Archived News:

Friday, Dec 08, 2006

Football Mogul Announced

Enlight announces Football Mogul 2007, a new installment in their Sports Mogul series centered around the American variety of Football expected to kick off this month in time for the holidays. Here's word:
PARKVILLE, MD – December 8, 2006 – Enlight, one of the world’s leading developers and publishers of entertainment software for the PC platform, today announced the next installment in the award-winning sports Mogul series, "Football Mogul 2007." As the premier sports statistical-simulation game on the market, football fans will experience all the intense excitement and strategic challenge that they have come to expect from the series. "Football Mogul 2007" will ship to North American retail stores in December, just in time for the holidays, at an SRP of $19.99.

“With the 2006 NFL season winding down, most football fans are preparing for the long off-season, but the beauty of 'Football Mogul 2007' is that the magic doesn’t have to end when the season does,” said Paul Lombardi, CEO of Enlight Interactive Inc. “Having the ability to hand-pick players based on in-depth statistics and watch as your franchise grows into a dynasty should gratify even the most hardcore football enthusiast.”

“Continuing their reputation as a leader in the PC market, Enlight gives us renewed confidence that Football Mogul will maintain the success of the Sports Mogul franchise,” said Clay Dreslough, president of Sports Mogul Inc. “With so many new features, improvements and game play options, building the ultimate football dynasty will be more exciting then ever.”

With new features and improvements to "Football Mogul 2007," players now have the opportunity to take advantage of a new roster editor which allows for personnel customization of your offensive and defensive packages, to maximize the production of your talent. Players will also be able to take advantage of the new play calling engine which gives you complete control over the plays being called. "Football Mogul 2007" offers an extreme amount of realism and flexibility with thousands of combinations to choose from.

Your success in "Football Mogul 2007" depends heavily on your play calling ability as opposed to simply reacting after the ball is snapped. The game gives players the ability to formulate a strategy around your team’s strengths and exploit opponent mismatches these strengths expose.

The addition of updated year-by-year stats and customized ratings for every team's complete 2006 roster, gives players full control over everything including personnel, rosters, finances, trade negotiations, and even this year’s draft picks. Building your franchise into a dynasty means taking on the role of president, general manager and head coach simultaneously, making every decision a crucial one.

The Settlers II: The Next Generation - The Vikings

Die Siedler II Homepage, A.K.A., the German Settlers II Website, announces plans for Wikinger (Vikings), an upcoming expansion for The Settlers II: The Next Generation, Blue Byte's strategy/management remake. The add-on will introduce the titular Viking race, a new 12-mission campaign, and more. The expansion's release is planned for February 2007 in German-speaking countries, but there's no release date at this time for other territories. The first screenshots from the project can be found on 3D Gamers.

The Sims 2: Seasons Announced

EA announces plans for The Sims 2: Seasons, the inevitable umpteenth expansion for the wee people sequel (thanks Tiscali Games). The add-on's theme borrows from many of my idea-deficit Out of the Blue columns (like today's) by focusing on the weather. They offer screenshots, but no release date, though they say preorders will begin soon. Here's a bit:
Head outdoors for year-round fun with your Sims! New seasonal activities await your Sims including snowball fights, chasing fireflies, jumping in leaf piles, and more. Strengthen family ties in Winter, let romance bloom in Spring, deepen the bonds of friendship in Summer, or fast-track your career in Fall. Your Sims can now explore new careers and master new talents throughout the year, but beware freezing, sunburn, sneezing, and other unexpected weather effects! Dress your Sims appropriately or face the consequences!

