You may have noticed the Dead Space: Ignition Demo and full title pop up in the PlayStation Store and Xbox Live Marketplace this week, and you might be thinking ‘if it has Dead Space in the title it must be decent’. In this case you would only be correct if you are in the hankering for some comic-style cut-scenes along with the occasional mini-game. What is probably one of the shortest playable demos in history paints the picture for what the full game is like.
Although the sexual tension between the two main characters (who are in a relationship they haven’t announced to the world yet) is pretty engaging the mini-games you will be playing are a far cry from the typical Dead Space game-play you are familiar with. In the demo you are treated to a data hacking experience which plays similar to a 2D side-scrolling race. There are speed boosts called data links, obstacles that slow you down called firewalls and data blocks, and a couple counter-trace A.I. that will try to beat you to the end of the level causing a failed hack. There is also a spare boost and firewall that you can use at will when you need to gain the advantage over your A.I. counter-parts quickly. The firewall is dropped behind you to slow them down and the boost will, of course, boost you forward.
The demo was pretty fun, the cut-scenes involving, but the abrupt style of the demo really doesn’t give you a lot of incentive to actually want to play the full game. Something tells me that they were afraid to let you see more, because there isn’t much more. The full game only offers two other modes of game-play which are probably way less fun than the one in the demo, and that’s scary because this is basically a more advanced version of Pong with a slightly altered concept. The art looked decent in the demo in my opinion, but critics are tearing up the overall look of the game in the full title citing horrible animations and sometimes simply bad drawing.
I’m a fan of the mini-game genre (if you can exactly call that a genre) and I did enjoy the Hack Race style game in the demo as well as the fragment of a storyline I was treated to in the demo, but if you aren’t going for the bonus unlock for Dead Space 2 then you should probably save your $5. If you are going for the unlock, just pre-order DS2 and get this game for free because there’s a huge possibility you are only going to play it once then never come back to it. Most people don’t like mini-games as much as me and even I leave a lot of them for dead after one play-through. If you were looking for some type of 2D shooting, look elsewhere that is not what this game is about apparently. It is cool to see games so popular that they produce interesting spin-offs, but if EA was trying to recreate the success of Dead Rising: Case Zero with this game, I smell an epic fail.