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July 30, 2002 - August 09, 2002 - See More Archived News


Friday, August 09, 2002
 
[ESCmag] Where the reviews at, yo? - posted by Andy Grieser at 4:51 am CDT

So, you've noticed the lack of reviews and regular updates lately. That's because we're working hard on ESCmag version 5.0, packed to the very top of its spiky head with cool new features. Hell, we've even had to divert power from other areas of ESCmag Tower in beautiful downtown Dallas. The movie theater's been all locked up. I've even had to postpone my experiments with the terrible, terrible hunger of the living dead. (Well, it's more a thirst -- they prefer beer to brains.)

Anyway, you'll keep seeing my weekly column every Friday, and the reviews will be back with a cool new look faster than John Romero's career ended.


Thursday, August 08, 2002
 
[GoneGold] US OPEN 2002 (PC) Has Gone Gold, Late August Release Expected - posted by Erich Becker at 3:11 pm CDT

Montreal, Quebec. August 7, 2002 – Strategy First announced today that its upcoming Tennis Simulation game for the PC, US OPEN 2002 has gone gold.

“US Open 2002 is a game that you pick up and are immediately addicted,” says Steve Milburn, Director of Marketing, Strategy First Inc. “It’s easy to learn how to play and the highly-detailed graphics make it stand out from any other tennis game on the market today.”

Combining responsive gameplay and stunningly realistic settings, US Open 2002 allows players to have access to some of the most prestigious tennis courts in the world. Using exact plans from Roland Garros and the US Open, the game faithfully recreates 12 courts with 4 different surfaces.

Players choose to play any one of 10 professional athletes, both male and female, in singles and doubles matches. The athletes’ appearance and play styles have been reproduced in detail to include their strengths, weaknesses, and abilities on difference court surfaces.

Sound effects taken from the French Tennis Federation are used to recreate proper match atmosphere and ambience. The slightest details, such as the umpire’s call for quiet, to the ringing of cellular phones in the crowd, are all added to make each match as realistic as possible.

With a choice of 6 gameplay modes; Arcade, Exhibition, Challenge, Career, Race and Training, players are able to perform various challenges, including creating their own tournaments, hiring a professional trainer, and comparing their performances over the Internet.

US Open 2002 will be available on store shelves in August and will be distributed exclusively by Infogrames in North America.


 
[Community] The Latest from Gamer's Hell - posted by Erich Becker at 12:50 pm CDT

1914 The Great War Review

See The Full Review @ Gamer's Hell

"Concerning the graphic engine alone 1914 is definitely the new turn base strategy reference. But slight flaws in the control system and annoying, but perhaps in a future patch removable, bugs in the AI prevent the title from claiming the genre throne although. Hardcore turn base fans shouldn’t miss this one anyway since it not only offers great graphics but is also finally an other title covering the first World War. "


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Space HoRSE interview

See The Full Interview @ Gamer's Hell

"I feel that the HoRSE (Holistic Robotic Slave Engineer) is equal or better in quality and efficiency of the original M.U.L.E. design. However, since M.U.L.E.’s haven’t been available on a PC in almost 20 years, HoRSE’s don’t compete with M.U.L.E.’s. They merely fill the gap that was created when M.U.L.E. manufacturing stopped."


 
[Community] Agressive Inline (PS2) Review @ GamesXtreme - posted by Erich Becker at 12:48 pm CDT

Todays review on games xtreme is for Acclaim's extreme sports skating game, Agressive Inline. Being very impressed with it, we gave it 98%.

"It’s not hard to see why a lot of the print mags are saying this game is a THPS beater, because the levels are huge – varied and have enough on them to keep you occupied for hours. Find all the juice boxes on a level and a cheat will be given to you, another reason why it’s important to keep playing and rolling, rolling, rolling on. So in conclusion I’d like to thank Acclaim for bringing us this game and proving to me that life does not begin and end with SSX Tricky or Tony Hawks."

Related Links: See the Full Review >>


 
[GoneGold] Buff for Xbox Has Gone Gold, August 19th Release Set - posted by Erich Becker at 12:46 pm CDT

Vampires, demons and zombies beware! Buffy’s coming to find you and her slaying powers are scary enough to keep you up during the daylight hours. Electronic Arts and Fox Interactive are very pleased to announce that its highly anticipated Xbox title, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, has GONE GOLD and is scheduled to hit stores shelves on August 19.

 
[PressRelease] Dragon's Lair 3D (XBox) Is First Game in 1080i HDTV - posted by Erich Becker at 12:45 pm CDT

Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair for Xbox will be the FIRST and ONLY Xbox title with 1080i HDTV compatibility. No one has experienced the full graphics power of the Xbox console yet, but Dragon's Lair 3D will show Xbox users how truly powerful the Xbox is. Dragon's Lair 3D is an all new 3D action adventure based on the world famous arcade game played by millions of fans worldwide, Dragon's Lair. Created by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman (Secret of Nimh, Titan AE, Land Before Time, etc.), Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair will feature new cut-scene animations and in-game animated characters from Bluth. Dirk's more than 150 3D, cel animations allows him to run, jump, roll, sneak, climb, crouch, crawl, swing, push, lift and somersault. Dragon's Lair 3D's 1080i compatibility shows off the game's real-time, 3D modeled and hand painted, textured world in a visual style so colorful that players will feel as if they are controlling an interactive, 3D cartoon.

 
[PressRelease] EA Releases Info on Medal of Honor Expansion (PC) - posted by Erich Becker at 12:43 pm CDT

ELECTRONIC ARTS DECLASSIFIES INFORMATION ON MEDAL OF HONOR ALLIED ASSAULT EXPANSION PACK FOR THE PC

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. - August 8, 2002 - Help the Allies win victory in freedom's finest hour and to liberate occupied Europe from Nazi Germany in Medal of Honor Allied AssaultÔ Expansion Pack*. EA reveals details of the new expansion pack for Medal of Honor Allied AssaultÔ, the highly acclaimed first-person shooter that puts the player in the boots of WWII combat soldier during the invasion of fortress Europe. The game is currently under development by EALA and is scheduled for release this fall under the EA GAMES(tm) brand. *Working Title.

