Archived News:

Saturday, Feb 25, 2006

Sniper Elite Demo

A Sniper Elite demo is now online, offering the chance to test out Rebellion Software's first- and third-person sharpshooting shooter. The 630 MB download includes the Karlshorst mission that requires the player to rendezvous with an informant in Berlin. The demo is available on 3D Downloads, 3D Gamers, FileFront, Gameguru Mania, and Worthplaying. Update: The demo actually offers three missions in total.

Sims 2: Family Fun Revealed

This The Sims 2: Open for Business Czech Fansite reproduces a poster found in the box for The Sims 2: Open for Business revealing the next planned add-on for the people sim. The no-brainer continuation of the series will be called Family Fun, and the images on the poster indicate this fun will include new bedroom furnishings and matching family outfits with which to traumatize your virtual offspring.

SWAT 4 Gold Edition Revealed

A new SWAT 4: Gold Edition Product Section (thanks Frans) reveals plans for a Gold bundle for SWAT 4, the tactical police shooter sequel. The Gold Edition of SWAT 4 will include the original game along with The Stetchkov Syndicate add-on. The bundle's release is expected this spring.

Battle for Middle-earth Patches

The EA FTP Server is now host to new patches for Battle for Middle-earth, updating the Lord of the Rings RTS game to version 1.03. The manual patches are only necessary if the game's automatic update function is not a viable option. Even though it's for the original game rather than the sequel, for some reason the patch is noted on the Battle for Middle-Earth II Website. Full details on what's new can be found in the patch notes. Thanks Frans.

F.E.A.R. Test Server

VU Games announces a F.E.A.R. Test Server Program (thanks Ant) where potential changes to the multiplayer aspect of Monolith's first-person shooter will be tested. Word is: "The developers will be on themselves trying the changes alongside players. After testing players will be asked to visit the new testing forum for their feedback."

Utah: Games = Pr0n

GameDaily BIZ reports that Utah's bill to equate violent video games with pornography has passed a vote in the state's House of Representatives. The bill still needs to be ratified by the State Senate, but even those who have already voted for it acknowledge this bill may not pass Constitutional muster:
Added Rep. Ross Romero, (D-Salt Lake City), "Although violence may not be what we should be looking to have our kids look at, it does have certain constitutional protections, unlike pornography."

Hogue and other politicians believe that the bill has a good chance of standing up in court nonetheless. Rep. Lorie Fowlke (R-Orem) pointed out that HB 257 is the most narrowly defined legislation of these kinds of violent games bills. "I think it is worth a try," she said. "Otherwise we give up and say the court will always determine our values."

Dear Diary

A new producer's letter on the Battle for Middle-earth II Website (thanks Frans) has the latest from Mike Verdu about their Lord of the Rings RTS sequel. In this journal Mike discusses the game's multiplayer component, urging those who may feel intimidated by playing online to give it a shot.

Saturday Q&As

  • id Software
    The id Software Q&A on Worthplaying talks with id's CEO Todd Hollenshead about what they are working on: "The new IP project is the main focus of the development team at id. We have the other projects that we're working on, like Wolf, ET:QW, and our efforts in the mobile phone games, but those are all using other teams as the primary development resource. I'm not sure when we'll begin discussing details of the new IP, but it will be the next game developed entirely by id and it WILL be cool."
  • The Godfather
    PALgaming's The Godfather Q&A is the latest in-house Q&A from EA about their upcoming mob movie game, discussing my old stomping grounds of Hell's Kitchen: "Hell’s Kitchen is generally a run down yet colorful section of New York City, with a mix of residential and industrial elements. Industrial sections of cities are generally more dangerous than your average residential neighborhood, and Hell’s Kitchen was no exception. Historically it was a densely populated and tenement area set among slaughterhouses, warehouses, and factories."
  • UFO: Extraterrestrials
    The UFO: Extraterrestrials Q&A on RPGDot talks with Michal Dolezal of Chaos Concepts about UFO: Extraterrestrials, their upcoming out-of-this-world turn-based strategy game: "The story is quite important. The player gets information mainly from captured aliens. Scientists make the captured aliens speak so that the player gets information on how the aliens conquered Earth, what exactly happened on Earth, why the aliens landed on the Esperanza, why the aliens attack especially Esperanza's mines and refineries, what are the alien's weak points, where is their headquarters, what to do to get into their headquarters, where aliens have built their Starport on Earth and many other questions which I will have to keep secret."
  • Dreamfall's Dreamfall Q&A talks with Funcom's Jorgen Tharaldsen about their upcoming adventure game sequel to The Longest Journey: "Because we had to, for Funcom our goal is to be amongst the leading developers in the world, and we focus on two genres which is adventures and MMO games. To make another point & click adventure would have meant that we would have targeted the game towards a niche in the market. By opening up the target and mixing the best of point & click with lots of things from the modern action mechanics we are broadening the scope of adventure games. Adventure games used to be biggest genre of all, but because it was the same mechanics over and over it meant - especially in the US - that the following shrink down. In many countries in Europe it's still very popular, but in order to put the budget we're putting into it we had to increase and had to make what we call a modern adventure. So that's our goal, to try to innovate the genre. We should see if it works, but it looks good so far."

Saturday Previews

Saturday Screenshots

Mad Tracks German Patch

Frogster Interactive now offers a new patch for the German edition of Mad Tracks, updating the Deutsch driving game to version 1.1. Thanks Frans.

Saturday Game Reviews

Saturday Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

We're off to a party today, celebrating the older of the Smurfs' ninth birthday. He's a sports nut, so we hope the game we found that tests your pitching skills (that can even be played indoors) strikes (heh) his fancy. And here's hoping I can be competitive if we play, since I have a rotator cuff injury from my days as a weekend warrior. I'll just need to rely on my changeup.

Pitching Links! Thanks Mike Martinez and Ant.
Links: Comic Book Martial Arts Ads. Thanks User Friendly. For all your haunted house needs.
Story: 1 Cafe, 1 Gas Station, 2 Roads America's Emptiest County (registration required).
Science: Hybrid Cars to Get High-Occupancy Waiver (registration required).
Images 'show face of Shakespeare'.
Media: Requiem for a Toy Story.
Follow-up: Utah evolution bill revised for third time. Evolves.
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