Archived News:

Thursday, Aug 14, 2008 World Lizard Day

EA Can Fly

EA and Epic announce EA will handle publishing and distribution of the upcoming unannounced new game from Polish developer People Can Fly (Painkiller) based on a new IP. EA also announces "a publishing agreement with iconic Japanese development studio Grasshopper Manufacture. Under the terms of the deal, EA Partners will publish an all-new action horror game produced by Shinji Mikami and directed by innovative game designer Suda51." Here's word on the People Can Fly deal:
Redwood City, Calif. – August 14, 2008 – Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) and Epic Games, Inc. today announced that they have signed a publishing agreement for an all-new action title for the PC, Xbox 360® video game system and PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system. The new intellectual property is currently in development by Epic’s People Can Fly studio in Poland.

Strategic Command WWII Pacific Theater Announced

Battlefront announces Strategic Command WWII Pacific Theater, a third installment in the Strategy Command series of World War II strategy games. A product section for the game is online with full details, images, and a video trailer. Here's a bit from the announcement:
WWII Pacific Theater the third, and newest, game in the award winning Strategic Command series. WWII Pacific Theater shifts the focus from Europe and into the steaming jungles and islands of Asia- Pacific. WWII Pacific Theater is a standalone new game and does not require any of the previous titles to play.

For the first time, players will be able to wage war across the massive expanse of the Pacific Ocean. From British occupied India, Tibet, Nepal and China in the West to Pearl Harbor and the West Coast of the US and Canada. WWII Pacific Theater features the largest map yet in the series at 198x82 tiles in size.

Command the forces of 5 major and 23 different minor nations. 20 different unique unit types are portrayed and modeled with up to 30 different characteristics and stats. To add historical flavor and replayability, over 150 different in-game events are now depicted including the Doolittle Raid, Mirill's Marauders, Japanese Midget Sub attacks on Pearl Harbor and even the decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 8 mini-campaigns feature various operations including Midway, Macarthur's struggle in the Philippines, the defense of India by General Slim's courageous and outnumbered 14th Army, the Allied liberation of Burma, the island assaults of Okinawa, Iwo Jima and Pelelui plus the entire New Guinea campaign.

Also included is a full "Mega-Campaign" which covers the entire conflict beginning with the December 7th 1941 surprise attack on the US fleet at Pearl Harbor and playable until the middle of 1947, in case you need that long to gain ultimate victory!

HISTORY Civil War: Secret Missions Announced

Activision announces HISTORY Civil War: Secret Missions:
SANTA MONICA, CA – AUGUST 14, 2008 ­– Activision Publishing, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) announced today that HISTORY Civil War: Secret Missions will be released later this year for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PLAYSTATION®3 and PlayStation®2 computer entertainment systems, and PC. A completely new episode in the HISTORY Civil War franchise, the game will allow players to assume the role of Union and Confederate soldiers fighting behind enemy lines in legendary battles.

“There is a rich history to the Civil War, especially in terms of covert military tactics,” said Dave Oxford, Activision Publishing. “American warfare in the 1860’s was brutal yet surprisingly sophisticated, so it was essential for us to capture this duality.”

The player’s goal in HISTORY Civil War: Secret Missions is to disrupt the armies of both the North and the South by any means necessary, including conducting train raids, stealing ironclad ships, stopping enemy supply lines, destroying enemy artillery and more. All events are drawn from the real life actions of famous partisans, scouts and rangers - fight as a member of Mosby’s Rangers, Sheridan’s Scouts and Grant’s Secret Service and receive your mission commands from famous generals including Robert E. Lee, “Stonewall” Jackson, and Ulysses Grant.

The action in HISTORY Civil War: Secret Mission accurately reflects the guerrilla tactics of the time period. Weapons include the shotgun, the pepperbox revolver and the coffee mill gun, and there is heavy reliance on scouts and naval warfare.

HISTORY Civil War: Secret Missions, which is not yet rated by the ESRB, will be available for $49.99 on Xbox 360 and PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system, $39.99 for Playstation®2 computer entertainment system, and $19.99 for PC.

