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Monday, Oct 30, 2006

The Guild 2 Demo

The Guild 2 demo offers a playable sample of 4HEAD Studios' strategy management sequel that was just released in North America. The demo offers the chance to play games limited to one four-year round with a single race. The download is available on the Aspyr Website, mirrored on 3D Gamers, FileFront, Gameguru Mania, Gamer's Hell, and Worthplaying.

FIFA 07 Demo

A playable demo for FIFA 07 offers the chance to kick around a sample of the latest installment in the sports management series. The demo offers the chance to manage a club from a choice of several countries in a choice of several leagues. Details can be found on this page, and the demo is available from EA (direct link) and on 3D Downloads, 3D Gamers, FileFront, Gameguru Mania, Gamer's Hell, Strategy Informer, VGPRO, and Worthplaying.

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Anniversary Announced

Eidos announces Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Anniversary, a new installment in the Lara Croft series due next year based on the original Tomb Raider. This time around there is no discussion of reapportioning Lara's proportions, and her claims to fame are not even on display in the one new screenshot from the project. Here's word:
San Francisco, Calif. – October 30, 2006 – Eidos Interactive Ltd., one of the world’s leading publishers and developers of entertainment software, today confirms the title of the next Tomb Raider game will be Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Anniversary. Set for release in North America on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system and Windows PC, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Anniversary is a tribute to Lara Croft and the phenomenal impact she has had on pop-culture and gaming.

Inspired by the first Tomb Raider videogame, originally released in 1996, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Anniversary is a totally new 2006 adventure for Lara, faithfully preserving the elements which made the original Tomb Raider such a classic, selling over 7 million copies worldwide. Using an enhanced ‘Tomb Raider Legend’ game engine, the graphics, technology and physics bring Lara’s adventure and pursuit of a mystical artefact known only as the Scion right up to today’s technology standards and will offer gamers a completely new gameplay experience.

“Lara Croft is more than just a video game character – she is a digital-celebrity and icon for the video game industry, as well as a strong, powerful character that people of all ages connect with,” said Director of Marketing Matt Gorman, Eidos. “We are re-telling an incredible story using today’s technology, we’ve taken all of the key moments from the original game and put them into the context of a brand new Tomb Raider adventure.”

The puzzles are now more in depth and incorporate environmental interaction and physics driven solutions. The level design and flow of gameplay are inspired by the original videogame making Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Anniversary a brand new experience in gaming, while still invoking the nostalgia of the first adventure in Tomb Raiding.

“We’ve captured the essence of what made the original game so special and with today’s technology, created a game that pushes the boundaries of the current gaming consoles. Tomb Raider: Anniversary is a special celebration of Lara’s reign as videogaming’s leading lady,” said Ian Livingstone, Eidos Interactive.

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Anniversary is currently in development by Crystal Dynamics and will be available in spring 2007.

Guild 2 US Patch

The first-patch for the just-released US edition of The Guild 2 is now available, updating the strategy management sequel to version 1.2. The patch is available from Aspyr and mirrored on 3D Gamers and Worthplaying.

The Late Show

The Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45 Website now offers a new trailer showing off some of the features in the upcoming free booster pack for Tripwire's Unreal-engine World War II shooter. There are high and low resolution versions of the clip, and word is: "This trailer showcases the new map (Danzig) as well as the new Panzer IV H tank and Russian Universal Carrier Armored Transport which will be released in the free booster pack over Steam, very soon." Also, a new Need for Speed Carbon movie with the unfortunate title "Race Wars" shows off the next installment in the street racing series. The clip can be found on 3D Gamers, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and Worthplaying.

Evening Q&As

  • City of Villains
    The City of Villains Q&A on MMORPG.COM is a publisher-distributed Q&A with Cryptic's Matt Miller on the one-year anniversary of the launch of City of Villains: "We have plans for a co-operative zone where both sides band together under a common flag to combat a mutual threat. While Villains and Heroes obviously do not get along with each other, there are times when the enemy of my enemy becomes a friend, no matter who they are."
  • EVE Online
    The EVE Online Q&A on MMORPG.COM talks with Magnus Bergsson about CCP's MMORPG: "Medals and awards can use any metric or accomplishment to give it to you. We want it to be a very flexible system which we can use with most areas of EVE gameplay. It should use the metrics we already gather of everything within EVE and of course be useable for our future addition to EVE. We see uses with it in regard to the loyalty point system in general, such as offers require a certain certificate to be offered it, corporations creating Contracts which require a certain rank or medal within their corporation and so forth."
  • EverQuest: The Serpent's Spine
    RPG Vault's EverQuest: The Serpent's Spine Team Q&A asks group questions of the team at SoE about the MMORPG expansion, discussing the new race, enemies, and locations.
  • Penumbra: Overture
    The Penumbra: Overture Q&A on Computer and Video Games gets their hands on Thomas Grip to discuss Frictional Games' upcoming action game: "The first and main goal with Penumbra was to make a horror game without any violent action as the main gameplay feature. Games like Silent Hill and Resident Evil all rely on the player shooting/bashing enemies to take up most of the gameplay time. We believe that going away from this design will create a scarier game since monster encounters will be a lot more lethal. It also forces us to think in new directions when coming up with the gameplay ideas. It was with this goal in mind that the physical interaction mechanics was born. This is a feature that can make mundane tasks like opening doors and pulling levers a lot more fun and satisfying."

Evening Preview

Evening Screenshots

Evening Mobilization

Thanks Mike Martinez.

Into the Black

Boo! No wait, that's tomorrow. Nevermind.

