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Thursday, Sep 06, 2007

  

New Myst Online Episode Nears

GameTap announces a new episode in Myst Online: URU will go live on Saturday:

“Deception” episode includes the launch of new city areas and more political intrigue

GameTap is launching “Deception,” the newest episode in Myst Online: Uru Live this Saturday, September 8th. Players can continue the journey that has already featured all-new puzzles, all-new Ages, and brand new storylines.

Despite the ongoing battles of the Bahro and the threat of the coming war, the D’ni Restoration Council (DRC) continues its efforts to introduce a Guild system into the cavern. Toward that cause, new Guild pubs are introduced, providing Guild members with new areas to congregate and socialize.

Meanwhile, Phil Henderson continues to spread information regarding the Bahro and their conflicts as a former DRC member returns to the cavern. What new information does he have to share and will it lead to salvation or destruction?

Unlike other MMOs, player interactions in Myst Online affect the game in amazing ways. Many of the DRC’s recent decisions regarding the implementation of the Guild system have involved the recommendations of a player Explorer named Reteltee. Additionally, in this episode, players will be able to enjoy a display of the outstanding entries of user-created stained glass art.

Be sure to join in now as this episode serves as a lead-in to the Myst Online: Uru Live Season Finale in October.

To keep up to date with the latest news and art assets for Myst Online: Uru Live and to play the game for free visit, www.mystonline.com.

The Late Show

A new CSI: Hard Evidence movie shows off the upcoming game tie-in with the forensic television series. The "Case 2" trailer is available on 3D Downloads and FileFront. Also, The HistWar: Les Gognards Videos Page offers a new clip from this upcoming historical Napoleonic wargame. Word is: "The video shows extensive large scale infantry, artillery and cavalry combat as well some great views of the 3D Strategic Overview map mode." The movie is mirrored on 3D Downloads, FileFront, and Gamer's Hell.

Clive Barker's Jericho Q&As

The Clive Barker's Jericho Q&A on IGN hears from Joe Falke, as the lead designer on Mercury Steam's upcoming horror-themed shooter spills some beans about what to expect from the game. Likewise, Cris Velasco on Composing His “Dream Project” – Clive Barker’s Jericho on GameZone discusses the game's music with the man who created it.

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Legal Briefs

Evening Safety Dance

etc., etc.

Into the Black

ETQW Demo Details

The Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars Website now offers details on the demo for Splash Damage's now-gold teamplay shooter. The demo is still expected on Monday, with an IRC release party planned to surround the release. The story also reflects system requirements, and describes its content. Word is:

The Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars PC Demo comes with the final version of Valley, one of the larger battlegrounds in the game. Set in Yosemite, California, Valley has the Global Defense Force on the attack, as they attempt to foil a Strogg contamination plot centering on a water treatment facility. Valley features a great blend of close quarters infantry action, vehicle battles and aircraft dogfights, and the varied terrain combining mountains, waterways, tunnels and industrial structures allows for many different playing styles. To top it all off, there's a multitude of optional side missions and plenty of opportunities to try out the various defense turrets, artillery and radar deployables - Valley is a prime example of the frantic and diverse action you'll find in Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars.

If you want to learn more about Valley, read our Valley Map Guide for a full run-down of the team objectives, secondary missions and a host of tactical tips for getting the most out of the various GDF and Strogg weapons, items, deployables and vehicles.

For those who already played Valley in the Public Beta, the map has undergone further balance improvements based on your feedback. Most notably, the GDF can now capture the Contaminator Forward Spawn before the Shield Generator is hacked, which really cranks up the action around that objective. On top of that, the Demo contains the final XP and weapon balance, player movement, and vehicle handling.

The Demo also features ETQW's bots, so you can explore the map and gameplay in single player mode with computer-controlled opponents, or use the bots to fill up empty slots on multiplayer servers. We are also including the standalone server as well as the server launcher tool, so you can host your own online and LAN games.

F.E.A.R. Sequel Titled

This press release announces Project Origin as the title for the F.E.A.R. sequel in the works at F.E.A.R. developer Monolith, not to be confused with F.E.A.R.: Perseus Mandate, which is the actual sequel (expansion, actually) to the first-person shooter. Here's word on the unofficial sequel:

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment will publish Project Origin, the videogame sequel to the hit game F.E.A.R., developed by Monolith Productions for the Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and Games for Windows®. The name was chosen by the fans, as they submitted entries and then voted for the winning submission.

“Project Origin is the name we can stand behind since it was picked by the gaming community, and this game marks a new beginning for the franchise,” says Samantha Ryan, Senior Vice President, Production and Development, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “With the consoles and the PC, we’re dedicated to add a new game dynamic to the universe and build upon what the players loved about the original game.”

