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Monday, Dec 20, 2004

  

CoD & United Offensive Linux Servers

Updated Linux servers for Call of Duty as well as the United Offensive add-on for the World War II first-person shooter are now available. The patch to update CoD: United Offensive server and the full version of the server can be found on this page, and mirrored on 3D Gamers and Worthplaying. The Call of Duty Linux server and server update patches are available on this page, and mirrored on 3D Gamers and Worthplaying.

Source SDK Update

Steam News has the skinny on the release of an updated version of the Source SDK (thanks Frans). The update outlines what's new and different, while this page has even more extensive detail on the release.

RoN: Thrones & Patriots Beta Patch

Big Huge Game now offers an open beta of Patch 2 for the Thrones & Patriots expansion for Rise of Nations, their epic real-time strategy game (thanks Frans) . Here's the deal: "This patch includes updates to our versioning system that should take care of the out of sync issues that occur when people with cracked versions of our game try to join legitimate games. The patch also includes balance changes to many nations. - Players using the Patch 2 beta will not be able to play games with those using the Patch 1 version of the game. If you want to continue to play Patch 1 games during the beta test, you can do so by backing up your RoN directory, creating two versions of the game on your computer, before following the installation steps below."

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

Strike Fighters Bonus Plane

Third Wire has released a US Navy-Marines A-4F Skyhawk Add-on for Strike Fighters (thanks Frans). Word is: "This add-on contains all the components necessary to play the "F" model Skyhawk used by the US Navy and US Marine Corps. It includes new external 3d model, 3d virtual cockpit model, hangar screen, a new loading screen, and two single mission files." Napalm sold separately.

Evening Consolidation

Evening Tech Bits

Half-Life 2 Demo

The promised demo version of Half-Life 2 is now available as a hefty 751 MB download. The demo premiered on the ATI website, and mirrors can now be found on 3D Downloads, 3D Gamers, 4Players.de, ActionTrip, AusGamers, Boomtown (registration required), Computer Games, FileFront, Filerush (torrent), FileShack (registration required), Fragland.net, Gameguru Mania, Gamer's Hell, GameSpot DLX (registration required), and Worthplaying.

Half-Life 2 Demo Today

Steam News has word on plans to release a playable demo of Half-Life 2 today:

A free demo of Half-Life 2 will be released later today. Featuring some of the amazing digital actors and physical gameplay that has made Half-Life 2 the leading contender for Game of the Year 2004, the demo takes players through some of the early levels of the game and later transports them to the area of the game known as Ravenholm. The demo will debut on ATI.com, and requires a Steam account to install.

German Blitzkrieg Rolling Thunder Demo

A German demo is now available for Blitzkrieg: Rolling Thunder, the stand-alone expansion for Nival Interactive's World War II strategy game. The German Blitzkrieg Website lists mirrors of the 501 MB download, but the site, like the demo, is in German (Blitzkrieg, for instance, is written as Blitzkrieg).

EA & Ubisoft

EA Invests in UbiSoft Entertainment (thanks Frans) has the unexpected announcement that Electronic Arts has acquired just under 20% of Ubisoft:

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 20, 2004--Electronic Arts today announced an investment in international game developer and publisher UbiSoft Entertainment, headquartered in Rennes, France. The investment represents approximately 19.9 percent interest in the company -- shares purchased as a block from Talpa Beheer B.V. to be completed upon obtaining antitrust clearance from the U.S. government. Financial terms were not disclosed.

EA Re-rolls DICE Deal

EA Holding AB Changes Condition of Its Offer to the Shareholders of Digital Illusions (thanks Frans) has what seems to be a follow-up on reports that EA's bid to acquire Swedish developer Digital Illusions CE (DICE) would be rejected (story). The story reports the acceptance period for the original offer has expired without EA getting their targeted percentage of the outstanding DICE stock, resulting in a change to the offer:

As a result, the offer has not yet been accepted to such an extent that EA has become the owner of more than 90% of the total number of shares representing more than 90 percent of the votes in DICE, which was a condition for the implementation for the offer.