For more information on HISTORY Civil War: Secret Missions videogame, visit

A Vampyre Story for Halloween

Publisher Ascaron Entertainment announces A Vampyre Story is due this October, as Autumn Moon Entertainment's adventure game is planned for a Halloween release:
A Vampyre Story, the ‘captivating’ new adventure game for PC from Ascaron Entertainment and 93 Games will be released in October for a haunting Halloween. The game has been developed by Autumn Moon Entertainment, a company founded by ex-LucasArts employee Bill Tiller, who previously worked on adventure game classics The Curse of Monkey Island and Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine.

The new Point & Click adventure tells the tale of the beautiful, gifted opera singer Mona De Lafitte, whose life is brought to an abrupt end by the vampire baron, Shrowdy Von Kiefer. Trapped in Draxsylvania Castle and doomed to a miserable existence as a creature of the night, Mona decides to run away to fulfil her dream of singing at the Paris Opera.

A number of challenges await the elegant opera singer as she comes to terms with her new vampire nature and learns to harness the supernatural abilities she has acquired. Froderick, a witty and mischievous bat, joins Mona on the quest to realise her dream, helping unravel brain teasing puzzles and adding humour to the proceedings with a consistent flow of wise cracks and sinister jokes.

A Vampyre Story is a beautifully crafted game with great aesthetic value conveyed through a cast of wonderful characters and a creative storyline. Set for a Halloween 2008 release, the new game is a must see for any adventure game fan.

TF2 Heavy Map Details

Today's installment of the Team Fortress 2 A Heavy Update has details on Badwater Basin, a new Payload map that will be released as part of the upcoming Heavy class update for the teamplay shooter:
Badwater Basin is a Payload map focusing on more open spaces and less chokepoints than Gold Rush. (A) Right out of the gate is a multi-level area where the Blu team needs to control the high ground while moving the cart through a tunnel below. This open area has few natural choke points, allowing Scouts, Soldiers, and Demomen to move creatively through the space, forcing the Red team to rapidly respond to choices made by Blu. (B) As the track winds its way into tighter spaces, vertical control becomes more important. Each successive checkpoint requires the Blu team to take control of defensive positions above the track, usually occupied by Red Engineers. (C) Eventually the track winds down into a large basin which the Blu team must assault from all sides in a final push to destroy the Red base.

Unlike Gold Rush, where the track is split into three separate stages, Badwater Basin uses a single large stage with several checkpoints. As a result, the Blu team is highly encouraged to push the cart hard after beating their way through the Red defensive line.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

Into the Black

Tonight's preseason tackle football contest between the Eagles and the Panthers is the first time I've ever seen a rain delay in an NFL game, though in fairness, this is justified by the lightning the storm brought, it was not due to the wetness. Now they've gone too far though, as they are filling time with an episode of Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader, so we've gone from something I've never seen before, to something I never want to see.

Carrier Command: Gaea Mission Announced

This press release announces Carrier Command: Gaea Mission, a multiplatform remake of the 1988 action/strategy game in the works at Bohemia Interactive and Black Element Software that will incorporate a story based on the upcoming second book in the Gaea series. The Carrier Command: Gaea Mission Website is already online (thanks Tiscali Games), with media and information, and further details are promised at next week's GC Developer's Conference. Here's the announcement:
Bohemia Interactive Studio and Black Element Software announce a new multi-platform title, Carrier Command: Gaea Mission. Based on the original Carrier Command released in 1988, and fully licensed and endorsed by its creators, the new game strives to deliver innovative and intense gameplay in a truly next-gen rendition. Carrier Command: Gaea Mission is currently scheduled to be released in Spring 2010 on PC and other popular platforms.

Bohemia Interactive´s CEO, Marek Spanel, explains why the company chose this natural evolution from their current line-up of realistic military shooters, including titles such as Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis and ArmA: Armed Assault:

“When we first heard about the opportunity to develop a game based on the original Carrier Command, we were instantly hooked,” says Spanel. “For us, Carrier Command was not only one of the most innovative games we had ever played but it is also one of the very few games that truly influenced our gaming tastes and motivated us in our own home grown game development, which later materialized in the form of Operation Flashpoint, with similar open ended gameplay and emphasis on a deeply simulated game world.”

