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Wednesday, Oct 08, 2008

  

New World in Conflict Maps

The Massgate.net Website now offers the promised (story) pair of new user-created maps for World in Conflict, Massive Entertainment's real-time strategy game. The new maps will download automatically upon logging into Massgate, or they can be grabbed manually from their download section. Word is: "Time to roll out! Two new maps from the official World in Conflict map contest are now finally released! EvilViking’s Paradise map is a domination map with some stunning tropical eye candy, including custom-made palm trees! Luva, on the other hand, charmed the team with a miniature Australia in autumn colors, which should match the colors of the season."

Need for Speed: Undercover Movie

A new movie from Need for Speed: Undercover shows off the newly announced cops and robbers multiplayer mode in the Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 editions of the street racing sequel. Here's a description of the new game mode: "Robbers must pick up the package and take it to the drop-off point while the cops attempt to prevent the delivery. Each game consists of two rounds giving the players the chance to play as cops and robbers. Up to eight players will also be able to prove their driving prowess in sprint and circuit multiplayer race modes." The movie can be found on FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and MyGameTrailers.

Tomb Raider: Underworld Movie

A new diary movie from Tomb Raider: Underworld is now available. Word is: "In the third Beneath The Surface video, entitled ‘What Could Lara Do?’, Creative Director Eric Lindstrom, Lead Animator Primo Navidad and Lead Character Artist Kam Yu discuss how they crafted Lara into a more credible and believable character allowing her to do all the things you would expect of a strong, fearless, independent adventurer. Motion captured for the first time and featuring over 2,000 beautifully fluid animations, watch Lara as she now shoots at two different targets simultaneously, vaults off enemies and shoots, balances along narrow beams and poles, takes out a gun to switch hands and shoots when clinging to a pillar or on a ledge and pushes foliage out of the way." The clip can be found on ActionTrip, AtomicGamer, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and MyGameTrailers.

Strong Bad Movie

Two new movies from Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People promote Baddest of the Bands, the upcoming third installment in the episodic webcomic-based game. There is a trailer on AtomicGamer, FileFront, and Games32; and a gameplay movie on AtomicGamer, FileFront, and Games32.

Rush for Berlin Patches

Two new patches for Rush for Berlin are now available, updating this alternate-history World War II RTS game to version 1.25. There is an international patch, available on AtomicGamer, FileFront, and Gamer's Hell; and there is a German patch, which can be found on AtomicGamer, FileFront, and Gamer's Hell.

Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

Evening Consolidation

Evening Tech Bits

Mobilization

Metaverse

Safety Dance

Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Thanks Mike Martinez.

Into the Black

Okay, thanks once again to Frans for more coolness in the forums, where there's now a "code" view that allows the posting of comments that contain symbols the forum would normally translate into smilies, and a preview mode for both creating and editing forum posts. Huzzah!

Wrath of the Lich King Specs

The World of Warcraft Forums offers an updated set of system requirements covering the upcoming Wrath of the Lich King expansion for Blizzard's MMORPG. The minimum PC specs include an Intel Pentium 4 1.3 GHz or AMD Athlon XP 1500+, 512 MB of RAM (1GB for Vista), and a 3D graphics processor with Hardware Transform and Lighting with 32 MB VRAM "Such as an ATI Radeon 7200 or NVIDIA GeForce 2 class card or better." The recommended specs include a dual-core processor "such as the Intel Pentium D or AMD Athlon 64 X2," 1 GB of RAM (2GB for Vista), and a 3D graphics processor with Vertex and Pixel Shader capability with 128 MB VRAM "Such as an ATI Radeon X1600 or NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT class card or better." They also have specs for Macintosh systems, which Massively, our source for this tidbit, points out represent a greater jump from the Burning Crusade specs for the Mac compared with the change in PC specs from the last expansion to this one.

Gatheryn Revealed

The World of Gatheryn Website heralds the coming of this Victorian-themed MMO adventure game from MindFuse Games that may leave players mysty-eyed with its lush visuals and steam-powered sensibilities. The site offers information and screenshots, but no release date is suggested at this time. Here's a bit of the description: "Come, journey to Gatheryn, a massive multi-player world of adventure, mystery and romance. Make your way through an ever expanding world, making new friends and enemies as you work through interactive games and puzzles, new adventures appearing with each successful solution. You can hop aboard the nearest air ship to reach a myriad of destinations or just to satisfy the explorer inside you." Thanks Gamer's Hell.

