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    Archive for June, 2001

    Saturday, June 30, 2001

    games xtreme have posted a review of Alone in the Dark: The new Nightmare for the PC.
    "Other great aspects of the game are the great effects that are present throughout, both graphically and sound. Lightning effects look and sound very realistic, combined with other effects that the developers have put together, the game provides a few subtle but very effective scares that will keep you on your toes. One of these is at the very beginning, you come across a gate early on and as you approach it lightning goes off, not content with that when it does and the screen flashes and you notice two figures standing behind your character, which I can tell you is quite scary."

    CEO Richard Holmes chats with GSD to reveal what they do and what they have planned for the future:

    This week's interview on EuroGamer is with one of the co-founders of British developer Firefly, taking a look at their medieval strategy game Stronghold.
    "Stronghold is a unique cross between a city builder such as Caesar III and a real-time strategy game like Age of Empires. It incorporates much more building and community managing than a traditional RTS, yet allows for a more intense combat experience than city builders have featured in the past."

    Tonight, Action Vault meets the President and CEO of Nexon USA, maker of Shattered Galaxy.

    Shattered Galaxy Developer Profile: Scott Lee
    Shattered Galaxy is a persistent online world with strategy, action and RPG elements. Today, as we continue our series of Shattered Galaxy Developer Profiles, we have the good fortune of meeting Scott Lee, the President and CEO of developer Nexon USA.

    Friday, June 29, 2001

    To kick start LANPartys Top Ten, the nutty phineas & Mickey Knox take a gander at what it takes to successfully convert a girlfriend to a gamer. After all, what could be better than having a girlfriend that likes to LAN?? Some girl gamers have mentioned that the ideas might be a bit buggey... but if they wasn't already a converts Knox would prevail, as always, due to their intoxicating obsession with boomsticks! Their attempts to divulge some of man's secrets to converting girls to gamers are by no means an easy task... but they do it well:
    5) Show her what she can REALLY do with that kinda ping!

    MK: What's your ping size again?

    p: Huge. Absolutely enormous.

    EDITOR'S NOTE: phineas is on a 28.8 kbps connection that tops out at about 19.2kbps.

    MK: funny how that works... oh... yeah, that's right... you *ahem* connect with an RJ-11 cable... a LAN gives you RJ-45... there's some kind of complicated math in there that ... well... ah... uh... well... lets put it this way... real men LAN... and women like real men, right? So... move along, there's nothing to see here. These aren't the droids we're looking for. Move along now.

    Check out the rest of the Top 10 Ways To Convert Your Girl Into A Gamer!

    Thursday, June 28, 2001

    Internet Explorer 6 is the latest version of Microsoft's Internet Explorer series & possibly the most controversial yet, offering numerous Privacy enhancements which have been to the disadvantage of many Advertising companies & the highly talked about Smart Tags. In our tweak guide, we will take you through all the options available to customize Internet Explorer 6 Preview to its fullest.

    Take a look to the full guide at:

    Tuesday, June 26, 2001


    This Industry First, Online Premier, Powered by Into Networks Technology Available for a Limited Time only

    What: For a limited time, the full, PC version of Alone In the Dark: The New Nightmare will be available as an Into Powered rental exclusively on

    From now through 3:00 PM EDT on Wednesday, June 27, users can rent the title for $4.99 and play the game for 48 hours, before it hits the store shelves. Additionally, renters will receive a coupon from EB1
    offering them a $4.99 credit towards the purchase of the boxed version of the game from

    Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare, published by Infogrames, Inc. (Nasdaq: IFGM), continues the original survival-horror franchise with a pure blend of intense action and suspenseful adventure. Edward Carnby, the supernatural detective is back! And this time it's for revenge.

    Why: The Premier of Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare, is a milestone for the software industry - the first online release of a major title prior to traditional retail distribution.

    This special offer demonstrates Electronics Boutique's (Nasdaq: ELBO) commitment to delivering the latest and hottest games to offer broadband customers secure access to software on a rental basis.
    This rental is made possible by Into Networks, whose content delivery platform enables software to run in real time over the Internet.
    The Into Media* platform offers Website publishers the advantage of quick, secure distribution of content without the constraints of physical goods. Using the IntoPlayer(tm), visitors are ensured the highest quality streaming experience without downloading or installing the software.


    When: Immediately to June 27, 2001 at 3 p.m. (EDT)

    Who: Electronics Boutique is among the world's largest specialty retailers of video and computer games and also sells video game hardware, PC productivity software and accessories.

    Into Networks powers streaming software over the Internet. The company's IntoMedia platform provides access to the best software titles for demonstration, rental or subscription without time- consuming downloads or installations.

    Infogrames, Inc. is a leading publisher and distributor of video games for consoles (Sony, Sega, Nintendo, and Microsoft), personal computers and Macintosh systems.

    CPL Event Press Release

    The Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL) presents The CPL 4-Year Anniversary Event, June 28th - July 1st, at the Hyatt Regency Dallas. Founded in 1997, the Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL), and its divisions in Europe, Asia and South America, is the leading organizer of professional game tournaments and events, and has an estimated following of about 350,000 gamers worldwide, up from several hundred just a few years ago. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, the CPL has created custom computer networks at local gaming competitions for more gamers than any other organization. Almost 900 computer gamers, representing 20 countries, have registered to attend this week's event.

    The 4-Year Anniversary Event benefits the Dallas Children's Advocacy Center ( The DCAC, is a Dallas based, non-profit organization providing a child-friendly environment where law enforcement officials, district attorney's and caseworkers come together to provide needed services to children who have been physically or sexually abused. Currently, there are 48 active and developing centers across the US, providing services to 103 counties, and over 22,400 children each year.

    "The Dallas Children's Advocacy Center is excited about our involvement with The CPL," says Nichole Nynas, Director of Development for the Advocacy Center. "It's perfect timing as the Center has experienced a dramatic increase in the number of children served and the severity of the cases we have seen since January. At this critical time, the support of the CPL is more important than ever. Proceeds from the Anniversary event will ensure that each child victim of abuse we serve will receive the investigative and therapeutic service they so desperately need." Ms. Nynas says.

    "The CPL is committed to helping the Dallas Children's Advocacy Center," says Angel Munoz, Founder and President of the CPL. "We know that this is the beginning of a long term relationship and we hope that our involvement helps alleviate the afflictions of children that become the innocent victims of abuse," he says.

    A check presentation sponsored by the CPL and GodGames ( will take place on Sunday July 1st at 3:00 p.m. in the ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Dallas. The CPL event sponsors include: Logitech, Intel, Altec Lansing Technologies, ViewSonic, NETGEAR, Monster Cable, VisionTek, Bawls, Alienware and Immersion.

    With the Ion Storm debacle looking like it is about to reach an end this summer, EuroGamer takes a look at the history of celebrity development studios and why so many of them have failed spectacularly. Ion Storm, Cavedog and Digital Anvil all come under the spotlight.
    "Three high profile studios run by celebrity designers, all of them formed in the mid 1990s, and all of them bankrupt within five years. What went wrong?"

    3D Spotlight´s brand new feature is now up, their pricing guide covering CPU, memory, videocard and motherboard prices is now up !
    Some of the lowest prices found this week include a 1GHz Athlon Tbird selling for only $97, and even more impressive the 1.2Ghz Athlon for $111.99. They also found a Visiontek GeForce 3 card for $351 and a Radeon All In Wonder card for $196.95.


    Microsoft today announced that The Asheron's Call: Dark Majesty Expansion Pack will be available this holiday at retail locations throughout North America. The first of its kind for the franchise, this expansion pack includes the original Asheron's Call as well as many new features and a compelling new landmass. Asheron's Call: Dark Majesty will be available at retail for only US$19.95 and will include one free month of play.

    "Turbine is very excited about the Expansion Pack, and our continued relationship with Microsoft. The Asheron's Call franchise is a very important part of our company," noted Jeffrey Anderson, President and CEO of Turbine. "We are firmly committed to developing and delivering high-quality online entertainment."

    The Expansion Pack delivers on new additions such as housing and storage, two of the features most requested by our customers. Players will be able to purchase their own homes on designated plots of land, as well as use their residence for secure storage purposes. The Expansion Pack also kicks off the next chapter in the ongoing Asheron's Call storyline by introducing the island of Marae Lassel. Marae Lassel is a sprawling new landmass which will contain new quests, dungeons, and treasures which will all be accessible to all levels of players who purchase the Asheron's Call Expansion Pack.

    Asheron's Call: Dark Majesty builds upon the epic evolving storyline by paving the way for the return of an old nemesis. "We don't want to give everything away," says Nik Davidson, producer of the Expansion Pack, "but suffice to say that the name of the Expansion Pack is a big clue."

    "Microsoft is making a significant investment in Asheron's Call with both the Expansion Pack and in the sequel to Asheron's Call which we announced earlier this year," explained Matthew Ford, Lead Program Manager for Asheron's Call.

    Asheron's Call is a massively multiplayer role-playing game playable exclusively on ( that draws together thousands of players within a dynamic, 3-D online world. Players can create truly unique characters by choosing between extensive combinations of visual appearance, attributes and skill sets. Asheron's Call immerses players in an intense role-playing environment where they must compete or cooperate with thousands of other online players. An extensive system of allegiance and influence greatly enhances social interaction. The online nature of the game facilitates an evolving and dynamic adventure inside a consistent universe. The game will never be solved because there will always be more areas to explore and quests to complete.

    Sunday, June 24, 2001

    I decided to write an article on team play. It's not really long enough to have its own "article" page, so I'm just going to post it here:
    As many of you may have realized, a great portion of the gaming industry is heading towards the utilization of team play on the PC. If you have ever had the pleasure of playing a great team game, (especially on the Internet with other people) you probably had a great deal of fun.

    First off, let's define what team play is: It's the collaboration between different people to successfully complete the task at hand. Tasks and how they are achieved is what makes the whole bookshelf of team games/mods worth playing. From "use the advantages of each class to wipe out the enemy", to "capture all of the command points in the correct order", team games have no limit. This is a genre in which games have expanded greatly over the recent years; particularly in the category of first person shooters. ...And they still have a massive amount of room to grow into ANY category you could possibly imagine (although I'd have to admit "Chef Chang's Team Cooking" would be kind of lame). Speaking of first person shooters, some of the more popular games/mods you may have played based on teams are Counter-Strike (for Half-Life), Team Fortress Classic (for Half-Life), Weapons Factory Arena or Quake 3 Fortress (for Quake 3 Arena), Starsiege: Tribes, and an heap of others. In many of these mods for games (such as Team Fortress Classic, Weapons Factory Arena, and Quake 3 Fortress) players are given the choice of a class. Each class has its ups and downs, but no team made up of all one class could easily complete the objective. It is the mixture of all the classes and binding all of their abilities together to make a strong team. Some classes are better than others for certain things. Sadly, some people set their priorities on themselves rather than the team. This is often the case in Team Fortress Classic (a game I have of which I have strong experience playing). For example, on a capture the flag map while playing TFC, some people will rush for the flag, get killed and drop it. But they will not send a message out to their team giving them the location of it. Instead they will zip out of their respawn in hopes of getting the flag themselves before anybody else on their team can get to it. Often, as a direct result of this behavior, the flag will sit there for a while, then be returned to the enemy's base where it is usually more heavily guarded. As for myself, I notify my team of the location of the flag so it can be picked up ASAP. Another tactic that I use in TFC to help out my team is play as a defensive medic. Most medics will play offense, (don't get me wrong, they're a great class for offense) but few play defense. Medics need to be in both places. I run around pumping up all of my defensive team members with health; as well as help take out the enemy when defenses are breached. My doing this results in a very crappy score for myself, but most of the time a great score for the team I'm playing for. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what matters.

    All said and done, team games are, in my humble opinion, the best genre of games for the PC available to date. Although the people that play them can make them or break them; team games will always be my favorite type of PC entertainment for years to come. I give all of you team-players out there a big high-five. Play the game together, not by yourself. Don't compete with people on your team. And remember, if somebody is being selfish, screw them and move on. It's just a game and I'm sure there are plenty of other servers out there. Later everyone, I'm off to pump some people up with health.

    Gameplex have interviewed Mike Verdu, from Legend Studios, about the upcoming first person shooter, Unreal II.

    The Emperor: Battle for Dune News page has word that another patch for the just-released RTS game is on the way, planned to bring the game up to version 1.07. The page offers a list of 10 fixes that will be provided by the patch that cover issues ranging from gameplay to the functionality of the chat lobby interface. According to the update, the patch should be expected sometime around the end of this week.

    Haemimont Games has announced their first project, The Druid King. The game is an "isometric RTS that blends strategy, role-playing, and adventure elements". And as for Haemimont, as far as I know they're headed by some rather famous renegade developer. Can't remember which one right now, but I guess that's a good enough incentive to check this game out.

    Friday, June 22, 2001

    Mark H. Walker, LLC, announces the release of The Parent's Guide to PlayStation Games (Mars Publishing) for 2001, effective June 20, 2001. Completely covering both the PlayStation and PlayStation 2, the guide's 186 pages include an in-depth analysis of both consoles, a discussion of the Entertainment Software Review Board's rating system, and overviews of hundreds of current games -- pecifically written to explain to parents what the game is about, and for whom it is appropriate. The Parent's Guide to PlayStation Games is available in Wal-Mart, on, and at other fine bookstores.

    Recently StrategyPlanet conducted an interview with Sai Wing Lai, the Director for Kingdom Under Fire at Phantagram to talk about the game and their plans for the future. Find out what he had to say here. has posted it's review of the racing game from Team17, Stunt GP.
    "I found the graphics in Stunt GP to be very bland. They look crisp enough, pretty bright, and almost colourful, but there are no special effects of any kind to be seen - dynamic lighting, lens flare.. even things that basic aren't there. It's just bland in appearance. Of course the framerate stays high consistently because of this, so it's not ALL bad... but it's still not what you would expect from a modern title."

