Archived News:

Monday, Nov 22, 2004

Gold - Battle for Middle-earth

EA announces that The Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle-earth is gold, and the RTS based on the movie adaptations of Tolkien's trilogy is set to appear on shelves on December 6:
Redefining the destiny of the Fellowship like never before … Electronic Arts officially announced today that the highly anticipated real-time strategy (RTS), The Lord of the Rings™, The Battle for Middle-earth™ has gone Gold and will ship December 6, 2004. Developed at EA’s Los Angeles studio exclusively for the PC under the EA GAMES™ brand, The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth captures the epic battles from all three The Lord of the Rings films.

“The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth offers a unique opportunity to truly experience the vastness of Middle-earth,” said Mark Skaggs, Vice President and Executive Producer of the game. “This game will appeal to both fans from the film trilogy and experienced gamers alike. As players immerse themselves in both the epic battles and strategic game play, they control the entire destiny of Middle-earth.”

With one RTS to rule them all, gamers have the choice to play from either the good or evil side. Players are given the freedom to command a variety of major armies and heroes from the films, each with their own distinct strengths and weaknesses. Prepare for war by creating offensive and defensive strategies set in the memorable battle locations taken straight from the big screen. The Battle for Middle-earth makes use of the stunning visuals including digital assets straight from the films. It also features exclusive voiceover from the real actors as well as actual movie footage from the three films.

SW Battlefront Patch

This LucasArts Entertainment Download Page now offers a new patch for Star Wars Battlefront, updating Pandemic's Star Wars shooter to version 1.11. The update adds a new Tatooine Jabba's Palace level, and: "Corrects a game controller mapping issue in the Key Configuration screen." The 61 MB patch is also available on 3D Gamers, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and Worthplaying.

MoH: Pacific Assault Mod Tools

EA has released the mod development kit for Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault (direct link). In lieu of any accompanying update, details on what the download includes can be found on 3D Gamers, where they describe this as a beta release that requires a .NET framework installation, but that documentation and samples are not included in this preliminary release.

Half-Life 2 Stutter Fix Tomorrow

The Half-Life 2 Stuttering Problem Website (thanks phoenix) has word from Valve's Erik Johnson that the cause of the Half-Life 2 stuttering issue (story) has been identified, and that a fix is expected "no later than tomorrow."

Pacific Fighters Patches

The Pacific Fighters Website (thanks Frans) now offers downloads of new patches to update the World War II flight simulator to version 3.01 or 3.01m, depending on whether it is installed alone, or jointly with the Ace Expansion Pack and Forgotten Battles. Word is: "The current version 3.01 (3.01m) is not compatible with the previous versions of the game when playing via network. Both the server and client must have appropriate versions of the game in order to connect."

Ships Ahoy - Pirates!

Atari's Sid Meier's Pirates! Sails into Stores is the press release announcing the seafaring remake is sailing into stores:
BEVERLY, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 22, 2004-- Atari, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATAR - News) and Firaxis Games announced today that the highly-anticipated sequel to one of the most popular and loved titles in gaming history has shipped to retail stores nationwide. Sid Meier's Pirates!® received unprecedented critical acclaim when it was first released in 1987 and set the industry standard for innovative game design with its unique blend of open-ended role-playing, real-time adventures and thrilling action sequences. The new game uses an entirely new game engine and delivers updated gameplay, spectacular 3D graphics and many new features.

"Pirates!® is recognized as one of the greatest games ever created and there has been a lot of anticipation for the return of this classic," said Nancy MacIntyre, vice president of marketing, Atari, Inc. "Firaxis has done an amazing job balancing the addition of new features and gameplay while maintaining the spirit and addictiveness of the original."

JFK Reloaded

Saying "We believe that the only thing we're exploiting is new technology," Kennedy assassination re-created in video game is a story about JFK Reloaded. This game looks to recreate the JFK assassination (41 years ago today), describing it as a way of proving or disproving conspiracy theories about the shooting, offering a cash prize for a player that can recreate the shots attributed to Lee Harvey Oswald.

Morning Q&As

  • Stolen
    Talking about Stolen with Blue52 on The Adrenaline Vault is a Q&A with the developers of the upcoming stealth game: "Actually we've been more conscious of direct comparisons between Snake and Sam Fisher. The Tomb Raider series of games weren't high on our list of influences for Stolen (as good as they are, of course). In terms of Anya also being a commanding female character, I suppose the similarity will always be made. There aren't a great deal of memorable female player characters in games. We'd be very happy if Anya eventually becomes as much of an icon as Lara Croft."
  • The Sims 2
    Kevin Hogan Lectures About Sims 2 University on GameSpy talks with the producer on the upcoming collegiate Sims 2 expansion: "Yes, the young adult age range falls between teen and adult. Sims become young adults when they arrive at college and become adults when they finish college. The only was to go through this age range is to go to college."
  • Hearts of Iron 2
    GamersInfo's Hearts of Iron 2 Q&A talks with Paradox Entertainment's Joakim Bergkwist about their upcoming World War II strategy sequel: "The political and diplomatic system is a core function in the game and as such it affects any relations you have with other countries. This means your relations do not only have a bilateral but also a multilateral effect. Thus you need to analyse situations and always think your actions through, as they will all have consequences for your future success in the game."

Morning Previews


Dust off your Voodoo 2 SLI, the North American 2v2 Quakeworld Tournament is now accepting submissions.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

Had a fine old birthday -- thanks to all for the well wishing. The Thanksgiving week is traditionally rather quiet for gaming news, so it looks like I'll get more relaxation for continued revelry.

A couple of folks actually wrote concerned that I was naive enough not to realize the 1954 PC shot from yesterday was a joke... was it the steering wheel what gave it away?

Link of the Day: Junkyard Jewels. Thanks Overclocker Cafe.
Science!: Buzz Off! Aussie Surfers Use Device to Repel Sharks.
Scientists flood Grand Canyon.
Computers as Authors Literary Luddites Unite! (registration required).
Auction of the Day: South Park signed Isaac Hayes Playstation Game MINT.
Follow-up: Safety rules for space tourists ahead.
Thanks Mike Martinez and Ant.
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