Grave Gamer News & Views — shooter

Welcome to the Umbrella Corps – an online third-person shooter...

Welcome to the Umbrella Corps – an online third-person shooter set in the Resident Evil universe

We caught a slight wind of this last month but the hurricane known as the RE2 Remake blew it the hell away.

SCEJA, a Sony-centric press conference held in Tokyo today, featured Capcom’s first unveiling of Umbrella Corps – a competitive third-person shooter planted in the Resident Evil mythos. The game’s promised to play host to fast-paced, close-quartered skirmishes in battle zones that recreate historic RE environs.

If you’re having sudden and terrible flashbacks of Operation Raccoon City, you’re not wrong (also, have a sit and let the nausea settle). “Make an online third-person shooter outta Resident Evil” was verbatim Slant Six’s mission objective on ORC. Here, though, instead of forcing a threadbare, canon breaking story into the affair, Umbrella Corps takes place in modern day, over a decade after the pharmaceutical company’s demise.

Other diabolical corporations have taken hold of Umbrella’s research and are now pitting mercenary squads against each other in virus-soaked testing grounds. Bobbing and weaving through hordes of the undead (and other happy horrors), player teams will have to master an arsenal of guns, axes, and shields to best other mercs. Savvy players won’t just dodge zombies – they’ll use them against opponents, and gadgets like the Zombie Jammer, which repels the dead from a player, will help you do just that.

Okay, on paper, it’s a solid idea. But Operation Raccoon City was a solid idea on paper too. It’s all about execution. It sounds like Capcom is trying to create a leaner, tighter experience over UC’s spiritual predecessor… but as history shows, Resident Evil’s track record for spin-off’s is horrifically mixed. Oh, the horror.

Umbrella Corps ($29.99) releases digitally sometime next year for PS4 and PC.

Borderlands 2 Has Some Lootastic Collector’s Editions I’ve always...

Borderlands 2 Has Some Lootastic Collector’s Editions

I’ve always said that a year where a Borderlands comes out is a year worth living, so for only the second occasion in my life, I’m glad to be alive as Gearbox readies a sequel to their lootin’, shootin’ extravaganza.  Now, you can celebrate the game adequately with a standard copy – which is as financially sound as it is mind crushingly boring – or you could do it up the right way with either one of the above two special editions coming out for Borderlands 2.

The Deluxe Vault Hunter’s Collector’s Edition, pricing in at $99.99, is decked with a Marcus Kincaid bobblehead, a behind-the-scenes book, a Pandoran map, in-game content, and additional trinkets.  It’s all nice enough for your casual collector but still too…sensible.  Either you go big or you’re just spitting in Gearbox’s face (metaphorically).

That’s why the Ultimate Loot Chest Limited Edition, belligerently priced at $149.99 to test your fandom mettle, is the only edition grandiose enough to sate true blue Borderlands fans.  Equipped with everything the Vault Hunter’s Edition claims stake to, the Ultimate Edition stocks you up on a steelbook case, a cloth Pandoran map, a ‘Creatures of Pandora’ ID chart, and – here’s where the collection goes into God Mode – a scaled replica of the red loot chest consistently found throughout Borderlands.  That’s all impractical enough to make me need it.

Borderlands 2 drops on our heads September 18th for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 with a worldwide release following closely after on the 21st.

Revive These Pixels - Cannon Spike (Arcade, Dreamcast; 2000)...

Revive These Pixels - Cannon Spike (Arcade, Dreamcast; 2000)

Imagine if Capcom put together a handpicked team of their virtual all-stars to form an Avengers-like supergroup.  Now imagine if those very same Cap-vengers all died in some over-the-top, manga inspired disaster – the Cannon Spike team would be the second best squad for the job.

Featuring a particularly oddball assortment of characters ranging from Street Fighter alumni such as Charlie and Cammy (the latter’s signature attack inspires the Western market title) to dart-on-the-wall selections like Darkstalkers’ B.B. Hood and Ghosts N’ Goblins’ valiant Arthur, Cannon Spike pit up to two players against waves of enemies and bosses in an addictive arcade shooter that sort of recalls Smash TV if it were 3D and somehow made less sense. The title later saw release during the dying throes of the Dreamcast, standing as one of the last games to bookend Sega’s console manufacturing era.

The industry seems to be in the business of gladly selling me the same old shit.  The torrent of HD rehashes and digital ports would be worth it if they would only start reviving arcane gems the likes of Cannon Spike; a masterful game that dared to combine my love of co-op shoot ‘em up’s with my affinity for Cammy’s skintight excuse for an outfit.  Check out footage of the rollerbladed destruction in action.

Max Payne 3 (PC/PS3/360 - May 15th) Rockstar’s resuscitation of...

Max Payne 3 (PC/PS3/360 - May 15th)

Rockstar’s resuscitation of the Max Payne name (because Marky Mark almost killed it) is out in little over a week.  Industry analysts already posit that MP3 will outperform some of May’s other weighty contenders the likes of Dragon’s Dogma and Ghost Recon: Future Soldier.  The real clash in sales will be between Rockstar’s sequel and another oft delayed threequel by the name of motherfuckin’ Diablo III.  We’re talking about bullets versus swords; noir versus fantasy.  Whichever game comes out on top, wins all of May.  Not that that matters.

I’ll say this about Max Payne 3 –  and it should very much be noted that if you hear me say the following about a game it means you’re probably mistaken because I never say this about a game – but the multiplayer is drawing me in more than the story campaign.

Oh, I’m definitely anticipating the hardboiled melodrama of Max’s depressingly brutal world (and who looking for a good time wouldn’t be?), but Rockstar’s take on cooperation in a versus setting, which includes vicious tug o’ war matches where you fight to hold onto territory, or steal it, might be the most promising multiplayer offering this year has seen yet.  Peep video proof hereabouts.

Oh, lord. I miss this booth like hell. I continue to search for a...

Oh, lord.  I miss this booth like hell.  I continue to search for a better use for my quarters everyday, painfully to no avail.