The expansion pack will allow owners of Medal of Honor Allied Assault to assume the role of Sergeant Jack Barnes and continue their fight from behind enemy lines in Normandy on D-Day to the Battle of the Bulge to the Fall of Berlin and the defeat of the thousand year Reich. More over, the game will include nine new single-player levels and over 12 new multi-player levels. Players will also have the opportunity to play as British, American, German and Soviet troops in an enhanced multi-player mode. Additionally, players will have the ability to choose from a vast arsenal of authentic Soviet and British weapons.

Staying true to the legacy that started with the original Medal of Honor(tm), the production team at EALA sought counsel from numerous outside sources to make certain the game is as historically authentic and realistic as possible. Hollywood veteran Capt. Dale Dye, who served as military consultant on the original Medal of Honor, Medal of Honor Underground(tm) and Medal of Honor Allied Assault, again worked with the Medal of Honor Allied Assault Expansion Pack team to insure the authenticity of the game.

About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, Electronic Arts posted revenues of more than $1.7 billion for fiscal 2002. The company develops, publishes and distributes software worldwide for the Internet, personal computers and video game systems. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTSTM, EA GAMESTM, EA SPORTS BIG(tm) and EA.COMSM. More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at http://www.info.ea.com.

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[Console] Halo 2 Coming to XBox - posted by Andy Grieser at 7:22 am CDT

Hail to the Master Chief! “Halo 2” Is Coming to an Xbox Near You

Microsoft Game Studios Announces “Halo 2” and “Project Gotham Racing 2,” Highly Anticipated Sequels to Top-Selling Xbox Games

NEW YORK — Aug. 8 , 2002 — It’s time again for gamers to assume the role of Master Chief, protecting humanity with a powerful armory of guns and grenades as they battle the relentless Covenant scourge. It’s also time for gamers to be among the first to grab the steering wheel of a shiny new Enzo Ferrari and race through the streets of some of the world’s most exotic cities.

Microsoft Corp. today announced at the X02 North America event that “Halo™ 2” and “Project Gotham Racing™ 2,” sequels to best-selling Xbox™ games from Microsoft Game Studios, are in development for the Xbox video game system. “Halo 2,” developed by Bungie Studios, is expected to arrive on store shelves for the 2003 holiday season, and “Project Gotham Racing 2,” developed by Bizarre Creations, is due in early 2004.

“Halo 2,” a sci-fi action/first-person shooter game, is a full sequel to the best-selling original and will continue the story of the Master Chief, a genetically enhanced supersoldier who is the only man that has successfully defied the Covenant, a coalition of alien races on a murderous march toward Earth. “Halo 2” surpasses its predecessor both in graphical beauty and combat intensity. The Master Chief and his marine allies return to battle the full complement of Covenant forces, as well as new enemies who have not yet revealed themselves. “Halo 2” also expands the Master Chief’s already substantial arsenal with powerful new weapons, many pried from the twitching claws of defeated enemies, as well as more than twice as many drivable vehicles for exploring vast landscapes or speeding into battle. In addition to its epic single-player campaign, “Halo 2” will be playable online through Xbox Live.

“Project Gotham Racing 2” returns to city streets with new fully licensed vehicles from major car manufacturers including Ferrari and Porsche. This engaging racing game sequel includes more than 50 vehicles as well as new cities, including Edinburgh, Scotland, and Hong Kong. More ways to earn Kudos will be available, as well as a new rating system, a more accurate way to rank players rather than just by the number of Kudos they have earned. “Project Gotham Racing 2” also enables gamers to play online through the Xbox Live service.

“There’s only one thing better than announcing a sequel to a million-seller,” said Ed Fries, vice president of Xbox Game Content at Microsoft Game Studios. “And that’s announcing sequels to two 1-million-unit-selling games. Our ‘Halo’ and ‘Project Gotham Racing’ franchises have redefined the shooter and racing categories around the world with innovation, great gameplay and pure fun. ‘Halo 2’ and ‘Project Gotham Racing 2’ will build on these legacies with awesome new features and the thrill of playing anyone anywhere using Xbox Live.”

“Halo: Combat Evolved” reached the 1-million-units-sold mark faster than any other Xbox game in North America and was named Game of the Year by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, Electronic Gaming Monthly and IGN.com. “Project Gotham Racing” was nominated for Console Racing Game of the Year by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences. It joined the select million-seller club during the past month.

At the X02 North America event, third-party publishers such as Electronic Arts™, Sega® of America Inc. and Capcom® showed off their holiday titles, and Bose Corp. is helping Xbox showcase the power of the console’s unique Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound capabilities through the use of the new Bose Freestyle audio system.

Gamers don’t have to wait until 2003; they can get their fix of great Xbox games this holiday season with “Blinx™: The Time Sweeper,” “Brute Force™,” “Kakuto Chojin™,” “MechAssault™,” “NBA Inside Drive 2003,” “NFL Fever 2003” (available now), “Quantum Redshift™,” “Sega Sports™ NFL 2K3” (Sega® of America), “Panzer Dragoon™ Orta” (Sega® of America), “Shenmue II,” “Sneakers™,” “Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell™” (Ubi Soft® Entertainment), “Unreal Championship” (Infogrames), and “Whacked!™.”



Tuesday, August 06, 2002
 
[Console] Doom II Coming to Game Boy Advance - posted by Andy Grieser at 11:01 am CDT

ID SOFTWARE'S LEGENDARY ACTION GAME DOOM II(tm) soon to hit GAME BOY® ADVANCE

Mesquite, TX - Aug. 6, 2002 - The ultimate battle is in the palm of gamers' hands with the development of id Software's DOOM II(tm) for the Game Boy® Advance. Published by Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), the game is a joint development effort by id Software(tm) and Torus Games, and follows the epic saga of one marine against the demon hordes of hell with non-stop action, terrifying enemies, fluid graphics, and outstanding multiplayer carnage.

