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Friday, July 12, 2002

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Contraband Reveals Heroes of Might & Magic IV
6:00 AM | Richard Porcher | Comment on this story

Yesterday the official Contraband Entertainment project listing page was updated with the news they are porting Heroes of Might & Magic IV to the Mac. This turn-based strategy title, previously codenamed "Heroin4U" by the company, is now in alpha and has a projected release date of "XMas 2002."

For those not in the know, Heroes of Might & Magic is a series of fantasy-themed strategic role-playing games, loosely based on the Might & Magic RPG series, which has its roots in the earliest days of computer role-playing games. In the game, players control a number of heroes, class-specific characters who lead various armies, collect artifacts, and gain skills as the game progresses. Though the series is more strategy than anything else, it is strongly flavored with RPG elements.

Fans of previous installments in the venerated fantasy/strategy series will no doubt consider this fantastic news. Be sure to check out of first look at Heroes of Might & Magic. When the game gets closer to shipping, we'll be doing a detailed hands-on preview.

IMG First Look: Heroes of Might & Magic IV
Contraband Product Status Page
Contraband Entertainment
Heroes of Might & Magic IV
Buy Heroes of Might & Magic IV

Halo for Mac And PC Announced
12:19 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Microsoft Game Studios today announced the official development of the PC and Macintosh versions of the critically acclaimed Xbox first-person shooter, Halo: Combat Evolved. The Mac version is being ported over to the Mac by porting house, Westlake Interactive and is expected to be released sometime in 2003. Halo for Mac will be published by Destineer Stuidos.

Here's more from the official press release:

Initially developed for Xbox by Bungie Studios, "Halo: Combat Evolved" is a science-fiction first-person shooting game that takes place on a mysterious alien ring-world. The PC adaptation is being developed by Texas-based Gearbox Software and based on the game's original concept. Gearbox has a strong reputation for bringing triple-A gaming franchises to multiple platforms.

"PC gamers worldwide will soon be able to dig into the addictive gameplay of 'Halo,'" said Stuart Moulder, general manager, Microsoft Game Studios. "By combining the success of 'Halo' on Xbox with Gearbox's proven talent in the first-person shooter genre, PC gamers are guaranteed a lively and 'up-all-hours' single and multiplayer experience on the PC."

The award-winning "Halo: Combat Evolved" for Xbox earned the distinguished honor of being the fastest million-unit seller ever for any next-generation console according to NPDFunworld SM. Statistically, this means that more than six copies of "Halo: Combat Evolved" were sold every minute of every day between the launch of Xbox on November 15, 2001 and April 8, 2002.

"We've been dying to play Halo online with a PC ever since its spectacular launch last year," said Gearbox Software President Randy Pitchford. "The team at Gearbox has the experience and the talent to not only bring Halo to the PC, but also to add enhancements that exploit the multiplayer capabilities that PCs are known for."

The Macintosh version of "Halo: Combat Evolved" will be developed by Westlake Interactive and published by Destineer, which has brought other top Microsoft games to the Macintosh including "Age of Empires* II" and "Links* Championship Edition." Development of the Macintosh versions of "Halo" will occur simultaneously with Gearbox's development of the PC version.

"Our goal is for Mac and Windows users to battle each other on foot, in vehicles, and in the air next summer when the best first-person shooter ever created comes to both Macintosh and Windows," according to Destineer President Peter Tamte.

The Macintosh version is expected to be released someimte in 2003. Microsoft promised to post more information regarding game content, features and enhancements at a later date.

Bungie Studios
Westlake Interactive
Halo: Combat Evolved

New Westlake Code 'Genie No. 2'
8:28 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Late yesterday the Westlake Interactive project listings page was updated with yet another secret code, "Genie No. 2." This project is listed as being in early developement, and while there will be support for OS X, it's interesting to note the OS 8/9 support is still "undecided."

In case you're new, this code system has been in place for a while to let Mac gamers know that Westlake is keeping busy, even if contractual obligations with the publisher require they can't disclose the actual title. It also surely provides Westlake and other related publishers in the know with hours of entertainment as excited Mac gamers ponder what the code might mean. If you'd like to attempt a guess (even though the codenames seem to be particularly hard to pinpoint lately), an IMG thread is already underway with people's attempts at matching Genie No. 2 to a game.

Genie No. 2 Forum Thread
Westlake Interactive

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Wipeout 2097 Ships in North America
8:08 AM | Vern Xiong | Comment on this story

Freeverse Software today announced that it is selling long awaited futuristic racing game, Wipeout 2097, which wasn't available in the United States until now.

Originally developed by Coderus and published by UK-based Virtual Publishing Ltd., Wipeout 2097 has been available only as an import. Freeverse announced in late April that it had reached an agreement with Virtual Publishing Ltd. to bring the game to the United States, but it wasn't until today that they could release the game.

Wipeout 2097, more widely known as Wipeout XL when it was first released for the PlayStation game console a few years ago was widely regarded as the best of the franchise. In Wipeout XL players control several different futuristic racing vehicles which hover on a variety of different tracks, while collecting powerups like weapons and shields as they battle to get the best time.

Wipeout 2097 on the Mac also features online multiplayer support. It also runs natively in Mac OS X. More great news is that it has game controller support.

Freeverse sells Wipeout 2097 straight from its own Web site store for US$29.95.

