Archived News:

Thursday, Feb 10, 2005

New GTR Demo

A second edition of the GTR demo is now available, providing a renewed chance to test drive SimBin's racing simulation. The demo includes Star Force protection, described like this: "If you are concerned about Star Force protection drivers remaining on your system after you uninstall GTR Demo, you may wish to use SFCLEAN.EXE in Support folder in the game root. Note, if you do run the uninstall utility for the drivers, when you launch the protected game again, the drivers will be reinstalled. For more information regarding StarForce protection please visit StarForce Technologies International website (http://www.star-force.com)." The 208 MB download can be found on this FTP server (direct link), and mirrored on 3D Gamers.

PC Reservoir Dogs

Take-Two subsidiary 2K Games announces a deal to publish three projects from SCi Games for the North American marketplace, Conflict: Global Terror, Carmageddon and Reservoir Dogs. Here's the announcement, which offers the first indication we've seen that the upcoming game based on Reservoir Dogs (story), Quentin Tarantino's breakthrough movie, is headed for the PC platform:
New York, NY – February 10, 2005 – 2K Games, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), today announced that it has signed an agreement with SCi Games for exclusive North American publishing rights to Conflict: Global Terror, Carmageddon and Reservoir Dogs.

“We are very pleased to again be working with SCi and building on the successes of this partnership,” said Christoph Hartmann, Senior Vice President of Publishing for 2K Games. “All three of these titles illustrate 2K Games’ commitment to producing high quality games from proven franchises and exciting licenses.”

Conflict: Global Terror brings the series into the 21st century and joins the war on terrorism in this highly anticipated sequel to the successful franchise which has shipped over 2.5 million units in North America alone. In fall 2005, the original Delta Force members from the Conflict series will return to fight alongside players on console and PC, in a variety of locations around the world where terrorism is present.

Carmageddon, a game where speed and racing are not the only goals, returns. Rejuvenated for the console and PC market, the new Carmageddon is faster and more intense than ever and planned for release in fall 2005.

Reservoir Dogs, the Quentin Tarantino classic cult film, is being adapted into an explosive action packed console and PC game. Scheduled for release in 2006, Reservoir Dogs will bring gamers deep into the seedy underground world of crime they fell in love with when it was originally released as a feature film.

Game Movies

  • Close Combat: First to Fight
    Take 2 Games Italia has posted yet another new gameplay movie from Close Combat: First to Fight, Destineer's upcoming military first-person shooter. The clip offers a "TUTORIAL BELLICO DI CLOSE COMBAT," and mirrors can be found on 3D Gamers, Filerush (torrent), and Worthplaying.
  • Brothers in Arms
    The Brothers In Arms Website has a new diary movie for Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30. The 33 MB clip helps introduce the storyline in Gearbox's upcoming World War II first-person shooter. Thanks Frans.
  • Dungeon Lords
    A pair of new Dungeon Lords trailers provide the chance to see Heuristic Park's upcoming RPG in action. The movies are available on 3D Gamers, Gamer's Hell, and Worthplaying.
  • House of the Dead III
    A House of the Dead III movie is now available, showing off the upcoming PC port of the rail shooter sequel. The movie can be found on 3D Gamers, Gamer's Hell, and Worthplaying.

Euro WoW Patches

A new European edition of World of Warcraft is now available. In case automatic updates are problematic, manual versions of the patch are also available, the English version can be found on 3D Gamers, AusGamers, and FilePlanet (registration required); the French version is up on 3D Gamers, AusGamers, and FilePlanet (registration required); and the German patch is available on 3D Gamers, AusGamers, FilePlanet (registration required).

Dear Diaries

The Freedom Force vs. the 3rd Reich Diary on GameSpy features Irrational Games' designer Alexx Kay describing the story-based multiplayer mode in the upcoming superhero follow-up. Meanwhile, on a semi-related note, Adventures in Self-Publishing on IGN features Ken Levine discussing this approach to the business as Irrational Games prepares to distribute their own Freedom Force vs. the Third Reich.

Evening Q&As

  • Battlefield 2
    DICE in reply to your questions regarding Battlefield 2 on FZ.se is a Q&A with DICE designer Lars Gustavsson on Battlefield 2, their upcoming modern combat-themed military shooter sequel: "Obviously it differentiates between different vehicles but in an airplane fighter information about the select weapon system will be displayed. Should you choose to select heatseeking missiles a tracking system will be displayed with information regarding heatsources and other such targets, when a target is locked and information like that. Should you however choose to select bombs, different information will be displayed. We have with our best efforts tried to accomplish a very hightech apperance [sic] but at the same time maintaining simplicity and not making it overly complicated, this especially because Battlefield is supposed to be easy to get started with yet very powerful for the experienced players."
  • Pariah
    The Pariah Q&A on Gametactics talks with James Schmalz of Digital Extremes about Pariah, their upcoming first-person shooter: "We have a futuristic setting so we can take a few more liberties with our weapon design and make them pretty exciting and different. Of course, the big difference is that they are upgradeable. For instance, we have a Grenade Launcher. Sounds pretty standard, but it is pretty sweet as you upgrade it. In its default form, you can toss out a grenade at high velocity and great distances and it's very deadly. But as you upgrade it, you get a remote detonator for it, then it becomes a mag grenade launcher. The grenade becomes a very powerful magnet sucking up bits of metal and debris as it flies through the air. The longer it flies, the more crap it picks up. Once it finally lands you can remote detonate it and send all the shrapnel it accumulated ripping into the enemies nearby. So, no weapon is standard by any means. All are versatile and unique as they become upgraded."
  • New World
    The New World Computing Q&A on Celestial Heavens talks with Microsoft's Christian "Evil C" Vanover about the old days at 3DO/New World Computing.

