DEAD SPACE 3 DLC | Awakened
GENRE: Action-Horror-Psych. Suspense // 3rd Person Shooter
FEAR FACTOR: Good for a Few Jumps
DURATION: Est. 2.5 Hours
REPLAY VALUE: Worth Replaying
ENVIRONMENTS: Mostly Recycled Environments MODES: Single Player // Co-op
CONSOLE: PS3 // Xbox 360 // PC
RELEASE DATE: 03/12/2013
RATING: ESRB M +17 // PEGI 18
To buy DLC or not to buy DLC? A valid question that has the gaming community very much at odds, recently. What started as an innocent concept has quickly snowballed into what increasingly feels like a ploy by most companies to get more money. Considering the fact that games are already $60 dollars, I’m beginning to wonder if they want our souls, too. But the days of $40 games have passed, and regrettably, it appears that $60 games are reaching the dusk of their days as well. My wallet writhes in result.
Personally, I find myself torn between two sides on this issue. On the one hand, I find it utterly ridiculous that a game company would release their game and additional DLC on the side at the same time. Because then it doesn’t feel like an add-on to help progress the game after its release – it feels like an accessory to a toy that the company was too cheap to include in the box whereas it once would have. I particularly felt this way when I went in to purchase Bioshock Infinite the other day only to be asked if I wanted to drop an additional $20 on top of my $60 for a game I didn’t even know if I would like yet! But that’s a review for another time.
However, I applaud DLC done right. When DLC is released months after the game, it feels like the company said, “You know what, we’re not done yet. Let’s make more!” and not “Let’s wring’em for everything they’re worth!” This sort of DLC – the sort that is 5-8 hours long, and jam packed with action and everything we loved about the original game – I don’t mind chucking up a few extra bucks for. But don’t try to thrust an extra price tag down my throat before I even get to play the actual game! DLC isn’t returnable, you know!
I bring this up because Dead Space 3’s DLC, “The Awakening”, is caught somewhere in the middle of this argument. On the one hand, it didn’t come out the second the game was released, so it didn’t feel like a ploy. But I’ll be brutally honest here; the DLC they released was a rip-off in my opinion. My partner and I chucked up $10 each to play the campaign together. While we aren’t scoreboard ranking competitors, we aren’t too shabby either. We played on normal and beat the DLC in 2.5 hours. That’s including any deaths we may have encountered – we’ll not go there – and however long it took us to find items, etc., and may I just say that we stop at every bench. If you’ve already played, you understand exactly what I’m saying. We probably took more time customizing our guns than playing this DLC.
Two and a half hours. That’s it. While I enjoy purchasing DLC to extend the story, 2.5 hours is not something I would have paid for had I known. I could chuck up $4 dollars for that, and even then that’s pulling teeth considering the fact that, much like in the actual game, they regurgitated environments like activists trying to save the world from global warming. Granted, t-shirts made out of recycled coke bottles are actually pretty soft, but recycled environments get boring fast; particularly when the entire game revolves around these environments. Sometimes games can pull this off when there are new stories/characters to meet every time you return to a previously encountered world/environment. But this is Dead Space, not Mass Effect. There are no other humans, everyone just wants to eat you or is too crazy to speak. Though I have to admit, the crazies are fun to find.
And then we only get two hours of recycled environments! The only new content you actually pay for is story content, which is really the DLC’s only saving grace, and even then – it doesn’t save much. While I thoroughly enjoyed the psychological issues that Isaac and Carver go through (and all their bro-tastic dialogue), the ending was so abrupt and disappointing that it felt like the final kick to the face! What felt like the beginning to a very exciting DLC package turned out to be the half-assed end to a rip off.
So if you like psychological gaming and a few cheap scares, I’d advise you to play the DLC just because that particular element is done very well – as Dead Space has always been good at delivering. But if you want the bang for your buck, don’t waste your money. This is one instance where I side with the gamers against DLC – this felt like a ploy, or in the very least, half hearted.
I don’t like paying for games when the DLC credits are quite nearly longer than actual gameplay.