Archived News:

Monday, Mar 15, 2004 Beware the Ides of March

Pandora Tomorrow Gold

Ubisoft sends word that Sam Fisher is set to return in under two weeks:
Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced today that Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow has reached gold master status for the PC, Xbox, and Game Boy® Advance and is expected to arrive on store shelves March 27th. Developed by Ubisoft's Shanghai studio, Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow tells the conspiracy-ridden story of black ops agent Sam Fisher as he explores the shadowy world of international espionage.

With an offline story as compelling as the original Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell® and a revolutionary online component for the Xbox and PC, Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow is one of the most anticipated games of 2004. On Xbox(tm) Live or over the Internet on the PC, gamers will experience a revolution in online gameplay: for the first time in gaming, players can play from a third-person perspective against others playing in first person. In third-person perspective, play as a SHADOWNET spy achieving Third Echelon's objectives as you infiltrate hostile ground. From a first-person point of view, play as an ARGUS mercenary, tracking and eliminating the intruding SHADOWNET spies. This innovation in perspectives allows the online game to create an incredible tension totally new to gaming.

Pandora Tomorrow Demo This Week

Following the gold news (above), Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow Official website (thanks Hades) has word that the PC demos of the upcoming third-person shooter sequel are coming: "The Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow single-player and multi-player demos for the PC are coming this week!"

Ships Ahoy: BF Vietnam

EA Ships Highly Anticipated Title Battlefield Vietnam for the PC is the press release announcing shipment of the BF1942 sequel, though my own fruitless search for the game today supports the notion that most shipments won't be arriving before tomorrow. Here's a bit on the game:
The Battlefield franchise is entering a new era with more firepower and beautiful, yet ferocious, new combat settings. Offering an arsenal of weapons and vehicles authentic to the Vietnam conflict, players will battle in the first-person perspective. Staying true to the over-the-top, action-packed multiplayer style that gave Battlefield 1942 its critical and commercial success, Battlefield Vietnam will drop players into some of the Vietnam War's fiercest battles. Fighting in settings ranging from jungles surrounding the Ho Chi Minh Trail to the city streets of Hue, players will choose from well-equipped forces, the United States or the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and Vietcong. All of this action will be accompanied by the sounds of an authentic Vietnam era soundtrack to immerse the player into an experience similar to that of a Hollywood film.

BF Vietnam Win32 & Linux Servers

This Battlefield Vietnam Page hosts the new Win32 dedicated server program for Battlefield Vietnam, DICE's imminent multiplayer shooter sequel. Here's word on the package: "This bundle installs the files that allow community members (home users and server operators) to host Battlefield Vietnam games from your PC without a retail copy of the game. You can use the included dedicated server front-end to configure the server to your liking or generate the configs separately and run it by command line. Those of you familiar with the Battlefield 1942 dedicated server should feel right at home with this bundle." In addition, yet another update to the pre-release dedicated Linux server is also now available. The Win32 server is mirrored on 3D Downloads, 3D Gamers, Big Pond (registration required), and Worthplaying. The Linux server is available on the Battlefield Dedicated Server Forum and mirrored on 3D Gamers.

Mac UT2004 Gold

Unreal Tournament 2004 Goes Gold on IMG has word that the Mac version of the multiplayer shooter sequel is now complete. Word is the Mac version will ship on DVD only, and: "According to MacSoft, the game will be available shortly after the Windows release of the game, though an exact availability date wasn't given."

Beneath a Steel Sky 2

A story on Computer And Video Games (thanks ScummVM) reveals that Revolution Software has revealed to them production on a sequel to Beneath a Steel Sky, quoting Revolution's Charles Cecil as saying:
"Beneath a Steel Sky is a game that is still widely respected and we are regularly asked when we will write the sequel," Cecil told us. "Beneath A Steel Sky 2 is a project Revolution has been considering for a while, and has stated to move forward on, but we are unable to comment beyond this."

Emogence Emergence

Industry Veterans Launch New Game Studio, Emogence, LLC is the press release announcing a new game company:
Former Microsoft technology executives Herb Marselas and Chas. Boyd today announced the formation of Emogence, LLC, an independently funded computer and video game development studio. The company is currently developing a first-person action role playing game called Grafan, which is slated to debut on the PC in 2004.

