Dead Space: Ignition is out and it would very much like to get you hyped and excited for the upcoming Dead Space 2. Ignition is an interactive comic that offers four unique endings depending on the decisions you make along the way, and once you complete it you’re rewarded with content Isaac can use in the upcoming sequel.
This is all about the story as its goal is to bridge the gaps between the first and second game, but sadly, that’s where it falls short. Instead of giving us an interesting story with good looking drawings and animating Ignition offers a less than entertaining cast of characters, awful visuals, and a story that won’t capture the attention of even the most hardcore of Dead Space fans. The Baby Factor: If three fairly amusing mini-games got together with a poorly done digital comic, Dead Space: Ignition would be their boring, repetitive offspring.
I should also mention that outside of watching characters float and bob as if they were animated by an intern and sporadically choosing whether you should go right or left, the things that will be filling your time are three puzzles that get progressively difficult: the Hardware Crack, Trace Route and System Override.
The Hardware Crack has you using mirrors to direct various beams of colored light to their hub. It starts off simple enough; get the green light to its green hub and the red beam to its hub. Later on you’re given different abilities and obstacles to overcome including mirrors that move and beam splitters.
The Trace Route is arguably the most interesting puzzle of the three as it’s essentially a side scrolling racing game that has you trying to make it to the finish line before the other tracers dropping obstacles in their way while you dodge traps, walls and aggressive tracers that want to end you.
The biggest draw here are the visuals. You’ll be watching a comic play out so it has to look good, right? Apparently it does not, because outside of some good color work the drawings and animations (specifically the latter) are, for lack of a better word, ugly.
And the decisions you have to make throughout the story usually aren’t the type of ones that take much time to decide between. My first decision was between fixing the power in an area of the Sprawl station or negotiating a hostage rescue so it was essentially between saving possibly hundreds of people or some a few people that were captured by a crazy guy. Not exactly the life-changing decision making I was hoping for, but then again, everything here feels poorly executed.
Dead Space wanted to have the same incredible success that Dead Rising 2′s Case Zero did. They’re both midquel content that are supposed to get us in the mood for the sequel they’re promoting by bridging gaps and filling plot holes and upon completing them we’re rewarded with content (or progress) that can be used in the game. But where Case Zero was a slice of the full game that really gave us a taste of what we should expect in Dead Rising 2, Ignition is a horribly animated comic with dull voice acting and an even less spectacular story.
The Final Word: While this shouldn’t make you any less excited for Dead Space 2, Ignition is a failed attempt at getting us amped up for what will almost definitely be a great game.
This review is based on the Xbox 360 version of Dead Space: Ignition.