" DOOM II is a gaming icon and a must-play for any game fan," said Todd Hollenshead, CEO, id Software. "Whether you prefer taking on the hell-scum alone, cooperatively with a friend, or going head-to-head in deathmatch, DOOM II is the perfect handheld action-fest."

DOOM II takes the terror planet side as the entire forces of the netherworld have overrun Earth. As the lone survivor of a doomed mission, players must make use of an awesome array of deadly weapons and descend into the stygian depths of Hell itself to rid Earth of the invading demon horde.

Like the original PC game, players must blast their way through over 30 levels filled with 17 unique and deadly enemies. To help push back the scourge, players will have access to nine different weapons including the legendary chainsaw, double barrel shotgun and BFG. Additionally, DOOM II supports co-operative play so gamers can team-up to rid the world of hellspawn, or go head-to-head with up to four other players in classic Deathmatch mode where it's every marine for himself.

id - Freud's primal part of the human psyche and one of the hottest game shops on Earth - has been rocking the gaming world from Mesquite, Texas since 1991. As a renowned leader in the industry, id Software forged such frenetic titles as Wolfenstein 3D®, DOOM®, DOOM II(tm), QUAKE® and QUAKE II(tm). With intense graphics and mind-blowing action, id's games have helped redefine the modern video game, continually setting industry standards for technology and gameplay. And, in keeping with tradition, id Software has amplified the world of adrenaline pumping 3-D gaming with the release of their latest action titles, QUAKE III Arena(tm), QUAKE III: Team Arena(tm) and Return to Castle Wolfenstein(tm). id's advanced QUAKE III Arena engine is leading the next revolution in 3-D interactive games with both single and multiplayer technology. Check out more about id Software at www.idsoftware.com .


 
[PressRelease] BioWare to Develop Xbox Game for Microsoft - posted by Andy Grieser at 7:39 am CDT

BioWare to Develop Xbox Game for Microsoft

Microsoft and BioWare Form New First-Party Publishing Relationship

REDMOND, Wash. — Aug. 6, 2002 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that BioWare Corp., which specializes in creating computer and console video games, has signed a deal with Microsoft® Game Studios to develop an exclusive first-party Xbox™ game to be published by Microsoft. BioWare is known for its extremely popular “Baldur’s Gate™” role-playing game (RPG) series, of which more than 4 million copies have been sold worldwide. Currently BioWare, in conjunction with LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC, is developing an RPG for the Xbox video game system titled “Star Wars®: Knights of the Old Republic.” BioWare recently released “Neverwinter Nights™,” which debuted at No. 1 in North America and remained there in its first two weeks at retail.

“I’m very excited about this new alliance between Microsoft and BioWare,” said Ed Fries, vice president of Xbox Game Content at Microsoft Game Studios. “These guys are some of the most creative developers in the world. We’re looking forward to working with them to bring the creativity and great gameplay they’re known for to Xbox.”

“This opportunity to work on a brand-new intellectual property owned by BioWare as a first-party Xbox developer for Microsoft is very exciting to us,” said Dr. Ray Muzyka, joint CEO of BioWare.

“Microsoft clearly shares BioWare’s vision in creating first-rate games, and the team at BioWare is looking forward to working with it,” said Dr. Greg Zeschuk, joint CEO of BioWare.


Monday, August 05, 2002
 
[PressRelease] Soldier of Fortune II to Support PunkBuster - posted by Erich Becker at 2:22 pm CDT

To help stop the freaking cheaters online who are so "l33t" that they need to cheat their way through games, Soldier of Fortune publisher Activision announced that future patches of Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix will include support for PunkBuster. Here is the official line:

We are pleased to announce that Even Balance, Inc. is working on integrating PunkBuster into Soldier of Fortune® II: Double Helix © by Activision and Raven Software. We will release more details here as they become available. Any PB supporters who have specific knowledge of where to download hacks and cheats for multiplayer SOF2 should send information to research@evenbalance.com.

If you would like to help, please reference the email address above.

 
[PressRelease] VIA Sponsors Car and Body Art Contest @ QuakeCon - posted by Erich Becker at 2:20 pm CDT

VIA Technologies Invites QuakeCon-Goers to Compete in

Outrageous Car, Body Art Contest

QuakeCon 2002 Kickoff With Style, Free BBQ

MESQUITE, Texas - Aug. 5, 2002 - VIA Technologies, developer of silicon chip technologies and PC platform solutions, is adding mesquite flavor to this year's QuakeCon by holding the first "Quake-ify Your Ride and Bod" contest and barbecue party on Thursday, Aug. 15, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Mesquite Convention Center parking lot.

Contestants are asked to deck out themselves and their cars with paint, tattoos, stickers, masks, wigs and costumes - anything that is wild and emulates QuakeCon, the greatest LAN party in North America for true PC game lovers. Prizes will be awarded to the winner and runner-up in two categories: car decorating and body art. VIA will also provide a free BBQ lunch for all participants, with BAWLS providing beverages to cool the Texas heat.

Painted participants and their tricked-out rides must sign in at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 15. All interested parties must RSVP to reserve a spot by emailing James Espinoza, The Bohle Company, at james@bohle.com.


About QuakeCon
QuakeCon began in 1996 as a LAN party dedicated to fans of id Software's games, and has grown to include QUAKE (R), QUAKE II (TM), QUAKE III Arena and QUAKE III: Team Arena (TM). It was created by gamers to commune with online friends in real life, meet the makers of the games they crave, talk shop with industry veterans and compete with some of the best players in the world. The event enjoys continued success, growing from a small gathering of 150 players in 1996 to more than 3,000 in 2001. Additional information is available at www.quakecon.org.

