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Dead Space: Downfall (Blu-ray Review)

23 Nov, 2008 By: John Gaudiosi

Dead Space: Downfall

Anchor Bay
$26.97 DVD, $34.98 Blu-ray
Not rated.

When it comes to animation on Blu-ray Disc, a Disney film this is not. Making the most of the unrated nature of this direct-to-video release, Film Roman’s edgy prequel to Electronic Arts’ new horror video game Dead Space is a gory delight. I haven’t seen this level of animated nudity and violence since the Heavy Metal movie. And that’s not a bad thing.

Clearly aimed at gamers and sci-fi fans, Dead Space: Downfall tells the story of the horror that befalls the crew of the mining ship USS Ishimura after an alien artifact is brought aboard. The film serves as a bridge between the six-issue Image Comics series and the new game. The final scene in this movie is the first scene players see in the new game. It’s a nice example of the type of synergy that can occur today around video games.

The line-art animation style of the film creates the perfect blend of comic book action with some video game CGI whenever spaceships are involved. The film’s AVC MPEG-4 encoded 1080p transfer looks sharp, as it’s a straight digital-to-digital transfer. Also top notch is the 5.1 Dolby TrueHD mix, which brings the dark, forboding atmosphere of the story to life with vivid frights. Just as in the game, the sounds of the alien creatures add a lot of scares to this thrill ride.

When it comes to extras, this BD comes with a digital copy of the film (perfect for playing on a PSP). All of the bonus content is ported over from the DVD in 480p MPEG-2. Gamers might have fun searching for the game cheats hidden on the disc.

When it comes to the film, there’s nothing quite like this experience on BD. And the same can be said about the new game. I suggest viewers take in the Blu-ray version of the film on their PS3 before diving into the game.

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