Archived News:

Friday, Jan 07, 2005

TimeShift Unveiled

There are TimeShift Impressions on GameSpot revealing development of this first-person shooter from Saber Interactive. Though it's not specified in the preview, Frans put on his detective hat and deduced that this is the project that at one time was known as Chronos (story), though word is that most everything has been reworked since then. Here's a bit from the preview of the game, which is to be formally announced next week:
The new game takes place in a hostile world in which you must battle a mysterious enemy that is in charge of an army of soldiers. You may have heard that one before, but you probably haven't heard about the part where you can rewind, pause, or slow the flow of time. As we saw in a demonstration of the game, these abilities are good for, if nothing else, a little grandstanding. You'll be engaged in plenty of intense firefights and can put an exclamation point at the end of them by gunning down your last enemy, turning back time to restore him, then gunning him down again (if you're into that sort of thing).

Rugby 2005 Announced

EA Sports announces plans for Rugby 2005, a cross platform rugby game, though no exclusive agreement with the National Rugby League or any such is involved. The first screenshots from the game have been released, as well as a couple of movies. Here's the deal:
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – January 7, 2005 –Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS) today announced that EA SPORTS™ Rugby 2005 is under development as the newest ongoing franchise in the EA SPORTS™ lineup, heralding the sport’s emergence as a global phenomenon. The game, which features a host of gameplay and graphical upgrades, will deliver an authentic rugby experience and is scheduled for release in spring 2005 for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox® videogame system from Microsoft, and the PC.

“EA SPORTS is committed to making the most complete and authentic rugby game possible,” said Andrew Wilson, producer of the game. “By leveraging our sports technology and experience to create EA SPORTS Rugby 2005, we feel we can grow a successful interactive franchise for one of the fastest growing sports in the world.”

EA SPORTS Rugby 2005 incorporates all the major Rugby teams, players, and tournaments, including the Tri-Nations, Super 12 and many more authentic and prestigious events from the world of Rugby. The game incorporates a completely upgraded graphical engine with individually differentiated players, realistic motion-captured player animations, dramatic lighting and cameras, and stadiums that are accurate with details such as crowd reactions, songs, and chants. EA SPORTS Rugby 2005 plays realistically with on-the-fly play-calling, right analog stick controls for fakes and crushing hits and improved kicking control. The game also features a ‘Rugby 101’ training mode outlining the rules, controls, and tactics of the sport through videos and interactive challenges.

EA SPORTS Rugby 2005 is being produced by EA Canada where such hit franchises as FIFA Soccer, NBA LIVE and NHL are made. EA SPORTS Rugby 2005 is being developed by HB Studios. The game has not yet been rated by the ESRB.

Game Movies

The Star Wars: Republic Commando Website now offers a new gameplay movie from the upcoming Force-fed squad-based shooter. The clip can be found in one or both of two sizes on 3D Gamers and Filerush (torrent). There is also a new movie within the Flash recesses of the Playboy: The Mansion Official Teaser Site (thanks Frans). The teaser for Cyberlore's upcoming Hef-Holodeck can also be more easily located on this FTP server.

Euro WoW Beta (thanks Frans) now has the final beta downloader for the European beta testing of World of Warcraft, Blizzard's MMORPG. Word is: "In preparation for the start of the Final Beta, you can start downloading the game installer in your preferred choice of language (English, French or German), using the links below. As a reminder, the first phase of the Final Beta will be opened to those who attained an authentication key through the official Blizzard pre-order campaign, as well as current Closed Beta testers, who will maintain their existing account and characters. More testers will be included in the near future."

Evening Previews

Children of the Nile Patch

A new patch is now available for Immortal Cities: Children of the Nile, updating Tilted Mill's historical city construction game to version 1.2, offering bug fixes and other tweaks. The 38 MB patch is available on the Immortal Cities: Children of the Nile Official Website.

Evening Screenshots

Mac BF1942 Patch

Mac Game Files now offers downloads of a new version 1.6.1c patch for the Macintosh edition of Battlefield 1942. Here's word on the 33 MB download: "This patch fixes stability issues with OS X 10.2.8 for Battlefield 1942, Road to Rome, and the expansion, Secret Weapons of World War II."

Close Combat: First to Fight Co-op Announced

Global Star Software/Take 2 Interactive announces some multiplayer details for Close Combat: First to Fight, the U.S. Marine Corps shooter in the works at Destineer Studios. Those details include word on the rare-but-beloved coop support. There are movies and screenshots showing off multiplayer play on 3D Gamers and Gamer's Hell. Here is the announcement:
As you might expect from a team-based game like First to Fight, the emphasis in multiplayer is on co-op play. While there's team based deathmatch, the real meat of multiplayer is the ability to play through the entire single player campaign via co-op. You can do so via online and LAN on PC, and via split screen or Xbox Live on Xbox.

But that's just a glimpse at the cool multiplayer features. Just wait until you try out some of the more advanced options, like one mode where your entire team has a "life pool" that limits the total number of respawns. Needless to say, it makes the game much more intense.