    Last winter, action fans were treated to not one, but two old-world third person combat games: the medieval fantasy slasher, Blade of Darkness and the Norse-myth inspired Rune. In the works from Australian developer Auran is Excalibur, a new third person action game set in the mystical world of Arthurian legend.

    Also feel free to read our interview at: this page

    WTW - Who's The Winner
    A Q3A engine log parser developed in Python.

    WTW supports:

    Quake 3 Arena, Quake 3 Arena: Team Arena, AquaLung, Zappy Mod, SolidGround, Rocket Arena 3, Star Trek: Voyager Elite Force, Q3Fortress, Alliance, Rocket vs. Rail, CrateDM3, Hellfire Arena, Gods of War, BFG10K, Eternal Arena/Team Arena, Pure CTF, Excessive, No Items Quake3, Instagib, Orange Smoothie Production (OSP), Coliseum2, Lakerbot Mod, Weapon Factory Arena (WFA), Akimbo, Q3A++, S.H.U.D., Kings & Assholes, Oh shit.

    In download page you'll find installation packages for Windows/Linux boxes. Release 2.0 Final package includes the TDK (Theme Development Kit) to create themes.
    To celebrate 1st year here at PlanetQuake and 2.0 final release they've decided to make public 1.42 release sources (was the last 1.X release). Go to download page in "Bonus Packs" section and grab it.

    Here's the list of changes from last public:
    Changes from Pre-Final 2 (PF2):
    - Add: Gauge percentage. You can follow all stats creation via gauge.
    - Add: Support for themes: 7 themes available.
    - Add: Entry in gui to set stats output dir.
    - Add: Tutorial pages available via main stats page.
    - Mod: Squeezed HTML code down by 10-18 percent.
    - Mod: Now all logs are first copied in a temp dir and parsed there.
    - Mod: Rocket Arena 3 full functional.
    - Mod: In gui when you select to parse a single file or load a wtw datafile radio button on the left automatically changes scan mode.
    - Fix: OSP bug with fraglimit/capturelimit=0 and timelimit=0
    - Fix: Q3:TA and RA3 interferences.
    - Fix: Several bugs in Quake 3:Team Arena mod support
    - Fix: Bug in jpg conversion routine for map levelshots: all jpgs with names in uppercase are not properly converted.

    For a complete list of release 2.X features go to "Features" page.

    Black Isle Studios and the IGN Vault Network will present a chat with members of the BIS: TORN team next Thursday, June 28. Here are the details:

    WHO: You and members of the TORN team


    WHERE: RPG Vault Chat - or in channel #ignvault for fans using IRC clients

    WHEN: Thursday, June 28, 2001, at 6:00 p.m. PST

    WHY: To get the latest information straight from members of the development team.

    Stomped's Vangie "Aurora" Beal has interviewed several members of the team at LippieSoft, the folks making the shooter, 3D World War II.

    [Stomped] When can we expect to see the next public demo release?

    [ Dennis Sloutsky] The next public demo will come out sometime this weekend, as the basis we will use beta v2.5 of the game (whilst v3.0 will be the final release version). After we'll accumulate all bug reports and fix them, we'll be able to start the private beta testing which we plan to have for at least three weeks. Then, when the game is fully finished, we will release public demo v 3.0 based on final code, maybe a day or two before the game hits stores.

    GameSpyDaily caught up with Lab UK's Francis Irving to find out more about the new Linux title - Creatures 3: has posted a review of Twisted Metal: Black (PS2).
    "Chaos reigns supreme when the criminally insane are set upon the world to wage a battle of catharsis on wheels with the key to an un-tortured soul as the top prize. Definitely not a game for the little ones, Twisted Metal: Black dips deep into the serial killer ink and paints a grisly backdrop, frenetic and without reason, only to crush and blast it apart in a mindlessly fun demolition derby...."

    This week's interview on EuroGamer is with Jason Bradbury, presenter and associate producer of a new computer games TV series called Mercenaries which is due to air in the UK starting in August.
    Each episode will see two teams going head to head in a military campaign using a variety of games such as Counter-Strike, Operation Flashpoint, Steel Beasts and EuroFighter Typhoon. Interested? Read the interview for more information!
    Meanwhile the developers and publishers of many of the games which are going to be used in the show have been getting in on the act. "Companies like Codemasters and Rage have even designed unique levels for our show. The industry is so willing to help - they put the TV lot to shame."

    PS2Faction has gotten their grubby littles paws on eight new screenshots from the Playstation 2 version of PlanetMoon's Giants: Citizen Kabuto.

    GameSpy has posted their review of Westwood Studios' RTS game, Emperor: Battle for Dune. The review covers a lengthy introductions and overviews on the single player game, multiplayer game, and more. Overall it scored a rating of 75.

    Polycount has posted an interview with Paul McLaughlin of Lionhead Studios. In the interview Paul discusses Black & White and issues surrounding editing it. In this bit Paul answers a question on the possibility of gamers producing their own creatures:
    It's a possibility and it's definitely something we'd like to do. At the moment we're working on various options to enhance the Black and White experience. One option is to release more content (which is in progress) the other is to release various tools with which the players can create their own content. The first of these tools will probably be a landscape/level editor but a creature editor would be our preferred second release. If anyone wanted to collaborate with us on this then I'm sure we'd be happy to help out. I'm not really the one to assist =at that level but I'm sure I can find someone and shake them into life.

    Nival Interactive has launched the beta signups for their 3D strategy game, Etherlords. Nival says that the beta will kick off in early July -- the game is scheduled for a Q4 2001 release, which gives them enough time to stomp out any major bugs that turn up during the course of beta testing. Seating is limited so head on over and sign up. offers a transcript this evening from their recent Diablo II chat featuring the D2 team from Blizzard Entertainment. If you missed the chat here's your chance to brush up on the details.

    Thursday, June 21, 2001

    Blizzard officially announced that the Diablo 2 Expansion: Lord of Destruction has gone gold. The press release states that the game should hit stores by June 29th, so if you've been eagerly waiting, that's when you'll want to check first :). Be sure to check out because they've got some nice images up for the release. Scroll down to read the entire press release.

    Blizzard is also selling Diablo 2 Tee-shirts for $14.95 at their online store.

    IRVINE, Calif. - JUNE 21, 2001 - Blizzard Entertainment® announced today that Diablo® II: Lord of Destruction™, the vast new expansion set to the company's number-one selling Diablo II* series has gone gold. The expansion, with initial orders of 2 million copies, will be available at retail outlets worldwide in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Korean, Japanese and Chinese language versions, on June 29, 2001. "We are delighted that Diablo II: Lord of Destruction is complete, stated Mike Morhaime, Blizzard Entertainment president and co-founder, "We have worked very hard on increasing the gameplay and depth of Diablo II with this expansion and are quite proud of our accomplishments. With the addition of new character classes and areas to explore, we believe we have created a truly compelling product that will appeal to both avid Diablo players and novice gamers alike." In Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, players travel to the Barbarian Highlands of the North in pursuit of Baal, the last surviving Prime Evil. Traveling with a horrific army of demonic minions, Baal plots to corrupt the powerful Worldstone that protects the whole of the mortal plane from the forces of Hell, thus damning the world for all eternity. Key features of the expansion include two new character classes, the Assassin and the Druid, each equipped with 30 unique skills and spells. Players will also enjoy the opportunity to take their favorite Diablo II characters on the new quests found in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. A new Act set in the Barbarian Highlands, complete with 6 new quests and hours of further challenges, unfolds as players strive to stop Baal and his followers from destroying the world. Diablo II: Lord of Destruction also features support for 800x600 resolution, giving the player a larger field of view and superlative graphic detail. To aid players in combat, thousands of new weapons, armor and magical items, including class-specific, crafted items, Rune Words and Elite Unique items have also been included. To secure these new armaments, the amount of storage space in the player's private stash has also been doubled, giving them the ability to maintain a much greater supply of items. Adding to the gameplay experience is an extensive list of over 50 new monster classes, with 7 innovative boss monsters. Single-player, multiplayer TCP/IP and Realm games are supported. Debuting in June, 2000 Diablo II has dominated PC game charts with sales of 4 million copies worldwide according to PC Data and key retail accounts around the world. The game has also been awarded several accolades including the prestigious Computer Game of the Year, Computer Role Playing Game of the Year and Game of the Year for 2001 by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences. When the original Diablo released in 1997, it was considered a critical success and reached number one on PC Data during its first month in stores. The game has sold in excess of 2.5 million copies worldwide and was honored as the number-one selling computer role-playing game in 1997 as well as named Game of the Year by Computer Gaming World. Diablo II: Lord of Destruction was developed by the Blizzard North design team and will support Windows®95/98/2000/XP/NT and Macintosh® formats. The hybrid Macintosh format will be available on June 29, 2001 in English and Japanese language versions. A retail copy of Diablo II is required to play Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. Available at most computer and software retail chains worldwide, the expansion set will sell for approximately $35. The game will also be offered directly from Blizzard at (800) 953-SNOW and The game has received a Mature rating from the ESRB. Best known for blockbuster hits including the Warcraft® series, StarCraft® and Diablo™ series, Blizzard Entertainment® (, (a division of Vivendi Universal Interactive Publishing) is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating many of the industry's most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard's track record includes four consecutive number-one selling games and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company's free Internet gaming service® reigns as the largest in the world with millions of active users. *PC Data June-August 2000

    A new gamecube hit is in the making. This game is called Super Smash Brothers Melee. If any of you have a n64 then you would know the prequel, super smash brothers. I think I can speak for everyone when I say the game was horrible, gameplay only lasted for a couple of minutes. Well, from other sources I have heard that nintendo has gotten its act together to make one of the best graphical and gameplay fighter game for the gamecube. You can access one of your favorite nintendo characters *cough*Link*cough* and use there abilities to fight other nintendo characters. I know a perfect matchup in my mind (pikachu vs link), heh. Anyways, look for some serious changes in this sequel for the Nintendo Gamecube, this game looks like alot of fun.

    - Preview: Bubba takes a look ahead at Matrox's latest offering. The company has produced some of the best 2D cards on the market, but will the G550 have any place in the simming PC? Bubba starts to detail what makes the G550 tick.

    Stomped has posted an interview with Dan Cermak, producer for Westwood's Command & Conquer: Renegade shooter.

    Stomped C&C Renegade Interview:

    Stomped: How good will the enemy's AI be in the single player game?

    Cermak: We have designed the AI with innate behavior that will allow it to react to its environment (seeing the enemy as well as hearing sounds of bullets, movement, yells of other AI, shelling, etc.) We have different levels of AI grunt, officer, Special Forces, boss, etc., each with a different level of hearing, sound generation (to bring the other AI) and range of reaction. The AI is able to use the surrounding environment for cover and will switch position based on how the battle is progressing. We also have additional modes that we can set the AI into, such as defensive, aggressive attack, sniper mode, etc.

    Monolith to Release The Operative: No One Lives Forever Source Code

    Bellevue, WA - June 20, 2001 - Monolith Productions(tm), developers of the award-winning PC game The Operative(tm): No One Lives Forever(tm) (NOLF), today announced the release of the source code for NOLF version 1.003. This release is part of an effort to support the fan base by offering the tools to create their own levels and keep them current with the code
    base Monolith is using to author its latest reations. The source code will be available for download at along with instructions and requirements.

    "Being a gamer myself I recognize the importance of the online community and what it means to the continued success of a gaming franchise. Simply
    put, fans rule the gaming world and they are the ones that help drive us to make better games," said Chris Miller, producer for Fox Interactive. "After hearing the continued request for source code on the newsgroups, Monolith and Fox got together to give the fans exactly what they are looking for."

    The downloadable file will be 5.46MB and will include:
    -The NOLF Visual C++ 6.0 workspace complete with projects for individual DLL's
    -All of NOLF's game-side source files
    -LithTech SKD header files and header files for shared Monolith libraries

    To build the NOLF source v1.003, the following are the required: -Microsoft visual C++ 6.0 (with service pack 3 installed) -Microsoft's DirectX 8 SDK -400MB free disk space

    Speedy 3D has just posted a massive update to their case mod resource center. it now has over 550 indexed links (which took forever to do:) to things such as case reviews, modding tools, and more. In this update they went all out and created something reminiscent of a search engine portal for case mods - even adding the ability for people to rate the articles on a scale of 1-10. Anyhow, this is definitely worth checking out:

    Eurogamer recently got a press demo of Echelon from publisher Akaei, and today on EuroGamer is a brief hands-on preview giving our first impressions of this early version of the game. Included are two new screenshots we snapped from the build.
    "Overall the graphics are eye-catching even at this early stage. Vast open terrain stretches off into the distance, with the fractal landscape giving the game a truly alien feel. Explosions are another high point, with destroyed vehicles splitting into several smaller pieces that streak off through the misty sky trailing smoke and debris like something out of Deep Impact."

    You can never, EVER take gaming too far. Have you ever looked at a game, and said "you know, I wish my life were like that"? Now your dreams can come true. CitizenC & StoneWolf are back with the Top 10 Ways To Make Your Life Like A Game. It's lots of fun -- breaking and entering, assault and battery, and more await inside!

    Zeus Official Expansion: Poseidon Surfaces on Store Shelves Impressions Games' Add-On Immerses Gamers in the World of Atlantis

    CAMBRIDGE, MA (June 20, 2001) - Impressions Games(tm) and Sierra(tm) today announced that Zeus(tm) Official Expansion: Poseidon(tm), the add-on for their city-building hit: Zeus(tm): Master of Olympus(tm) has shipped to stores nationwide. The game takes place in the world of Atlantis, ruled by Poseidon, brother to mighty Zeus.

    Poseidon expands the scope of Impressions Games' city-building hit, Zeus: Master of Olympus to cover more of the ancient world. In Poseidon, players build and rule the fabled cities of Atlantis, a kingdom of science and technology. They mine the mysterious mineral "orichalc," establish colonies in ancient Americas, Africa, Europe, and Asia, and trade with ancient civilizations. New industries, massive monuments, and characters unique to Atlantis expand the city-building experience presented in Zeus: Master of Olympus. Never-before seen gods, monsters, and heroes help tell the tale as players build Atlantis into a mighty kingdom. Players can also create their own adventures in Greece or Atlantis with a powerful, yet easy-to-use Adventure Editor.