“Our team really enjoyed letting the fans drive the naming process, and we are excited to expand upon the work we began in the original game and establish Project Origin as a premier gaming franchise in its own right,” said Troy Skinner, Producer, Monolith Productions.

The sequel will continue the original game’s spine-tingling supernatural suspense story of an escalating paranormal crisis that threatens to destroy a major American city. At the center of the calamity is the mysterious Alma, whose rage against those who wronged her triggered a chain of events that have spiraled completely out of control. Now that she has free reign, the consequences will be unimaginable.

Gold - Tabula Rasa

NCsoft announces Tabula Rasa, or rather Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa, is gold, and the science fiction MMORPG will offer its namesake clean slate on October 16 for preorder customers, and October 19 for everyone else:

NCsoft Announces Launch Date for Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa

Gaming legend's widely anticipated online space adventure to launch October 19th

Thursday 6th September/...NCsoft® Europe, the world’s leading developer and publisher of online computer games, announced today that Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa® has reached gold master status and will launch commercial service in Europe and North America on October 19, 2007. Pre-order customers will begin their three-day head start on October 16.

One of the most anticipated PC games of the year, Tabula Rasa is gaming legend Richard Garriott’s newest title, which combines a vast, persistent game world and rich storyline with fast paced action. Set in a near-future science fiction storyline, players create characters that must fight to save humanity against hostile alien enemies while trying to gain control of the universe. The game introduces several innovative elements to massively multiplayer online (MMO) games, including a Character Cloning System™ that allows players to explore different character classes without having to create a new character, and dynamic battlefields where players experience the frenetic action of combat in an ongoing war.

“It has been a heck of a journey,” said Richard Garriott, the game’s Executive Producer. “The fact that we are getting ready for the final stretch towards launch feels great, but it is also just the beginning. I think we’ve managed to do something truly unique and I hope that the gaming community likes it as much as we do. Now, I am looking forward to a really fun ‘end of beta event’ for our incredible testers, and focusing development on new planets and innovations for future expansions of Tabula Rasa.”

The standard edition box of Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa will be available at major retailers at an expected retail price of £29.99 / €44.99 and at the PlayNC® store (https://secure.plaync.com/cgi-bin/Store.pl?language=en-gb). Customers will be able to purchase the recently announced Limited Collector’s Edition box from major retailers at an expected retail price of £49.99 / €69.99. Both products include the first month of online game play. After the first month, players will be charged a monthly subscription fee of £8.99 / €12.99. The game is rated 16+ by PEGI (www.pegi.info).

For more information about Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa go to http://www.rgtr.com.

Lost Empire: Immortals Announced

Paradox Interactive announces plans to publish Lost Empire: Immortals, a science fiction 4X space game in the works at Pollux Gamelabs. Pollux has already released a 4X game called Lost Empire, but it is not clear if this is a sequel, a standalone expansion, or a remake. Here's word:

New York, USA (September 6, 2007) – Paradox Interactive announced today that the company has signed the challenging 4X strategy game with a fresh take on the genre - Lost Empire: Immortals.

http://www.paradoxplaza.com/images/PRbilder/LEI/crystals_spirit_in_the_mist.jpg
http://www.paradoxplaza.com/images/PRbilder/LEI/horde_citylife_good_progress1.jpg

Set in space, Lost Empire: Immortals features 6 playable races, each with their own compelling storyline who battle for domination of a vast empire. Players will be able to research technologies from a multilevel science tree as well as use the leaders of their empire as diplomats, space engineers, archeologist and much more

"Pollux Gamelabs have impressed us immensely in the past, and we are confident that this title will be well received in the strategy gaming community worldwide", said Fredrik Wester, Executive Vice President.

"Paradox has vast experience in doing strategy games, as well as great knowledge of the strategy game market. Their track record as well as being trustworthy makes them ideal publishing partner for Pollux and our upcoming title Lost Empire: Immortals", said Søren Bisgaard, CEO Pollux Gamelabs. "This will be our best work yet and we look forward to reaching a global market together with Paradox".

Lost Empire: Immortals for the PC Platform is scheduled for a release during Q1, 2008 and will retail for $29.99/€29.99.

Gold - Death to Spies

Break out your license to kill, as 1C Company announces Death to Spies is gold, and the Smershy stealth/action game is due in stores "shortly" (you know how secretive spies are). Word is:

MOSCOW, Russia, September 6, 2007 - Leading Eastern and Central European publisher 1C Company and Haggard Games are proud to announce Death To Spies has gone gold. Death To Spies is an intense stealth-action title based on the events of World War II. Death to Spies is being distributed by Atari, Inc. in the US and will be available from all major retailers shortly.