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Movie, Date

A new S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl movie is now available on (thanks Frans), offering the latest look at GSC Game World's long-in-development first-person shooter. The 90-second "Legacy of Chernobyl" clip depicts the nuclear accident that sets up the game's plot. The movie concludes by narrowing the game's release date from Q1 2007 to March 2007. On a related note, there's a STALKER History on IGN in which "GSC gives us a look at hte [sic] history of one of the world's worst nuclear disasters"

Warhammer: Mark of Chaos Patch Plans, Postmortem

This forum post says to expect the release of a version 1.6 Warhammer: Mark of Chaos patch on Monday, and this forum post offers a change list for the patch (thanks Frans). On a semi-related note, RPG Vault's Warhammer Mark of Chaos Wrap Report offers a postmortem on Black Hole's Warhammer-themed real-time strategy game written by Namco Bandai producer Chris Wren.

ANNO 1701 Patch Plans

The ANNO 1701 Website (thanks Frans) has a preview of the upcoming patch for the strategy sequel also known as 1701 A.D. A list of bug fixes, balance tweaks, and new features are listed, but since the patch is still in development, the list is not complete, and no release schedule is offered.

Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened German Patch

A patch for the German edition of Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened is available (thanks Frans), updating that language's adaptation of the adventures of the good detective and Herr Doktor Watson to version 1.1. The patch is available from Frogster Interactive.

ForceWare and nForce Drivers

NVIDIA now offers new version 97.02 Media Center Edition drivers and new version 9.53 nForce 680i SLI - Windows XP (32-Bit) drivers.

Counter-Strike Ads Q&A

CS-Nation (thanks Shacknews) has a Q&A with Valve's Doug Lombardi about plans to bring-in game advertising to Counter-Strike: Source: "We make these kinds of decisions with our entire community in mind, not just the people who play Counter-Strike. Our very first Counter-Strike experiment was actually a business-related one: Bringing the game to a retail audience when it was already available on the Internet as a free download seemed to the community like a pretty questionable choice — but it’s worked out well with the community becoming larger and stronger."

Evening Preview

Evening Screenshots

Evening Tech Bits

Thanks Mike Martinez.

Evening Metaverse

Thanks Mike Martinez.

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Congrats to the U.S. Congress on completing their work year. Our workaholic legislators were in session 103 days this year.

R.I.P.: Jose Uribe is killed in car crash. Always wear your seatbelt. Also: Former U.N. envoy Kirkpatrick dies.

Hard Working Links! Thanks Mike Martinez and Ant.
Link of the Evening: Truly Awful Star Wars Collectables. I want the tape dispenser.
Story: Cold snap leaves Deep South in a deep freeze.
Science!: Planetary triple play on deck this weekend. Sharp grounder to Jupiter…
Image: Flower from Dead Computer Parts.
Media: How to draw a car in MS. Paint. Thanks Tango.
A Christmas Story In 30 Seconds With The Bunnies.
Follow-ups: New vCJD scare rocks the UK. Moo-haha.

GRAW 2 Announced

Following the details on Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2 from this morning comes the official press release announcing the game, saying "the next installment in the popular squad-based action franchise, is currently in development for the Xbox 360(TM) video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system and Windows® PC. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 is being developed by the award-winning teams that created the original Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter(TM) in Ubisoft's Paris and Red Storm Studios. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 is scheduled for worldwide release in Spring 2007." A GRAW2 teaser trailer can be found on this page (the full trailer is promised in a week), and here's the portion of the announcement describing the game:
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 builds off of the events in the first game and places gamers in control of the U.S. military's elite fighting unit, the Ghosts. In the year 2014, the rising conflict between Mexican loyalists and insurgent rebel forces has thrown Mexico into full-scale civil war. Under the command of Captain Scott Mitchell, the Ghosts are called upon to face an imminent threat to the United States. The fate of two countries now lies in the hands of the Ghosts as they fend off an attack on U.S. soil. Equipped with the most cutting-edge weaponry and technology, the Ghosts must battle on both sides of the border to neutralize the escalating rebel threat.

