Dead Space 2 prequel igniting PS3, 360

Sumo Digital producing interactive comic book with minigames for release this fall on Xbox Live, PlayStation Network.

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In March, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter told investors that Electronic Arts was considering a plan to hype big games with what amounted to "very long game demos" that it would sell through downloadable services for $10 to $15. That plan is starting to take shape, as today EA announced Dead Space Ignition, a downloadable prequel to next year's Dead Space 2.

Donning a hermetically sealed suit is a minigame unto itself.
Donning a hermetically sealed suit is a minigame unto itself.

Described by the publisher as "an interactive comic-style story," Dead Space Ignition will play out like a Choose Your Own Adventure narrative with three different minigames. EA is codeveloping the title with Sumo Digital, the studio behind Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, OutRun Online Arcade, and the episodic Doctor Who: The Adventure Games series.

Ignition will serve as a prequel to Dead Space 2, following Isaac Clarke in the hours before the space station known as The Sprawl is beset by a necromorph infestation. The game's story is being penned by Antony Johnston, who previously told stories in the Dead Space universe with a six-issue comic series released in 2008.

[SPOILER WARNING]

Dead Space 2 will be set three years after the events of the original, which saw deep-space engineer Isaac Clarke survive an onslaught of zombielike necromorphs on the deep-space mining ship USG Ishimura. The sequel will see Clarke attempt to purge The Sprawl of its necromorph problem, but this time, he'll do so with a new arsenal of dismembering weaponry.

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