    Designed with strategy gamers of all skill levels in mind, Zeus: Master of Olympus makes it simple to get a city built and running smoothly. But running the city is only a part of mastering the game. Players have to
    contend with driven deities who can appear in the city to cause happiness or havoc. Famous heroes wander the countryside, and can be summoned when their
    help is needed. Players must defend their cities from hostile invaders, monsters, and other Greek cities. Mixing the historical with the mythological, Zeus is divided into quests and objectives that can be
    completed in about an hour, making it the ideal diversion for both moderate gamers and hardcore strategists alike.

    Impressions Games has been a leading developer of strategy games for over ten years, with offices in Cambridge, MA. Impressions Games has created some of the most innovative, best-selling titles in the interactive entertainment industry, including the Lords of the Realm( series, Lords of Magic(, Robert E. Lee: Civil War General(, Civil War Generals 2: Grant, Lee, Sherman(, and the Impressions' City Building Series(tm) which is comprised of the Caesar(tm) line of games, Pharaoh(tm), Pharaoh Official Expansion: Cleopatra(tm), Zeus(tm): Master of Olympus(tm), and now Poseidon(tm). More information can be found at

    Black Isle Studios has announced that its latest role-playing game expansion, Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal, has shipped and will soon be in stores. The expansion adds a number of new features to the popular Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn. I suggest all RPG fans make plans to head down to their local store :).

    The Siege of Avalon website has been updated with a new schedule. now the Final Chapter for this episodic Role Playing Game is slated for release on the 26'th of June. More details will be posted up as they come to light.

    Using the Monolith's LithTech engine, Legends of Might and Magic is a first-person, team-based online multiplayer game, designed by New World Computing. This highly anticipated game will be appearing in stores, within the next few days. For more details head over to

    Tuesday, June 19, 2001


    MILFORD, Pa., June 19, 2001 - Altec Lansing Technologies, Inc., the leading developer of multimedia audio systems for the retail and OEM markets, today signed on as official league sponsor of the Cyberathlete Professional League(CPL). As sponsor of the league, Altec Lansing is the official speaker and headset provider for upcoming CPL 2001 tournaments including the Four-Year Anniversary tournament in June and World Championships in December.
    Additionally, the CPL has named the Altec Lansing ADA890 the official speaker system of the league.

    "We are very excited to have Altec Lansing as part of the CPL family," said Angel Munoz, founder of the CPL. "After testing audio systems from a variety of manufacturers, the CPL has chosen the Altec ADA890 for its superior sound quality, and ability to deliver the best audio experience for gamers."

    "Altec Lansing recognizes the importance of the gaming community and is happy to support the CPL in creating a new breed of sporting event surrounding video games," said Jim Pedranti, VP Channel Sales for Altec Lansing. "We know how important quality audio is to the gaming experience and are proud to offer the gaming community high performance home audio technology for the best gaming audio experience.

    Founded in 1997, the Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL), and its divisions in Europe, Australia, Asia and South America, is the leading organizer of professional game tournaments and events, and has an estimated following of about 350,000 gamers worldwide, up from several hundred just a few years ago. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, the CPL has created custom computer networks at local gaming competitions for more gamers than any other organization. The CPL events are widely covered via newspaper articles, radio, magazine features, television reports and documentaries.

    Altec Lansing Technologies, Inc., based in Milford, PA, USA, is a leader in the design, manufacture, marketing and support of high performance multimedia personal computer and home entertainment sound systems, and a line of headsets, headphones and microphones for personal digital media. The company employs about 1,500 people worldwide.

    EuroGamer dropped Editor-in-Chief John "Gestalt" Bye
    behind enemy lines with an M21 sniper rifle to investigate Czech developer Bohemia Interactive's Cold War combat game, Operation Flashpoint. To see what he discovered, read our full report - the web's first comprehensive review of the game.
    "Over the course of the game's lengthy single player campaign you will spend most of your time as a grunt called Armstrong, gradually rising through the ranks until you have command of your own squad, able to give orders to your fellow soldiers and select equipment load-outs before missions. But you will also get to take on the role of an elite special forces soldier going behind enemy lines to steal documents and weaken defences, a rookie pilot flying close air support missions in A-10 tank busters and helicopter gunships, and a trainee tank commander battling against Soviet armour."

    Sega has announced that the "Dreamcast Map-Pack" for Quake III Arena is now available. Allowing PC owners to finally play Quake III Arena online against Dreamcast Q3A owners.
    The "Dreamcast Map Pack" includes maps formerly exclusive to the Dreamcast version of the game, and enables Windows, Macintosh* and Linux gamers to play in the new environments against Dreamcast gamers online. The pack also includes alternate versions of non-exclusive popular favorites, and the new maps are playable in several different QUAKE III Arena play modes.

    In order to play against Dreamcast gamers online, PC users must have a 1.16n or lower version of QUAKE III Arena available, and use GameSpy 3D or PingTool to browse the Sega Dreamcast servers.
    Full Details (including how to download the file) can be found on Evil

    MSN Kicks Off Its New Celebrity-Based Online Game Show With a Host of Greats: Bob Eubanks, Monty Hall and Wink Martindale

    Together on one stage for the first time, legendary game-show hosts Bob Eubanks, Monty Hall and Wink Martindale appeared at the Hollywood Entertainment Museum today to help Microsoft Corp.'s MSN® games site officially "turn on" its hot new online game show Microsoft® "OutSmart," played exclusively at

    Developed for Microsoft by Jellyvision Inc., "OutSmart," a free* interactive celebrity-based game show, incorporates real celebrity audio into gameplay, creating the first online game in which players can hear and directly compete against their favorite stars and attempt to beat them at their own fame. A bimonthly trivia challenge, "OutSmart" is designed to intrigue fans and provide them with a new way to interact with actors, musicians, athletes and other celebrities. "OutSmart" is available exclusively on (

    "'OutSmart' is a new way for me to interact directly with my fans and let them see another side of me," said double-platinum hip-hop star Sisqo, one of three "OutSmart" celebrity challengers announced today by Microsoft.

    Soon "OutSmart" will feature Grammy award-winning reggae musician Shaggy, as well as R&B singer Mya, a featured performer in the blockbuster single "Lady Marmalade," the current No. 1 song in America, according to Billboard's Hot 100 Singles. The Shaggy episode is available today, with additional games coming online every two weeks. The pilot episode of "OutSmart" debuted in May and featured TV vixen and top cyber-celeb Jessica Alba; it is still available online in the OutSmart Gallery.

    In a reversal of roles, the famous hosts found themselves acting as contestants in segments of the first two "OutSmart" episodes. They not only played the game; they also jovially provided "OutSmart"'s host, Tim Parker, with advice on how to be a great game-show host. The legends imparted tips on everything from how to kiss the girls to preferred brands of hairspray and teeth whitener.

    "'OutSmart' is the next evolutionary step in the game-show arena, combining the popularity of game shows, the interactivity of the Internet, and our culture's fascination with celebrities," said Chris Di Cesare, group product manager of Online Games and executive producer of "OutSmart" at Microsoft, "which makes today, with Bob, Monty and Wink, somewhat like the passing of the torch - or in this case, the microphone."

    The game starts with "OutSmart" host Parker making quick player introductions and catching everyone up on the latest Hollywood gossip. Online contestants and the celebrity challenger then begin the game with a series of multiple-choice questions related to the celebrity's career. Celebrity confidence can sometimes fool contestants, but the stars don't always know the answer. Players who believe the celebrity's response is wrong can attempt an "OutSmart" and gain extra points by providing the correct answer. Wrong answers usually trigger a little ribbing from the star.

    "OutSmart" also tests players' speed and knowledge about entertainment, music and pop-culture history with an electronic version of six degrees of celebrity separation. Correct answers connect the celebrity to another well-known cultural icon in six moves. In today's episode, contestants must link pop star Shaggy to the cartoon character of the same name, Scooby Doo's crime-fighting sidekick.

    America's fascination with game shows, from their radio debut in 1936 to their everyday accessibility on the Internet in the early 1990s, has lasted more than 60 years. Audiences are embracing the Internet as an entertainment medium and are hungry for fresh ways to interact with their favorite celebrities. When the "OutSmart" pilot episode premiered in May 2001 it was an instant success with the casual online gaming audience, attracting 1.5 million players in the first three weeks. To play, fans simply log on to and click on "OutSmart." No registration is required.

    Developed for Microsoft by Jellyvision Inc., creators of the popular game "You Don't Know Jack," "OutSmart" complements the Zone's updated look and feel, which resulted from the overwhelming popularity of recent casual, single-player game additions to the Zone. Currently ranked as one of the Web's favorite online gaming sites, the Zone has more than 20 million members and thousands of Internet visitors daily, many of whom are looking for quick and easy access to free* games online. Innovative new games such as "OutSmart" and the site's revamped design demonstrate the Zone's continued leadership in the online gaming industry.

    * Connect-time charges may apply.

    In StrategyPlanet's latest Point~ Counter-Point Article, it is debated which is more appropriate for the Strategy Genre, 2D or 3D. If you want to check it out, go here. One major issue is the inability of current day graphics capabilities to render masses of 3D units, limiting the number of units under the guise of gameplay.

    Anarchy Online is set to go commercial next week, but tonight at RPG Vault is a look farther ahead to Funcom's recently unveiled next online title, Midgard.

    Midgard Interview

    At E3, we were pleasantly surprised to learn that Funcom is already working on its second persistent online world project. Entitled Midgard, it will be based on Norse history and mythology, themes that are obviously very close to the developers. We followed up and obtained an informative Midgard Interview with Game Director Ragnar Tørnquist.

    Tuesday, June 19, 2001

    The greatly anticipated dreamcast game, Sonic Adventure 2, came out today. Although I have yet to play it, I have heard many reports of this game being an instant hit. As most of you dreamcast gamers know, sonic adventure 1 was a great game...Well 4 out 5 people think sonic 2 doubles the fun as the last one. Sonic Adventure 2 returns the little adorable chao system, a creature raising type simulation, and this type the system is much more developed. And also, sonic 2 is the first sonic game to let you play as a bad guy. Not only can you play as Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles but you can play as 3 evil characters: Shadow (black hedgehog), Dr. Robotnik, and Rogue. This game also features a 2 player mode. I am looking forward to eventually making a review for this game, it looks great.

    Simply connect to to download the patch. If you have trouble patching from, you can also download it here. For more information on the Patch go here. Please also read the Patch 1.08 F.A.Q.

    I was glancing around for news and happened to fall upon a site for a new Quake 3 mod called "Urban Terror." It looks like it is pretty cool, naming itself a "total conversion" for Quake 3, but the site has plenty of information, including screenshots, story line, and player models.

    GameSpy Industries Completes Acquisition of Mplayer
    Successful Merger of Two Leading Online Games Companies Transforms How Games Are Made, Marketed and Played GameSpy Industries Successfully Incorporates Mplayer, Poising the Company for Continued Leadership
    IRVINE, Calif.,
    June 18 -- GameSpy Industries, , today announced the completion of its acquisition and integration of the popular award-winning Mplayer online games service. The company acquired Mplayer in January of 2001, and has now fully merged staff as well as their respective online games services, and GameSpy Arcade. The acquisition, which cements GameSpy's
    position as a powerhouse in the online games space, allows GameSpy to revolutionize the games industry at several levels, transforming how games are made, marketed and played. Through the acquisition, GameSpy acquired a strong management team that is credited with revolutionizing the online games industry with the decision to move Mplayer from a subscription service to an advertising-supported business, allowing millions of people around the world access to FREE games and entertainment over the Internet.
    The combined team, led by Chief Operating Officer Chris Early, has been instrumental in managing the transition plan for the various Mplayer properties and relationships, in addition to other assets of the business. Furthermore, they have put into place new plans for strategic growth and new products that will make it possible for partner companies to exploit GameSpy's many years of experience in the online games industry.
    The combined company has also completed the merger of its two respective consumer online games services, Mplayer and GameSpy Arcade. The new and improved service, operating under the GameSpy Arcade name, is the leading online multiplayer game service, delivering superior online gaming experiences to millions of gamers around the world, free of charge. Immensely popular, the new service already boasts more than one million new software installations.
    In another impressive joint effort, the combined team launched, a suite of tools and infrastructure that enables game developers and publishers, as well as media delivery giants such as GameSpy partner, RealNetworks, to save development time and money. These toolkits address common online and multiplayer game development issues -- rather than building these components from scratch, partners can simply rely on the affordable, easy-to-integrate, cross-platform toolkits.
    ``The Mplayer acquisition cemented our leadership in the online games industry,'' explained Mark Surfas, president and CEO of GameSpy, ``We have combined the creative forces behind both staffs, and the results have been phenomenal: In six months we have launched an incredible suite of infrastructure and tools for developers and publishers and created one of the most popular online games services in the world. These coups are just the tip of the iceberg -- our next six months should be equally ground-breaking!''


    Six Famous Train Routes, 600 Miles of Rail, Authentic Sights and Sounds Create Unparalleled Experience

    REDMOND, Wash. -- June 18, 2001 -- When Johnny Cash sang "I hear the train a-comin', it's rolling 'round the bend," he likely could not have imagined that 45 years later, his senses might have been confused by another machine -- powered not by steam or coal, but by a computer. Microsoft Corp. today announced that its latest PC game, Microsoft® "Train Simulator," a product delivering the sights and sounds of famous trains past and present, is rollin' onto store shelves.

    According to the National Model Railroad Association, there are over 1 million model railroad enthusiasts in the United States, and approximately 1.5 million domestic freight and passenger rail cars in operation today. Now Microsoft "Train Simulator" will give enthusiasts the opportunity to climb into the cab of a realistically detailed locomotive, with accurate, fully functional gauges and working controls.

