Capcom is doing something pretty interesting with the release of Dead Rising 2. Prior to its August 31 launch, Capcom will put out Dead Rising 2: Case Zero, an Xbox Live exclusive prequel sans co-op that takes place two years after the original and three years prior to the second game. In short: it's distilled Dead Rising 2 on a much smaller scale.

The game opens up with Chuck Greene, ex-motocrosser and father of infected daughter Shelley, as he speeds into the town of Still Creek in his blood-splattered truck. For reasons we won't get into for the sake of teh spoilerz, Chuck becomes stranded with his daughter Katey, loses all of his Zombrex -- the expensive drug that keeps her infection at bay -- and is tasked with cobbling together a dirt bike from parts scattered around town in the hopes of making it out of Still Creek alive.

Still Creek itself has a very small town feel -- mostly because it's literally a small town. The main drag has a few buildings and alleyways, with accessible rooftops and hidden items to discover, like a high-powered sniper rifle. There's also the requisite hidden survivors, looking for some respite from the gaping maws of the town's hungry inhabitants, should players feel like lending a helping hand. It's straight up Dead Rising 2 in a small town that lasts 12 in-game hours.

And there will be connectivity between the XBLA game and Dead Rising 2, naturally. Players can reach level five in Case Zero, then carry all of those PP points on over to the retail game -- not to mention accrued cash. The Capcom rep accompanying me during my sojourn through Still Creek said that's what Capcom found to be a good balance for carrying over the attributes.

While we bugged Capcom for a launch date and pricing for Case Zero, the rep sadly wouldn't budge. We'll be sure to let you know as soon as we find out.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.