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June 03, 2003 - June 24, 2003 - See More Archived News

Tuesday, June 24, 2003
[Community] GamesXtreme Reviews PlanetSide (PC) - posted by Erich Becker at 2:38 pm CDT

Fellow community member GamesXtreme has put up a review in the form of Sony Online Entertainment's PlanetSide. Take a look at the full review right here. Also, be sure to check out this snippet:

"I swore to myself, I really did, that I would never play a pay-for-play game. I said I didn't have the money, didn't have the time, they were dumb, the people were dumb. And I stand completely and 100% corrected now that I've played Planetside, the Massively Multiplayer First-Person Shooter from Sony Online Entertainment."

[PC] GarageGames Ships First Two Titles to Retail - posted by Erich Becker at 2:35 pm CDT

GarageGames Ships First Two Titles to Retail
Company Joins with eGames to bring Gadgets and Marble Blast to a Store near You

Eugene, OR – June 24, 2003 – GarageGames announced today it has begun shipping the company’s first two titles, Gadgets (formerly Chain Reaction) and Marble Blaster, to retailers throughout North America. The Windows versions of the games are being published and distributed by eGames through a licensing agreement with GarageGames.

"This is a considerable milestone in fulfilling the GarageGames mission to create a sustainable independent game development segment in the gaming industry," said Jeff Tunnell, President of GarageGames. "We see ourselves as a farm team to bring the next generation of talent to the big box publishers, it is no small feat to have two of our first self-funded titles going into retail stores."

"GarageGames' core business model is to publish independent games online and build community behind them," said Jay Moore, Evangelist for GarageGames, "Our partnership with eGames brings these games to an even larger audience of players. eGames ‘Family Friendly’ reputation is a perfect fit for the non-violent family fun gameplay of Gadgets and Marble Blaster."

"Marble Blaster and Gadgets are being received enthusiastically by retailers, and we have already received numerous orders", said Rich Siporin, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at eGames. "We have secured placement in many retailers, including Game Stop, Best Buy, Electronics Boutique and CompUSA, and are looking forward to additional distribution at other major retail chains."

[Xbox] Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix Shoots Into Retail - posted by Erich Becker at 2:34 pm CDT


Santa Monica, CA - June 24, 2003 - Gamers can suit up for top-secret covert operations with the release of Activision, Inc.'s (Nasdaq: ATVI) highly anticipated first-person action game, Soldier of Fortune® II: Double Helix, for the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft. Based on the critically acclaimed PC title from Raven Software, the game features all of the intense, gritty action found in the original, plus full Xbox(tm) Live support for mayhem-packed, all-out multi-player combat. Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix for the Xbox is currently available at North American retail outlets for a suggested retail price of $49.99 and carries an "M" (Mature - Blood, Violence - content suitable for persons ages 17 and older) rating by the ESRB.

"The intensity and firepower of Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix can now be enjoyed by a whole new audience of console gamers," said Larry Goldberg, executive vice president, Activision Worldwide Studios. "With features like multi-player gaming supported by Xbox Live, new unlockable content and the random mission generator, Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix will have Xbox enthusiasts trigger happy to jump into action."

Developed by Gratuitous Games, Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix envelops players into the role of John Mullins, a Special Forces officer and military consultant working for a top-secret anti-terrorist agency known as "The Shop." As Mullins, gamers engage in fierce firefights throughout 55 fast-paced missions located in the world's deadliest hotspots such as the deep jungles of Columbia, the frozen wastelands of Kamchatka and the streets of Hong Kong. Missions include a wide range of objectives from stealth infiltration and intelligence gathering, to search and destroy - each granting players access to an intense arsenal of 25 real-world weapons including the MK 23 US SOCOM, M4 with M203 grenade launcher, MSG90A1 military sniper rifle, MM-1 40mm grenade launcher and OICW next generation weapon system.

In addition to the intense single-player campaign, Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix also includes full multi-player action via System Link and Xbox Live support. Gamers can choose from 20 multi-player maps and six game types, including Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Demolition, Infiltration, Elimination and Capture The Flag, as they run-n-gun against up to 12 players. Xbox Live consumers can look forward to additional unlockable content offered at a later date.

Powered by id Software(tm)'s QUAKE III engine and enhanced by Raven's GHOUL II technology, Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix features some of the most realistic and complex graphics - providing incredibly detailed skeletal animations, including lifelike character movements and per-pixel hit locations that allow ultra realistic damage modeling. New to the Xbox, Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix also includes a random mission generator for both single and multi-player modes that can create an infinite number of maps providing never-ending replay value.

