Archived News:

Friday, Sep 14, 2001

Dominion Wars Patches

As noted in this post on the official forums, new patches for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Dominion Wars are available for download from this support page, bringing the space-based strategy game by Gizmo Games to version 1.04. You can grab either the patch for v1.03 (966 KB) or the one for v1.01 (1.74 MB), and changes in this release include enhancements to single-player missions, a gamma correction option, a variety of multiplayer improvements and fixes, and more. Thanks Patches Scrolls for the tip.

Evening Screenshots

Red Faction Preview

The Red Faction week on PC Game Central rounds off with a brief look at the multiplayer side in Volition's mars-based shooter, as well their first impressions from playing a gold copy of the game. The latter includes both single- and multi-player comments, as well as ten new screenshots.

Duality Preview has posted a preview of Duality, the cyberpunk 3D action RPG by Trilobite Graphics and Phantagram that was first shown at ECTS. As the game is still early in development, the article doesn't feature hands-on impressions or new images, but it offers one of the first overviews of the game's setting, the main characters, and the kind of gameplay you can expect.

Team Factor Interview

Team Factor Interview on Miss Match is a chat with lead programmer Marek Trefny about this team-based multiplayer shooter being developed at Czech company 7FX. Marek talks about the game's premise, their aim for realism, the plan to include bots to play the game offline, the scheduled release period of October-November and their intention to release a playable demo at that time, and the proverbial more.

Battle Realms Movie

There is a new Battle Realms movie trailer on, showing more from the 3D real-time strategy game in the works at Liquid Entertainment. The movie is available in three different formats and corresponding download sizes, and runs for nearly two minutes with character animations and plenty of in-game footage.

Art of Magic Preview

Gamesmania has posted a hands-on preview of Magic and Mayhem: the Art of Magic, looking ahead to the 3D role-playing strategy game that is nearing completion at Climax Entertainment. The article introduces the game's backstory, offers gameplay impressions from a recent beta build including the single-player campaign, 3D engine, combat system and more, and is illustrated with a modest four new screenshots.

Red Faction Final Demo

Volition has released the final playable demo of Red Faction, available for download from Gigex. This Worldwide demo clocks in at 80.7 MB and includes both single- and multi-player functionality, combining the two previous demos. Update: The demo includes new single-player levels from a later part of the game than the previous international demo (story), as well as the same multiplayer levels from the earlier test demos. Here is our local copy with mirrors.

Wolfenstein Test Preview

GameSpot Previews the Return to Castle Wolfenstein multiplayer test demonstrating their inability to resist sneaking a peak at the test version of the game that will be released tomorrow. The preview confirms the speculation that the game's sole level will be the beach invasion level shown at this year's QuakeCon, and offers more tidbits about what to expect, including some aspects of how gameplay will be conducted, a rundown on the player classes the test will include, and their impressions of the graphics. Here's a bit where they run-down the weapons that will be included:
The build of the game we were given access to seems to have all of the weapons that you'll find in the final build of Return to Castle Wolfenstein's multiplayer component. In all, there are 13 weapons that you'll find in the Beach Invasion level, including a combat knife, a Colt Model 1911 pistol, a Luger 9mm pistol, two types of grenades, an MP40 submachine gun, a Thompson submachine gun, a Sten silenced submachine gun, a Mauser sniper rifle, a Panzerfaust rocket launcher, a venom minigun, and a flamethrower. Generally speaking, however, you'll be able to carry only a knife, one pistol, and one two-handed weapon at any given time, and some of the more devastating weapons like the rocket launcher and minigun will significantly hinder your walking and running speed as a means of balancing their power. Additionally, the class of character that you choose to play as will dictate which of these weapons you'll be able to have access to.

AquaNox Q&A

There is a Massive Interview on The State, not because it's so lengthy, but rather because it is with some unnamed member or members of Massive Development discussing progress on AquaNox. The Q&A covers things like the connection between the undersea action in AquaNox and its predecessor, Archimedean Dynasty, the game's inspirations, online play, possibilities of console versions, games as art, and more.

Charitable Game Auction

Raven Software's Kenn Hoekstra updated his .plan with word that Game Rankings will be conducting online auctions for the victims of Tuesday's terrorist attacks. Here's the word:
Gamers and Game Companies Unite! GameRankings is sponsoring a fundraiser to help the victims of Tuesday's tragic events, whereby they are taking games and related materials donated by game companies and auctioning them off on and Ebay. All proceeds to go to the relief fund in the name of gamers everywhere.

Check out for details. I hope everyone can pitch in and try to offer some help in this time of crisis and need...

