Archived News:

Thursday, Nov 20, 2003

Call of Duty Tools, Linux Server

As promised, the map and mod tools for Call of Duty and the dedicated Linux server for Infinity Ward's World War II shooter are now available. The Linux server is a 500 KB download, available from 3D Gamers, CoDFiles, and Worthplaying. The mod/map tools at a 6 MB download, which can be found on 3D Gamers, CoDFiles, and Worthplaying.

Star Wars KOTOR Beta Patch

The LucasArts Entertainment Website now offers downloads of a beta version 1.01 patch to update Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, the Force-wielding RPG. The beta patch should only be applied to users experiencing a certain sound bug on Intel i845 or i850 chipset based motherboards or a crashing problem with Radeon 9600-vbased video cards. Thanks Frans.

Deus Ex: Invisible War Demo Delay

A report on Computer And Video Games indicates that plans to release the demo for Deus Ex: Invisible War today have hit a snag, and the release might be tomorrow, or may be delayed until as late as Monday or Tuesday.

Ships Ahoy - Contract J.A.C.K.

The cryptic Contract J.A.C.K. gold announcement (story) mentioned November 11 as the in-store date for the NOLF 2 prequel, and the first patch for Monolith's latest spy thriller send-up has been available for well over a week (story), but today is the day for VU Games' announcement of the game's availability. Here's the news:
LOS ANGELES, CA - (November 20, 2003) – Vivendi Universal Games announced today Contract J.A.C.K.™ – the official prequel to GameSpy’s 2002 PC Game-of-the-Year, No One Lives Forever™ 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M.’s Way™ is now available on store shelves™. Contract J.A.C.K., developed by Monolith Productions, is a standalone expansion pack set in the No One Lives Forever™ universe that delivers non-stop action with new singleplayer missions, exciting multiplayer modes including Doomsday and Demolition, and a fully documented suite of mod-making tools.

Explore the dark side of the No One Lives Forever universe as John Jack, a rugged anti-hero in the services of H.A.R.M. The legendary chief assassin for H.A.R.M. organization has given Contract J.A.C.K. a mission—whether he wants it or not. An Italian criminal organization has plans to take H.A.R.M. down and Contract J.A.C.K. must stop them. In doing so, players contend with deadly enemies and survive against ridiculous odds to complete the mission.

Contract J.A.C.K. is available now for the PC with a suggested retail price of $29.99 and an ESRB “Mature” rating. For more information, log on to

RoN Expansion Rising

Following up on the hint mentioned earlier today (story) New Nations rise, original's price falls on GameSpot reports on a drop in price for Rise of Nations, Big Huge Games' RTS epic, to US$40 and plans for a RoN expansion pack called Throne and Patriots that's expected in Spring 2004. They have posted the first screenshots from the project, and here is a bit off the provided description:
The expansion pack will include six more new playable nations to the original game's total of 18, along with more than 20 new units, and new features, like the expansion's new campaigns and its government system. The government system will let each nation in the game determine for itself how it will be governed--a decision that will affect its development over the course of history. The new campaigns will include scenarios based on real-world historical engagements.

Atari: T3 Demo Not Official

Atari sends word that the Terminator 3: war of the Machines demo in the story following this one is not the official demo for the game. While we cannot put the genie back in the bottle and un-post the news, here is their warning that this actually represents an early beta:
It has come to our attention that the media demo of T3 War has been placed on the Atari Australia web site for download by consumers. This is a mistake.

Please be aware that this build is NOT meant in any way to be a consumer "demo" and it will be removed from our site shortly. We will be releasing the real consumer demo in the near future, but the version that is online now will not be compatible with the official demo nor will it be compatible with the final game, both of which will have improved performance and online play.

Please do not direct your readers to this demo in Australia. If you have already posted the news, please remove it. If you feel you must mention this demo in a news item, it should be referred to as an early Beta Test for the game -- which it is -- this is NOT a "demo." It was meant for press eyes only and came with disclaimers as to what was not incorporated into the build at this time.

This demo's availability will only lead to confusion and compatibility issues, and you should wait for the official demo.

T3: War of the Machines MP Beta Demo

The Atari Australia & New Zealand Website (thanks HomeLAN Fed) announces the release of a demo for Terminator 3: War of the Machines, the upcoming shooter based on the science fiction movie (it has since been announced by Atari that this is a beta demo, not representative of the final product - story). Here's the deal: "This epic cinematic conflict, recreated from the phenomenal Terminator® films, places first-person shooter fans at the very center of the uprising. Throughout high-powered multiplayer and single-player missions, combatants fight in apocalyptic landscapes — a decimated downtown Los Angeles, a battered ocean harbor, devastated highways — struggling for survival. Only the strongest will avert catastrophe and save human existence." From Frans: "This is a multiplayer demo that includes a pair of maps called 'Lab-Present' and 'Downtown' playable in the Team Deathmatch, Mission and Termination modes." The 172 MB download is mirrored on 3D Gamers, Boomtown (registration required), Computer Games Online, FileFront, Filerush, FileShack (registration required), and Worthplaying.

Big Huge Tease

The Big Huge Games website now has a tease up dated 11.21.2003, suggesting they may be announcing something tomorrow. Thanks Frans.

