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Thursday, July 6, 2000

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Mac Diablo II Is Gold
12:15 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Yesterday we brought you news of Mac Baldur's Gate going gold - now yet another highly-anticipated RPG of a very different character has reached completion. The Mac OS version of Blizzard's Diablo II is gold, mere weeks behind the PC version. Here are details from the press release:

Macintosh gamers, get ready. Blizzard Entertainment announced today that the Macintosh version of the highly anticipated Diablo II, has gone gold. Shipping less than one month after the PC version of the game, this marks the fastest conversion of a game in the history of Blizzard Entertainment.

In Diablo II, players return to a dark world plagued by evil forces. After possessing the body of the hero who defeated him, Diablo resumes his nefarious scheme to shackle humanity into unholy slavery by joining forces with the other Prime Evils, Mephisto and Baal. Players face a new series of quests to rid the world of Diablo and his vile brethren forever.

"Not only is Diablo II our most ambitious undertaking to date, it is also the first time in our company's history that we are able to launch the Mac version almost simultaneously with the PC version," said Mike Morhaime, Blizzard Entertainment president and co-founder, "From the depth of each character class and the size of each act to the expansion of Battle.net?'s new worldwide architecture, the scope of Diablo II is much larger than any of our past projects."

Key features in the game include:

* Five all new character classes -- the Amazon, Paladin, Barbarian, Sorceress and Necromancer -- each with unique skills and abilities. In all, Diablo II offers 150 special abilities as each character can develop 30 unique, class specific skills and spells throughout the game.

* Four expansive towns to explore complete with wilderness areas, dungeons, monasteries, tombs, caverns and crypts.

* A randomly generated world filled with all-new weapons, armor, monsters, unique items, non-playing characters and more than 20 quests.

* Nearly 25 minutes of motion picture quality cinematics and a 70-minute original score of ambient music.

* InputSprocket to support multi-button mice.

* Full multiplayer support for up to eight players and expanded Battle.net support with servers on land in North America, Europe and Asia.

* Optional for RAVE, open GL and 3dfx support that offers near-perfect perspective, including scaling and parallax effects, to the game play experience.


Diablo II is expected to release on three CD-ROMs by the end of July in Macintosh format. Diablo II has an ESRB rating of Mature (17+). The game will be available at most computer and software retail chains worldwide. The game will also be offered directly from Blizzard at (800) 953-SNOW and www.blizzard.com.

System Requirements

Diablo II's single-player minimum system requirements are G3 processor, Mac OS 8.1 or higher, 64 MB RAM plus Virtual Memory 650 MB available hard drive space, 4X CD-ROM drive and Video support for 256 color display at 800X600, Mouse and keyboard.

Additional multiplayer system requirements include 64 MB RAM plus Virtual Memory 950 MB available hard drive, 4X CD-ROM drive, Video support for 256 color display at 800X600, Mouse and keyboard. Battle.net connection requires a low-latency 28.8 Kbps Internet connection. Multiplayer games played over a LAN require a TCP/IP network. The game offers InputSprocket to support multiple mice. Enhanced graphic support includes optional 3D acceleration by supporting Glide?, OpenGL (v.1.1.2 or higher), RAVE or 3dfx.

Typically the path from Gold Master to duplication to store is one to two weeks; we are absoluely certain this game will be ready for sale by Macworld Expo New York (July 19th) but preorders may be shipping even earlier. By all accounts Diablo II is yet another Blizzard best-of-class smash hit, and we can't wait to jump online and dish out some punishment. Keep watching the stores for this one! Read our two-part Diablo II preview for more details.

Blizzard Web Site
IMG's Diablo II Preview Part I
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo II
Buy Diablo II

Adams' Apple On Expo
6:38 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

The latest installment of Adams' Apple has been posted at MacGaming. This column by Mark and Suellen Adams of Westlake Interactive covers their preperations for Macworld Expo New York later this month, both their preperations and expectations.

We've had the pleasure of spending time with the Adams at several past expos, and we can attest they are truly friendly folk with a deep passion for Mac gaming. That's why we can assure you that the following excerpt is totally sincere:

Some folks attend the Expo for the conferences. Others go to hear what is announced at the keynote. Still others go to see all the products available for Macintoshes, and maybe in hopes of a bargain, or even a bit of free stuff. Publishers and manufacturers attend to sell their wares. For us the whole focus is people.

There are four kinds of people that we are focused on at any Macworld Expo: The publishers, the press, our beta testers and the end-users. Each of these groups is important to our business, but even more important to us is that a great many of them are also our friends.

