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Tuesday, November 7, 2000

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Cro-Mag Rally Update
8:44 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

As Cro-Mag Rally heads into the final stages of production, we spoke with Pangea's president Brian Greenstone about the game. Production is going smoothly, according to Greenstone, and the game should start shipping on the 16th, one week from tomorrow. He said pre-orders are already going well, and they are expected to be even better after the demo is released on Monday. If you head over to Pangea's site right now, you can get the game as soon as it's available with free next-day shipping. There is still no word on whether you will find Cro-Mag Rally in retails stores like CompUSA or Electronics Boutique, or if any sort of bundle with Apple might be worked out. We'll keep you posted if anything changes on those fronts.

With a surprisingly light-hearted and casual article Apple has gotten into the prehistoric action on their games site, posting a short piece which also talks with Greenstone and a few of the other team members. Apple and Pangea have worked very closely in the past; as you might remember, both Nanosaur and Bugdom, previous Pangea titles, became 'showcase' titles bundled with the iMac and iBook series. Here's an excerpt from the article:

Brian Greenstone could be described as the Macintosh videogame industry’s Kevin Smith. Not that the subject matter of his games is the same as the subject matter of Smith’s films, of course. The point of the comparison is that, no matter how successful Greenstone has been, he chooses to remain an independent guy adhering to his own vision, just like Smith.

Perhaps his experiences in the videogame industry fueled the creation of his latest game, Cro-Mag Rally. In it, you play a simple-minded caveman (or a simple-minded cavewoman — this is an equal opportunity game) who races in various cars made of rocks and sticks around tracks which range from canyons through a desert to the fabled underwater city of Atlantis.

For much more information, check out the official CMR web site or read through IMG's preview. Watch for a demo of Cro-Mag Rally to be released quite soon after the game is finished.

Apple Cro-Mag Rally Article
Cro-Mag Rally Web Site
IMG Preview of Cro-Mag Rally
Pangea Software
Cro-Mag Rally

ATI Driver Update Solves Diablo II Issue
12:55 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

ATI Technologies has just released a unified driver release for their Radeon, Rage Orion, Nexus 128 and XCLAIM VR 128 products. These are the same drivers that are included with the retail Radeon AGP, so Mac users who purchased a G4 with an OEM Radeon may want to upgrade; those who have just purchased a Radeon card do not need to download these drivers. The download includes Apple's OpenGL 1.1.5; they also note that these drivers have not been fully 'qualified' (tested) under Mac OS 8.6.

This driver package allows Rage 128 users to use OpenGL and/or RAVE acceleration with Blizzard's Diablo II. The update also addresses an issue with having both a Radeon and an XCLAIM VR installed in the same system. These drivers may be installed on G3 and G4 Macs with OEM Rage 128 and Rage 128 Pro cards (Blue and White and later) but they do not support earlier products such as the original XCLAIM VR.

Rage 128/Radeon 1.00 Drivers Readme
Rage 128/Radeon 1.00 Drivers (3.8 MB)

Whither Radeon PCI?
12:41 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

With the recent release of the ATI Radeon Mac Edition AGP to online stores and local retailers, it is inevitable that those of you with G3 and early G4 machines would wonder when the PCI version would follow. Since the first announcement of this card it has been understood that the PCI version would follow behind the release of the AGP configuration, by approximately a month.

Helpful IMG reader Tom Sykes has pointed out that the Mac Radeon FAQ at ATI's web site has recently been updated to note that the PCI version of this card is due in December 2000, rather than the "Fall 2000" it previously stated. As the release of the AGP version was delayed by approximately two months, this is right in line with ATI's expectations that the card will follow the AGP version after a month's delay. We'll be sure to keep you updated as the PCI version nears release.

We've heard from several readers that they have received their card; if you have yours installed, be sure and share your comments about this card in our newly-created Hardware forum!

IMG Hardware Discussion Forum
Radeon Mac Edition AGP Review
ATI Radeon FAQ

First Look at Giants
12:22 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Just in case you skipped IMG's home page to get here, we thought we'd mention that our own Tuncer Deniz has put together a preview of Giants: Citizen Kabuto, a unique RTS title being developed by Planet Moon. As we recently reported, Giants will be ported to the Mac OS by MacPlay for release sometime in 2001.

This detailed preview covers the many unusual and surreal features of this RTS, and includes ten brand-new screen shots. Here is an excerpt:

Giants is somewhat of a unique game concept in the otherwise derivative sea of computer games that typically dominated store shelves. Planet Moon, which includes some of the crazy cats that were responsible for the original MDK and Earthworm Jim, has put together one very cool-looking game that is sure to capture many a gamer’s dollar over the holiday season and beyond.

