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.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

El Dango avatarEl Dango
My silly joke comment on Mike's article looks really mean next to all the bitter ones. Why are people so accepting of my unpopular opinions, but not his?
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
I'm still watching this over and over. Dude is tremendously talented, to say the least. Just wait until the solo and breakdown. [youtube][/youtube]
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
Nice. Destructoid articles no longer scroll on my tablet or phone. Who should I email about this?
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
Anybody like Rhythm games? I found a really cool one on, I likes it, I likes it a lot! Although you gotta use Firefox due to lag caused by chrome unfortunately.
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
Finding name brand candy in Chibi-Robo Zip Lash brings an unexpected joy that reminds me of finding Duracell batteries and other real products in the first Pikmin.
techsupport avatartechsupport
Super Meat Boy must be one of the most difficult platinum trophies to exist for Playstation. Beat every dark world section without dying? Ha, okay.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Attention Craigslist users: No one wants your ps2 sports games no matter how much you repost them/drop the price, unless it's NBA Street, Def Jam Vendetta or SSX3. The rest are better used as drink coasters.
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
If you imagine this song as Kojima speaking these as parting words to his creation of Metal Gear, it's actually pretty heat breaking...
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
It's my Birthday 22 today, Bleh!
Virtua Kazama avatarVirtua Kazama
One thing I've learned about the Japanese fighting game players: They are willing to play any fighter no matter how good or bad it is, and they don't shit on the game or the community behind it.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
I killed Darth Vader by crashing a spaceship into him 10/10
Parismio avatarParismio
Watched the first ep of One Punch Man and I was not disappointed. It seems like they'll be adding their own stories into it because I don't remember that fight in the last 5 minutes in the manga. I'll have to reread it to make sure.
Paul S avatarPaul S
What the hell is Sega using in the printing of their PS3 game manuals? I wouldn't be surprised if some dumb kid stuck one in a plastic bag and started huffing the fumes to get high.
CeeDotGreen avatarCeeDotGreen
Been playing MGO obsessively, still can't find anyone in their right mind that uses the Hush Puppy. So of course I'm gonna be the dumb bastard that tries.
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
Why don't we have more games that use filtered 3D models to creat faux-pixel art? It's such a cool, smooth style, but you never see any games using it.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Oh lawd. Next Saturday, Gamestop will have three hour access to Tri-Force Heroes. Nintendo, really wish we could just get normal demos from you more often, please!
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
I made this. Want one? [IMG]HTTPS://[/IMG]
JawshButturBawls avatarJawshButturBawls
Star Wars Battlefront is pretty good. Except the beta is basically a demo with nothing in it so that upsets me. but it's still pretty good.
gajknight avatargajknight
Just cleaning up the last of Gotham's Most Wanted before I finish Arkham Knight. Those Riddler trophies...much more fun than Arkham City but my word, stop it Rocksteady. Love the game though, outstanding. In my top 5 this year, fo sho.
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
SCIENCE. IS. AWESOME. [youtube][/youtube]
more quickposts


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!


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 -