Archived News:

Wednesday, Oct 06, 2004

Gold - Pacific Fighters

Ubisoft announces that Pacific Fighters is gold, and the World War II combat flight sim from the folks behind IL-2 Sturmovik should be mobilizing soon, though no release date accompanies the announcement:
SAN FRANCISCO—October 6, 2004 Ubisoft, one of the world’s largest videogame publishers today announced that the Pacific Fighters™ gold master has gone into production. From the creators of the critically acclaimed IL-2 series, Pacific Fighters will ship for PC at the end of October with an ESRB rating of Teen for Mild Language and Violence.

Re-create some of the most decisive air battles of WW II and experience famous locations like Midway, Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima, where the courage of a single pilot could turn the tide of war. Fly more than 40 combat aircraft including the deadly Japanese Zero, the UK’s Supermarine Seafire and the U.S.-made Corsair. In addition to 16 huge single-player maps, Pacific Fighters offers an unparalleled online multiplayer option. For the first time in any retail combat flight simulation, virtual pilots can take part in massive aerial dogfights on the same dedicated server for up to 128 players. A 32-player option is also available in Cooperative mode. For the first time in the IL-2 series, players can engage aircraft carriers in combat and utilize them to take off and land. As with every product developed by IL-2 creator Oleg Maddox, Pacific Fighters offers unsurpassed attention to detail. The smart AI, unequaled damage model and sense of realism combine to immerse players like no other combat flight simulation.

Game Features:
• Over 40 flyable WWII fighters and bombers.
A partial list includes: Aichi D3A1 Val, Bristol Beaufighter, Douglas A-20 Havoc, Grumman F6f Hellcat, Mitsubishi A6M Zero, Kawasaki Ki-61 Tony, North American B-25 Mitchell, and Vought F4U-1 Corsair.

• Legendary Pacific Theater locations.
Fly in huge maps of famous battle sites, such as Pearl Harbor, Midway, Singapore and Okinawa.

• New large-scale multiplayer engagements.
Join squadrons in a variety of online modes such as free-for-all dogfights for up to 128 players and cooperative campaigns for up to 32 players.

• A vast array of targets ranging from railroads to battleships.
Ground objects such as trains, trucks and tanks can all be pounded from the air. Torpedo historically accurate ships, drop parafrags on enemy airfields, and encounter more than 100 other targets on the ground and at sea.

For more information visit the newly relaunched IL-2 community site featuring Pacific Fighter. WWW.il2sturmovik.com is the one-stop shop for all Oleg Maddox products published by Ubisoft. View the amazing Pacific Fighters trailer and get ready for a combat flight simulation that will set new standards for the genre.

Half-Life 2 Preorders Steam Ahead Tomorrow

Valve sends word that Half-Life 2 will be available for purchase over Steam tomorrow, though the game itself will not yet be available at that time. Here's word (again) on the various offers, and how purchasers will receive Counter-Strike: Source immediately:
Tomorrow at 11 am PST, the Half-Life 2 Steam offers will be ready for purchase. Details and pricing for these offers are pasted below. Those who purchase via Steam, will receive the final version of Counter-Strike: Source immediately. Half-Life 2 and other games in the Steam offerings will be made available to purchasers upon their release.

ATI/Half-Life 2 bundle owners may redeem their product key for the Bronze offer or apply their key toward the purchase of either the Silver or Gold offers, receiving a credit equal to the price of the Bronze offer.

Also tomorrow, the Counter-Strike: Source beta will close. Valve would like to thank the thousands of gamers who participated in the beta and helped make it a success.

For more detailed information, please visit www.steampowered.com

Half-Life 2 Steam Offers

STEAM OFFERINGS

1. "Bronze" -- $49.95
-- Half-Life 2*
-- Counter-Strike: Source
*(To be made available upon product's release.)


2. "Silver" -- $59.95
-- Half-Life 2*
-- Counter-Strike: Source
-- Half-Life 1: Source*
-- Day of Defeat: Source*
-- Valve's back catalog currently available on Steam *(To be made available upon products' release.)


3. "Gold" -- $89.95
-- Half-Life 2*
-- Counter-Strike: Source
-- Half-Life 1: Source*
-- Day of Defeat: Source*
-- Valve's back catalog currently available on Steam
-- Complete Half-Life 2 Strategy Guide from Prima Games
-- 3 different Half-Life 2 posters
-- Half-Life Collector's box
-- Half-Life 2 hat
-- Half-Life 2 postcard
-- Half-Life 2 stickers
-- Half-Life 2 Soundtrack CD
-- Chance to win a trip to Valve! (1 trip offered for every 5000 Gold packages purchased).
*(To be made available upon products' release.)