EA today changes the condition above and conditions the offer upon an acceptance level through which EA would become the owner of more than 50% of the total number of shares representing more than 50% of the capital and votes in DICE after dilution upon exercise of employee warrants outstanding under the option program launched in 2002. As a consequence of this, the acceptance period is extended to January 20, 2005.

Age of Pirates Revealed

Age of Pirates Revealed on Pirates Ahoy! reveals that the upcoming pirate-themed game from Akella is a project called Age of Pirates, rather than Sea Dogs 2 as was speculated (story). Included are some details on the project, as well as a Q&A with Akella's Renat Nezametdinov discussing the open-ended nature of the project:

Completely open ended. The player creates his own story himself as he starts the game. No prescripted story, no plot bounds - just do what you want. AOP game world is a complex system that lives by itself and reacts on player actions. Player still has a goal to achieve (gather all colonies under his hand) but there are many ways to reach it. AOP is the game where old Greek saying "The man can't enter the same river twice" becomes true. Player will never be able to repeat his previous game even if he tries.

Game Movies

A new Battlefield 2 movie is now available, showing off a bunch of gameplay from DICE's upcoming military shooter. The 16 minute clip can be found on BF-News, and mirrored on Total Battlefield 2. Also, a new Boiling Point: Road to Hell movie is now available, showing off Deep Shadows' upcoming first-person shooter/RPG formerly known as Xenus in two different resolutions. The clips can be found on 3D Gamers and Worthplaying.

Cross Rally Championship Demo

An updated version 1.1.0 of the Cross Rally Championship demo is now available, allowing a further test drive of the racing sim in the works at Invictus. The updated version of the demo offers improved controls, new force feedback, and camera tweaks. The 91 MB download is available on 3D Gamers, Boomtown (registration required), Gamer's Hell, and JustGamers

Morning Q&As

  • Cold Fear
    The Cold Fear Q&A on Worthplaying chats with DarkWorks' Guillaume Gouraud and Antoine Villette about their upcoming cross-platform action game: "Tom Hansen is a US Coast Guard crewman stationed in Alaska. He lost his father at sea when he was very young, which led him to join the Coast Guard. However, he’s haunted by his own past, a drug interdiction operation that went horribly wrong. Now he wants nothing more to do with being a hero, and he’s content to just do his job and keep his head down. Fate isn’t going to let him get away with that, though."
  • Elite Warriors: Vietnam
    HomeLAN Fed's Elite Warriors: Vietnam Q&A talks with Steve Ellis from nFusion Interactive about their upcoming military shooter: "The fact that this is the first game about SOG that has been developed with the assistance of a three-tour SOG recon team leader (Maj. Plaster). Maj. Plaster's input on weapons, equipment and mission design add a great deal to making the gameplay superior to other Vietnam shooter titles out there. Also, the game offers a unique combination of first-person shooter, RPG and RTS elements."
  • Year-End
    HomeLAN Fed's Games In 2004-2005 Q&A with Geoff Thomas continues this year-end series by chatting with Geoff Thomas of Relic Entertainment.

Stalingrad Euro Deal

Black Bean Games announces a pan-European publishing deal for Stalingrad, DTF Games' Blitzkrieg-engine RTS game (thanks Frans). Word is: "'Stalingrad' will be released on PC CD.Rom in March 2005, in English, German, French, Spanish & Italian and will feature extra content both on the CD and in the accompanying booklet."

Morning Consolidation

Morning Tech Bits

Thanks Mike Martinez.

The Mod Squads

A new Urban Terror Developer Diary is online with the latest plans on the next version of this Quake III Arena modification. Thanks ASLayerAODsk.

Monday Game Reviews

Monday Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

Well we have the whole wonderland thing going on out there today... snow on the ground, temps in the single digits, winds gusting to 40 MPH... and winter begins tomorrow, so happy autumn. Time to bust out the shovel and the sled... or at least the hot cocoa.

Play Time: Pump Up The Movie. Thanks jenso.
Links of the Day: Hypercube² Part 1.
Greg's USB Xmas lights mod.
Stories of the Day: Kia Spectra rates Poor in crash test. Thanks Jim. A Kia may get you KIA.
Images of the Day: Gordon's Feet.
Media of the Day: Lego Thriller.
Thanks Mike Martinez and Ant.



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