Archived News:

Friday, Dec 10, 2004 Happy Birthday DOOM!

Half-Life 2 Updates

Steam News (thanks Frans) has word of new updates to Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2 deathmatch, and the Source dedicated server that will be applied automatically when the Steam service is restarted. The update includes a Securom fix: "Solved disc in drive incompatibility error by removing Securom disc check routine."

Dear Diaries

The ALFA: Antiterror Development Diary #2 on Gameguru Mania continues this new series recounting tales of development from MiST land's upcoming special forces shooter. Today's installment touches on characters, weapons, and equipment. Also, Mr. Robot Dev Diary on DIY Games discusses development of this upcoming puzzle game in the works at Moonpod Games.

Game Movies

A pair of new movies from Dragonshard are now available, offering a double-feature showing off the upcoming D&D-themed RTS game in the works at Liquid Entertainment. One clips shows off gameplay, while the other offers discussion of the project from Liquid's Ed Del Castillo and Atari's John Hight, the movies are available on this Atari FTP server and mirrored on 3D Gamers, Gamer's Hell, and Worthplaying. Also, StalkerFiles.com has released five S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl movies from last month's GameStar Live event.

Evening Screenshots

Thanks Frans.

UT XMP Beta

Free Monkey Interactive now offers the first beta release of UT XMP, the Unreal Tournament 2004 edition of the expanded multiplayer for Unreal II (thanks Silvanus and Voodoo Extreme). Here's how UT XMP is described: "Unreal Tournament: Expanded Multiplayer will offer intense class-based vehicular action in a range of stunning alien worlds, where players must manage energy reserves to power their war machines and battle for the control of four mysterious artifacts. UT XMP players will be given control over a vast array of all-new fearsome weapons, as well as mines, turrets and other deadly automated defenses."

Ground Control II Bonus Map

It's another free map Friday, as the Ground Control II Website now offers downloads of another new bonus map for Ground Control II, Massive Entertainment's RTS sequel (thanks Frans). The new map, by their "other map design guru, Carl Lundgren," is called ReaperMoor.

Conflict: Global Terror

SCi announces Conflict: Global Terror, the fourth edition in the Conflict series, in a departure from previous installments:
SCi announce fourth CONFLICT title: CONFLICT: GLOBAL TERROR

SCi Games, one of Europe's leading games publishers, today announced the title of the next game in the no.1 selling Conflict series, as CONFLICT: GLOBAL TERROR.

CONFLICT: GLOBAL TERROR, due for release in autumn 2005, is set in the very near future and focuses on the increasing threat of terrorism gripping the World. Developed by Bath-based Pivotal Games, CONFLICT: GLOBAL TERROR takes the Conflict brand in a new direction from previous installments of the best-selling games series.

Teaming up once again with the original Desert Storm Delta Force - Bradley, Foley, Connors and Jones - your four men now form part of an elite anti-terrorist unit tasked with minimising the worldwide threat from active global terrorist groups. The game takes place across the world, in a number of different and hostile locations and against a merciless and corrupt enemy; this is your squad's greatest challenge to date.

Ray Livingston, Product Manager for SCi Games said; "Without giving away too much at this early stage, CONFLICT: GLOBAL TERROR has taken all the best bits from the previous three games and added a whole lot more. We are conscious of keeping fans of the previous games happy while at the same time attracting a new audience to the Conflict brand and we're sure the result will do just that."

CONFLICT: GLOBAL TERROR will be available on Sony PlayStationTM 2, Microsoft XboxTM and PC in autumn 2005

Gold - COPS 2170: The Power of Law

Strategy First sends word that COPS 2170: The Power of Law, MiST land's strategy/RPG, is gold, and should be available at the end of next month:
Montreal, Canada. December 9, 2004. Strategy First, Game Factory Interactive and MiST land - South are pleased to announce that the colorful hybrid of tactical strategy and RPG elements, COPS 2170: The Power of Law, has gone gold. Release is scheduled for the end of January, 2005.