    "Microsoft has over 20 years' experience building the best PC-based flight simulation products in the market, and we were committed to ensuring that Microsoft 'Train Simulator' meets the same exacting standards of quality and realism," said Stuart Moulder, general manager for the PC Games Division at Microsoft. "While appealing to the existing core market, we are confident that Microsoft 'Train Simulator' will also inspire a whole new generation of train enthusiasts."

    That sentiment is echoed by Richard Russack, vice president of corporate relations for Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Corp., one of Microsoft's railroad partners in the project. "BNSF is especially pleased to partner with Microsoft to give everyone the opportunity to become an engineer and experience the challenge and thrill of driving one of our freight trains through the Rocky Mountains in Montana," Russack said.

    Featured trains include the following:

    The Venice-Simplon Orient Express. Players can visit the Austrian Alps in the 1920s, from Innsbruck to St. Anton, for the ultimate in romantic European steam train travel.
    The Flying Scotsman. Enthusiasts can race along some of England's most beautiful countryside in the 1920s, from Settle to Carlisle, in what was once the world's fastest steam locomotive.
    Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway. Users can experience the challenges and awesome power of moving modern-day freight over Marias Pass in Montana -- a vital East-West freight link across the spectacular Rocky Mountains.
    Amtrak Acela. Gamers can run the busy U.S. Northeast Corridor from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia with Amtrak's new high-speed bullet train.
    Odakyu Railway Co. Players can navigate one of the busiest commuter lines from Tokyo or take in the breathtaking scenery of Mt. Fuji traveling to the famous Hakone Hot Springs.
    Kyushu Railway Co. Enthusiasts can explore the mountainous Hisatsu line on Japan's southern island of Kyushu with a challenging switchback system and loop.
    As the engineer, players are in charge of the regulator on a steam engine or the air brake system on a modern diesel, working to safely meet the schedule come rain, snow or shine. Players travel busy urban corridors and treacherous mountain passes, facing scenarios that demand engineering skills. In addition to the realism of the fabled trains themselves -- including the distinctive sounds of whistles, brakes and tracks -- Microsoft "Train Simulator" recreates more than 600 miles of rail to mirror the real-world scenery, industry and towns along these routes.

    For nearly 200 years, since the advent of the Industrial Revolution, railroads have captured the hearts and minds of millions. The magic and mystique surrounding passenger and freight trains have become emotionally ingrained in cultures around the world. They touch history buffs, who identify places or eras that the railroads helped create and shape; engineering aficionados, who marvel at the technology, from the earliest coal-burners to the most modern commuter lines; and even bystanders who enjoy the awesome shaking of the earth as 12,000 tons of steel rumbles by at more than 60 mph. Whatever the reason, trains continue to inspire people across all cultures, countries and ages.

    Microsoft "Train Simulator" is available in stores now or by calling Microsoft at (888) 218-5617 or on the Internet at for an estimated retail price of $54.99 (U.S.). More information is available at

    Microsoft "Train Simulator" can be seen at the NMRA National Train Show in St. Louis from July 13-15, 2001. More information about the event is available at

    Monday, June 18, 2001

    The web site for the national newspaper USAToday has posted up an article in today's print edition that has a profile on Toby Gard, the creator of the original Tomb Raider game for Core Design. The article talks about Gard's feelings of seeing the game series and its main character Lara Croft become household names and becoming hugely profitable without him receiving any of the profits or glory. It also talks about his upcoming action-adventure game Galleon. There is also a side-bar to the article which talks briefly about Eidos's plans for the next Lara Croft game. has posted a new interview with Microsoft's Ed Fries as the Vice President of Games Publishing for Microsoft talks about Xbox stuff. The interview was conducted at E3 last month. Here is an interesting snip with hints about Xbox games to come:
    We have 45 first party Xbox projects in full production around the world today and about 20 more in discussion of which we've talked about maybe a dozen publicly. If you liked what you heard about Peter Molyneaux's Project Ego, wait til you see the other game we are developing with him. We announced a Bruce Lee game but you haven't seen it yet. We announced our relationship with Steven Spielberg and his upcoming movie AI but you haven't seen those games yet. We announced we are working exclusively with Tim Schafer, creator of Grim Fandango. His project is going to blow your mind. We are working with Larry Holland (Xwing-vs-Tie Fighter). You've only seen one of the Bungie games. You haven't seen anything based on our Madness franchise yet, anything based on Mechwarrior, Crimson Skies, etc etc. I could go on and on but the marketing group would shoot me. You have only seen the very tip of the iceberg, and of course I'm only talking first party here.

    Nintendo's Game Boy Advance is already officially America's fastest selling video game system ever. Since it's official release last week (June 11th), the GBA has already sold over a staggering 500,000 units across the US. Nintendo state that another huge shipment will be ready to meet demand in the coming weeks.

    Hothouse Creations has released a patch for Gangsters 2: Vendetta for download from their ftp server, bringing their new mobster management strategy game to version 1.05. The patch comes in English, German, French and Italian editions, all clocking in at 6.6 MB. The patch fixes various hardware and sound problems, including a bug where EAX sound wouldn't work and the game not auto-running on some CD drives.

    Well, not really. =] So, why did WarCraft Adventures never see the light of day? WarCraft III Network tries to give an answer in this article - WarCraft Adventures: The Game That Never Was. Is it possible that the game wasn't up to Blizzard's standards? posted an interview with Sean 'Cache' Shelton, dubbing it "Cache - creator & redactor of the". In the interview they talked the past and future of one of the communities favorite esports publications on the net. Also an interesting note on the crash of the online ad market, making things very difficult for many online publications around (Gamefan, Barrysworld etc).

    How does it feel to be the boss of one of the best sites about fps in the world?

    Cache: It feels 1 year and 6 months too late! The ad deals are very bad and I could have been paid in full. One of my milestones was to be able to move or at least go on vacation to Hawaii for about a month and do updates when I wasnt surfing or hanging out at the beach. There were about 2 months when I could have actually took that vacation off compensation for the site. The first time, I used the funds to go to Frag 4, but the second time I never got paid because the ad company went under and never coughed up the cash.

    RPG Vault has posted a pair of new features including our latest inside look at Black Isle's upcoming 3D RPG and a salute to BioWare's latest going gold.
    Black Isle Studios: TORN Designer Diary, Chapter 6
    The public's view of game development is usually at a fairly conceptual level, but as Lead Designer, Black Isle's Dave Maldonado is well aware of the details and specifics. In his new Black Isle Studios: TORN Designer Diary, Chapter 6, he talks about some of the particulars the team is working on now and introduces some temporary additions who are helping out.

    Baldur’s Gate II: Throne of Bhaal Gold Gallery

    With Throne of Bhaal having gone gold, the story arc that has enthralled millions through two huge games and a prior add-on will soon reach its conclusion. In celebration, we present a Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal Gold Gallery with a dozen new screenshots, all from the Watcher's Keep area.

    Today's review on EuroGamer is the recently released Half-Life: Blue Shift addon. Unfortunately for fans of the series, it doesn't live up to its billing, offering only a modicum of the action and adventure Half-Life and to a lesser extent Opposing Force did. Thanks to the the lackluster weapon models and Blue Shift's complete reliance on scripted marine sequences to stimulate the player, it suffers greatly.
    "Calhoun’s journey starts in a Sector G lift with a couple of stroppy scientists complaining about his workrate. It’s during this journey into the depths of Black Mesa that Freeman and his collaborators cause the infamous resonance cascade scenario which plunges the facility into all out conflict. Calhoun faces plenty of interesting puzzles in his attempts to escape, starting with some cunning lift/box placing platform antics and moving on to scripted sequences that depend on destructible scenery and the marine insertion force. In all, it’s
    nothing Opposing Force didn’t do, but there are some nice touches here and there, and the interaction with scientists (and the need to keep them alive) is a much higher priority."

  • Review:
  • Screenshots:

    Saturday, June 16, 2001

    I got a gameboy advance the first day it came out, and let me tell you that it went above my expectations. The controls and the feel of it just seem right, and the graphics are awesome for something that small. When I first got it I wondered if anything was in the box because its sooo small. The only thing that bothered me was the lighting issue, so I just bought a "worm" light to fix that problem. I got the game Dodge Ball advance for the system and the multiplayer for that game is unbelievable, although the single player isnt quite the same. But I highly recommend getting the gameboy advance, its a worthy investment.

    Thanks Stomped.









    Planet Half-Life has posted a Q&A with Gearbox Software's Randy Pitchford with fan submitted questions concerning the just released Half-Life: Blue Shift. Here's a snippet:
    Q. TorQue[MoD]: My question is not so Blue Shift related, but seeing as how you've now told the story from a Scientist's point of view, a Grunts point of view and a Guard's point of view, are you considering an expansion from the Alien's point of view. I don't know about you, but Every Half-Life fan including myself would go nuts to play as an Alien Slave.

    A. Randy Pitchford: Your wish is coming true. Exclusive to the Playstation 2 version of Half-Life is a bonus mode that can be unlocked that will allow people to play the game as an alien Slave - complete with custom attacks and a very strange perspective of the world. It's very cool and will finally give Half-Life fans that wild perspective of things. The PS2 version of Half-Life will be coming out later this year.

    Anachronox has gone gold! The Anachronox team will be taking the weekend off, then starting work on a demo and adding some improvements to the game that didn't make the deadline.

    The Version 1.11 patch for World War II Online is now available. This latest update contains a revamped settings file with three new options, a fix for a Win95 problem that caused the intro movies not to play, a joystick error and more.

    The upcoming Dreamcast Half-Life port has been canned "due to changing market conditions". Err, the Dreamcast is dead. Yeah, that's a good enough reason.

    Project Entropia Global Newsflash!
    June 15, 2001

    18-25 June 2001 - Contest!
    We will have a second contest under this period, 18-25 June 2001 that is.
    Sometime during that week, we will do a secret update of the Project Entropia site that we won't announce. We will not say on what day or where on the site, but we can say that you will find it rather easy.

    There will be 10 prizes in this contest:
    First Prize:
    One beta-test account in our upcoming beta-test, Observe that you still have to register at to
    be able to receive a beta-account prize. This is not all. You can also, upon the account, win a Project-Entropia T-shirt plus posters.

    Second Prize:
    A Project Entropia t-shirt and posters

    Third to 10th Prizes:
    Project Entropia posters each


    Microsoft today announced the debut of the Age of Empires II: The Conquerors International Tournament, which will award $50,000 to the player who emerges victorious in a glorious battle for world supremacy. Over fifteen countries will hold individual tournaments via the MSN Gaming Zone, LAN events, or local partners mid-July through September 28, 2001, to crown a national champion who will receive prize money and represent their country in the world finals. This would-be-conqueror will be sent to compete in the world finals in Redmond, Washington on October 24, 2001, which will be hosted by the legendary game designer Bruce Shelley, among others.

    More details, including the official rules and sign-up information for each country, will be available next month.

    Age of Empires is one of the most successful strategy game franchises in history, having sold over eight million units worldwide. The series has received numerous awards including AIAS Strategy Game of the Year awards for Age of Empires, Age of Empires II: Age of Kings, and The Conquerors Expansion; as well as the prestigious AIAS PC Game of the Year for Age of Empires II: Age of Kings. Age of Empires II: The Conquerors Expansion challenges gamers to wage war on an epic scale with all-new civilizations, unique units and technologies, and campaigns based on infamous conquerors such as Attila the Hun, El Cid and Montezuma.

    More information about the Conquerors Expansion is available on the game's official Web site at, or on the Ensemble Studios site at

    PlanetAnachronox has just gotten an email from Tom Hall himself informing us that Anachronox has GONE GOLD!!! Anachronox is the fully 3D RPG which has been developed by ION Storm under the lead of Tom Hall. Here are the words from the master himself:

    You are the first press person to know. :))))

    We are taking the weekend off ... then working on a demo, and a few cool improvements we didn't have time to get in before the deadline. :)) Both should be ready by the time Anachronox hits the shelves, the last week of this month.


    Friday, June 15, 2001

    Here's the snip from PlanetBlackandWhite:

    "BWVortex is released!
    This new program of the day allows users to control what comes out of the vortex between levels, very helpful for tough levels like land 3 and 5! BWVortex is for immediate download in the Utilities section.

    Do-gooders beware, BWVortex is considered a cheating program. Don't use it unless you have completed the game by yourself or risk spoiling the game!"

    This program was released by The God's Workshop, site hosted at PlanetBlackandWhite.

    Tonight at RPG Vault, is a hands-on look at BioWare's newly golden expansion pack.

    Baldur’s Gate II: Throne of Bhaal Preview
    Very shortly, BioWare's Baldur’s Gate II: Throne of Bhaal expansion pack will close the epic story arc that has enthralled legions of fans through two huge games. Based on about 25 hours of playing time with a pre-release build, our Baldur’s Gate II: Throne of Bhaal Preview offers a hands-on look ahead liberally illustrated with 12 new screenshots.

    Is the Startopia Demo worth the download? StrategyPlanet takes a look at this sometimes sim, sometimes strategy game demo to see if it's got what it takes. Check out the Startopia Demo Review here.

    Everglide is now selling mouse pads from as low as $5.. and from what I saw it seems the larger ones are only $6 too... Link:


    Microsoft today announced that the MechWarrior 4: Black Knight Expansion Pack will be available in retail locations throughout North America this Fall. Building upon the critically-acclaimed, best-selling MechWarrior 4 franchise, players will get new 'Mechs and vehicles, more ways to modify their 'Mechs, several new multi-player modes, and a new single-player campaign where players will become a Black Legion mercenary fighting for House Steiner.

    Microsoft has recruited the expertise of Cyberlore, creators of Majesty and the WarCraft 2 Expansion Pack, to develop the MechWarrior 4: Black Knight Expansion Pack. Cyberlore and FASA Interactive have been working closely together to push MechWarrior 4 to new heights.

