Archived News:

Wednesday, Sep 17, 2003

Ultima X Odyssey Website

The official Ultima X Odyssey Website has been relaunched (thanks Frans) dedicated to the upcoming online installment in the Ultima RPG series. The site introduces the game, shows off over a dozen new screenshots, a new FAQ, and more.

DOOM 3 & DX9

With all the discussion lately about how Half-Life 2 will run on ATI hardware compared with NVIDIA accelerators, BonusWeb.cz shot off an email to id Software's John Carmack to ask how DOOM 3 and other games are likely to be impacted by the difference between the two graphics platforms running DirectX 9. Here's how he responded:
Unfortunately, it will probably be representative of most DX9 games. Doom has a custom back end that uses the lower precisions on the GF-FX, but when you run it with standard fragment programs just like ATI, it is a lot slower. The precision doesn't really matter to Doom, but that won't be a reasonable option in future games designed around DX9 level hardware as a minimum spec.

Lionheart Patch

Black Isle Studios has released a new Lionheart Patch updating the alternate-history RPG to version 1.1. The update is available for English, French, Spanish, German, and Italian, and it includes bug fixes, rendering optimizations, networking tweaks, and more. Thanks Frans.

Worms 3D English Demo

Hot on the heels of the German demo, an English demo for Worms 3D has also been released, offering an alternate-language sample of the latest turn-based strategy game featuring the little crawlers. Like the German demo, the English trial version allows two players to compete on the same computer. The 60 MB demo can be downloaded from 3D Gamers, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, IGN, Loadedinc (registration required), and Worthplaying.

Shadowbane Expansion Announced

Shadowbane Universe Expands is the press release revealing plans for an expansion pack titled The Rise of Chaos for Shadowbane, Wolfpack Studios' MMORPG. The add-on is slated for release in time for this year's holiday season, and will offer a new playable race, new classes, and more. Here's a bit:
Shadowbane: The Rise of Chaos features new high-level content, and a new race, the Nephilim, a chaotic fusion of demon and man that has arisen from the forces of darkness. In addition, the expansion provides new character classes, disciplines, an additional character slot, two new macro zones, and enhanced environmental graphics. Shadowbane: The Rise of Chaos is being designed and developed by Wolfpack Studios, based in Austin, Texas, and is operated and supported by Ubisoft's online gaming division ubi.com(tm), among the top five gaming portals in the world.

Disciples II Expansion Announced

This press release announces Disciples II: The Rise of the Elves, a stand-alone expansion pack for Disciples II to be released this fall. True to the title, the game will carry an elven theme, as this excerpt also demonstrates: "Disciples II: Rise of the Elves is a milestone in the Disciples universe. For the first time, Disciples fans will be able to play as the elder Elven race as they struggle to reclaim their forests from the four primary forces in Nevendaar. Driven by an unpredictable god who urges them to battle, the Elves begin a massive march towards their fate."

Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow Trailer

The promised downloadable Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow trailer is now available on the official website for the upcoming stealthy special ops sequel. The clip is in smaller and larger Windows Media Player format files, and the larger 10 MB clip has been mirrored on 3D Downloads, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and Worthplaying.

BREED Release & Demo Details

This CDV Software Entertainment Page (thanks Frans) has release details for BREED, the upcoming science fiction first-person shooter in the works at BRAT Designs. The update includes details on the multiplayer modes being created for the game, info on plans for a multiplayer demo and a new single-player demo, and news of a further delay to the game's release. Here's the deal:
The long awaited release of the tactical 3D action shooter Breed will be postponed for another few weeks.

CDV Software Entertainment, one of the leading German publishers and distributors of gaming software, announced today that the 3D action shooter BREED will be released by the beginning of November. In UK and in USA the release will also take place in November.
...
In order to shorten the waiting period, BREED fans can already look forward to a further single player demo coming out in October. Before the release, their will also be a multiplayer demo.

Worms 3D German Demo

A German demo for Worms 3D is now available, offering the chance to check out Team17's latest installment in the wacky Worms series, albeit in Deutsch. The demo includes multiplayer play for two players on the same computer. The demo is about a 60 MB download, which can be found on 3D Gamers, Gamer's Hell, GBase, Ghome.de, and Worthplaying.

Steaming Ahead

The Get Steam Now! Page offers the promised downloads of the latest version of the Steam broadband delivery client that include the most recent game cache content. The full monte has been mirrored on 3D Gamers, AusGamers, Boomtown, Gamer's Hell, and HalfLife2Files.

Morning Q&As

Ships Ahoy: AO Shadowlands & NASCAR Thunder

Shadowlands available in retail describes the availability of the new expansion pack for Anarchy Online, Funcom's science fiction MMORPG, and brags on the smooth launch of the project, putting the original game's rocky launch even further in the rear-view mirror. Also, Electronic Arts announces that NASCAR Thunder 2004 is available in stores for the PC and all current consoles, offering an all-new "Grudges and Alliances" feature where the AI will give as it gets.

Morning Previews

Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow Website

The official Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow Website (thanks Frans) is now online, offering a home base for the upcoming follow-up to the stealthy third-person shooter. The site offers screenshots and a Flash trailer, with promise of a downloadable trailer soon. Noteworthy is the conspicuous absence of the PC-CD logo among the platforms listed.

Morning Screenshots

Consolidation

Sony Computer Entertainment America Announces March 2004 Release For PlayStation(R)2 Hard Disk Drive (thanks Frans) announces "specifics on its internal Hard Disk Drive (40GB) (for PlayStation®2) and while also announcing an impressive line-up of first and third party online-enabled titles that will be available for the holiday season and beyond." Also, Microsoft launches new Xbox Live Dashboard (thanks Mike Martinez).

Game Guidance

LucasArts Entertainment has posted a new Technical Reference Guide for Jedi Academy (thanks Frans) with all sorts of tips and technical support for the new Jedi Knight shooter. Also, the World of Warcraft Frequently Asked Questions has been updated with more queries and their accompanying answers.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc,

  • Legacy Interactive announces that Law & Order II: Double or Nothing has gone gold, and likewise Aspyr sends word that Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer has gone gold for the Mac and PC. Both games are scheduled for release in late September...
  • A new demo of Devil Whiskey is available along with a patch to update older versions of the demo. Thanks Frans...
  • Most Teens Play Violent Video Games, Study Says. Thanks Peter Binazeski...
  • Online Games Grab Grim Reality (registration required). Thanks Mike Martinez...

Out of the Blue

'Purple People Eater' Singer Wooley Dies is the news story with word the actor/singer died yesterday. Sheb is probably unknown to many, but I'm familiar with his Purple People Eater song, having picked up the single as a hand-me-down in my youth (an actual 45 RPM record... talk about dating myself). The weird thing is how my buddy Devicer and I spontaneously started singing this tune just the other day while playing online. I literally hadn't thought of the song in years, and then it comes up about a day before the artist died. Just a little weird.

Links of the Day: WiFi Speed Spray. Thanks Sean.
Classic Computer Magazine Archive
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Stories of the Day: Grounds for a new tax. Thanks Anvil. Time for the Seattle Coffee Party.
'Superhero' takes on clampers. Thanks Philip Harris. Maybe next he could try "campers."
Police: Man Tried to Cut Blaine's Water. Thanks zombie69.
Science!: Study: Sleeping position reveals personality.
Former anti-spy chief says gadgetry failing.
Relentless Foe of the Amazon Jungle Soybeans (registration required).
Image of the Day: Mars Animated. Thanks Paul.
Media of the Day: Mr Stabby. Thanks Dan Leadbetter.
Thanks Mike Martinez.
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