“Having the opportunity to create an actual Carrier Command game is not only a great honor for us, but it also allows us to take the legendary title we all love and do it justice with a truly next-gen rendition,” comments Otakar Nieder, the game’s project leader at Black Element Software.

Carrier Command: Gaea Mission is set in the Gaea Universe, with the story adapted from the science fiction trilogy’s second novel, due for publication in 2009. The first volume, Gaea: Beyond the Son, is currently available in hardcover from Helios Publishing.

The game’s story centers on a crew waking from their thirty-year hibernation in the middle of a war that has raged from Earth to humanity's first colony in another solar system.

“The Gaea Universe offers a realism and depth beyond the usual gaming conventions,” explains David Lagettie, Gaea Executive Producer. Writer Didi Gilson (co-author with partner Phil under the pen name P.D. Gilson) elaborates, “Gaea explores harsh consequences in our future, from dwindling natural resources to the all-too-human talent for war, and how those aggressive instincts can impact our first forays in space colonization.”

“The vivid writing and compelling characters help us set this game in a believable universe and provides a strong Sci-Fi plot for the player’s immersion,” says CEO Spanel.

More details about Carrier Command: Gaea Mission will be revealed during the upcoming Leipzig Game Convention starting 20th of August.

Gold - Spore

EA and Maxis announce the completion of development on Spore, so Will Wright's life simulation is on track for its most recent release dates of September 7 in North America and Asia Pacific and September 5 in Europe:
Redwood City, CA – August 14, 2008 –The wait is almost over! Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS) and Maxis today announced that Spore™ the most anticipated video game of the year from the creator of The Sims(TM), has gone gold and will be available for the Mac and PC at retailers September 5 in Europe and September 7 in North America and Asia Pacific. Spore™ Creatures for Nintendo DS™ and Spore™ Origins for mobile phones will also be available globally September 7.

Players who preorder Spore or Spore Galactic Edition from participating retailers will receive a coupon good for $10 off their next purchase of custom merchandise at For the ultimate Spore fan, the limited Galactic Edition will contain the 'Making of Spore' DVD, 'How to Build a Better Being' DVD (a 50 minute National Geographic Channel documentary DVD hosted by Spore mastermind, Will Wright), 'The Art of Spore' hardback book, an exclusive Spore poster, and a premium 100-page Galactic Handbook.

"We are so excited to finally get Spore into the hands of fans and players," said Lucy Bradshaw, executive producer of Spore at Maxis. "The Maxis studio has had an absolute blast creating Spore, but the fun is just beginning. The most engaging stories are truly the ones people create themselves, and we can't wait to see how players not only craft and explore the Spore universe, but hear what stories they have to tell as a result."

Spore gives players their own personal universe in a box, allowing fans to create and evolve life, establish tribes, build civilizations, sculpt entire worlds and explore a universe created by other gamers. Spore gives players a wealth of creative tools to customize nearly every aspect of their universe: creatures, vehicles, buildings, and even spaceships. Players can then seamlessly share their creations with the world via the Sporepedia™ and explore infinite new galaxies created by other gamers*.

For all the latest Spore news, screens, videos community content, and to try out the trial version of the hugely popular Spore Creature Creator, visit

New Free Grimm Episode

GameTap's American McGee's Grimm page now offers The Fisherman and His Wife, the third installment in American McGee's Grimm, the episodic fairy tale-inspired adventure series. As before, the episode will be free to download and play for 24 hours, after which a premium Gold subscription to GameTap or a purchase of the episode will be required. Word is: "In this episode, a destitute fisherman catches a magical fish which offers to grant him wishes in exchange for its freedom. The fisherman is content with his current lifestyle, but his insatiable wife keeps pushing for bigger and bigger wishes: to live in a castle, to be Pope, to be like god. It's up to Grimm to make sure that they both get what they deserve."

