Dead Space: Ignition is similar in concept to the Dead Space motion comics that were available for free on PSN and XBLM. While those comics explained the backstory behind the original Dead Space , Ignition explains the goings-on between that game and Dead Space 2, and also introduces interactive elements not seen in the original motion comics. The story takes place aboard the Sprawl, a city-sized space station that serves as the setting for the events of Dead Space 2. The narrative of Dead Space: Ignition introduces players to the Sprawl and allows them to view the events leading up to the Necromorph infestation. During certain moments within the comic's narrative the player is asked to play one of three minigames. These minigames are hacking simulators called Hardware Crack, Trace Route, and System Override. Ignition also has four different endings which will all lead to unlockable equipment that can be used by Isaac Clarke in Dead Space 2.
The comic is written by Anthony Johnston, the author behind the original Dead Space comics. The game launched on October 13 for both the PSN and XBLA for $5 and 400 MS Points respectively.
General gameplay involves following an animated graphic novel which during certain segments will bring up the following minigames.
Hardware Crack is a fairly traditional puzzle solving mini-game in which you redirect various colored lasers in to their respective exit points. You are time limited in this one and thus required to think fast.
There are various components in the playing field each with different functions.
Trace Route involves controlling an electrical signal in a race against other signals to the finish line. You are required to dodge obstacles - walls and other moving objects that will slow you down to a near stop whilst also aiming for various power-ups that grant you the ability to reverse the AI opponents controls, drop walls behind you or simply give you a speed boost.
System Override is a simple Tower Defense minigame in which you are not only required to block enemy attackers but do so whilst advancing troops to an objective on the other side of the playing field. You have multiple unit types - one of which has the ability to slow down incoming enemy units.