Thursday, June 19, 2003
[Community] GamesXtreme Reviews Brute Force (Xbox) - posted by Erich Becker at 1:47 pm CDT

The good people at GamesXtreme have dived head first into Brute Force on the Xbox and come out liking it quite a bit. You can see the full review right here or check out this snippet before proceeding.

"But where BF really shines is in the 4 player Co-op action across the SP game, your friends can jump in at any time and take control of the other characters, at the start of the game one of you will be Tex and the others will be Marines, even the Marines have their own special ability just for the compete experience. If there’s just 2 of you, the other characters can be ordered like in the SP game, it really is a very well thought out mode and a welcome inclusion, more game companies take note…this is what we want!"

[PC] CHROME Delayed Till Late Summer 2003 - posted by Erich Becker at 1:45 pm CDT

SFI's Tactical FPS makes a move

Montreal, Quebec. June, 19 2003 - Publisher Strategy First and Developer Techland announced today that the release date for their upcoming PC First-Person Tactical Shooter game, CHROME, has been changed from early to late summer 2003.

The decision to push back the release of CHROME was based on player feedback from the recent beta test.

"The Chrome community as well as the development team are dedicated to making Chrome the best game it can be," said George Chastain, Senior Producer for Strategy First. "We've decided that a couple more months of dev time would allow us to polish and include more multiplayer content that players have asked for, so we had no choice but to push it back. After all the games we make are for them!"

CHROME has been in development at Techland's Polish-based studio for almost 2 years now and it made its North America debut at this year's E3.

The Story

Mega-Corporations are competing for control of the Valkyria System and its most precious resource Chrome. Espionage, sabotage and theft are common practice, and no one is better at it than Logan mercenary for hire. Become Logan in this first-person tactical shooter. Wield an extensive range of weapons. Operate vehicles on land, sea, and air. Learn that one man, the right man, can make a difference.


- 8 kinds of vehicles at your disposal - four wheelers, armored transporters, shuttles, and even mechs - all for you to navigate in the New Frontier

- Implants can be used to improve your abilities to become a stealth assassin or a living tank

- Over 14 missions set in lush tropical forests, rocky deserts, snowy glaciers, futuristic complexes, military bases and orbital stations

- Machine Guns, Rocket Launchers, Plasma Rifles: over 18 kinds of weapons for you to take control of your destiny

- Multiplayer mode features over 8 unique maps and a variety of game modes like Capture the Flag, Death Match, Assault, Team Death Match, and Team Domination

- Multiplayer allows up to 32 opponents to battle it out using every available weapon, vehicle, and implant A deep and involving storyline that gets you caught up in the convoluted politics of corporate sabotage, murder, and the ultimate quest for power

Atari will release CHROME for the PC. For more information about the game please visit www.chromethegame.com or www.strategyfirst.com.

[Multi] Mace Griffin Bounty Hunter Ships for PS2/Xbox - posted by Erich Becker at 1:39 pm CDT


The hunt for revenge arrives for the Playstation(r)2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox(r) video game system from Microsoft.

LOS ANGELES, CA (June 19, 2003) - Vivendi Universal Games announced today that the sci-fi action shooter Mace Griffin Bounty Hunter(tm) is shipping to retail stores nationwide for the PlayStation(r)2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox(r) video game system from Microsoft. Mace Griffin will also be available for Windows PC and for Nintendo GameCube(tm) in early September.

Against a futuristic backdrop of corporate, religious and political intrigue, players will take up the quest of Mace Griffin, once a valued member of an elite police force, The Rangers. Griffin becomes the unsuspecting pawn in a sabotaged incident that kills his comrades and disbands the Rangers, and earns him a 10-year stint behind bars. Emerging from prison hardened and bitter, he becomes a bounty hunter, a vocation that gives him access to classified information and a means to aggressively search for the people who set him up to fall. The character of Mace Griffin is being brought to life by hard rock front man, actor and spoken word artist, Henry Rollins.

Mace Griffin Bounty Hunter features Warthog Studios' TUSK technology, enabling players to transition seamlessly between space combat and FPS action. This tale of revenge and redemption unfolds through 11 massive levels, combining multiple mission objectives in a diverse array of environments. Throughout the game, players will be able to pilot a variety of different ships, from quick alien scout fighters to massive carriers. In first person mode, players will have access to an equally dangerous collection of weapons with both primary and secondary attacks.

