Archived News:

Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 Valentine's Day

Pure Announced

This press release announces an ATV off-road racing game called Pure slated for release this autumn on PC, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. The game is in the works at Black Rock Studio, the developer known as Climax Racing (ATV Offroad Fury and MotoGP) before being acquired by Disney. Gameplay will feature unrealistic stunts in photo-realistic environments, an odd twist for a game called Pure, and word is the game will support online racing for up to 16 players. A Pure Product Section is online with info and screenshots, and a cinematic trailer for Pure is available on AtomicGamer, FileFront, and Gamer's Hell. Here's a bit from the announcement:
Featuring never-before-seen, vertigo-inducing massive aerial jumps in real-world quad locations, Pure delivers heart-pounding off-road racing unique to the genre.

“We expect Pure to set a new standard for off-road racing that delivers adrenaline-inducing vertical experiences with spectacular aerial tricks and intense wheel-to-wheel racing,” said Craig Relyea, senior vice president of global marketing, Disney Interactive Studios. “Pure will appeal to a wide audience based on the game’s jaw-dropping aerial tricks, breakneck racing and vast environments.”

Players start by choosing among a variety of male and female character riders. They can then either race against deft A.I. opponents or online players (up to 16-player multiplayer) in frenetic races and freestyle competitions all over the world.

"Black Rock Studio has established itself as a leading developer of racing video games and we expect to continue that heritage with the creation of Pure, our first game since becoming part of Disney Interactive Studios," said Jason Avent, game director at Black Rock Studio. "Pure combines the best features of both extreme sports and racing to produce an extraordinary and unique experience."

The studio continues to be advised throughout development by Wes Miller, pro rider and the founder of H-Bomb Films, known for showcasing his team’s incredible stunts. Miller has been involved with development to assure the game adheres to the quad culture and authenticity but still allows creative liberties.

Gold - The Lost Crown: A Ghost-hunting Adventure

Got Game Entertainment announces the completion of The Lost Crown: A Ghost-hunting Adventure, saying the game will arrive in North American stores next month. Who you gonna call? Ghost-hunters! Some screenshots are here, and here's the announcement:
Weston, CT – February 14, 2008 – Channeling the tingling excitement of sighting an approaching apparition after a long night’s ghost-hunt, Got Game Entertainment today announced that “The Lost Crown: A Ghost-hunting Adventure” has gone gold. Now set to haunt North American retail shelves this March, “The Lost Crown: A Ghost-hunting Adventure” finds ghost-hunters Nigel Danvers and Lucy Reubans in search of hidden treasures, and answers to an ancient mystery, along England’s fog-shrouded coastline. Created by Jonathan Boakes and his Darkling Room team, this hair-raising suspense-adventure game for the PC will make its retail debut at $29.99 (USD).

“We know it’s been a long wait for adventure fans, but care and precision are hallmarks of all Jonathan Boakes projects, and that often time-consuming attention to detail will certainly be seen in ‘The Lost Crown: A Ghost-hunting Adventure’,” said Got Game Entertainment President Howard Horowitz.

Bringing a frightening ghost story to spine-tingling life, “The Lost Crown: A Ghost-hunting Adventure” features actual E.V.P. (Electronic Voice Phenomena), photographs of unexplained entities captured by creator Jonathan Boakes while researching the game, and a bone-chilling original soundtrack. In a cinematic, richly detailed world filled with taunting town “locals” and mind-bending puzzles, players will be armed with the tools of the modern-day ghost-hunter to investigate local legends and discover long-lost secrets, previously known only to the dead.

For more information, visit www.TheLostCrown.com.

Football Manager 2008 Patch

New version 8.0.2 patches are now available for the sports simulation known as Football Manager 2008, Worldwide Soccer Manager 2008, or Futbol Manager 2008, depending on your location. There are variants for each patch for both Windows PCs and Macs, all on this page, and some or all of the patches can be found mirrored on FanGaming, FileFront, and Gamer's Hell.

Mac Tomb Raider: Anniversary Demo

A new playable Macintosh demo for Tomb Raider: Anniversary is a throwback sample of the throwback action game. The demo includes part of the Peruvian Lost Valley level for a 273 MB download. The demo is available on AtomicGamer and Gamer's Hell.

The Late Show

A new Turning Point: Fall of Liberty movie shows off some real-life footage of some vintage World War I and II firearms as well as in-game scenes showing them in Sparks' upcoming alternate-reality game, all accompanied by developer commentary. The clip is available on AtomicGamer, FileFront, and Gamer's Hell. Also, a new Codename: Panzers – Cold War movie shows off how reinforcements are marshaled in the upcoming Cold War continuation of the Codename: Panzers series. This clip is on AtomicGamer, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and PCGames.de.

