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DVD Review

DVD cover

Dead Space: Aftermath


Starring (voice): Christopher Judge, Peter Woodward, Graham McTavish, Ricardo Chavira and Gwendoline Yeo
Anchor Bay Entertainment
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 18
Available 24 January 2011

Following the events depicted in Dead Space: Downfall, four survivors are rescued from the stricken Starship, one by one they are interrogated by a science team and their testimonies build the picture of their experiences and the horror which killed everyone else…

Dead Space: Aftermath (2010 - 1 hr, 14 min, 10 sec) is an animated, direct-to-DVD, film based on the multi award winning game Dead Space. The film also works as a sequel to Dead Space: Downfall.

I’m presuming that the feature was made, partially to please fans and partially to remind people that a new game and graphic novel is coming soon, as I can’t see any other artistic reason for the film to be released.

So, let’s start with what’s good about the feature. I liked the idea of telling the story of the demise of the USG O’Bannon, in 2509, following its arrival at Aegis VII, as sectional flashbacks. The discovery of the artefact and its detrimental effects on the crew, who slowly go mad, attack each other and are quickly transformed into mindless horrors whose only thought appears to be to kill anything not like them, are laid out competently.

The problem is that, in a feature like this, you want to get to the copious bloodletting as soon as possible, but the story takes way too long to get to this point. The voice acting from Christopher Judge (Stargate) and Peter Woodward (Babylon 5) certainly brings some kudos to the story, but not enough to balance the show's other failings.

The biggest failing of the show is the decision to share the animation out amongst differing artists, who bring with them differing approaches to their craft. The sequence directors Mike Disa, Tae-Ho Han, Sang-Jin Kim, Jong-Shik Nam and Lee Seung-Gyu have not made a feature which succeeds as a homogenous whole. This idea of presenting differing styles worked well in Animatrix, but then each style told a different story, here we have a continuing narrative which presents jarring shifts in style.

The more traditional animation is adequate, but not spectacular, the CGI animation is frankly poor, with seemingly random shadowing and a lack of facial detail. Frankly you would have seen better on TV watching The Clone Wars, it looked more like in-game CGI and not very good even for that.

The disc comes with both English and Spanish subtitles and the picture is clean with a reasonable audio track. There are no extras on the disc except trailers for the Dead Space 2 game, as well as one for Dante’s Inferno.

If you can find it cheap enough, it might be worth getting to complete a collection, however as a standalone feature it works best as an advert for the forthcoming game.


Charles Packer

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