Archived News:

Friday, Mar 26, 2004

Neverwinter Nights 2?

A story on GameStar.de (thanks Tiscali Games) reports that they've received indications from BioWare's Trent Oster that they may be announcing plans for Neverwinter Nights 2 at this year's E3. As a rough Babel Fish translation indicates, this is all a bit vague, with most of the piece discussing the financial impact of supporting the mod community.

Far Cry Patch

The promised patch for Far Cry is now available, bringing Crytek's just-released first-person shooter up to version 1.1. The update features a number of single-player and multiplayer tweaks and bug-fixes, as well as some general engine improvements. The Ubisoft Solution Center offers a list of mirrors of the patch, which is a 26 MB download.

Updated Pandora Tomorrow MP Demo

An updated version of yesterday's multiplayer demo for Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow is now available, addressing a problem that could cause the demo to crash when trying to join a game. The new version 1.01 demo is a 62 MB download (some of these sites are carrying the English European version, but there should be no issues with that), available on 3D Downloads, 3D Gamers, FileShack (registration required), Gamer's Hell, and Worthplaying. The 2.6 MB patch to update the previous version (of either the Euro or the North American demo), is available on this Ubisoft Help Page, and mirrored on 3D Downloads, 3D Gamers, FileShack (registration required), Gamer's Hell, Tiscali Games, and Worthplaying.

Manhattan Chase Demo

Team6 game studios has released another new demo, hot on the heels of the Shanghai Street Racer Demo (story), this one for a game called Manhattan Chase, recreating the high speed cops-and-robbers chases that almost never actually take place in the big apple. The demo is a 156 MB download, offering the chance to play as the cops in one mission and as the robbers in another. Mirrors can be found on 3D Gamers, GameCenter.cz, Gamer's Hell, and Worthplaying.

Ships Ahoy - Nemesis

Enlight sends word that, like Hannibal himself, Nemesis of the Roman Empire is invading:
PARKVILLE, Md., – (Mar. 26, 2004) –Enlight, a leading entertainment software developer and publisher, announced today that the PC title Nemesis of the Roman Empire has been shipped to retail stores across North America. Based on the award-winning Celtic Kings: Rage of War, Nemesis of the Roman Empire immerses players in the historic battles of the Punic Wars (264-146 B.C.), including the campaigns of legendary Hannibal the Great.

The hotly anticipated sequel to Celtic Kings: Rage of War, the game Nemesis of the Roman Empire remains true to the original concept while improving on the formula. A unique mix of real-time strategy and role-playing elements, Nemesis of the Roman Empire offers players an experience unlike any other RTS.

"Nemesis of the Roman Empire is an epic game, " said Trevor Chan, Chief Executive Officer of Enlight "and we're excited that consumers will finally get a chance to see what the gaming press have been raving about."

The online enthusiast site Avault called the game, "innovative… one of the first strategy games to truly embrace the concept on a level higher than Age of Empires." After receiving this kind of praise from the gaming press for its unique approach to combining military and real time strategy, Nemesis of the Roman Empire is expected to garner the same reaction and be a major hit with PC gamers all over North America.

"Nemesis of the Roman Empire builds off the elements that made Celtic Kings: Rage of War such a success and pushes the envelope in several other areas as well." Mr. Chan added, "The attention to detail, the sweeping, massive battles, the challenging missions, this game has everything gamers want in a great game. Fans of Celtic Kings: Rage of War have long awaited the successor and we are excited to bring them this outstanding RTS title in North America."

Nemesis of the Roman Empire cast players as one of four nations; the Romans, Carthaginians, Gauls or Iberians. Inspired by the historical Punic Wars (264-146 B.C.), Nemesis of the Roman Empire also features the famous campaigns of Hannibal and Scipio Africanus. In addition, the game will contain two distinctive single-player campaigns, new terrain types, custom maps and special enhancements to the Celtic King engine. While remaining true to the game's original concept, Nemesis of the Roman Empire incorporates real-time strategy and role-playing elements, offering players a unique experience in discovering a conflict that occurred over 2000 years ago.

Nemesis of the Roman Empire is being published by Enlight Interactive and will be available at $29.99 for the PC this March. For additional information on features for this title as well as future updates, please visit the game's official website www.enlight.com/nemesis.

Sacred Patch

The Ascaron Community Forum (thanks ActiveWin) offers links to the version 1.5 patches for the UK and US versions of Sacred, while the Sacred Offizielle Webseite (thanks Frans) now offers the full version 1.5 German patch, now out of beta.

Carmack at GDC Follow-up

To follow-up on the discrepancy between the two accounts of John Carmack's address at the GDC yesterday, a reader named Rene Patnode who attended the talk offers his perspective saying the HomeLAN Fed account is the more accurate of the two: "I can tell you that HomeLan Fed is a LOT closer to the truth. He mentioned Quake II as a former possible idea, but it was only that. What he did say was that the likely next id game will be a slight variation of Doom 3.... I personally would expect a mission pack or something on the order of Team Arena. Pretty close is also better than really close." Likewise, GameSpy's Carmack Address Recap likewise confirms that it was Computer and Video Games that came away with the wrong take on the facts here:
One interesting idea that Carmack said was discussed early on in DOOM 3's development was a product specifically meant to be a rendering showcase. In this case, the idea was to do a "Quake 2 remix" - to rebuild the game using all-new assets and technology. "But even the idea of just reskinning an old game brings with it the problems that as we have newer graphics technology, media creation demands get worse and worse..."