    "All of the fan feedback practically demanded an expansion pack," explained Dave Luehmann, Head of FASA Studios. "So when we were looking for a partner to help us develop our vision for Black Knight, Cyberlore really impressed us with their passion for MechWarrior and the expertise of their development team."

    In addition to the new 'Mechs and vehicles on the way, MechWarrior 4: Black Knight also introduces a new Black Market mode which will give players more options when upgrading their 'Mechs. MechWarriors are no longer limited to salvaged equipment from previous battles, and can now trade to get the parts they really need. New multiplayer modes include Absolute Attrition, Strongholds, Siege Assault, Giant Killers and Clan vs. Inner Sphere.

    For more information on the MechWarrior 4: Black Knight Expansion Pack, visit:

    For Immediate Release

    Strategy First and announce the release of the Mac version of WWII OnlineT

    Montreal, Quebec. June 14th, 2001 - Strategy First announced today that it is publishing the Mac version of WWII OnlineT scheduled to ship to stores nationwide July 10th, 2001.

    "Strategy First is very pleased to be publishing both the PC and Macintosh versions of WWII OnlineT," says Don McFatridge, President of Strategy First. " It is one of the first games of its kind to be available for Mac users. Now, they too will be able to take part in this unique gaming experience."

    "Everyone here at Playnet, especially the development and production teams of Cornered Rat Software Studios, are excited for the Macintosh users who can now enjoy the fun and immersive gaming experiences of World War II OnlineT", says Jim Mesteller, President and CEO of Playnet, Inc. "Now both Macintosh and PC gamers can join the war effort for their side of choice, even as members of the same organized squad."

    About World War II OnlineT

    Since the game's release in early June, players throughout North America have entered the WWII OnlineT boot camp, testing their skills at driving a tank, piloting a plane, and fighting on the frontlines.all in preparation for the biggest online war of the year!

    WWII Online: BlitzkriegT, the first truly cross-genre massively multiplayer online game, is setting a new trend in the gaming industry, offering players a combination of first person shooter, simulation, role-playing and strategy styled game play all in one unique gaming experience. Players from around the world will be able to play side by side in a truly persistent environment where battles are fought 24 hours a day, every day of the year!
    Over the course of its development, WWII OnlineT will implement multiple interconnected theaters representing the global conflict of WWII. Each theater will be thousands of square kilometers in size and have the capacity to handle thousands of combatants at one time. The theater to debut in WWII Online'sT first release will be Western Europe in 1940 (Blitzkrieg). All of the combat theaters will follow along the historical time-line of the war, with North Africa, China Burma India, the Russian Front in '41 and others to follow.

    Both the PC and Macintosh versions of WWII OnlineT will be distributed throughout North America by Infogrames.

    Thursday, June 14, 2001

    Thanks Stomped.







    GameSpot has posted another E3 movie, this time featuring some in-game footage from Irrational Games' upcoming superheros tactical adventure RPG, Freedom Force. The movie weighs in at around 30MB and available in both downloadable and streaming formats.

    MDK2 Patch

    - Hobbes @ 8:06 pm PST

    This is like Blizzard patching the original Diablo with v1.09, but amazingly BioWare and Interplay have released the final patches for MDK2, their three-way third-person shooter that was released last year. The patches add Force Feedback support as well as a few minor changes, and four types: US/Canadian retail patch (1.4 MB), European retail patch (891 KB), OEM patch (1.2 MB), and Demo patch (742 KB). Patching a demo? Wow, talk about interest of quality in old products. By the way, you should also be able to upgrade with the in-game updater.

    Baldur's Gate fans rejoice, because Throne of Bhaal has gone gold!

    Microsoft today announced that the MechWarrior 4: Black Knight Expansion Pack will be available in retail locations throughout North America this Fall. Building upon the critically-acclaimed, best-selling MechWarrior 4 franchise, players will get new 'Mechs and vehicles, more ways to modify their 'Mechs, several new multi-player modes, and a new single-player campaign where players will become a Black Legion mercenary fighting for House Steiner.

    Trying to get in a D2X preview at the last minute, RPGPlanet has a preview of Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. Here's a snippet:
    In Diablo II, you vanquish two of the three Prime Evils, the ultimate demons from hell. The oldest of these, Mephisto (the Lord of Hatred), must be slain to complete Act III, and the namesake of the series (Diablo, the Lord of Terror) is your final foe of the game. However, the third brother (his title recognized by the name of the add-on) mysteriously disappears during the progression of the story, while the others were working to obliterate your adventurer. As we see in the concluding cinematic of Diablo II, this devious individual returns to and murders Marius, a central figure of these interlude videos, to regain his life stone.

    The original Navy Seals for Quake was the realism mod before realism mods were cool. The real-life weapons, contemporary player models, and tactical enemy behavior were all very new to the shooter genre, and people liked it. Team Mirage is preparing to unleash Navy Seals: Quake 3 on the gaming community. Tech21 sits down to chat with Democritus.

    Virgin Interactive have been sowing the seeds of confusion, in the build up to their new real-time strategy game, Original War. With a plot that’s steeped in mysterious intrigue and government cover-ups, Virgin wanted to do something different to promote this game on-line, and so the kooky conspiracy theory website “The National Conspirator” was born.

    As their team of researchers trawled the net for news of black-ops that would relate to the Original War story, they became surprised by the number of “coincidences” that they uncovered. “Abandoned” air-bases using more power than a small town? Mastodon remains found with small-arms damage? It was all too similar to the events described in the game for it to be mere chance…

    Or was it?

    You decide – some of the stories in “The National Conspirator” are works of fiction, but others are based firmly in the realms of fact. Are West Life really a by-product of the Nazi Eugenics program? You’ll never know unless you check out the site…

    For more info on “The National Conspirator” contact

    PC Hardware posted a DFI AK76-SN review. PC Hardware tested this AMD761 based mobo with Quake III, Content Creation Winstone 2001, Business Winstone 2001, SysMark 2001 and Sisoft Sandra 2001. You can also find overclocking tests and a comparision with KT133A performance. Although the motherboard looks like an early implementation and it suffers of layout problems stability tests revealed no problems.

    THQ has announced that it has picked up the worldwide license to publish games based on the insanely popular Warhammer 40k table-top gaming system. This covers the PC as well as all of the next generation console and hand-held systems.


    Microsoft today launched the 2001 Virtual Golf Association (VGA) Tour, the world's largest and most comprehensive golf tournament on the Internet. This year's Tour will feature an international flair, as participants from 12 countries will be battling it out for a share of over $75,000 in prize money. All PC golfers who use Links 2001, Microsoft's award winning golf simulation for the PC, are eligible to join.

    Cyber-athletes who wish to register for this year's VGA Tour must visit With just a few clicks of the mouse, golfers will be part of the most realistic golf tour on the Internet. Registration begins June 12 and continues throughout the VGA Tour.

    Over 12,000 golfers participated in Microsoft's inaugural Virtual Golf Association Tour. Paul Willey, known as the "Tiger Woods of PC Golf," took home last year's VGA Tour crown in Hawaii along with over $100,000 in tournament winnings. Joe Montana and Russ Francis were on-hand to present the grand prize.

    The 2001 Virtual Golf Association Tour begins June 25 and will include three preliminary major tournaments, a semi-final for the top 70 on the money board following the three tournaments and a final event, in a location to be determined, which will pit the top four players against each other head to head.

    For more information on Links 2001, visit the official Web site at:

    Wednesday, June 13, 2001

    GameSpot has posted a new movie, this time featuring Anno 1503, Sunflowers' upcoming prequel to thier empire building RTS game 1602 A.D. The movie weighs in at around 50MB and includes some gameplay footage and also commentary on the game.

    PC.IGN has one of the first reviews of Gangsters 2 on the web. They didn't seem to like it too well, seeing as they gave it a 5.7 total (Out of 10). Repetitivness seems to be the biggest complaint.

    The Wargamer dropped us a line to tell us that they've posted a new editorial which takes a look at Cornered Rat's recently release MMOFPS - World War II Online. The piece addresses some of the widely publicized problems the game has been recently experiencing.

    GoD send word that their official Max Payne site has opened for business, giving a face to the third-person action game nearing completion at Remedy Entertainment. The site requires Flash and features game information, a FAQ, the already familiar E3 movie trailer, and eight new screenshots in medium- and high-resolution formats.

    Activision sent out a brief statement announcing that Raven will be releasing a patch for Soldier of Fortune in the near future that contains multiplayer fixes and switches the game's multiplayer setup from to GameSpy. Here's the statement:
    Last year's critically acclaimed action game, Soldier of Fortune(R), is moving to a new multiplayer home. Activision and Raven Software will soon release a patch that will switch multiplayer to GameSpy. The switch coincides with multiplayer server fixes that Raven has implemented.

    All users of Soldier of Fortune are recommended to download and install the patch. On August 10, will cease hosting Soldier of Fortune multiplayer.

    The patch will be available at, and, as well as other sites on the Iinternet.

    GameSpot UK has posted an Xbox vs GameCube article that kinda offers a good look at the two rivaling gaming systems.

    PC.IGN has posted a review of Half-Life: Blue Shift. They cover what you will find if you go out this week to find it at stores. Overall, they liked the gameplay, but note that it was just way too short, which was also a problem with the last expansion pack, Opposing Force. Here's a snippet:
    On the good side of things, Blue Shift does give the aging Half-Life engine a bit of a facelift with the High Definition Pack (HDP). One of the biggest draws for Half-Life fans will be the HDP, because it boosts the visual quality both the character models and weapons in Blue Shift as well as in the original Half-Life and Opposing Force.

    D2N has learned that the movie from New Line Cinema which was slated to be called "Diablo" has changed it's name to "El Diablo" since Blizzard was suing them over the use of the title (Diablo and Diablo II, duh). You can read up on that at As you can see, no one messes with Blizzard and their phat-daddy wallet :)

    As a lot of you are looking to get into the biz, you may be interested that there's an opening for a programmer at Bungie to work on Halo that just came up.

    At the official NVIDIA Games site they posted a preview of Westwood's almost-in-stores 3D real-time strategy game -- Emperor: The Battle for Dune, which includes some tangy GeForce 3 captured screen shots (thanks VE). Here's some soup:
    Emperor: Battle for Dune represents the seamless combination of cutting-edge 3D graphics and perfected real-time strategy gameplay. In your conquest for the Imperial Throne, choose from three unique sides and five powerful subgroups to plot a perilous course through up to five treacherous gameworlds. In both singleplay and multiplay, lead your forces in both large-scale planetary strategies and cunning ground-level tactics. Westwood Studios is proud to have chosen the gripping universe of Dune for its first 3D real-time strategy title - Emperor: Battle for Dune.

    (Click to enlarge!)

    Already? These people must live next door to Gearbox! Anyhow,'s Half-Life-Blue Shift Walkthrough is online to help if you're stuck in Gearbox Software's new Half-Life game (fi you're going to get it or have it already), taking no chances that any of it will cause confusion, as shown with the guide's amazing 450 screenshots!

    Fansite Payne Reactor has conducted an interview on Max Payne, questiong lead programmer Markus Stein and character modeller Henri Blåfield about the hard-boiled third-person action game that is nearing completion at Remedy Entertainment. The interview mixes article and Q&A formats and covers topics like the early development of the game, the "Bullet Time" feature, the editing tools that will be included, and character modelling.

    Take 2 Interactive's page in Germany is saying that Duke Nukem Forever will be in stores in December of this year. Even if this is true, the game is still a long way off. And given all the last minute delays that are bound to happen (as with all games...well, most of them), I don't see this one before 2002. It's looking like a hot game, so we'll hope it does come out on schedule.

    The famous console title, Perfect Dark, might be finding its way into your local movie theaters according to this Yahoo story.
    Fireworks Entertainment and Goodman Rosen Prods. have optioned the television and movie rights to the bestselling Nintendo 64 video game ``Perfect Dark.''

    The duo behind the syndicated television action hours
    "Relic Hunter," "Andromeda," "Highlander" and "The Lost World" could bow their live action "Perfect Dark" series as early as fall 2002.

    A feature film, based on the sci-fi game that follows an action heroine named Joanna Dark, is also being planned.

    Tuesday, June 12, 2001

    ActionVault posted their impressions of Halo from this year's E3. There are some pretty decent screenshots here, and this is what they had to say about the AI:
    After one of the orange-shelled enemies sustained significant damage, he suddenly scurried off. It seemed as if he had escaped, when actually the bigger, more formidable blue type accompanied him on his return. AI proficency is also evident in soldier companions. When the player character drove in the buggy, the rear gunner quickly shot down many nearby enemies and those on a higher elevation.

    Thanks Stomped.






    Buyer's Guides

    De Spelletjesgarnaal (thank God for links, try typing that in your address bar without a misspell) has posted another E3 movie, this time featuring the upcoming X-BOX title being developed by Digital Extremes, Unreal Championship. The movie runs for about 20 minutes and is available in both streaming format (check the main page) and downloadable format. Unless you know German, I reccommend the downloadable version :)

    It's about time someone previewed this game. XGR has posted a preview of Startopia, the space station manager sim from Mucky Foot/Eidos. This preview is based off a pre-final build and it includes a dozen screenshots they took while playing.

    Eidos has released three new screenshots from one of the surprises of E3: Praetorians. Coming from PYRO Studios, the creators of the Commandos series, in spring 2002, Praetorians is a stunning new troop-based 3D strategic game for the PC set amidst the political machinations of an emerging Roman Empire. Gamers will be transported to the battlefields of the Pharaohs, the combat theatres of Gaul and to the heart of the Empire itself in the crusade to become Emperor. This will be no small accomplishment as the Empire is defended with thousands of different troops and war machines, all with special abilities and individual strengths. To win, people will have to combine their units into new implements of war and exploit the defects of the opposing side. These screenshots alone demonstrate that Praetorians has the potential to be stunning in its detail, scale and magnificence. Thanks to AVault for the screens.