The Giants story involves three groups of characters: The Meccaryns, the Sea Reapers, and Kabuto (who’s not a group, he’s only one guy). In the single-player portion of the game, you end up playing all three races (in the above order) as the story unfolds before you.

Read on for more details on the three unique 'races' and of course those gorgeous screen shots.

First Look: Giants: Citizen Kabuto
Planet Moon Studios
Omni Group
Giants: Citizen Kabuto
Buy Giants: Citizen Kabuto

Deux Ex Mods? Yes!
11:48 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Stomped has been the source of another great link, this time to an article on GameSpy which highlights the development of three 'mods' for the sci-fi RPG/shooter Deus Ex. The recent release of a Deus Ex SDK (software development kit) has opened the door to third-party mod development, and the first few fruits of this labor are now ripening on the vine.

While the original game is a solo-only venture, the multiplayer code built into the Unreal Tournament engine upon which the game is based was left intact. Thus, two of the three mods they mention will have multiplayer capability, something many Deus Ex fans are no doubt eagerly awaiting.

GameSpy details three mods: Deus Fortress, Quarantine and Modus Morendi. While all three are in the very early stages of development, they are quite ambitious, and quite different from each other. Here's an excerpt describing the mod Quarantine:

Next up is a single-player conversion called Quarantine, based on the game of the same name. Mod founder Ghost describes this project as having "huge city maps, with which you can either drive around in a taxi or walk. Some of the city buildings will be enterable, maybe all in the future, [and] new weapons [will be available] (for the taxi and hand-held)." Quarantine will also utilize one of the elements from Deus Ex; namely drugs. As a player, you will have different drug addictions that will require you to buy them wherever you can, otherwise your performance will be degraded.
Ah yes, nothing like a good old-fashioned taxi duel in the streets of New York. In any case, we expect these mods will be cross-platform, as are the vast majority of maps and mods for Unreal/Unreal Tournament-based games. Read the rest of the article for more information, and a few comments from Deus Ex creator Warren Spector. If all goes well, Deus Ex may inspire a large and thriving 'mod' community such as the one surrounding Unreal Tournament today.

Mac Deus Ex
Deus Ex Mods at GameSpy

Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K. 2 Demo Released
9:59 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Coming on the heels of the Mac release, Ritual has released a demo of Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K. 2.

In Heavy Metal you take on the role of F.A.K.K.2- a legendary hero of the multi-verse. Take her on a journey of unimaginable proportions where death and danger lie in the most unsuspecting corners of a world you have to see to believe. Only a story straight from the pages of Heavy Metal Magazine could give you the goods that F.A.K.K. 2 will deliver.

The demo requires the following:

  • MacOS 8.6 or higher
  • A G3 or G4 Macintosh
  • Rage Pro of better, 3D accelerator with 4 MB of RAM (8 MB Recommended)
  • 64 MB of system memory (128 MB recommended)

    The demo contains 4 levels, 3 skins, 5 weapons, and 6 different enemies and weighs in at about 70 MB and is available for download at Macgamefiles.com.

    Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K. 2 Demo (67.3 MB)
    Gathering of Developers
    Ritual Entertainment
    Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2

    Shadows of Reality Intro Movie
    9:59 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

    In early September we brought you news of Shadows of Reality, a dark sci-fi RPG based on the Unreal Tournament engine. Now Nevolution has released a monster eight-minute movie which reveals preliminary designs for models, architecture and textures from the game. If you can handle the 109 MB download the movie is in the amazing Bink format, which offers incredible image and audio quality for a slight trade-off in color depth.

    As we reported in September, Shadows of Reality is a solo game which will eventually become the basis for a massively-multiplayer online role-playing game. The game will attempt to be an authentic re-creation of the "cyberpunk" aesthetic, complete with cyberspace "jacking in" and hacking, cybernetic enhancements, advanced weapons and lots of dark, crumbing city streets.

    There is no concrete confirmation of a Mac OS version of this title, but we did discover that the lead designer, David Gallay, is a Mac user himself and does not anticipate any barrier to a Mac OS version of this title. Considering the large number of Unreal-based titles that have come to the Mac OS, this one seems a likely candidate. There is no official release date for the project, but we'll keep you informed of any developments. Thanks to Stomped for the tip.