Codename Panzers Bonus Map

The German Codename Panzers Website now offers downloads of a new bonus map for Codename: Panzers, the World War II armored combat strategy game. The map is titled Silent Hill, which multilingual, but the update is only in German, so if you want to read an English description, one can be found on 3D Gamers.

Site Seeing

A Domination Product Page is now online, publisher DreamCatcher Games' home for Wargaming.Net's upcoming strategy sequel also known as Massive Assault: Phantom Renaissance.

Nexus Demo Re-Release

The playable single-player demo for Nexus: The Jupiter Incident has been re-released, apparently updated to the shipping code of the European edition of the game released last November. There is no indication of what, if anything, is different compared with the demo released last September (story). The 121 MB download is available on the Sierra Entertainment Downloads Page and mirrored on 3D Gamers, Gamer's Hell, and Worthplaying.

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

Celtic Kings: Punic Wars Patches

New version 1.02 patches for Celtic Kings: Punic Wars are now available, updating the historical strategy/role-playing sequel from Haemimont Games that's also known as Nemesis of the Roman Empire. The English edition can be found on this page along with the patch notes, and the European patches are available here. Thanks Frans.

Ion Storm Closed

Ion Storm closes its doors on GameSpot offers an official confirmation of reports that have been coming in saying the Eidos-owned developer was being shuttered. Here's a bit, including the official announcement of the closure of Ion's Austin-based offices, the last vestige of a studio launched by John Romero in August 1996 under the tentative name Dream Design:
A statement issued by the Britain-based publisher outlined the closure with typically cool corporate logic. "Eidos today announced locally that it is to consolidate down its North American internal development capabilities from two studios to one," read the statement. "This will mean the immediate closure of the Ion Storm studio in Austin, Texas, which has been focused primarily on the development of PC and Xbox games. ... This is part of [Eidos'] move to consolidate and strengthen its technical and management capabilities into a smaller number of studios which are capable of scaling up in order to meet the competitive challenges that lie ahead, particularly in anticipation of next-generation technologies and platforms."

Crime Life

Konami to give Europe a taste of Crime Life on GameSpot reveals plans for a GTA-style game from Konami, due later this year on the PC, Xbox, and PS2. Here's a bit from the story, which links to the Gang Wars Website, where you can view the game's official trailer:
Set in the fictional metropolis of Grand Central City, the game offers story-based action and strategy. Players assume the role of a newbie gangsta who must work his way to the top. Unlike GTA: SA, Crime Life will apparently offer some ethics lessons. Players must protect their brethren from exploitation and abuse, and the narrative reveals the dangers of gang membership, a la Boyz N the Hood. Urban life and hip-hop style also play heavily in the game. No release date has been set for Crime Life in Europe, through the trailer promises a fall 2005 release.

Morning Q&As

  • Brothers in Arms
    Computer Games Magazine's Brothers in Arms Q&A talks with Gearbox Software's Randy Pitchford about their upcoming World War II first-person shooter: "It’s not about micro management – it’s about applying the concepts of fire and maneuver to overcoming real combat challenges. In real life, a squad leader has trained soldiers under his command. He doesn’t have to micro manage them – they are real people with real training. So, in real life, soldiers are smart enough to do things before being asked. They are smart enough to get behind cover wherever it’s available. They are smart enough to use standard operating procedures to return fire and suppress targets. All of these real-world kind of smarts and standard operating procedures have been programmed into the AI of the soldiers of Brothers in Arms under the direction of Colonel John Antal."
  • EverQuest: Dragons of Norrath
    The EverQuest: Dragons of Norrath Q&A on FileFront chats up Robert Pfister about SOE's upcoming MMORPG expansion: "The lands of Dragons of Norrath center around an area known as The Nest, an area that appears on the original EverQuest maps between Halas and Lavastorm. It is the ancestral birthplace of dragons. It has long been sealed away, hidden from the eyes of Norrath, but with the launch of DoN, The Nest is reopened. Familiar faces such as Firiona Vie and her nemesis Lanys T’Vyl make a return and find themselves at the forefront of events transpiring across Norrath."
  • Project: Snowblind
    The Project: Snowblind Q&A on Game Chronicles features producer John Chowanec discussing Crystal Dynamics' upcoming shooter: "P:SB features a pretty robust online experience. We support 16 players with VOIP support, stats, clans, friends lists, etc. From a gameplay standpoint, multiplayer is a class-based affair. You pick a specific class: grunt, heavy, sniper, scout, agent or berserker, and based on the class you choose, you get a specific loadout. Each loadout has a specific set of weapons, demolitions and 1 augmentation. This becomes important based on what mode you might be playing – the most effective teams have a balanced set of classes. So check before you join and try to play them all…"
  • The Roots
    The Roots Q&A on FileFront talks with Piotr Krzywonosiuk of Tannhauser Gate (Roy Batty's favorite developer) about their upcoming RPG: "As player progresses through the game, wins battles and completes quests, it will become possible to develop certain skills for the main characters (all party members). Consequently, it will be up to the player whether he wants his characters to specialize in close quarters fighting, ranged fighting or magic."
  • 404 Gaming
    The 404 Gaming Q&A on Computer Games Magazine talks with Adam Ghetti about plans for their hip hop-themed MMORPG: "The game does not include a traditional quest system, at least in the way it is commonly implemented in current MMOGs. There will be no mindless, lifeless NPCs that stand in one place 24/7 and repeatedly hand out the exact same chore to a line of players. Information about events and missions within the game is spread around and controlled much like it is in the real world. We will be using a very advanced relationship and rumor system that the NPCs and players alike follow. You may hear about one mission while at the dance club and discover that the person you were talking to misunderstood the person he heard it from. You might need to get clarification on navigational directions or recruit backup in case your contact underestimated the opposing forces. It’s going to be very realistic, very fluid, and endlessly entertaining."

