Archived News:

Friday, Dec 19, 2003

Game Movies

A new SÖLDNER: Secret Wars trailer is now available, showing off Wings Simulations' upcoming special forces shooter. The 18 MB download is available from Gamer's Hell, Planet Soldner, Secret Wars Network, and Worthplaying. Also, Happy Puppy (registration required) features downloads of a movie showing off some Jedi gameplay from Star Wars Galaxies.

Warcraft III Patches

On the heels of the release of version 1.13 (story), new version 1.13b patches are now available for WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne and WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos. Here are the change notes which describe the fix to an issue related to copy protection and outlines plans for a version 1.14 patch to address some additional problems that they are aware of introduced with the 1.13 update.

BF1942 Patch Update

The Battlefield 1942 Website (thanks Frans) has word on the upcoming version 1.6 patch. Here's the update. which is accompanied by screenshots of the two new maps:
Attention Soldiers! We're going to talk about a couple of things in todays update. First the upcoming 1.6 patch and then the Battlefield 1942 Map Making Contest. So without further ado...

1.6 Update Battlefield Command has busted butts to get the 1.6 patch done as quickly as possible. Our sincere hope was to release it before the December holidays. Unfortunately, our commitment to releasing clean patches means that we cannot release the patch in its current state. We still need some time to clear up a few glitches. So, you at least have something to look forward to in January when you've finished playing with all the toys and goodies you've received over the holidays!

Here's a short-list of some of the features you can look forward to:

  1. Punkbuster support
  2. New in-game GUI for map and kick-voting
  3. New game server allows hosting of different mods, maps and modes in the same server rotation
  4. Chat lag fixed
  5. Russian Ilyyushin IL-2 added to Kursk and Kharkov
  6. New Battlefield 1942 map
  7. New Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons of WWII map

Alien Blast Gold

Strategy First sends along this press release to announce that Alien Blast: The Encounter is gold, and that Made by Kiddies' arcade shooter that was at one point titled Alien Raid: the Encounter will be on North American store shelves in January. Here's a bit: "Your mission is to defend allied planets against the alien raid. Far from the reaches of your solar system, you are alone on an assignment to battle the alien horde. As a member of the allied forces, everyone is relying on you. Most of your forces have been destroyed, and this will be your most difficult mission yet. It's up to you to defend the planet against the Alien onslaught."

Raven Shield Patch

The promised new version 1.51 of Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield is now available, addressing the virtual drive problem introduced with the version 1.5 patch. The U.S., French and German patches are available, all of which are mirrored along with the U.K., and French Canadian patches on 3D Gamers and Gamer's Hell. The U.S. and U.K. patches are also mirrored on ActionTrip and Worthplaying and the U.S. patch is also available from Filerush.

Victoria Patch

This Paradox Entertainment Downloads Page now offers new version 1.02 patches for the English, German, Spanish, and French editions of Victoria: An Empire Under the Sun. Thanks Frans.

A Chrome Xmas

Techland has released a multiplayer trial version of Chrome as a Christmas promotion of their first-person shooter. The trial features 10 of the game's 16 multiplayer maps, playable over the internet until January 10, 2004. The trial version is a 303 MB download, available on Boomtown (registration required), Gameguru Mania, Gamer's Hell, and Tiscali Games. In other demo-related news, a new version 1.3 of the Devil Whiskey Demo (thanks Frans) is now available.

Vietcong MP Map

Pterodon has released a new multiplayer map for Vietcong, their Vietnam War first-person shooter. The 3 Canyons map adds a new Turn Table mode to the game, while also supporting Vietcong's other gameplay modes. The 8 MB download can be found on the Take 2 Games Website, mirrored on 3D Gamers, IGN, and Worthplaying.

Black Isle Lives?

Black Isle Not Closed? on IGN offers a rebuttal of recent reports of the demise of Black Isle Studios and the corresponding cancellation of Fallout 3 (story). They quote a member of Interplay's investor relations department as saying the division has not been closed and that the status of Fallout 3 is "under review." Though the story quotes Interplay as characterizing the earlier reports as false rumors, a careful reading of their statements do not seem to directly contradict anything of the comments on this topic made by former Black Isle employees. Update: Another Black Isle Source Comes Forward on IGN follows up on this further, also pointing out that this rebuttal does not technically rebut anything from the original reports: "Our newest source says that Interplay seems to be relying on semantic loopholes. 'Technically, I suppose they are correct: Black Isle Studios isn't shut down (still got two people left!) and Fallout 3 could not be cancelled since it was never announced.' According to the previous source, the two remaining employees had been working on an unannounced console title before coming to work for Black Isle."

Ground Control 2 Movie

A new gameplay trailer from Ground Control 2: Operation Exodus is now online, showing off gameplay from Massive Entertainment's upcoming action/ strategy sequel. The 25 MB Windows Media Player clip runs a bit under three minutes, and downloads can be found on 3D Gamers, Boomtown (registration required), Gamer's Hell, and Worthplaying.