Scrapland Demo

After a false start a couple of weeks ago (story), the playable demo for American McGee presents Scrapland is now available, offering a sample of the upcoming third-person action game in the works at Mercury Steam. Here's the deal: "This public demo gives gamers the opportunity to experience the futuristic robotic world of Scrapland. It introduces gamers to D-Tritus, an intergalactic traveler who finds himself involved in a series of mysterious murders. With the ability to transform into any of 15 character types, each with their own unique powers, and the skills to pilot hundreds of gunships found throughout the game, D-Tritus must solve this murderous conspiracy plaguing the city of Chimera." The 290 MB download is available on 3D Gamers, ActionTrip, FileFront, Gameguru Mania, Gamer's Hell, and Worthplaying.

Site Seeing

The official Psychonauts Website is now online, offering asylum to this upcoming "wildly imaginative psychic odyssey" (thanks HomeLAN Fed and Frans). The site offers all sorts of features, along with 16 new screenshots.

BF Vietnam Linux Server

The updated Linux server for Battlefield Vietnam is now available, paving the way for the imminent version 1.2 patch for DICE's military shooter. The 165 MB download is available on the Battlefield Dedicated Server Forum, and mirrored on 3D Gamers, FileFront, and Worthplaying.

Space Interceptor/Project Freedom Demo

A demo for Space Interceptor is now available, allowing the chance to sample this upcoming space combat game also known as Project Freedom. The demo offers a single-player mission and a tutorial, all for the cost of a 117 MB download, which can be found on 3D Gamers, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and Worthplaying.

Rome: Total War Patch

A new patch is now available for Rome: Total War, updating Creative Assembly's large scale RTS game to version 1.1. Word is this update is now required in order to play online. The 10 MB download is available on TOTALWAR.COM and mirrored on 3D Gamers, ActionTrip, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, GameSpot DLX (registration required), and Worthplaying.

Cold Fear Announced

Ubisoft and Darkworks announce Cold Fear, an upcoming action/horror game due on the PC, Xbox, and PS2 in March 2005. Here's the deal:
"Horror fans are hungry for a compelling new title and we believe our debut action-horror release Cold Fear will bring them strong emotions to say the least...," said Alain Corre, Ubisoft's managing director for Europe, Middle East and Asia. "The game is set in a dynamic environment on a stormy sea, including intense combat, intelligent enemies, and a high element of the shockingly unexpected. Your life jacket won't be sufficient!"

Players step into the role of Tom Hansen, a U.S. Coast Guard who is sent to board a drifting Russian whaling ship in the middle of a howling storm on the Bering Sea, who will discover there is no safe place here. On this constantly rocking and shifting ship and a mysterious oil rig, players must turn their interactive surroundings to their advantage to take down human enemies – and enemies that aren't human any more - and save their own life.

Chat-O-Rama

PC Gamer sends along word of plans to chat this evening with the folks from Relic about Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War:
On Wednesday October 6th, PC Gamer magazine will be hosting a chat session with Warhammer Dawn of War developers in our IRC channel #pcgamer on irc.Gamesurge.net. In attendance will be THQ Producer Sean Dunn, Relic Producer Jonathan Dowdeswell, and Relic Lead Designer Jay Wilson. The chat is to be timed with the relaunching of PCGamer.com, and will start at 6:30pm PST (9:30pm EST). We'll be taking questions from the community, so stop by and check it out.

Ships Ahoy - Conflict: Vietnam

Global Star's Conflict Vietnam Emerges from the Jungle and Arrives in Retail Stores Throughout North America is the press release announcing the availability of the latest installment in the squad-based action series:
Conflict: Vietnam is a squad based action game that puts players in the shoes of four barely trained 101st Airborne soldiers who are caught countless miles behind enemy lines during the 1968 Tet Offensive. It is up to the player to use all four members of the squad and utilize their different abilities in order to successfully traverse through booby trap filled terrain, loaded with North Vietnamese and Viet Cong soldiers. The objective isn’t to win the war; the objective is to make it out alive.

