Noob Reviews: Dead Space: Downfall
Please be advised that during the review, I have tried to avoid a lot of spoilers. However, there may still be a few included helping explain specific points.
What is Dead Space: Downfall?
Dead Space: Downfall is a 2008 anime film in which we are thrown forward into 2508, humanity has barely escaped extinction and resources are thinning by the day. It is a fight to survive and sees humanity taking to the stars in a never-ending search to find more resources to help the last of them survive. How do they do this, you might ask? Through a method called Cracking, which sees specialist teams extract a planet's resources over a prolonged period. Unfortunately for one such team carrying out an illegal operation on Aegis VII, they come across a Marker. A powerful otherworldly relic which is sacred to the Unitologists. A religious movement who just so happen to be funding the illegal mining operation.
Thrilled by the discovery, without investigation or caution, the Marker is quickly prepped for extraction for return to the Unitologist Church. However, when disturbing the Marker, it begins to activate and cast a sinister force across the planet that sees a severe increase in hostilities. But that is not all. Those that die do not remain dead but are reanimated as mutated corpses (Necromorphs) who immediately seek out to further the slaughter, increase their ranks and feast upon the living.
In an attempt to flee the slaughter and insanity sweeping across Aegis VII, a pilot risks it all to fly to the safety of the Ishimura - a massive (populated) ship in orbit around the planet. Unfortunately, the pilot is not alone and the insanity that cost the colonists Aegis VII will find its self sweeping across the decks and through the corridors of the Ishimura too.
The film was created by the Film Roman team who were responsible for The Simpsons and King of the Hill amongst other titles. Funded and collaboratively produced with EA to ensure it was as true to the first Dead Space game (also released in October 2008) as possible.
Do you have a trailer to show us?
- Official trailer courtesy of YouTube Movies -
When did it come out?
Dead Space: Downfall was released in October 2008.
Who are some of the actors and actresses that we might know?
Bruce Boxleitner (Colin Barrow)
Jim Cummings (Captain Mathius)
Jim Piddock (Chic)
Keith Szarabajka (Dr. Kyne)
Kelly Hu (Shen)
Kevin Michael Richardson (Samuel Irons)
Nika Futterman (Alissa Vincent)
What did you think of Dead Space: Downfall?
Having never played a (full) Dead Space game myself but having heard of the series and seen a few fellow streamers and YouTube creators do playthroughs, I thought I would give the film a look as I like the lore behind the franchise. I should just mention at this point that because I have not played the games myself, I will be reviewing the film on its own merits.
First off the art style is quite a nostalgic throwback to 2D animations, although a choice made based on budget by the team, it has a really gritty vibe to it, and personally, I loved their selection. Although the art style is in no way clean-cut and perfect throughout it was the imperfections that really made it stand out. The blend of dark colour palettes, eerie scenes and unique character builds is a really nice touch.
Unfortunately, along with the visuals, there are a lot of problems with the audio. From sparse and broken dialogue to a dull choice of soundtracks, the story does its best to welcome newcomers to the series but in my opinion, fails in a few places. It leaves you with so many questions that are rarely answered, and just as you think you are getting somewhere, the character explaining what is occurring with specific scenes is torn to shreds by teeth and claw. It just feels like the voice acting could have been improved quite a bit all around and had more oomph and energy behind the lines as opposed to unnecessary cursing which has no real bearing on the story or character development. It feels as if the excessive cursing is in there to be edgy (for the time).
With the unusual visual style and okay voice acting the film comes in as a mediocre rating at best. To get the most out of it, you should really play the game first and then watch the anime to have more of a chance of understanding what is going on. It is still worth a watch, and at only seventy-four minutes in length, it is a good weekend or lazy afternoon watch.
What rating would you give Dead Space: Downfall?
I would give Dead Space: Downfall a rating of 3 out of 5 bananas.
Coming from a franchise like Dead Space, with companies like EA backing the production of the film, I tried to not have really high expectations, and luckily that served me well as the film under-delivered. Worth a watch and a fun little movie if you have a knowledge of the Dead Space game. If you are a newcomer to the series, it can still be fun on its own merits, but you will need to look elsewhere (such as the game or fan sites) to answer those niggling queries that are raised and never adequately addressed.
Thank you very much for checking out the review, and if you are interested in Dead Space: Downfall and would like to check it out for yourself, to form your own opinion, you can check it out here.