Dead Space 3 ‘Awakened’ DLC Review: Short, Not At All Disturbing

Warning! Here there be spoilers for Dead Space 3.


I went into Dead Space 3‘s “Awakened” DLC with some high hopes.

Visceral Games and Electronic Arts have been billing the add-on as “the most disturbing” Dead Space chapter ever, and those are some pretty disturbing shoes to fill (with blood). After all, Dead Space 3 was fairly lacking not only in scares, but in horror in general, building plenty of atmosphere but rarely paying it off in a meaningful way. So when developers and press releases started banding about the word “disturbing,” I sat up.

Unfortunately, Awakened is not disturbing. It hits a few notes that Dead Space 3 could have gone to more often, and it brings us back for a few more bits of content on both the icy Tau Volantis and its orbiting wrecked fleet, but it does little more than march us over the same ground — sometimes literally — before systematically ravaging its own narrative and that of Dead Space 3.

Dead Space 3 “Awakened” DLC
Platforms: Playstation 3 (Reviewed), PC, Xbox 360
Developer: Visceral Games
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Released: March 12, 2013
MSRP: $9.99

Awakened is post-ending content, as it turns out, picking up where that post-credits “Ellie?” radio signal left off. Turns out, protagonist Isaac Clarke and co-op buddy John Carver weren’t killed when they destroyed that big evil necromorph moon at the end of the game. They wind up back on the surface of Tau Volantis, thoroughly confused that they’re not dead, and finding themselves hallucinating as they try to escape the planet and return to Earth.

There’s good and bad in this scenario. For a start, it’s not like this content is exactly a surprise to us here at Game Front (and hopefully you, if you read our stuff), given that whole “Brother Moons Are Awake” secret message. In fact, the scenario of Awakened is pretty much what we speculated it to be — the “moon network” is active, it’s evil, and it’s restarted the necromorph threat. While Isaac and Carver figure they’ve stopped the necromorphs at the conclusion of Dead Space 3, you won’t be shocked at all to learn, nope, not quite.

So for the next 90 minutes or so, players head back through the complex on Tau Volantis they’ve already covered, and you’ll easily recognize a number of locations you’ve already visited. Isaac and Carver go looking for a ship to get them off-planet, figuring Unitologist leader Danik had so many dudes looking for them during Dead Space 3, there has to be a ship around.

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2 Comments on Dead Space 3 ‘Awakened’ DLC Review: Short, Not At All Disturbing

Michael

On March 18, 2013 at 6:11 pm

Yep I agree with you Phil.

Capcom pulled this stunt as well with Asuras Wrath in which the sold you the ending as DLC as well.

EA just copys what every other company does and knows nothing about customer service and I think they never will.

R.J.

On March 18, 2013 at 11:11 pm

The best part of this was that Isaac is losing his mind again. I know he “overcame” the influence of the Markers in the second game, but the hallucinations always added more to the horror than the necromorphs ever did, so it was a shame that this could only be experienced in co-op in the main game. Hopefully, this means the next game will have this feature, too. But yeah, it was far too short given that so much of if was recycled. Tau Volantis is a big place, so why are we seeing the same parts again? Seeing a different ship around the planet would have been good too. Given the amount of recycling, the length leaves much to be desired.