Sword of the Stars Expansion Announced

Publisher Lighthouse Interactive and developer Kerberos Productions announce A Murder of Crows, an upcoming expansion for the 4X space strategy of Sword of the Stars. The add-on will require either the Sword of the Stars: Collector's Edition or the Born of Blood expansion, and the digital release of A Murder of Crows is planned for next month. There are some screenshots on FileFront, and here's the announcement:
Toronto, Canada – August 14, 2008 – Today leading Publisher Lighthouse Interactive, part of SilverBirch Inc.’s (SVB:TSXV) video game division, and accomplished developer Kerberos Productions, announced the upcoming release of A Murder of Crows, the latest addition to the highly acclaimed 4X space strategy game franchise, Sword of the Stars (PC). This brand new expansion pack exemplifies Kerberos Production’s continued commitment to the dedicated Sword of the Stars community. Players are required to have either Sword of the Stars: Collector’s Edition or Born of Blood in order to play the game. A Murder of Crows will be available for purchase exclusively at in September 2008.

While the four civilized races battle back the voracious Zuul and seek advantage over each other, a ghost from the past returns to the galaxy in the form of the manipulative Morrigi. Already known for their dark crow-shaped attack drones and deadly traps, this race once thought long extinct, returns looking for vengeance.

Using never-before-seen weapons, ships and tactics, the Morrigi fall upon the other five races of the Sword of the Stars universe, who must now adapt to the ancient masters of space or be destroyed.

Time is of the essence as world after world falls to the black winged ships that surge out of the dark like A Murder of Crows.


        • A New Sixth race – The Morrigi, who appeared as a series of mysterious random events in Born of Blood (the first Sword of the Stars expansion pack), continues to evolve the ever-expanding Sword of the Stars universe
        • New Ship Sections - Over a dozen new ship sections for all races to match against your opponents
        • Unique ‘Grav Flock’ Drive System for Morrigi Ships – The more Morrigi ships in a fleet, the faster they can travel, continuing the racial diversity unique to the Sword of the Stars gameplay experience
        • 15 new weapons
        • 27 new technologies and the new Xeno-Cultural and Drones tech trees
        • Sword of the Stars gameplay continues to deepen with Civilian populations, independent worlds, Espionage options, and demands for planetary surrender
        • Drone carrying ships in all three size classes
        • Construction ships, a variety of orbital stations, spy ships, Police Cutters, and more
        • A whole new set of GUI enhancements and additions

For more information about Sword of the Stars: A Murder of Crows, please visit: or

Ships Ahoy - Bionic Commando Rearmed - Updated

Bionic Commando Rearmed Available On Playstation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, and Windows PC has word that the swinging platformer remake is now available (the press release is from yesterday, but the PC edition just became available moments ago). The Bionic Commando Website offers the full game manual for download, and Direct2Drive now offers digital sales of the PC edition, and word is the game will be added to other online outlets over the course of time. Update: The game is also now for sale on GamersGate. Here's the announcement: :
Capcom, a leading worldwide developer and publisher of video games, today announced Bionic Commando Rearmed, a makeover of the classic 8-bit game originally released 20 years ago, is now available for download in North America on Xbox LIVE Arcade for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PLAYSTATION Network, and PC. Bionic Commando Rearmed is rated Mature by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) and is available for 800 Microsoft Points, $9.99 on PLAYSTATION Network, or $14.99 on PC. Bionic Commando Rearmed sees a return of the intense 2D side-scrolling, shooting and grappling action from the beloved 1988 classic game, Bionic Commando on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Bionic Commando Rearmed brings the game into the next generation with stunning new visuals, new weapons, online rankings, a reworked musical score, and newly reworked stages.

Bionic Commando Rearmed also boasts a multitude of features including 2 player co-op, a frenetic multiplayer mode for up to 4 players and a series of over 50 devious challenge rooms to test your swinging skills. What’s more, each version of the game will feature unique content specific to that platform. The title will also provide cross-game bonus features, as completing parts of Bionic Commando Rearmed will unlock new content and provide secret insight into the characters and storyline behind the brand new next generation Bionic Commando.


