While there have been other tie ins before, Dead Space is one of the first franchises to have its tie ins so intrinsically linked. Dead Space is not just a video game, but an animated feature and comic book too. All three pieces of content are essential parts of the story line for Dead Space. Starting with the comic book, it tells of the events that transpire on the colony of Aegis Seven.
The movie chronicles all hell breaking loose aboard the USG Ishimura. The story ends, of course, with the Dead Space the game, detailing Isaac Clark’s adventures aboard the Ishimura, post outbreak.
Dead Space, the six issue comic run is written by Antony Johnston and illustrated by Ben Templesmith. The script itself is of high quality even though the story is not. Dead Space posses a decent story if followed in its entirety. Dead Space sets the grounds for the rest of the story to continue and provides important information regarding the initial outbreak of the necromorphs. Johnston has expertly crafted a interesting and easy to relate to character with Abraham Newman.
I felt compelled to read through the run to find out what exactly happens to Newman. The comic also successfully explains what the necromorphs are and how they spread. The best part of the comic is Ben Templesmith’s artwork. He also illustrated the 30 Days of Night series, which initially turned me on to his artwork. At first, the art was off putting. It seemed to halt the writing and felt more like sketches than proper artwork.
The more I looked at it I realized the true genius in it. The way that each image showed in full detail the most important aspect within it, yet minimizing the rest, just as you would upon gazing on the scene. How the coloring used, at first seen as sloppy, was actually accenting the image. It showed the viscerality in the images and the imperfections reflecting the imperfections present in real life. Dead Space is worth the read just for the art itself.
Dead Space Downfall is an animated feature set during the necromorph outbreak aboard the USG Ishimura. Just like the comic, Dead Space Downfall does not have the greatest story. The directing in the movie is adequate, suiting its needs. The voice work is of quality for this type of project. Dead Space Downfall covers the events from around the end of the comic to the exact moment the game starts. Dead Space Downfall features quality action sequences featuring some truly brutal and graphic imagery.
The art is very reminiscent of The Batman; I enjoyed The Batman, so I liked the art within Downfall, yet this style is not for everyone. I did not feel any sort of attachment to the characters within the movie, yet it provides a more detailed look at many of the plot elements only briefly noted in the game. Downfall was a decent enough movie, yet its crippling feature was its release date, October 28th, one week after Dead Space the game was released. This degraded the experience since the middle of the story was released out of order.
The Dead Space media trilogy served its purpose. I greatly enjoyed experiencing the story in this manner. This would have been a great occurrence had only the story been a bit stronger and if the they were released in chronological order. It was enjoyable none the less and I encourage all who are interested in Dead Space to read the comic (which is available in an animated form online and through Xbox Marketplace) and to watch the movie. I hope that other projects do something similar to this in the near future.