Archived News:

Monday, Feb 04, 2008

Spaceships Ahoy - Sins of a Solar Empire

Launch Day Is Here announces the Stardock Forums, announcing the release of Sins of a Solar Empire, Ironclad's new 4X space strategy game. They have a Launch Day FAQ describing how to get your hands on a copy online, in stores, or if you have preordered. The FAQ mentions a version 1.01 patch that's an 11 MB download, available automatically.

Uru Live to Die Again

GameTap announces they are ending support for Myst Online: Uru Live, the MMOG based on the Myst franchise that they revived in May 2006 (story) after Cyan killed the first version of the game exactly four years ago today (story). Here's the statement from GameTap:
I have some news that some of you have probably not been looking forward to. GameTap has decided to discontinue the operation of Myst Online: Uru Live.

The decision was a very difficult one and was made for business reasons rather than due to any issues regarding the design and vision of the amazing world that Cyan Worlds and Rand Miller have brought to us. Despite the great Myst Online experience coming to a close, Cyan is still a very valued partner of GameTap, we are on excellent terms, and we look forward to continuing our relationship in the future.

Many of you have made good friends while playing Myst Online, so here is the bittersweet part. Although Myst Online: Uru Live will be completely shut down in the near future, the game servers will remain live for the next 60 days. During that time, both newcomers and existing players can continue to experience the amazing world of Myst Online, explore the game’s many Ages, and interact with other players in the game and on the website and forums. After 60 days, the title will be removed from the GameTap service, though will remain live and active for fans to continue to share their passion for this important game franchise.

I know this is not the news fans of Myst Online wanted to hear. I want to thank all of you who have been extremely supportive of the game and made this grand experiment in an alternative MMO format so much fun. All of us at GameTap also want to thank you again for your tireless enthusiasm for the title.

There has been a clamor for information about the status of season 2 for some time, and the reason we haven't announced anything sooner is because we have literally been examining a wide variety of possibilities for maintaining the game, but in the end, we had to bring the exploration of the great cave to a close.

So thanks again for supporting us as we launched this truly unique game. GameTap is still committed to exploring new genres of gameplay and encouraging bold visions. If you haven't already tried Season 2 of Sam & Max, give it a try, it is as anarchic as one could hope. And I can tell you from first hand experience that the upcoming Grimm is novel and exciting experiment as well.

Battlefield Heroes Details

A blog update on the Battlefield Heroes Website offers the first details on Battlefield Heroes, the upcoming free to play installment in the Battlefield series of multiplayer military shooters. Included in the introductory update is word that the game engine will be based on the Battlefield 2142 engine and will introduce more role-playing elements. They also outline the game's three high level goals, which are to preserve the core feel of the BF series, that the fun would be more accessible ("faster, cheaper and easier"), and finally: "We wanted to return to the crazy unrealistic feel of Battlefield 1942 and Codename Eagle, games which we had both been fans of."

Team Fortress 2 Map Nears

A new Steam Update has word that Goldrush, the first post-release map for Team Fortress 2, is due sometime this month:
TF2 update: you may’ve heard that new achievements, maps, and unlockable items are on the way. The first map, Goldrush, introduces a new game mode. The BLU team must escort a high-tech mining cart through a series of checkpoints to the RED base within a time limit. The more BLU players near the cart, the faster the cart moves. The cart stops if any RED team member is in the vicinity. We’re balancing the map now; look for it within the month.

Combat Mission: Shock Force Patch

The Combat Mission: Shock Force Demo and Patch Download Page is now serving up new patches for Combat Mission Shock Force, updating the military strategy game to version 1.06. There are separate patches depending on whether you have the Paradox, Gamersgate, or Battlefront editions. This is an "all-inclusive" patch that will update any prior version of the game, and an updated version 1.06 is promised to follow.

World in Conflict Patch Plans has a blurb about plans for a coming update 6 patch for World in Conflict, expected in the "near future (thanks Gamer's Hell). Word is: "This sixth update primarily fixes some balancing issues, but also introduces a number of new features, including enhanced server filters, improved “Play Now” functions and measures against clan smurfing. Aside of that, there are also several additions to the various communications tools in the game."