Developed by U.K.-based Warthog Studios, Mace Griffin Bounty Hunter, ships to retailers at a suggested price of $49.99 and an ESRB rating of "M" for Mature. Further information about the game can be found at http://www.huntthemdown.com

Wednesday, June 18, 2003
[PC] GMX Media Secures European Rights to Prince of Qin - posted by Erich Becker at 1:57 pm CDT


LONDON, UK (June 18, 2003) - GMX Media today announced that it has secured the rights to publish the PC RPG title – Prince of Qin Gold.

"The previous version of the game sold almost 200,000 copies worldwide, we intend to make this version just as successful." Commented Barry Leonard COO of GMX Media.

"Object Software is very pleased to be working with GMX Media in the European release of "Prince of Qin Gold". We are confident that GMX's enthusiasm for the title will communicate itself to gamers helping to make the game a success for all concerned” commented Richard Wallis CEO of Object Software.

Prince of Qin Gold is a little different from most RPGS in that it is set in a real historical setting with a number of characters who actually lived at the time. We hope the ambience of an ancient Chinese environment combined with some fascinating historical detail and compelling gameplay will make a potent mix for European gamers."

Prince of Qin Gold is a A-RPG (an action role playing game) set in the last years of the Qin Dynasty in China 2,200 years ago.

The game balances team-fighting (you can recruit up to 5 heroes to join your team) with various strategies and tactics and you will be challenged by many enemies in more than 100 unique scenes accurately depicting society and architecture as it existed at the time. The game's novel features include the design of the multi-scenario and multi-ending systems, the randomly created weapons, items and enemies, an equipment creating system and the sophisticated fighting system rooted in the ancient philosophy of the Five Elements. The Great Wall of China and the Terracotta Warriors Tomb are some of the world-renowned locations the game highlights.

In Prince of Qin Gold you play as Prince Fu Su, the First Qin Emperor's eldest son and the Crown Prince of Qin. According to historical records, Fu Su committed suicide in obedience to a supposed imperial edict. However, in Prince of Qin Gold Fu Su does not die but lives and seeks to find out the truth behind the decree. Once he discovers the truth he launches himself on a mission for revenge against those who have betrayed him and to claim his birthright as the Emperor of Qin.

Prince of Qin Gold is playable as a single player game with multi-player capability over the LAN [and on the internet with groups of players of up to 500 in one game.]

[PC] Lucasarts Announces Star Wars Galaxies Release Date - posted by Erich Becker at 1:55 pm CDT


Long Awaited Massively Multiplayer Online Star Wars(r) Game To Offer Four Subscription Plan Options

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. and SAN DIEGO - June 17, 2003 - LucasArts and Sony Online Entertainment Inc. today announced Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided, the highly anticipated initial installment of the first Star Wars massively multiplayer online (MMO) game series, will release June 26, 2003. The Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided online fan community now exceeds more than 500,000 registered members.

At launch Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided will offer four subscription plan options: Month-to-month - $14.99; three months - $14.00 per month; six months - $13.00 per month; and 12 months - $12.00 per month. By subscribing to any of the latter three plans, players can expect savings of up to 20 percent over the month-to-month rate. Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided has a suggested retail price of $49.95, and includes a 30-day subscription to the game. A special collector's edition, which includes a book of game-related art, in-game wearables, pewter figurine, lapel pin and patch, and a signed manual, will be available for a suggested retail price of $79.95

"The release of Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided is a truly defining moment for LucasArts and we're confident the game will meet player's expectations," says Simon Jeffery, president of LucasArts. "The current subscription plan for Star Wars Galaxies is reflective of the game's high quality and competitive with the current marketplace. No matter which subscription option players choose they'll be able to look forward to a constant stream of dynamic content and features, first-rate customer service and much, much more."

"After three years of intense development, we're thrilled by the imminent release of Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided," says John Smedley, president, Sony Online Entertainment. "We're honored that LucasArts felt only Sony Online had the right combination of technical know-how and game design skills to produce a game of this scope. The Star Wars Galaxies team has been working non-stop to deliver a product that lives up both to the stature of the Star Wars license and the expectations that LucasArts had set for us." Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided was recently nominated for a Game Critics Award: Best of E3 2003 in the Best Online Multiplayer Game category.

