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DVD Shopping Bag: Dead Space: Aftermath

2 Styles of Animated Horror?

By Robert T. Trate     January 25, 2011

Dead Space: Aftermath now on DVD and Blu-ray
© Anchor Bay Home Entertainment


Once again Electronic Arts Inc. and Anchor Bay Entertainment have teamed up to deliver a prequel to the latest Dead Space game. Today both Dead Space: Aftermath and Dead Space 2 are available for this popular mutated zombies in space game. If you are looking for information on the game check out Mania’s “Level Up” column for more information. This column is going to discuss the prequel movie for the sequel game.
It is interesting to tackle the subject the matter of Dead Space without ever having played the game. I did review the first prequel to the original game back in 2008 (Dead Space: Downfall see review). It was creepy, disturbing and fun. It was a great set up for what was an extremely popular game. I thought I would give this prequel a shot after enjoying the first animated film so much.
The Plot
The USG O’Bannon is out to the AEGIS System to discover what happened to the USG Ishimura. There mission is to find survivors. Their secret mission, the one that will kill everyone, is to bring back pieces of the alien artifact. Four survivors remain and each has their own story to tell.
The interesting thing to each of their stories is that it is introduced to the audience by learning what the survivors fear. They are then tortured into revealing what happened. This is a bit strange considering each one wants to reveal what happened, but as stories go it doesn’t ruin the overall plot.
The animation style of Dead Space: Downfall set the tone and flavor for what type of tale this was going to be. The opening of Dead Space: Aftermath is poor CG animation. Poor enough to compare it to what a first render of Star Wars: The Clone Wars must be like. The characters move with rough blocky articulation. This initially was a great deterrent to finishing the rest of this one hour and seventeen minute film. Thankfully, when each survivor is tortured into revealing their tale, it reverts back to the animation style of Dead Space: Downfall. This was fitting for the story as well as a saving grace for the rest of the film. The problem then becomes matching up the likenesses of the characters to two different animation styles. Their voices and names should be enough but these characters go through the ringer and come out completely different on the other side. Often you are left wondering is that really the same guy?
The story was fun and a great twist on what probably would have been the darkest episode of Star Trek ever. Getting over the animation is really the biggest problem. The true treat here is hearing Graham McTavish bring the USG O’Bannon’s Captain to life. Why? He is only going to appear in The Hobbit (2012) as Dwalin. He brings this character, the Captain, to life in such a way you can’t wait to see what he does with his Dwarf. If you are a fan of the Dead Space game you won’t see engineer Isaac Clarke in this film (well not completely). His tale remains yours to play out in Dead Space 2.
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Robert Trate writes two weekly columns for Mania the DVD Shopping Bag and the Toy Maniac. Robert also participates in a pod cast that reviews movies, comics and celebrates all things geek. Check it out at You’ve Got Geek on You.com.


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jedi4sshield 1/26/2011 9:35:46 PM

Yeah the cg is bad, the animation saves whats left of it but it's a poor substitute and sequel. No texture on the ships (very amateur). It actually plays as filler (if this was a tv series) until later on when the good stuff starts happening. Dead Space Downfall was way better! A solid D



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