Star Trek: Armada II Site

After an earlier teaser site, the full-fledged Star Trek: Armada II site has now opened its virtual doors, showcasing this upcoming Trekkie strategy game by Mad Doc Software. The site offers plenty of information on the game's premise and features, along with new screenshots, wallpapers, sound and music excerpts, and more.

Halo Site, Movie, and... Xbox Only?

A new Microsoft Games Halo website is online, dedicated to the upcoming science fiction-themed shooter in the works at Bungie. The site includes a nifty Flash component, along with a new gameplay movie that can be found by visiting the "Cortana Transmission" section of the site. In what may be a cause for concern for PC owners looking forward to the game (and what may inspire an "I told you so" from others), however, the site lists the Xbox as Halo's system requirement, and Halo is not listed among the upcoming PC games on the site. In fact, the game's description on the site concludes by saying: "Coming soon, only on the Xbox video game system." Update: The site has been pulled, and now reverts back to the general Halo product page, as Microsoft has decided to launch it at a later date due to this week's events.


Horizons Vault Interviews Matthew Burroughs talks with the new community manager at Artifact Entertainment about progress on HORIZONS, their upcoming MMORPG. This follows what may be a new trend of continuing to communicate after a self-imposed blackout, as this seems to run contrary to their just-announced "quiet period" (story), even addressing this, saying: "We are very pleased that Horizons Vault has kept their message boards available to the community during our quiet period." The Q&A discusses the crunch period they are entering with development, how close they are sticking to their original design document, how they will compete in the crowded MMORPG market, distribution plans, and more.

More Westwood Previews

Warcraftiii.Net visits Westwood - Yuri's Revenge Event is yet another preview based on that recent press reception at Westwood Studios' Las Vegas offices. The article offers a journal from the trip, including their hands-on impressions of Yuri's Revenge, some brief impressions of Command & Conquer Renegade, and some photos they snapped along the way.

Mac Wolf Test Plans

Graeme Devine updated his .plan with good news for Macintosh owners who may have feared they were being left out of tomorrow's planned Return to Castle Wolfenstein multiplayer test release:
Mac stuff.

I've been playing the WolfMP test natively under Mac OS X. I've also got the OS X installer for WolfMP all wrapped up and standing by.

Morrowind Q&A

Morrowind Summit's Todd Howard Interview features the project leader on The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind answering a bunch of questions submitted by readers of their forums about Bethesda Softworks' upcoming first- and third-person 3D RPG.

More on the Wolfenstein Test

Here is a press release from Activision with some details on tomorrow's planned release of the Wolfenstein demo. Rest assured we are already on track to be one of those faceless "multiple mirror sites across the country." Here's the release:

Compatibility Test Gives Gamers Opportunity to Provide Feedback on Hotly-Anticipated Action Title

MESQUITE, Texas - September 14, 2001 - Get ready to start those downloads. The Return to Castle Wolfenstein multiplayer compatibility test will be available starting Saturday, Sept. 15, from id SoftwareTM and Activision, Inc. (NASADQ: ATVI). The test, which will be available via download at,, and on multiple mirror sites across the country, gives gamers a chance to compete in a special multiplayer map from id Software's Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Players are encouraged to provide feedback to the team on gameplay and compatibility via email at The multiplayer test is not the official demo for Return to Castle Wolfenstein and does not contain the single player portion of the game.

Return to Castle Wolfenstein multiplayer pits players in a team-based Axis versus Allies contest for front-line domination, where multiple player classes must mobilize and work together to accomplish mission objectives. The multiplayer element of Return to Castle Wolfenstein is currently in development by Nerve Software with assistance from id Software and Gray Matter Interactive.

Slated for release later this year, Return to Castle Wolfenstein is a supernatural World War II-themed action title for the PC, where players assume the role of B.J. Blazkowicz, a U.S. super-soldier charged with single-handedly stopping the darkest plans of the Third Reich. Return to Castle Wolfenstein is being developed by Gray Matter Interactive with assistance from id Software.

More on Games and Terrorism

First off, The Call Is Out for IT Experts on Wired (thanks st3v3) puts out the call for technology equipment and services in the NYC area. Meanwhile, HomeLan is reporting that "Electronic Arts is offering to give retailers a new box cover image for Westwood's RTS game Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2 to replace the current image which contains among other things New York's World Trade Center towers burning." Also, Flight simulators could be a problem on MSNBC (thanks tamayo) again raises the question of whether a flight sim could help in the planning of the suicide attacks, similar to the SkyNews story on the subject (story). Meanwhile, Video Game Makers Stay Course, Aim Not to Offend (thanks Gudlyf) is a Reuters story discussing the possibility that the recent attacks in New York and Washington D.C. will inspire changes in some video games. The article makes mention of the changes in EA's Majestic, and, in the portion quoted below, the possibility that this will impact the adventures of Duke Nukem and Solid Snake:
Publisher Arush Entertainment is also evaluating a game in development that features legendary video game character Duke Nukem blasting his way through New York. The game is being reviewed for possible offensive scenes, such as depictions of the now-toppled World Trade Center, the company said.