Morning Q&As

  • Call of Duty
    The Call of Duty: Headquarters Mode Q&A on GameSpy chats with Infinity Ward's Zied Rieke about the upcoming Call of Duty patch, and the new multiplayer gameplay mode it will introduce.
  • Ultima X Odyssey
    RPG Vault's Ultima X Odyssey Q&A, Part 4 continues to discuss the upcoming Ultima MMORPG, featuring "Jon Hanna and Amy Sage on the party system, guilds and more as we conclude our massive look at Origin's game."
  • EverQuest
    EverQuest Vault's EverQuest Melee Q&A is online, in which: "Alan VanCouvering, Game Designer, sits down to answer our quiz about EQ's melee redesign!"
  • SWG
    Star Wars Galaxies Vault's SWG Bi-Weekly Q&A #3 continues this regular series on the Star Wars MMORPG, asking a couple of questions about the Jedi class and learning about a day in the life of a SWG developer.
  • Asheron's Call
    HomeLAN Fed's Asheron's Call Q&A is a quick chat with Turbine's Jessica Mulligan about what their purchase of the Asheron's Call franchise from Microsoft will mean to the game's future.
  • Wish
    Gamebunny's Wish Q&A chats with Dave Rickey, lead designer on Mutable Realms' upcoming MMORPG. They discuss a couple of aspects of the game, including the goal of being "quest-centric" and the new MMO trend of instancing.
  • Rise of Nations
    HomeLAN Fed's Rise of Nations: Thrones and Patriots Q&A catches up with Paul Stephanouk of Big Huge Games to discuss their upcoming RTS expansion.
  • Live for Speed
    Boomtown's Live for Speed Q&A chats with Eric Bailey about this racing game and the efforts its trio of developers have put in to making their mark on the gaming scene.
  • Codename Panzers
    The Codename Panzers Producer Q&A on Gamer's Hell is a translation of a German Q&A with CDV producer Achim Heidelauf discussing the upcoming World War II strategy game. The Q&A is accompanied by a couple of new screenshots.
  • Gaming in 2004
    HomeLAN Fed's Gaming in 2003-2004 Q&A series rolls along, today talking with Zombie's Mark Long and Netamins' Gabriel Law.

X² U.K. Gold

The Threat is coming across the pond, as word is the U.K. version of X²: the Threat is now gold (thanks Frans). Here's word: "DEEP SILVER is pleased to announce that X²: THE THREAT, by German development team EGOSOFT has gone GOLD in anticipation for its 6th February 2004 UK release date. Sequel to the classic space trading / combat PCCD game X BEYOND THE FRONTIER, X² has been in development for over two years."

UFO: Aftermath Patches

New patches are now available for UFO: Aftermath, updating ALTAR Interactive's xenophobic strategy game up to version 1.3. The separate English, German, French, Italian, Czech, and Hungarian patches are all available from CENEGA Publishing and mirrored on 3D Gamers, with the English, French, and German versions also on Gamer's Hell and the English version also on ActionTrip, Boomtown (registration required), and Worthplaying.

Morning Previews

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Diary

The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Oblivion Lost Designer Diary #2 on GameSpot features GSC Game World writer Yury Besarab on "Making Sense of Oblivion." Rather than being a true developer's journal, Yury takes the time to recap the project, outlining what sort of gameplay is planned, and how the creepy setting in a post-disaster Chernobyl plays into things.

Morning Screenshots

Quake (Tenebrae) Industri

The Industri Website has the release of what they are characterizing as a "leaked alpha" of Industri, which is based on the Tenebrae version of the Quake engine. They say: "Think of the release as an early preview."

Consolidation

  • DreamCatcher sends word that Xbox Arx Fatalis will ship in North America on Monday. There's a new gameplay trailer on Gamer's Hell.
  • "Interplay Entertainment Corp. (OTC Bulletin Board: IPLY) and Vivendi Universal Games (VU Games) announced today that Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel will ship to retail on January 13, 2004. The action-adventure game will be available for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft."
  • GameZone's XIII Q&A is online, in which "Executive Producer Julien Bares Opens Up the Possibilities of Taking XIII Online" on the Xbox.
  • GameSpy's Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain Preview.
  • TotalVideoGames' Fable Q&A talks with Lionhead's Peter Molyneux about the innovations planned for their upcoming Fable.
  • James Bond 007 Everything or Nothing Q&A on GameSpot.
  • EA Announce Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
  • "XSNsports World Championship will be held Feb. 11–12, 2004, in Los Angeles. Eight participants, with one guest each, will be flown to that city to compete for a $25,000 grand prize and the bragging rights that come with the title of XSN Sports World Champion."

Help Wanted

This One Must Fall Battlegrounds Forum Thread has details on an opening Diversions Entertainment is looking to fill for a programmer for One Must Fall: Battlegrounds.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Hudson the wonder dog seems fine... thanks Dr. Wendy (by way of Drew) for the advice to take up her food yesterday.

I'm a little mystified by the goofy behavior of networking on my new WinXP box. It occasionally would not connect to the Internet until after running a network wizard, even though the wizard doesn't seem to actually change anything. I'm in the midst of poking around trying to figure out this behavior, which has exposed me to WinXP's odd habit of trying to bridge network devices, in this case the LAN adapter and the FireWire port. I don't know if this is contributing to the connectivity problems I'm experiencing, but it's certainly contributing to my confusion as I try to figure out what's wrong.

Link of the Day: Motorwheels monowheels.
Stories of the Day: EBay pulls plug on sale of flu shots.
Fake sites set to trap pedophiles in international sting.
Science!: Pop a Pill, Save Your Hearing.
New robot brain takes to the skies.
Medieval Global Warming.
Media of the Day: Badgers 2.
I Robot Now. Thanks Mike DeVries.
Follow-up: Antique D20 Die Follow-up. Thanks Bronco.
Thanks Mike Martinez.
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