“In COPS 2170: The Power of Law, players have the power to decide what type of Cop they want to be. They must choose their allies and enemies carefully in order to restore ‘control and harmony’ to a rapidly deteriorating metropolis,” says Jay Podilchuk, the Producer at Strategy First.

“One feature that players will appreciate is the option to play in either the first or third person view. With the ability to look at a scenario from a different angle, players can really broaden their perspective of a particular scene,” says Vitaly Shutov, President of MiST land - South.

About COPS 2170: The Power of Law
You take on the role of rookie cop, Katrin, as she patrols the mean streets of a futuristic, cyberpunk metropolis. Katrin is a beautiful, young, police academy graduate who is an excellent student and exceptional athlete. Unbeknownst to Katrin, her recent assignment concerning a series of terror attacks is about to propel her into the path of an evil genius. The city streets she is fighting to protect are unlike any modern day metropolis. The government implants cyber links into newborns, marking them with a unique ID in order to ensure complete control, watching over everything for the “safety of the public.”

COPS 2170: The Power of Law features stunning 3D environments ranging from cramped private quarters to sprawling city streets, all filled with more than 60 NPCs. As Katrin, players can recruit up to seven of their fellow officers, and use a large arsenal of weaponry and equipment—including a scanner, rifles, and machine guns—to win large-scale battles against the city’s criminal masterminds. Missions vary from suppressing small-scale riots to challenging the security staff of a massive yet corrupt corporation. Each mission can be accomplished using a variety of strategies, giving the player multiple paths to victory and hours of exciting gameplay.

Features

    • A large, living, futuristic world with more than 60 NCPs
    • 200 quests to keep the player moving along the non-linear story
    • The ability to put together a team of eight agents with different specializations
    • Limitless character development possibilities
    • 14 large detailed maps that offer numerous tactical possibilities
    • A large arsenal of lethal weapons
    • Numerous vehicles from police cars to heavy space marine tanks
    • Top quality sound effects and music enhancing the cyberpunk mood
     • 3D game world with astonishing special effects
    • User-friendly interface and easy camera control with full rotation and zoom

WoW Interface Tool

As noted on the World of Warcraft Community Site, a tool to customize the interface for Blizzard's MMORPG is now available for download on this World of Warcraft Support Page. They have posted a Help with World of Warcraft Interface Customization page to help with all this. Thanks Frans.

FlatOut Patch

This FlatOut Support Page now offers downloads of a new patch for FlatOut, updating BugBear's racing game to version 1.1. The patch is mirrored on 3D Gamers, where they have the details on what the patch addresses, and the patch is also mirrored on Gameguru Mania, Gamer's Hell and Worthplaying.

IGF Finalists

The 7th Annual Independent Games Festival Finalists have been announced, with 10 finalists in the open category and 10 finalists in the web/downloadable category. The awards will be handed out at the IGF, March 9-11 2005. Thanks Hiro_Antagonist.

More Bizz Buzz

Merscom announces that they've signed on to bring Kult: Heretic Kingdoms, 3D People's action RPG, to the US. Continuing their recent shopping spree, Merscom also announces a deal to publish Big Scale Racing, which actually simulates the small scale world of remote control cars.

Bizz Buzz

As noted on GamesIndustry, the Excalibur Publishing Website (thanks Frans) announces a publishing deal for Space Rangers 2, Space-themed turn-based/real-time RPG/action game scheduled for release in April 2005. Word is: "Space Rangers will be published as a two-game product and will include the original Space Rangers title which sold in excess of 100,000 units in Russia and the former USSR." In similar, though less specific, news, MadMinute Games announces a publishing deal for Take Command 1861: 1st Bull Run, indicating the game will sold under the (arguably stronger) title Civil War Bull Run. They are holding off revealing the identity of their "major publisher" until the publisher itself goes public with the news. Finally, Merscom announces that a chapter from the book "Patton's Vanguard will be included with the value-priced military shooter, while also revealing the game will be delayed a couple of months until February 2005.

