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May 10, 2004 - July 01, 2004 - See More Archived News

Thursday, July 01, 2004
[PC] New Massive Assault Network Planet/Patch Released - posted by Erich Becker at 12:52 pm CDT

Wargaming.Net announces “Twin Islands” planet for Massive Assault Network: Direct Download Right Here!

This planet is specially designed for massive naval battles: two equal continents are separated by sea. There are no small economy countries - only large and medium ones. That will ensure that the players will have enough resources for recruiting big numbers of expensive units including Battleships and Carriers. The war on this planet will be full of D-Day-style amphibious operations.

Also, new patch available for download: Right Here!

This update contains all the fixes from the previous patches making for an incredible turn-based experience.

[Multi] NCAA Football 2005 Goes Gold - posted by Erich Becker at 12:49 pm CDT

EA Sports announced yesterday that NCAA Football 2005 has officially gone gold for the PS2, Xbox, and GameCube. The game will be in stores on July 15 and feature online capability for both the PS2 and Xbox.

Look for the new crowd meter, which gives home teams an advantage as well as the forever-deep Dynasty mode.

NCAA Football 2005 is rated "E" for Everyone and carries and MSRP of $49.99.

Go Arizona State!

[PC] First City of Heroes Update Available - posted by Erich Becker at 12:46 pm CDT

NCsoft announced yesterday that the first update to Cryptic Studios' City of Heroes is not available. Issue 1: Through the Looking Glass will be automatically downloaded through the game client. Here's what NCsoft has to say about the features added in this update:


The City of Heroes costume customization feature has been highly praised, and in Through the Looking Glass, players are given the ability to change their costumes in-game. Icon, a company in the game’s fictional Paragon City, will make costume and body modifications. Heroes will also be able to earn additional costumes over time, so they can wear the costume that fits their mood. In order to earn additional costumes, the heroes will need to do a few favors for the Icon tailors.

In this update, players will see adds three new villain groups. The Malta Group is a shadowy military organization that uses three levels of Titan robots to terrorize Paragon City. The Carnival of Shadows is a subtle but deadly threat to the citizens of Paragon City who attract the unwary with their spectacle and manipulate their audience to serve their own twisted purposes. The worst new menace to Paragon City is the Praetorians who are extra-dimensional versions of Paragon City’s most famous heroes. The Praetorians have emerged from an alternate Earth to become the greatest threat Paragon City has faced since the war with the Rikti aliens.

Through the Looking Glass also introduces new zones, including Peregrine Island located off the coast of Paragon City. The island is home to the headquarters of the Portal Corporation, which created the teleportation technology used throughout Paragon City. The denizens of Peregrine Island include Malta Group strike teams, Crey covert-ops forces, Nemesis troops, and Rikti beasts that threaten Portal Corp. and its employees while creating major challenges for Paragon City’s heroes.

In addition to Peregrine Island, Through the Looking Glass introduces the Rikti Crash Site. Heroes can explore one of the Rikti war’s epicenters – a section of the city the Rikti use as a command center. As the military forces cannot contain the Rikti forces, the heroes of Paragon City will be called upon to help keep order in this area."


City of Heroes is now available for an MSRP of $49.99 although several stores have been selling the game for $29.99 (namely Fry's Electronics). The game comes high recommended from several members of the ESCMAG staff, so don't miss out.

[PC] Alpha Black Zero Set for July 26 Release - posted by Erich Becker at 12:42 pm CDT

Tri Synergy and Playlogic International announced today that their upcoming mission based third-person shooter, developed by Khaeon, will be released on July 26th.

For more information on the game, including movies and screenshots, check out http://www.playlogicint.com/.

[PC] New Steel Panthers: World At War Version Released - posted by Erich Becker at 12:39 pm CDT

Matrix Games (www.matrixgames.com) is pleased to release the latest version 8.20 of its acclaimed Steel Panthers: World At War (www.steelpanthersworldatwar.com). Updated from the original classic tactical wargame, Steel Panthers: World At War is fully compatible with all versions of Windows and sports updated graphics, sound effects, unit data and combat models. Free since its initial release, Steel Panthers: World At War remains a free download to this day, a modern classic enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of wargamers.