About id Software
id - Freud's primal part of the human psyche and one of the hottest game shops on Earth - has been rocking the gaming world from Mesquite, Texas since 1991. As a renowned leader in the industry, id Software forged such frenetic titles as Wolfenstein 3D (R), DOOM (R), DOOM II (TM), QUAKE (R) and QUAKE II (TM). With intense graphics and mind-blowing action, id's games have helped redefine the modern video game, continually setting industry standards for technology and gameplay. And, in keeping with tradition, id Software has amplified the world of adrenaline pumping 3-D gaming with the release of their latest action titles, QUAKE III Arena (TM), QUAKE III: Team Arena (TM), and Return to Castle Wolfenstein (TM). id's advanced DOOM III engine is leading the next revolution in 3-D interactive gaming.
Check out more about id Software at www.idsoftware.com.


About VIA Technologies, Inc.
VIA Technologies, Inc. is a leading innovator and developer of PC core logic chipsets, microprocessors, and multimedia, communications, optical media and networking chips. VIA delivers value to the PC industry by designing, marketing, and selling high-performance VIA Apollo core logic chipsets for the full range of PC platforms, and cost-effective VIA C3™ processors for Value PCs and Internet Appliances, as well as developing complete solutions for the PC platform through its VPSD Business Unit. Its customers include the world's top OEMs, main board manufacturers, and system integrators. VIA is headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, at the center of the Greater China high-tech manufacturing engine, and has branch offices in the US, China and Europe. The company is listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TSE2388), and achieved annual revenues of nearly US$1 billion in 2001. Additional information can be found at www.via.com.tw.


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[Community] Gaming in 3D Reviews Radeon 8500 64MB DDR Board - posted by Erich Becker at 2:17 pm CDT

Here is the latest from Gaming in 3D. Today they review ATI's Radeon 8500 64MB DDR video card. Hey, better late than never right? Anyway, here's a snippet:

"In the world of video cards it seems as if ATI has been a second place finisher ever since NVIDIA introduced the GeForce Line. Excelling when it comes to feature packed All-in-Wonder cards, but failing to ever grab the most powerful card title for any significant amount of time ATI has become dead to the speed freak gamers out there. But ATI is certainly due for a card that grabs your attention with its performance, and the 8500 certainly does that."

Related Links: See the Full Radeon 8500 Review!



Thursday, August 01, 2002
 
[PressRelease] Unlock Three Races in the Shadowbane Pre-Order Program - posted by Erich Becker at 12:59 pm CDT

UBI SOFT UNLEASHES INNOVATIVE PRE-ORDER PROGRAM FOR SHADOWBANE

Highly anticipated online role playing game launches first-ever restricted race program. Minotaurs, Centaurs, Aracroix and other items provided to fans who pre-order.

July 29, 2002 -- Ubi Soft and ubi.com, the publishers of Shadowbane, today unveiled the details of a first-ever limited edition Shadowbane pre-order box which will contain a code to unlock three restricted races in the final version of Shadowbane. Shadowbane is the highly-anticipated, fantasy-based massively multiplayer online (MMO) game scheduled for release this November.

The Shadowbane pre-order box will be available in September at Electronics Boutique, Gamestop, and CompUSA in limited quantities for $10.00 suggested retail price. Buyers of the pre-order box will be credited the price of the pre-order box when they purchase the final version of Shadowbane in November.

The pre-order CD contains:

" Shadowbane Desktop Wallpaper
" A Shadowbane Screensaver
" A Shadowbane Video "Trailer"
" A one-time-use promotional code to unlock three Shadowbane Restricted Races: Minotaur, Aracroix, and Centaur.

Customers who pre-order Shadowbane online at EBworld.com, Gamefixx.com and Gamestop.com will only receive the code for the restricted races through those respective online retailers. Ubi Soft and Wolfpack Studios also confirmed today that restricted races will be unlocked each month as players play the game, providing those customers who do not pre-order Shadowbane the opportunity to access the restricted races as well. More details about the pre-order program can be found on the Shadowbane Web site at :

http://shadowbane.ubisoft.com/home/faq/section11.shtml

Developed by Wolfpack Studios, Shadowbane takes the MMO genre to a new level by offering gamers an unparalleled challenge that combines role-playing and strategic elements. Shadowbane is the first MMO to offer a Dynamic World Model, in which players' actions and decisions permanently change the history, politics and landscape of the game. Players will utilize both role-playing and strategic elements for city management, army creation, siege warfare and economic development. Shadowbane gives players the power to change their world.



 
[PressRelease] DOOM III Theatre to Debut to Public at QuakeCon 2002 - posted by Erich Becker at 12:57 pm CDT

DOOM III (TM) THEATER TO JOLT QUAKECON (TM) 2002

id Software (TM) to Conduct First Fan Demonstration of Game at Ultimate LAN Party

MESQUITE, Texas - August 1, 2002 - id Software and Activision's DOOM III theater, which unleashed its fury at E3 2002, last May in Los Angeles, will endure a 1,000 mile journey to arrive in Mesquite, the home of id Software, in time for QuakeCon 2002. The theater will showcase a demonstration of DOOM III, a mind-searing mixture of cutting-edge graphics, design and revolutionary 5.1 sound design.

Members of the id Software team will also host a special session, offering a guided tour of the DOOM III world and talking about the game's development. The preview at QuakeCon 2002 is a terrifying journey through over 12 minutes of gameplay running completely in-engine. This exclusive opportunity for gamers is only available to registered attendees of QuakeCon 2002. Each attendee will receive an admission ticket for the preview upon registering at the event.

About QuakeCon
QuakeCon began in 1996 as a LAN party dedicated to fans of id Software's games, and has grown to include QUAKE (R), QUAKE II(TM), QUAKE III Arena and QUAKE III: Team Arena (TM). It was created by gamers to commune with online friends in real life, meet the makers of the games they crave, talk shop with industry veterans and compete with some of the best players in the world. The event enjoys continued success, growing from a small gathering of 150 players in 1996 to more than 3,000 in 2001. Additional information is available at www.quakecon.org.