The Emogence management team represents more than 40 years of advanced technology and game development experience. Herb Marselas, the company's co-founder and chief executive officer, most recently held various programming and technology positions with Microsoft. He served as a development lead with the Direct3D graphics group and, prior to that, worked with two Microsoft-acquired game studios, Ensemble Studios and Bungie Studios. In those posts, he created the 3D engine for the Age of Mythology and worked on Halo 2.

New ForceWare Drivers

This NVIDIA Press Release announces the availability of a new release 55 of the ForceWare drivers for NVIDIA GeForce GPUs. Word is: "This new release includes many new features, tools and enhancements, including customized application and game profile settings, and support for PCI Express. The Microsoft WHQL-certified NVIDIA ForceWare Release 55 driver is immediately available for download at www.nvidia.com/drivers." Thanks Aaron.

UT2004 Dedicated Server

Epic Games sends news that the dedicated server for Unreal Tournament 2004 is now available, just in time for the retail release of the multiplayer shooter sequel. Mirrors can be found on the Unreal Tournament Website. Here's the deal:
These files allow anyone to run a dedicated UT2004 server, even if they do not own a retail copy of UT2004. Once installed, it will occupy around 2.0 GB of disk space, significantly smaller than the 5.5GB required for a retail installation. Server admins wanting to advertise their server to the official master server list, and be included in UT2004 stats will require a dedicated server key. Go to http://unreal.epicgames.com/ut2004server/cdkey.php to generate a dedicated server key.

Morning Q&As

  • ShellShock: 'Nam 67
    TotalVideoGames's Guerrilla Q&A talks with Hermen Hulst and Arjan Brussee of Guerrilla about progress on ShellShock: 'Nam 67, their upcoming Vietnam War game.
  • Knights of the Temple
    HomeLAN Fed's Knights Of The Temple Q&A is a conversation with Starbreeze Studios producer Christopher Schmitz about the upcoming action game that will allow players to go medieval.

Dear Diary

HomeLAN Fed's Shadow Ops: Red Mercury Developers Diary - Part 1 is online, with Zombie Studios' John Williamson describing the research behind Shadow Ops: Red Mercury, the upcoming Unreal-engine military shooter, and how they "visited military bases around the world, tracking down uniforms and weapons and vehicles to photograph for texture reference or record audio from."

Morning Previews

Highway to the Reich Patch

A new version 2.179 patch for Highway to the Reich is now available. Here's word: "More than twenty improvements have been made to the already acclaimed Highway to the Reich AI routines, which provide a challenging fight as the computer opponent and also model your subordinate commanders and unit behavior. Improvements made to unit establishment information and scenarios enhance historical accuracy. The new Battle HQ feature allows owners of Highway to the Reich to more easily find opponents online and seamlessly transition from creating a match up to playing the game."

UT2003 AirBuccaneers

A new beta 3 of the AirBuccaneers modification for Unreal Tournament 2003 is now available. The update of this pirates in balloons mod adds new game types, five new maps, bug fixes, tweaks to game balance, and more.

ET Powerball

Beta 0.2 of the ET Powerball modification for Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory is now available. The new version features new sounds, new models, a new HUD, and a trio of new maps.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Beware the Ides of March... Oh to hell with that, all due apologies to Caesar, I and many other gamers have been looking forward to today since it was announced as the release date for both Battlefield Vietnam and Unreal Tournament 2004. And for those looking to get in some new gaming without tapping their wallets, today is also the release date for the third Far Cry demo. When it rains it pours. Meanwhile, I've seen ads saying that March 16(?) is the actual BF:V date, but I am holding out hope that this is just a hedge, and that the game can be found today.

Link of the Day: Khaaan.com. Thanks Chris Johnson.
Story of the Day: SoCal city considers banning items made with water. Pwned by Penn & Teller.
Science!: Scientists find '10th planet'.
Stem cell tricks hint at baldness cures.
Scientists Begin to Question Benefit of ’Good’ Cholesterol (registration required). So it's like the good Hodgkins?
Image of the Day: Wireless Boxer. Thanks Ant.
Follow-up: Yeti Sports. Thanks Ant.
Thanks Mike Martinez.
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