Archived News:

Tuesday, Sep 21, 2004

Twilight War & Source Engine

Valve announces that Twilight War: After the Fall, Smiling Gator Productions' recently unveiled MMORPG (story) will be utilizing Valve's Source engine. Here's a bit:
The Valve Source engine technology, the same used to create Half-Life 2, gives developers the ability to create expressive digital actors and physically simulated worlds. It also offers advanced rendering capabilities and the industry's most convincing artificial intelligence.

"The Source engine is one of the gaming world's premier technologies, we are thrilled about the features it will bring to Twilight War: After the Fall," says Kingsley Montgomery, Vice President of Development at Smiling Gator Productions. "Its combat system, physics, and advanced AI are exactly what we were looking for to enable the exciting features we are developing for our game. We evaluated several game engines and concluded that Valve's was the only choice for us. In addition to being a top-notch product, their support has been excellent."

Smiling Gator Productions joins Troika Games and Arkane Studios as announced Source licensees. Source is designed for the creation of games from all genres, and contains a host of proprietary tools for level editing, character direction and more.

Linux DOOM 3 Client Testing

An update on LinuxGames (thanks Ant) has word that testing has begun for the Linux DOOM 3 client. Though as the story says, the Linux server is due along with the first Win32 patch for the game, no time frame for the release of the client is set at this point.


WANTED: A Wild Western Adventure Goes Gold is the press release announcing the completion of North American version of the western-themed game known in Europe as Fenimore Fillmore: The Westerner. The game's ship date is not mentioned in the announcement, but there is word of plans for a playable demo next week.

TRIBES Vengeance Gold

VU Games sends news that TRIBES Vengeance is gold, and Irrational's installment in the multiplayer shooter series is due to ship on October 5:
Tribes®: Vengeance Goes Gold!

LOS ANGELES, CA (September 21, 2004) – Vivendi Universal Games announced today that their upcoming PC first-person action game Tribes: Vengeance has gone gold and will ship to retail stores in the United States on October 5th. A multiplayer demo for the game will be made available online before the game is released.

A single-player trial version for Tribes: Vengeance and more information about the game can be found at the official website:

In Tribes: Vengeance gamers become immersed in a roiling galactic thriller. Throughout the game, the player catches glimpses of myriad interrelated stories that unfold behind-the-scenes and is given the opportunity to experience the full scope of the single-player story through multiple viewpoints and characters. Utilizing the all-new Vengeance Engine powered by Unreal™ technology, the world is brought to life with characters that have facial expressions and fully-realized personalities, vehicles that kick up dust as they pass by, and weapons that display spectacular effects. Tribes: Vengeance will also build upon the Tribes series’ legendary online multiplayer action by continuing to focus on team-oriented goals and fluid movement. Particular focus is being given to making Tribes: Vengeance easily accessible to the video game modification (MOD) community. Irrational Games and VU Games have worked together to ensure that Tribes: Vengeance’s game modification tools are easily accessible and robust.

Ships Ahoy - Shadow Ops: Red Mercury

AMD Teams Up With Atari To Deliver 64-Bit Firepower is the press release announcing the availability of the PC edition of Shadow Ops: Red Mercury, though there's minimal focus on the game, as the announcement primarily further touts the advantages to be seen in the 64-bit version of Zombie's first-person shooter:
After purchasing "Shadow Ops: Red Mercury," gamers can immediately take advantage of the game by installing a public trial version of Microsoft(r) Windows(r) XP Pro x64 Edition on an AMD64 platform and installing relevant 64-bit drivers.

For more information about how AMD64 technology takes "Shadow Ops: Red Mercury" and other games to a whole new level of immersion, visit

Ships Ahoy - Final Fantasy XI: Shadows of Promathia

Square Enix Ships Final Fantasy(R) XI Expansion - Chains of Promathia(TM) (thanks Frans) is the press release with news that the MMORPG expansion is now available:
Chains of Promathia boasts a plethora of new areas to explore, along with a sweeping new storyline that expands the world of Vana'diel to unseen heights. With more story content than the original release of FINAL FANTASY XI and the "Rise of the Zilart" expansion, Chains of Promathia builds upon what the developers at Square Enix are best known for: storytelling and pushing the technological envelope. Enhancements have been made in every area, including subtle nuances in music and character motion.

Ships Ahoy - Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005

Rounding out this spate of shipping stories is EA Ships Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 2005, announcing the availability of the cross-platform golfing game. Fore!

Ships Ahoy - Full Spectrum Warrior

THQ Launches Highly Anticipated Full Spectrum Warrior PC; Implement Real Combat Tactics, Battling Enemies with Authentic Weapons (thanks Frans) announces availability of the PC version of Full Spectrum Warrior, Pandemic's squad-level military simulation based on a project created for the U.S. Army:
CALABASAS HILLS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 21, 2004--THQ(R) Inc. (Nasdaq:THQI) today announced the release of Full Spectrum Warrior(TM) PC. Developed on a parallel path with the critically-acclaimed and highly successful Microsoft Xbox(R) game released earlier this summer, the PC version of Full Spectrum Warrior includes a number of game enhancements and features specific to the PC version -- including two bonus levels, enhanced texture and graphic resolution and an intuitive keyboard/mouse control scheme that has been optimized for PC gamers. Developed by Pandemic Studios, Full Spectrum Warrior has shipped to retailers worldwide for a suggested retail price of $39.99.