Bizz Buzz

Electronic Arts says may buy more Ubisoft shares (thanks Mike Martinez) has more on that saga. Also, Atari posts loss; lowers Q4 guidance (thanks Mike Martinez) and Atari Outlines First Phases of Strategic Plan (thanks Frans) discusses the publisher's financials and future prospects. Meanwhile, Infogrames Q3 net profit 22.5 million euros (thanks Mike Martinez) outlines the company's latest numbers. Finally, Conference explores game industry's biz potential has word on a conference where "Game execs, Hollywood insiders, legal experts gather to discuss investing in and selling games." On what's going on at Atari, Computer Games Magazine follows-up on reports that they will be closing a pair of offices:
Atari spokesperson Nancy Bushkin told Computer Games Magazine that plans are still being formulated for how the closing of their Beverly, MA and Santa Monica, CA offices will be handled. Bushkin did confirm that the closings will not happen immediately and Atari plans to contact the people in both offices over the next several days to find out what the exact time frame will be for consolidating their publishing operations. Those jobs will soon be based out of Atari’s main corporate facilities in New York City Bushkin would not state how many people would be laid off as there will be some team members who will move to New York City.

Site Seeing - 7 Sins

The official 7 Sins Website is now online, dedicated to Monte Cristo's adult-themed life simulator. Keeping with the adult theme, there's a bouncer script that the door that will want to see your fake ID. Apparently losers are not welcome either, though they don't seem to actually be testing for that. Here's how 7 Sins is described: "The 7 Sins is a chance to make easy money, to become famous, to establish your reputation as a Casanova and grab what everyone in Apple City craves: Power!"

Morning Previews

Misc. Patches

The Emergency 3 Problembehebung und häufig gestellte Fragen has news (in German) of a new version 1.02 patch for the German edition of Emergency 3. There's an English version of the patch notes on 3D Gamers. Also, this ValuSoft Technical Support Website has a new version 1.2 patch for Hunting Unlimited 3.

Morning Screenshots

Game Guidance

There's a Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone Walkthrough on GameBanshee offering guidance through Stormfront's role-playing game.

The Mod Squads

The PlanetBattlefield Forums (thanks Ant) offers February 18 as the projected release date for the upcoming version .40 of the Eve of Destruction modification for Battlefield Vietnam. Thanks Ant.

Thursday Game Reviews

Thursday Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

Well, Dr. Toothy wasn't as tough on me as I thought yesterday... after strapping me in and making all sorts of dire predictions, he just went ahead with a cleaning and a warning that I need to be more diligent with my home care, making plans to reevaluate this in a couple of weeks. I'm not going to say this was effective (L.A. Confidential: "Is that how you used to play 'good-cop-bad-cop'?"), but please forgive any errors I make as I learn to type and floss at the same time.

R.I.P.: Jazz Organ Pioneer Jimmy Smith Dies. Thanks The_Button_Man.

Links of the Day: Peasant's Quest Trailer. Thanks Noel.
Stories of the Day: Lost dog, lawyer, crying boy Story has everything.
Budding Jordan cyber love ends in divorce.
Oldest tree in Versailles pulled down after 324 years.
Science!: Smart People Choke Under Pressure.
Tech Solves Hope Diamond Mystery.
Lost love really can cause broken heart.
Images of the Day: Alex MacLean's Portfolio.
Media of the Day: Creepy strong break-dancer.
Auction of the Day: NASCAR Dale Earnhardt LiveTiger Oscar Fish. Thanks Razzle Dazzle.
Follow-ups: Tsunami Earthquake Three Times Larger Than First Thought.
SCI FI Renews Galactica. Thanks ^Drag0n^.
Man Finds Mystery Nail in His Neck. The nail epidemic continues.
California Considers Ban on Pet Cloning.
Thanks Mike Martinez and Ant.
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