        • Classic Bionic Commando gameplay focused around the use of the bionic arm
        • 2-player Co-op mode
        • Local multiplayer matches for up to four players
        • Total modern visual revamp, including dynamic shadows, particle effects and environmental damage
        • Reworking of musical score
        • Cross-game interoperability – complete specific parts of Bionic Commando Rearmed to unlock new content and hints for the Bionic Commando sequel
        • Unique platform specific content for Xbox LIVE Arcade for Xbox 360 and PLAYSTATION Network
        • In-game art designed by one of Capcom’s most talented artists, Shinkiro

For more information, visit:

Guitar Hero III Patch

A new patch is now available for Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, updating the PC edition of the music/rhythm game to version 1.31. The patch is available from the Aspyr Website and mirrored on AtomicGamer, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and The Patches Scrolls. Here's word on the new version:
This optional patch fixes an "Emulator Detected" error that appears on some machines AFTER APPLYING THE 1.3 PATCH. This patch does not affect gameplay in any way and only resolves this emulation issue.

This patch is to be installed only after applying the 1.3 patch. The in-game version number will not change once the 1.31 patch is installed.

This patch is for PC only. The Mac 1.3 version is unaffected by the Emulation problem.

PLEASE NOTE: This will only resolve Emulator Detected errors that occur after the application of the v1.3 patch. If you have had these errors before applying the 1.3 patch, this patch will not fix the problem.

Khronos Hopes for More Streamlined OpenGL 3.1

The Register has a follow-up to the release of the OpenGL 3.0 specifications earlier this week (thanks Mike Martinez), and the resulting hue and cry from folks unhappy with the limited progress in the new version of the API (story). They spoke with Neil Trevett, president of OpenGL proprietor Khronos Group and VP of member company NVIDIA, who told them his consortium hopes to start the process of streamlining OpenGL with version 3.1, saying that version 3.0 lays the groundwork for this, adding his personal hopes that the new spec will be released within six months. Here's a bit:
Trevett said the re-write was simply too much to engineer at the time. OpenGL is used in massive range of scenarios and supported by AMD, Apple, Intel, Dolby, Ericsson, Panasonic, Nokia and Symbian to name just a few of the 100 Khronos members.

Trevett reckoned that while people worked on the big goal of shrinking OpenGL the delays this produced meant companies relying on the API had been unable to take advantage of latest changes in hardware.

"Games are rebuilt every generation," Trevett said. "CAD programs can't have stuff disappear at short notice."

He added that while OpenGL 3.0 isn't as streamlined as people were hoping it would be, the deprecation mechanism is a step towards that bigger goal while giving people in CAD a chance to find out what's going to disappear ahead of time, and to prepare accordingly.

Register Your APB Beta Interest

The All Points Bulletin Website now offers a link to the Register Your Interest Page on Facebook promised when the Facebook Page for the open-world MMOG signed-up 500 members (story). When beta testing will begin and how participants will be selected is not clear at this time. Meanwhile, the APB Facebook Page has been updated with some concept art from the game (as well as photos of a truck cab inexplicably adorned with an APB paintjob).

Radical Staff Cuts

The Vancouver Sun (thanks Edge Online) reports another unfortunate round of developer layoffs, as around 100 employees have been let go from Radical Entertainment, which represents approximately half the staff of the Canadian developer. The cuts are the latest fallout from the Activision Blizzard merger, as two of the studios' four projects were cut as part of the newly merged company's focus on its bottom line. Word is: "Last month, Activision Blizzard said it would go ahead with five games or franchises including Radical's Crash Bandicoot, and Prototype, a new game created by Radical that will debut in 2009. Radical's hit title Scarface: The World is Yours was not listed. Rubin said Radical would be offering laid-off employees a number of tools and resources to help them find new employment."

BlizzCon 2008 Ticket Lottery Planned

The BlizzCon 2008 Website has a statement from Blizzard's Mike Morhaime about the stream of problems that plagued their attempts to put tickets on sale for BlizzCon 2008 earlier this week (story, story, story, story, story, and story). Word is they've scraped together an additional 3000 tickets, which will be distributed via lottery to folks that had registered Blizzard accounts at the time the tickets were sold out:
On behalf of everyone at Blizzard, I want to apologize for the challenges and frustrations you experienced while trying to purchase BlizzCon tickets on Monday and Tuesday. BlizzCon is about the positive experiences you all have had with Blizzard games. As a result of this week's events, the excitement that many of you felt about the show has turned into dissatisfaction and disappointment.