The game's logo and a clip of highlights were removed from Arush's site because they contained images of the World Trade Center, Chief Executive Jim Perkins told Reuters.

The fate of "Metal Gear Solid X" for Microsoft Corp.'s forthcoming XBox game console was unclear. The game's protagonist, Snake, reportedly wreaks havoc in New York.

Microsoft declined to comment on its plans for the console or its games in light of the week's events, but Nintendo said it was pushing ahead with its own long-awaited release.

"We have spent time talking about whether we need to make any reassessments," said Perrin Kaplan, vice president for corporate communications at Nintendo of America, the U.S. arm of Japan's Nintendo Co. Ltd..

Molly Smith, director of corporate communications for Sony Computer Entertainment of America, said it was important "to be respectful and cautious" and Sony was considering whether adjustments were needed but that no delays were planned yet.

Max Payne Interview

There is a Matias Myllyrinne interview on Tolstiy's Place talking about Remedy Entertainment's recently released third-person action game. Matias discusses the game's development, modelling Max after one of their designers, the game's setting and the background of its protagonist, and a few related topics.

Gothic Preview

A brief Gothic preview is online at Just Adventure, looking ahead to this third-person role-playing adventure by German developers Piranha Bytes. The article examines a recent beta build of the game, and serves up an overview of its premise, impressions from the gameplay, graphics, and dialog, as well as a handful of new screenshots.

Etherlords Interview

EuroGamer has conducted an interview on Etherlords, talking to Nival Interactive's Alex Dmitrevsky about their upcoming 3D turn-based strategy game. Part one of two installments, the article-style interview covers topics like the game's combat and spell systems that are influenced by collectible card games, the visual style which is powered by an updated version of their Evil Islands engine, the differences from other turn-based games, and more.

Wolfenstein Test Correction

We just received word from Activision's Caryn Law that some of the information in the PC Zone story mentioned earlier (story) on the upcoming Wolfenstein Test is inaccurate. Here's what she had to say:
Just wanted to let you know that the PC Zone report on Wolfenstein multiplayer has incorrect information -- they say that it'll be "straight deathmatch", which is incorrect. More information about the test will be out this afternoon. Not sure where they got their info, but it isn't right, so I thought I'd let you know that in case you want to pass that on to your readers.

Kreed Movie

Daily Telefrag has posted a technology trailer of Kreed, the futuristic first-person shooter in development at Russian studio Burut that was initially known as Creed: The World Beyond (story). The movie requires a 29.8 MB download in self-running Bink format, and offers nearly three minutes of footage showing off the features of the engine and some of the weapons in the game.

Empire Earth Movie

As is their way, Belgian site SpelletjesGarnaal has posted a new movie of Empire Earth, taking their beta copy of the 3D real-time strategy game by Stainless Steel Studios for a visual spin. The video preview offers more than eight minutes of in-game footage accompanied by their usual outspoken Flemish commentary, and is available in streaming Windows Media Player format or a 11.0 MB download.

Magic & Mayhem Demo

Virgin Interactive has released a playable demo of Magic & Mayhem: the Art of Magic, allowing you to try out this fantasy 3D role-playing strategy game by Charybdis and Climax Entertainment. The demo weighs in at 80.7 MB and contains two levels from the first Realm of the full game, as well as single- and multi-player skirmish ("battle") modes. Thanks The Art of Magic Battle Fansite for the tip. Update: Mirrors are online at 3D Gamers and FilePlanet (registration required).

New 10Six Client

The official 10Six site offers a new downloadable client for the massively multiplayer RTS by clocking in at 37.6 MB, while the auto-updater brings existing players to the latest version. Coinciding with this release, the game world has been reset, and the changes include 20 new Jitter units, new Jitter statistics, new levels, a new particle F/X system, bug fixes and more.

On the Wolfenstein Test

Wolfenstein Multiplayer Compatibility Test Contents Revealed on PC Zone has some details on what to expect from the Return to Castle Wolfenstein that's planned for release tomorrow (story). First off, they cast the Saturday release as an estimate, saying Activision told them to "estimate the weekend," and go on to say the test will be a 60 MB download, the single deathmatch level will be a "large, outdoor beach level," and say that players will be able to play as either a "Lieutenant, Sergeant, Engineer or Medic character from both the Axis and the Allies." Update: We have subsequently received word from Activision that some of the information in this report is not accurate (story).

