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Thursday, Nov 06, 2003

  

Contract JACK SP Demo

Following up on the recently released multiplayer demo, a single-player demo for Contract J.A.C.K. is now available, offering the chance to check out solo play in Monolith's upcoming No One Lives Forever 2 prequel. The demo is a 129 MB download, available from Sierra's FTP server (direct link), and mirrored on 3D Gamers, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, Loadedinc (registration required), and Worthplaying.

The Temple of Elemental Evil Demo Tomorrow

Atari sends word that a demo version of The Temple of Elemental Evil, Troika's new D&D RPG, is expected tomorrow. Here's the announcement:

Atari today revealed that the demo for it’s recently released The Temple of Elemental Evil™ for PC CD-ROM will be available tomorrow via GameSpot’s new downloading system – DLX http://dlx.gamespot.com. The demo will also be hosted at www.atari.com later that same day. Based on a module developed by Dungeons & Dragons® creator Gary Gygax, The Temple of Elemental Evil represents the first interactive role-playing game set in the popular World of Greyhawk. Developed by Troika Games, The Temple of Elemental Evil will feature an exciting party-based, single player campaign, an engaging storyline based on the classic D&D® adventure of the same name as well as a faithful translation of the latest 3.5 edition rules.

New America's Army

The America's Army Game Website has word that the new version 2.0 of the free Unreal-engine military shooter is now available, offering several enhancements, including the addition of the promised special forces training and character class (thanks Krisz). The full version 2.0 of the game is a 651 MB download, mirrored on 3D Gamers, Boomtown (registration required), FileFront, IGN, and Worthplaying, while the patch to update version 1.9 is 223 MB, mirrored on 3D Gamers, Boomtown (registration required), FileFront, Filerush, GameSpot (registration required), GameTab, and Worthplaying. Here's a bit:

This new edition of America's Army introduces a new class of Soldier: (MOS 18-series). Players successfully completing the Special Forces training will be able to play as a Special Forces Soldier armed with all new highly specialized weaponry. This new class will also include new player models and attachments as well as team structure to mimic the Green Beret squad structure. In order for a player to play as a Special Forces Soldier, the player must meet all the prerequisites; a minimum HONOR of 15, completion of all the Special Forces training components, completion of both Basic Combat Training and Airborne School training components.

Trinity Cancelled

Activision Announces Second Quarter Results (thanks HomeLAN Fed) is the press release with some financial results from the publisher, reporting some downturns in business from the previous year attributed to a smaller release schedule. Also included is an outline of modifications the company is making to its predictions for the next fiscal year, partly based on the rescheduling of DOOM 3, and part due to some cancellations, which includes word that Trinity, the PC and Xbox shooter to be developed by Gray Matter Studios, has gotten the axe:

However, the company is taking a one-time, pre-tax charge of approximately $23 million in the third quarter related to product cancellations including the previously announced titles Trinity(TM), Shaun Palmer's Pro Snowboarder 2(TM) and the sequel to Street Hoops(TM).

Updated Chrome SP Demo

The Chrome Website now offers downloads of an updated version of the Chrome single-player demo. The date accompanying the download is not correctly updated, but the comforting word "FIXED" is added to the description. The 317 MB demo of Techland's sci-fi first-person shooter is mirrored on 3D Gamers, FileFront, and Worthplaying.

Site Seeing - Besieger, Battle for Middle-Earth (and Movie)

DreamCatcher Games Product Page for Besieger is now online, dedicated to Primal Software's upcoming 3D RTS, while simultaneously revealing that they've signed on as publisher of the project. Likewise, EA Games' official The Lord of the Rings Battle for Middle-Earth Website is online. Among its offerings is a new gameplay trailer, in low and high resolutions, though this FTP directory features an even higher resolution version of the trailer from the upcoming RTS game, which has been mirrored on 3D Gamers, Filerush, and Happy Puppy (registration required).

Call of Duty Chats

Activision sends word of a pair of IRC sessions tomorrow to chat with the folks at Infinity Ward about Call of Duty, their new World War II shooter. Here's the schedule of events:

The first chat will be with fan site CallofDuty.info at 19:00 GMT (11 am Pacific US Time/2pm Eastern US Time). This chat will take place on the QuakeNet IRC network (irc.de.quakenet.eu.org) in the #planetcod channel. Fans can get chat details here: www.callofduty.info/artikel.php?id=50

The second chat will be with fan site CallofDuty.org at 4pm Pacific U.S. Time/7pm Eastern U.S. Time (24:00 GMT). This chat will take place on the GamesNet IRC network (irc.GamesNet.net) in the #callofduty.org channel. Details on how to connect can be found here: http://www.callofduty.org/index.php?site=irc

Members of Infinity Ward will be available to chat with fans about Call of Duty. Following the US chat at CallofDuty.org, Infinity Ward will also challenge fans to some multiplayer Call of Duty!

FireStarter Gold - WinXP/2K Only

GSC Game World sends news that FireStarter, their upcoming first-person shooter, is gold, though no release date for the game is specified. Here's the word, which also explains that the game will only work on two flavors of Windows:

We are glad to inform all the fans of tooth-grinding shooters that our arcade FPS FireStarter has gone gold. The game can be expected to hit the stores very soon. Due to technical peculiarities, the game does not run under OS Windows 95, 98 and ME, while supported only by Windows 2000 and XP.

