Dead Space: Aftermath

7.5 Overall Score
Plot: 8/10
Animation: 7/10
Sound: 7/10

A strong connecting story and suspenseful storytelling play well into the film's hand.

The split up of animation styles makes for a rough ride when they could have done so much better.

The crossover of movie to video games and back again has been the bane of many gamers’ existence for years now – the terrible thing is that such nitpicking and fantasy-destroying translations ends up doing nothing but injustice to some of our favorite video game stories.

Dead Space: Aftermath serves as more of a bridge between the story of said series’ first and second installments, telling the story of how the marker made its way onto The Sprawl and the significance of Dr. Nolan Strauss to the pre-Dead Space 2 story. In that sense, Aftermath does a fairly good job of carrying over the story aspects that lead up to it, hinting at moments to the Ishimura incident and the existence of Isaac Clarke. In that realm, the animated-horror epic does well, pacing us with a multi-faceted story that is told literally by each character as we are led to the climax. Yes, not any of the four survivors from the U.S.S. O’Bannon seem to recall the events in a completely unified sense – one, err, two seem to be already influenced by the marker by the time they are interrogated.

But Aftermath follows up reasonably woven storytelling with a well-balanced one-two punch of mystery and horror. And by horror, think more like the terror of discovering someone has gone insane and nothing can be done to stop them, not a haunted house-type experience horror games and some films thrive on.

The biggest gripe to see on Aftermath is in the animation itself. The film kicks back and forth between CGI-styled 3D renderings of characters – which to be fair looks incredibly tacky considering the story they’re striving to tell – and much more anime-style drawings that compliment the action moments strongly. It’s not groundbreaking, but the accentuation of gore and a drive to create an ever-moving chain of events plays well into the film’s hand if it would just shake the funky computer-based stuff used in the present-tense moments. It’s easy enough to say it was used to help communicate the difference in time between the past and present moments in the film, but in reality it just comes off as a bit of a dud and even worse, the CGI-type scenes do a pretty terrible translation of the otherwise plentiful blood, guts and terror the story wants us to see.

These action scenes do well enough to instill the sense of uneasiness you would get playing the game, though through different means. Visually, the necromorphs appear much stronger, faster and larger than in game, making it a bit of surprise when you’re expecting something much more life-size instead of towering.

But even a year past the release of the continuation of the story, Aftermath would serve as a strong link point for the fan who might be suddenly urged to continue delving into the Dead Space universe. While it has some visual hiccups, the story is strong enough to stand alone regardless of your overall interest in Dead Space, but it wouldn’t hurt it you knew a little bit about it beforehand either.

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Author: Jason Gardner View all posts by

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