Archived News:

Friday, Apr 23, 2004

Counter-Strike Patch Plans

Counter-Strike.net has word on plans for a patch for Counter-Strike Condition Zero next week:
Version 1.1 of CS:CZ will be released next week via Steam. The update includes a new "Buy Package" system for buying favorite loadouts quickly, the CS:CZ Custom Mission Creation Kit, all new player and weapon models, new audio content, and other enhancements.

The new purchase system features four user-definable “Buy Packages.” Each Package represents a complete equipment load out, allowing players to define everything from their primary weapon to how much ammo to buy to fallback options if money is tight.

With the CS:CZ Mission Creation Kit, MOD authors can create their own Tour of Duty Mission Packs with custom challenges, bot personalities, bot skins, and more. These MOD Mission Packs can then be distributed to players as Zip files. When installed, the new mission pack will automatically appear within CZ’s mission menu.

New SÖLDNER Demo

A new SÖLDNER: Secret Wars Demo is now available, offering an updated sample of Wings Simulations mercenary-themed first-person shooter. The re-release contains the same pair of maps as the original demo, plus bug-fixes, tweaks, and balance changes. The 221 MB download is available on 3D Gamers and Adrenaline Vault. Word in the read me is: "There is a rare crash that a user can experience. The crash has to do with distance rendering of rockets. We only became recently aware of it and are addressing it now."

Strategy First & ALFA: Antiterror

This Strategy First Press Release announces a North American publishing deal for ALFA: Antiterror, the tactical combat simulator in the works at MIST Land South. Here's word on the game, which is expected in the third quarter of this year: "ALFA: Antiterror is a turn based tactical combat simulator that lets the player control this special operations force through a four episode campaign based on the real life experiences of former ALFA members from 1984 to 2001. Gameplay takes place in a variety of settings including the desert, mountains and valleys, forests, small cities and towns and features a wide selection of weapons from International manufacturers of warfare such as AKSU-74A, Colts, sniper rifle SVDs, grenade launcher RPG-7s and much more."

Auto Assault & City of Villains Revealed

NCsoft sends along the roster of games they will be showing off at next month's E3, which offers first details on Auto Assault, NetDevil's Mad Max-style MMORPG, and reveals an evil City of Villains expansion for City of Heroes:
Auto Assault —Combine fast-paced vehicular combat with high-tech, futuristic weaponry and hundreds of intense skills and you get Auto Assault – a unique departure from traditional Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs). Hop in your own customized cars, semis, and motorcycles and prepare to fight the mutated creatures and bandits of Auto Assault's post-apocalyptic world. Battle other players both in arenas and in epic race vs. race wars for control of the regions in a devastated Earth. Auto Assault uses the power of the Havok™ physics engine to let you make insane jumps, send obstacles flying and even blast bridges, buildings, fences and trees with your car-mounted rockets. Anything you can hit, you can destroy!

City of Villains—Want to play the bad guy in Paragon City? You’ll get your chance in Cryptic Studios’ City of Villains, currently under development and to be shown in limited play at E3. While City of Heroes (www.cityofheroes.com) is ready for an April 28 launch, Cryptic developers already are working on the first major expansion to the game that will allow players to take on the role of villain in Paragon’s modern metropolis. Turn the tide on all the heroes and heroines and lead your crime syndicate into battle in the impressive 3D backdrop of Paragon City.

Rise of Nations: Thrones and Patriots Demo

Rise of Nations: Thrones and Patriots Downloads Page now offers the 244 MB trial version of the Thrones and Patriots expansion:
Microsoft Game Studios today announced that the Rise of Nations®: Thrones and Patriots trial version is now available from the game's official site at http://www.microsoft.com/games/thronesandpatriots/. The Rise of Nations: Thrones and Patriots expansion pack will hit North American stores on April 27, but gamers will be able to get their first taste of this spring's most anticipated strategy game by downloading the trial version today.

In the trial version, gamers can choose between four nations: the Persians from the expansion pack, and three others from the original game. Players will be able to play through the tutorial and then get a taste of the Alexander the Great campaign, one of four historical campaigns in the retail version. Gamers will also be able to try their hand on the battlefield on one of three different random map types. This stand-alone trial version does not require gamers to own the original retail version of Rise of Nations.