[PC] EA and Digital Illusions Announce Battlefield: Vietnam - posted by Erich Becker at 1:53 pm CDT


REDWOOD CITY, Calif., June 18, 2003 - Lock and load your M-16 and grab your flak jacket, it's time to hit the jungle in Battlefield Vietnam(tm). Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS) announced today that Battlefield Vietnam for the PC is under development and expects to debut in early 2004. The title will be published and distributed by Electronic Arts under the EA GAMES(tm) brand.

The Battlefield franchise is entering a new era with more firepower and beautiful yet ferocious new combat settings. Staying true to the over-the-top, action-packed multiplayer style that gave Battlefield 1942(tm) its critical and commercial success, Battlefield Vietnam will drop players into some of the Vietnam War's fiercest battles. Fighting in theatres from jungles surrounding the Ho Chi Minh Trail to the city streets of Hue, players will choose from two well-equipped forces, the United States or the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and Vietcong.

Offering an arsenal of weapons and vehicles authentic to the Vietnam conflict, players will battle in first-person perspective. The workhorse vehicle for the U.S. during the conflict was the helicopter and it will serve the same purpose in Battlefield Vietnam. The NVA will be outfitted with many Russian-made vehicles including the T-54 tank and Mig-21 jet. Taking a step forward from its franchise predecessors, Battlefield Vietnam will allow passengers to fire from moving vehicles and players will have the ability to airlift other vehicles via helicopter. The game will also deploy new rendering and sound engines that will help take players deeper into the 1960's mindset.

Battlefield Vietnam, like its brethren Battlefield games, allows players to join forces on teams in games up to 64 players over the Internet, or jump into single player action. Battlefield Vietnam is being developed by Digital Illusions Canada, a subsidiary of Sweden-based Digital Illusions.

Thursday, June 12, 2003
[Multi] Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 2004 adds Bethpage Black - posted by Erich Becker at 1:36 pm CDT

Tiger Woods challenges gamers to take on Bethpage Black, one of the most difficult public golf courses in existence, in Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 2004.

Bethpage State Park's Black Course is the latest top-rated course to be included in the newest version of Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 2004, due out in September from EA SPORTS. Bethpage Black in Long Island, New York, hosted the first U.S. Open golf tournament that was played on a truly public site in 2002, which was won by Woods, and will host the tournament again in 2009.

Bethpage Black is one of five 18-hole courses at Bethpage State Park, the biggest public golf facility in the world. The others are the Red, the Blue, the Green, and the Yellow. But clearly, the Black is the most challenging. The first tee features a warning sign: "The Black Course is an extremely difficult course which we recommend only for highly skilled golfers.'' Designed by A. W Tillinghast in 1936, it is consistently ranked among the best courses in America, and now will be available to play in the most popular golf videogame on the market. In order to replicate the exact course in the videogame, Electronic Arts had the entire course mapped utilizing GPS technology to ensure every sand trap, every tree, and each green could be recreated in the game with the highest level of precision.

Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 2004 is the most comprehensive and most competitive golf game available. This year an incredibly detailed new "create a golfer" gives you the chance to create and build your own golfer to take on the TOUR and dominate the world. Whether you play prestigious PGA TOUR courses like Pebble Beach Golf Links or St. Andrews, or the original design courses, there is something for every golf fan. You can take your game online for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system this season and play with anyone across the country. EA SPORTS, continuing its exclusive partnership with the PGA TOUR and the world's best and most famous golfer, Tiger Woods, delivers the most realistic golf simulation for fans of console golf.

[Community] Are Video Games Art? Find out at GameCritics - posted by Erich Becker at 7:41 am CDT

We are a bit late on posting this one, blame me for being on vacation, but a new editorial is up over at GameCritics that focuses on the debate whether or not video games are art or just mindless creations. A very good read, be sure to check it out right here. Developers and titles cited extensively include Shigeru Miyamoto (The Legend of Zelda), Hideo Kojima (Metal Gear Solid 2), and Tetsuya Mizuguchi (Rez).

[PC] GMX Media Secures Worldwide Rights To Firepower - posted by Erich Becker at 7:38 am CDT


LONDON, UK (June 11, 2003) - GMX Media today announced that it has secured the rights to publish Firepower for the PC.

"You only have to look at the movies on the web site to appreciate the fantastic job the guys at Shockwave have done, this is a must have title for any self-respecting flight sim fan." Commented Barry Leonard COO of GMX Media.