Axis & Allies Demo Plans

The Atari Forums (thanks GameGossip and Frans) has an update from Ryan Wener, Atari's brand manager on the upcoming World War II RTS game. The update mentions the game's November release, a pre-sell bonus, and plans for a demo next month:
1) The game is still on track for an early November release (and I can't wait. It's looking fantastic!)

2) A playable demo will be available in early October. Stay tuned for details.

3) We'll be announcing shortly that there's a pre-sell bonus through a couple of retailers (EB, Gamestop, a few others), offering an extra playable battle scenario (not available in either of the linear campaigns). This isn't your run-of-the-mill extra footage or game trailers. You get a full-blown extra mission for pre-ordering.

Ships Ahoy - Star Wars Battlefront

LucasArts Blasts onto Store Shelves with the Release of Star Wars Battlefront for the PS2, Xbox and PC is the expected press release announcing that the new Star Wars action game is in stores, coinciding with the release of the original Star Wars trilogy on DVD: "The team-based action within Star Wars Battlefront is set in 16 unique locations across 10 diverse planets including Hoth, Geonosis and Endor. Players can select one of the 20 different soldier types from each of the four factions: Rebel Alliance, Imperial Army, Clone Army and Droid Army. Each soldier has specialized abilities and the freedom to use ground-based turrets found on the battlefront as well as over 25 diverse ground and air vehicles including the AT-ST, X-wing and speeder bike."

Site Seeing

A new Stolen Product Page is online, dedicated to the upcoming third-person stealth game in the works at Blue52. Among the included media is a batch of new screenshots from the game. Thanks Frans.

ATI Psychotoxic Fix

This ATI Solutions Page (thanks YiYas) has a new hot-fix for users having trouble running Psychotoxic using the latest version 4.9 CATALYST drivers ("Psychotoxic: Starting a new game may result in the game failing to load or producing a VPU recover error").

New Kquery4

A new version 1.8.7 build 097 of the Kquery4 server browser is now available. The new release adds timely support for Call of Duty : United Offensive, premature support for TRIBES Vengeance, and somewhat belated support for Starsiege TRIBES and QuakeWorld.

Game Movies

A trailer with more than two minutes of gameplay from The Matrix Online is now available, showing off Monolith's upcoming MMORPG based on the movie franchise. The 27 MB movie is available on 3D Gamers and Also, a new Evil Genius movie is now online, featuring more of Elixir's imminent strategy game that allows you to get in touch with your inner super-villain. The 50 MB clip can be found on 3D Gamers. Finally, the Flash website for Invictus Games features a new Cross Racing Championship movie in two different resolutions, taken from the upcoming rally racing game. The movies are mirrored on 3D Gamers.

Star Wars Battlefront Server

Dedicated server programs are now available for Star Wars Battlefront, allowing those interested to host dedicated servers for Pandemic Studios' Star Wars action game, which should be appearing on store shelves today. Though both programs run on Windows PCs, there is a server for hosting PS2 players, available on FilePlanet (registration required), and a server to host Windows games, available on FilePlanet (registration required), mirrored on 3D Gamers and Worthplaying.