About id Software
id - Freud's primal part of the human psyche and one of the hottest game shops on Earth - has been rocking the gaming world from Mesquite, Texas since 1991. As a renowned leader in the industry, id Software forged such frenetic titles as Wolfenstein 3D (R), DOOM (R), DOOM II (TM), QUAKE (R) and QUAKE II (TM). With intense graphics and mind-blowing action, id's games have helped redefine the modern video game, continually setting industry standards for technology and gameplay. And, in keeping with tradition, id Software has amplified the world of adrenaline pumping 3-D gaming with the release of their latest action titles, QUAKE III Arena, (TM) QUAKE III: Team Arena (TM), and Return to Castle Wolfenstein (TM). id's advanced DOOM III engine is leading the next revolution in 3-D interactive. Check out more about id Software at www.idsoftware.com.


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[PressRelease] Sierra, Intel, iGames to Crown Empire Earth Champ - posted by Andy Grieser at 9:51 am CDT

SIERRA TEAMS WITH INTEL AND IGAMES TO CROWN EMPIRE EARTH'S WORLD CHAMPION
Massive International Tournament with Grand Prize of up to $100,000 Begins in September

BELLEVUE, WA (August 1, 2002) - Sierra(tm) Entertainment, Inc., a studio of the Games division of Vivendi Universal Publishing, today announced that it is working with Intel Corporation and iGames as co-sponsors of a worldwide tournament that will bring gamers together to crown the world's best Empire Earth(tm) players this September.

The Empire Earth World Championships consist of a series of tournaments held internationally, culminating in a Championship Tournament where the best of the best Empire Earth combatants will face off in hopes of winning the Grand Prize of US$20,000 and a chance to increase that amount to US$100,000. The Championship Tournament will highlight the upcoming expansion pack to Empire Earth, Empire Earth: The Art of Conquest(tm).

The tournament will begin with regional competitions held in more than a dozen different countries across the globe. Winners of each regional final will move on to national competition and national winners will be sent to the Empire Earth Worldwide Championships in Munich, Germany in October where the greatest conqueror of our time will be crowned.

Competition rules and further details about the Empire Earth World Championships can be found online at http://www.empireearth.com/ beginning August 15th , 2002.

The Empire Earth World Championships will highlight Sierra Entertainment's upcoming expansion pack to its award winning real-time strategy game, Empire Earth. Released in November 2001, Empire Earth is a worldwide hit, with more than one million copies sold. The game has won numerous industry awards, including PC Game of the Year honors from GameSpy.com, a "Gold Award" accolade by PC Action magazine in Germany, and a "Trophy Award" for special achievement in gaming from PC Team magazine in France.

Empire Earth: The Art of Conquest includes three new single-player campaigns set in ancient Rome, the Pacific Theater of World War II, and Asia in the 22nd century. In addition, each of the 21 pre-designed civilizations in the game gains a unique special power, building, or unit. Examples include: the Kingdom of Italy's Metallurgy power, which allows them to pay building costs with gold or iron interchangeably; Great Britain's S.A.S. unit will be able to plant demolitions and swim across water; and the United States' market building will allow that civilization to trade abundant resources for scarce ones.

In Empire Earth: The Art of Conquest, gamers can become the greatest conqueror of all time by creating, building, and leading a civilization to transcend the ages - from the discovery of fire, to flight, to the next frontier: space.

From Prehistory to the Space Age of the 22nd Century, Empire Earth serves up gaming on an epic scale. Empire Earth and Empire Earth: The Art of Conquest cover over 500,000 years of human history, from the discovery of fire to the laser battles of the future. Each player takes control of a fledgling civilization and strives to forge the greatest of all empires.

Empire Earth: The Art of Conquest is optimized for the Intel(r) Pentium(r) 4 processor. Gamers with a PC equipped with a Pentium 4 processor will experience smoother animation, more lifelike video, and ultra-realistic environments.


Wednesday, July 31, 2002
 
[PressRelease] Microsoft Game Studios Invades Gen Con - posted by Andy Grieser at 11:37 am CDT

Microsoft Game Studios Invades Gen Con, August 8-11

Microsoft Booth to Showcase Six Titles at One of the Largest Game Conventions in the World

Elves, Vulcans and human fans attending Gen Con can enjoy some hands-on experience with six of the hottest upcoming games from Microsoft Game Studios. Gen Con takes place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from August 8-11, and is recognized as the largest convention in the nation for science fiction, fantasy, and general game-playing fans.

Gamers will be able to get their hands on three real-time strategy games from Microsoft: "Age of Mythology," Ensemble Studios' highly anticipated 3-D strategy title of mythical proportions; "Rise of Nations," which combines the epic scope of "Civilization" with the fast-paced action of RTS games; and "Impossible Creatures," a 3-D RTS that allows gamers to create their own unique army by using Earth's most formidable animals as building blocks. Also on display: "Asheron's Call 2 Fallen Kings," the sequel to "Asheron's Call," the popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game; "MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries," the latest installment of the hugely popular "MechWarrior" franchise; and "Freelancer," a space adventure that allows players to choose the life of a bounty hunter, trader, pirate or explorer.

Fans attending Gen Con will receive a coupon that they can redeem at the Microsoft booth for an "Asheron's Call 2 Fallen Kings" beta CD. Tournaments for "Rise of Nations," "MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries" and "Asheron's Call 2 Fallen Kings" will be held throughout the convention. For more information and to participate in any of these tournaments, please visit the Microsoft booth during the show.

Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide publisher and developer of games for the PC, Xbox video game system and online platforms. Comprising a network of top developers, Microsoft Game Studios is committed to creating innovative and diverse game portfolios for PC ( http://www.microsoft.com/games/ ), including such franchises as "Age of Empires," "Flight Simulator " and "Zoo Tycoon "; Xbox ( http://www.xbox.com/ ), including such franchises as "Halo ," "Project Gotham Racing "
and "NFL Fever"; and Zone.com ( http://zone.msn.com/ ), the official games channel for the MSN network and home to such hits as "Bejeweled" and "OutSmart ."