The new version 8.20 updates and expands orders of battle, updates unit data and improves the AI opponent and its selection of forces. A few stability problems were also resolved, leading to the best Steel Panthers: World At War to date!

YES, it's Totally Free!

SP:WaW is an entirely free game! All you need to do to play the game is download and install the files. It is 100% complete and ready to go. If you are looking for some new scenarios, opponents or just to chat with other SPWaW fans just use the links on www.steelpanthersworldatwar.com to join our forums, or to visit some of the web sites created by players like yourself. Yes, all these services are free as well! Now you know why we say this is the best Steel Panthers... ever!

Matrix Games also offers four original Mega Campaigns that can be played with the latest v8.20 of Steel Panthers: World At War. The four Mega Campaigns available are Watchtower covering the Guadalcanal campaign, Desert Fox is set in North Africa, Lost Victories involves a kampfgruppe in Army Group South during Operation Barbarossa and Screaming Eagles covers the 101st Airborne.

Starting later this week, Matrix Games will be offering all four mega campaigns together at a reduced price with the free Steel Panthers: World At War v8.20 on a single CD called the Steel Panthers: General’s Edition.

[Multi] EA Announces Madden 2005 Music Selections - posted by Erich Becker at 12:35 pm CDT

EA Sports has announced the 21 sounds that will make up the musical selections for the upcoming Madden 2005. Here is a list of tracks that will be included in the game. Note that Green Day's new single, "American Idiot" from their new album, of the same name, will debut within the game.

Wylde Bunch - Last Day of School
New Found Glory - This Disaster
Earshot - Wait
Hoobastank - Same Direction
Ozomatli - Saturday Night
Jazze Pha - Da Heavy Hittas
Strata - Piece By Piece
Yung Wun - Yung Wun Anthem
Z-Trip feat. Soup of J5 - Listen to the DJ
The D.O.C. vs. Earshot - The Madden Re-Match
Will.I.Am - Go!
Hazen Street - Fool the World
Midtown - Give It Up
Alter Bridge - Open Your Eyes
Green Day - American Idiot
JR Ewing - Time to Get Dirty
The Hives - Two-Timing Touch and Broken Bones
Mooney Suzuki - Alive and Amplified
Chevelle - The Clincher
Faith No More - From out of Nowhere (Throwback Track Powered by Rhino)
Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out

Madden NFL 2005, developed by EA-Tiburon, is rated E for Everyone by the ESRB and will be available on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the Nintendo GameCube™, the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft, Game Boy® Advance in stores on August 12. It will be available in September on PC and PlayStation®.

Thursday, June 17, 2004
[PC] VU Games and Tribalwar.com Hold "Skinning" Contest - posted by Erich Becker at 1:04 pm CDT

Vivendi Universal Games and Tribalwar.com are holding a contest to create alternative skins for Tribes: Vengeance. The competition starts immediately and will end on July 9th, 2004. A panel comprised of judges from VU Games, Irrational Games, and Tribalwar.com will select the best skin and award its creator a high-end graphics card from ATI and in-game credit.

Tribes: Vengeance is scheduled to ship in October.

More information about the skinning contest can be found at http://www.tribalwar.com/vengeance/skincontest/. Information about Tribes: Vengeance can be found at the official website: http://www.tribesvengeance.com/.

[Industry] EA to Publish Next Oddworld Game - posted by Erich Becker at 1:00 pm CDT

Electronic Arts announced today that they have aquired the publishing rights to the next game from Oddworld Inhabitants. The next game in the series, slated to be released in 2005 for the PlayStation2 and Xbox, will continue the game's quirky content.

In the next game players will step into the role of the Stranger, a western-style bounty hunter, who chases outlaws throughout the enthralling new frontier of the Oddworld Universe.

We'll have more as soon as it is available.

[Xbox] Microsoft Game Studios rolls out Forza Motorsport - posted by Erich Becker at 8:26 am CDT

At this year's E3 Expo in LA, Microsoft Game Studios rolled their latest racer from the garage to great fanfare. The game, entitled Forza Motorsport, was nominated for the Game Critics Award for "Best Racing Game."

