DLC Review: Dead Space 3′s Awakened
The first story-driven downloadable content for Dead Space 3 was released on Monday for Xbox 360 and PC users and today for PS3 owners. The piece of DLC will cost you $9.99 or 800 MS points depending on the platform you’re playing it on. Is the extra plot worth your $10?
As many of you likely know, Awakened picks up immediately after the end of Dead Space 3. Isaac wakes up and both he and Carver are incredibly confused as to why they’re still alive. They toss around some ideas ranging from actually being dead and being Necromorphs (my personal favourite) to being saved by some alien device. However, rather than getting a concrete answer, Isaac tells Carver that he’s given up trying to make sense of these things long ago, basically giving the developers a way out of actually giving us a reason as to how they survived. Starting off the DLC like that felt a bit insulting because considering the games make sure to give a reason for every location Isaac is forced to visit, they suddenly opt out of giving us a reason for this large plot twist.
After this, you see a side of Isaac and Carver that you never really get to see, the happy side. They begin joking around about possibly being dead and they’re relaxed as all of the Necromorphs are dead. In typical Dead Space fashion, this quickly changes and Isaac begins to experience some odd things that may remind you of Dead Space 2. He starts to experience odd piercing noises, visions of markers and planets, his vision gets distorted as he walks, and he is attacked by Necromorphs that aren’t actually there. While seeing Isaac battle with visions and delusions once more brings back an interesting dynamic, most of the scares you experience during this are due to the sudden loud noise you hear at the beginning of each of these visions and the fact that these Necromorphs can and will teleport right in front of you. Contrasted with the tradition of the Dead Space series using high quality audio and environmental noises to build tension while you walk small corridors, it doesn’t feel like Awakened really fits into the Dead Space franchise in this regard.
In terms of length, Awakened will last you about 2 hours for a single playthrough. The DLC takes place on Tau Volantis as well onboard the Terra Nova. These environments are ones you should be familiar with, but the Unitologists have fractured into two groups and the radicals have not only mercilessly slaughtered the more moderate members, but also overhauled the interior of the ship. You will see bodies pinned up on walls and come across cowering Unitologists and soldiers curled up in the fetal position and mumbling phrases repeatedly. Throw in a couple more upgrade parts and an ending that leaves the option for more DLC or Dead Space 4 open and you have Awakened in a nutshell.
Awakened once again presents us with gorgeous environments and some interesting moments, but suffers from relying heavily on loud piercing noises to get the majority of the jumps from the player. The ending doesn’t actually settle much or deal with any loose ends, it merely allows the developers to create more content if they so desire. This may leave the player incredibly unsatisfied as the DLC simply begs more questions and leaves us wanting at least a couple of answers. If you’re looking for more Dead Space 3, you may want to wait for this piece of DLC to go on sale before picking it up.
- Interaction between Isaac and Carver is as strong as ever
- Refreshing to see Isaac temporarily relaxed and joking around
- Interesting plot
- Scares feel like cheap scares
- Leaves more loose ends
- Return of screaming child Necromorphs from Dead Space 2
Eric was hoping to get some closure by the end of the DLC, but alas it wasn’t meant to be. While he waits, he remains an editor for Analog Addiction where you can find all the latest gaming news, previews, reviews, and everything else that rhymes with those words. ‘Like’ Analog Addiction on Facebook to receive all of the updates as they’re posted.