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Thursday, November 2, 2000

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DS9 Deluge Redux
1:23 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

As often happens with most A-list titles when a beta version reaches the press, Simon and Schuster's Deep Space Nine: The Fallen has inspired a flood of previews and screen shot galleries for your perusal. This title is due for PC quite soon, and for Mac OS by December. Initial press reactions to the title have been very positive, with much praise in particular for the stellar graphics (powered by a modified version of the Unreal engine) and smooth handling of the third-person perspective.

Gamer's Pulse has posted a detailed preview of the title, which includes information on the 'backstory,' descriptions of the solo play and features several new screen shots. One issue that is critical in real-time games, and doubly so in third-person titles, is how approachable and usable the controls are. Many gamers have bad memories of the stiff camera in the Tomb Raider series which often seemed to leave you staring at a wall in tight quarters, and thus are skeptical that this 'removed' perspective can provide a good action-game experience. Here's an excerpt from the preview dealing with the interactivity and controls of the game:

The control interface to use the weapons and movement is simple and very familiar. Using the typical WASD for movement, and the left and right clicks of the mouse to complete 90% of the normal movement and interaction on the station, and control couldn’t be easier. Phaser rifles will also support the ability to zoom in on targets for aimed shots against enemy forces. As far as onscreen interfaces in DS9: The Fallen are concerned, they are nearly non-existent and by no means detract from gameplay. The largest interface you will see throughout the game will be the circular radar map that appears when you are wielding the tricorder.
Be sure and check out the rest of the preview for more details. Gamer's Pulse also promises a full screen shot gallery will be posted this Friday.

Speaking of screen shots, those sites that haven't had time to crank out their own previews yet have flooded the Web with dozens of images from the game in various resolutions.

Evil Avatar has appropriately posted nine screen shots of the game in action, with several taken from in-engine cinematics from the game. There are three more on their main news page.

Computer Games Online has posted an even dozen shots, complete with humorous 'alt' text. These seem to suffer from some degree of horizontal banding that we have not seen with other shots from the game; it looks like a Voodoo2 SLI setup.

GA-Source has posted their own screen shot gallery, which also includes shots of the in-engine cinematic screen shots. These shots are of very high quality and are 800x600 resolution.

And if you are curious as to how this game will sound, as well as it will look, the official DS9 web site has been updated with a music track from the game in MP3 format. If this isn't enough to satisfy your curiosity about this title, we're sure even more details and images will be released soon -- some of them right here on the pages of IMG.

DS9 Shots at Evil Avatar
DS9 Shots at CGOnline
DS9: The Fallen Preview at Gamer's Pulse
DS9 Shots at GA-Source
Deep Space Nine: The Fallen
Simon & Schuster
The Collective
DS9: The Fallen
Buy DS9: The Fallen

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Sacrifice Preview at FiringSquad
1:46 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

FiringSquad has a preview of Shiny Entertainment's Sacrifice, a 3D real-time strategy game. This visually stunning game is very close to completion on the PC side, and will be coming to the Mac OS in early 2001 via the recently reinvigorated publisher MacPlay.

Although this seems like a standard RTS game, Shiny as incorporated a couple of twists and turns that are new to the RTS genre:

As the story pans out, doom is the only direction this world is headed to. Through the single missions, you choose which gods bidding you do. The ability to change what god you work for at almost any mission adds greatly to the replay factor. You get different powers, spells, and boons depending upon which god you decide to work for. I'm only in the fifth or sixth mission and I already have quite a few save games from prior missions, to see what would have happened if I had chosen a different deity. So far, it seems that the paths you can take are different, but they all lead to the same area, as the same scripted sequences occur no matter what god you work for.
There is no projected date for the release of the Mac version of the title, but we hope to have more details soon. Make sure you check out the detailed preview for more information on this unusual title.

Sacrifice Preview at FiringSquad
MacPlay Announces Three New Titles
Shiny Entertainment
Pre-Order Sacrifice

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Baldur's Gate Beta Test Closed
1:31 PM | Jay Swartzfeger | Comment on this story

GraphSim has informed Mac Baldur that they've received over 200 requests for the new Baldur's Gate beta. In order to keep track of all the bug reports, GraphSim has closed the beta test and no longer needs testers. GraphSim isn't sending out any more betas, so don't bother e-mailing them. Keep tabs on Mac Baldur to see when an actual updater will be officially available for download.

Mac Baldur
Baldur's Gate

Weapon Factory Arena 2.1
12:38 PM | Charles George | Comment on this story

The evolution of the Quake 3 Modification Weapons Factory Arena advanced another incremental step yesterday. The group behind the Mod updated it to version 2.1, fixing numerous bugs and adding in new "Clan" graphics.

If you're a fan of the mod, or a Clan player be sure to upgrade your version of this extremely popular mod. If you own a copy of Q3A but haven't downloaded Weapons Factory Arena yet, you should stroll on over to and give it a try.

Weapons Factory Arena
Weapons Factory Arena 2.1 at MGF

Giants Preview
12:36 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

With yesterday's announcement that Giants: Citizen Kabuto will be ported to the Mac OS by MacPlay, we've had several questions from readers curious about this game. The title certainly doesn't give you a clue as to what the game might be like, and the game itself is something of a puzzle -- is it an RTS? A third-person shooter? A 'god' sim?