NFS Underground 2

Electronic Arts reveals the eighth installment in the hard driving Need for Speed series with the announcement of Need for Speed Underground 2:
EA TO OWN THE STREETS THIS AUTUMN WITH NEED FOR SPEED UNDERGROUND 2
Sequel to Best-Selling Racing Game of 2003 Offers Massive, Free-roaming Game World

Chertsey, UK – April 23, 2004 — Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) today announced the development of Need For SpeedTM Underground 2 under the EA GAMESTM brand. Need for Speed Underground 2 is the sequel to Need for Speed Underground, which has sold more than five million copies worldwide since its release in November 2003.

Need for Speed Underground 2 will challenge gamers to immerse themselves in the tuner culture, exploring an expansive, free-roaming city divided into five distinct neighbourhoods. Gamers will encounter rival racers who will initiate events, tip players off to the hottest racing spots, and show them where to buy the most sought-after licensed aftermarket upgrades.

The game will feature new game modes, deep new performance customisation and tuning, and more than 30 licensed cars. The game also delivers twice the visual customisation upgrades as the original game, providing a staggering 70 billion possible car combinations for total automotive self-expression.

Need for Speed Underground 2 is currently under development by EA Canada and is scheduled for release in fall 2004 for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCubeTM, PC, and Game Boy® Advance. We are awaiting confirmation of the PEGI rating for this game.

Game Movies

Pop some corn, the gaming multiplex is here: The first You Are Empty trailer is now available, showing off Digital Spray Studios recently unveiled alternate-history first-person action game. The clip can be found on the You are Empty Website, and mirrored on 3D Gamers and Worthplaying. Also, the first gameplay trailer from Project Freedom is now available, showing off CITY interactive's upcoming space combat game. This clip can be found on 3D Gamers. Finally, another new Rollercoaster Tycoon III trailer is now available, showing off more of the upcoming amusement simulation sequel. This clip is available on Atari.com.au and mirrored on 3D Gamers.

Morning Q&As

I See 1C Sites

1C Company has announced their E3 line-up, and in conjunction, they have launch something like a hundred new project pages (thanks Frans). There are now new sites online for Space Rangers 2, Cuban Missile Crisis, Desert Law, Parkan II, Ascension to the Throne, World War I, Captain Blood, StarRush, XIII Century: Sword & Honor, and Swashbucklers: Legacy of Drake.

Morning Previews

Dear Diaries

Warlords Battlecry III Battle Report #2 offers another journal from the frontlines describing some beta gameplay, written by Infinite Interactive. Also, HomeLAN Fed's Shadow Ops: Red Mercury Developers Diary - Part 7 features Anthony Lamp and Matt Rapelje of Zombie discussing modeling and realism in the upcoming Unreal-engine shooter: "We also wanted to convey a sense of realism. Realism can be tricky, especially in videogames. Some artists believe going photo real can be a cheap way of being creative. After working on this project, I must say the opposite."

Morning Screenshots

Consolidation

Thanks Mike Martinez.

Game Guidance

There are new Painkiller Secrets and Bosses videos on NWS Gaming. Also, there are some new Star Wars Galaxies Tips on FileFront.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Thanks Mike Martinez.

Out of the Blue

Even if the Knicks get swept from the playoffs by the Nets, at least they turned in a respectable performance last night... unfortunately, I think the team is now constructed to be knocked out of the first round of the playoffs for years to come. It's a telling fact about the sports teams I follow that the brightest spot on my rooting horizon is tomorrow's NFL draft, when the Giants will have the fourth pick (if they don't trade up). I won't be there in the gallery, but I'll be rooting hard for Gallery.

Play Time: Slippery Sledding. Thanks Tony Fabris.
Links of the Day:: Gamecontrol. Home of "the game."
Stories of the Day: Rhino gets amorous with car. Thanks wetworks.
A long, strange trip for cat missing seven years. Thanks Ant.
Boy suspended for allegedly exposing teacher to allergy.
Science!: Study: Chocolate, BBQ addiction may be real.
Science Group Says U.S. Budget Plan Would Harm Research (registration required).
Images of the Day: Images of Japanese Vending Machines. Thanks Ant.
Auction of the Day: Police: German pair auction child on Internet for one euro.
Thanks Mike Martinez
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