PC kill.switch Plans

A PC version of kill.switch has been officially announced, confirming some early indications sent around by the European publisher of the upcoming port of NAMCO's console action game. The game is "due for release on the PC in early 2004" (along with a PC version of Pac-Man World 2). Here's the description:

kill.switchTM is an innovative military shooter game that emphasizes realistic cover tactics and awesome firepower for the ultimate experience in combat gaming. Featuring the unique Offensive Cover System and utilizing the Blindfire combat mechanic, kill.switch demands the use of modern warfare tactics, forcing players to utilize surrounding environments and quickly adjust on-the-fly through each intense and challenging mission.

Morning Q&As

  • XIII
    GameZone's XIII Q&A chats with Julien Bares about XIII, focusing in particular on how cel shading and other techniques are being used to create the game's distinctive style.
  • Battle For Middle Earth
    HomeLAN Fed's Lord Of The Rings: Battle For Middle Earth Q&A talks with EA's Mike Verdu about the challenges of bringing Tolkien's world to life in an RTS game.
  • MMO Games
    Stratics Central's Industry Chatter asks several MMO developers the following: "The closure of MCO last month marked the first time any major Massive Multiplayer title has been shut down post-launch. Do you feel this is indicative of an over-saturated market?"
  • Flagship
    Today's Flagship Studios Q&A of the day is on Boomtown.

Railroad Tycoon 3 Demos

A pair of demos are now available for Railroad Tycoon 3, offering the chance to check out the train management simulation in either English or German. The 128 MB U.K. demo is available from Take 2 (direct link) and the mirror on 3D Gamers, Boomtown (registration required), FileFront, FilePlanet (registration required), FileShack (registration required), Gamer's Hell, GameTab, Strategy Informer, and Worthplaying, while the U.S. demo is available through the streaming download services of Gigex, mirrored on GameZone and IGN. The likewise 128 MB German version is also available from Take 2 (direct link) or on Boomtown (registration required), Strategy Informer, and Gamer's Hell.

Steam Update

Steam News has word of a new minor update to the content delivery system. According to the accompanying post, the program will be patched on a weekly basis now, with the scheduled updates to take place every Wednesday at 10:00 p.m. EST (7:00 p.m. PST). Thanks Frans.

Morning Previews

Misc. Demos

There's a Civilization III Gold Edition Full Game Trial on IGN allowing three hours of free pay in the strategy game bundle, after which the full game can be activated for $39.99. Also, a Championship Manager 03-04 Demo is now available, offering a time-limited (half season) sample of Eidos' and Sports Interactive's management game. The demo can be found on Boomtown (registration required), Computer Games Online, GameCenter.cz, Gamer's Hell, Loadedinc (registration required), and Worthplaying. Also, a new Live for Speed demo is now available, updated to the same code as the latest version 0.3D patch. The demo is a 41.3 MB download, also available on 3D Gamers, Boomtown (registration required), and Gamer's Hell.

Morning Screenshots

Misc. Patches

Global Star Software (thanks Frans) now offers two versions of a new patch #2 for Mall Tycoon that "should fix most of the video crashes that people seem to be experiencing towards the beginning of game startup." Also, a patch for the German version of Wildlife Park (direct link) is now available (thanks YiYas).

Consolidation

Is Mario through with the GameCube? on CNN Money has all manner of Nintendo speculation, including word that "while a new Mario game for the GameCube is still a possibility, it's definitely not certain" Also, "Microsoft Game Studios and Valve today announced that Counter-Strike™ for Xbox® has gone gold and will arrive on store shelves on November 18 for an estimated retail price of $49.99 (U.S.). Counter-Strike makes its explosive console debut exclusively on Xbox and Xbox Live. Counter-Strike on Xbox will be the most graphically advanced version of the series to date and has a host of Xbox-exclusive console content, including seven never-before-seen multiplayer maps, one new counter-terrorist team, one new terrorist team and downloadable maps via Xbox Live." Likewise, "Kain and Raziel have some great news to pass on to everyone. Legacy of Kain: Defiance has OFFICIALLY GONE GOLD on both the Sony PlayStation 2 and the Microsoft Xbox. Fans can expect a simultaneous release of vampire action with LOK: Defiance hitting store shelves across North America on 11.12."

Morning Tech Bits

Help Wanted

The Volition Website (thanks Frans) now features listings of openings they are looking to fill for character modelers, texture artists, a lead designer, and two programmers.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

I dunno, I was let down by Matrix Revolutions. I was one of those who really enjoyed the second film, so I wasn't daunted by early indications that the third one was getting mixed reviews, but I didn't really enjoy it. Oh well, there are still other finales to look forward to, the third (sixth) Star Wars movie, the third Lord of the Rings movie, Kill Bill Part Two, and of course, the next Legally Blond movie...

Congrats to Jcal at HomeLAN Fed on the occasion of his getting hitched!

R.I.P.: Bobby Hatfield of Righteous Brothers dead at 63. "If you believe in forever, then life is just a one-night stand. If there's a rock and roll heaven, well you know they've got a hell of a band..."

Play Time: Hexxagon. Thanks Ajax.
Stories of the Day: Sad End to Computing's Inventor.
Show asks 'Can YOU Be a Pornstar'?
Science!: Fish 'farts' a form of communication? Thanks Devster.
New treatment works like 'liquid Drano for arteries.' Presumably that's good.
Did early humans use toothpicks?
Media of the Day: The Meatrix.
Follow-up: Drunken sailor may have gone a little overboard. Thanks Klashe.
Voyager says goodbye to Solar System. Next stop: Star Trek TMP.
Thanks Mike Martinez.



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