'Severed' Means Multiple Things In Dead Space 2

I thought that next week's downloadable two-chapter expansion to Dead Space 2 was called Severed because it involved a certain Dead Space character who chopped off his own hand.

Wrong.

That guy was in Dead Space Extraction, the Wii and PlayStation 3 game that served as both a prequel to the Dead Space saga and specifically to next week's Severed expansion. But that man, whose loss of a hand was one of Extraction's most memorable and shockingly interactive scenes, is not the star of Severed. Two of Extraction's other Ensemble leads are, Gabe Weller and his girlfriend Lexine.

What's Severed mean, then, I asked an EA rep who played through part of the expansion for me at a demo event in New York. It represents the separation between Weller and Lexine, the EA guy said, and maybe other things. I assume it also involves the limbs you have to shoot off to kill Dead Space's bad guys.

The expansion runs contemporaneously with the Dead Space 2 game's main plot. You're Weller, not DS2 hero Isaac Clarke, and you're a soldier, not an engineer. You're more heavily armed than Isaac was in much of the game, though I was told this doesn't mean Severed is the action-game version of Dead Space 2's horror show; it's not Aliens to the main game's Alien.

The setting is the Titan Mines, an area brought over from the main game's multiplayer and the plot will intersect with Dead Space 2's enough that players may catch wind of events from the main game in these two chapters. I was told the new chapters are substantial, but I don't have an estimate on how long this $7 expansion will last. I was most intrigued by the EA rep's suggestion that this expansion might set the stage for things that come next. A sequel tease in here, perhaps?

We'll see next week, and maybe learn some more new meanings for 'Severed." It'll be out for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, but there's no PC version on the release schedule.