"GMXMedia is a creative, hard-working company that is an total pleasure to work with." Commented Scott Gentile of Shockwave Productions Inc.

With FirePower for Microsoft Combat Simulator 3, you experience air combat like never before in over 50 missions. We have added twelve new aircraft that were designed with the help of over thirty real warbird pilots.

You will also experience revolutionary, explosive, special effects like never before. Witness towering explosive blasts, aircraft being torn in half, and smoke drifting thousands of feet above the battlefields.

Using authentic military test data and combat footage was the design team's primary focus. Under the hood, you will find every aircraft, building, and vehicle reacting precisely as they did when you unleash all of the newly designed weapons. Specific targets will require specific weapons, just like the real thing.

You will also get to fly the famous B-17 Flying Fortress, man all of the gunner positions, and even attack those bomber formations from the cockpit of some of Germany's most ingenious, flying machines.

Shrapnel will fly, tanks will blow, and guns will shred their targets to pieces. In fact FirePower is so real, you may find all you ever do is attack anything that has the misfortune of crossing your sights.

[PC] Strategy First Ships Disciples II: Guardians of the Light - posted by Erich Becker at 7:37 am CDT

For Immediate Release

Will the good prevail?

Montreal, Canada. June 10, 2003 – Publisher Strategy First Inc. announced today that the first expansion pack for Disciples II: Dark Prophecy, Disciples II: Guardians of the Light, has shipped to retail stores nationwide.

“We are very happy to be giving Disciples fans even more to get excited about,” said Don McFatridge, President Strategy First Inc. “Guardians of the Light will have die hard fans coming back for more and will give newcomers to the franchise a chance to experience the Disciples world we love so much.”

Disciples II: Guardians of the Light is a stand-alone expansion that lets you dive into the fantastical world of Disciples II as either the Empire or the Mountain Clans.

In Guardians of the Light, the Empire is decaying from within as self-proclaimed rulers struggle for control of the now vacant throne while a cruel Inquisition sweeps across the human lands, causing rebellion and misery. Meanwhile the Clans, recovering from their near-destruction, begin to reunite their tribes. They have received divine instructions and now seek to uncover an ancient ritual that will let them communicate with their god, Wotan.

Game features include:
- 2 new high-level mini-campaigns and the original Disciples II campaigns
- 16 skirmish/multiplayer maps
- A random map generator
- New capital backgrounds
- 3 new special characters
- Updated combat with Auto-Resolve mode and new battle backgrounds
- Improved Computer AI, Scenario Editor and User Interface
- Four new music tracks
- Exclusive portfolio containing original concept art and sketches
- Multiple resolution support
- Enhanced chat interface
- Support for large maps, 120x120 and 144x144

Disciples II: Guardians of the Light will be followed by its companion pack Disciples II: Servants of the Dark, coming July 2003. For more information on Disciples II: Guardians of the Light please visit www.strategyfirst.com.

About Strategy First
Strategy First Inc. is a leading developer and worldwide publisher of entertainment software for the PC. Founded in 1990, the company has grown rapidly, publishing major games in the industry and simultaneously developing its own in-house titles such as O.R.B., Disciples II, and Nexagon: Deathmatch. After winning numerous awards for games such as Disciples: Sacred Lands, Europa Universalis, Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns and Steel Beasts, Strategy First continues to push the gaming envelope with its own groundbreaking titles, while maintaining its reputation as a unique alternative for independent developers seeking to market their games to a worldwide audience.

[PC] Enlight Announces Joan of Arc from Designer Trevor Chan - posted by Erich Becker at 7:35 am CDT

Trevor Chan of Enlight Announces Next Title – Joan of Arc Under Wraps for More than a Year, Action/Strategy Title to be Released This Holiday Season

(PARKVILLE, MD – June 11, 2003) Enlight, a leading entertainment software developer and publisher, announced today that its next title will be based on the major conquests of Joan of Arc. Under development for more than a year, Joan of Arc allows players to relive and command forces in the Hundred Years War between France and England.

In 1429, Joan of Arc inspired her faltering country to take up arms against occupying English troops. Joan of Arc will allow players to experience this epic period and some of the most intense battles fought in medieval Europe. In the game, players transform from a single warrior into a forceful military leader as they develop and master the art of chivalry and tactical warfare. In addition to action elements, Joan of Arc requires that individuals play strategically to successfully advance through the game.

