DLC Review: Dead Space 2: Severed

Game: Dead Space 2: Severed
Format: Xbox 360 (Reviewed), PS3, and PC
Developer: Visceral Games
Publisher: EA

Taking place at the same time as the events of Dead Space 2, Dead Space 2: Severed is a downloadable expansion made up of two chapters. Putting you in the role of Gabe Weller, one of the only survivors of Dead Space Extraction, you are part of the Sprawl’s security squad investigating a disturbance in the mines on Titan’s surface.

As you would expect, being at the bottom of a dark mine during the onset of a Necromorph infestation leads to disaster, and you soon find yourself badly wounded and on your own, and must find a way to escape the horror.

After an incredibly brief opening cut scene, you are flung straight in to the action. This probably will not bother many people, however I cannot help but wonder how Severed may have been improved if you had spent some time as Gabe, living his day to day life in the Sprawl before the outbreak. It is little omissions like this that hinder the development of a believable environment, a place that people could live and work in, and harms the overall quality of the game.

Gabe Weller, of Dead Space Extraction fame, makes his return

Anyone that has played Dead Space 2 will know what to expect from this in terms of gameplay: armed with the stasis ability, to slow down enemies and fast moving objects, and telekinesis, to move objects and create makeshift weapons, you must fight your way through hundreds of mutated creatures determined to chow down on your guts.

The two acts that this expansion comprises of will take you on a journey from the mines beneath the Sprawl, all the way through to the medical ward from the beginning of Dead Space 2. While there are a few new areas, for the most part you will be visiting familiar locations from Dead Space 2, although it does seem a little different, if only because you will be walking in the opposite direction.

Severed also recycles some of Dead Space 2′s more notable set pieces, such as hanging you upside down and forcing you to fight off a number of enemies. However, there is one new set piece at the end of the expansion that ties in to both the title of the expansion (and one of the major twists in Dead Space Extraction) that left my jaw on the floor.

Once again a Dead Space 2 protagonist ends up being hung upside down

There are no new weapons to find, or new upgrades, and completing it has no effect on your main Dead Space 2 game. Upon completing the expansion you are unable to start a new game+, and are unable to start a fresh game carrying over all of your equipment and upgrades. It would have been nice if completing the game unlocked something new to use in your Dead Space 2 main game, even if it were just another suit of armour.

In some ways this feels a bit like a throwaway expansion, apart from one potentially major plot revelation that may very well have an impact on future Dead Space games. As such Dead Space 2: Severed is a perfecly functional expansion that grants a few extra hours worth of gameplay and little more.

Review Round-Up

Graphics: 4/5 Using most of the same assets as Dead Space 2, with only a few new character models, Dead Space 2: Severed is almost exactly the same as Dead Space 2. It would have been nice if there were some new environments or enemy types introduced.

Sound: 4/5 One of the best examples of great audio design in the Dead Space series can be found in the oxygen-less environments. Unfortunately this is mostly unused in this expansion, but the voice acting and music are up to the usual Dead Space high standard.

Gameplay: 4/5 Featuring pretty much every gameplay component that went in to Dead Space 2, Dead Space: Severed brings nothing new to the table (beyond a fantastic ending). But that is not necessarily a bad thing.

Longevity: 3/5 The two chapters that make up Dead Space: Severed will take about one hour to complete. After completing it you will not be able to start a new game over and import your completed stats, which is disappointing. There are a handful of new trophies/achievements to earn, but most of them can be picked up in one playthrough with little effort.

Overall 3.5 out of 5

One of the biggest disappointments with this expansion is how little it actually brings to the table. By reusing environments and enemies from Isaac’s adventure, and offering very little new, Visceral Games have released a perfectly functional addition that offers a few more hours worth of Dead Space 2. This may very well be enough for some people, but when compared to other story based downloadable expansions, such as Bioshock 2′s Minerva’s Den or the multiple Borderlands add ons, Dead Space 2: Severed is a bit of a let down. Having said that, it plays perfectly well, and as such fans of Dead Space 2 will likely still want to check this out, simply becuase it will feel so familiar to them.

- Luke Mears

Mon, April 11 2011 » PC/Mac, PS3, Reviews, Xbox 360

Leave a Reply