Morning Q&As

  • C-S: Condition Zero
    The Condition Zero Q&A on IGN chats with Valve's Jess Cliffe about their Counter-Strike game, confirming along the way the game's imminent release: "Development on the US version is complete and the replication master has been delivered to Sierra. We are finalizing the foreign language versions this week."
  • Ultima X Odyssey
    RPG Vault's Ultima X Odyssey Q&A, Part 2 talks more with Rick Hall, executive producer on the upcoming online Ultima RPG discussing "Classes, races, character development, the Virtues, combat and more."
  • Lords of EverQuest
    The Lords of EverQuest Q&A on GameBanshee chats with James S. Parker about the imminent EverQuest RTS game, discussing the appeal to strategy gamers as well as what sort of RPG elements are included.
  • PlanetSide
    Action Vault's PlanetSide Q&A #2 talks with Dallas Dickinson, producer on the MMOFPS, discussing the game's statistics.
  • Wish
    The Wish Q&A on GameRifts chats with Dave Rickey from Mutable Realms about progress on their upcoming MMORPG as it currently undergoes alpha testing.

Misc. Patches

This FTP Directory (direct link) has new version 1.01 patches for the European version of Civilization III: Conquests updating the strategy expansion to version 1.01. Also, the ARUSH Entertainment Website now offers a new version 1.1 patch for Hunting Unlimited 2. Thanks Frans.

Morning Screenshots

Matrix Online Logs

A pair of logs are online to recap a couple of chats about The Matrix Online, the upcoming MMORPG based on the science fiction movie trilogy. Matrix Online OGaming's IRC Chat With Travismo poses a bunch of questions to the executive producer of the game. They also have a log of a chat with Jason Hall where the Monolith CEO also fields questions about the project.

Morning Previews

German Castle Strike Site

The official Castle Strike Website is now online (thanks Frans). The site is only in German, but it includes a batch of new screenshots.


Due to popular (or at least vocal) demand, now bulleted:

  • "Vivendi Universal Games (VU Games) announced today that Metal Arms(tm): Glitch in the System for the PlayStation(r)2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox(r) video game system from Microsoft, and Nintendo GameCube(tm) has shipped to retail stores nationwide."
  • "Lowrider, the rhythm-action video game featuring classic and competitive lowrider cars, ships nationwide today (Thursday), exclusively for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Jaleco Entertainment announced."
  • "Leading video games developer and publisher Namco Hometek Inc. announced today its character-based action adventure game, I-Ninja, has begun shipping to retail outlets nationwide. The game, available for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, is rated T for Teen and carries an MSRP of $49.99. I-Ninja will also ship for the Nintendo GameCube™ and the Xbox® videogame system from Microsoft in early December."
  • "Microsoft Game Studios announced today that 'NBA Inside Drive 2004', is now available on store shelves across North America. The third installment of the Xbox-exclusive basketball franchise makes its debut as the inaugural basketball title in Microsoft’s XSN Sports™ brand. With all-new online playability via Xbox Live™ and the free agent acquisition of three-time NBA Champion Shaquille O’Neal, who will serve as the game’s official cover athlete and spokesperson, 'NBA Inside Drive 2004' is poised to take hoopsters beyond the box."
  • "Crave Entertainment, a leading publisher of videogames in association with top video game developer Genki Co., Ltd., has shipped their latest title Tokyo Xtreme Racer 3, for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. For players who enjoyed navigating the open roads of Tokyo in Tokyo Xtreme Racer Zero, the game offers realistic drives along the highways of Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya. Just in time for the holidays, Tokyo Xtreme Racer 3 will retail for just under $20.00."
  • James Bond 007™: Everything or Nothing™ is now available for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance.
  • GameSpy Previews Final Fantasy XII.

Game Guidance

RPG Vault's Etherlords II Strategy Guide, Part 2 is online, in which: "The Nival team serves up walkthroughs for the Vital and Synthet campaigns in its amalgam of strategy and RPG."

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


  • Violent video games are training children to kill (thanks Mike Martinez). Wonder what bad journalism is teaching?...
  • The Official Postal 2 Website (thanks Frans) has word that Running with Scissors will be self-publishing the upcoming multiplayer-enabled version of Postal 2...
  • "Noted record producer and composer, CHRIS VRENNA, has been tapped by EA to compose and produce two new songs for the upcoming video game THE SIMS™ 2."...
  • "Groove Games, a global publisher of interactive entertainment software today announced the shipping of Desert Thunder™ for the PC to most major retail stores. The game that drops gamers in the hot seat of one of the military’s most advanced battle engines can be found on store shelves this week at a suggested retail price of $19.99."...
  • Worthplaying has posted the Total Club Manager 2004 Demo mentioned in this space yesterday, saying they have the whole magilla for folks that may have had trouble with partial downloads elsewhere...

Out of the Blue

Okay, the petitioners have been heard, and consolidation has succumbed to the scourge of bullet points. The eight of you who cared should be happier, but I can't imagine there's an unhappy silent majority on this, as it is pretty innocuous.

The recent spate of insane autumn weather around here continued through yesterday... Flood warnings abound, and there's been some minor flooding in the area, and we've had a spate of little sporadic power outages, including one stretch of about 30 seconds where the lights here went off and on five times in a row (in times like these I feel like I should be planning a holiday bonus for my UPSes).

Play Time: Xevious. Thanks markus friedl.
Link of the Day: Skittlebrau. Thanks Ben Lowry.
Stories of the Day: 'Family Guy' may return. Thanks Scott Kilpatrick.
Speed Kills, Military Wants More.
Getting a Job in the Valley Is Easy, if You’re Perfect (registration required).
Science!: A 'brain charger' The ultimate PDA accessory?
Regrow Your Own.
Award for new virtual TV guide
Media of the Day: Smoke Kills. Thanks Sharon. Having its way with sensitive themes.
Auction of the Day: Honda C90 non runner, no reserve.
Thanks Mike Martinez.
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