The Awakened DLC promises to deliver a more psychological edge of scares and unease to counter Dead Space 3’s unfortunate lack of frights. Can Dead Space finally become chilling again or has it’s undulating quest towards ‘Action Shooter’ finally reached it’s uttermost peak?
What’s The Threat?
The DLC takes place after the events of the game, and is initiated from the main menu. A brief recap is given at the start to either refresh or spoil the ending of the game if you are yet to complete it!
Once again, the two protagonists are thrust into yet another unknown situation with the characters mere guesswork being the reasoning behind progression. Needless to say, things soon turn sour and even the characters own psyche are thrown into doubt. The plot is enjoyable, accessible and follows on nicely from the main narrative. The only problem being that it’s about half the length of what it should have been.
Back The Way You Came…
Thankfully, there is a severe lack of of back-tracking, a problem the Dead Space series has embraced fully and become rather well known for it. However, there is nothing much new to see here either. Areas are recycled from the main game without impunity; a colour swap pallet is all you need to give the impression of progression.
Enemies are reused from the latter sections of the game, so tool up and expect a challenge if you struggled before. A couple of new boss battles occur; are a vast improvement upon the mains’ efforts. New weapon tips are available to help create an all new fabled ‘ulti-gun’, giving the more creative types room for experimentation. Personally, I found my incendiary LMG complete with under slung force gun from my original save game seemed to fulfil all my necro-slaying needs!
Old Resident Evil Or New?
Again, the survival horror genre takes a hit once more. Admittedly, there are more moments in The Awakened akin to the old roots. A nemesis like foe haunts you throughout, as well as some darker sections with unnerving psychosomatic events. These would feel a lot more intimidating were it not for the previously mentioned overpowered weaponry Isaac wields. A few collectibles are dotted around in the guise of text logs letting you extrapolate some more backstory.
The DLC really moves towards action during the latter half of the content. Drawing parallels to our favourite scripted scenes, the DLC ends with a bang. Feeling a little more conclusive and far less anti-climactic than the main game, it ends satisfactorily whilst conversely still leaving a bitter taste in length.
Worth Every Penny?
Not really no! It’s very entertaining, yet short, recycled and still not that scary. For just shy of 10 pounds, I got approximately 3 hours of playtime for a first run on normal whilst collecting the vast majority of text logs and circuit boards. The cut-scenes and voice acting are seemingly better than the main game and as such are more engaging. The sound is still haunting; rasping screams in the dark will still panic you at least!
However, other than the fact that it will probably take you longer to read this than it does to actually complete this DLC, it was still a short sharp burst of necromorph fun nonetheless.
Reviewed on PS3, also available on Xbox 360 and PC.