Gamer's will get a chance to see what the game is about this holiday season when it is released for the Xbox. Similar to other realistic racing games racers will be able to accumulate earnings to tune-up their rides with upgrades like engine swaps, bolt-on superchargers, and suspension kits. While tuning may be a big part of the game, tricking out your ride with body kits, rims, spoilers, decals, skirts, fender flares, hood scoops, and decals from over 150 aftermarket partners should get the blood flowing.

The game will feature cars from the world's top manufactures including Ferrair, Porsche, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Chevrolet, BMW, Mazda (go Mazda3!), and Dodge.

Forza will feature full Xbox Live support and be available later this year. No official release date, ESRB rating, or price point where available at press time.

For more information on Forza Motorsport, check out the official site.

Monday, June 14, 2004
[PC] True Crime: Streets of LA (PC) Cheats - posted by Erich Becker at 2:43 pm CDT

The good guys over at Activisions PR firm were kind enough to pass these cheats over to us. The "Sandwich Guy" comes high recommended. Enjoy!

Unlockable Characters in True Crime PC

Once unlocked you must create a saved game with the correct license plate name to play as the unlocked character.

Sandwich Guy Icons
11th St. (Downtown on top of Staples Center)
Santa Fe and 1st St
On 6th St. between Grand and Hope
8 th St. Between Main and Spring St
Grand St Between Olympic and 11th
Melrose and El Centro
Cherokee and Hollywood Blvd
La Brea and De Longpre
Sunset Blvd and Sweetzer
Robertson Blvd and Santa Monica
License Plate: nomayo

Call Of Duty Soldier Icons
Wilshire and Veteran
Kelton and Strathmore
Landfair and Strathmore
Weyburn and Broxton
Manning and Pico
National and Overland
Clarington and Tabor
Cardiff and Regent
Bentley and Clover
Boise and Venice
License Plate: dogtags

Ayame Objective
M3-G5 Knock out all enemies in Spa
License Plate: knoichi

Rikimaru Objective
M6-G2 Stealth kill all enemies
License Plate: genin

Jeanette Objective
M6-G4 Kill all zombies
License Plate: vaklam

Taurus Objective
M4-G7 Beat clock without damaging vehicle
License Plate: awyeah

Officer Dick Objective
M10-G6 Beat level without killing hostages
License Plate: thuglyf

Desperado Objective
100% Game complete Get all Endings
License Plate: Reckon

Snoop Dogg – Pick all 30 Dogg Bones throughout the city. The first is located across from City Hall at 1st and Hill.

Weapon Unlockables:
Rocket Launcher – To the left of your start position in “Bank Standoff”.
Crossbow – In the middle of the map on “Chinatown Showdown”
Baseball Bat – Back of the room in “Bum Encounter,” near the refrigerator.

[PC] Ground Control II: Operation Exodus Goes Gold - posted by Erich Becker at 2:36 pm CDT

UPDATE: This is some news from Friday that never got posted, better late than never right?

The next installment in the Ground Control® franchise, Ground Control® II: Operation Exodus has gone gold and has been finalized and localized in more than 12 languages. In a departure from traditional RTS games, Ground Control® II: Operation Exodus focuses on tactical combat with minimal time spent on resource management. Instead of harvesting resources and building bases, the game keeps the action hot and heavy by immediately rewarding players for accomplishing objectives.

A single player demo of the game can be found on the official website www.groundcontrol2.com. On June 12, 2004 the Multiplayer Demo Tournament will launch, with valuable prizes for the winners provided by NVIDIA® and Alienware®. More information on the upcoming tournament can be found at www.groundcontrol2.com.

Ground Control II: Operation Exodus for the PC will be available at retail June 22, 2004. It has been rated “T” for teen by the ESRB and carries a suggested retail price of $49.99.

[PC] New Phantom Renaissance Screens Released - posted by Erich Becker at 2:33 pm CDT

Wargaming.net has released the first screenshots of the stand-alone Massive Assault expansion pack, Phantom Renaissance. Here's a short description of the screens and a link to view them all. Enjoy!

