Space: Downfall isn't actually based on the Electronic Arts computer
game of the same name, but it is rather a prequel to it.
they think of next? Sequels to computer games? Super Mario Bros. - The
Shadow Years? Lara Croft vs. Menopause?
Who knows? But Electronic Arts must
have quite some confidence in its brand new Dead Space franchise because usually movies based on computer games are only
made long after the game itself has proven itself to be popular. In contrast
Dead Space: Downfall (the direct-to-DVD movie) and Dead Space
(the game) were both more or less released on the same time in October 2008.
So is Electronic Arts' self-confidence justified? Well, the game is an
atmospheric Quake / Doom-style sci-fi shoot 'em up. It is
nothing particularly new or original, but it makes effective use of music
and sets and lighting to create quite an immersive (read: scary) gaming
environment for gamers. Dead Space: Downfall is a rather violent
anime-inspired flick with clunky dialogue liberally peppered with four
letter words. (It isn't strictly anime since it wasn't actually made in
Japan.) It isn't particularly scary to be honest, but should satisfy
bloodthirsty teenaged boys with a liking for both over-the-top gore and
If you are vaguely familiar with the game's storyline then the movie's
ending is somewhat of a foregone conclusion, which takes the fun out of the
proceedings. It recounts the events shortly before those in the game itself
kicks off. Like the game, it is also nothing particularly new or original,
being a mixture of Alien and
The plot involves a huge deep space mining-ship discovering an ancient alien
artifact on a remote planet. Obviously they take the artifact aboard
(haven't any of them seen any old 20th century sci-fi horror flicks?) and
all kinds of chaos ensues as the alien relic somehow drives the crew members
insane, causing them to either commit suicide or violently kill their fellow
crew mates. Soon enough vicious monsters are unleashed on the ship as the
crew itself is somehow also turned into mindless alien creatures. And you
thought you had a bad day at the office today . . .
The animation in Dead Space: Downfall is of varying
quality. Some bits are quite good, while other sequences simply strike one
as lazy or cheap. The writers try to pad out this fictional universe by
creating a religion that worships the alien relic, but nothing much is
really done with this subplot. As expected, the characters are
one-dimensional (and it has nothing to do with the 2-D animation style).
Plans are apparently afoot to turn the Dead Space
game into a live action movie for 2010. This isn't necessarily something to
get excited about as fans of the Doom games will
tell you. Dead Space: Downfall is an average, but watchable, B-movie
worth a rental as part of a triple or double bill. The fact that we watched
it as a double bill with the craptacular SciFi Channel "original" movie
Anaconda 3: Offspring simply made it look so much better than it probably
Still, as they say, the game is always better and Dead
Space: Downfall is no exception.