Evening Q&As

  • The Secret World
    The Secret World Q&A on Computer and Video Games gets Funcom's Erling Ellingson to reveal some details about their upcoming cross-platform MMORPG. Well, details may be generous, as this sample answer demonstrates: "At this stage in the game, I would say the setting. It's just something really new and exciting, light years away from elves and trolls. Now, I didn't say we won't have elves and trolls in the game (and I'm not saying we are either!), but if we do, you might actually get to see them stomping about in Times Square! Or not. If I got paid for every ambiguity in this interview I'd be a rich man."
  • Epic
    The Epic Games Q&A on Gameplayer talking with Mark Rein in a conversation subtitled "Unreal Engine 4 for 2013." The subtitle is not really based on anything in the conversation, however, which covers general stuff about engine licensing and what they are up to at Epic.
  • Pi Studios
    The Pi Studios Q&A on The Game Dame talks with Kenn Hoekstra of Pi Studios about what's going on at the Houston-based indie developer, discussing the studio and what they have in the pipeline like Quake Arena Arcade for the Xbox 360.
  • Final Fantasy XI
    The Final Fantasy XI: Wings of the Goddess Q&A on MMORPG.com
  • talks with Mitsutoshi Gondai and Akihiko Matsui about new classes in the Wings of the Goddess expansion for FFXI.

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

Team Fortress 2 Update

Steam News has word that the promised free update for Team Fortress 2 is now automatically available via Steam, also offering changes to the Source engine and SourceTV as outlined in these release notes. The Team Fortress 2 update includes loading optimizations, bug fixes, balance changes, map updates, and the new map, Badlands ("Poor man wanna be rich, rich man wanna be king And a king ain't satisfied till he rules everything").

GeForce 8 Series to get PhysX

The Tech Report has some skinny from NVIDIA about their plans for PhysX following their acquisition of AGEIA (story) that were revealed in a Q&A that followed their fourth-quarter financial results conference call. It sounds like speculation that there will be no more dedicated PhysX cards is accurate, but NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang says the PhysX engine will be ported to CUDA (Compute Unified Device Architecture) which will allow it to be run on GeForce 8 cards:
We're working toward the physics-engine-to-CUDA port as we speak. And we intend to throw a lot of resources at it. You know, I wouldn't be surprised if it helps our GPU sales even in advance of [the port's completion]. The reason is, [it's] just gonna be a software download. Every single GPU that is CUDA-enabled will be able to run the physics engine when it comes. . . . Every one of our GeForce 8-series GPUs runs CUDA.

Our expectation is that this is gonna encourage people to buy even better GPUs. It might—and probably will—encourage people to buy a second GPU for their SLI slot. And for the highest-end gamer, it will encourage them to buy three GPUs. Potentially two for graphics and one for physics, or one for graphics and two for physics.

Red Alert 3 Announcement

The official press release announcing Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 is online, offering some details on the RTS sequel, and saying that purchasing Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath will entitle players to get early access to the game's beta test. Here's a portion of the lengthy announcement:
In Red Alert 3, the desperate leadership of a doomed Soviet Union travels back in time to change history and restore the glory of Mother Russia. The time travel mission goes awry, creating an alternate timeline where technology has followed an entirely different evolution, a new superpower has been thrust on to the world stage, and World War III is raging. The Empire of the Rising Sun has risen in the East, making World War III a three-way struggle between the Soviets, the Allies, and the Empire with armies fielding wacky and wonderful weapons and technologies like Tesla coils, heavily armed War Blimps, teleportation, armored bears, intelligent dolphins, floating island fortresses, and transforming tanks.

Red Alert 3 asks the question “What If?” What if every bizarre research project and technology experiment for the last 70 years had actually borne fruit? What if the Philadelphia Experiment, time travel theory, teleportation, invisibility, Tesla technology, and a hundred other intriguing research projects had all paid off and gone mainstream? What if the Soviet Union survived and thrived; what would it look like 10 years in the future? What if the Japanese Empire had never fallen and instead became the ultimate high-tech military superpower? The end result is an imaginative and playful vision of an alternate future filled with possibility.

Command & Conquer fans eager to experience Red Alert 3 before anyone else can get early access to the beta (available for the PC only - an announcement about the Red Alert 3 beta dates will be made this summer) by picking up a copy of Command & Conquer™ 3: Kane’s Wrath later this year.

New KOTOR Follow-up

EA sent a clarification about indications that a new Knights of the Old Republic game is in the works (story), saying the slide in question has been misinterpreted, and the game in works at BioWare is a "New MMO": "The slide in John's presentation is titled 'Best Creative Talent' -- it addresses future and past titles. KOTOR, Black, Boogie, Skate and some other titles on the slide speak to past portfolio releases and the pedigree of the studio but do not specifically address future sequels. The MMO in development at Bioware Austin is listed a 'New MMO'. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused."

SAGA Release Soon, Open Beta Sooner

Silverlode Interactive announces a March 4 release date for SAGA, saying a February 26 open beta will precede the release of the MMORTS game:
Silverlode Interactive announced March 4th as the online release date for its new collectable online war-game SAGA. The SAGA client will become available for download from many online game sites. A full list will be released at www.playsaga.com when it becomes available.

SAGA, the most ambitious RTS project ever attempted by an independent game company is nearing the finish line. Refusing to cut features, the SAGA team extended development in order to release the game they as gamers have always wanted to play. Heralded as a “landmark in game innovation…” by www.tcgplayer.com, the SAGA community has been growing both online and in hobby stores.

SAGA will hold a short open beta starting February 26th, allowing players who were not admitted into closed beta a chance to try the game. Players will be able to create and reserve their login names for release. Silverlode Interactive President, Jason Faller has promised a promotion during the Open Beta period that will give players a discount if they choose to pre-register.

About SAGA – SAGA is a persistent world RTS in an epic fantasy setting. Players collect troops, build armies, conquer new lands and build up kingdoms, complete with resource collection, city building and peasant management. SAGA’s features include massive armies, multiplayer questing, guild wars, espionage, and an auction house for trading troops and spells.

SAGA has no subscription fees. Players pay as little or as much as they decide, by purchasing ‘booster packs’ of random troops and spells, which are traded and customized to create the strategic army of choice for each player. Visit www.PlaySaga.com

Frontlines: Fuel of War MP Demo Next Month

THQ announces plans to release a multiplayer demo for Frontlines: Fuel of War on March 11, giving almost a month's advance notice for a release they've already got timed to the minute:
Many people have been asking and we're happy to announce that we will be releasing a PC multiplayer demo of Frontlines: Fuel of War on Tuesday, March 11, 2008 at 1pm EST.

This PC multiplayer demo will be based on the final version of the game and feature an all-new map "Invasion" in addition to the final "Oilfield" map.

We will be posting more information on how to get the demo as well as a list of fixes and changes that have been made since the last beta patch, as we get closer to the release of the demo.

Kaos Studios and THQ would also like to thank the beta testers for all of their time, effort, and enthusiasm during the Frontlines beta. As part of our preparation for the demo, we will be bringing the open beta servers offline on Monday, February 18, 2008 at 11pm EST.

Your participation during the beta has been extremely helpful and we again thank you for all your time and efforts.

The forums at http://community.kaosstudios.com will stay open in the meantime and we will post any updates about the demo there. We are planning a "Fight the Devs" beta event for Monday. Watch the forums for more info shortly.

Thanks and see you on the frontlines!

Ship Simulator 2008: New Horizons Announced

Lighthouse Interactive and VSTEP announce plans to release New Horizons next month in the UK and Scandinavia, an add-on for Ship Simulator 2008. Here's word on the expansion, which will add more water, among other things:
Haarlem, The Netherlands - February 14, 2008 - Leading computer software publisher Lighthouse Interactive and Dutch developer VSTEP announce the next incarnation for their successful Ship Simulator franchise: the official Ship Simulator 2008 add-on: New Horizons. Ship Simulator has sold over 280,000 copies worldwide to date, and is available in 20 countries and 7 languages The 2008 Add-On New Horizons is scheduled for release on March 22, 2008 in the UK and Scandinavia. Release dates for other European countries and North-America are to be determined.

Erik Schreuder, CEO of Lighthouse Interactive: “The add-on for Ship Simulator 2008 is a welcome addition to the acclaimed Ship Simulator series, which has already generated such a huge and loyal following. The large community of Ship Sim fans will now be able to hook up online, as well as enjoy the new sailing area of Cornwall, UK. The new vessels will also enhance their experience and allow fans to fully enjoy the true-to-life experience of this unique naval simulation series.”

VSTEP’s CTO Pjotr van Schothorst: “New Horizons is taking the Ship Simulator series one step further. With new, highly detailed vessels, a wide range of in-game and downloadable missions, advanced navigational features and stunning new visual effects, we hope to create a new level of realism for Ship Simulator fans worldwide! The Ship Simulator series is constantly evolving and New Horizons is a new logical step in our mission to create the most realistic naval simulator available!”

Valentine's Day Gifts - Free Game

No chocolates, though:

  • Matrix Games is giving away Titans of Steel: Warring Suns for free. This turn-based strategy game/RPG from Vicious Byte offers the romance of giant robot combat.
  • RPG Land outlines the Valentine's Day events planned for today in various MMORPGs.

Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 Manual Patch

Manual editions of the version 1.05 Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 patch released yesterday (story) are now available. The patch to update version 1.04 is available on ActionTrip, AtomicGamer, FanGaming, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, Internode Games Network, and The Patches Scrolls. The patch to update any previous version is available on AtomicGamer, FanGaming, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, Internode Games Network, and The Patches Scrolls.

Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines Patch

A new patch for Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines continues the support for this action/RPG following the closure of developer Troika Games. The new version 4.7 update is available as an incremental update for version 4.6 and a full patch for version 1.0, available on the official exclusive home of the unofficial patches, The Patches Scrolls.

Morning Q&As

Morning Previews

  • Pirates of the Burning Sea on IGN.AU. A primer revealing future plans.
  • Spore on GamersGlobal.

Morning Screenshots

Thursday Game Reviews

Thursday Hardware Reviews

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