Dead Space 3: Awakened DLC Review
Dead Space 3: Awakened follows immediately after the closing events of Dead Space 3, promising more co-op fun (or is that terror?) with Isaac Clarke and John Carver. Adding more backstory to the Dead Space world and answering the question of just what happened to the duo after Dead Space 3’s finale, is the DLC worth the $15 asking price, or should you simply opt out of this experience?
Awakened is a mixed bag – for the die hard fans or for those interested in the story it provides the answer to the question of whether Isaac and Carver survived their battle with the Brother Moon over Tau Volantis. It also very clearly sets up the events in any further Dead Space games, and it delves further into the psyche of both Isaac and Carver. However, it also recycles environments and enemies from the original game, and provides no new vistas or locations.
Awakened can be best described as a case of “same old, same old” as you traverse the same areas you traversed in Dead Space 3, fighting the same enemies and performing the same actions over and over. On occasion you’ll even backtrack through the same areas you’ve already passed through in a move that seems both uninspired and lazy. You’ll find yourself backtracking through Tau Volantis and the CMS Terra Nova, and whilst you are accosted by necromorphs and you experience hallucinations, nothing is ever scary enough to become unsettling. There are moments where you will discover disturbing, grisly scenes but the scare factor is definitely on the mild side. If you are expecting shocks and stomach turning horror, you won’t find them in Awakened. There are exceptions to the uninspiring content – the writing is solid and as mentioned does answer some questions left as a result of Dead Space 3’s end. The voice over work is a standout in the content, with Ricardo Chavira providing an especially impressive performance as Carver. But everything else related to the DLC is a big fat meh.
The ‘more of the same’ mantra seen in the environments and enemies in Awakened is maintained in the gameplay, with weapons able to be upgraded via benches and suits upgraded and changed via suit kiosks. Your trusty scavenger bot is also back, and it must be said that no matter how many times you discover a resource hot spot and deploy your bot, you’ll never tire of seeing it go about its business collecting materials for you. The DLC itself includes 3 chapters, and without spoiling story details, the action feels dull and predictable. Enemies attack the same way they always have and with the exception of one small area that included the Stalker variants, at no point did I ever feel overwhelmed or nervous at pushing forward.
The Awakened DLC does provide closure to some of the story, but aside from this there is nothing new here. You’ll find yourself shooting the same enemies in the same locations you fought in Dead Space 3. The shocks are old, the scares are tired and by the end of Awakened you’ll feel a strong sense of ‘haven’t I already done this before?’. Unfortunately for Awakened, everything old is definitely not new again and as a result it is very hard to recommend this DLC to anyone other than die-hard fans. If you want to know what happened to Isaac and Carver after Dead Space 3, or are interested in seeing the setup to the next installment, Awakened may be of interest to you. But for everyone else, it’s skippable.
In the cafeteria of DLC offerings, Awakened is the lukewarm lasagne – there is some meat to it, but in the end it’s simply a reheat of old content that will leave you unsatisfied. You can dine on better offerings.
Dead Space 3: Awakened DLC scores a 6 out of 10.