    Praetorians Screenshot Praetorians Screenshot Praetorians Screenshot

    Dune Ships

    - Hobbes @ 10:39 pm PST

    With all these game releases today, FedEx and UPS must be burning the fuel today on the air and the ground. Westwood's 3D RTS, Emperor: Battle for Dune has shipped. You can check out the full announcement from this link into the depths of Westwood's site. They also state that the worldwide version should ship June 17th. Also, be sure to check back for GameSurge's review later on this week (Friday or Saturday).

    Interplay's 3D action/strategy (mostly strategy) game, Hostile Waters: Antaeus Rising, has been shipped. The game will set ya back $39.95 plus tax should you care to pick it up this week. We did have a preview of the game, but it seems to have jollied its way off of our server...but in any case, we will have a review of the game soon, so keep your eyes peeled on GameSurge.

    A little bit late (or a lot), Valve's latest installment of the Half-Life series, Blue Shift is shipping today. If you want get the scoop on the game and buy it, you should start checking out your local stores this week or go to EBGames.

    PC.IGN has Week 2 of their MechCommander 2 feature. This week they take a look at the different vehicles that will populate this upcoming 3d RTS from Microsoft.

    Dynamix will be releasing an optimization patch for Tribes 2 tomorrow that fixes some Voodoo issues and a whole lot more. Here's a snippet of the update:
    Dynamix and Sierra will release an optimization patch for Tribes 2 tomorrow morning (approx. 6am PST on 6/13) that will significantly improve game performance on all systems, including ones with Voodoo video cards. Overall performance should improve for everyone across the board.

    We knew that creating the kind of gameplay we envisioned would push the limits of current hardware. Starsiege Tribes pioneered organized team combat and Tribes 2 continues to define cooperative multiplayer games, in terms of community, vehicles, gameplay, or even in raw action. In some cases, the best way to improve performance is still with a hardware upgrade. Tribes 2 is specifically designed to take advantage of advanced processor and video power, so the better the system, the better the performance.

    FGN Online is reporting today that Funcom's MMORPG, Anarchy Online, has no release date set for Europe. The story goes on to reveal that AO won't see the light of day in Europe until Fall 2001 - and that date is not written in stone. This is despite the fact that the game is being developed in Europe. Go figure. The game will hit North America on June 27.

    A rumor is floating around that states the Phantasy Star series may be coming to the Game Boy Advance. Sega has yet to officially comment on the rumor, but be sure to keep an eye on GameSurge for further developments.

    Enix has released their new Dragon Warrior III web site.

    There is a demo for End of Twilight on, an Australian game agent for the Asian and European territories. The demo hits the scales at a heavy-weight 93.1 MB and offers an early glimpse at this 3D turn-based action RPG by an unknown developer, as it's labeled a version 0.7 alpha demo, and most likely aimed more at publishers than players.

    There is a short movie of Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix on French site Simactu Point Com, showing off Raven's mercenary shooter sequel. The movie shows half a minute of in-game footage in streaming format in a pop-up window.

    A new preview of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind is up at PC.IGN. The preview is based on what they were shown during a visit to their office by the developers, and is loaded with gameplay details, with info on how your character develops, how NPCs react to you depending on your actions, and the game's inventory and skills systems.

    The Patch 1.02 for Serious Sam (US version) is ready. Croteam is now testing it along with some beta testers. Provided all goes well, we should see this patch being released today. A European version should also be released following the US patch.

    Major things in this patch 1.02 are fixes for some network crashes, support for two mouses and option for cooperative respawn in place. There is also a long list of additional fixes/optimizations and changes for the Serious Sam and tools. We'll list them all when we release this patch.

    An official Simon & Schuster Interactive press release sent out over the wire today mentions Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Dominion Wars has gone to retail and should be available as early as tomorrow night. The estimated retail price is $39.95.

    In this post on the World War II Online forums, the admins have stated that they are resetting the authorization server and you may be "unable to connect for a while". They have also stated that the patch is not as ready as they thought, and they don't have a specific date set, but hopefully "it will be soon."
    Gonna restart the authorization host that handles connection into the various servers. If you're unable to connect for a bit, this is why. Those already on the servers playing should notice no interruption. The auth host should be back up very quickly.
    The patch isn't quite as ready as we thought, so it may not go out tomorrow. We'll see...

    More later...

    Mark "Snail" Pribe
    Executive Producer
    Cornered Rat Software/Playnet Inc.

    The Valve Editing Resource Center has uploaded the Blue Shift SDK that will allow those interested to create and edit levels for Gearbox Software's Half-Life follow-up that puts players in the role of a security guard at the Black Mesa research facility.

    Version 1.02 of BarrysWorld Admin Mod for Tribes 2 has been released, offering the same sort of remote administration of a Tribes 2 server that the program has provided administrators of Starsiege Tribes servers since the days of yore. The program features several helpful remote administration features, including a few new ones designed specifically for Tribes 2.

    Westwood's next installment in the Dune series will ship in just a couple of days (June 14), and will be appearing in stores shortly thereafter. Westwood's next installment in the Dune series will ship in just a couple of days (June 14), and will be appearing in stores shortly thereafter. If you pre-ordered the game at an online store, expect to see it in your mailbox on possibly June 15th.

    Monday, June 11, 2001

    PC.IGN has done a preview of Command & Conquer: Yuri's Revenge, an expansion pack for Red Alert 2. There isn't a lot of info on gameplay here - there are some details on new units, though, and news that the expansion is scheduled for Fall completion.

    The boys over at GameSpot have posted a look-see at Windows XP, in particular, what it has to offer gamers (that would be us). Here's a snippet:
    Like Windows NT and 2000 before it, Windows XP is based on pure 32-bit code, instead of the the mixed 16-bit and 32-bit modes supported by Windows 95 and its successors. Windows XP's core, derived from the NT kernel, was designed from scratch to maximize stability and performance. The most practical difference is that an NT-based operating system can remain stable despite application crashes and can run multiple applications more efficiently. While extreme stability is simply a business necessity for Windows NT's traditional corporate users, the technical advantages of Windows XP won't be lost on home users. While it won't prevent game crashes in itself, it's not a problem to gracefully exit out of it and restart it without a reboot when a game freezes. There's also a convenience factor--our Windows XP system has run for weeks without a system crash and easily goes for a week at a time without rebooting.

    Voodoo Extreme recently wrote up the third in their "Diary of a Diabloholic" series of articles which takes a look at the new expansion pack from Blizzard for Diablo II.

    GameSpot has posted a preview of Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix, the mercenary shooter sequel in development at Raven Software. The article offers an overview on how the game aims to improve upon its predecessor, describes some of the heavy ordnance you'll have at your disposal, and sports quotes by lead programmer Dan Kramer as well as four new screenshots and a weapon image.

    The latest updates on the official World War II Online forums offer help for Internet Explorer users experiencing registration problems, as well as word on the improved condition of the game servers and an upcoming client patch. The patch is expected to be released via the auto-update system tomorrow and the update provides details on the fixes it will apply to.

    GameSpot has posted a new Empire Earth movie trailer, sporting nearly a minute of gameplay footage in the 3D real-time strategy game by Stainless Steel Studios. The trailer is available as a 12 MB MPEG clip or several streaming formats and highlights some of the aerial combat in the later epochs of the game.

    After numerous BETA tests, FUNCOM's MMORPG Anarchy Online has gone gold. Here's the PR:
    Norway, June 11, 2001 - After receiving high praise at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo last month, Funcom's highly anticipated title, Anarchy Online, has reached gold master status and is now in manufacturing. As the first game in years to take up competition with other popular massively multi-player online role-playing games, Anarchy Online will be available in Nordic and North American stores by June 27th with servers going live that day.

    "We are very excited to bring Anarchy Online to the market and expect that our customers will be very happy with the final product," says Funcom president Andre Backen. "No other game in the market today can rival our graphics and none can support as many players in the same playing field as we can."

    While the actual game code is now in manufacturing, with all gaming content and features completed, testing for server stability will continue until the day the game goes live. Funcom now has thousands of testers playing this version to find server problems and get them solved as quickly as possible before launch.

    Anarchy Online is a massively multi-player online role-playing game in a science fiction setting. This game can only be played online and users will need to pay a monthly subscription fee in order to access the game. Players will encounter a thriving, constantly developing, 3D online world with thousands of other players connected at the same time. Join the Omni-Tek corporation or the rebel clans, and take part in the epic struggle unfolding on the mysterious world of Rubi-Ka. It's up to you to take on the challenge, and make yourself a part of history - future history.

    Thanks Stomped.

    Old Married Guys has posted a review of Gearbox Software’s new FPS title, Half Life: Blue Shift. In Blue Shift, you play B. Calhoun, a security guard at Black Mesa. The review mentions a 'low' point of Blue Shift is that it is only ten hours of gameplay, a negative factor we've seen in most reviews so far. *cough* Bust out the warez sites *cough* has a heap of new WarCraft III movies for your viewing pleasure, which were captured at E3, and come in at around 14 megs. They promise to have more movies of Blizzard's forthcoming real-time-strategy soon.

    This was posted by Mark "Snail" Pribe, the games executive producer at Playnet/Cornered Rat:

    Finally got #5 and #6 up. We'll be bringing another new server (#7) up, then go fix #4 and get that back up. Then on to #8. Remember, seperate worlds are a temporary thing

    Still no fix for the "go" button problem I talked about in an earlier update, except to restart the server when it happens. This one shouldn't be a hard one to solve, but takes time. Since we have a workaround, it's fallen below some more urgent things.

    As mentioned earlier, a patch should go up early this week, about 1-2 mb in size, that fixes some problems.

    For those having frate rate problems, I urge you to hit and slide down the the part titled: "How can I enhance the performance of the game?". It has some good suggestions.

    For those of you who are having the problem of the globe taking up the entire 1st interface (World Screen), make sure you're in a 3-4 ratio resolution, such as 800x600 or 1024x768. The patch will address this one also.

    Enjoy. More later...

    Mark "Snail" Pribe
    Executive Producer
    Cornered Rat Software/Playnet Inc.

    A new Gamer's Preview release of Server Watch 3 is now available, updating this task bar utility that can automatically ping game servers and displays game information. The new release has been re-written to utilize server plug-ins, and no longer uses any third-party software to serve ads.

    Tribes Guide

    - Hobbes @ 6:28 am PST's Tribes 2 Guide Part I is online, offering the first half of their guide to being a productive member of your Tribe or just a better player in general. And if you already 0wn everyone, Godspeed :).

    Sunday, June 10, 2001

    Yes, that is right boys and girls. The new Gameboy Advance comes out this Wednesday, June 13, and yours truly will be one of the first ones to get one =) . What is most suprising to me is that it costs a measly 89.99, not much for a new handheld gaming system. There will be many release games, just to name a few, Super Mario Advance (basically mario 1 and mario 2 on the same cartridge), f-zero, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 (yay!), and Castlevania. I plan on getting Tony Hawks Pro skater 2, which looks pretty cool.

    The official Counter-Strike mapping resource, Counter-Map, has released their latest map pack with all new maps. The pack comes in 2 files.

    A post to the Strategy First Forums (thanks Blue's) has word of some fixes that have been implemented in World War II Online, which has suffered from some server problems since its launch. Meanwhile, further updates from on the Strategy First forums covering the status of bugs and servers can be found in posts here, here, here, here, here, and here.

    The first release of Quake 3 Annihiliation is now available at its official site for the price of a 79 MB download. This is a full release that includes all client and server files, and a separate download with the intro video and theme song is also available. Here is the description of this mod:
    "Annihilation is a Quake3 Total Conversion that changes the game from its original gothic deathmatch style gameplay to a World War 2 setting that aims for a highly team oriented strategy. Featuring a unique class and rank system makes players dependable of each other, not allowing any one man army kamikaze runners. You will find realistic weapons in Annihilation, as well as a whole set of realistic environments to battle it out in. Implementations like drivable vehicles (motorcycles in our first release), climbing, proning, gamemodes like 'Destroy Target' and 'Rescue Albert' all contribute to the modification's uniqueness."

    Beta Bites' MechCommander 2 preview is online, based on play with a beta version of the upcoming RTS mech game. The article offers detailed impressions of the gameplay and graphics in the upcoming sequel, as well as a description of the multiplayer modes in the beta, as the following quote illustrates:
    This is only a beta, and there were seven multiplayer modes. First, there is Last Man Standing, where you destroy all enemies and be the one with remaining units at the end. It is possible to tie in a timed game where the goal is to have the most units alive at the end. Another version is Last Man on the Hill, where you capture the Headquarters and keep it until time runs out. King of the Hill requires that you and your mechs retain control of the HQ for the longest period of time. Also, you can play Capture Bases where the goal is to take over as many enemy bases while keeping yours defended.

    The known news site from the Gamespy Network, GameSpyDaily sits in a round-table with Angelina Jolie( and with Noah Taylor and Daniel Craig, director Simon West, and producers Larry Gordon and Lloyd Levin, as well), the actress who will be Lara Croft in the upcoming movie Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Here's a snip of the interview:

    - Was there any discussion about the sexual elements of the character, like with the shower scene?

    I love that it’s like a tease. It was actually that she was just really dirty and needed a shower. But it, and the scene where she drops her robe, are these little jokey moments where you get to learn a little bit about the character, about how she’s a real free spirit.

    - We want to talk to you about the costume. You have a beautiful body, but there was some enhancement there, right?

    Yeah. I’m a 36C, in the movie she’s a 36D, and in the game she’s a 36DD, so yes, there was some padding.

    To read the full interview see this Top Story at

    Lara Croft: Tomb Raider movie:

    Against the odds, it seems that the US East Realm has having some problems. Blizzard explains:

    "The U.S. East servers and Diablo II Realm are currently experiencing [packet] loss. This causes lagged and interrupted connections to and in Diablo II. The cause is unknown at this time, but team members are working on the issue. No ETA for a fix is available. Your patience is appreciated.

    -The Team"

    Also, a new patch is available for those with the beta version of the Diablo II expansion - the beta testers :p. The download is made upon connection to the beta realm. Check here to see the version history of the patch. It has a lot of changes.