Smersh is Russian for "Death to Spies" and was the name of a set of counterintelligence departments in the Soviet Union formed during World War II. Their mission was to secure the rear of the active Red Army by arresting traitors, deserters, spies and criminals, as well as perform intelligence operations including stealing important documents, eliminating different enemy officers or high-ranking officials, kidnapping and sabotage. During the war these agents became the main force combating the German intelligence service. Game missions are based on historical events and operations executed by the Russian military intelligence and counterintelligence during the war.

Death to Spies is a third-person stealth-action game which immerses the player into the atmosphere of World War II military intelligence operations. The player is given complete freedom to choose the way a mission is completed as they battle and sneak through real-life indoor and outdoor locations. A variety of different spy skills are at the player's disposal such as sneaking, hiding, carrying dead bodies, stealing enemy uniforms, looking through keyholes, throwing knives, sniping, picking locks, setting traps and many others. The player has access to enemy vehicles including cars and motorcycles as well as authentic weapons of World War II. The advanced graphics and physics engine brings the war to life as agents go about their assignments.

Belief & Betrayal Delay

Lighthouse Interactive announces a delay for Belief & Betrayal, saying the adventure game is now due in first quarter of next year, rather than by the end of this year:

Haarlem, The Netherlands -- Sep 06, 2007 -- Leading Publisher Lighthouse Interactive and dtp entertainment AG today announced that Belief & Betrayal, their enthralling Adventure game involving faith and superstition; power and intrigue; truth and conspiracy, has a new release date in North America, United Kingdom, Scandinavia and Benelux territories. Originally scheduled to release later this year for Windows® PC CD-ROM, both parties have decided it is in the best interest of the fans and the game to release the game in Q1 2008.

"Since Belief & Betrayal is one of the Top 10 most highly anticipated Adventure games, it is very important for us to make sure we satisfy those expectations," said Steve Wall, Vice President of Lighthouse Interactive. "The game has already been released to rave reviews and retail success in France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and we want to ensure Belief & Betrayal receives the same attention with the English version in North America and other English speaking territories."

New America's Army Overmatch

The America's Army Website offers a new version 2.8.2 of America's Army Overmatch, the freeware Unreal-engine military shooter created by the US Army. The new version offers a pair of new missions, a new Virtual Army Experience, Voice Activated Control, Field Dressing, and an Explore Map mode.

Site Seeing

A new AMD Game Website is now online, as a gaming-centric home base to the CPU manufacturer's world. The site apparently offers access to a time machine, as there are articles there dating back several months and forward into the future (actually these seem to be the release dates for the games in question).

Morning Q&As - Crysis "10-20 Hours"

  • Crysis
    Crysis Spinning The Story Further on SPOnG.com is a Q&A with Alex Werner about Crytek's upcoming shooter (thanks inCrysis). Along the way he offers a ballpark figure on how long the game will take to complete: "The single player campaign runs, depending on your game style, at about 10 hours if you play it once through. If you want to see everything you could double that time easily. And if you play with stealth mainly it may take 15-20 hours, it’s really up to you! But minimum - about 10 hours."
  • EVE Online
    Techgage's Interview with CCP Games is a conversation conducted at the Austin GDC 07 with CCP's Hjalti Daniellson and Valerie Massey about EVE Online. The Q&A focuses on the ever-evolving back story for the science fiction MMORPG.

Morning Previews

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Legal Briefs

Morning Safety Dance

Thursday Game Reviews

Thursday Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Preparations are complete here at the BlueTower for an imminent visit, as our dear friend and former colleague Frans is winging his way towards the States even as I type these words. It's not unusual for us to have houseguests, but it is unusual when they are not children or dogs, but we'll do our best to adapt. Frans will be here a few days to enjoy some of the sights of nearby New York City, and we're looking forward to getting to hang out and catch up. In fact I'm looking forward to every aspect of this visit except, of course, for the pick-up and drop-off at the airport.

R.I.P.: Italian tenor Pavarotti dies at 71.

Traveling Links! Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Story: NBA Basketball Referees as Single Points of Failure.
Mama moose bashes through woman's door.
Images: Journal of Myst.
Media: Skateboarding Dog. On two legs (not counting the one pointed at the camera)..
Follow-up: As dust storms ease, Mars rovers return to exploration.
Teh Funny: ActionTrip Comic Strip: The Sims 2 Bon Voyage.
Dilbert.



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