Frontlines Movie

A new cinematic trailer for Frontlines: Fuel of War offers a few minutes of high definition footage based on Kaos Studios' upcoming alternate reality shooter. The clip is available on AtomicGamer.

Evening Q&As

Help Wanted - Gearbox & Cryptic

If you're an industry developer, this is the most important post you've ever read... on Gearbox Software Forums is a post by Randy Pitchford about a couple of openings at Gearbox Software to help with an unannounced project. While the title of the post is probably inaccurate as it might relate to a John Carmack or a Sid Meier, Randy seems pretty excited about a game he describes as "look-at-our-line-up-and-imagine-something-even-bigger kind of big." They are looking for a lead artist/art director type as well as a couple of programmers. In a subsequent post, he clarifies: "The project won't be completed this year, or the next... It will be in pre-production with a smaller, focused team until after both Brothers in Arms Hell's Highway and Borderlands have shipped." On a related note, this press release announces that Cryptic is also seeking art talent, and they will be flying strong candidates out to their studios later this month for further evaluation.

More GameSpot Fallout

The aftermath of the GameSpot review scandal dubbed Gerstmann-gate continues, as GameDaily reports the departure of GameSpot editor Ryan Davis. Though the reasons for this latest departure are not offered, they subsequently contacted Ricardo Torres, and the new GameSpot editor-in-chief agreed the firing of Gerstmann played a part in Davis' decision, saying "I'm sure it was definitely a factor for him."


NVIDIA to Acquire AGEIA Technologies reports the rumored takeover of the PhysX physics card creator will indeed happen, and that graphics giant NVIDIA is the suitor. Details of the deal, which is still subject to "customary closing conditions," are not revealed. Word is: "More details about the acquisition will be provided during NVIDIA's quarterly conference call, to be held on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 at 2:00 PM, Pacific Time."

New CoD4 Console Maps Coming

Activision announces downloadable multiplayer maps are coming this spring for both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation3 editions of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare:
Santa Monica, CA – February 4, 2008 – Fresh intel from Activision headquarters (Nasdaq: ATVI) reports that new global conflicts are planned in the form of downloadable multiplayer maps for the award-winning Call of Duty® 4: Modern Warfare™. In development for both Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, the upcoming downloadable content will thrust gamers into a hot zone of added combat across a variety of intense multiplayer locales.

“We’ve demonstrated our commitment to delivering the best multiplayer experience in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and that continues with our plans for new downloadable content,” explains Infinity Ward’s Community Manager, Robert Bowling. “We’re excited about the new maps, and the added gameplay variety, and we can’t wait to wrap things up and get online with everyone.”

The worldwide best-selling game in units of 2007, according to The NPD Group, Chart Track and The GFK Group, and winner of more than 40 editors’ choice and game of the year honors, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is rated “M” (Mature) by the ESRB for Intense Violence, Strong Language, Blood and Gore. The new downloadable content is scheduled for release this spring, and will be available on Xbox LIVE® and PlayStation Network.

For information and updates on Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, players can visit:

Star Wolves 2: Civil War Russian Demo

The Russian Star Wolves 2: Civil War Website now features a Russian-language playable demo for the expansion for Xbow Software's space combat sequel. The demo is also available on and Gamer's Hell.

Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines Patch

A new version 4.6 unofficial patch for Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines is now available, continuing the ongoing homebrew support for the action/RPG created by defunct developer Troika Games. The new patch is on its exclusive home, The Patches Scrolls.

Spaceforce: Captains Patches

The Spaceforce: Captains Website announces the release of a new version 1.2 patch for the science-fiction turn-based strategy game. The patch is available in English or German editions, the English edition can be found mirrored on AtomicGamer, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, The Patches Scrolls, and Strategy Informer. The German edition can be found on AtomicGamer, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and The Patches Scrolls.

AGEOD's American Civil War Patch

A new patch for AGEOD's American Civil War brings the military strategy game to version 1.09. The 63 MB download is available from The Patches Scrolls.

AGEOD's Napoleon's Campaigns Patch

A new version 1.03a patch for AGEOD's Napoleon's Campaigns updates the Napoleonic strategy game clears up some issues with some of the campaigns. The patch is a 23 MB download, available on The Patches Scrolls.