Key Features:

    • Groundbreaking Visual Experience: The war zone in Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter comes to life as you navigate through trash-strewn streets and pick off enemies from behind bomb-scarred structures. The cutting-edge physics and particle systems will show you some of the most intense and realistic explosions, smoke, and environment destruction ever seen in a video game. Dynamic lighting and shadows will morph as real-time day/night cycles and a constantly changing weather system require you to adjust to the changing conditions on the fly. All-New Battlegrounds: For the first time ever, the Ghosts will defend U.S. soil from a cross-border attack, taking the fight to all-new locations. The Ghosts will battle enemies in mountain terrains, barren deserts and even on their home turf in El Paso, Texas. Each environment presents its own benefits and challenges and will call for fresh tactical approaches.
    • Vastly Improved Artificial Intelligence (AI): Watch your back as rebels send their own team members to flank your position or gain vantage points by utilizing vertical gameplay to pick you off from the rooftops above. Improved squad-mate AI will now feed you more of the information you need with descriptive commands like "enemy spotted behind red truck ahead."
    • Improved Cross-Com: The revolutionary new Cross-Com 2.0 will give the player more information than ever before. You will be able to see what your friendly forces see in the top left display and the click of a button will expand that to full-screen view for a clearer and more precise picture. This will give you a more comprehensive view of the entire battlefield. The new Full Command View will allow unprecedented precision in developing and issuing tactical plans on the battlefield.
    • Expanded Support: Command lethal air strikes with jet fighters, gain mobile cover for otherwise impassable situations and replenish armaments on the battlefield using an unmanned artillery MULE. Players can now heal their team on the battlefield, including squad leader Scott Mitchell, with an all-new Medic class of soldier.

Eragon Demo

The Eragon English demo is now available, offering another localized sample of the game tie-in with Stormfront Studios' fantasy movie of the same name. The English demo offers the same into movie and gameplay sample as the recent German demo (story). The download can be found on the Sierra FTP server and mirrored on 3D Downloads, 3D Gamers,,, Gameguru Mania, Gamer's Hell, PixelRage, VGPRO, and Worthplaying.

GRAW 2 Delay, Details

GRAW 2 debriefed on GameSpot has new details on plans for Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2, including a change in the Q1 2007 release date that was set when the game was revealed a couple of months ago (story). The game's new worldwide release date is Q2 2007, and they also specify the target platforms for the tactical shooter sequel, which is slated to appear for PC, Xbox 360, PS3, and PSP. Here's a bit on what GRAW2 will offer:
GRAW 2 takes place in 2014 and follows the events of the original GRAW. Insurgent rebel forces have sent Mexico into a nationwide civil war, which poses a threat to the United States. Scott Mitchell and his fellow Ghosts are called on to neutralize the potential risk to the US, and will have to fight on both sides of the border, including in El Paso, Texas, to be successful.

Ubisoft promises GRAW 2 will include changing weather systems, improved artificial intelligence, an advanced Cross-Com system, and more types of military support, including air strikes from jet fighters. There will also be new weapons and a new soldier class, the Medic.

Company of Heroes Patches

New patches are now available for Company of Heroes, updating Relic's World War II real-time strategy game to version 1.4. The Company of Heroes Website has not yet been updated with links to the new patches, but they can be downloaded from there by changing the three to a four in the full patch links or by adding one to both the two and the three for the incremental patches. If that careless explanation of this workaround doesn't suffice, mirrors of some or all of the patches can be found on 3D Downloads, 3D Gamers, FileFront, FileShack, Gamer's Hell, and Worthplaying.

Call of Juarez Map Pack

The Call of Juarez multiplayer map pack 1 is now available, introducing eight new MP maps to Techland's wild western shooter that can be used in any of the game's four gameplay modes. The 222 MB download is available on 3D Gamers, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and Worthplaying.

Battlefield 2142 Beta Patch

The Battlefield Franchise Website has word that beta testing of the coming version 1.10 patch for Battlefield 2142 is now underway. That update describes the fixes and changes in the new version, and this forum thread offers a link to the beta and a full explanation of the proceedings. The beta patch is also mirrored on Planet Battlefield.

