Archived News:

Tuesday, Oct 26, 2004

DOOM 3 Add-on Date?

Today's Activision Investor Conference Call (thanks HomeLAN Fed) apparently announces first quarter of 2005 as the publisher's projected release date for id's and Nerve's recently announced DOOM 3: Resurrection of Evil add-on, though of course, as always, id Software has the final say on the release dates of their projects. Q1 2005 was also listed as the projected release date for the Xbox version of DOOM 3, and both of those dates are now reflected on this Activision Investor Relations Release Calendar.

Evening Q&As

  • H&D2: Sabre Squadron
    There's a H&D2: Sabre Squadron Q&A on the Hidden & Dangerous Community Website discussing the recently released expansion for the World War II tactical shooter, which includes word on plans to release new co-op maps: "That is correct, we are currently making some co-operative maps from original H&D2 maps, which will be free to download from our website in individual patches."
  • Telladar Chronicles: Decline
    RPG Vault's Telladar Chronicles Decline World Q&A talks with Sergey Snisarenko and Andrew Beletsky of MindLink about their upcoming real-time tactical combat game: "The action of the game occurs in the fantasy world Miere, which was completely developed by our team. It is a medieval-like fantasy setting fundamentally based on pseudo-realism. The overall objective was to create a believable mix of the realistic components, such as geo-politics and medieval-style warfare, and fantasy features - magic, gods, supernatural beings, etc. As a result we've got huge (about five thousand kilometers across) and detailed world, with its own cosmology and mythology, magic system, various nations and everything else that must be in the good fantasy world."
  • Conflict Omega
    GamerGod's Conflict Omega Q&A talks with Alfred Norris of VoodooFusion Studios about Conflict Omega, their upcoming post-apocalyptic MMORPG: "Well imagine that Fallout, Shadowbane, and SystemShock had a love child. It's so much more than that though. The game is a post-apocalyptic territorial domination game with strong character building and storyline elements. Players can go PvP, building clans that usurp territories in the Wastes or they can follow the intrigue of missions and quests that uncover the cause of the apocalypse."
  • FaceWound
    Flipcode's Facewound Q&A talks with Garry "Tubeway Army" Newman about Facewound, the upcoming arcade game that joins the simple pleasures of a side-scroller with modern features like hardware pixel shaders.

Dear Diaries

Another few diary entries have been added to the Star Wars Galaxies Website continuing to keep us up to the minute with the progression towards launch of the spaceflight expansion for the Star Wars MMORPG (thanks Frans). Word as of today is: "Officially, we launch tomorrow. But for all intents and purposes, we launch Right Now. All JTL Code is out. Those that have already received their retail accounts can log in and access Space Content." Also, RPG Vault's The Witcher Peek #5 discusses: "The deadly process that turns young boys into hunters able to deal with the fierce creatures in CD Projekt's venture."

Evening Previews

Guild Wars Event This Weekend

ArenaNet sends along a follow-up to their plan to hold another Guild Wars preview event this weekend (story). It turns out this chance to sample the current state of this upcoming MMORPG is open to all, here are some details from the announcement:
The free World Preview Event, which begins Friday evening, Oct. 29 and ends Sunday evening, Oct. 31, will allow players to explore two new game regions, play in an expanded international tournament and engage in combat on new competitive battlefields. For the first time game players will be able to create new guilds and experience guild warfare in the vibrant online environments of Guild Wars. To participate in the World Preview Event players can simply visit and download the free game client, which is approximately 90KB.

Evening Screenshots

Gold - Children of the Nile

The holiday gold rush continues, as Tilted Mill Entertainment announces that Immortal Cities: Children of the Nile has gone gold (thanks Frans), and this city construction game from the creators of Pharaoh is expected in stores on November 9. Here's a bit:
In Immortal Cities, you assume the role of Pharaoh, divinely appointed by the gods to lead the people of ancient Egypt, uniting them as you elevate your status and strive to become a supreme and god-like ruler. You design and build glorious cities in which hundreds of seemingly real people live and work in an interconnected societal web, each facet of their lives played out in vivid detail.