Tuesday, July 30, 2002
 
[Community] Ruff Trigger Interview @ Gamer's Hell - posted by Erich Becker at 9:18 am CDT

Ruff Trigger Interview (Luca Da Rios and Gabriele Baldissera)

"Ruff Trigger is not only the game’s main character but a bounty hunter as well, tracing his origins to an ancient breed of sled dogs, the Alaskan malamute. Ruff carves out a living working for the Boss Private Investigation Agency, and the adventure begins one day as Boss, at the agency’s helm, calls Ruff with a new task. "

Related Links: See the Full Interview @ Gamer's Hell


 
[PressRelease] VIA to Define Next-Gen Gaming Experiences at QuakeCon - posted by Erich Becker at 9:17 am CDT

For Immediate Release

VIA to Define Next-Generation Gaming Experience at QuakeCon

VIA Audio Immersion to Complement Premium Performance Chipsets and Mainboards in Driving Gaming Standards at North America's Greatest LAN Event

Mesquite, Texas and Taipei, Taiwan - July 26, 2002 - VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator and developer of silicon chip technologies and PC platform solutions, today announced Title Sponsorship of QuakeCon 2002, the ultimate gaming convention being held at the Mesquite Convention Center on August 15-18. Participants will get a chance to experience the ultimate gaming hardware platforms as well as a great end to three days of gaming with an awesome party night brought to QuakeCon 2002 by VIA.

Underlining the strength and breadth of the VIA Apollo line of performance desktop chipsets, already well-known to the hardcore PC gaming community as the premier gamers' choice, VIA will put its leading-edge technology to the test with powerful demonstrations of its blisteringly fast new VIA P4PB 400 motherboard based on the unbeatable VIA Apollo P4X400 chipset. In a new approach to enhancing the gaming experience, VIA will also show how the stunning quality of true 24-bit surround sound raises gaming to a whole new level of excitement and realism in a unique audio immersion room.

"We greatly appreciate the strong support given to VIA by the gaming community," commented Richard Brown, director of marketing, VIA Technologies,Inc. "QuakeCon is the number one global gaming event and we are delighted to be a part of it."

"We are very excited to have VIA involved in this event," said Todd Hollenshead, CEO, id Software. "We're well aware of how important leading hardware is to gamers and having VIA on board is going to bring the experience of QuakeCon and all there is to see and hear at this year's event to a new level."

Audio Immersion - Discovering the Power of True 24-bit PC Audio VIA Audio boasts some of the highest quality audio controllers on the market, delivering the most incredible sound through its true 24-bit resolution.

Setting the standard in PC audio, VIA invites competitors to experience a whole new world of 5.1/7.1 Surround Sound in the Audio Immersion Room at the Mesquite Convention Center, and hear for themselves how quality audio reproduction is bringing games to life and shaping the next generation of the gaming experience.


About QuakeCon
QuakeCon began in 1996 as a LAN party dedicated to fans of id Software's games, and has grown to include QUAKE (R), QUAKEII (TM), QUAKE III Arena, QUAKE III: Team Arena (TM) and Return to Castle Wolfenstein (TM). It was created by gamers to commune with online friends in real life, meet the makers of the games they crave, talk shop with industry veterans and compete with some of the best players in the world. The event enjoys continued success, growing from a small gathering of 150 players in 1996 to more than 3,000 in 2001.

About id Software
id - Freud's primal part of the human psyche and one of the hottest game shops on Earth - has been rocking the gaming world from Mesquite, Texas, since 1991. As a renowned leader in the industry, id Software forged such frenetic titles as Wolfenstein 3D (R), DOOM (R), DOOM II (TM), QUAKE (TM) and QUAKE II (TM). With intense graphics and mind-blowing action, id's games have helped redefine the modern video game, continually setting industry standards for technology and gameplay. And, in keeping with tradition, id Software has amplified the world of adrenaline pumping 3-D gaming with the release of action titles QUAKE III Arena (TM), QUAKE III: Team Arena (TM) and the executive production of Return to Castle Wolfenstein (TM). id's advanced DOOM III engine is leading the next revolution in 3-D interactive. Check out more about id Software at www.idsoftware.com.

About VIA Technologies, Inc.
VIA Technologies, Inc. is a leading innovator and developer of PC core logic chipsets, microprocessors, and multimedia, communications, optical media and networking chips. VIA delivers value to the PC industry by designing, marketing, and selling high-performance VIA Apollo core logic chipsets for the full range of PC platforms, and cost-effective VIA C3 (TM) processors for Value PCs and Internet Appliances, as well as developing complete solutions for the PC platform through its VPSD Business Unit. Its customers include the world's top OEMs, mainboard manufacturers, and system integrators. VIA is headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, at the center of the Greater China high-tech manufacturing engine, and has branch offices in the US, China and Europe. The company is listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TSE2388), and achieved annual revenues of nearly US$1 billion in 2001. Additional information can be found at www.via.com.tw.


 
[PressRelease] Far Cry Announced for PC in 2003 - posted by Erich Becker at 9:13 am CDT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FAR CRY, UBI SOFT'S GRAPHICALLY STUNNING FIRST-PERSON SHOOTER CREATES A PARADISE FOR GAMERS

Ubi Soft's Worldwide Release of Far Cry on the PC Prepares to Amaze in Late 2003

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - July 26th, 2002 - Ubi Soft® Entertainment, one of the world's largest video game publishers, today announced the official name of its new first-person shooter game, Far Cry(tm). This technically advanced game emphasizes tactics and action with a spectacular use of graphical and environmental details, which will push the FPS genre to new, undiscovered levels. Far Cry is planned for a worldwide release on PC CD-ROM in late 2003.

