Dead Space 2 is a fantastic game; it’s intense, fun, and has an intriguing story compelling you to continue progressing through the doomed Titan Space Station. So, when Visceral blessed me with the ability to play some more single player Dead Space 2 goodness, I couldn’t refuse.
Severed (which is now available for purchase on XBOX 360 for 560 MSP and on PS3 for $6.99) features two single player chapters about Dead Space: Extraction survivors Gabe Weller and Lexine Murdoch (who is now Lexine Weller as she’s married to Gabe). The story runs parallel to Isaac Clarke’s exploits on The Sprawl and has you running through some familiar areas pre and post-Isaac Clarke. It’s a neat idea that has you performing actions that are amusing as they sometimes are the cause of Isaac’s difficulty in his own progression.
Story progression throughout Severed is weak and is mostly told through lazy explanations of everything through your communication device (pretend you’re watching a television show, or something, and the bad guy confronts the protagonist and is all like, “You have the bloodline of the gods and are therefore given these secret powers—so, we need to kill you and drain you of your blood so we can have said powers! And I’m craaaaazy!” (that’s not the plot of Severed, btw)). It’s told in such a way where they’d rather just beat you in the face with the information than spend any effort on actual plot development and it’s somewhat disappointing. However, things do get interesting near the end of the expansion and should raise some questions about the future of the franchise in a similar way that the full-game’s ending teased you.
One of the things that bugs me about the story is we don’t ever find out why Nathan McNiell isn’t in the picture anymore (if you’ve played Extraction, you’ll know Nate is one of the three survivors). Gabe and Lexine didn’t even get along throughout most of Extraction and Lexine had a thing for Nate, but now Gabe and Lex are married and Nate is nowhere to be seen. I know this is me being nitpicky and all, but there’s no explanation offered… like, not even on the Dead Space Facebook page.
Length-wise, it’s a pretty decent sized expansion with the chapters being about equal in length to the full game’s. Playing on Zealot (and not using my hand cannon), it took me about 1.5 hours to complete the DLC (dinking around and looking for things as I always do). If you’re going for all the achievements, you can easily pick them up in a single playthrough (I don’t look at cheevos until I’ve completed a game, so it took me 2 plays); there’s also no real reward for completing the DLC, so you aren’t given any real reasons to replay Severed once the journey is over.
If you are done with Isaac but are still looking for more Dead Space 2, there are worse ways to spend your money than Severed. It’s a fun bit of content that has the same great gameplay as the full game, but don’t expect to see anything really new (aside from the return of the twitchers). At 560 points (7 bucks), the content to cost ratio is about equal to the full games, so that’s a plus… but a 400 MSP price tag would have been welcome. It’s nice to see them expanding the game as a single player experience (as the multiplayer mode is… lacking) and I hope to see more DS2 expansions of this nature in the future. The major downsides to Severed are the lazy way in which the story progresses and limited replayability—if you are fine with that, I heartily recommend purchasing it because it’s well worth a playthrough!
Just a bit of advice: there are no Power Node locked doors in Severed, so don’t worry about always having one in your inventory.