorrently obvious what is going on and what effects these will have in the coming scenes. Story ideas that have been apparent in every other Dead Space game are used again here, just in a rather more rushed fashion. What’s even worse it that during some visions loot drops from non-existent enemies still show up in the real world when you decide to snap out of it.

Dead Space 3 Awakened DLC Review The Verdict Isaac Clarke John Carver Necromorph Unitology

On top of the overused plot ideas are a few of the problems that were around in the main story. Loot drops are still far too plentiful on normal difficulties and co-op still spoils any kind of chilling atmosphere that once existed. For a DLC pack that was touted as being scarier, these factors really didn’t help.

If I had to fight to find any redeeming factors for Awakened it would be that just like the main game, it feels very polished as far as the gameplay is concerned. The controls are still easy to use and get to grips with, even after a month of playing other games I had no problems jumping back into it. The voice acting is also well performed yet again, with Carver as butch as he always is, providing a strong character and some funny lines of dialogue from time to time.

Awakened may not be the scare-fest that fans of the previous games may have hoped for but it’s certainly a tad scarier than the main game which is some sort of bonus, right? At the very least you get to hear that awesome heavy guitar again when the credits roll.

Verdict – Off Target

Platforms Available – PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Platform Reviewed – Xbox 360

Review based on a purchased copy.

Please check this post for more on our scoring policy.

Dead Space 3 ‘Awakened’ DLC Lands Next Week

Dead Space 3 ‘Awakened’ DLC Lands Next Week

Rumours are circulating around whether the Dead Space series really has been canned after poor sales of the third release, or if there will indeed be a Dead Space 4. What we know for sure is that EA and Visceral Games are keeping with their commitment to Dead Space 3 by releasing the first proper content pack named ‘Awakened’.

Anything below this point, including the trailer, contains spoilers for anyone who has not yet completed the main story. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Awakened is due for release on March 12th across all platforms and takes place after the conclusion of the main game. Spanning several hours the content will follow the aftermath of the battle on the moon above Tau Volantis. Isaac and Carver find themselves stranded on the Terra Nova and surviving Unitologists have taken it upon themselves to commandeer the ship for their own use. It’s up to Isaac and Carver to repair the ship for flight back to earth and to deal with the Unitologists at the same time. Fans should expect the “darkest chapters as the Necromorph battles become even more gruesome and terrifying than ever before”.

Awakened will cost 800 MSP or $9.99.

Dead Space 3 Demo – Hands On First Impressions

Dead Space 3 Demo – Hands On First Impressions

Today I get to play as the most resilient, strong stomached and crazy assed character of all time. That’s right, Isaac Clarke is back in this years Dead Space 3 and I intend to give you the full lowdown of the demo I played earlier. I’d also like to point out that I’ve never played a Dead Space game before. I have however, seen a friend play the first two games and know the story pretty well.

After breaking up on re-entry, Isaac wakes up to discover himself stranded on the hostile plains of Tau Volantis with Ellie and the crew scattered, or possibly dead. The weather is harsh in this area, with snow and debris of the ship lying all around. Our only option is to press forward in hope of finding the missing crew members and a way to survive.

It’s evident in this first area of the demo that Dead Space 3 has received a big improvement to the visuals since the last instalment. The character models and surrounding area, although slightly masked by the weather conditions, look very impressive. The initial music adds to the atmosphere well.

Moving on I encounter some Necromorphs using the weather conditions to their advantage. Being a first time player I expected to struggle initially with the controls, but one quick look at the layout had me set for the duration of the demo. I noticed that a side roll has been added in for more maneuverability when dodging incoming enemy attacks which is a nice improvement. Combat seems to be as intense as ever and with multiple enemies advancing on you quickly, stasis is at vital as ever.

The variety of weapons has increased greatly and included in the demo is the new assault rife gun. This seems to be a decent addition but doesn’t compare to the accuracy of the plasma cutter which I stick with throughout. The customisation of weapons has also undergone a big change. You are now able to craft your own weapons from scratch, or by finding blueprints, upgrade them and add attachments with lootable scrap items found while exploring. Guns can even be added together if you so desire.

Dead Space 3 Screenshot First Impressions Demo

A new edition is a group of human enemies fighting under the S.C.A.F. logo (Visceral Games should really keep up to date on their British slang). These humans are hostile to Isaac for whatever reason and use assault rifles much like the one I mentioned earlier. I also noticed a number of new Necromorph enemies throughout the demo, including dead S.C.A.F. members.

The best set piece of the demo comes near the end when Isaac is trapped in the immediate vicinity of a huge rotating drill itching to turn his body into a rag doll. In order to escape you have to fight off waves of enemies and solve the puzzle of turning off the drill itself, which I wont spoil in case you wish to play. This is another brilliant showcase for the visuals and intense combat. Even when the drill is at high speed and filling the entirety of your screen you can still pick out enemies and see where to move to avoid being minced.

After completing the demo I have very few gripes from what was an intense, visually stunning and well designed portion of the game. Normal difficulty (which was the only option available) was just a little to easy for me however. Whether or not this was done intentionally for the purposes of the demo or not im not sure, but being able to try at a all difficulties would have been nice.

I also didn’t get to try co-op, but I’m not sure it would be the kinda thing I would have enjoyed anyway. Scary and intense games are always best played alone, with your imagination running wild at every sound and shadow. Playing with a co-op parter might detract from the atmosphere a little.

The demo certainly pulls out the stops when it comes to making you jump. The scariest moments are often not when you have enemies all around you, but when everything is quiet and you’re waiting for the next attack. It’s at these times the music and eerie noises play their best part at creeping you out.

The Dead Space 3 demo was released today, exclusively to Xbox 360 owners who registered their interest and their details on the official website. It will be made available to everyone from the 22nd of January.