    Saturday, June 09, 2001

    Dune Emperor eXtreme has posted the full intro movie of Emperor: Battle for Dune, Westwood's imminent 3D real-time strategy game. The movie comes as a 13.4 MB RealPlayer download and sports more than eight minutes of cinematic footage that sets the full story to the game (including the introductions to the three Houses that have been previously available). *WARNING* SPOILER ALERT! *WARNING*

    Dune Emperor eXtreme has posted the full intro movie of Emperor: Battle for Dune, Westwood's imminent 3D real-time strategy game. The movie comes as a 13.4 MB RealPlayer download and sports more than eight minutes of cinematic footage that sets the full story to the game (including the introductions to the three Houses that have been previously available). *WARNING* SPOILER ALERT! *WARNING*

    A preview of Counter-Strike: Condition Zero, the single-player CS game under development by Valve themselves. Looks like Valve finally talked Gooseman into letting them mod his game. Here's a snippet:
    The game is set to contain 16 levels to play through, and you will be able to choose whether to play for the Terrorists or Counter-Terrorists, which means that there will be a total of 32 maps in all. Valve has also chosen to add new models and weapons, and while it has remained fairly tight-lipped on this issue, there a rumours of such additions as the M60 machine gun, M79 grenade launcher, a new shotgun, land mines, the .357 magnum, concussion grenades, an auto-crossbow, flares - I'm gonna blind you with my bad fashion sense sucka! -, binoculars and some kind of multi-tool. We'll have to wait for the official word on these elements. We can tell you however of at least one new model, the Soviet Spetsnaz, a member of one of the world's most feared anti-terrorist groups.

    Maverick Developments have released their Wanted Half-Life western total conversion for Valve's shooter. It is a 115MB FREE download. Here are some of the features:
    • 4 different settings to explore. Mountain, Mexican, Town, Mine
    • 4 different races to battle. Indian, Mexican, Cowboy & Miner.
    • Various animals such as, snakes, bears, pumas, scorpions
    • 40 realistic and highly detailed single player levels
    • 11 dedicated Deathmatch levels
    • Special "Capture the Chicken" levels
    • Special "High Noon" levels (Duel Mode)
    • 9 period player weapons
    • Period pick-up items
    • Cinematic scenes
    • Atmospheric sounds. 40 AMBIENT. 48 original Rogan Speech
    • OVER 200 appealing period style textures

    In what amounts to a peace accord with customers of their online combat game, publisher SFI and developer Cornered Rat have stopped subtracting from the amount of time users have remaining in their one-month trial period. This move was made due to the problems consumers of the retail product are having connecting to the game’s online servers. The solution for these hardware-related problems is being implemented, although there is no target date for completion.

    3Q Interview

    - Hobbes @ 8:14 am PST

    How often have you wished that you could actually be a model in one of the popular games that you spend so many online hours with? Well, 3Q is a company that offers just that, allowing you to be 3-dimensionally digitized and placed within your favorite online action game.VE was able to track down 3Q CEO Christopher Lane and ask him a few questions regarding this technology. Here's a snippet:
    Voodoo Extreme - How easy is it to put your image in any of your supported games?

    Chrisopher Lane - The entire process is straightforward. Your 3-D clone is burned onto a CD-ROM, which you are able to take away from the store. Once loaded on your home PC, the CD immediately prompts you with an installation menu that enables you to click a button to upload your character into your game of choice. For more experienced gamers, the CD also contains 3-D image files which enable you to develop your own 3-D characters.

    This interview is well worth the read, so go check it out!

    The game will be arriving in stores early next week, but to tide you over until then more hands-on previews of Emperor: Battle for Dune are appearing online. Both PC.IGN and have new previews up, which are each based on the author's impressions of the game during a visit to Westwood Studios, and both have new screenshots as well.

    When the game is released next week, we will have a review of the game the day it is released, so stay tuned.

    Another hands-on preview is up at PC.IGN today, this time looking at MechCommander 2. It's based on the author's impressions of a full build of the game, and has new screenshots as well.

    Looks like some people are having problems with the Black & White Beta Patch.Incompatibility with some programs seems to be the reason. Check out this Copy-Paste from PlanetBlackAndWhite:

    "Numerous people are having problems with the patch just showing the splash screen and exiting.
    This is caused by an incompatibility with older version of Daemon Tools (

    The latest version (2.70) works with the B&W patch.

    See for the problem and for the solution."

    Let's hope no more "bugs" or incompatibility problems show up.

    Friday, June 08, 2001

    XS Underground has posted a review of the Belkin Optical Mouse, which compares favorably with Microsoft and Logitech's offerings.

    Belkin Optical Mouse Review

    I tested it with Unreal, Unreal Tournament, and Half-Life. Now, I'm just barely an average UT player, but this mouse made it so easy to get a head-shot from a mile away I almost felt sorry for the players I was fragging. Almost. I actually won a game or two more than I usually do, and I don't doubt the mouse was my edge.

    I personally use the Logitech Mouseman Wheel optical and I can vouch for the huge boost an optical mouse can give :)

    LITTLEWHITEDOG.COM has published their review of Wicked 3D's eyeSCREAM Light. If you've ever wondered if wearing a pair of those funky blue and red glasses is worth the headache you'll get wearing them, be sure to drop by and take a look at their review.
    "In good old LWD fashion, I'll try to help you understand a little more about stereoscopic viewing and anaglyph glasses so you understand the product a little better. Have you ever been to the theater to see a 3D movie and you had to wear the funky red and blue 3D glasses? If you have, then you already experienced 3D stereoscopic viewing through anaglyph glasses. Anaglyph glasses are the "red-blue" type and are most commonly used due to the low cost of manufacturing. You might be wondering exactly how these types of 3D glasses work? I'll try to explain the concept behind them...."

    AMD has been VERY busy. Last month, the Mobile Athlon 4 was launched, yesterday they launched their Palomino SMP processor that we reviewed, today is the launch of the 950Mhz Duron and the last of the Thunderbirds, the 1.4GHz Thunderbird processor. Bubba "MasterFung" Wolford takes the 1.4 GHz Thunderbird for a spin to see how much better it performs over our former champion, the 1.2 GHz T-bird. Read his review for more information.

    Tom "Wklink" Cofield and Bryan "ZeroG" Den Otter have taken an in-depth look at Operation: Flashpoint. Tom and Bryan, with the help of several other staff, ran OPFP thru its paces on line and off. Read about what they think and what they experienced while shooting their fellow staff members.

    Another night brings another two features at RPG Vault
    The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind E3 2001 Report
    In the quiet of a comfortable private room, Bethesda Softworks showed off The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, the sequel to Daggerfall and Arena, the previous titles in this acclaimed series. Thus we had our demonstration of this eagerly awaited title away from the hubbub as chronicled in our The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind Report.

    Harbinger E3 2001 Report
    While the company didn’t have a booth, the entire Silverback Entertainment crew was at E3 with the game installed on a laptop to show to publishers and selected others. We had the good fortune to be among those others, and our Harbinger E3 2001 Report describes what we saw and learned from the team.

    Console First Person Shooters are relatively quiet news, but already they have influenced the entire genre. Why? How? And most importantly, what are you missing by sticking to PC games? You're missing out on classics like Golden Eye and Perfect Dark. Warzone recently had an epiphany about the whole mess.

    Thursday, June 07, 2001

    The patch is out, delayed, but it's out. Features a lot of fixes and some improvements. However, it seems like the patch has... a bug. Oh, well... Isn't the patch suposed to fix bugs?
    Check this, posted at PlanetBlackandWhite, about the patch "bug":

    "Anyway, it would appear that Lionhead conveniently forgot to add the parameter "/NOLOADMUSIC" to the patch readme, which is apparently essential if you wish to play B&W over a LAN. First of all, create a shortcut to runblack.exe and put it somewhere convenient. Then right-click on it and select Properties. You'll then need to edit the "Target" field until it looks something like this: "C:\Program Files\Lionhead Studios Ltd\Black & White\runblack.exe" /NOLOADMUSIC (provided that is your install directory). However, the game still needs the CD in the drive to start, so leave it in until after the first splash screen. From then on you can take it out and 'twill work fine without it, leaving you free to demonstrate your "l337 skillz" to friends, family or even the postman, if you should so wish."

    Also, there's an uninstall patch available, so if the patch screws up you can always remove it.
    Enough with the talking and go get that patch!


    - Fileplanet
    - 3DGamers
    - LionSource

    Patch Uninstaller

    - Fileplanet

    We have up a new gallery today, that of Steel Soldiers, the new, sharp looking RTS from Bitmap Brothers. Check out the screenshots(taken on a GeForce 3).

    Hey everyone, this is your newest addition to the console team here at I will be concentrating on console only, so expect alot of new updates, reviews, and more on xbox, ps2, gamecube, psx, and dreamcast. So far, I am 95% done with a review for Red Faction for the Playstation 2, and let me tell you, that game is a great game so expect a good review. As for future things, I will soon be doing a preview of Nba Streetz, a new nba jam type game coming out for ps2 by EA. Hopefully, my addition will add some ease to the console part of the site =).

    UKGamer has posted new screenshots of CDV's upcoming "point & click" game. CDV was the publisher behind Cossacks and Sudden Strike.
    They also have some information relating to the features of the game.

    Worlds Apart's THE ETERNAL CITY joins the Skotos Community

    (Denver, Colorado; Berkeley, California — June 6, 2001) — Worlds Apart Productions and Skotos Tech are pleased to announce a partnership in which Skotos Tech will publish Worlds Apart's acclaimed text-based online virtual world game, The Eternal City (TEC). Effective June 1, 2001, The Eternal City is now a member of the Skotos community of text-based online games and is available at

    "We are excited about TEC's move to Skotos," says Scott Martins, President of Worlds Apart. "Skotos is a very quality- and community-minded organization, full of people who love role-playing and text-based gaming. TEC will thrive and see significant improvements at Skotos, continuing its tradition as one of the best and most innovative role-playing games on the Internet."

    Launched in early 1998, The Eternal City has been one of the top ranked text-based games at since January 2001, and is currently ranked #1 on the RPG Gateway Top 100 RPG Sites at It has twice received positive write-ups in PC Gamer magazine, including the current issue dated July 2001.

    Midlight, the fantasy world of The Eternal City, is based on ancient Republican Rome. Players can assume the roles of Patricians, Legionaries, Gladiators, Constables, Thieves, and Priests, as well as many other colorful character types.

    "The Eternal City is a terrific addition to the Skotos community," says Christopher Allen, President & CEO of Skotos Tech. "It's a great adventure game with a loyal community. It's also one of the very few text-based games of its size with a strong role-playing environment. This and its rich and evocative background fit perfectly with the Skotos philosophy. At the same time it offers unique opportunities for players to excel in a variety of ways, including rising to positions of power within the gameworld."

    Skotos is an online storytelling community of text-based games and game-building tools that has received attention for its focus on interactive storytelling. Skotos has a number of additional products in the works, including The Bane (a new fantasy game) and online versions of such well-known pen-and-paper RPGs as Og, Lovecraft Country, and Paranoia.

    About Worlds Apart Productions:

    Founded in 1996, Denver-based Worlds Apart Productions is a developer of engaging and innovative Internet-based virtual world entertainment. Its current project is a 3D massively multiplayer version of The Eternal City, entitled The Eternal City: Ereal Rising, ( which will bring to graphical life the Roman-themed fantasy world of Midlight, allowing players to experience the roar of the coliseum and the intense chaos of a chariot race in the Circus Maximus.

    About Skotos Tech, Inc:

    Founded in 1999, Berkeley, California-based Skotos Tech Inc. is a developer and publisher of multiplayer prose games. Its own releases include Castle Marrach and Galactic Emperor: Succession. The Eternal City marks Skotos Tech's first publication of an externally developed game, though not its last. A group of external developers known as "The Skotos Seven" are already working on the next generation of Skotos games.

    Wednesday, June 06, 2001

    Lionhead's Dreamcast version of the highly successful title - Black & White - has been put on hold. This is due to Sega pulling out of a publishing deal for the game. Lionhead's director Mark Webley stated:
    "We regret Sega's decision to reassess the future of its Dreamcast console... We have had some interest from other parties regarding the publishing rights to Black & White Dreamcast. So at the moment we consider this project to be 'on hold'." has posted a new preview of Return to Castle Wolfenstein after playing a recent build of the WWII first-person shooter in the works at Gray Matter Interactive. The preview offers their impressions of the various environments, the enemies, user interface and more, but there are no new screenshots.

    Impressions Games has announced that Zeus: Poseidon, the latest expansion pack in their ancient city-building strategy game series, has gone gold and "should be hitting North American store shelves shortly." To celebrate, they have released a half dozen new screenshots of the game.

    Tuesday, June 05, 2001

    Napster Deal

    - Hobbes @ 9:00 pm PST

    After being sued by all of them, Napster has now reached an agreement with 3 record labels (AOL Time Warner, EMI and Bertelsmann's BMG) to sell songs offered by MusicNet. MusicNet is a RealNetworks company which will offer songs for money. Napster's supposed to do the same thing, and stop any free file sharing. Isn't this all too late? It seems a lot of people have left Napster for other alternatives and it's not like you're downloading great music week after week while you are paying $5.95 to $9.95 a month.
    The MusicNet discussions mark yet another significant concession for Napster, which had hoped to ride its once-overwhelming popularity into a position of strength for negotiating with the labels. The record industry has been waging a legal war, suing the file-swapping service for copyright infringement, and the battle has taken its toll; the file-swapping service is seeing its audience walk out as a court order has forced progressively more music off the service.

    RPGDot has done an interview with Howard Drossin, who is currently working on the Throne of Bhaal. He has also done work on Baldur's Gate II. The interview goes over his past in the gaming industry, and his current work.

    The Playstation 2 Half-Life website has been updated with a movie showing what features will be in the Playstation 2 version, called Half-Life: Decay, which Gearbox is making.