Morning Q&As

  • Trauma/DICE
    HomeLAN Fed's Trauma Studios/Digital Illusions Q&A talks with Frank DeLise about Trauma's acquisition by DICE, and what this means for the development of Battlefield 2: "Some of the prototypes that Trauma worked on included rappelling from helicopters, squads, commanders, artillery, reviving players, wounded state, vehicle upgrades, assist kills, new game play modes, scoring, a couple of level designs and user interface designs. Most or all of these prototypes will make it into the final product. It was an amazing exercise to quickly realize what is fun and what is not, make quick iterations and decide if the feature is good or not."
  • BioWare/Unreal
    BioWare's Unreal New RPG on IGN is another Q&A discussing the new licensing deal between BioWare and Epic with Joint-CEOs Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuck: "I think that anyone who has seen the Unreal Engine 3 demo video will agree that the visuals that are output by the engine are exceptional. Now imagine combining those great graphics with the RPG layer we're implementing, and you've laid the foundations for a beautiful RPG in an amazingly detailed world with an unprecedented level of immersion. That gets me quite excited!"
  • Rome: Total War
    The Creative Assembly Q&A on Esprit-str Voir offers answers to some questions about Rome: Total War. Though the site is French, the proceedings here are in English: "in addition to having the amazing detail that these now is in Rome: Total War, we've included River, Siege and Open battles that can be fought on any terrain, in any weather, at any time of day and for up to six people using any of the games 21 factions. In particular, the sieges represent a huge step forward. Never before have you had to fight such epic battles that require the player to fight To the walls, THROUGH/OVER the walls, ON TOP of the walls, THROUGH the city streets, culminating in a pitched battle in the city centre J Additionally, we've included the historical battles as multiplayer battles."
  • Mortyr II
    The Mortyr II Q&A on TotalVideoGames talks with Pawel Kalinowski about the World War II shooter sequel: "Mortyr was the first modern WWII action shooter, which paved the way for other extremely successful titles like Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Medal of Honor. What we did in the original was to create a coherent world where flocks of bad Nazis were sent to guard the Wunderwaffe. While M1 had much more sci-fi elements with time travelling and futuristic weapons, M2 focuses and expands on the core ingredients the audience liked the most - loads of Nazis to eliminate with special, but real life based, weapons. M2 is our return to pure playability and added realism."
  • The Matrix Online
    The Question of the Week on The Matrix Online Vault doles out another single answer to a single question about the upcoming MMORPG, holding back on us all Oracle-style.
  • Prince of Persia
    The Prince of Persia Warrior Within Q&A on GameSpot discusses the return of the flipped-out prince with Bertrand Helias, lead producer on the project: ""Essentially, we wanted this game to feel like a thriller--to generate a sense of fear and oppression. In this game, the Prince has to fight for his life. So we made him more powerful, more determined, and more aggressive. He is a master warrior with deadly skills. We've placed him in a darker, more mysterious, and more oppressive environment, with fiercer and more-frightening enemies."
  • Chris Sawyer's Locomotion
    HomeLAN Fed's Chris Sawyer's Locomotion Q&A talks with the designer about his upcoming eponymous transportation game: "It’s been an uphill battle to get the game reasonably well balanced – It’s such a free-form game that you can’t easily predict how the game will progress or what style of gameplay the player will use, so catering for all styles and scenarios is very difficult. It’s not like most games where there’s only one way to play and one way to win, you can play in so many different ways depending on what particularly interests you or you find particularly fun, and the challenge for me was to make sure that most players could achieve satisfaction and enjoy playing in their own particular way."

UFO Aftermath Patch

Cenega Publishing now offers downloads of a new patch for the U.K. edition of UFO Aftermath updating the xenophobic strategy game to version 1.4. No details on the update are provided. Thanks Frans.

Morning Previews

  • Final Fantasy XI: Chains of Promathia on 1UP.
  • Wings Over Vietnam on SimHQ.

Morning Screenshots


Game Guidance

A new LucasArts Entertainment Company Star Wars Battlefront FAQ is online (thanks Frans). Also, there is a Deus Ex Walkthrough on GameBanshee with an extensive, albeit a bit tardy, guide to ION Storm's first action/RPG.

The Mod Squads

The Forgotten Hope Homepage (thanks Ant) lists Friday as the official release date for the new version .65 of this Battlefield 1942 modification. In preparation, they have begun distribution of the mod's manual, the dedicated server files, and even a bit-torrent of the client files, those these are password protected, and the password will not be distributed until the general release is live.


The Codename Panzers Website is where to participate in the Lost World War II Treasure Sweepstakes. The deal involves a trivia contest that leads to a quest to identify a real-world location, with a spiffy laptop PC to reward the winner.

Help Wanted

Recently traumatized DICE sends along a help wanted: "Digital Illusions New York (Formerly Trauma Studios) is hiring!! If you’re passionate about games and you want to join one of the leading game developers out there, send us your resume. We are looking to expand with Level Designers, Programmers, Technical Director, Art Director and Artists. Requirements: * A passion for games and game development! * 3+ years of game industry experience. * Previous work on several AAA PC and/or console titles. * Demonstrated strong initiative and common sense when solving problems. * Must have the ability to work well within a team. Resumes with salary requirements will only be accepted. The positions are fulltime and are based in New York. Send them to"

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

Today, of course, is the day the first Star Wars Trilogy comes out on DVD. As has been endlessly hashed out, these are not exactly the original versions of the original movies, but as the release has neared, I have gotten excited about all this, and less worried about such issues. A bit more worrisome are the audio issues noted on The Digital Bits mentioned in the forums here yesterday, but the latest response they've gotten from LucasArts indicates that the flopped rear surround channel dealie is supposedly intentional, so we'll have to see how that plays out. May the force be with us!

Links of the Day: I Found Some Of Your Life. Thanks Warren.
DOOM 3 Project Mars City Mod. Thanks Jeff.
Stories of the Day: Rodney Dangerfield in coma after heart surgery, wife says. Thanks Ant.
Kalashnikov launches liquid weapon. Thanks Bunko and Jon.
What to Eat on the Way to Mars. No Mars Bars. Thanks Ant.
Science!: The Electron Leak.
Gel may 'replace pills and jabs'.
Quick Read on Your Genetics.
Media of the Day: Hippie Music Video. Thanks athlonseven. Contains vague drug references.
Thanks Mike Martinez.
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