Dead Rising 2 Case Zero is a Prologue with a PurposeS

Dead Rising 2 prequel, Case Zero, is much more than a glorified demo you have to pay for. The game bridges the gap between the first and second titles and gives gamers a taste of everything new Dead Rising 2 has to offer.

Unfortunately, Case Zero remains, at least for now, an Xbox 360 exclusive, Capcom tells Kotaku.

Case Zero kicks off in the desert town of Still Creek, introducing Dead Rising 2 protagonist Chuck Greene and his daughter, Katie, as the two deal with a zombie outbreak in the isolated town. Set two years after the Willamette incident of Dead Rising and Frank West and three years before the game show zombies of Dead Rising 2, Case Zero, Capcom's Keiji Inafune promises, will "bridge the gap" between the two games. If that means we'll find out what happened to West, Capcom wasn't saying, but it would be nice.

It will take about three hours, Inafune told Kotaku, to rush through Case Zero, but as with Dead Rising a player could spend much more time exploring and killing zombies. And there will be some sort of reward for those gamers who play Case Zero and then move on to Dead Rising 2, Capcom said.

What's most intriguing about Case Zero, though, isn't the tantalizing chance that we might finally hear what happened to West and the zombies of Willamette, but what the prologue means for future Capcom titles.

"I have always had doubts about doing a demo," Inafune said. "Everyone seems to want to do them. Rather than create a demo for Dead Rising 2 I wanted to set up a different area and let people see what the game play is like.

"This is definitely a test case."

It's an intriguing idea: The notion of delivering a full story and hours of gameplay as a standalone purchase rather than handing out a short, abbreviated taste of a game as a demo.

And I'm not sure how I feel about it.