EQ2 Adventure Pack

SOE talks EverQuest II updates on GameSpot has advance word on an upcoming announcement of plans for an Adventure Pack for EverQuest II, a hybrid free/paid expansion for the MMORPG sequel:
The first part of the adventure pack will come as a free download. All of the game's subscribers will be able to sink their swords into a new zone, fight new enemies, and so on. There will also be some new quests in this area for all players. Some of these quests will flesh out the lore behind the game's dark elf race and at least partially explain what has transpired in the 500 years that lie between the original EverQuest and EverQuest II. If players want to continue down this story path, they will have to pay what's been described as a "small fee" to download the rest of the adventure pack's content and continue on. Players that choose not to participate will still be allowed to adventure in this new zone and experience at least some of the new content. If the idea's a hit, SOE will likely follow with more adventure packs in the same vein. Some may continue where an existing adventure pack leaves off, though it's also possible that future content offerings may tell an entirely different story. If the price is right, EQII's adventure packs could be a cool solution to provide small chunks of more involving content on a more regular basis than you'd expect from the previous model of occasional expansion packs. That said, SOE certainly hasn't completely eliminated the concept of a retail expansion for EQII, either.

Guild Wars Beta Weekend

The latest three day preview weekend for Guild Wars gets underway today, offering a further chance to check out ArenaNet's upcoming MMORPG. The latest Guild Wars Fansite Friday - Beta Weekend Event Special Edition discusses new features in the latest beta, character wipes and creation, and character name reservations.

Dear Diaries

RPG Vault's Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War Wrap Report is "An edifying self-assessment from the Producer, Lead Designer, Lead Programmer and Art Director on Relic's RTS." Also, there's a new Playboy: The Mansion Developer Diary on IGN offers an illustrated journal covering development of the upcoming stud-sim.

Morning Q&As

  • Freedom Force vs The Third Reich's Freedom Force vs The Third Reich talks with Irrationals Ken Levine about their upcoming superhero expansion: "I think multiplayer was the only aspect where we really felt rushed in the original. Now that we're making our own rules and only have to answer to ourselves, we're able to take our time and do everything right. The area that benefited most from this extra time would have to be the multiplayer. Story-based multiplayer itself would be enough to make FFv3R a better multiplayer game. We didn't stop there though. We added several other new modes, in-game browsers and tons of other new features that'll have fans of freedom busy online for quite some time."
  • Supreme Ruler 2010
    Experience Gaming's Supreme Ruler 2010 Q&A talks with David Thompson, lead designer and cofounder of BattleGoat Studios, about their strategy remake of global domination: "We are a relatively small studio that believes there is a void of intelligent strategy games available. Our mission is pretty much to make games that we ourselves want to play! For years we had talked about remaking 'Supreme Ruler' and when the opportunity arose we jumped on it. Our size has meant we were able to develop our project on our terms and on our own timeline – there is no need or desire to release the game before we feel it is absolutely ready!"

Morning Previews

Morning Screenshots

2004 Vaporware Awards

Wired News's 2004 Vaporware Awards (thanks Mike Martinez) offers their annual attack on failed promises from the tech industry, briefly mocking last year's lifetime achievement winner Duke Nukem Forever before taking shots at delayed and missing projects such as Alienware's Video Array, Team Fortress 2, and RADEON X800 cards. The "appropriately named" Phantom console system nabs the top spot after a near miss last year at number three.

Help Wanted

The NetDevil Employment Opportunities Page has details on an opening they are looking to fill for a Special Effects Artist to work on Auto Assault, their upcoming road rage-filled MMORPG. They also note the following about areas where they do not currently have openings: "In the future we may be looking for talented individuals to help us on our next project. If working in games is your dream, then feel free to submit your resume for future reference."

Friday Game Reviews

Friday Hardware Reviews


Thanks Mike Martinez.

Out of the Blue

We've got the Smurfs coming over to stay for the weekend... should be an interesting mix trying to keep tabs on the boys along with the new puppy... of course a 9-week-old puppy is actually more mature than most four and six year-olds, but the pup and the Smurfs are all pretty solid citizens, so things should work out fine (I never realized how hard it is to type with my fingers crossed!).

Play Time: Place The State. 41 Perfect - 82% - 63 Miles - 421 Secs. Thanks Ant and User Friendly.
Links of the Day: ROFL-3000.
Stories of the Day: Man Wants $1,000 To Return Soldier's Camera. Thanks Bronco.
'Idol' Reject Hung Seeks Good-Guy Roles.
Boo Birds Attack Ashlee. In fairness, the other two acts were just as awful.
Science!: Weak El Nino to Affect Weather for Next 3 Months.
Magazine Names Seattle Fittest U.S. City.
It Pays to Trust Your Gut.
Media of the Day: Dancing Transformer. Thanks blue.
Little Drummer boy. Thanks Maimas.
Image of the Day: He Sure Gets Around.
Follow-up: Tide Gauges Tsunami's Ripples, Unnoticed, Washed Along Atlantic Coast (registration required).
Thanks Mike Martinez and Ant.
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