Morning Q&As

Dear Diaries

The Rome: Total War Designer Diary #1 on GameSpot features Creative Assembly lead programmer Jerome Grasdyke, attempting to provide "an overview of what we've been up to here in deepest, darkest Southwater, UK." Also, the Hitman: Contracts Developer Diary #2 on GameSpy is online, in which: "Io Interactive's Rasmus Højengaard talks about the game and graphics engine." Also, HomeLAN Fed's Shadow Ops: Red Mercury Developers Diary - Part 3 is online, on the topic of "Making More Out of Less," written by Neil Alphonso, lead scripter for Shadow Ops: Red Mercury. Finally, RPG Vault's Anito: Defend a Land Enraged Wrap Report is a postmortem by Anino Entertainment's Gabby Dizon and Niel Dagondon.

DRIV3R Movie, Previ3w

The DRIV3R Website now offers a new "April Rolling Demo" trailer from the upcoming wheelman sequel. Thanks GameStar. On a related note, there's a new DRIV3R preview on Yahoo! Games Domain. Thanks Frans.

PT Boats Website

The official PT Boats: Knights of the Sea Website is now online, offering a home port to this upcoming naval combat game. The site offers information about the game, some screenshots, and a new gameplay trailer.

Morning Previews

Spartan in North America

Slitherine announces details on the plan to publish their turn-based strategy sequel Spartan in North America, saying: "Spartan will be available in May for PC CD-ROM. Spartan is distributed in North America exclusively by Atari. Screen shots are available at www.graphsim.com/spartan." Here's a bit on the game: "In Spartan the player rules a military and economic empire from the Classical Era. Command any of over 100 authentically researched nations to ultimate victory. All of the major factions from the period are portrayed in the game, from the Romans to the Persian hosts under the Great King Xerxes. Players select one of the many successful city-states that abounded at the time and try to control the known world through a mix of research trade and naval power. Alternatively the player can take control of Sparta, one of the most feared military machines of all time."

Morning Screenshots

Europa Universalis II Patch

The Paradox Entertainment Forums offer details on the new patch for Europa Univeralis II, updating the strategy sequel to version 1.08. Thanks Frans.

German Sacred Patch

The Sacred Offizielle Webseite offers downloads of a new version 1.5.2 beta patch for the German edition of Sacred, ASCARON Entertainment's RPG. Update: The Sacred Offizielle Webseite now offers the full version 1.5 German patch, now out of beta. Thanks Frans.

Server Watch & BF Vietnam

The Server Watch Plug-ins Page now offers downloads of a plug-in to add Battlefield 1942 support to this server-browsing utility. Version 3.4.3 of Server Watch is required.

Competitions

Activision sends word that the close of their Call Of Duty Mapmaking Competition has been extended to April 16. Those interested in participating have until April 9 to register.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

  • This FTP Directory has the demo for MVP Baseball 2004, though the files are not actually packaged into a zip or an installer. Thanks Frans...
  • G4tv announces a proposed merger with TechTV that will expand the gaming TV channel's reach...
  • A demo of Shanghai Street Racer is now available, offering the chance to check out this racing game. The 72 MB file can be found on 3D Gamers, GameCenter.cz, Gamer's Hell, and Worthplaying...

Out of the Blue

I mentioned a long time back that I was having problems with Outlook's web-bug blocking feature, which prevents it from loading external images in email messages, because they can allow spammers to detect that their mail has been received by a breathing victim. I want to thank Jose from Microsoft who followed-up on this, and figured out that by setting Outlook to look for mail in the "internet zone," rather than the "restricted zone," I actually overrode this setting, and prevented bug-blocking from working. There's certainly something odd about one feature thwarting another without warning, and there's something odder still about the aghast reaction to my use of the "internet zone" setting to access the internet (his response indicates he felt this was akin to smoking in a dynamite shed), but oddities aside, I'm just happy to have this useful feature once again functioning as it should.

Links of the Day: Magnetoids.
Stories of the Day: Santa Fe may require seat belts for pets. Why would you not do that?
Buzz Aldrin: Returning to moon is not enough.
Blow away a cow for $400, and other weird tourist attractions. Thanks I-Gene Leong.
Science!: 5,000 mph jet ready for test flight.
Say hello to our new moon.
Life on Mars - but 'we sent it'.
Image of the Day: Real CD Burner. Thanks Starius.
Movie of the Day: Three Year Old Xylophone Player. Thanks mr_mix.
Follow-ups: By FCC standards, Oprah more dangerous than Stern. Thanks A/S/LayerAODsk.
Thanks Mike Martinez.
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