    Mafia Video

    - Hobbes @ 8:56 pm PST

    GameSpot has posted a video from Mafia, the third person action game from Illusion Softworks. The 3 minute and 12 second video can be downloaded or streamed. It was filmed at E3 during a demonstration by the CEO of Illusion, Petr Vochozka.

    Game Revolution has published a preview of Sid Meier's Civilization III, which I'm sure more than a few of you are looking forward to. The game looks good, here's a snippet:
    Overall, Civilization III looks like everything you have probably hoped it would be. The heart of the game still has that "just one more turn, then I promise I'll go to bed, dear" addictive quality that has broken up marriages and fractured careers for a decade now. The new features and changes should do nothing but enhance that experience by streamlining the flow of information, forcing you to experiment with a greater number of strategies and offering new challenges each time you play. If the final version of the game lives up to the build we saw at E3, you can actually believe the hype. Civ III will not let you down.

    Half-Life: Blue Shift purchasers who also own a copy of Half-Life: Opposing Force will receive a $10 rebate, according to Sierra. anyone who mails anyone who mails in their original sales receipt for Blue Shift and their original Opposing Force CD will be eligible for the money back offer. Now, what gets me is...if I wanted to play Opposing Force and my computer crashed and I had already mailed the CD in to Valve, how am I going to load the game without the CD?

    PlanetXbox takes a closer look at EA Sports' Madden NFL 2002. Will this popular franchise be able to make the leap from the PC and still deliver the playability and accuracy that Madden fans have become acustomed to? Find out by checking out the first look!

    Myst III Q&A

    - Hobbes @ 8:47 pm PST

    GameSpy has done a Q&A session with Greg Uhler, the project leader for Must III: Exile.

    Gamesmania has interviewed Todd Howard, talking with the Project Leader at Bethesda Softworks about their upcoming RPG The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.

    Turbo B1, coined as "the final official release" of this Half-Life mod, is now available. This version contains dramatically tweaked gameplay, a new headlight, a new map and more. It's available for download, along with the source code at Randomnine Labs.

    PC.IGN has done an interview with Martin Amor, the lead programmer on Anarchy Online, where he discusses the current beta test, also comments on how close the game has come to the team's original vision.

    World War II Online has started shipping to stores across the U.S. Here's what they say in the PR:
    WWII Online: Blitzkrieg ™ is a MMOG of WWII combat, fought on land, air, and sea. Players can command tanks, pilot combat aircraft, or fight "down and dirty" in the infantry or marines. Complete with a combat system that requires the three main branches of service to interact and organize together in order to gain ground, or fight off an attack from the enemy, WWII Online™ is the first true combined virtual battlefield available online. Players can tailor their game play experience to a degree of detail that has never been available before. A player's ability and experience can be leveraged on a "career path", which can lead to high command positions within a specific branch of service. Yet, within this same system, WWII Online™ still supports a player who simply wants to log on for a fight without concern for rank or power.

    Gangsters 2 is now shipping! And there is also a demo available.

    GameSpy has posted a new 'hands-on' preview of Emperor: Battle for Dune, the latest title from Westwood Studios. Emperor: Battle for Dune has a new 3D engine, and a developer with lots of strategy game experience behind it.

    PlanetHardware's has put together a preview of Nvidia's nForce mainboard chipset for those tech-head geeks that need to know the score. Get the scoop right here.

    Team 17 has now released a Service Pack 1 patch for Worms World Party. There are two major versions of the pack for Europe and the US, both with a series of language-specific downloads, and the pack is required for Internet play, offering "updates for Mission Editor compatibility, server/client updates and fixes for minor compatibility issues."

    CGOnline has up an E3-Preview of Monolith's new FPS, Alien vs. Predator 2. Can Monolith live up to today's quality FPS standards? We hope so. Here's a snippet:
    The Aliens Versus Predator 2 team at Monolith is composed mainly of the guys who made Sanity and the Blood games before that. Throw in a handful of level designers from No One Lives Forever and put William Westwater, the lead designer of Activision's Call to Power, in charge. A turn-based strategy game developer helming an action game? "I was also involved with Battlezone a bit and some of the MechWarrior stuff," he protests.

    Monday, June 04, 2001

    While combing over the rumour mill, I ran into this interesting little piece at, anyway according to their staff:

    "Reuters is reporting that Dimension Films is developing a TV series based on Mythic Entertainment's upcoming online role-playing game, Dark Age of Camelot. The series will take place in a medieval fantasy world in the years before King Arthur's Round Table. It will follow the adventures of traditional Arthurian characters including Lancelot, Merlin, Guinevere, Morgana, and Arthur himself. Dimension was not available for comment at press time."
    No other details are currently available to either support or reject this rumoured TV series. However given the current interest Hollywood has in Role Playing Games, there is at least some likelihood that this rumour could be true.

    Just found this over at
    "Lionhead has completed programming the first Black and White patch. The patch also contains an additional feature - enhanced support for Pentium 4. It is currently still undergoing configuration testing with Electronic Arts and is awaiting QA approval before being released.

    We are expecting to learn the QA completion date on Monday, at which point a notice will be posted on this site.

    Lionhead regrets that it is not able to release a pre-QA version of the Patch as originally planned due to customer support concerns at EA."

    Keep checking back for more details on when the patch will finally be released.

    For anyone who hasn't heard about this movie, here is some background to bring you up to speed.

    J. R. R. Tolkien's classic fantasy series, The Lord of the Rings is currently being turned into a three part, New Line Cinema's, motion picture production, by dirrector Peter Jackson. The first installment in this epic battle of good versus evil, The Fellowship of the Ring, is due to be released on December 19, 2001. With the following episodes, The Two Towers and The Return of the King to come in 2002 and 2003 respectively. As noted on the official LoTRM page, this production "marks the first time an entire feature film trilogy is being filmed concurrently with the same director and cast, making it one of the longest, most massive and most unique productions in Hollywood history".

    To help build interest in the series,, has just released a second movie trailer, showcasing footage from the first installment, The Fellowship of The Rings.

    The frame rate for this trailer leaves a fair bit to be desired, but on the plus side, the sound and picture quality are good, through out the full two and a half minutes.

    The official Morrowind site has been updated again this time with a number of new wallpapers and a new codex entitled The Armorer's Challenge. Heres a quote from the new Codex:
    Three hundred years ago, when Katariah became Empress, the first and only Dunmer to rule all of Tamriel, she faced opposition from the Imperial Council. Even after she convinced them that she would be the best regent to rule the Empire while her husband Pelagius sought treatment for his madness, there was still conflict. In particular from the Duke of Vengheto, Thane Minglumire, who took a particular delight in exposing all of the Empress's lack of practical knowledge.

    In this particular instance, Katariah and the Council were discussing the unrest in Black Marsh, the massacre of Imperial troops outside the village of Armanias. The sodden swampland and the sweltering climate, particular in summertide, would endanger the troops if they wore their usual armor.

    Finally RPG-Fan have done up their own Morrowind Preview. This preview only goes for about 600 words but contains a good summary for anyone not up to speed with this game. View it here.

    Thanks Stomped.

    GameSpot has posted a Global Operations video that has Chris Mair from Barking Dog Studios taking them on a tour of the team shooter game. The 45meg ZIP (also available as a stream or MPEG) video is just over four and a half minutes long and shows a good amount of the game in an indoor level.

    AOpen has announced a new DVD+RW product that writes CD-R and RW media as well as 4.7 GB DVD+RW media. It offers 2.5x DVD+RW writing, 12x CD-R writing, 10x CD-RW rewriting, 8x DVD and 32x CD reading. Featuring an Atapi interface and slated to hit retail in Quarter 3 2001, this product is being demonstrated for the first time at Computex in Taiwan. For those counting, the unit offers five functions: DVD+RW, DVD-ROM, CD-RW, CD-R and CD-ROM. In the future, more information should be accessible on the Optical Device page on the AOpen website.

    The Legend of Mir has gone public beta today. That means that gamers from around the globe can download the client software and play the game for free - for a limited time. Stop by The Legend of Mir site to sign up now.

    GameSpyDaily recently got the chance to sit in on a round-table interview with Tomb Raider star Angelina Jolie and cast/production members. Can you say "rare?"

    nVidia this morning introduced its new nForce Platform Processing Architecture at the Computex tradeshow in Taiwan. nForce is a new PC platform design that integrates graphics, communications, and audio technologies. A departure from the traditional northbridge-southbridge chipset architectures, nVidia said nForce would offer up to 10 times the graphics performance of other integrated PC graphics accelerators. Further, AMD's HYPER Transport technologies will be integrated onto both the nForce IGP and nForce MCP, providing additional internal bandwidth. Also included will be a high-performance DSP audio engine for 3D audio and encoded DOLBY Digital 5.1 surround sound.

    The nForce is comprised of two platform processors: the nForce Integrated Graphics Processor and the nForce Media and Communications Processor. The nForce IGP is comprised of nVidia's 128-bit DDR memory architecture. The addition of an adaptive speculative pre-processor and the integration of the GeForce2 helps boost performance, nVidia said in a press release. The nForce MCP integrated Audio Processing Unit offers 3D positional audio, 256 simultaneous stereo audio streams, and encoded DOLBY Digital 5.1 audio. Also part of the nForce MCP is StreamThru, which provides an optimized pipeline for broadband use, Ethernet cards, USB ports, dial-up connections, and more.

    nForce is the architectural foundation for the xbox game console. In addition, nVidia has secured design wins with top PC ODMs, including ASUS, MSI, GIGABYTE, Mitac, and Abit, and expects to announce OEM design wins before winter 2001.

    ITT has conducted an interview on Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix, pulling Raven Software programmer John Scott out of the development trenches long enough to learn more about their upcoming mercenary shooter. John talks about his responsibilities on the team, the technical enchancements they're applying to the Quake III: Team Arena engine, various gameplay features, and more. Here's a snippet:
    [trenches] Soldier of Fortune, the original, was a huge single player success, but lacked the live dynamic mutliplayer world (putting aside some kick ass Mods). What new multiplayer concepts will be added to the game?

    [john] Unfortunately, it is no longer viable for us to release simultaneously a good single and multiplayer game. UT and Q3A are solely multiplayer games and we just cannot compete with those and do a complete single player as well.

    There are several options in the pipeline...
    (a) Do a single player game. At the end, everyone move onto the next project.
    (b) A simultaneous single player and multiplayer release. This would add significantly to the development time and due to the pressures of meeting quarters, neither would be as good as they could be.
    (c) Complete the single player game and then work on a multiplayer version using all the weapons and tech from the single player game.

    Most of the team (in fact everyone I have discussed this with) would love to do a multiplayer version and do it well. As we are developing the single player game we are not breaking the networking framework to hopefully make a multiplayer version as quickly and easily as possible. This is a financial and scheduling decision, and not a creative or desire to do the work decision. As such, the choice resides firmly with corporate Activision.

    Sunday, June 03, 2001

    Over at VE are four new screenshots from AquaNox, the underwater action game from Massive Development.

    The folks at Xezol have provided us with a screenshot-laden walkthrough, covering all major objectives, all nine action figures, and most of the hidden items.

    CS Crossfire has posted an editorial on locking models/skins in CS 1.2. Counter-Strike 1.2 will apparently be locking the models down as a server side setting (default) so plays can't use different models. This is supposed to be an anti-cheat tool, but aeflux feels this long asked for feature may be too little, too late and could hurt the skinning community.

    PHL has been updated today with an interview with Neil Manke, creator of They Hunger series, the successful Half-Life single player episodes. They are talking about the issue of the dated Half-Life engine, what aspiring map makers need to know, the possibility of They Hunger 4 and other general stuff. has been updated today with 24 new screenshots from Microsoft's upcoming Mechcommander 2, snapped from a beta version of the game.

    Saturday, June 02, 2001

    Your average 3D game engine is a pretty powerful tool. What if there were other uses for all of that cool technology? Hellchick goes off on a few tangents this week. With topics ranging from avoiding physics homework, to running Quake as an OS, and movies. Cool, huh?

    Friday, June 01, 2001


    Maximum Charisma Studios Has Chosen The First Group Of Testers For Their Upcoming Online RPS Game And Plans To Add Thousands More

    ARVADA, CO – June 1, 2001 – Maximum Charisma Studios announced today that they have selected the first 1000 players for the upcoming beta test for their online RPS game, Fighting Legends. The Phase One testing, which begins June 4th, will consist of hardware compatibility, server load and game play feature testing. Phase Two will begin in July with an additional 4000 testers. Testers are still being accepted for Phase Three testing beginning in August and can sign up at

    Fighting Legends is a role-play strategy title with action elements. The unique look of the anime style characters is set in a myriad of color and bizarre landscapes. Players can choose from 81 potential avatars. Community is a strong focus, as gamers must trade characters to diversify their squad, of 16 units, in order to triumph in battle. In addition to fighting, there is an assortment of quests to choose from, ranging from mini scenarios to uber quests that require a group of allied player’s to complete. GM hosted events will be a prominent element with rewards such as; relics, monuments erected in-game, cash prizes and more.

    Game-Revolution has put up a preview of Baldur's Gate II: The Throne of Bhaal, BioWare's soon-to-be released expansion set for Baldur's Gate II. Here's a snippet:
    Although an expansion, Throne of Bhaal is huge - nearly as big as either of the previous games in the Baldur's Gate series. The folks at Bioware estimate that Throne of Bhaal adds another 40 to 50 hours of engrossing gameplay to the trilogy. That's quite a bit of hang-time for an add-on. Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal seeks to weave that Baldur's Gate spell upon the hearts and minds of the gaming public one more time. By giving gamers more of that tried and true AD&D magic and adventure combined with the familiar, user-friendly interface, it may prove to be a most potent brew. Look for it to appear on shelves this June.

    The guys (and gals) at WarCraft III Network have put together a nice page with stats of a couple dozen units for the upcoming real-time strategy game, WarCraft III. Although the stats are by no means final, it will give you an idea of what's going on in the game.

    Eight new screenshots from the GeForce 3 enhanced version of the Giants. Damn nice.

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