Morning Q&As

  • Battlefield 2
    The Battlefield 2 Q&A on Total Battlefield 2 talks with EA producer Jamil Dawsari about DICE's upcoming modern combat shooter sequel: "Unfortunately we had to cut rappelling from the schedule. The problem was integrating the physics which would make the ropes and system look good. When we balanced the necessary work vs the gameplay impact - it just didn't seem worth the trade-off. After all, rappelling looks cool...but it's just as easy to land the helicopter or hover and let the players jump out normally. So, minimal impact on gameplay...however, there's no denying that the feature is just too cool-looking. Who knows, if enough people ask for it, maybe it will become a Free Content feature...*grin*"
  • Joint Ops: Escalation
    The Joint Ops: Escalation Q&A on Computer And Video Games debriefs Joel Taubel of NovaLogic to learn about their multiplayer shooter expansion: "The main criticism we have addressed is the effectiveness of the snipers. Several additions have been made to make playing as a Sniper a bit more challenging. Protective walls have been added around many of the spawn points, allowing spawning players a chance to gather their bearings before being exposed to enemy fire. Furthermore, the muzzle flash and smoke from a rifle is larger and last a bit longer, making it easier to spot Snipers from a distance."
  • Stranger
    Experience Gaming's Stranger Q&A sits on their hand and talks with Ludmila Ludvig of Fireglow Games about their upcoming strategy/RPG hybrid: "We provided an epic story which, in our opinion, seems to suit the genre well. The story begins in a world where our heroes live and where magic is forbidden. One of the Heroes violated the law causing his clan to be exiled. After a particular ritual which is equal to execution, they are sent into a new unknown world, from where no one can return, and where the main story takes place. Now, the player has to make out the relationships between his heroes and to vanquish numerous enemies."
  • Dungeon Siege II
    The Dungeon Siege II Q&A on GameSpot talks with designer Kevin Lambert about Gas Powered Games' upcoming RPG sequel: "Not only did we want to create a more compelling narrative experience for Dungeon Siege II, but we also wanted to make sure that the party characters were interesting and had flavorful personalities that came across during the adventure. To that end, the party characters will often speak and banter between each other depending on who is in your party. Dungeon Siege II takes place about 100 years after the original Dungeon Siege. [It still takes place] on the continent of Aranna, and we wanted to make the story much more epic in scope by having the player travel to many more locations across the continent this time around."
  • Year-end
    HomeLAN Fed's Games In 2004-2005 Q&A with Jørgen Tharaldsen talks with the Funcom product manager about the year that was.

Star Wars: Republic Commando Movie

A new movie from Star Wars: Republic Commando is now available, showing off more gameplay from the upcoming shooter from LucasArts. The clip is available for download on GameSpot (registration required) where it can also be streamed for free. Downloads are also mirrored on 3D Gamers and Filerush (torrent).

Morning Previews

Competitions

Pirates of the Burning Sea Community Website celebrates the one-year anniversary of the announcement of this upcoming MMORPG, including a GeForce 6800 GT giveaway.

Friday Game Reviews

Friday Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Today is the eleventh anniversary of the release of the DOOM shareware, for me as well as many others, a life-altering experience. To this day, skulking through the darkened computer maze near the beginning of the game is still one of my most memorable gaming experiences ever.

Stories of the Day: Food Running Low Aboard Space Station. It's only condiments in my space station too.
Santas accused of street brawl.
Kitten Survives 275-Mile Ride Next to Car Engine.
Science!: Tool use confirmed in monkeys.
Is It Time to Scrap SETI? Small moves, Ellie.
Scientists embed computation in a DNA crystal.
Images of the Day: Think Blue!
Dr. Fun.
Media of the Day: Apple - Trailers - Ong Bak. Thanks Bernard.
Auction of the Day: SALAD LETTUCE IN SHAPE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE! AMAZING!. Thanks Joe.
Follow-ups: Who's a silly boy then?
Thanks Mike Martinez and Ant.
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