Freeverse News on Wipeout 2097 Shipping
Virtual Programming
WipeOut 2097

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EA Announces The Sims: Unleashed
8:06 AM | Tristan Kane | Comment on this story

Electronic Arts has announced the next in the long line of add-ons for their spectacularly successful game The Sims. The Sims: Unleashed for the first time adds pets to the digital household, and in order to accommodate these new occupants has added new neighborhood locations such as parks and pet stores. Here is an excerpt from the release:

"Just when players thought they had housebroken their Sims, now they have pets to contend with," said Jonathan Knight, Producer at EA's Maxis(TM) studio. "Pets are something that the fans of The Sims have wanted since the original Sims was released and Unleashed will deliver in spay-eds!"

For the first time ever, the Sims can visit a pet store and bring home a variety of creatures and accoutrements. Players will make a big splash with the addition of a lumbering Labrador or fickle feline to their Sim family. They can also buy a parrot, turtle, lizard or fish that are fun for the whole family but don't need to be house trained.

Look out for any announcements in the coming weeks as to if and when a Mac port will be produced. Aspyr and Westlake Interactive are obviously the most likely suspects as they have been responsible for all Sims ports to date. In the mean time feel free to look at the full article from the link below and begin to consider what pet will most suit you.

EA announcement
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
The Sims
Buy The Sims

Details of Shadowbane at Macworld NY
6:00 AM | Daniel Krechmer | Comment on this story

Under the care of Wolfpack Studios and Ubi Soft, Shadowbane is getting ready for Macworld New York. As the beta continues and the expected release date gets closer, Shadowbane is starting to be promoted at the major events and to different media sources.

"Vosx" is planning to attend MacWorld Expo in New York next week, and Ubi Soft is planning to hype Shadowbane as one of the few games worth playing that has Mac OS X support built in concurrent with its Windows version...
Shadowbane is currently in beta testing and although it does not have a final release date, it is expected to be out sometime in 2002. IMG will have a number of reporters on the show floor bringing you the latest on this and other games at the show.

Shadowbane MWNY Plans
Wolfpack Studios

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Stronghold Updated to 1.2
6:00 AM | Daniel Krechmer | Comment on this story

The latest update to Stronghold is now availabe at It is fairly extensive, adding in two new modes of play and several balancing changes, as well as the usual bug fixes.

Here's just few of the changes made to this "Castle Simulator:"

  • Free Build Mode: You can add your own events and invasions within the free build maps. Press F1 at any time while playing a free build map and select the event or invasion you wish to start.
  • Multiplayer Mode: Multiplayer mode now has the option, 'Strong walls on'. 'Strong walls on' means troops cannot attack walls & towers. Only siege equipment is able to destroy the walls & towers.
  • Your troops can now capture the Gatehouse from an enemy player. You can capture a gatehouse by getting one of your troops onto the top of a gatehouse. Once one of your troops is on the gatehouse, the gatehouse will automatically open.
  • When disease starts to disperse, it is now less dangerous.
  • Stronghold, published by MacSoft, is currently available at the IMG store.

    Firefly Studios
    Download Stronghold 1.2 Update
    Buy Stronghold

    Links Championship Edition Release Date Confirmed
    6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    Those of you who have been waiting for the next big thing in Mac golf gaming need not wait much longer. Peter Tamte of Bold/Destineer Studios recently let it be known that Links Championship Edition will be shipping to store shelves on July 26th.

    Here's a clip describing some of the various features that can be found in this latest in the Links series:

    Some of the features in Links Championship Edition that are new to the
    Macintosh community include completely new graphics, new physics, a newfull-featured course designer, new golfer personalities, and 13 of the world's best golf courses, including Oakmont Country Club, The Royal Melbourne Golf Club, Frankfurter Golf Club, and more.
    Links Championship Edition runs natively in both OS 9 and X, and requires at least a G3/266 and 64MB of RAM, though Destineer recommends a 300MHz machine and at least 128MB of RAM for those interested in using the course designer.

    Mac users have been waiting for this title for quite some time now, and it's great to hear that we'll finally be able to get our hands on this title around the end of this month.

    Links Championship Edition
    Buy Links Championship Edition

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    Custer Hosts a Ghost
    6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    Though the FPS genre has more than its share of gripping titles to date, few have captured the feeling of true team strategy and stomach-cramping suspense as well as the Rainbow Six series, based off of Tom Clancy's works. Earlier this month, Mac gamers learned that they would be getting the next game in the lineup, thanks to Aspyr Media, in the form of Ghost Recon.

    In a nod to this upcoming title, Custer's latest effort focuses on a member of the Ghosts, an elite American infantry unit that utilizes the latest technology. Titled "Platoon," the desktop depicts a Ghost aiming carefully with an assault rifle.

    Here's a clip from Custer himself on his work:

    Although there has been no official word from Aspyr Media, it became known via MacAddict that Ghost Recon would be ported to the Macintosh by company. Of course the news is great for fans of the previous Tom Clancy titles. This week's selection was created in honor of the pending annoucement and release. It is titled, "Platoon". I hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it. :)
    As always, those interested in grabbing Custer's work can find it at Custer's Desktops. Be sure to check out IMG's previous articles on the subject as well for more information on Ghost Recon.

    IMG - Custer's Desktops
    Aspyr Media
    Red Storm
    IMG - Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Mac Bound

    Mac Games News for Thursday, July 11, 2002

    Shadowbane Beta Monster Shots4:06 PM
    Subscribe to MGCD, Get WarCraft III for $47.99!12:56 PM
    IMG Posts The Sims: Hot Date Review10:53 AM
    Commentary on Rising Game Prices8:13 AM
    Mac T&L Explained8:13 AM
    MacSoft Passes on MWNY8:13 AM
    Mars Patrol Announced8:13 AM
    NCsoft Publishing Trade Wars; Mac Possibility?8:13 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, July 11, 2002 on one page

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