Dead Space Extraction + Severed

Dead Space Extraction

In 2009, the now Visceral Games produces a Dead Space spinoff named Extraction. It was a Wii title, and it was an on-rails shooter. What better direction for the series than to make it a fast paced action game, rather than a moody adventure. And then to release it on a platform that has the least amount of your fan base. I'm not really sure why they thought this was a good idea. And it seems they won't make that mistake again as it horribly tanked in sales.

Being a fan of Dead Space, it had eventual plans to buy it. My local Wal*mart always has copies, and would probably take the plunge once the price point hit $20. But E3 last year came with some amazing news. With the upcoming release of the Playstation Move, Visceral was upscaling the graphics, and including the game FOR FREE with each initial copy of Dead Space 2!

And thank god it was free. I finished it the other day, and $20 is still a bit much. It's a decent on-rails shooter, but the name "Dead Space" brings in some very weighed expectations. Dead Space is a very solitary experience. It's a game that crawls into your head and exercises your ears. Most enemies are taken on a few at a time, and using the environment can lend itself well to taking down swarms of them.

An on-rails shooter is the exact opposite of that. Enemies pop up, and you shoot them down. Hit the weak spot for massive damage. Bang bang bang! It's no longer solitary either because it's two player. Also because you're always running around in a group of two to five people.

I am glad I played though it, though. Story-wise, Dead Space Extraction takes place directly before Dead Space 1. You play several characters on the surface of Aegis 7 (of whatever) when the outbreak occurs. You find a couple of survivors, escape the surface to the Ishimura, and eventually escape the Ishimura. It sets up a couple things in Dead Space 1, and ends almost right as the next game begins.

It's fun to see some of the expanded universe of Dead Space, but I don't really find the story all that interesting. Hurrah, there's a dangerous space object that turns people crazy and into monsters. It's really just background setup for the game's senario.

Dead Space 2 Severed

So anyway, most of your characters in Extraction survive past the end, but their stories aren't over. Last week, Visceral released an $8 expansion for Dead Space 2 entitled Severed, which continues the tale of two characters from Extraction. They both happen to be on Titan while Isaac is running around killing things. You play soldier Gabe Weller, as he tries to make it to his Wife, Luxine.

Severed is actually pretty amazing. It's tight and short story that brings together all the aspects I love about Dead Space. As you're running through the mines, separate areas are distinct by the sounds of the loud, nearby machinery. The environment actually uses your senses to spook you, rather than scare tactics. And the story actually adds a little depth to the Dead Space universe.

It's definitely worth playing.

The Universe

Besides these games, EA has done a whole lot with the Dead Space IP. There's a couple other games, plus a few movies and books too. I haven't touched any of that crap. But, given my investment into the series already, I might consider checking more of this stuff out.

Dead Space Ignition - PSN Title and prequel to Dead Space 2
Dead Space Downfall - Animated film that takes place in between Extraction and Dead Space 1
Dead Space Aftermath - Animated film that takes place after Dead Space 1
Dead Space Comic Book - A Comic Book that takes place before Downfall
Dead Space Martyr - A novel that focuses on the Unitology religion.
Dead Space Salvage - A Comic book that takes place some time between Dead Space 1 and 2.

I think this shows how poor the story of Dead Space is.  All of these spin-offs cente around the events in the game itself. The only real universe building they've done is that novel which centers on the Unitology religion that keep coming back to. Everything else is basically "and then this happened!" rather than "and this is why it happened".