Archived News:

Wednesday, May 05, 2004 Wolfenstein 3D Released (1992) - Cinco de Mayo

Painkiller Patch

A new patch is now available for Painkiller, updating People Can Fly's first-person shooter to version 1.15. The new version includes a new multiplayer map along with numerous enhancements including demo recording, a new spectator mode, prediction code, a voting system, and more. The patch is a 50 MB download, available from 3D Gamers, 3D Downloads, ActionTrip, Computer Games Online, FileShack (registration required), Gamer's Hell, and Worthplaying.

Beyond Divinity Patch

The Beyond Divinity Website now offers downloads of a new English patch for Beyond Divinity, updating the English edition of Larian Studios' RPG sequel to version 1.4 (thanks Frans). Word is, simply: "This patch will fix some issues that weren’t addressed in the previous patch." The full change list is here. Update: The German version of the patch is also now available.

SÖLDNER Delay

Encore sends a new release date for SÖLDNER: Secret Wars. Wings Simulations' mercenary-themed shooter is now due on June 22:
Encore announced today that the ship date for Soldner: Secret Wars has moved to June 22. The original ship date was May 4.

The response to the beta demo for Soldner: Secret Wars was overwhelming and far exceeded our expectations. The great support and feedback from both the Soldner community and gamers that downloaded the demo has been instrumental in helping our development partners identify and address issues with the game’s server/portal infrastructure, gameplay and balancing that need to be resolved in order to ensure as smooth a launch as possible when the product ships to retail.

Thief: Deadly Shadows Gold

Eidos' 'Thief Deadly Shadows' Steals May 25 Ship Date in North America (thanks Frans) is the announcement that ION Storm's third installment in the Thief series begun by Looking Glass Games is complete for both PC and Xbox, and expected to meet its planned May 26 in-store date. Here's a bit:
Thief: Deadly Shadows places you in the role of Master Thief Garrett, the quintessential anti-hero that steals from the rich and keeps for himself. In Thief: Deadly Shadows, Garrett finds himself assisting the Keepers, the secret society that trained Garrett in his youth. He is tasked with preventing a prophesised Dark Age from coming into fruition. Thief: Deadly Shadows was developed by Ion Storm, creators of the critically-acclaimed Deus Ex series.

Thief: Deadly Shadows will continue the Ion Storm tradition of open-ended emergent gameplay the studio is famous for. The freedom to choose a unique play style is what sets Thief: Deadly Shadows apart from any other game further immersing the player into the adventure. Thief: Deadly Shadows features a powerful physics system, startlingly smart AI, enhanced character modelling and animation, a groundbreaking sound propagation system and state- of-the art lighting and graphics for which Ion Storm is famous for.

TrackMania Power-up Demo

A third demo for TrackMania is now available, the latest trial of the puzzle-driving game includes a sample of the free Power-up add-on. Word is: "The demo features three environments including new tracks with Power Up! features for both 'racing' and 'puzzle' modes. Players will also have the opportunity to build, race and share their own custom-made tracks using the games unique track editor." Mirrors of the 124 MB download can be found on the TrackMania Website, which may or may not match this list of mirrors: 3D Gamers, ActionTrip, Gamer's Hell, and Worthplaying.

More on the H-L2 Date

The Neowin Winhec 2004 Blog (thanks Wookiestick) reports on the presentation of Half-Life 2 at an ATI bash, offering more support for the theory that Summer 2004 is the new September 30:
The demo was very impressive but was not a touch on the demo by Gabe Newell from Valve. This stole the whole keynote to actually see some new footage from Half Life 2. Again we got the whole video which is approximately 3 minutes long and as soon as we find somewhere with firewire we’ll get it on here asap because it’s one to watch! Gabe claimed the X800 is 40% faster than the GeForce 6800 for Half Life 2 and confirmed that we’ll see Half Life 2 this summer.

El Matador

Cenega Publishing has another pre-E3 announcement, revealing plans for El Matador, a stealthy third-person action game in the works at Plastic Reality Technologies that allows the player to "pursue corrupt and dangerous drug dealers, and finally bring them to justice – tactical action style." The first screenshots from the game can be found on Gamer's Hell, and here's the fact sheet on the project:
El Matador is a 3rd person "tactical action" game with stealth features. It takes proven features of the genre and enhances them with the latest technology, to provide the player with an opportunity to experience the excitement of espionage first hand.

The storyline, which weaves its way throughout the adventure, combines all the essential features of surprise, unexpected twists and dramatic developments. It is a tale of corruption, revenge, moral ambiguity and ultimate justice. The timeline progresses automatically, as shown in clips which pop up throughout the game.