These screens demonstrate the significant improvements of the 3D engine, unit and terrain graphics. Presented are 4 planets with new terrain types: rivers, bridges, swamps, volcanoes plus new cities and plants. New unit types are shown: Free Nation Union’s attack helicopters, pillboxes, highly demanded anti-aircraft vehicles and submarines. Phantom League’s new weapons include deadly Bullfrogs (huge mechs capable of firing two types of guns at two different targets during the same turn), Leviathans (mighty naval monsters with similar two-target capability). The screens also show super-powerful “Green Devil” in action - the League’s secret weapon of mass destruction, fired from the orbital satellites. More new units for both sides will be revealed soon. All these additions will bring extra depth to the gameplay and will enlarge the player’s tactical options with more combat techniques and strategic schemes to explore.

See the screenshots right here.

[PC] Galactic Civilizations Expansion Goes Gold - posted by Erich Becker at 2:30 pm CDT

New Add-on brings new features, options to popular strategy game

LIVONIA, MI (June 3, 2003) – Independent game studio, Stardock Entertainment, announced that its expansion pack for the award winning strategy game, Galactic Civilizations has gone gold. The expansion pack, called Altarian Prophecy, has been in development and testing for some months to get all the features and enhancements put together just right.

“Our goal with this expansion pack was not just to add new content to Galactic Civilizations but add in the kinds of features and tools that would give the game, as a whole, a new lease on replayability,” said Brad Wardell, Designer of Galactic Civilizations at Stardock. “What we wanted to do is ensure that the game had a long term lifespan by enabling the fans of the game themselves to extend the game on their own. That said, we also wanted to add in a host of new features and content that had been asked for by players.”

Galactic Civilizations: Altarian Prophecy provides these additions:

- Two new major alien civilizations with their own artificial intelligence engines.

- A new campaign called “The Altarian Prophecy” that explores the history of one of the major alien civilizations.

- A Map editor that allows players to design their own custom maps. Previously Galactic Civilizations used randomly generated maps each game. Now players will be able to load maps and create their own.

- A scenario editor that enables players to create specific game environments. For example, players can create scenarios that begin the game with players on teams. Previously, Galactic Civilizations only supported “free for all” starts. The scenario editor also allows players to tweak the various game rules and settings, triggers to generate custom winning conditions, and much more.

- A Campaign editor allows users to create a set of games that are linked together to tell a story. “The Altarian Prophecy” is the included campaign that takes players deep into the Galactic Civilizations mythos to give the back story about the alien civilization, Altarian Republic.

- Dozens of new technologies, ships, planetary improvements, game tweaks, game setup options, and more.

All in all, the expansion pack will include hundreds of new features and improvements that will enable players to extend their game playing enjoyment of Galactic Civilizations.

Galactic Civilizations was released in March 2003 and has won several Editor’s Choice Awards including ones from Computer Gaming World and Computer Games Magazine. It has been recommended as a top turn based strategy by PC Gamer, Gamespot, Gamespy, Games Domain, amongst others.

Galactic Civilizations is available at most retail outlets and is also available directly from GalCiv.com for $39.95. The expansion pack, Galactic Civilizations: Altarian Prophecy, will be released on June 15, 2004 and can be purchased on CD or via electronic download. A retail version of the game should be available later this summer along with a bundle of the original game and the expansion pack to be titled “Galactic Civilizations Gold”.

Players can pre-order it now at http://www.galciv.com/purchase.asp. Screenshots and more information can be found at http://www.galciv.com/expansion.asp

Friday, May 28, 2004
[ESCMAG] Yo, Dummy, Where's the News? - posted by Erich Becker at 12:43 pm CDT

Truth be told, there is none. E3 was the big blowout a week and a half ago and there is nothing but a trickle of news flowing in to the ESCMAG newsroom. Aside from a few demos being released, and a few games shipping (True Crime: Streets of LA for PC) there is a giant void where there should be breaking news.

It isn't like the summer season is ripe with news to begin with in the video game world. Summer is a time when game releases are slowed down, big name games are being prepared for Fall/Holiday release and we are left with spring's games to tide us over. What does that mean for us (and you)? Well, now that there is nothing to follow, we can devote more time to gaming, and with the school semester being out as well (some of us are still in school), it means more time for gaming.