BF: Vietnam Patch Plans

The Battlefield: Vietnam Website announces that the version 1.2 patch for Battlefield Vietnam will be released tomorrow, October 7. This previous update has details on the patch, while the newer update has some movies showing off the new patch. Thanks Frans.

Game Movies

This Downloads Page on the new GTR Website offers a new gameplay trailer showing off the realism in the upcoming racing simulation. Also, there's a new Psychonauts movie from Double Fine's upcoming third-person action/adventure, the clip is available on 3D Gamers, Gamer's Hell, and Worthplaying. Finally, a new Fire Captain: Bay Area Inferno movie is now available, taken from the upcoming sequel also known as Fire Department 2. The movie can be found on 3D Gamers and Worthplaying.

World Racing 2 Announced

Though development of World Racing 2 has not been a secret, TDK Mediactive has released some screenshots (which can be found on ToTheGame and WarlockTeam), and the official announcement of the upcoming cross-platform racing sequel:
6th October 2004. TDK Mediactive today released the very first screenshots taken from the PC and Xbox version of the upcoming racing game World Racing 2. The screenshots give a first impression of the current status of the game, which is being developed in the studios of racing software specialist Synetic.

World Racing 2 enhances the technology of the game's fore-runner World Racing, which introduced an innovative 3D landscape technology and sophisticated driving physics. While World Racing focussed on the simulation aspect, World Racing 2 will put the fun of driving at centre stage and offer optimised arcade racing characteristics, rich and varied range of mission modes, lively scenarios, enhanced tuning options and a great variety of cars.

The new screenshots already indicate some of the game's improvements:

    • Upgraded graphics engine
    • Lively scenarios full of detail
    • Improved shadows and light settings
    • Higher level of detail for car models
    • Added options to individualize the car designs (car body vinyls, wheels?)
    • New dust and dirt effects

World Racing 2 is currently scheduled to be released end of Q1 2005 for Xbox, PC and PlayStation2.

More Knight of Honor & Daemon Tools

SUNFLOWERS sends along another follow-up to reported problems with Knight of Honor and Daemon Tools (story and story), clarifying the cause of the problem, a workaround for the moment, and plans for a permanent fix going forward:
By starting Knights of Honor the copy protection checks for CD-emulation-programs such as "Daemon-Tools".
Due to a bug in the checker-routine the file "daemon.dll" is renamed to "daemon.bak", if it has been locked by the user, which it is not by default.
This is a known issue and will be fixed in the upcoming patch. To have "Daemon-Tools" working agin, the file "daemon.bak" has to be renamed back to "daemon.dll", which is located on the harddrive in the main directory of Windows (e.g. C:\Windows).

Ships Ahoy: TRIBES: Vengeance

Vivendi announces that TRIBES: Vengeance has shipped to stores as expected:
LOS ANGELES, CA (October 5, 2004) – Vivendi Universal Games announced today that their upcoming PC first-person action game Tribes:Vengeance has shipped to retail stores in the United States.

Single-player and multi-player trial versions for Tribes:Vengeance and more information about the game can be found at the official website: http://www.tribesvengeance.com.

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 - Wanted

The Adventure Company’s WANTED A Wild Western Adventure is Now In-Stores is the press release announcing the North American availability of this western adventure that's already available in Europe:
WANTED: A Wild Western Adventure is the ideal blend of classic graphic adventure and RPG. The incredible graphics and delightful humor are reminiscent of famed Lucas Arts titles such as Monkey Island and Sam & Max. Players will explore eight eye-popping locations and interact with an eclectic cast of more than 30 crazy 3D characters. Gamers are rewarded with more than 40 minutes of real-time 3D cinematic cut-scenes upon solving numerous puzzles and mini-games. The new proprietary engine allows for natural facial expressions and character movement identical to those of today’s best 3D cartoons.

Axis & Allies Demo

A playable demo for Axis & Allies is now available, offering the chance to sample the real-time strategy game from TimeGate Studios based on the popular wargame. The demo is a 275 MB download, offering a single-player level and a random map generator for multiplayer play. The demo is available on 3D Gamers, ActionTrip, FileFront, FilePlanet (registration required), Gameguru Mania, Gamer's Hell, and Worthplaying.

Site Seeing

The Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude Website is live, and though they are proofing people at the door, you can probably get in with a fake ID. Also, the Fireglow Games Website has relaunched (thanks Frans) with dedicated sections for Sudden Strike 3 and Stranger.

