Archived News:

Friday, Mar 28, 2003

TRIBES 3? has posted a short quote from Sierra's Adam Kahn saying simply: "We will be announcing the next Tribes game on April 24th at a press event (for all of Vivendi Universal Games) in Los Angeles." So consider that a pre-announcement or an announcement announcement.

Enter the Matrix Trailer

The Enter the Matrix Website now offers a new gameplay trailer from the upcoming Matrix movie tie-in. The movie is available in three sizes, small 320x162 12 MB, medium 480x244 - 32 MB, or large 640x326 - 55 MB (or tall, grande, and venti, for you Starbucks fans). The trailers, which are all in QuickTime format, can be found on the "What is the Matrix" movie website as well.

New NWN Linux Client

A new Neverwinter Nights Linux Client Public Beta 3 is now available. This update fixes an OpenGL bug, fixes a crash when putting gold in a container, and fixes middle mouse button camera control. Having missed this release (again), the promised server browsing and chat are no longer being promised for the next release, but rather in an upcoming release.

Airport Tycoon 2 Demo

A demo version of Airport Tycoon 2 is now available, offering a sampling of this management simulation. The demo is 59 MB, and is provided via the streaming download services of Gigex.

Dear Diaries

The Dragon Empires Website written by Rob Adams, the lore writer on Codemasters' MMORPG, discussing the lore in the game. Also, Dunces with Wolves on The Elder Scrolls Website is a team diary written by Mark Nelson, designer on the upcoming Bloodmoon expansion for Morrowind. He outlines the early discussions about the direction of the project, and goes into some of the balance issues involved in centering the plot around werewolves. Here's a bit on that:
We also wanted to stress that being a werewolf is a curse, not a blessing. The wolf form is powerful, so there had to be a drawback to balance out gameplay. Since power in Morrowind is mostly item-based, the decision was made to lock the player out from his inventory while a werewolf. Anyone playing as a werewolf will have to rely on the skills and abilities provided in order to survive.

Afternoon Q&As

Afternoon Screenshots

Wolverine's Revenge Website

Heads up true believers, as Activision sends word that the official Wolverine's Revenge Website has launched, dedicated to the upcoming X-Man game that's either called X-Men: Wolverine's Revenge or the (movie tie-in) X2: Wolverine's Revenge depending on which part of the site you read (the former title is older but the later title seems to conflict with Egosoft's upcoming X² - The Threat). The Flash heavy site offers movies, screenshots, last year's press release announcing the game, a non-working pre-order link, and more.

On Commandos 3

Commandos 3: Destination Berlin is a new press release from Eidos Interactive about the upcoming installment in Spanish developer Pyro Studios' World War II strategy game series, revealing, among other things, the subtitle that follows the title's inevitable colon. The release is accompanied by four new screenshots from the game, which is expected this summer, and here is a bit that describes how Commandos 3 will differ from its predecessors: "The structure of the game has been completely revamped. Commandos 3: Destination Berlin features more detailed, smaller maps providing more action orientated missions that form part of an overall campaign. A strong narrative drives the story via cinematic briefing screens. The gameplay will also incorporate completely new gaming situations including ambushes, assaults, level bosses as well as classic Commandos gameplay. Commandos 3: Destination Berlin will be more accessible than previous games in the series."

Play for Cash

Ultimate Arena is a newly launched game service run by Dennis "Thresh" Fong offering the chance to play online games for cash prizes. The site is pretty spare of details about the service, as it directs you straight to a sign-in page, but here is a bit from the announcement outlining how this works:
Players fund their accounts with a credit card or PayPal, select a supported game, choose desired game settings, and pay a tournament entry fee. The player or team that wins the match collects the prize money. Players can compete as individuals or in teams of a chosen size. Cash prizes for each tournament are determined by the number of players in the tournament and the tournaments entry fee. Ultimate Arena has implemented a wide variety of player-friendly features and functions designed to optimize the experience for new and veteran players alike, such as a simple to use interface, a Refer-A-Friend bonus program, and an innovative anti-cheating approach.

Aces WWI Revealed (Again)

CITY interactive announces Aces WW I - working title is the press release with word that this Polish publisher/developer is planning on bringing their World War I flying game to the U.S. 3D Gamers, GameSpot, and GameZone all show that a game with this name was actually released here late last year by Tri-Synergy (in conjunction with CITY founder Lemon Interactive), but CITY has confirmed for us that this is a new game. Word in the announcement is: "Development has started last year and CITY is planning to have the title ready for sale at Q3 2003." Accompanying this announcement are a couple of screenshots along with the first box shot we can recall ever seeing with a working title, and to confirm the distinction from the previous Aces WWI, the new shots look considerably nicer than the older ones (there are also two more new screenshots on the game's official website). According to the announcement, they are hopeful this will open a new genre of "the flying sim action adventure," saying: "City wants to interest not only flying sim fans but to target all action game fans and hopes to receive enthusiastic response from special interest press all around the world." Like yesterday's Sea Dogs II/Pirates of the Caribbean renaming situation (story), clarifying the details on this required some legwork, aided considerably by our old pal Frans.