Scary Links! Thanks Mike Martinez and Ant.
Link: HA HA HA HA Halloween Night.
Stories: Development's Hurwitz ports Britcom.
Halloween Is an Economist's Biggest Nightmare.
Har, me hearties! Crew excavates Blackbeard's ship.
Science!: Caffeine-Stoked Energy Drinks Worry Doctors. So they prescribe themselves Prozac.
Swirling Seas, Crystal Balls.
Scientist finds 100 million-year-old bee. Thanks Neutronbeam.
Images: ILM Halloween Party (2006). Thanks Heather.
Media: Guy gets first question wrong on millionaire. Who wants to be dead broke?

Gold - Warhammer: Mark of Chaos

NAMCO BANDAI announces that Warhammer: Mark of Chaos is gold, and the RTS game based on the fantasy miniatures game is due in stores on November 14:
SANTA CLARA, Calif., (October 30, 2006) – Leading video games publisher and developer NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. today announced that the real-time strategy PC game, Warhammer®: Mark of Chaos™ has gone gold and will be available in stores throughout North America beginning November 14th. Featuring epic battles, fully customizable units and maps and a variety of play modes and multiplayer options, Warhammer: Mark of Chaos is the second title launching from NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc.’s PC division.

“Warhammer: Mark of Chaos will transport gamers into the fantasy war-torn battlefields of the legendary Warhammer universe, with epic battles on an enormous scale,” said Makoto Iwai, Senior Vice President of the Development Group at NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. “The release of Warhammer: Mark of Chaos is a testament to NAMCO BANDAI Games’ continued commitment to PC gaming." Developed by Black Hole Entertainment, a subsidiary of Cinergi Interactive, Warhammer: Mark of Chaos puts the focus squarely on the battlefield with a real-time combat system that gives the player unprecedented customization and control of his/her army. An epic battle rages following a brutal Chaos invasion, where four fully playable armies (Empire, Chaos, Skaven and High Elves) as well as additional controllable races (Orcs and Goblins, Dwarfs and Vampire Counts) clash on a massive battlefield. Warhammer: Mark of Chaos centers on massive armies and real-time battling. The game’s heroic quest reveals a grand sense of both scale and detail, in which monstrous demons and vast customizable armies clash with thousands of characters in intricate detail. Buildable features and a variety of terrains such as forests, swamps, plains and tundra change the shape of the battlefield and add a layer of strategy to provide players infinite replayability.

For updated news, additional game information and a contest where fans could win an ultimate PC, please visit the official site www.markofchaos.com. Warhammer: Mark of Chaos is rated “M” for Mature by the ESRB and has a suggested retail price of $49.99.

BF2142 Update

A Battlefield 2142 Community Update that's not noted on the Battlefield Website (thanks Ant and Planet Battlefield) that we missed from before the weekend outlines some issues with Battlefield 2142 that DICE is working on:
Over the course of last week some players have experienced issues with stats & awards, punk buster, and master server disconnects. We wanted to update everyone on the current status for each of these points as we move into the weekend.

Stats & Awards: Last weekend we made updates that resolved the issues causing some awards or stats to not be properly awarded to players. We will be continuing to monitor player experience and the stat servers in order to make the proper adjustments to maintain the system. Unfortunately any stats or awards not received before this update can not be replaced.

PunkBuster: Those players who have experienced issues with the punk buster auto update should visit the punk buster site and follow their directions for manual updates. We are currently working with punk buster to resolve player issues and allow for a smoother experience and to eliminate the server kick issues that are still affecting some players.

EA Master Server Disconnects: We have added additional enhancements to our server infrastructure to eliminate the majority of the disconnection problems. We will be putting forth every effort through the weekend to completely eliminate this issue for all our players.

We will continue to update everyone on our status until these issues are resolved and no longer standing in the way of your enjoyment of Battlefield 2142. Have a great weekend and we will see you on the Battlefield.

Frontline: Kursk Q&A

The Frontline: Kursk Q&A on FiringSquad talks with Gleb Sokolov, CEO of N-Game Studios, about their upcoming World War II RTS game: "In Frontline: Kursk the diversified types of missions will be represented. For example, saving the general together with the army headquarters, a mission that will be highly affected by its environment, urban battles, strategic retreats and counterattacks. Tank battles are obviously included, particularly the famous battle under Prohorovka, and the battle for Belgorod. In addition, the most persistent players can expect a surprise – two additional secret missions which are anything but standard."

Morning Preview

Morning Screenshots

Game & Mod Development

Spectralogue offers TextureDesk, a utility to ease the creation of seamless textures. Thanks Robin.

Monday Game Reviews

Monday Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Well, after complaining yesterday about early sundowns following the return to Standard Time, I have to admit to taking great pleasure from getting to drive MrsBlue to the train on a bright, sunny morning for a change.

Sunny Links! Thanks Mike Martinez and Ant.
Play: Virus 2. Thanks User Friendly.
Crunch Time.
Link: Microsoft Firefox 2007 Professional Edition. Thanks frag.machine.
Stories: Police: 15-Year-Old Steals Bus, Drives Route Collecting Fares. Thanks Neatorama.
Father Asks Store To Pull Toy That Says F-Word. Thanks Digg.
Science!: Warming 'could bring 1930s havoc'.
New Culprit in Climate Change? Try Airlines (registration required).
Media: Swearing Celebrities. Unsurprisingly, NSFW language.
Tiger Woods vs. Ellen DeGeneres.
The Funny: UserFriendly.
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