We've seen this game in action several times at various expos, and must admit that even we are still unclear on how this complex game will play. Never before has an RTS attempted to pit three adversaries against each other that were so radically different from one another in abilities, weapons and methods. What is instantly obvious about this game are the outrageously gorgeous visuals and oversaturated color palette that make this game stand out from the crowd.

EuroGamer has posted a short preview of the game which sums up the units and goals. The three 'races' battling for control of this brightly-colored landscape couldn't be more different from one another, but have a similar goal: claim the island for their own. The preview (and the game) does contain some digital nudity. Here is an excerpt about Kabuto himself:

At the opposite end of the scale is Kabuto, a giant creature who looks like a cross between Godzilla and King Kong on a bad hair day, but is far less friendly than either of them. Originally created by the Reapers to defend them, he has now gone on a rampage and forced the Reapers to flee back into the seas surrounding his island.

Kabuto relies on his sheer size and brute strength to give him the edge in the game, running around smashing stuff up with his bare hands, trampling on buildings, and eating people whole. And if you're not feeling hungry, you can always impale your victims on one of Kabuto's horns and save them kebab-style for later dining. You can also pick up objects and throw them around, jump up and down to create earthquakes, and generally cause death and destruction on a suitably massive scale.

Read the rest of this preview for more details, and watch IMG for our own look at this impressive title in the near future. The game is set for release on the PC platform in mid-December; there is no projected date for the release of the Mac port.

EuroGamer Previews Giants: Citizen Kabuto
MacPlay Announces Three New Titles
Planet Moon Studios
Omni Group
Giants: Citizen Kabuto
Buy Giants: Citizen Kabuto

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Tropico Q&A
11:59 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

ActionTrip has posted a short Q&A with Franz Felsl of PopTop, the developers behind the upcoming 'dictator-sim' Tropico. This intriguing sim title, coming to the Mac and PC in early 2001, places you as the dictator of a budding third-world island nation.

Not just a simple sim game, Tropico has many interesting features and a complex web of personalities that will give the game a personal feel. The game also features an extremely advanced graphics engine based on Railroad Tycoon II, also by PopTop; several screen shots of astoundingly high resolution (1600x1200!) accompany the Q&A and reveal an impressive amount of detail.

Here's an excerpt which sums up the game and its goals:

Action Trip: Give us a basic overview of the game.

Franz Felsl: Tropico is about being the ruler of a Banana Republic type Caribbean island perpetually in the cold war era. On this island you must build up it's social, political and industrial infrastructure while balancing the countries budget, filling your Swiss Bank Account and juggling the peoples loyalty. While doing this, the world around you changes and makes demands of your resources. This all takes place in a 3D simulated world where each person in the game is an individual and makes his or her own decisions and opinions, goes to work (if you've provided jobs), gets married, has children and in general goes about their daily lives. Their lives are modified by the laws you pass and the structures you build. Do things well and you'll stay in power for a long, long time. Do things poorly and you'll be rowing a small boat away from the island in the middle of the night… if you're lucky!

One wonders if any actual third-world dictators will grab this one to brush up on their chops. In any case, expect Tropico to grace store shelves in Q1 2001 from Gathering of Developers. Read the rest of the Q&A for more details, and be sure to check out those screen shots; they are worth the download time.

Franz Fesl Interview at ActionTrip
Gathering of Developers
PopTop Software
Buy Tropico

Hoyle Casino 2001 Demo Released
9:03 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Sierra Attractions has released a demo of Hoyle Casino 2001. The popular casino games features nine different games with more than 350 variations.

The demo includes one game variant each of Slots and Blackjack. Try your luck on the Double Red White and Blue machine, or play blackjack along side three talkative characters.

Other features include:

  • 9 games, with over 350 variations
  • User-friendly interface
  • 10 animated, interactive opponents
  • Design your own unique character with the new Facemaker™ feature
  • Winning strategies, tutorials and hints during game-play
  • Easy to install and play right away
  • Play on the road with the Laptop version-no need to carry the CD
  • Authentic Hoyle Rules
  • Play free over the Internet with friends and family all over the world
  • Official rule book and strategy guide included free

    The demo weighs in at about 38 MB and is available for download from

    Sierra Attractions
    Hoyle Casino 2001 web site
    Download Hoyle Casino 2001 Demo

    Mac Games News for Wednesday, November 1, 2000

    Guide to Emulation2:44 PM
    Ron Dimant Interview2:24 PM
    New Baldur's Gate Beta1:19 PM
    MacPlay Announces Three New Titles12:49 PM
    Bugdom Ships... For Windows??9:54 AM
    Sims: Livin' Large is Final9:08 AM
    Exile Chat, realMYST Screens9:04 AM
    Stomped Previews DS9: The Fallen8:38 AM
    Diablo 2 Expansion Teaser Trailer8:30 AM
    New Return to Dark Castle Screens8:26 AM
    UT Assault Bonus Pack Released6:00 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, November 1, 2000 on one page

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