Review by Blk_Mage_Ctype
"Dead Space Indignation."
Dead Space Ignition takes place inbetween Dead Space & Dead Space 2, which tells the tale of Franco Delille, a technician working aboard The Sprawl, and his girlfriend/assistant, CPD Officer Sarah Anderson. What starts out as an ordinary day on the Job for Franco & Sarah quickly escalates to a frantic battle for survival as technical problems begin occurring all over The Sprawl, and a Necromorph outbreak follows. I won't spoil the story for you, but there are many shocking twists and interesting plot developments along the way. The game also has several different paths for the player to choose which alter the story. However, an interesting story alone isn't enough to make a game great. The most important part of any video game is the gameplay itself, and that's where Dead Space Ignition falls flat on it's face.
Dead Space Ignition is a puzzle game with cinematic graphic novel cutscenes that progress the story. Basically, the whole game is just cutscenes followed by puzzles followed by cutscenes. The puzzles come in the form of a hacking mini games that Franco must complete in order to progress further in the game. There are 3 main mini games, Trace Route, System Override, and Hardware Crack.
Trace Route feels more like an Atari 2600 racing game than a puzzle, and involves you guiding a red line (a virus) through a path, evading obstacles, (firewalls) grabbing speed ups, (data libraries) and reaching the end before other lines (various lockout programs) can reach the end and lock you out of the system. Hitting firewalls will slow you down, but grabbing data libraries will speed you up. In addition, you have a few little tools of your own which can be used a limited amount of times to help you reach the end, such as Speed Boost and Firewalls of your own that you can deploy to slow down pursuing lockout programs & counter-viruses. Trace Route is fun in the earlier levels, but gets a bit frustrating towards the end of the game as the difficulty increases.
System Override Is a fun little Tower Defense type game where you hack a system by deploying various types of viruses to destroy/bypass a system's defenses and override it's security protocols. You have a standard Attack Virus that just proceeds straight forward and attacks any security programs in it's path, a Decoy Virus that distracts the security system and draws it's attention away from other viruses, a Stealth Virus that's invisible to most security programs, and an Infection Virus that can take control of the systems defenses and turn them against each other. This mini game is the funnest one in the game, and my only complaint is that it's too easy. I was literally able to beat every System Override mini game simply by deploying nothing but Attack & Decoy Viruses one after the other until the system's defenses were destroyed.
Hardware Crack is a mini game in which you use mirrors to redirect beams of light into capacitors to reroute power on a circuit board. You can use standard mirrors to redirect light, and Splitters to split the beam into 4 parts. Unfortunately, this mini game starts out as being too easy, but by level 5 becomes needlessly complex and I myself had to resort to reading guides and watching playthroughs on Youtube to pass. It's not at all fun, just frustratingly time consuming, and is the main reason for the low score I'm giving this game.
Overall, Dead Space Ignition just isn't a fun game to play, and thank God that this game is a freebie for preordering Dead Space 2, because it's not worth the $5 they're charging for it as a stand alone. The only reason why I even forced myself to finish this game is for the Hacker Rig you unlock by clearing the game once, and who knows if it'll even be useful in Dead Space 2? The Story is interesting, but the game is so frustrating that I highly recommend that you just watch the cutscenes on Youtube or something rather than actually play Dead Space Ignition, even if you've received the game for free like I did, I STILL recommend watching the cutscenes on Youtube rather than forcing yourself to play through it. Chances are, the Hacker Rig will just be another Obsidian Rig, where it's only any good at the very beginning of the game anyway, so not even that merits a playthrough. Furthermore, if you have $5 to spend on a game, save it and put it towards a much better puzzle game like Portal or something, because this game really isn't worth it.
Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 12/01/10
Game Release: Dead Space Ignition (US, 10/12/10)
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