Is this a silly post to pad our news and make it look like we updated it this week? Yes, but it still serves the purpose of letting you know that the summer season is upon us and you should jump down to your nearest Blockbuster for their new Flip Card or sign up for GameFly, GPlay, or what ever online service you like and start playing those games. If next fall is anything like last year we are going to have one busy season.

There is also some game called San Andreas coming out, you might have heard about it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004
[E3 2004] VU Games/Monolith Announces F.E.A.R. - posted by Erich Becker at 10:38 am CDT

VU Games announced today the development of the latest project from No One Lives Forever developer Monolith. F.E.A.R. (First Encounter Assault and Recon) is a new first person shooter set in close-quarters in the same vein as upcoming shooters Doom 3 and Half-Life 2.

Here's the game's story breakdown:

"The story begins as an unidentified paramilitary force infiltrates a multi-billion dollar aerospace compound. The government responds by sending in Special Forces, but loses contact as an eerie signal interrupts radio communications. When the interference subsides moments later, the team has been literally torn apart. As part of a classified strike team created to deal with threats no one else can handle, your mission is simple: Eliminate the intruders at any cost. Determine the origin of the signal. And contain this crisis before it spirals out of control."

F.E.A.R. will carry an expected "M" rating in 2005 when it is release for PC.

[E3 2004] Notorious: Die to Drive Announced - posted by Erich Becker at 10:33 am CDT

Ubisoft has announced their latest urban warfare/car combat game, Notorious: Die to Drive. Here's the lowdown from the press release sent out this morning:

"...Notorious: Die to Drive(tm), an urban-style combat racing game. In a unique combination of urban warfare and car racing, Ubisoft will take players on a wild ride where they will race against ruthless street crews, eliminating their opponents and building an empire of cash - with all the action amplified by the heart thumping beat of various rap artists. Notorious: Die to Drive(tm) will ship for console game systems at the beginning of 2005."

The game will be on the floor at E3, so stay tuned for more news on the title as it comes in.

[E3 2004] Pandora Tomorrow PS2/GCN Release Dates - posted by Erich Becker at 10:31 am CDT

Ubisoft announced the release dates for Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow for the PlayStation2 and Nintendo GameCube.

The action hits PS2 on June 18 and follows on the GameCube July 1.

As a bonus to PS2/GCN gamers, Ubisoft has added a new Jungle Mission, post mission stats and scoring, and new alternative pathways for existing missions.

For PS2 players only you will be able to listen to in-mission status reports with your PS2 headset and this will be the first game to use dynamic lighting on the PS2.

Not to leave out GameCube owners, you will be able to hook up your Game Boy Advance to unlock 8 new Pandora Tomorrow GBA missions, remotely control in-game devices, and get a visual layout of your surroundings including enemy positions.

More tactical action is coming soon with Splinter Cell 3!

Tuesday, May 11, 2004
[E3 2004] Nintendo Showcases 'Realistic' Zelda Title - posted by Erich Becker at 1:45 pm CDT

Nintendo stunned onlookers lucky enough to be at their press showing today by showcasing the game almost every gamer has ben craving for, a realistic Legend of Zelda in the vein of the Spaceworld 2000 demo that wowed us nearly 4 years ago.

Ladies and Gentlemen, that game is here!

Head on over to IGN for the whole scoop!

Source: IGN

[E3 2004] Doom 3 This Summer - posted by Erich Becker at 11:40 am CDT

Activision confirmed to Gamespy that Doom 3 will be released this summer on PC. No exact release date has been given, but look for more news from E3 later this week.

Source: Gamespy

[E3 2004] Halo 2 Due on November 9 - posted by Erich Becker at 11:30 am CDT

Microsoft and Bungie announced today that Halo 2, the eagerly awaited sequel to Halo: Combat Evolved, will be released November 9, 2004 on the Xbox. The game launches almost three years to the day the original game launched.