Blitzkrieg MP Map Pack

As Blitzkrieg storms into stores in Germany, the German Blitzkrieg Website is now offering downloads of a free map pack for the World War II real-time strategy game. The pack offers 12 multiplayer maps, and is available from this Gamesweb Page as a 17 MB download.

Mistmare Demo Patch

Hot on the heels of the release of yesterday's updated Mistmare demo, the Mistmare Website is now offering a new version 1.301 beta demo patch for this alternate-history adventure/RPG. They describe this as the "First version of the demo with improved keyboard controls" after yesterday's version (story) that added those now-improved controls. There's also a new version of the full demo for download, along with word to expect more updates going forward: "The movability is much better, you may (experience) some problems in Greece. We are still working on (path finding) files, so more (improvements) still to come."

IG3 = Galaxy Andromeda

CDV Software announces a name change for Mithis' upcoming real-time strategy game formerly known as Imperium Galactica 3. The game will be published under the new title Galaxy Andromeda (there are some new screenshots on the new website). Here's the rationale:
"While Galaxy Andromeda was originally conceived as the third game in the Imperium Galactica series, it has developed now to the point where we are confident of releasing it as a fully-fledged game in its own right," says Terry Malham, president, CDV Software Entertainment UK. "We have high hopes for this game and expect that, with its new title, it will go on to establish a whole new franchise of its own."

Lionheart Q&A & Media

RPG Vault's Lionheart Q&A #8 asks the team on this just-delayed RPG a not-so-timely collective question: "With Lionheart approaching completion, what are a couple of things that stand out in your mind with respect to your personal work on and contributions to the game?" Also, there's a new Lionheart screenshot of the week on RPG Vault, another new batch of shots has been released, these are posted on Worthplaying (among other places), and finally, a new gameplay trailer that's 14 MB and runs 1:22 is now available.

Morning Previews

  • OMF: Battlegrounds
    There's a One Must Fall: Battlegrounds on Gamers Pulse with their impressions of the upcoming giant robot fighting game sequel. They offer thoughts about most aspects of gameplay except the key factor of multiplayer play, which is not present in their preview build.
  • Salammbô
    The Salammbô preview on Adventure Gamers offers a look at this game based, of all things on a Gustave Flaubert novel (though there are no known plans yet for a Madame Bovary game), that is set during the Carthaginian War. They offer passing thoughts on the game's puzzles and its distinctive visual style.


Computer and Video Games is reporting their shock that Nintendo has told them they are not showing any online games at this year's E3.


The Warcraft III Reign of Chaos Multiplayer Map Contest is a Blizzard-sponsored competition that's underway offering the opportunity to get your map included in the upcoming The Frozen Throne expansion for their RTS game. The winner will also receive credit, kudos, as well as a pat on the back. Entries must be received by April 11. Also, in conjunction with today's German release of the WW2 RTS game, the Blitzkrieg Website has word on plans for an online tournament to take place at the end of April in the Electronic Sports League. "The cup system will be added to the official Blitzkrieg website so that enthusiastic strategy game players can directly participate in the tournament." Word is there will be various other tourneys going forward for the other language versions of the game as they become available.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

Hmmm. Texas: 78(R) SB 1116 - - Bill Text is one of the bills mentioned on a site called Freedom to Tinker (thanks sc4r4b) as an example of proposed legislation that they say will make it illegal to use a firewall! I am not a lawyer (though I play one on TV), so I can't say for sure their interpretation of this is correct, but it certainly seems to be supported by the language in the bill(s). Here's an excerpt:
The states of Massachusetts and Texas are preparing to consider bills that apparently are intended to extend the national Digital Millennium Copyright Act. (TX bill; MA bill) The bills are obviously related to each other somehow, since they are textually similar.

Here is one example of the far-reaching harmful effects of these bills. Both bills would flatly ban the possession, sale, or use of technologies that "conceal from a communication service provider ... the existence or place of origin or destination of any communication". Your ISP is a (communication) service provider, so anything that concealed the origin or destination of any communication from your ISP would be illegal -- with no exceptions.

If you encrypt your email, you're in violation, because the "To" line of the email is concealed from your ISP by encryption. If you use a secure connection to pick up your email, you're in violation, because the "From" lines of the incoming emails are concealed from your ISP by the encrypted connection.

Stories of the Day: Dye Pack Explodes in Robber's Pants.
What Were They Thinking?
Engineer Blows Whistle Over Tainted Voting Booths, Files Lawsuit. Thanks Brenda.
Wild Science: I, Clone.
An Antidote for Flying Blind.
Weird Science: Sunscreen for your computer?
Brain Music Not Much to Dance To.
Auctions of the Day: Mary and Jesus takes shape in a nut. Thanks The Angry Emu.
Follow-up: U.S. wins back moon rock (story).
Thanks Mike Martinez.
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