Dead Space 2: Severed

Posted: March 18, 2011 in Review
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Dead Space 2: Severed Review

Just one month on from Visceral Games’s excellent survival horror sequel and players are already being treated to something that the first game never got: downloadable content.

‘Severed’ is a fairly short expansion on the premise of the main game, in that the story unfolds during the downfall of The Sprawl. You take on the role of Gabriel ‘Gabe’ Weller, a soldier who is one of only three survivors of a fierce battle in the mine shafts. Abandoning his mission, Gabe attempts to cut a path back into the rapidly falling city and rescue his wife.

It’s largely the same as the main story in that you’re simply running from A to B and getting swarmed from all directions. It’s far more action-oriented than its counterpart, seeing Gabe carve a blooded path through hundreds of Necromorphs with nothing more than a Pulse Rifle and a Flamethrower. It’s an intense, if surprisingly short, add-on that combines the frantic tension of being swarmed from all direction with the satisfaction of Dead Space’s fantastic combat engine.

As good as this mini-chapter is at inducing tension, it’s incredibly short. There are just two chapters here and you’ll rattle through them both in around an hour on your first sitting. In fact, you’ll finish the entire game and get every achievement in just two runs, so for a fairly steep asking price – 560 MS points – you’re not really getting that much for your money.

Most of the locations you pass through are ones from the game, with a few minor exceptions in the first chapter. Even more disappointing is that you’re not doing any new things in the areas, Gabe is simply running through the level in the opposite direction to Isaac.

Having said that, there are a few very good set pieces and boss encounters on offer. The excellent hanging-upside-down-blasting-everything sequence from the main game is here redone to perfection, while an excellent first boss and a genuinely powerful final stand might just be enough to keep players coming back for more.

‘Severed’ seems a bit of a missed opportunity. You don’t get to see much of The Sprawl’s downfall and it doesn’t feel quite as epic as the main game. It also doesn’t bring anything new to the table, which is quite disappointing considering the splendid variety offered by Dead Space 2. If you can’t get enough Necromorph-dismembering action, then ‘Severed’ is a real treat, although one that’s a little too expensive for what it offers.

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