German Leisure Suit Larry Demo

A German demo for Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude is now available, allowing the chance to sample High Voltage Software's new installment in the bawdy adventure game series. The 191 MB demo is available on T-Online and mirrored on 3D Gamers, Gamer's Hell, and FileFront.

New UT2004 Server

The latest version of the Unreal Tournament 2004 dedicated server is now available, updated to version 3323. The 870 MB download contains the required files to run a dedicated Win32, Linux, or Mac server without a retail copy of the game by making use of a key created by the Unreal Tournament 2004 Server CD Key Generator. Downloads are mirrored on 3D Gamers, FileFront, and Worthplaying.

Dear Diaries

There's a new The Matrix Online Diary on GameSpy concluding Monolith's guided tour of their upcoming MMORPG with a jaunt around Kowloon. Also, the Children of the Nile Designer Diary on IGN is online, as "Jeff Fiske gets into the life, luxury, and luck of being Pharaoh in ancient Egypt." Finally, Kuma\War Mission Briefing #9 on RPG Vault has Kuma Reality Games describing the latest mission in their current events shooter: "In June, US Marine forces en route to mount a surprise attack on Taliban stronghold were ambushed along the way."

Morning Q&As

  • Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War
    The Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War Q&A on Computer And Video Games (thanks Frans) talks with Relic's Jay Wilson about their recently released RTS game: "We are extremely pleased with how the game has turned out. I still have a blast watching the battles play out. Even when I am getting trounced by some of the better players on the net, it's a blast to see all the carnage."
  • Horizons
    The Interview with David Bowman Part 2 on GamersInfo.net continues this "long talk about the future of MMOs, people in the industry, the Chapter 11 proceedings, changes to Horizons both present and future, and well, anything else that struck our fancy."
  • Myst IV
    XGR's Jack Wall Interview is an audio conversation with the composer of the Myst IV soundtrack. The MP3-format interview is available on FileShack (registration required).

Morning Previews

Ships Ahoy - Singles: Flirt Up Your Life

Eidos sends word that Singles: Flirt Up Your Life, the swinging sim, is now available at retail in North America, after previously being available online only: "It's time to pick up those apartment keys and meet the new roomates! [sic] Today Singles: Flirt Up Your Life for PC is shipping to stores! Start exploring the lives of two young roommates as they meet for the first time and begin living together in their new apartment. You may choose the librarian and the dj or perhaps the suave lady's man and the hippie. Every interaction and conversation they engage in are the building blocks to either a distasterous [sic] feud or closer friendship. Find out what makes her laugh and gets him to clean the bathroom. The characters are now fully customizable allowing you to choose their skin, hair, and eye color as well as their outfits! You are in control, your skills will determine the future of the roommates lives, will their apartment become their love nest? It's up to you!"

Morning Screenshots

New CodeRED: Alien Arena

A new version 1.0 of CodeRED: Alien Arena is now available, offering the first full release of this Quake II engine project. In addition to the full version, there is also a small patch to update the beta version.

Competitions

Let the games begin (thanks Mike Martinez) is an article on the World Cyber Games: "With total cash prizes of about $400,000 spread out over eight tournaments, this year's World Cyber Games championships adds big money to the test of fast reflexes and superhuman eye-hand coordination." Also, SoundBlaster.com announces the Fatal1ty Doom3 Shootout at WCG 2004.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Thanks Mike Martinez.

Out of the Blue

I ran an errand that went late enough that the late update I was preparing ran so late that it became an early update. Guess I'm just practicing my time shifting for the end of the month when Daylight Saving Time ends around these parts.

R.I.P.: Rodney Dangerfield dead at 82. Thanks Bunko.

Links of the Day: The Movie Cliches List. Thanks Jim.
Stories of the Day: Puppet oral sex goes against grain for US censors.
Coroner - Removing man's organs was homicide. Thanks George.
Man Mistakenly Cuts Off Penis, Dog Eats It. Thanks warren. I'm thinking this is made-up.
Science!: Turning Wastewater Into Clean Energy.
Biologists to rewrite salmon study conclusion.
The Possibility of Cosmetic Surgery for the Soul (registration required).
Auctions of the Day: POO 4 YOO '04' Plate Cherished Private Plate. Thanks Rico.
Media of the Day: Masters of Lebowski. Contains foul language (naturally).
Follow-ups: X Prize evolves into annual competition.
Dog's break out opens door to new home. Thanks kreg.
Thanks Mike Martinez.
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