X³: Terran Conflict Announced

Egosoft announces X³: Terran Conflict a standalone follow-up to X3: Reunion, calling the game a culmination of the space combat "trilogy" that actually includes four titles counting the new game (or five if you count the X-Tension expansion). The game is expected during the third quarter of this year, and the X³: Terran Conflict Product Page is live, though all it offers for now is a logo and the announcement, which is reproduced here:
Computer games developer Egosoft and Koch Media, a leading distributor of games and application software, today announced the conclusion of an exclusive publishing and distribution agreement for the title X³: Terran Conflict. X³: Terran Conflict will be released under the Deep Silver label.

"The X series has always been one of our top quality brands, and an integral part of the Deep Silver portfolio," states Dr. Klemens Kundratitz, Managing Director of Koch Media. "So we are very happy to be presenting the gripping next installment of the X universe's story in X³: Terran Conflict."

"We look forward to adding another successful chapter to the X story, together with Koch Media," says Bernd Lehahn, Managing Director of Egosoft.

X³: Terran Conflict is a brand new, stand-alone game set in the universe of X³. It is the culmination of the X trilogy, with a grand finale that takes us all the way back to Earth's own solar system. Gamers can take on the roles of different characters in the X universe, or of a Terran military pilot, and experience a multitude of stories in the largest X universe ever featured - for X³: Terran Conflict will offer more missions than any other X game before. Meanwhile, X³: Terran Conflict will pose questions such as: How has Earth changed in all these years? And how will relations between Earth and its counterparts in the X universe develop?

X³: Terran Conflict is scheduled for release in the third quarter of 2008.

New American McGee Game Unveiled

American McGee’s Blog reveals plans for a second game project in the works at the developer's China-based Spicy Horse Games (thanks Gamasutra). Details are scant, with the former id designer saying the unnamed game is not yet in preproduction, but he is putting out the call for developers for the project, which is described as a "UE3 based, big publisher, multi-platform, twisted tale project, saying it will appeal to the same sensibilities as Alice and the upcoming Grimm. As for Grimm, he also mentions they are halfway through development, having completed 12 of the game's planned 24 episodes.

Savage 2 Patch

The Change Log on the Savage 2: A Tortured Soul Website outlines another patch for the action/strategy sequel (thanks Gamer's Hell). The brief update concerning the new version 1.2.3 update simply says: "Stats will now submit properly."

Site Seeing

A new Drakensang Product Section is live for this upcoming party-based RPG based on a German pen-and-paper game, offering information and screenshots. On a related note, there are two new Drakensang: The Dark Eye trailers on Gamer's Hell. Likewise, there are new screenshots and details on a new Treasure Island Product Section, dedicated to this upcoming point-and-click adventure game inspired by the Robert Louis Stevenson novel. Thanks Gamer's Hell.

Turok Q&A

The Turok Q&A on Gaming Nexus hears from Tim Lewinson about Propaganda Games' upcoming first-person shooter revival. They discuss reinventing the Turok franchise, standing out from other shooters, working with the Unreal engine 3, multiplayer play, and more.

Morning Preview

Monday Game Reviews

Monday Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue


It's probably pretty easy to guess how ecstatic I am over the Giants' performance yesterday. The word proud doesn't seem to do justice to how I feel about this team for overcoming a disastrous 0-2 start to end up knocking off a team that had already been immortalized by so many. Eli played flawlessly, the offensive line was stalwart, the pass rush was ferocious, and the big plays were, well, big. Oh hell, either you saw the game already or you don't really care, but I'm walking on air right now.

Big Blue Links! Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Boulders Never Die. Thanks Jay is Games.
Stories: Super Bowl Ads Aren't What They Used To Be. Thanks Digg.
Quarter of Brits think Churchill was myth poll.
For Just a Few Dollars, a Big TV and Years of Debt.
Science!: Dangerous Chemicals Found in Baby Lotions.
Images: Lambda-class Imperial shuttle One and Two.
Media: Super Bowl Ads 2008.
COD4 Training Course in 13.1 Seconds ...and how to. Thanks Digg.
Anakin to Windu: Don't tase me bro! Thanks Digg.
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