Could you be any more crazy?
When Dead Space 3 was finally launched in February, many people were worried that the addition of a co-op partner would take away from the horror elements they had grown to love in the first two games. Despite Visceral’s promises to the contrary, the single player campaign was still a bit lacking in the atmosphere department though I did manage to enjoy it anyway. Fast forward a month and again we’re hearing, once again, that the horror is coming back to the Dead Space series with the first Dead Space 3 DLC, Awakened, but do they still have it in them?
If you haven’t finished the main campaign in Dead Space 3 yet, this is your warning to stop reading this paragraph and skip to the next one due to one major spoiler I’m going to have to give you. Still here? Ok, good, in that case I’ll tell you that Awakened takes place after the events of the Dead Space 3 campaign, and that Isaac and Carver are alive, if not exactly well. Finding themselves back on the surface of Tau Volantis, the pair figure they’ll have an easy time getting off the planet since they destroyed the marker, and stopped the Necromorphs, but I think you know where this is going.
Shortly after Awakened begins, the hallucinations start. One of the best things about the first two Dead Space games was trying to manage Isaac’s fragile mental state and navigate the twists and turns his psyche could conjure. Dead Space 3, however, seemed to take the attitude that we all know Isaac is crazy, so just don’t worry about it. Awakened brings back that sense of not being in control, and not trusting what your eyes and ears are telling you.
Visceral have managed to work the combat pieces in with the story elements in such a way that you don’t often have time to catch your breath. Even though about half of this story takes place in an area you’ve already visited in the main game, the Terra Nova, home of the Unitologist cult, you won’t be there for the same reasons you were before, and things will look a bit different.
Culminating with a couple of spectacular revelations, Awakened does come up a little short in the time category with the whole thing taking just over an hour, even with some light exploration. I did enjoy the story, and it does bring back some of the lost horror elements, but I was looking for a bit more for my money.
Though Awakened comes up a little short, you’re going to want to play through it again with a co-op partner. As with the main game, you’ll experience the story in a very different manner with Carver by your side, instead of off doing his own thing. I love the way the co-op story was separated in the main campaign, and that trend continues.
Even though it isn’t as long as I wanted it to be, the Awakened DLC shows us that Visceral has its heart in the right place. Awakened has a great atmosphere, great set pieces, and is able to inject suspense in all the right places. If you were looking for more of the horror side of things in Dead Space 3, make sure Awakened is on your list.
Available On: Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC