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Wednesday, Jul 04, 2007 Happy Independence Day (US)


On Auto Assault's Crash

WarCry has a brief report on answers to a couple of questions they posed to NCsoft about the just-announced plan to close Auto Assault at the end of August (story). They quote NCsoft PR Director David Swofford on the numbers game: "After a while it gets to the point where the return we're getting on what we're putting into it is just not matching up. We just didn't have that many people in the service." Noting that NetDevil (who they could not reach for comment) chose to take over the reins of JumpGate from 3DO in 2001 (story), they also probed for the possibility that the game's developer would pull off a similar U-turn with Auto Assault, but NCsoft, owners of the game's intellectual property, would not speculate on the chances of that happening. On a semi-related note, there's an Auto Assault retrospective on GameZone.

Overlord Patch and Updated Demo

A new patch is available for Overlord to bring this action/adventure game from Triumph Studios to version 1.1. Additionally, there is a corresponding updated version 1.1 demo for the game, as well as a patch to update the original version of the demo. All three downloads are available from Codemasters. The retail patch is mirrored on FileNuts, Gamer's Hell, The Patches Scrolls, and Strategy Informer. The demo patch is mirrored on FileNuts and Gamer's Hell. Finally, the updated full demo download is mirrored on FileNuts.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Patch Nears reports that the version 1.0004 patch for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl is imminent, quoting GSC Game World's Anton Bolshakov as saying that the patch has been undergoing approval for some time now at THQ, and that since they have not received any programming bug reports, they expect the patch to be available within "a matter of days." Thanks Bill.

On Postal III

The new issue of Postal Nation, the online newsletter from Running With Scissors, has a bit on their next effort at getting under Jack Thompson's thin skin, as there is a brief mention of their pork on a third postal game:

As I write this, we are fully engaged in developing POSTAL III. Josh is finalizing the new Postal Dude model and has made many striking refinements to the look of the character showcasing his age and his RWS attitude.

Instinct Dated

Wild Hare Entertainment got a wild hair somewhere and announced August as the release window for Instinct, their upcoming first-person shooter. This acknowledges the delay to the game, which was due in 2006 when it was first revealed last September (story), and also offers some new English language details on the project:

Richardson, TX – July 3, 2007 – Wild Hare Entertainment today announced the release of INSTINCT for the PC in August 2007.

This fast-paced first person shooter (FPS) features state-of-the-art 3-D graphics and an intense storyline that engrosses the player in its world. Created by the best developers that the Russian Federation has to offer, INSTINCT maintains the deep and vivid story with the original Russian voices. The same appeal that moviegoers have for foreign films is brought to life to create a truly unique experience.

Shawn Russ, Director of Operations for Wild Hare Entertainment states, “INSTINCT is the new face of horror in first person shooter (FPS) games. Players are introduced to a world where a deadly virus has been released into a military base that the player was assigned to secure. The virus mutates average human beings into bloodthirsty monsters intent on killing you, the player. Instinct is a heart-pounding FPS that will keep players captivated from beginning to end.”

INSTINCT was developed by Digital Spray Studios and distributed by Noviy Disk. It features High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging, cutting-edge depth of field mechanics, physics with incredible realism, and dynamic lighting and shadows. Instinct allows players to see the story through the eyes of three playable characters. The players step back and forth through time to see every event unfold and uncover every secret of Instinct’s complex, action-packed world.

Art of Murder: FBI Confidential Announced

City Interactive announces Art of Murder: FBI Confidential, a point-and-click adventure due by the end of the year. According to the announcement, the game will involve traveling outside the Bureau's jurisdiction:

City Interactive announces the launching a point & click adventure game in the fourth quarter of this year. Art of Murder: FBI Confidential is created by the team who already have such hits as „Schizm”, „Sentinel” and „Reah” to their name. Art of Murder is the first City title which aspires to win a place among the best adventure games in the world - says Marek Tymiński, CEO of City Interactive.

The player takes on the role of an FBI agent, whose task is to solve a series of macabre murders of wealthy, well-to-do citizens. The victims are killed with an unknown device, and the murderer removes their hearts afterwards. The adventure begins in New York, but the clues will lead the player to, among others, the Peruvian city of Cusco – the ancient capitol of the Inca empire, and the verge of the Amazon jungle.

