Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Dead Space 3: Awakened

Review: Dead Space 3: Awakened

1:00 PM on 03.15.2013 // Jim Sterling

Go back to sleep

It's very hard to believe a studio when it claims work never begun on a piece of downloadable content until after the main game was finished, especially when that DLC is a direct continuation of the story and was essentially teased at the end of the main campaign. Even if nobody started building code for it, it's clear the developer already planned it and was making notes well ahead of time. 

Dead Space 3: Awakened picks up right where Dead Space 3 left off, and reveals major plot points one would have expected at the end of the actual campaign. Its main story is so integral to the Dead Space story, in fact, that to play it would almost be seen as essential. 

Almost, but not necessary, it turns out. Because, for all the promise Awakened has, its relevant events could be explained in a single sentence. 

The Necromorph Moons aren't dead and they're ready to attack the universe. That's the big story point in Dead Space 3: Awakened. This is not a spoiler, either -- it's revealed early in the expansion chapter, and should be considered obvious since the Necromorphs are still around. More importantly, this vital plot point is not really built upon -- very little else of note happens during Awakened's two-hour run, only potential stories that never truly get told.

To its credit, the new chapter attempts to bring back a sense of horrific, Event Horizon-style atmosphere. The surviving Unitologists on Tau Volantis are going insane and have begun to kill or mutilate themselves, evoking memories of the crazed Ishimura crew members. An offshoot of cultists who have taken to modifying their own bodies so they closer resemble Necromorphs make for some deeply disturbing foes, while Isaac's own mind is subject once more to hallucinations and haunting voices. It's all effective stuff while it lasts. 

Isaac's co-op buddy, Carver, is also notable for having suddenly found a personality. Approaching a level of likability, Carver's banter and general attitude have improved to the point where he stands out as a legitimate character now, rather than a weak excuse to bow to industry gameplay trends. The dialog between he and Isaac feels a lot more natural as a result, especially once they start disagreeing with each other on the best way to deal with the Necro Moons. 

As well as the new cultists, we get a variant of the Stalker Necromorph, and the Pack return from Dead Space 2 to give Isaac yet more dead children to slaughter. As one of the creepiest enemy types across the entire series, the Pack's reappearance is welcome, even if it is generally brief. 

General briefness is by far Awakened's biggest problem. It's not just that it's a short adventure -- nobody expects a DLC add-on to last another ten hours -- it's that not a single idea presented in the game is fully formed, existing instead as merely a surface level showcase of what a good idea might possibly look like. The self-maiming Unitologist splinter group is a great concept, but never gets much screen time, while its mysterious leader is barely present in the plot. One seemingly invincible zealot that stalks the player à la Pyramid Head has a lot of potential, but again barely does anything of note and is dispatched in a most underwhelming fashion. The Ishimura-style atmosphere is terrific yet, again, merely dabbled in. 

All this leads to an abrupt cliffhanger ending that's even more of a sequel tease than Dead Space 3's was, an issue made all the more galling for the fact the story only starts getting really interesting in literally the last few seconds of the campaign. Until then, nothing worth mentioning happens. Clarke and Carver wake up, not dead, tread water for an hour or two, then encounter some narrative -- then it's game over. 

Speaking as a fan of Dead Space, I feel I could skip Awakened and miss absolutely nothing of value. While some of the new ideas are nice, the sense of disappointment that none of them are capitalized upon offsets any good they do, while the story is nothing you couldn't explain in a single Tweet. While the gameplay is as solid as anything found in Dead Space 3, it could also be acquired simply by replaying chapters of Dead Space 3

Dead Space 3: Awakened is a whole lot of not much at all.



Dead Space 3: Awakened - Reviewed by Jim Sterling
Average - Like a meal of lukewarm water with white bread. It filled my time and my belly, but lacks any discernible flavor or nutritional value. A game that left me no different than it found me. Just passing through.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Jim Sterling, Former Reviews Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure JimSterling Tips
Destructoid reviews editor, responsible for running and maintaining the cutting edge videogame critique that people ignore because all they want to see are the scores at the end. Also a regular f... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Dead Space 3: Awakened

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

So that just happened: The Talos Principle

Sick, Sad and just dumb news: 25th October - Leighapalooza

Context Matters! Fanservice's Secrets EXPOSED!

To editorialize or not to editorialize: An editorial

Tiny Dangerous Dungeons REVIEW - The Pocket Metroidvania

Cblogs of 11/24/15 + Big Ass Fort

Primal Carnage: Extinction Review (PS4)

Belated Spoiler-Free SOMA Review

Friday Night Fights: The Blackest Of Fridays

Super Destructoid Community Interviews Hyper Encore ##Reload

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Just a reminder that you have until the 30th to get your Bloggers Wanted post, "Thankful it's over" in. I'm either going to tell you how I ruined my best online gaming experience or rip Twilight Princess a new one. Maybe both.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
Huh. I just found out the developers of Hatred (remember that controversy?) region-locked their game to prevent it from being accessed by Australians. Destructive Creations are more censor-happy than Nintendo, it seems. Where's the outrage?
Oh yeah, I have an account on this site.
Parismio avatarParismio
Ever wanted to get that item behind that safe in the beginning of Fallout 4?:
Shinta avatarShinta
Got Resident Evil 4 Wii for $5. Uh ... this might be my favorite version. I'm just getting headshots nonstop. Did I miss any other Wii games that are frequently overlooked? Like, really obscure Wii games that no one talks about? I'm interested.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Poeple due not aprecciate teh hrdships of bein a squid.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Guys, check out your blogs! Just be sure to bring tissues. I wish I had. [img][/img]
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
Anyone see the new Captain America trailer? It's pretty dope!
Shinta avatarShinta You're welcome.
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Update: played through Hyper Dimension Neptunia Rebirth, reminded why I don't like the series, and requested a refund on it and its sequel. Not sure if they'll refund the sequel, but if they honor at least the first, I'll use that money to get Undertale.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
I hope the new Star Wars movie answers the biggest question I have about the franchise; do Midi-Chlorians poop?
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Wow, I feel really stupid. You had to give the Zora King the bottle with the letter in it. Like actually equip the... Wow. Oh, modern gaming conveniences, how I take you for granted.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Srry abot tye lak of coments latly. As a squid now it haas bcom hrrd 2 tipe. Im a sqiid now.
EdgyDude avatarEdgyDude
Backing Indivisible can be done with more than just money. Strapped for cash? then spread the word! post about it on Facebook, Instagram, tweet or simply tell your friends. Head to
Agent9 avatarAgent9
Even with the help of an old hunter I can only knock ludwig to his holy blade phase -_- I will kill the jerk, even if it takes me all night.
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
This week in How We Can Make Link Hotter... [img][/img]
JPF720 avatarJPF720
I'm trying to publish a new blog post but for some reason it's not showing?
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
If anyone is interested, Amazon has the $80 Persona Q limited edition at just over $40 right now. Haven't beaten it yet, but it's been a ton of fun so far, and at that price, hey!
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
I don't know what's been going on, but I actually feel like I have to fight with the formatting of the blog editor now to get it right. Hope it'll settle down soon.
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
What? Wonderful 101 on eShop is $19? NO EXCUSES.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -