Archived News:

Thursday, Feb 28, 2008

Battlestations Pacific Announced

This press release announces Battlestations Pacific, a sequel to the action/strategy hybrid Battlestations Midway, slated for release for Games For Windows and Xbox 360, though no release date is revealed at this point:
Eidos Interactive Ltd., one of the world's leading publishers and developers of entertainment software, today confirmed that Battlestations: Pacific, the official sequel to 2007's acclaimed Battlestations: Midway, will be available for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system and Games For Windows. The game features a massive U.S. and Japanese single player campaign that offers a unique blend of action and strategy. Players must plan their moves carefully on huge open-world arenas and fight in the air, above sea and underwater to relive some of the most hard-fought battles in WWII history. With the newly added Japanese faction, players will also gain insight into what could have been, should Japan have gained the upper hand against the United States. Battlestations: Pacific also features five new innovative multiplayer modes to strategically plan and battle against friends with all new maps and units.

Set in WWII, Battlestations: Pacific delivers intense, action-packed combat and strategic warfare at an extraordinary scale and features two distinctly different single player campaigns. As the Americans, the game picks up the story where Battlestations: Midway left off and allows players to fight their way from The Battle of Midway to Okinawa as they try to secure peace in the Pacific. As the Japanese however, players take control of the Imperial Japanese fleet and have the unique chance to fight at Pearl Harbor before attempting to change the course of history and take full control of the Pacific Ocean.

"Eidos is excited to bring an even bigger, more innovative and authentic experience with Battlestations: Pacific," said Robert A. Lindsey, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Eidos Inc. "With an all new Japanese faction to explore and fight with, newly expanded multiplayer content, and a slew of new air, sea, and land units, the game takes the Battlestations series to the next level, bringing a completely different perspective to the war over the Pacific."

The U.S. and Japanese single player campaigns in Battlestations: Pacific feature over 28 story missions, doubling the size of the previous Battlestations: Midway, and 21 new units, including kamikaze and other WWII jets and units. Players can now discover another viewpoint of the war by taking direct control of the infamous Ohka and other Japanese air units that fought over the Pacific Ocean during WWII.

For the first time, the game also includes the tactical landing of troops in battle. Launch your parachute squadrons with pin-point accuracy or ensure the safe passage of your landing craft and watch your battalions of troops capture key locations, man the defensive artillery and gain a strategic foothold to support your offensive efforts.

Battlestations: Pacific features all-new online multiplayer modes where players can actively engage in battles and skirmishes against friends online, and via System Link. With a plethora of new maps, units, and options to explore, Battlestations: Pacific delivers the most exciting, authentic and fun Battlestations experience yet.

Battlestations: Pacific will be available on Xbox 360 and Games For Windows.

Ships Ahoy - The Sims 2: Free Time

EA Announces The Sims 2: FreeTime Expansion Pack Now Available in Stores announced the North American and European availability of the umpteenth expansion for the lifestyle simulation. Word is: "Sports, music & dance, arts & crafts, science, and film & literature are just some of the new storytelling options connected to your Sims discovery and pursuit of their individual hobbies."

Battlefield Heroes Trailer

Planet Battlefield has a trailer showing off the first footage from Battlefield Heroes, the upcoming cartoon-inspired installment in the military shooter series. The trailer shows off gameplay, including oddball features like wing walking, and touts the planned fun factor of its casual gameplay.

Evening Previews

Evening Gatherings & Competitions

  • The Connect08 Website has word the event this March will include a big Lord of the Rings Online announcement.

Frontlines: Fuel of War Patch

This page offers links to download of a new patch for Frontlines: Fuel of War, updating Kaos Studios' military shooter to version 1.01 (thanks Gamer's Hell). As noted in the Patch 1.0.1 Release Notes, there are localized editions of the patch for North America, Germany, Europe, Korea, Australia, Asia Pacific, Bundled (OEM) & Digital Downloads, though they specify that "TryMedia and Steam users must visit the vendor for the appropriate patch. We will leave a few 1.0.0 servers up until they have the patch available." The release notes do not specify what's changed, but do have a note about what is not: "This patch does not fix the SecuROM and Vista issues. We are working around the clock to addresses [sic] these and we will update you as soon as possible."

Gold - Lost Empire: Immortals

Paradox Interactive announces that Lost Empire: Immortals is gold, and the 4X space strategy follow up from Pollux Gamelabs will be available on the Ides of March. Some screenshots accompany the announcement, which is reproduced here in glorious yellow text:
New York, USA (February 28, 2008) From the depths of the cosmos Paradox Interactive heralds the imminent release of the universally vast 4x strategy title - Lost Empire: Immortals. The second incarnation from Danish Studios – Pollux Gamelabs can be found colonising retail stores throughout the quadrant, from start March 15.

The title has been rated "Everyone" by ESRB and 7+ by PEGI and suggested retail price is set to USD 29.99/EUR 29.99.

In Lost Empire: Immortals, take your race to the stars and into the unexplored depths of the universe. Discover the long forgotten history of the mysterious Aeons and pillage the ruined sites of their civilisation for powerful technology. Discover and colonise planets, research and upgrade technology, make allies among your stellar neighbours or conquer those to weak to stand in your way. Will you dominate or be destroyed?

Features

        • Colossal Galactic Map consisting of 5000+ star systems
        • Lead one of 6 major races to stellar domination
        • Encounter 28 unique minor races with their own agendas and motives
        • Open-ended gameplay and alternative victory conditions provide phenomenal longevity
        • Wage war in space or planetside displayed in the new 3D rendered dual warfare system
        • Research a vast multi-nodal tree of 150+ technologies split into 11 categories
        • Customisable ship design and construction
        • Assignable leaders to boost all aspects of the empire including warmongering, production, research and diplomacy
        • Reducing player micromanagement through a revamped sleek interface

Iron Lore Entertainment Closes

The Iron Lore Entertainment Website announces they are closing shop after failing to secure funding for their next project due to "several unrelated events" (thanks The Patches Scrolls). Here's word on the demise of the developer of the Titan Quest series and Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Soulstorm:
It is with great regret that we must announce that as of close of business Tuesday, February 19, 2008 Iron Lore Entertainment has ceased active game development. Several unrelated events occurred which resulted in Iron Lore being unable to secure funding for its next project.

We would like to extend our thanks to everyone who has helped us in the last seven years – our team who moved mountains to create such great games, our publisher THQ who has been a great partner through three product development cycles, and most of all our customers and fans. We owe all of the success we’ve had to you, and our greatest satisfaction has come from creating games that have given enjoyment to the community.

While Iron Lore will not continue, the talent of the team is embodied in the individuals now available for other opportunities. If you are a developer or publisher looking to hire top-notch experienced developers, please send an email to pchieffo “at” ironlore “dot” com and we will be happy to facilitate recruiting with you.

Iron Lore also owns it’s powerful and flexible engine and tool set, and is actively pursuing licensing opportunities. If you are interested in further information about the technology and licensing options, please contact pchieffo “at” ironlore “dot” com.

AU "R18+" Rating Uncertain

R-rated games may still be out of reach for Australia on Internode Games Network follows up on recent news that Australia may receive an R-rating for games (story), which would allow many titles to be sold down under that were previously not allowed under what may be the most restrictive rating system in the western world. They outline the position of Mr. Michael Atkinson, one of the attorneys general who must approve the plan, who "doubts whether any safeguards could be put in place to deter young people, who after all (are) the most computer literate and savvy in our society, from being able to access material." The IEAA's most mature current classification is MA 15+: "Strong content People under 15 must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian when hiring or buying these computer games." They offer suggestions on how to contact the AG to try and influence this situation. On a related note, GamePolitics reports the public opposition to the proposed R18+ Rating by the Catholic Bishop of Sydney.

Competing with WoW a Billion Dollar Hurdle: Activision

$1 billion investment needed to take on World of Warcraft on GamesIndustry.biz reports on comments made by Activision CEO Bobby Kotick at an investor meeting saying competing with the MMO juggernaut of World of Warcraft will be difficult even after an investment of a half-billion to a billion dollars. It was this line of thinking that lead Activision to merge with Vivendi to create Activision Blizzard, though Kotick takes a break from counting beans at the end to concede that budget notwithstanding, the game itself may have contributed to its own success: "They have a model that is very well-developed, they have a very keen understanding of their audiences, and they're just scratching the surface of opportunity in a lot of areas... These guys are among the best in the world of game development."

Morning Q&As

Morning Previews

Morning Screenshots

Thursday Game Reviews

Thursday Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

My DirecTV receivers are now offering a beta test of their on-demand service, which works through the internet, rather than the satellite. I haven't gotten the chance to check this out yet, but in poking around it looks like there's no special on-demand content like Howard Stern TV, but there is the chance to see Howard the Duck. Okay, it's still in beta: I won't judge yet.

R.I.P.: Boyd Coddington, Hot Rod Hero, Dies at 63.

On-Demand Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Links of the Morning: Five videogame characters who suck at their jobs.
No More LOL.com. Thanks User Friendly.
Play: Bug Battle Combat.
Stories: Warning signs you could soon get a pink slip.
Spielberg Says “No” to Indy in Digital. Thanks Digg.
Feeling blue Not like a Maya sacrificial victim.
Science!: Americans Say 'No' to Nano.
Blind Irishman sees with the aid of son's tooth in his eye.
Pancreas fix reverses type 1 diabetes..
Media: PC Protection With Hidden Switch.
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