On a deep space mining mission to a remote planet, an ancient religious relic - thought to be proof of the existence of God - is unearthed and brought aboard. When the unholy artifact unleashes a long-dormant alien race, its glimpse of Heaven transforms the ship into a living Hell. A prequel to the events of the 2008 video game Dead Space.
Dead Space Downfall reduces its space horror aesthetic to a chunk of unpolished planetary rock. Back when Electronic Arts released the original ‘Dead Space’, I happened to download and install the demo. A thirty minute segment that highlighted the darkened horror and survivalist gameplay mechanics. That, well, was enough for me. Far too frightening and involving for me. So when I heard an animated prequel was released, my intrigue once again spiked and perhaps would illicit a fresh wave of adoration for the video game franchise. Sadly, it did the opposite, deterring me away from the games forever. A planetary flight crew discover an extraterrestrial monolithic marker that rapidly turn members into homicidal nightmarish creatures, meaning the remaining individuals must fight to survive. Thus begins the enduring battle against the animalistic Necromorphs. Yet beneath the blood covering the crevices of the Ishimura and the mundane brutality of limbs being severed, is an undercooked plot circling around faith. Followers of the Church of Unitology demanding to see the newly acquired holy relic, devotees oblivious to the chaotic harm that it has caused. Religious persecution, if you will. However the writers chose to subdue this interesting strand and instead incorporated a thirty minute montage of crew members being savaged by Necromorphs through some of the most bland, stilted and downright dreadful animation available. Over-textured blurry 3D CGI monstrosities that forced me to question if I had my spectacles on or not, never complementing the basic 2D character designs. The original ‘Scooby Doo’ series looked better than this, a cartoon created decades ago! The characters themselves had no personality injected into them and instead emanated hard talking shells. “Fight...or die!”. “I’m not a hero, just a man!”. The voice acting was nearly as tedious as a Bible reading powered by the emotionless tones of Tommy Wiseau. The blood, whilst insurmountable in terms of quantity, was too excessive and tame to be effective. If it wasn’t for the overburden of paranoia, mass hysteria and delusional grandeur, which can be contributing factors for deep space travel, this animated prequel would have nothing going for it. It’s just an ‘Alien’ ripoff, and about as dead as the animators’ sense for artistic quality. Just play the game instead.