“Joan of Arc captures the true essence of medieval Europe with its historical depiction of the battles, weaponry and people Joan of Arc encountered as she led the resistance to the English invasion of France,” said Trevor Chan, CEO of Enlight. “The game uniquely combines action and strategy elements and will give players the chance to fully experience the incredible journey of this important era.”

Joan of Arc showcases a brand new state-of-the-art graphics engine. With rich, detailed terrain, the game allows real-time control and command of legions of military units, realistically depicting the mayhem and severity of medieval warfare. Joan of Arc will contain a series of individual battles as well as massive strategic campaigns between French and English troops. The game is set for release in mid-November 2003 and will be published by Enlight Interactive, the company’s US publishing division.

[PC] Star Trek Elite Force II Goes Gold - posted by Erich Becker at 7:33 am CDT


Santa Monica, CA - June 11, 2003 - Prepare to blast into the heart of galactic evil as Activision, Inc.'s (Nasdaq: ATVI) Star Trek® Elite Force II has gone gold and is headed to retail. Set in the Star Trek: The Next Generation® universe, players take command as head of the elite Hazard Team in this heart-pounding first person action game. Gamers will arm themselves with an impressive array of advanced weaponry as they hack, battle and vaporize a relentless onslaught of enemies including hordes of nightmarish creatures, new never-before-seen alien species and familiar franchise staples such as the Borg and Romulans. Developed by Ritual Entertainment, Star Trek Elite Force II is rated "T" (Teen - Blood, Gore and Violence - content suitable for persons ages 13 and older) by the ESRB and carries a suggested retail price of $49.99. The title is scheduled for release later this month.

[Community] GamesXtreme Reviews Dr. Muto - posted by Erich Becker at 7:32 am CDT

The guys and gals over at GamesXtreme have put up a review of Midway's Dr. Muto calling it an fun little platformer with a few choice decisions on design. You can see the review right here, or check out this snippet below.

"The graphics are fantastic, locations colourful, and the controls simple. Dr Muto would appeal to all age groups and yet is recommended to age 11+? This may be because very occasionally the dialogue within the game has Dr Muto muttering the odd profanity – and I don’t know why as it is not essential to the plot and adds nothing to the gameplay, and it’s a shame as Midway, the developers, have possibly excluded younger gamers from experiencing what is a unique, enjoyable and very addictive game. "

[PC] City of Heroes Wins E3 Game Critics Award - posted by Erich Becker at 7:30 am CDT

City of Heroes Wins Prestigious E3 Game Critics Award

Comic Book Style Hero Game from Cryptic Studios and NCsoft Receives Honor for Best Online Multiplayer Game

AUSTIN, Texas, June 11, 2003 — NCsoft™ Corp., the world’s top developer of online computer games is pleased to announce that its massively multiplayer game, City of Heroes™ from Cryptic Studios™, has been awarded Best Online Multiplayer game for E3 2003, by the highly regarded Game Critics Awards group (http://www.e3awards.com). The group (http://www.e3awards.com/judges.html) is comprised of journalists who cover the interactive entertainment industry and represent some of the top media outlets in the country including Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly. The Game Critics E3 Awards are regarded as the most prestigious awards presented at the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo.

Marc Saltzman, one of the Games Critics judges, said this about City of Heroes, “With dozens of online multiplayer games shown at E3, it can be difficult to choose just one extraordinary title. Actually, no it isn't. The game (City of Heroes) serves as a breath of fresh air compared to the rest of the MMORPG flock.”

City of Heroes (http://www.cityofheroes.com) is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) where players can take on the roles of super-powered heroes and take on villains, alien invaders and underground monsters in the modern metropolis of Paragon City. The game is currently in development at Cryptic Studios, located in San Jose, California.

The Game Critics Award is the latest in a series of awards won by City of Heroes at E3. The game was recognized as Best Online Game of E3 by Game Revolution magazine, http://www.game-revolution.com, Best MMOG at E3 by Maximum Play magazine, http://www.maximum-play.com and Best Massively Multiplayer Online Game by Tech Radio, http://www.techradioshow.com.

About NCsoft

Headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, NCsoft Corp. is the world’s largest independent online game company. Established in 1997 as a systems integration company, NCsoft has leaped to become Korea’s and the world’s leading online game software company. In Korea, its blockbuster hit game Lineage commands a 42% market share and attracts the greatest number of concurrent users in the world. More information about NCsoft and its games can be found at http://www.ncsoft.net.

