EA Redwood Shores boss Glen Schofield has said that Dead Space: Extraction takes place about three weeks before the original and that the first game's protagonist Isaac Clarke doesn't even feature.
"It's a prequel. It actually takes place about three weeks before Isaac gets to the Ishimura," Schofield told Gametrailers TV. "Isaac's not even in the game at all."
Schofield also reiterated that you play as a woman in the on-rails first-person shooter spin-off, and said there are "a couple of people you'll be playing in the game", which makes sense given the previous promise of co-operative multiplayer.
In terms of the setting, "You actually start off on the planet," and then later visit the Ishimura when it's inhabited prior to things going bump. When asked if the game ends as Clarke's ship arrives at the Ishimura, Schofield joked, "You're pretty good!"
Otherwise, the main thing of note is news about weapons. "The flamethrower's back, we've got a couple of different pistols you'll be using... There's one or two I really don't want to get into right now."
EA has previously said to expect more weapons (check), enemies, characters (check) and puzzles, so we're getting there. Extraction is due out towards the end of the year.
Check out our review of Dead Space for PS3 and Xbox 360 to see what all the fuss is about.