Due to these circumstances, we've reevaluated our convention hall space and come up with some solutions that will allow us to offer 3,000 more tickets for sale. We know this will not be enough to satisfy the very high level of demand for tickets this year, but we want to ensure that BlizzCon remains a great experience for those of you who are able to attend. To avoid the issues many of you faced this week, we'll be selling these 3,000 via a lottery. We'll post further details once our plans are finalized. Please note that the lottery will only be open to those with an active Blizzard Account as of 9:00 PM PDT on August 12, the time that the “Sold Out” notice was posted.

I, and everyone else at Blizzard, share the frustration and disappointment that many of you have expressed as a result of this process. We'll do what it takes to avoid this type of situation in the future.

Overlord II Announced

Codemasters announces three new Overlord Games planned for release next year; Overlord II, a full sequel to the fantasy action/adventure planned for PCs and consoles, Overlord: Dark Legend for Wii, and Overlord Minions for DS. Here's the general announcement and specifics on the sequel:
Thursday 14th August/... Marking the return of the bad ass game brand that champions a despotic tyrant and sets loose the most vicious, yet lovably insane critters in gaming, Codemasters® today announced that the Overlord and the Minions will headline a series of three new Overlord™ titles for multiple platforms in 2009.

Overlord™II is the sequel to the original twisted fantasy action adventure and is now in development at Triumph Studios for the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft® and Games For Windows®. True to form, the Overlord and the Minion horde have their sights set on supremacy and 2009 will also see the series debuting on new formats. Exclusive extensions include the action title Overlord™Dark Legend for Wii™, featuring minion control through Wii Remote movement, and Overlord™Minions, a dedicated puzzle action title, for Nintendo DS™.

“As a million-plus seller Overlord is now a significant brand in the ever-growing Codemasters portfolio,” says Barry Jafrato, Senior Vice President of Brand, Codemasters. “With specific titles published across major formats and download content available, Overlord has established a huge cult following and won widespread critical acclaim. We’re delighted to have the despot back for this three-game, five-format product line. With Triumph’s hugely impressive vision for Overlord II and bespoke titles for Wii and Nintendo DS, Overlord is set to dominate in 2009.”

“Epic battles, all new Minion play mechanics, a stunningly detailed new visuals and a fresh theme – Overlord II’s really packing a punch,” says Lennart Sas, director and Overlord lead at Triumph Studios. “We’re really excited about shifting the world to a new era where a Roman-inspired Empire rises as the arch-enemy of the Overlord, which leads to an epic clash between the regimented forces of a sprawling state and the faster, harder, more manic minion horde. It’s also great to see the series reaching new formats. The creativity being packed into the design for Overlord Dark Legend on Wii and Overlord Minions on Nintendo DS make great use of the platforms’ unique features and are perfect extensions to the Overlord series.”


• PLAYSTATION®3 system, Xbox 360, Games For Windows.

Overlord™II is the sequel to the hit warped fantasy action adventure that had players being delightfully despotic. In Overlord II, a new Overlord and a more powerful army of Minions take on an entire empire in a truly epic adventure, inspired by the rise of the Roman Empire. As the Glorious Empire conquers kingdoms and destroys any sign of magic it finds, it’s time to go Minion Maximus and send in the horde.

The Minions return smarter, deadlier (and funnier) and are ready to fight in large scale battles that will see their wild pack mentality squaring up to the organised legions of the Glorious Empire. As ever, they’ll do anything and everything the Overlord commands of them, especially now that they can run ravage and wreck buildings and scenery. They’ve also learn to ride: In Overlord II Minions will be able to mount up and ride wolves and other magical creatures around the landscape and take them into battle, making our band of merry fighters faster and fiercer than ever before. Coming in 2009, Overlord II is now in development at Triumph Studios in Delft, the Netherlands, for the PLAYSTATION®3 system, Xbox 360 and Games For Windows.