Sierra Server Closures Planned

Sierra Community Forums have news that Sierra is planning on closing multiplayer servers for 21 different games as of November 1 of this year. There's no indication if this has to do with the Activision Blizzard merger or if this is normal end-of-life for supporting these games, but there are some noteworthy titles on this list (thanks Eurogamer). Here's the list of server on death row:

1. Alien vs Predator 2
2. Arcanum
3. Caesar IV
4. Dark Reign 2
5. Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom
6. Empire Earth
7. Empire Earth 2
8. Empire Earth: Age of Conquest
9. Ground Control
10. Ground Control2
11. Homeworld
12. Homeworld: Cataclysm
13. Nolf2
14. Red Baron
15. Sanity
16. Star Trek: Armada
17. SWAT3: EE
18. SWAT3: GOTY
19. The Incredible Machine
20. Tribes2
21. Vampire

Xbox 360 Blu-Ray Rumors Resurface

The rumor of the day is on X-bit labs where they have revived speculation that a Blu-Ray add-on is in the works for the Xbox 360, which has been denied several times in the past by Microsoft. They say "market sources" tell them a joint venture between Samsung and Toshiba called Storage Technology Corp has been contracted to create an external Blu-Ray drive, saying the price point for such a product is rumored to be in the range of $100.00-$150.00. They also have an informative recap of the background of the MS/HD-DVD versus Sony/Blu-Ray divide and speculation about when such a product might be unveiled.

Splinter Cell: Double Agent Patch

A new patch is now available for Splinter Cell: Double Agent, updating the stealthy Tom Clancy action game to version 1.02a. The download is posted on FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and Strategy Informer.

Free Game - Rise and Fall: Civilizations at War

Midway has released Rise and Fall: Civilizations at War for free, offering this real-time strategy game designed and partly developed by Stainless Steel Studios, though it was completed by Midway after Stainless Steel closed down during the game's production. The game offers some first- an third-person combat with hero units, in addition to its RTS gameplay. The 2.44 GB download is available on ComputerGames.ro and Gamer's Hell.

Ubisoft: EndWar PC Impacted by Piracy

Videogaming247 quotes Ubisoft Shanghai creative director Michael de Plater on how piracy is a reason Tom Clancy's EndWar is appearing on consoles first, with plans for a PC edition remaining vague (story). He says this of a PC version of the voice-controlled RTS game: "To be honest, if PC wasn’t pirated to hell and back, there’d probably be a PC version coming out the same day as the other two," also saying: "You know, the level of piracy that you get with the PC just cannibalizes the others, because people just steal that version." He goes on to agree with dire predictions about the impact of piracy on PC gaming: "But at the moment, if you release the PC version, essentially what you’re doing is letting people have a free version that they rip off instead of a purchased version. Piracy’s basically killing PC."

Tim Cain on Fallout 3

What Tim Cain Thinks of Fallout 3 on Edge Online talks with the programmer and designer on the original Fallout, who was just promoted to Design Director at startup (story) Carbine Studios, about Bethesda's imminent Fallout 3. He discusses his concerns about the direction of newer versions, which seem even more appropriate to plans for a Fallout MMOG (story), saying: "The biggest problem I have with expanding the game is that the original games were designed to make you feel like you were one of the last people left on Earth. And with Fallout 3 and the online version, I'm curious about how they'll handle making the game not feel too crowded--making it feel like there's not much life left out there after the war." Lest anyone take this as hating on the new game, he points out he is still eagerly anticipating Fallout 3: "It's not necessarily the direction I would've gone, but I can tell you I have my Fallout 3 pre-ordered. I want my life-sized Pip-Boy. I'm going to be playing that at the end of the month."

Universal Combat Collectors’ Edition Patch

A new patch for Universal Combat Collectors’ Edition is now available to update this space combat game fro 3000AD to version 1.00.09. The version control file outlines what's new, including the use of the latest DirectX, which requires use of the August DirectX runtime distribution, which is available on this page.

Morning Consolidation

New World in Conflict Maps Soon

Massgate.net has word to expect another pair of World in Conflict maps soon, saying Paradise and Ozzault, another pair of winning entries in their recent mapping contest for the real-time strategy game, "are up for an official release very soon."

Saint's Row 2 Interview

The Saint's Row 2 Interview on Strategy Informer hears from Greg Donovan about Saints Row 2, Volition's imminent open-word action sequel. A variety of topics are covered, including the game's co-op support: "Co-op as it’s been the hardest but most rewarding element of the game. Relatively early on we figured out we needed to do something big and co-op was obviously a new and up and coming thing, that in open-world games hadn’t been done until that point. So, we had to learn a lot about the technology, about design as well because it’s paving new ground across the board. And I think compared to other co-op games, what we’ve done is above and beyond what other games have done and so I’m really proud of it. It was a difficult road but I’m really glad we did it and it turned out great." On a related note, Kotaku has a list of songs on the game's soundtrack.

Op Ed

Morning Screenshots

Competitions

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

A couple more tweaks can be found in the forums, once again thanks to Frans. Posting options have been clarified, they can now be seen while editing a post, and editing a post multiple times will not result in multiple "edited" tags.

Saved by the Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Bloons Tower Defense 3.
Meat Boy. Thanks Jay is Games.
Story: Penguins ride air force jet to South Atlantic. Thanks brother19.
Science: Europe follows fusion twin track.
Telescope detects odd-ball object.
'Deepest ever' living fish filmed.
Images: Then and Now- How Your Favorite Classics Evolved. Thanks Digg.
Oh yeah! Thanks Digg.
Mercury Surface. Thanks Jim.
Media: Needle Sized Art.
Take on Me- Literal Video Version.
Follow-ups: Mercury, up close and personal- Photos revealed.



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