Key features:

• An interesting South American environment
• A beautiful and engaging setting in which to pursue corrupt and dangerous drug dealers, and finally bring them to justice – tactical action style
• A wide variety of essential gadgets which facilitate completion of stealth based missions, and allow the player to slip unnoticed through enemy lines.
• A strong storyline
• A fascinating range of enemies (the ultimate leaders – "end of mission bosses"), commanders, rank and file, hostile civilians, animals like crocodiles and dogs).
• AI hierarchy of "bad guys" – the bosses can order and move their troops about.
• Fully functional models for enemy actions in cases such as alarm etc. (systematic search of area, coordinated action on part of enemy troops etc.)
• 3D movement and viewing of characters – "rag dolls".
• Engine animation which adds texture to scenes and events, and builds atmosphere

PC Suffering Plans

The Adrenaline Vault (thanks Frans) has word of relief for PC gamers suffering with the positive reviews The Suffering has been garnering since the horror game's console release. Not only does the story report that a PC port is in the works, but that it's due in stores by the end of this month. Accompanying the report is the first batch of PC screenshots.

UFO: Aftershock

ALTAR Interactive reveals plans for UFO: Aftershock, a sequel to UFO: Aftermath, their xenophobic strategy game. In conjunction with the announcement, a trailer showing off a bit of gameplay has been released, and can be found on Adrenaline Vault, GameCenter.cz, Gamer's Hell, Jucaushii.ro, Loadedinc, and Worthplaying; and there's a shrunken-down DivX version on Tiscali Games. Here's the fact sheet on what's been revealed so far:
The story continues...

After the alien invasion, the Council of Earth successfully fought the Reticulans and moreover discovered their secret plan: to cover the Earth with "Biomass", a network of alien organic tissue that, the Reticulans hoped, would become conscious and endowed with immense psychic powers. The Reticulans who invaded the Earth are not true representatives of their kind, they are a breakaway faction that burned the bridges and chose this backwater part of space to conduct its experiments.

The Reticulans would construct a large satellite (several kilometres across) with a closed ecosystem and move the remnants of human population there. The experiment with the Biomass would go on on the surface. Then something went horribly wrong...

• Global strategy – tactical missions and strategic game on the globe
• Sequel for successful UFO: Aftermath
• New amazing technologies and items for development
• New enemies and allies
• Source management, Base management
• Improved SAS system and RPG system
• Strong story

...and many other new features

Dear Diaries

The Kult: Heretic Kingdoms Developer Diary Part 1 on Worthplaying offers a journal from Peter Nagy, lead designer of 3D People Studios, discussing what they are doing as they head into the home stretch in development of their upcoming fantasy role-playing game. Also, there's a Restricted Area Diary on MGW offering another German-language diary from Master Creating's Jan Bueck on their upcoming action RPG. As always, the article can be roughly translated by sticking a Babel Fish in your ear.

Valve Visit

The Valve Software Journal on Telenet is a journal of 20 Belgian's journey to the Pacific Northwest and their Valve Software sojourn. They offer some quotes from unnamed parties like the guy working on the E3 movie, the guy responsible for programming interfaces, the level designers, "the Steam dude," and more (apparently they forgot to wear name tags). The whole shebang is illustrated by a big batch of photos.

Morning Q&As

Morning Previews

Consolidation

Thanks Mike Martinez.

Competitions

LANmaniac LANfest 2K4 Pictures recaps the festivities, but be prepared for heavy load times as it pre-loads a billion photos.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

  • PinMAME 1.32.001 is now available. Thanks Ant...
  • Tales of Tamar shareware is available, allowing the chance to sample this "turn based fantasy, strategy and role playing game"...
  • The game-resale crackdown: "Some stores that buy used video games have begun to take their customers’ fingerprints so that the ink impressions can be turned over to police."...

Out of the Blue

Happy Cinco de Mayo, as today commemorates el Día de la Batalla de Puebla, the victory of the Mexicans over the French in the Battle of Puebla. I am also celebrating a victory today as I have vanquished my cold (man I can shoehorn a segue out of anything), and am enjoying my emergence from my antihistamine haze.

Today's common cold link was an interesting read on the topic... I was particularly fascinated by the hypothesis that not getting many colds might actually be a sign of a malfunctioning immune system, rather than the reverse, which would be the obvious assumption.

Links of the Day: Common Cold. Thanks Enahs.
Trading Places Walking Illusions.
Stories of the Day: Rescuers prep for hybrid car accidents. Thanks Cliff Eyler.
Disney Forbidding Distribution of Film That Criticizes Bush (registration required).
Coke and Pepsi to Face Off in Carb Battle.
Science!: Global warming debate aside, West is heating up.
Babies Born With a Mission.
States act on animal-car crashes.
Image of the Day: VW Bus Ball. Thanks Dan Leadbetter.
Seen at an AICPA Tech Conference. Thanks Ant.
Media of the Day: Badgerphone.
Auction of the Day: From eBay to batter's box, for only $5,601. Thanks Bill Money.
Billy Joel 1967 Citroen Grill from Slam.
Follow-ups: Anti-Vaccination Fever: The Shot Hurt Around the World.
FCC flooded with Oprah complaints and SaveRadioNow.org. Thanks A/S/LayerAODsk.
Thanks Mike Martinez
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