Gold - Scrapland

Enlight sends word that Scrapland, the robotic action adventure developed by Mercury Steam Entertainment and produced by American McGee, is gold, and will ship early next month:
PARKVILLE, MD (October 26, 2004) - Enlight, a global publisher of PC and console games, today announced that the PC version of the highly anticipated action-adventure game American McGee Presents Scrapland has gone gold and will ship to retail stores nationwide in early November. Scrapland will carry a MSRP of $39.99 and has been rated T for Teen.

Scrapland is a unique blend of breathtaking graphics, open-ended gameplay and an engaging narrative that creates a fun and challenging experience that is a refreshing change of pace from the abundance of violent games currently on the market. The one of a kind game design and solid story clearly show the influence and polish that gamers have come to expect from a title with American McGee’s name on it. With over 40 hours of single player gameplay and fantastic multiplayer action, Scrapland is sure to satisfy the masses while setting a new standard in game design. The game will also be available in late January for the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft.

For additional information please visit

NFS Underground 2 Demo

A demo of the PC edition of Need for Speed Underground 2 is now available, allowing the chance to test drive EA's illegal racing sequel. The 346 MB download can be found on 3D Gamers, ActionTrip, Boomtown (registration required), Computer Games, (thanks Ant), FileFront, Filerush (torrent), FileShack (registration required), Gameguru Mania, GameSpot DLX (registration required), and Worthplaying.

MoH: Pacific Assault to Launch Early

This press release (thanks Cody) announces that the Director's Edition of Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault is going to ship earlier than originally expected, and that the World War II shooter sequel is now expected in stores on November 4. This covers the DVD-only Director's Edition that offers additional content. The release goes on to give a projected in store date of November 11 for the standard edition: "The standard version of Medal of Honor Pacific Assault will ship in North America on November 9th, 2004, arriving on store shelves within 48 hours of shipping."

LSL: Magna Cum Laude - Uncut & Uncensored Ships

This press release announces the availability of Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude – Uncut and Uncensored for the PC. Word is: "For the Uncut version, Larry is getting down and dirty with more nudity, uncut sex scenes and raunchier end sequences."

Ships Ahoy - Men of Valor PC

VU Games announces that Men of Valor, 2015's Vietnam War shooter, has deployed to U.S. retail outlets:
Men of Valor™ for PC Heads to Retail Store Shelves in the United States

LOS ANGELES, CA (October 26, 2004) – Vivendi Universal Games and 2015 Inc. announced today that the PC version of their first-person action game Men of Valor has shipped to retail stores in the United States. The game is also currently available for the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft. A Macintosh version of the game will ship later this year.

More information about Men of Valor can be found on the official website at

Men of Valor is an historical action experience that portrays infantry combat during the Vietnam War. Combining the latest Unreal™ technology with the gameplay expertise of 2015 (developers of the award-winning Medal of Honor: Allied Assault™, the game immerses the player in the humid jungles of Southeast Asia in the most controversial conflict of the modern era.

Men of Valor follows an African-American Marine through the early stages of the conflict in Vietnam to the Tet Offensive. Touching on the some of the most familiar scenes of the war as they exist in the popular imagination, the player guides his group of fellow soldiers through the hardship and confusion of the battlefield, bonding with them as they do their duty for their country with the heroism and valor typical of the American soldier, but unsung during the turbulent times.

Ships Ahoy - Pacific Fighters

Ubisoft announces the U.S. launch of Pacific Fighters, the new WW2 combat flight simulator from IL-2 Sturmovik creators 1C Company:
SAN FRANCISCO – October 26, 2004 – Ubisoft, one of the world’s largest videogame publishers, today announced that Pacific Fighters™ for the PC is now shipping to retailers. Pacific Fighters is available for MSRP $39.99 with an ESRB rating of T for “Teen.”

From the creators of the critically acclaimed IL-2 series comes an accurate and action-packed re-creation of the epic battles of the Pacific. Control over 40 fighters and bombers including the deadly Japanese Zero, the U.K.’s Supermarine Seafire and the U.S.-made Corsair and A-20 Havoc. Players will take flight and engage in combat over huge maps of famous WWII locations such as Pearl Harbor, Midway, Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima. In addition to single-player missions, Pacific Fighters offers an unparalleled multiplayer experience. For the first time in any retail flight simulation, players may take part in massive aerial dogfights with up to 128 players on the same dedicated server. Players may also join squadrons of up to 32 players in Cooperative mode.

