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- DVD: Dead Space: Downfall
- Rated: Unrated
- Starring (Voices): Bruce Boxleitner, Kelly Hu, Keith Szarabajka, Jim Cummings, Kevin Michael Richardson
- Written By: Jimmy Palmotti and Justin Gray
- Directed By: Chuck Patton
- Distributor: Manga Video
- Original Year of Release: 2008
- Extras: Deleted Scenes, Trailer, Game Trailer, Photo Gallery, Isolated Soundtrack and Cheat Codes
DEAD SPACE: DOWNFALL
The Animated Prequel to the EA Game
By Robert T. Trate
October 27, 2008
Dead Space: Downfall, the animated prequel to the EA Game(2008).
© Manga Video
This is the disturbing opening chapter that reveals the back story for all the bloodshed and terror of the EA game Dead Space (Xbox, PS3 and Windows Vista / XP). On the planet AEGIS 7, in the Cygnus System, colonists have discovered an ancient artifact. Some believe that this is proof of a higher being and others just see as alien junk. Nonetheless the crew of the USG Ishimura is sent to remove it from the surface of AEGIS 7 and return it to Earth. Everything starts to go as plan until something starts killing off the mining team. In an attempt to reach the colony the Ishimura hails the planet and receives images of what can only be thought of as a plague of biblical proportions. There is of course a survivor and they are about to dock on the Ishimura.
In the classic zombie film set up, a lone colonist brings his deceased wife onto the ship and unleashes the horror onto a whole new group of unsuspecting people. Alien parasites start transforming the crew into Spider-like zombies and Dead Space: Downfall begins to run its course of destruction. It is an animated film about the perils of space exploration, following orders and having blind faith.
The plot is really standard. A lone group of survivors has to find a way off the ship to survive. All the while picking up and losing characters. As zombie movies go, the frontier of space is a refreshing change of pace. The isolated ship and alien parasite however is reminiscent of Ridley Scott’s Alien. Much of the film becomes like Alien’s sequel with morons and back stabbers in charge that fail to see the ramifications of their actions. They are just, after all, following orders.
The transformation into the creatures in Dead Space: Downfall is perhaps the only thing that keeps this animated film from mirroring much of cinema’s zombie and alien movies. In both of those types of films the audience places itself in that particular situation. The question, what would I do to survive, becomes a great game to play. In Dead Space: Downfall one is never really sure how the parasites and the voices infect the crew. This device creates uneasiness for not only the crew but the viewer as they try to figure out how to stay alive.
Where Dead Space: Downfall stands out is in its animation. It isn’t on par with most anime films of the day but this film’s intended audience is someone who plays video games. Several moments and situations occur where it feels as if a controller should be in your hands. With each daring escape or shoot out you feel as you are indeed part of Vincent’s security force. Following her in the story is easy because she is the only one who has a real sense of what is going on. The blood, gore and guts flow like a river in this animated film. The profanity however, seems forced. Swearing for swearing’s sake always ruins any good action/ horror movie and upon the screaming of another F-bomb I started to roll my eyes. At times I wished I did have a game controller to use one of those Lightsaber-like chainsaw on a complainer.
This was a great introduction to the Dead Space universe. It seemed strange that this animated film wasn’t included with the game and released a week after the game. It was, regardless, a blood soaked zombie mutant gore fest that not only told a decent backstory but made me want to pick up a controller and see the how it all ends.