For more on their journey to the Big Apple, check out this week's column. We look forward to seeing the fruits of their arduous labor at MWNY, specifically Rune and The Sims.

Adams' Apple on MWNY

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Heineman on SiN, FAKK2
6:30 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Fan site Ritualistic has posted a short interview with Bill Heineman, covering their upcoming Mac OS ports of first-person shooter SiN and 3rd-person shooter/action game Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2, both by Ritual Entertainment. Among the topics covered are why SiN, which had a poor reception on the PC side due to numerous bugs, would make a good Mac port, and when we might expect the Mac version of FAKK2.

Among the more interesting tidbits is the news that Mac SiN may be done even before FAKK2. Here's an excerpt about why they chose this port, and what you might need to run it:

Was your team a fan of Sin? Or did you just pull Ritual outta a hat and decide to port their games?

Actually, I liked SiN when it came out. Then forgot about it like the rest of the world when Half-Life came out (Yes I'm guilty). When the opportunity came to look at this title came up, we took it on.

What kind of Mac system will people need to run the port?

SiN will need any G3 mac (iMac and up). OpenGL hardware is recommended but not required. FAKK 2 requires a hardware accelerator.

For more information about these two titles and Contraband, read the rest of the interview. Heineman notes that SiN will be done soon, or he is "a dead man" - we're not sure what the source of the threat is, but that sounds like proper motivation to get a title out the door. We look forward to seeing evidence of Contraband's progress at Macworld New York.

Ritualistic Talks to Bill Heineman
Gathering of Developers
Ritual Entertainment
Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2

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Gamecenter Diablo II Review
1:03 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Our Gamecenter Alliance partner has posted one of the first reviews of this action-oriented RPG from Blizzard Entertainment, which recently went gold for Mac OS. Their review is based on the PC version, of course, and cites several bugs which may or may not be present in the Mac version; you may want to wait for a review of the Mac version before making a purchasing decision. However, the GameCenter review presents a solid overview of the strengths and weaknesses of the game, along with several new screen shots. Here is an excerpt:

More than three years have passed since Diablo first appeared, and Blizzard has finally unleashed its sequel, Diablo II, upon the world. And though there is little argument that Diablo II is one of the most anticipated sequels in the history of computer games and that it will probably go on to become one of the best-selling games of all-time, there's still the matter of the game itself. Does it live up to its enormous hype? Does Diablo II deliver the kind of gameplay that warrants three years' worth of development? The short answer is yes--Diablo II is a blast to play. The long answer is that despite three years worth of development, Diablo II is Blizzard's buggiest game to date.
In related news, PC Diablo II players have suffered greviously the past few days with Battle.Net outages and crashes, due to the incredible burden on the online servers - Blizzard has shipped over two million pre-orders of this title, and sold over 100,000 additional copies in the first week. However, Blizzard is working around the clock to bring additional servers and bandwidth online to compensate, so hopefully by the time the Mac version arrives, these server problems will be squashed. For more details on the Mac OS version of this game, be sure and read our two-part preview by Bart Farkas, author of the Diablo II Official Strategy Guide published by Bradygames.

Diablo II Official Strategy Guide
IMG's Diablo II Preview
GameCenter's Diablo II Review
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo II
Buy Diablo II

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Human Head Talks Rune Music
12:31 PM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

Fan site RuneNews has a new interview with Human Head's Tim Gerritsen, the producer of this third-person action title which focuses on melee combat. They start off straight away with questions about Human Head's impressive E3 presentation; the following questions deal with Rune in general, although the comments about the game's music are quite interesting. Gerritsen says that Rune's music will be very atmospheric and will set a certain mood which will vary with your location in Rune's Viking world, and that you won't be hearing techno or guitars in the ancient setting of this game, in keeping with the overall theme. Here are Gerritsen's comments on Rune's music:

twisted: How would you describe to a friend the atmosphere created by the game's soundtrack?

Tim: It's very moody and atmospheric. The music is there to establish and then reinforce the epic feel we are going for with the game. Mike Larson, our sound director, is doing a fantastic job. Lately we've been getting pressure to present a more modern musical spin on the game from our publisher, but we feel that would needlessly date the game, and we've stuck to our guns. The music of the game absolutely fits the setting, and we feel that a huge guitar riff would just cheapen the game and not make any logical sense. Besides, if you want to play the game with a huge guitar riff in the background, you can put in your own music CD. We chose music that we felt was right for a game dealing with legends over a thousand years old.

Westlake is moving fast on Rune, due to their experience with the Unreal Tournament engine. Gathering of Developers has already said that playable demo of Rune will be found at one of the various 3dfx booths at Macworld New York later this month.