The first screens already exhibit the atmosphere of dread which will accompany the player throughout the entire game. The new City Interactive game is a title intended especially for fans of adventure games, who enjoy the unsettling, dark atmosphere of thriller movies.

Bloodlines Patch

Another unofficial patch for Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines is now available, bringing Troika's action/RPG to version 3.8. Another batch of fixes and tweaks are included in the update, which can be found on its official home at The Patches Scrolls and mirrored on Gamer's Hell.

Secret Files: Tunguska German Patch

A new patch for the German edition of Secret Files: Tunguska is available to bring this edition of the adventure game to version 1.03. Downloads can be found on FileFront and Gamer's Hell.

Global Conflicts: Palestine Released, Demo

GamersGate announces today marks the launch of sales for Global Conflicts: Palestine, a "serious game" about the decidedly serious situation in the middle east. A demo is also now available for the game is available on Gamer's Hell (though it bears noting that the thrust of serious gaming is to provoke thought beyond fun and games). Word is: "Gamers will assume the role of an up-and-coming freelance journalist experiencing both sides of the conflict and deciding what story the media should tell. Through exploring real life environments, interacting with people and being exposed to their stories, gamers will be thrust in a highly interactive, completely unique adventure unlike any game available on the market today."

Combat Mission: Shock Force Preorders

The Combat Mission: Shock Force Order Page is now accepting preorders for Battlefront's upcoming military strategy game, offering a $10 discount for the early commitment.

Aion: The Tower Of Eternity Website

The official Aion: The Tower Of Eternity Website is now live as a home base to this upcoming MMORPG (thanks Gamer's Hell). The site offers screenshots and info, explaining the game's goal of invigorating the MMO genre with PvPvE gameplay.

Empire Earth III Movie

The introductory movie from Empire Earth III is now available to, well, introduce the upcoming installment in this real-time strategy series. The clip can be found on 3D Downloads, FileFront, Fileshack, Gamer's Hell, and Strategy Informer.

Independence Day Previews

Independence Day Screenshots

New Paintball 2

The Digital Paint Website has the release of an updated build 19 of Paintball 2, the freeware first-person shooter based on the tactical combat game. The new version of the Quake 2-engine game includes tweaks and bug fixes. The site also mentions Digital Paint Cup, an upcoming four-on-four Paintball 2 tournament.

Gatherings & Competitions

The World of Warcraft Community Site offers a WoW trivia quiz that offers the opportunity to win Killer NIC and Killer K1 cards, and may just qualify you for a 12-steps program. This is open to US residents only. Thanks Ant.

Independence Day Consolidation

Independence Day Tech Bits

Independence Day Mobilization

Independence Day Metaverse

Independence Day Legal Briefs

Independence Day Safety Dance

Independence Day Game Reviews

Independence Day Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

It's Independence Day here in the States, when we celebrate our nation's foundation with fireworks and cookouts. True to the latter we have some outdoor cooking planned, though the weather is a bit threatening. On the other hand, a storm might suppress the fireworks a bit, which would be good for the nerves of my beloved Hudson the wonder dog, whose only fear is of explosions. Interestingly, however, there were some fireworks last night, and her reaction was noticeably less extreme than usual, so we can hold out a little hope that she's getting better in this regard, perhaps inspired by the Gunnar-man, who fears absolutely nothing.

Fearless Links! Thanks Ant.
Link of the Day: LaserSaber. Thanks Jim.
Stories: Fisherman reels in piranha from Carolina river. Thanks Mike Martinez.
Summertime. Fish Jumping. That’s Trouble (registration required). Thanks Mike Martinez.
Science!: Microchip reveals an imposter. Will the real Blue please stand up (and purr). Thanks jimnms.
Testing Whether the Crunch Is All It’s Cracked Up to Be (registration required). Thanks Mike Martinez.
Media: A Plethora of Painful Pińata Parties. Particularly poignant.
Soundwave: The Touch. Thanks Ian.
Optimus Prime is Refused Service at McDonalds, Shows Mercy to Feeble Humans. Thanks Brian.
Follow-ups: Teen has one foot reattached. Thanks dakslf.
Miss iPhone Piggy tries to buy entire store stock.

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