"Considering the unique, advanced technology, the amazing graphics and atmosphere of this new FPS jewel, we have great expectations for this soon-to-be massive hit!" said Alain Corre, managing director for Europe, Asia Pacific and South America, Ubi Soft Entertainment. "Far Cry is already looking superb, and we plan to deliver something very special to please gamers in 2003."

In May of this year, exclusive presentations were given to the press at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles. Far Cry has left significant impressions and created considerable excitement among the gaming press, with IGN.com nominating the game for awards in "Technical Excellence," "Best Action," and "Biggest Surprise." Additionally, PC Gamer reported being "Deeply Impressed" by "a gorgeous FPS with fast-paced tactical action."

In Far Cry, players find themselves abducted and taken to a group of beautiful islands in Polynesia complete with sun, sea, sand and... sub-machineguns! The game's unlikely hero soon finds himself fighting for survival against highly trained and heavily armed opponents, while becoming ever more embroiled in a deeper conspiracy.

"With Far Cry, Crytek will enter into a new dimension of the FPS Genre. With more tactical elements and far advanced AI, Far Cry will give players a completely new feeling of gameplay," said Faruk Yerli, chief marketing officer, Crytek.

About Ubi Soft® Entertainment
Ubi Soft Entertainment is an international producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment products. A leading company in the multimedia industry, Ubi Soft's strong and diversified line-up has grown considerably, as has Ubi Soft itself. As well as steadfastly continuing to partner with several high-profile companies, Ubi Soft has also confirmed its presence on the global market by developing its own exceptional properties. Founded in 1986 in France, Ubi Soft is now present on every continent, both through offices in 22 different countries including the United States, Brazil, Morocco, Germany and China and through sales of products in over 50 countries. The group is dedicated to delivering high-quality, cutting-edge video game titles to consumers around the world. To learn more, visit www.ubi.com.

About Crytek®
Crytek® is an interactive entertainment development company with specialists from 15 different nations located in Coburg / Germany. Crytek is known for international company philosophy to keep up their high quality standards. Crytek is dedicated to create exceptionally high quality video games for the major platforms PC, XBOX, PS2 and GC and cutting edge 3D-Game-Technologies such as the CryENGINE® Game-Engine or Polybump®. For further information www.crytek.com

© Crytek Studios. All rights reserved. Published by Ubi Soft Entertainment. Far Cry is a trademark of Ubi Soft Entertainment.


 
[Contest] Submit Artwork for Eschaton Spaceships - posted by Erich Becker at 9:12 am CDT

Art Contents for Valtavech Ship Designs

This is for all you aspiring artists out there.

Gnostic Labs is looking for concept artwork of Eschaton spaceships. This particular contest is limited to designs for the Valtavech Republic. The winner's ship will most closely match the aesthetics of the Valtavech laid down in the official guidelines and visible through the six Valtavech ships presently modeled. We are granting significant leeway in the design of these ships so that we get a variety.

Here are the official guidelines:

www.eschaton-online.com/guidelines.html

The winner will be added to a beta test list that will give him/her access to a beta account, once that time comes.

We are using this contest to get some official artwork for Eschaton. This contest is for concept art, the next art contest will be for actual models that Eschaton might contract (if they are up to snuff), so keep that in mind while you contemplate entering or not.

Well, what are you waiting for? Pull out your pencil and hit the sketchbook!

 
[PCGaming] Octagon to Publish Horror Thriller Asylum - posted by Andy Grieser at 7:26 am CDT

Octagon Paints the Town DarkBlack
Reality TV Takes a Turn for the Worst in Asylum


CHAPEL HILL, NC and GATESHEAD, United Kingdom, 30 July 2002 – Octagon Entertainment has linked up with developer DarkBlack to secure worldwide publishing for the team’s first-person horror thriller Asylum for console with multiplatform options.

Channel WKYZ is set to film a live broadcast of the popular reality TV show The Fright of Your Life! on location at the haunted Wolfborough Asylum. Four contestants have agreed to take part in a 24-hour lock-in to complete a number of assignments in a race to snag $10 million, the largest cash prize in television history. The player begins the challenge ready to outwit the other contestants but soon realizes that it’s every man for himself as the contenders witness a brutal nightmare unleash on the complex. Channel WKYZ’s ratings go through the roof, the producers abandon all ethical responsibilities and continue the real-time broadcast as the players combat the appalling forces within the boundaries of the compound.

Asylum offers a highly atmospheric first-person experience that is enhanced by fine-tuned Skeletal Logic code and the Havok physics engine. Real-time shadows, volumetric fog and detailed textures will be maximized for each console and 3D positional Dolby sound will intensify environments as well.

“Asylum is a shoe-in for success,” said Octagon agent Jay Powell. “The storyline is fresh, the graphics looks great, and DarkBlack is a proven team.”

“We’re really excited about working with a company like Octagon.” Said DarkBlack’s Managing Director, Richard Beston. “They’re a professional business with a proven track record in the industry, and we have the highest faith in their abilities.”

Octagon Entertainment arranges financing, licensing and distribution agreements for computer and video game developers and publishers worldwide. Titles Octagon currently represents include Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project , Outlaw Golf , Painkiller and Devastation .

Since being founded in 1998, DarkBlack has developed products for MTV Sports and Nickelodeon. DarkBlack is a collection of highly motivated and creative developers; the producers, programmers, artists and designers have a huge range of experience, from fresh new talent to highly skilled games industry veterans. DarkBlack uses the most groundbreaking technology for games production and development and is striving for perfection in the games industry. DarkBlack looks forward to developing next generation titles and focuses on playability, depth and longevity.