Star Wars: Starfighter Q&A

HomeLan's Star Wars: Starfighter Interview is online, talking with Reeve Thompson of LucasArts about the upcoming PC and Xbox version of this Star Wars game that's already available for the PlayStation 2. Topics include a brief description of gameplay, the success of the PS2 version, difficulties encountered in designing and porting the game, possibilities of a sequel, and more. Included with the Q&A are four screenshots from the Xbox version.

Ahriman's Gift Diary's Kohan: Ahriman's Gift Designer Diary #1 has a look at TimeGate's upcoming expansion for Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns. The article, penned by Steve Hemmesh, clarifies the unusual nature of the project, in that it is a prequel to Immortal Sovereigns, rather than a sequel, and that unlike most expansions, this is actually a stand-alone product. Going into the reasoning behind the prequel, Steve continues by explaining some of the new strategies available in Ahriman's Gift, and offering details about a couple of its units, promising more details on the gameplay and development in future installments.

More of Yuri's Revenge Previews Yuri's Revenge with their own account of being part of the huge group that recently went to Vegas to check out the Red Alert 2 expansion pack first-hand. The preview offers another set of impressions of gameplay, along with quotes from some of the folks at Westwood about the add-on. Also, GameSpot's Yuri's Revenge Media Page has a video preview of the game where "Media editor Craig Beers gives a quick overview of the game and talks about some of the new units," all for the cost of a 70-some odd MB download (or several streaming options).

Tech Bits

  • NVmax
    A new NVmax 3.00.50 Beta is now available. Thanks DJ. Tseki.


Following up on a story from yesterday, Resident Evil Exclusively Cubed on FGN has word that "Capcom Japan has announced remakes of its Resident Evil franchise exclusively for GameCube." They've got details on the various versions in the works and screenshots. Meanwhile, Biohazard Cometh! on Cube.IGN.Com has more details on this situation (thanks Schnapple), as does CTW and, while Shocker! Resident Evil Series Leaves PlayStation 2 on PS2.IGN.Com says "Capcom's agreement with Nintendo doesn't include every single Resident Evil game until the end of time. 'It is not an indefinite announcement,' continued the Capcom representative. 'It doesn't mean that this is a permanent fixture. The agreement, to my knowledge, is for six Resident Evil games on GameCube. It's not forever. We're going to see how this goes as we move into the future.'" GameSpot Coverage of the GameCube's Japanese Launch is online. GameSpot's Xbox Halo Preview and GameSpot Previews Munch's Oddysee each offers hands-on impressions. GameSpot's PlayStation2 Half-Life Media Index has a video preview of the PS2 port. Finally, RUST's Interview with Bastiaan Frank concludes their ongoing conversation with the level designers at Digital Extremes, currently at work on Unreal Championship for the Xbox.

New Half-Life Rho-Bot

Beta 1 of version 2.0 of the Rho-Bot for Half-Life is now available. "This new version contains many new items, including Bot Chat based on the ALICE bot. Other changes include a spectator mode, a new bot format... improvement to the navigation..., and more realistic aiming and shooting by the bots."

Help Wanted

Nihilistic Software's Steve "magicman" Thoms updated his .plan with word of an opening there for a level designer, saying: "Nihilistic Software is continuing work on our next project, an action/adventure next generation console title. We'd like to fill out our level design team with one more motivated individual. We're a small company that focuses on one solid title at a time. We believe in hiring creative, hard-working, dedicated, talented people and letting them do their job. The position is a full-time on-site spot in the San Francisco Bay Area. We offer competitive salaries, full benefits, and profit sharing." More details on the job's requirements and where to send your information are in the full .plan update.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

Today has been declared a national day of remembrance here in the US. A few different suggestions are rolling around on how to commemorate this today, including wearing red, white, and blue to driving with your headlights on, and "In a proclamation, Bush asked Americans and places of worship to mark the day with noon memorial services, complete with the ringing of bells at that hour, and to hold evening candlelight remembrance vigils." The most widespread plan I've heard of seems to be to have a moment of silence tonight at 7:00 PM EDT where folks are asked to step outside their homes and light candles. There are apparently things like this happening internationally, as well, for instance Frans tells me that in his homeland of the Netherlands and the entirety of Europe observed a three minute moment of silence at noon (Dutch time) today, which was 6:00 AM EDT.

Turns out my talk of my DSL connection being better yesterday was a tad premature. It seems that the power to my ISP point of presence in Manhattan was being supplied by an emergency generator that overheated yesterday (I imagine dust and debris clogged its cooling vents) and it is offline until further notice. I just wish my modem could stay connected for more than two minutes straight, but even more so, I wish that this was the biggest problem that anyone was having with this situation, rather than one of the most trivial.

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