    Download Bink Video Player (192k)
    Download Shadows of Reality Movie (.exe) (109 MB)
    Shadows of Reality Preview, Mac Info

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    Diablo II Expansion FAQ
    9:21 AM | Charles George | Comment on this story

    Late Monday Blizzard Software posted a list of frequently asked questions about the upcoming expansion set for their incredibly popular Diablo II These questions should cover the concerns of just about any Diablo II player looking forward to the expansion set. The FAQ had this to say about some features that many hoped would be included in the original -- Guild Halls for guilds to store their collective goods, and an Arena for Player vs. Player combat:

    Will there be Guild Halls in the Expansion set?

    We made a decision not to include in-game Guild Halls in the Expansion, but at the same time we wanted to include what we thought were the greatest benefits from the original Guild Hall concept. This includes a bigger stash size and a few other things that we want to make available to ALL players of Diablo II, and not just those core gamers who seek out Guild affiliations. We know that guilds are an important part of our community and we are not dismissing their importance. We are instead trying to reach as many Diablo II players as possible with the widest amount of fun new content as we can. The goal of the Expansion is to make it a great addition for new and experienced players as well.

    Will the Expansion include Arenas?

    At this time Arenas are not a part of the Expansion set.

    The FAQ also brings up some very interesting questions (and answers!) about more gameplay-specific things such as exceptional, set, and socketed items. This as-yet-unnamed expansion (one preview referred to it as Diablo II: Lord of Destruction) should be out for the Mac and PC in the First half of 2001.

    IMG Review of Diablo II
    Blizzard Web Site
    Diablo II expansion Set FAQ
    Blizzard Entertainment
    Diablo II: Lord of Destruction

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    Icewind Dale Screenshots Posted
    9:14 AM | Jay Swartzfeger | Comment on this story

    To follow yesterday's Baldur's Gate II screen shots, Mac Baldur has posted screen shots from the BG-based title Icewind Dale today. If you haven't seen this game in action, you're in for a treat. Icewind Dale will look very familiar to Baldur fans, since it is based on the same Infinity Engine, but the game has a decidedly different atmosphere than the original game. IWD's atmosphere has a very cold and dark edge to it, giving its high-adventure gameplay a deathly air. The other change you'll notice from the original is that monsters in IWD can be gargantuan in size-- you have to see the giants to believe them! MacPlay (a division of United Developers) will release Icewind Dale in early 2001 for the Macintosh.

    Head to Mac Baldur to view these incredible pics.

    Mac Baldur
    Icewind Dale
    Buy Icewind Dale

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    More Starfleet Command II Previews
    9:10 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Of all of the games MacPlay has announced it will be bringing to the Mac, the one with the least amount of pre-release hype is Starfleet Command II: Empires at War. The original title was released to the PC last year and while not considered a dud, it wasn't a runaway hit either. Both GameSpot and CGO have taken a look at this upcoming sequel, and why it hopes to succeed where its predecessor failed.

    Breaking the dreaded bad-Star-Trek game curse is difficult, but with upcoming titles like Elite Force, The Fallen, and now Starfleet Command II, Mac trekkies should hope for some very fun gameplay. Here's a sample from the GameSpy preview explaining more about the storyline:

    The Starfleet Command games take place in an alternate Star Trek history, which differs from the one presented in the original TV series in ways that have let the designers introduce more compelling political threats and a wider array of starships for each race. The new game's storyline revolves around two new races, the ISC and the Mirak, each situated on opposite ends of the charted galaxy. The game's two campaigns contain about 60 branching story-based missions in addition to 24 encounters that are focused on grabbing and defending territory. One campaign challenges you - as captain for one of the six established powers - to contain the threat of the ISC, a militaristic race that has decided to pacify the galaxy. The other campaign lets you side with the Mirak, a savage feline race with powerful missile-based ships.
    It's great to have such a strong new force like MacPlay porting A-titles to the Mac. IMG will be bringing you more on Starfleet Command II soon, so stay tuned.

    CGO Starfleet Command II Preview
    Starfleet Command II Web Site
    GameSpot Starfleet Command II Preview
    Starfleet Command II

    Mac Games News for Monday, November 6, 2000

    3D Euchre Deluxe Update4:51 PM
    "Bad Milk" Debuts2:51 PM
    MacPlay to Debut Majesty, Sin2:45 PM
    Simon 3D Gold for PC2:35 PM
    Radeon Review at MacGamer2:07 PM
    Open Source at iDevGames.com10:28 AM
    Another Sacrifice Preview8:52 AM
    Quick Aliens vs Predator Status Check8:43 AM
    Mac Shogo Update8:15 AM
    Baldur's Gate II Screenshots Posted6:00 AM
    Halo, Oni Updates6:00 AM
    Jinn Site Update6:00 AM
    Starfleet Command 2 Preview at GameSpy6:00 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Monday, November 6, 2000 on one page

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