Gathering Of Developers
Tim Gerritsen Interview at RuneNews
Gathering of Developers
Human Head Studios
Westlake Interactive

UT Classes Preview, Images
12:23 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Mod Central Unreal has posted a quick preview of the upcoming Unreal Tournament mod called UT Classes. This modification will add many differing classes to the game, making it much more varied in tactics and strategy. Here's an interesting clip from the preview:

The weaponry rules, and the sound effects just make you want to keep shooting. You can find some pictures at the bottom. I've tried not to give too much away, but there are some good features.

The mini cam as I call it is totally amazing. You can plant it, then if someone goes near it, it'll lock onto them so you can see what they are doing. This is a very handy tool for CTF maps.

Be sure to check out the picture-within-a-picture screenshot of the minicam in action. UT Classes should be released for free later this year.

UT Classes Preview

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IMG's Baldur's Gate Giveaway
12:21 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Enter today to win one of 3 copies of Baldur's Gate, a role-playing game set in the fantasy world of TSR's Forgotten Realms, from Inside Mac Games and Graphic Simulations.

If you are tired of the spasm-inducing speed of first-person shooters or the mind-tweaking complexity of strategy-builders, or if you are just an old-fashioned role-player, then this title is for you. Developed by Bioware, published by Interplay and brought to the Mac platform by the folks at Graphic Simulations (also known for their work on Descent 3) Baldur's Gate is an oasis in the desert that is RPG titles for the Mac. Just stop by our contest page and sign up today!

IMG's Baldur's Gate Giveaway
Baldur's Gate

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Simon 3D Delayed
12:15 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

About.com has a quick little blurb noting that HeadFirst, makers of the upcoming game Simon the Sorceror 3D, will be delaying the title's release. There is no justification given, though we've contacted the company and will let you know of any official word we recieve. Here's a clip:

According to SouthPeak Interactive, they have delayed the North American release of Simon the Sorceror 3D for technical reasons. No new release date has been set.
Simon 3D was supposed to be released last month, so the delays aren't exactly new. But we're still looking forward to this 3D puzzle/adventure game very much and will be bringing you more info soon.

About.com Web Site
Simon 3D Web Site

SiN to Include Add-On Pack
11:39 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Following yesterday's news that the vintage first-perspon shooter SiN is being ported to the Mac by Contraband Entertainment, Contraband/Logicware employee Bill 'Burger' Heineman noted in a post to Usenet that the game would be bundled with an add-on pack. Here's a clip:

Just so you know, it comes with the expansion pack "Wages of Sin"

Wages of SiN has many new features, including 17 missions, ten new enemies and seven extra weapons. Here's a quote from the web site with details on this expansion pack:
Thanks to your crime-fighting efforts as security expert Colonel John R. Blade, the homicidal bio-chemist Elexis Sinclaire is out of commission. But beneath the now peaceful city, mob boss Gianni Manero is gearing up to take Sinclaire's place on Freeport's most wanted list. Wage war through his criminal empire. Take on thug after mutant thug in your struggle to get to the bottom of Manero's evil scheme before Freeport gets iced.
SiN is a FPS which used id Software's Quake II engine as its base. Contraband has also announced they are working on Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2, another title from Ritual, which uses the Quake 3 Arena engine.

'Wages of Sin' Web Site
Ritual's Sin Web Site
GameCenter's Review of Sin
Contraband Entertainment

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More 4x4 Shots
9:04 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

GA Sports has scored six new screen shots of Terminal Reality's upcoming SUV racing game, 4x4 Evolution. As always, this game is looking very impressive, with great lighting effects and dust-kicking action. A Mac version of this game is expected to be released later this year, at the same time as the PC and Dreamcast versions; all three platforms will be able to network play together, a first in the industry. Look for more information on this game from IMG very soon! And to check out our first impressions of this title, set the wayback machine to IMG's E3 coverage.

IMG's E3 Coverage of 4x4 Evolution
GA Sports Web Site
Terminal Reality Web Site
Terminal Reality
Gathering of Developers
4x4 Evolution

Mac Games News for Wednesday, July 5, 2000

Mars Needs Women - For UT4:44 PM
UT Mod Madness4:04 PM
Mac Baldur's Gate Is Gold!1:35 PM
Voodoo5 Review Soon1:02 PM
Byte Me Debuts12:54 PM
LucasArts Prez on Mac Games11:26 AM
MacGameFiles Adds Mirrors10:36 AM
Games Based on Unreal Tourney Engine10:31 AM
SiN Coming to Mac9:29 AM
Elite Force Images9:20 AM
RealMyst Movies9:15 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, July 5, 2000 on one page

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