Available for the first time in the 1C: Maddox series, players can utilize aircraft carriers for support, use them for take-offs and landings, and engage them in combat. Players will encounter hundreds of targets from the air, on the ground and at sea. From the air, players may attack ships and other aircraft or choose to target ground objects such as trucks, trains, tanks and enemy airfields. Pacific Fighters’ unsurpassed attention to detail, smart AI, unequaled damage model and sense of realism combine to immerse players like no other combat flight simulation ever created. Take part in legendary battles, where the courage of a few pilots will determine the course of history.

For more information visit the newly re-launched IL-2 community site featuring Pacific Fighters. 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.

BioWare Online Store - New NWN Content

This press release from BioWare announces plans to open an online retail outlet at on November 10. The store's initial inventory will be three bits of premium NWN content:
Neverwinter Nights: Kingmaker (Developed by BioWare designers Cori May and Dan Whiteside):
Embark on a journey that transcends the bounds of life and death with a loyal band of companions at your side. Evil lurks in a war-torn keep, and the souls of trusted companions must be sacrificed to unearth it. To uncover the truth, you must win the throne.

Neverwinter Nights: ShadowGuard (Developed by Ben “Altaris” McJunkin, developer of “Lone Wolf” series of Neverwinter Nights fan modules):
Your astonishing work at the Imperial Academy has drawn the attention of the Shadowguard, an elite group of secretive Imperial agents that know no failure. Your veil of comfort will soon be torn away and you will be left to solve the mystery of what lies ahead.

Neverwinter Nights: Witch’s Wake 1 (Developed by BioWare designer Rob Bartel):
Recently remastered to bring it up-to-date with the latest new content, this new edition of the classic Hall of Fame module lays the official groundwork for the series. In the module's opening scene, you awake on a raging battlefield to bear witness to your prince's dying words: "Tell the king that she is dead." Those seven fateful words mark the start of a journey that will propel you from the edge of a dying world into its very heart.

Half-Life 2 AU Woes?

SumeaLaunchpad (thanks Voodoo Extreme) reports that the rating Half-Life 2 has received from The Pan European Games Information system results in the possibility that there is no rating that will allow the game to be sold in Australia. No decision has been made on the game's fate down under, but here's the cause for concern citied in the article:
The Pan European Games Information (PEGI) age rating system has given Half Life 2 an R(18+) rating. This means that minors are unable to purchase the game in numerous countries like Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. What's really interesting about this is how the game fares in Australia. The Australian Office of Film & Literature Classification (OFLC) has yet to classify Half Life 2, but if the board follows suit from their European counterparts, it'll mean that one of this years highly anticipated titles is banned outright from sales here. Currently, Australia has no R rating for games, so game titles need to meet the highest rating available (MA 15+) or they will be refused classification.

Gold - FlatOut

This Bugbear Entertainment Press Release announces that FlatOut is gold, and should be racing into stores by November 5 for the PC, Xbox, and PS2. Here's the quote from BugBear's Jussi Laakkonen about the news: "It's done! It's an incredible rush to go gold with our first PlayStation 2 and Xbox game and also finish the PC version at the same time! We are sure the gamers worldwide will have as much fun playing the game as we had making it. It's time to GO FLATOUT!"

Gold - Euro Rally Champion

More racing gold, as Oxygen Interactive announces that Euro Rally Champion is complete for the PS2 and PC, and slated to appear in U.K. stores on November 5:
Oxygen Interactive today announced that Euro Rally Champion has screamed past the chequered flag and officially gone gold with a PS2 and PC release date of November 5th, priced extremely competitively at £19.99.

Budding drivers will be able to test their rallying mettle against all the elements, as well as against the clock, in the Championship mode raced across densely wooded forest trails, treacherous Alpine passes and the extremes of the African desert.

Featuring realistic tuning and modification of mud-spattered vehicles, it's not just a rallying career drivers build up as they race – every part of the car that can be tweaked in reality can be honed in Euro Rally Champion for a fully-customisable rally experience.

Budding stunt drivers and those who simply fancy flipping their car without the risk of fractured limbs and bruised pride can even burn rubber on the special Extreme Exhibition stage. This is filled with mad jumps, perilous slopes and the chance to barrel roll around adrenaline-inducing arenas of motoring insanity.

