Dead Space Ignition


posted 10/27/2010 by Tina Amini
other articles by Tina Amini
Platforms: 360
As a Dead Space fan, a prologue to the upcoming and long-awaited sequel was definitely intriguing to me. However, and also as a Dead Space fan, I was incredibly let down by Dead Space Ignition. Although the idea of a motion graphic novel geared visual design seemed unique, particularly given the focus on storyline in Ignition, the overbearingly dull mini-games that encompass the gameplay experience in this prologue do not make the journey seem worthwhile.

For those of you who are fiending for more background story to the events leading up to Dead Space 2, Dead Space Ignition might be worth the trek through games that suffer from a lack of perspective. The three mini-games available are familiar in their basics; Trace Route involves racing your wire against others attempting to catch you as you avoid firewalls in the system, while System Override requires you to send out viruses to attack the anti-viruses in a device and gain control of it and, finally, Hardware Crack tasks you with matching colors to nodes on a piece of hardware by using reflectors to change their direction and guide them along the correct path.

Unfortunately, and as you can probably assume from these descriptions, the games themselves are not in the least bit fun. Difficulty increases as you go along the story, thereby increasing the challenge, but there is zero motivation for being challenged. I would much rather play the classic Snake game on my mobile device than race a wire through obstructions in Trace Route. System Override is the most boring mini-game I have played, in that it simply requires you to spam the device with your viruses. I was multitasking the entire time while mashing “A” and periodically “B” and won with ease each time, barely having to even pay attention to the screen. Finally, Hardware Crack seems like it could be interesting as a puzzle but the experience is just as unrewarding.

The only aspect of Ignition that stands as any appeal to Dead Space fans is the intrigue of the story. Sprawl begins as a typical facility with minor electronic issues that engineer Delille needs to eradicate. As the story progresses, however, you discover how the Necromorphs come to invade this space station and how you must prepare to survive it.

Although the visuals are meant to replicate that of a comic book experience, they are less than impressive. The idea is certainly a good one. What self-respecting gamer nerd does not enjoy at least the occasional comic here and there? Unfortunately, Ignition seems to be an argument for modern-day visuals. It highlights all the flaws and incapability of simple comic drawing rather than monopolize on its charming qualities. A quick smirk and perhaps the movement of a character like it was a toy being played with by a child as it bobs up and down are all the motion that you will see, and it is not flattering in the least. 

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.

If there is any appeal at all to Ignition, it is strictly in its storyline for those Dead Space fans determined to consume every form of media from the franchise. As a prologue to the Dead Space 2 game releasing this upcoming January, the storyline will reveal details of Sprawl’s state of being overrun by Necromorphs. As a game, however, the terribly dull and oftentimes useless mini-games are not worth the time put into them. For those fans expecting a gameplay experience up to par with the franchise, let your hopes drain now.

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