Comic-Con 2009 Video Game Wrap Party

If E3 is gaming's big night out, Comic-Con feels more like its backyard barbeque. While all the TV, movie, toy, and comics publishers in the universe busy clambering over each other for crowd-share, eyes are mostly on brain-melting stuff like "Hey, did you hear Marvel owns Marvelman?" (I know, I shrugged too.) So...Marvel's dusting off a character whose story's already finished, Dollhouse season two sneaks, and James Cameron's budget-bloated sci-fi 3D "king-of-the-world!" spectacle aside, here's a quick look at a few of the show's game-related highlights.

Valve revealed "Swamp Fever," the second of five campaigns shipping with zombie shooter Left 4 Dead 2 this fall. In it, the game's four "Survivors" splosh through a Louisiana swamp battling zombies called Mudmen. The company also unveiled a new "Infected" creature known as "The Spitter," whose attacks can split up Survivors or flush them out of hidey-holes.

Batter up for the slip-slidin' fours-fumblin' Mudmen of Left 4 Dead 2.

Sega put a positive spin on its Iron Man 2 movie tie-in by highlighting its coup nabbing comics author Matt Fraction (The Invincible Iron Man, Uncanny X-Men) to pen the story. So far it sounds like anything else out there, e.g. "feel the power of Iron Man with new destructible environments, epic enemies, and innovative hand-to-hand combat moves." (Almost like reading a fortune cookie anymore, right?) The last Iron Man game--also by Sega--was pretty much a critical flop, but I didn't play it, so I'll resist commenting further.

The Iron Man 2 teaser trailer. Mucho chrome sexy.

As noted here, Mass Effect 2 take its turn exploring sequential-art-dom with a four-issue mini-series called Mass Effect: Redemption by ME2 story scribe Mac Walters. The comic reportedly bridges the gap between the original's denouement and the sequel's early beats. Will it really "change the way you look at Mass Effect 2…and beyond"? Guess we'll find out when it launches on January 6, 2010. (Also: See my Mass Effect 2 interviews with Casey Hudson--parts one and two are up, of an eventual four.)

T'Soni, an asari researcher and potential paramour of Commander Shepard in Mass Effect 2 getting her Alien Nation meets Farscape on.

It looks like LucasArts can't let Star Wars The Force Unleashed (my review here) rest in peace. The company's adding what it calls "Ultimate Sith" downloadable content, allowing you to play as Emperor Palpatine's new apprentice and throw down with iconic characters from the franchise. Boba Fett, Obi-Wan, Luke Skywalker, checkity-check. Bypassed the original? You can have it all in Star Wars The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition, coming this holiday. (No word on whether the star destroyer sequence has been edited out, Tasered, beaten to a shapeless mass, then left on the cutting room floor where it belongs.)

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