 
[PCGaming] Aquatic Creatures Splash into Zoo Tycoon - posted by Andy Grieser at 7:24 am CDT

Aquatic Creatures Splash Into Microsoft Game Studios’ Top-Selling Family PC Game, “Zoo Tycoon”

“Zoo Tycoon: Marine Mania” Challenges Players to Create the Ultimate Aquatic Adventure

REDMOND, Wash. -- July 30, 2002 -- Dolphins, elephant seals and jellyfish are swimming into cyberspace. Microsoft Game Studios today announced it will launch “Zoo Tycoon™: Marine Mania™,” an expansion pack for use with the “Zoo Tycoon” PC game, in October 2002. “Zoo Tycoon: Marine Mania” is an entertaining and engaging game for the entire family, with more than 20 aquatic creatures including sea otters and octopuses, additional zoo-enhancing objects such as aquatic shows and marine scenery, and 10 new scenarios to test players’ zoo-building skills.

Microsoft® “Zoo Tycoon: Marine Mania” continues the tradition of family fun started by “Zoo Tycoon,” the top-selling “tycoon” game title by dollars for the last three quarters since its release in October,* and “Zoo Tycoon: Dinosaur Digs,” which allows players to add prehistoric beasts to the everyday zoo.

The “Zoo Tycoon: Marine Mania” expansion pack seamlessly integrates with “Zoo Tycoon,” allowing players to immediately add aquatic creatures to their ultimate zoo. In addition to offering new creatures, ranging from the great white shark to the giant squid, “Zoo Tycoon: Marine Mania” allows players to enhance their zoos with customizable aquatic shows including a dolphin show. Zoo guests can now enjoy attractions such as the shark tunnel and the dolphin ride, which enables them to swim with the dolphins. Players can enrich their marine exhibits with a variety of objects, including 21 species of underwater organisms (including kelp and sea anemone), five new animal toys and sunken treasure.

Players are challenged to create and manage underwater exhibits or merge aquatic tanks with traditional land habitats. Interactive tutorials and marine specialists are on hand to help players maintain animal happiness. In addition, 10 new scenarios test players’ ability to manage and maintain a successful zoo.

“Playing computer games is a great way for parents to stay connected with their kids,” said Chuck Frizelle, product manager at Microsoft Game Studios. “‘Zoo Tycoon: Marine Mania’ continues the family fun of the ‘Zoo Tycoon’ franchise, stimulating creativity and encouraging players of all ages and skill levels to build and manage the ultimate zoo.”

“Zoo Tycoon: Marine Mania” also includes all the prehistoric content available in “Zoo Tycoon: Dinosaur Digs.” Players can merge prehistoric and contemporary land and aquatic animals to create a zoo they could never visit in real life. “Zoo Tycoon” and “Zoo Tycoon: Marine Mania” were developed for Microsoft by Blue Fang Games LLC.


 
[Online] Bejeweled Deluxe Success Triggers Zone.com Expansion - posted by Andy Grieser at 7:23 am CDT

“Bejeweled Deluxe” Success Triggers Zone.com Expansion

Popular Game Site Bolsters Business Model, Launches Downloadable Games Hub

REDMOND, Wash. — July 30, 2002 — In response to high consumer demand, Zone.com (http://www.zone.com/), the MSN® network of Internet services’ exclusive games channel, has expanded to include a new downloadable games hub featuring premium versions of the Web’s most popular casual games. Deluxe versions of “Bejeweled,” “Mah Jong Tiles” and “Dynomite” headline the new hub, providing players with offline gameplay flexibility, advanced 3-D graphics, pause and save options, full-screen capabilities and other enhancements not found in the online versions. The downloadable games are available for a one-time fee of $19.95 per title.

“Today’s casual game players want bigger, better, premium offline versions of the online games they love to play,” said Don Ryan, Zone.com studio manager. “The success of ‘Bejeweled Deluxe’ and ‘Mah Jong Tiles Deluxe’ proves that casual gamers want compelling online game experiences with enhanced features and offline capabilities, and are willing to pay for them.”

The new downloadable products add another strong revenue pillar to Zone.com’s already successful business model currently focused on advertising, sponsorships and premium game subscription services. “Bejeweled Deluxe” set the tone for Zone.com’s downloadable service, a service featuring only top-tier, deluxe versions of today’s most popular casual online games.

PopCap Games and GameHouse Inc., two of today’s top casual game developers, are finding success in Zone.com’s downloadable games service, averaging more downloads on Zone.com than on any other site hosting their games, which they credit to Zone.com’s strong marketing focus on supporting the service, elite titles and a massive online community.

“Zone.com’s excellent selection of downloadable games reinforces its commitment to only offer its members high-quality, engaging entertainment,” said John Vechey, CEO of PopCap Games, developer of “Bejeweled Deluxe.” “Zone.com’s casual gamers can be assured they will find only the best downloadable games on the site, reaffirming their decision to purchase.”

“With a huge community and high peak concurrent user numbers, Zone.com is a pivotal site for online entertainment, and an important avenue for game developers to distribute games to a diverse audience,” said Ron Powers, vice president of GameHouse, developer of “Mah Jong Tiles Deluxe.” According to GameHouse, Zone.com’s sales numbers for “Mah Jong Tiles Deluxe” are more than four times higher than those for any other site hosting the game. The original online-only version of “Mah Jong Tiles” recently replaced “Bejeweled” as the No. 1 game played on Zone.com, a position “Bejeweled” held for nearly two years.

With more than 73 million people playing games online today, and more than 114 million people expected to play by 2006,* Internet gaming embodies online entertainment for the mass market. The majority of online gamers are casual players, individuals who enjoy playing a quick game of “Bejeweled” as a brief at-work coffee break or at-home diversion. Zone.com’s peak play hours are from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. PDT, with women making up 76 percent of the site’s audience for casual games.

Casual online game aficionados looking for anytime, anywhere availability can download deluxe versions of “Bejeweled,” “Alchemy,” “Dynomite,” “Mummy Maze” and “Mah Jong Tiles” at
http://www.zone.com/. Soon the enhanced versions of “Collapse,” “Atomica” and “Big Money” also will be available there. These offerings bolster Zone.com’s comprehensive selection of games, which currently includes more than 150 free** online single-player and multiplayer games, retail matchmaking services, and premium massively multiplayer games.


 


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