Using an advanced version of the physics engine used to power the critical smash hit Indy Car Series, Euro Rally Champion offers the most potent road handling physics and most realistic car dynamics at the most affordable price.

Euro Rally Champion will be published by Oxygen Interactive for PS2 and PC on 5th November 2004, priced £19.99. Excellent value for money.

Ballerium Delirium

The Ballerium Forums (thanks Frans) has word of the tenuous state of Ballerium, Majorem's planned MMORTS. The update describes difficulties securing further financing for the project, saying that development is now on hold, and that the team is seeking other work:
It all started about a year ago when Majorem's partners in Taiwan came accross difficulties to fullfil their side of the contract, which left Majorem in a very vulnerable position. Without getting into too many details, over the past year or so we've been in touch with the largest - without giving names - really the largest - publishers of MMO games, but eventually they all prefered to wait and see what will come out of Ballerium before investing their own resources in assisting us "getting there".

We were also in touch with several investors, - in fact one ofthe reasons we delayed these news so much were that we were lead to understand such an investment is really possible and probable, but results weren't better.

Either way right now we have no money to keep developing and so, with great pain, the team had to start looking for new jobs elsewhere.

There is still a certain, slim, hope that we get the resources to continue this project in the future, but I wouldn't rate those chances high.

Ships Ahoy - RoN Gold

The Rise of Nations Website now lists "Now Available" as the release date for the repackaged version of the RTS game (thanks Frans). Rise of Nations Gold includes the original game as well as the Thrones and Patriots expansion.

Site Seeing

The Official Cross Racing Championship Website is online, dedicated to the upcoming racing game from Hungarian developer Invictus, is now online. In addition to information about the game, the site offers up 10 new screenshots, along with a pair of new gameplay trailers. The movies are also mirrored on 3D Gamers.

Morning Q&As

  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R.
    There's a S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl Q&A on Gamesfire (thanks with the English edition of the Swedish site's conversation with Oleg Yavorsky of GSC Game World about their upcoming shooter: "It’s not only of the time constraints, but rather due to some technical problems that we don’t implement the co-op mode. The main problem appears with the life simulation system and the free-playing game world divided into some sub zones."
  • Gearbox COGs
    HomeLAN Fed's Gearbox COGS Q&A is a discussion with Randy Pitchford about the recently announced initiative to hire contract developers following a new method: "I think this industry is in trouble if it cannot provide clear and opportunistic career paths for new talent. The COGS program helps new talent get their foot in the door and prove themselves. I imagine COGS will become a model for other studios."
  • Children of the Nile
    The Children of the Nile Q&A on FileFront chats with Jeff Fiske, design director at Tilted Mill, about their city construction game: "One of our early goals was to revitalize the City Building genre, the way Half-Life revitalized the FPS market. We hope that people see CotN as the way City Building games should have been to begin with. This is not an adrenaline rush game like an RTS but more of an immersive, play at your own pace game."
  • Celia Pearce
    Designer, Artist, Author, Teacher, Researcher – Celia Pearce has done it all on GameZone talks with the Research and External Relations Manager for the Arts Layer of Cal-(IT)² (California Institute for Telecommunication and Information Technology), Associate Director of Game Research at the University of California Irvine, author of The Interactive Book: A Guide to the Interactive Revolution (and more!) about gaming.

Morning Previews

Counter-Strike: Source Update

Steam News (thanks Frans) has word on the couple of minor changes to Counter-Strike: Source offered in the new Steam update.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

It's getting cooler every day around these parts. I've already broken out the space heater to try to avoid frostbite up here in my office, but it's not easy actually getting comfortable with this thing... I think I need to look into getting one that has some sort of middle ground as far as temperatures, as the binary options on this one are off (A.K.A. freeze) or on (A.K.A. cook). Oh well, stick a fork in me when I'm done.

Play Time: HeroMachine 2.0u on UGO. Thanks Ant.
Stories of the Day: Britons Want Homer Simpson as U.S. President.
Science!: Drunken Bees Act Like Buzzed Humans. Thanks Miguel.
Earth's Tides Set Off Quakes.
Brain prosthesis passes live tissue test.
Auction of the Day: Triple XXX Animal Cracker. Thanks Craig.
Follow-ups: The Contagion of Fear (registration required).
Wedding Cad Comes Clean Over Invitation Sale.
Thanks Mike Martinez.
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