Star Trek: Legacy Patch

As noted on the Star Trek Games Website, a new patch is now available for Star Trek: Legacy, Bethesda Softworks' recently released Trekkie romp. Word on the update is that: "It addresses problems with GameSpy multiplayer." The download is available on the Star Trek Games Downloads Page. Thanks Frans.

The Early Show

Telltale Games now offers a new official trailer from Situation Comedy, the coming second installment in the episodic Sam & Max game (thanks Frans). Also, another new Supreme Commander movie is available, offering yet another look at Gas Powered Games' upcoming RTS offering. The clip offering about a half-minute of gameplay footage is available on 3D Gamers and GameSpot.

Arvoch Conflict Patch

A new Arvoch Conflict patch (direct link) updates StarWraith 3D Games' space combat game to version 1.288. Additionally, the Arvoch Conflict Downloads Page now offers the Arvoch Conflict Customizing and Modification Kit for your modding pleasure.

Forge of Freedom Patch

Matrix Games is offering a new patch for Forge of Freedom: The American Civil War 1861-1865 (that rolls off the tongue, huh?), updating the wargame to version 1.23. Here's word on the patch: "The update includes a variety of updates along with a new optimization technique to smooth audio during load sequences." The patch is locate on this page.

Scarface German Patch

A patch for the German edition of Scarface: The World is Yours is now available, bringing the game spin-off for the crime movie to the same version 1.002 as the recent US and AU patches. Thanks The Patches Scrolls.

C&C Generals Mac Patch

Aspyr offers a new patch for the Macintosh edition of Command & Conquer Generals: Deluxe Edition (thanks Frans). Word is: "It will fully update any previous version of Generals to 1.0.4 and Zero Hour to 1.0.2. This patch is for users of Mac OS X versions 10.3.9 and 10.4 only. The version 1.0.4/1.0.2 patch provides Universal support for Command and Conquer Generals and the Zero Hour expansion."

Supreme Commander Q&A

The Supreme Commander Q&A on GameSpot sits down with Chris Taylor of Gas Powered Games to discuss their upcoming real-time strategy game: "The player is the Supreme Commander. The player is housed inside the armored command unit (ACU). It's all part of how the fiction is held together. We wanted to give the player flexibility to use the ACU as a base defense unit (especially early on) and also as a unit that can be deployed in the field. In order to use the unit in the field, we added a bunch of upgrades. They are not cheap, but they are also very powerful, so it is a key decision with important trade-offs."

Morning Previews

Morning Screenshots

Morning Safety Dance

Thanks Mike Martinez.

New Flight Sim X SDK

The Microsoft Flight Simulator Downloads Page now offers an updated software development kit for Flight Simulator X, the most recent installment in the high-flying series (thanks Frans). Word is: "This update to the Software Development Kit (SDK) for Flight Simulator X includes improvements to almost all aspects of the SDK shipped in the Deluxe version. Please note that this update requires the installation of the original SDK from the Deluxe version of FSX."

Friday Game Reviews

Friday Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

It was so cold out there this morning that there was zero frost on the car. I don't know the meteorological cause of that, but it was a little weird. Anyway, with the start of winter less than two weeks off, I have to admit we actually have experienced autumn this year, an unusual happening in the northeast, where we usually have just two seasons: winter and summer.

Fall Links! Thanks Mike Martinez and Ant.
Stories: Boy Who Severed Head Wants To Drive.
Speak up, sir...You need the extra small condoms?
Love is blind in pitch black restaurant. And you don't have to wash the plates.
Science!: Space tourism to be fashion's final frontier.
Image: Fashion Incident. Oops.
Media: Weird Al: Behind the Scenes of "White and Nerdy."
Pranks While Passed Out.
Parkour Santa.
Follow-ups: Google Earth Images showing James Kim's Path.
Shuttle night lift-off postponed.
Teh Funny: Dilbert.
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