About Cryptic Studios

Cryptic Studios, Inc., located in San Jose, California, was established in July of 2000 and is an independent developer of massively multiplayer online games for the PC and next generation consoles. Its first game, City of Heroes, is currently in development and will launch a virtual world where thousands of people play simultaneously, take on the role of superheroes, fight villains and help create a dynamic story in a visually-stunning, 3-D graphical world.

Monday, June 09, 2003
[PC Gaming] RuneSword II Revamped - posted by Andy Grieser at 8:08 am CDT

RuneSword II Revamped
An old favorite gets a new look and new price tag

Cary, NC, 09 June 2003 - On the 24th of June Shrapnel Games will re-release RuneSword II in a great new package, at a great new price! RuneSword II will now come in a slick DVD box that will make all your friends think you're importing your games from Europe now. Even better, RuneSword II will sell for only $24.95! And from now until June 20th if you pre-order we'll even take another $5.00 off the price! Imagine hundreds of hours of RPG goodness for less than the price of dinner and a movie!

Haven't yet experienced the thrill of RuneSword II? Looking for something deeper than the usual hack and click, red equals health, blue equals mana, type of CRPG? Did you grow up on pen and paper gaming? Do you still have a Crown Royal bag full of dice? Do you remember when Deities and Demigods had the Cthulhu Mythos in it? If you answered yes to any of the above questions then RuneSword II is the game for you!

RuneSword II consists of two full-length campaigns and four shorter adventures set in an original fantasy realm that doesn't scream Tolkien. The game's main influence is the world of pen and paper gaming, and because of this you can expect a lot more depth out of the game than a lot of CRPGs. Dialogue, puzzles, turn based combat - it's all here and out in the forefront. And no, by puzzles we don't mean clicking on the right switch. We're talking puzzles that tax your brain and actually make you think. Expect to be challenged.

Best of all RuneSword II is more than a CRPG, it also allows you to design your own modules. Practically everything in the game can be molded into whatever the mind desires. Included is nearly half a gig's worth of tutorials, and if you're feeling lazy there's even a Tome Wizard that generates adventures. All it takes is a few minutes to answer some questions and soon you're running around in a fantasy game of your making. AVI and MP3 support is offered, to really make your adventures come to life. Sure, there are other RPG construction programs out there, but none compare to the ease and depth of RuneSword II.

For more information on RuneSword II please check out:

Look for the DVD case edition of RuneSword II (manual included on the CD) on June 24 for $24.95.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003
[Industry] Strategy First Inc Named One of Canada's Fastest-Growing Companies - posted by Andy Grieser at 9:31 am CDT

Strategy First Inc is named one of Canada's Fastest-Growing Companies

Montreal, Canada. June 4, 2003 - Strategy First has ranked number 12 in the PROFIT 100, the 15 th annual ranking of Canada's Fastest-Growing Companies by Profit: Your Guide to Business Success, and took first place among the Quebec finalists.

"Being ranked in the Top 20 in Canada and 1st in Quebec is an amazing achievement for us," says Don McFatridge, President of Strategy First Inc. "The past couple of years have been tough for everyone so to end up where we are among other companies based in Quebec and across Canada makes me very proud."

Ranking the companies by five-year revenue growth, the PROFIT 100 profiles Canada's most successful growth firms. Published in the June issue of PROFIT and online at PROFITguide.com, the PROFIT 100 is Canada's largest celebration of entrepreneurial achievement.

"We?re happy to welcome this year's PROFIT 100 winners to the only peer group of its kind in Canada," says Ian Portsmouth, Editor. "Canada's Fastest-Growing Companies are assembling the best and brightest teams in a tough labor market."

To learn more about Strategy First or the PROFIT 100 rankings, please visit www.strategyfirst.com or www.profitguide.com

Tuesday, June 03, 2003
[PC Gaming] Games Xtreme Reviews Black Hawk Down - posted by Andy Grieser at 7:37 am CDT

Games Xtreme has reviewed Black Hawk Down: "Black Hawk Down is however on a new engine and the whole thing seems to have finally shoved aside the voxel-engine for something a little more robust and graphically nicer. My only problem is that the whole game doesn't feel as fluid and linked, as it should, the Singleplayer element feels as though it really is an addition to the Multiplayer game. But it's here where you realise that they didn't really set out to make a linear campaign but a series of missions that tie in with a kind of loose chronological order."


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