Ryzom Returning

Like a cat with nine lives, Ryzom announces this science-fiction MMORPG is making another comeback, following another brush with receivership (story) that's had the game offline for some time now. They've been running in an invitation-only mode for a while, and are now inviting anyone who has ever had a Ryzom account (even a trial account) to check things out as they prepare for a full re-launch. Here's word:
In order to keep you informed on what is going on with the new Ryzom, we wanted first to tell you that we are all really very happy and very proud to work, and for some of us work again, on the magical world of Ryzom. We wanted also to sincerely apologize for not having been able to talk to you earlier. Unfortunately we had a lot of work to do to revive our fabulous planet; tonnes of terabytes of blood, sweat and tears... hard drives to recover, check, and deal with... countless Kami, Karavan, Kitins, and friends to find and put back in place, all in order to reawaken Ryzom and to prepare it for your next visit.

But now we are all very pleased to share with you our joy that the hardest part is behind us.

Yes, our servers have already been revived in a testing phase for several weeks now, and with the help of our great CSR team, we have worked hard to repair Ryzom to its former glory. We mowed lawns, trimmed hedges, pulled weeds, and fed the Yubos which were feeling very hungry and abandoned.

These past weeks we also re-opened the servers to our former Ryzom subscribers to thank them all for their patience with a totally free VIP access and as we are very happy with how this VIP phase progressed we have now decided to expand the access to our servers to everybody who already had an active account, free trial included. Yes, even if you previously only had a free trial you can now once more log into Ryzom for free with all your stored characters! The only restrictions still applied to the free trial accounts will be the level cap and the geographical limitation to the starter island "Ruins of Silan", but these restrictions will not last long either! We will keep you posted on all of this when the time comes.

ATTENTION for those of you waiting to step onto Atys for the first time, please don't forget that we are still in a re-launch and testing phase. This means that Ryzom is still closed to newcomers as the creation of new accounts is not yet permitted. If you don't already have an active Ryzom account you won't be able to play Ryzom yet.

Don't worry though, we plan to reopen the account activation pages shortly; once again, we will let you know as soon as it happens.

Thank you for your loyalty and above all for your patience. The new Ryzom team bids you a very warm welcome and is looking forward to seeing you again in our world...

Pyroblazer Movie

A new trailer from Pyroblazer hopes to fire you up about this combat racing game in the works at Eipix. The clip shows off some of the game's futuristic settings and high speed hover-racing, though none of the combat part. The movie is posted on AtomicGamer and Gamer's Hell.

Red Faction: Guerilla Q&A

Getting Destructive with Red Faction Guerrilla's Design Director on GameZone talks with James Hague about the next installment in Volition's shooter series with destructible environments. The first answer he provides has a concise summary of the lessons learned from the previous games that's guiding them this time out: "We learned that destruction needs an open environment in order to shine. The two are a perfect match."

Safety Dance

Thanks Mike Martinez.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

Okay, so we watched a little of the Olympics, catching some of the women's softball the other day. The USA team pitched a combined no-hitter the game we saw, and then I saw highlights from the next game, which was also a no-hitter for the Americans. The thing I'm trying to figure out is not why the no-hitters, but rather how anyone ever gets any hits in that game at all. Those ladies get the ball going over 100 km/hour from a distance of 45 feet away, and I'm sure I wouldn't be able to hit any of those pitches with a tennis racket, much less a bat.

No-hit Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Scope.
Link: The Insane True Stories Behind 6 Cursed Movies.
Stories: Rocky Horror movie to be remade. Let's do the time warp again!
Loyal dog guards owner for weeks after death. Thanks nin and brother19.
8-year-old guitar wiz has reason to play the blues.
Science: A 'Frankenrobot' with a biological brain. Thanks Stadius. Robocop 2?
'Seeing sound' for the deaf.
Are we science-savvy enough to make informed decisions? 11/11 on the easy quiz.
Auction: Every NES Game Now Up for Grabs on eBay.
Empty Condom Pack & a Photo of "The Tart's" Knickers. Thanks dakslf.
Images: GTA in the course of time.
Hubble Completes 100,000 Orbit, Takes Yet Another Breathtaking Photo.
Motherboard Walls. Thanks Neatorama.
Media: Solid Snake Gets Fingered.
Hummer Badlands: Best Avoided By Everyone On Earth.
Tour of Bob Sagets House.
Follow-ups: Bigfoot Trackers Say They've Got a Body. Thanks CiKoTiC.
The Greater the Threat, the Hotter the Chili. Thanks j.c.f.
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