To celebrate the release of the game, GameSpot is report that Microsoft will make a limited edition of the game available for gamers, "Microsoft announced it will soon make available a limited edition of Halo 2. The two-disc Halo LE will come in a metal box and will sport a bevy of extras, including the documentary "The Making of Halo 2: Behind the Scenes of Bungie Studios." Also included in the set will be a series of featurettes on Halo 2's game design, animation, and music, as well as a collection of cinematics and characters that were cut from the game. The Halo LE will also feature an art gallery and commentaries from the development team at Bungie."

Look for more Halo in November Xbox fans!

Source: Gamespot

[E3 2004] Penny Arcade Signing Autographs at Ubisoft Booth - posted by Erich Becker at 11:26 am CDT

Michael Krahulik (Gabe) and Jerry Holkins (Tycho) from Penny Arcade will be signing autographs of their comic books based on Ubisoft titles like Spliter Cell Pandora Tomorrow, Rainbow Six 3, Far Cry, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The first 100 fans will receive a comic book of their choice.

Ubisoft's booth is located in the South Hall, #1046. Gabe and Tycho will be there from 1PM to 2PM on Thursday and Friday.

[E3 2004] EA Confirms Xbox Live Support - posted by Erich Becker at 11:22 am CDT

Microsoft and Electronic Arts, the largest third party publisher, have finally come to an agreement where EA's games will now support Xbox Live, the only gaming service for the Xbox console. Previously all of EA's games were only online via Sony's PlayStation2.

EA promises support for voice communication, tournaments, ladders, and everything else associated with online play.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The first games to include Live support will be NCAA Football 2005, Madden NFL 2005, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005, NASCAR: Chase For the Cup, NBA LIVE 2005, NHL 2005, and NCAA March Madness 2005.

Non-sports games include GoldenEye: Rogue Agent, Need for Speed Underground 2, Battlefield: Modern Combat, Burnout 3, and TimeSplitters: Future Perfect.

Look for more games to be announced soon.

[E3 2004] PlayStation2 Price Cut to $149 - posted by Erich Becker at 11:18 am CDT

Sony has cut the price of the PlayStation2 to $149 matching it up with the price of the Xbox and $50 dollars more than the $99 dollar GameCube.

For anyone who hasn't bought a system yet, now's your chance to get one cheap.

[E3 2004] Nintendo DS Unveiled! - posted by Erich Becker at 11:16 am CDT

USA Today has unveiled what the Nintendo DS will look like this fall when the new handheld system is scheduled to launch. The $150 dollar dual color screen system will feature one touch screen, short range Bluetooth wireless capability, as well as a processing unit slightly more powerful than the Nintendo 64.

To see pics of the new system, click here!

Monday, May 10, 2004
[Multi] Ubisoft Announces 'Splinter Cell 3' - posted by Erich Becker at 1:37 pm CDT

Ubisoft confirmed today that their Montreal studio is currently developing the third game in the award winning Splinter Cell franchise currently titled, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 3. The game will be shown for the first time ever at Ubisoft's booth at E3, whicch begins this Wednesday in LA.

The year is 2008. Information Warfare has evolved into the most dangerous threat to global stability. You are Sam Fisher, Third Echelon's most skilled Splinter Cell® operative. You are assigned to execute a hazardous series of operations to investigate and eliminate a new source of information attacks, originating in North Korea. To succeed, you will employ a host of unconventional counterintelligence activities to gather intel, disrupt enemy operations and neutralize adversary targets.

As Information Warfare evolves, so must the Splinter Cell®. You must penetrate deeper into hostile territory and operate undetected, closer to the enemy than ever before. At your disposal is a lethal array of tactics ranging from Combat Knife techniques, experimental prototype weapons skills, and more radical hand-to-hand techniques such as the Inverted Chokehold. Experience the thrill of acting as a lone operative fighting tomorrow's threats in the field, and of cooperating online with a partner to accomplish crucial missions. Die in action, and the free world dies with you.

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 3 has not been announced for any particular platform, but expect and Xbox version to debut first with PS2, PC, GCN, and GBA ports to follow. Can we expect Sony PSP and Nintendo DS ports of the title? Only time will tell.


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