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Friday, April 26, 2002

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Tactical Ops 3.1.5 Mac Patch Released
11:11 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

On Wednesday, the Tactical Ops: Assault On Terror team released a free version of Tactical Ops, bringing it to version 3.1.5. This free version, which contains slightly less content than the retail version released a few days ago, was released as a Windows only ".exe," so Mac users were unable to install it... until now.

The mTo Mac Tactical Ops clan has converted the .exe to a compressed Mac file so that Mac users can download and install the full free version of Tactical Ops. The 200 MB file is being hosted by our sister site,

Here's a brief description of the commercial version of Tactical Ops: Assault on Terror:

Tactical Ops: Assault on Terror challenges players to battle as a member of Special Forces or as a Terrorist through a wide variety of mission objectives, including rescuing hostages, destroying strategic targets and eliminating the other team. The game features more than 30 hyper-realistic maps, an arsenal of more than 20 devastating real-world weapons, more than 11 reinvented character models and skins and a completely revamped GUI and menu system.

Using Unreal technology, Tactical Ops: Assault on Terror brings the existing "Tac Ops" community improved textures, redesigned maps, revamped character skins and weapons, improved code and several all new locations. The wildly popular modification for Unreal Tournament has been reconstructed to create an remarkable stand-alone squad-based first person shooter.

Complete instructions on how to install this popular Unreal Tournament mod are available at Macgamefiles.

If you're a MacGames CD subscriber, the complete install files for Tactical Ops 3.1.5 will be on the next CD!

Tactical Ops: Assault on Terror
MGF: Tactical Ops 3.1.5

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Freeverse to Distribute WipeOut 2097 in US
1:53 PM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

WipeOut 2097, the classic racing game developed by Psygnosis for the Sony PlayStation and recently ported to Mac OS 9 and X by Virtual Programming, has found a US distributor.

Freeverse Software announced today that WipeOut 2097 will be available next month directly from Freeverse as well as from select retailers.

As IMG reported at the time, WipeOut 2097 has been shipping since early February, but without an American distributor, it has been available on this side of the Atlantic only to Mac gamers willing to pay international shipping charges.

Here's a description of this "blistering zero-gravity racer" from Freeverse's announcement:

Heir to the classic Wipeout series of racing games, Wipeout 2097 features eight fearsome tracks, an arsenal of weapons including Thunder Bombs, Electro Bolts and Quake Disrupters, a killer soundtrack and pure 3D edge-of-your-seat excitement.
WipeOut 2097 will be priced at US$29.95. Freeverse notes that a copy can be reserved by sending an email to with the subject, "Wipeout."

Thanks to MacCentral's Peter Cohen, who has published a number of screen shots of the game, for the heads-up.

IMG News: WipeOut 2097 Shipping
WipeOut 2097
MacCentral: Freeverse to publish Wipeout 2097 in US
Freeverse: WipeOut 2097! Launched
1:52 PM | Tim Morgan | Comment on this story

Flight simulator enthusiast Michael Caswell recently launched his aviation resource, The web site, currently in its infancy, offers information about civilian flight simulators for Macintosh. Caswell states that this should change:

I'm starting up a new website exclusively for Macintosh flight simulators. Initially, I'm primarily focusing on civilian sims, but will likely expand to cover military sims at a later date. I'm intending for this site to be a resource for beginners just getting started in Mac flight simming, as well as a gathering place for more experienced flyers.
In addition, the web site offers a forum where gamers can discuss most every Macintosh flight sim.

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IMG Previews The Sims: Hot Date
12:45 PM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a preview by Josh Jansen of Hot Date, the upcoming expansion pack to Aspyr Media's phenomenally popular Sims, in conversion now by Westlake Interactive.

Here's an excerpt:

So, why is Hot Date so special? Is it the new purchasable things? Is it the new activities that your Sims can participate in? Is it all the cool new jazz and Muzakô they added? Oh, they're a part of it, but more importantly, as many of you cross-platformers already know, the real appeal is the ability to go into town.

Yup, those maniacs at EA have heard your questions asking such things as 'Where do my Sims go when they're not in the house or at work, when they want to have some fun?' and up and created a whole new series of places for your Sims to exist in together and shell out their Simoleans for personal use, or to get on the good side of a pickup you bring or happen to meet. Each neighborhood, the multiplication of which first seen in Livin' Large, has it's own downtown location, where you the player can send your Sim to via the Sim Town's new on-demand Taxi service.

Downtown is composed of a total of ten lots similar in most respects to the lots in the Neighborhoods. The difference lies in what you can and cannot place in the Town's land, and the fact that money is not a factor. Confusing? I assure you, it's only my explanation of the process, so let me break it down....

Read the rest of our preview via the link below for more information about Hot Date. To find out why the stylishly dressed woman in the accompanying picture is dating the slob in an undershirt, I guess you'll just have to buy the game.

IMG Preview: The Sims: Hot Date
The Sims: Hot Date
Westlake Interactive
Buy The Sims: Hot Date

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X-Plane Updated to 6.13
12:10 PM | Tim Morgan | Comment on this story

Laminar Research released a small update to their flight simulator X-Plane, bringing it to version 6.13. The new version fixes a bug caused by vertical flight and prepares X-Plane for the upcoming retooled scenery from GLoS. The scenery for the Southern California area has already been retooled; additional world scenery will be coming soon as a free download or a $10 CD set.

X-Plane is a highly-modular civilian flight simulator allowing players to design and fly aircraft in a variety of situations.

IMG Review: X-Plane
X-Plane 6.13 Update (21 MB)

Birdie Shoot Demo Available
10:38 AM | Tristram Perry | Comment on this story

Macgamefiles now has a demo of Birdie Shoot available for download. This classic arcade-style bird hunting game is only a 13 MB download and runs in Mac OS X. Your mission is to shoot down as many birds and other objects as you can and watch your score on the handy Kill-O-Meter.

Here's how e.p.i.c. interactive describes the game:

Crazy Birds are on the run. They have all been infected by the ASE (Avis-Spongiforme-Enzephalopathy) virus and now threaten to infect other birds all over the world. Use your anaesthetization gun to bring down as many birds as possible so they can be inoculated and save the world from those crazy birds.
Head over to our sister site,, to download the demo.

MGF: Birdie Shoot 1.0 Demo

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The VATZ, Goliath Q&A
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Readers may recall an article published earlier this week regarding the unveiling of both Goliath, a new 3D game engine, and The VATZ, an action/role-playing game first in line to take advantage of the new engine. Both of these products are in development by Beenox Studios, which should be familiar to Mac gamers through titles such as Cro-Mag Rally and the Coldstone game engine.

Gaming site GamersClick conducted a recent interview with Beenox's Dee Brown, asking questions about both Goliath and The VATZ. The VATZ itself is described as an action title with a role-playing covering. Brown stressed that the environment would be a highly-detailed world that will allow players complete freedom and self-paced exploration.

Brown adds that players will be able to control multiple characters, each one with its own set of attributes and attack abilities. Also noted is the fact that the world will evolve depending on which characters are used.

When asked to describe the Goliath engine in detail, