Apparently there is room for at least two different protagonists on the Sprawl in Dead Space 2. Severed is Dead Space 2‘s first crack at actual DLC (no thanks weapon and armor packs) and it stars a hero from Dead Space Extraction, Gabe Weller.
Severed‘s story events coincide with Isaac’s journey but with a different motivation for slaying necromorphs. Gabe’s drive stems from him trying to save his pregnant wife Lexine Murdoch from the evil powers that oversee him. The problem here is that since the DLC is so short, it is hard to establish a firm, engrossing story. Clocking in a little less than two hours, right as you seem to want to learn more, it reaches the climax and ends. The finale itself is great and fits the series’ grim tones but I just wanted more. The story isn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, but it would have benefited from a longer narrative. That might be somewhat of a compliment because I want to know more about this universe and set of characters as both are unique and interesting.
Since it is basically more Dead Space 2, it shares a lot of similar strengths. Shooting still feels smooth and satisfying as all hell, sound design is great, and the graphics still blow me away. You can find my in-depth thoughts of Dead Space 2 here.
Severed basically is more Dead Space 2, as it adds almost nothing to the formula, but to me, that is okay. What isn’t okay is the cornucopia of recycled environments. Almost every room shows itself in the root game, something that feels a bit lazy. The new rooms are good, it’s just that there are very few of them. While an old room or two are used for new purposes (the elevator says hello), rehashing the same old places shouldn’t be given a free pass.
This piece of DLC also feels like it was made to get to the cream a lot quicker. You start out with the schematics for all of the weapons and are given 50,000 credits to customize your loadout to your choosing. Because of this instant access, I felt the urge to experiment with different tools of destruction and I’m glad I did. I gained respect for guns like the Seeker Rifle and the Force Gun, weapons I never bothered to pull the trigger on in the main game.
Different weapons may help because this DLC contains a lot more action. There are some scares here but adrenaline pumping action is more prevalent here. This isn’t a bad quality at all because, even though there are some good scares, the biggest problem has been resolved: bad spawns. My largest knock against the core game has been almost completely resolved making the intense combat immensely more enjoyable. Knowing you won’t have some zombie asshole nibble on your back is comforting to say the least.
Some people would write this off as more Dead Space 2 but hey it’s more Dead Space 2. It is a great game and deserved an extra, unique take on the events of Dead Space 2. Yeah it is short, but for only $7 it isn’t breaking the bank to revisit a great franchise. I would have wished for it to be longer and a bit more fleshed out, along with new environments, but when the foundation is this good, who’s to complain?
+Still holds DS2‘s qualities
+More Dead Space
+Enemy spawns are ahead of you
+Gives good DLC armor and weapon useful for hard core mode
-Not much new besides one “new” annoying enemy from DS1
-Story needed more time to stretch its legs
Final Score: 8.5/10