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Posted by Raine Hutchens on Mar 15, 2011

Review – Dead Space 2 Severed DLC (PS3)

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Earlier this week I was able to pick up “Severed,” the newest piece of DLC for Visceral’s survival horror game, Dead Space 2. I sat down and played the DLC, which added two new chapters to the game, all the way through, and I have to say I am pretty pleased with my experience.

Severed puts players in the suit of Gabe Weller, a security officer who is on the Sprawl during the events of Dead Space 2. The DLC starts off with Gabe in what appears to be a set of mines that run the length of the Sprawl as he awakens in the necromorph nightmare, taking place three years after the events of Dead Space: Extraction. Gabe attempts to contact his wife, Lexine, in order for the both of them to escape the outbreak safely.

During the two-chapter add-on players find out that Lexine is actually a primary target in a series of experiments taking place on the Sprawl, just as Isaac Clarke was. Her death is ordered by the Station Director, Hans Tiedemann, and Gabe sets off to rescue her before it’s too late.

[SPOILER ALERT:] Towards the end of the final chapter, Gabe is confronted by his superior officer, by whom he is betrayed. During this confrontation Gabe is severely injured, and cannot make it aboard the ship which is holding Lexine. During his final moments, he opens the bay doors to allow Lexine to escape along with their unborn child. After the credits roll, we see an epilogue that reveals Gabe’s body has been taken in for study while Lexine’s whereabouts are unknown, possibly opening the storyline up even more.

The gameplay in Severed is much like that of Dead Space 2, almost to the point where it bothers me. An issue I had with the DLC was that if I didn’t know the character I was playing was not Isaac Clarke, I would swear it was the same person. Save for a different face, mask, and voice, Gabe walks, fights, and even makes comments just like Isaac. This bothered me a bit, as I wanted a sense of difference. Once I equipped my Zealout suit, I couldn’t even tell the difference anymore.

A cool note about Severe, though, is the fact that you already start off with a set of partially upgraded weapons and suit. Nodes are not scarce, and items that were in the campaign in Dead Space 2 are available for players in the DLC. It allows you to play through the game in a different style, which I really like. Gabe is outfitted with a special rifle, one that I didn’t even bother picking up in the original campaign. Through playing Severed I have found that I want to play through the original campaign again using new weapons ad tactics.

Although the DLC pack only contains two chapters, it took me a good five hours to beat it. Maybe it was because I was playing cautiously, but it wasn’t a walk in the park. New enemies such as the “twitcher,” as I like to call it, made an appearance in Severed which really switched up gameplay. The twitcher is an enemy that was in the first Dead Space, which was a human that was taken over by a necromorph, fusing the two with the stasis module. This made the enemy “twitch” about, reacting far faster than other enemies.

Severed even takes you back through areas of the game in which Isaac has already crossed. You travel back through the makeshift schooling area, the infirmary, and even the interrogation rooms where Isaac and Nolan Stross were held. This had me interested, because it was a unique feeling knowing that these events were happening together in real time.

With the fast pace gameplay of Severed, I wasn’t at all left with a moment to breathe. I was on my toes, which made me enjoy the DLC even more. I picked it up on the PSN for about $7, and I think I got my money’s worth. The only issue I really had was that I would like to see more of a difference between the animations and comments of Isaac and Gabe. Other than that, the DLC gave me no complaints. I am excited to see what the next set of DLC for Dead Space 2 brings, and I want to continue the storyline. If you’ve got the time and the money, I recommend you pick up Severed for yourself.

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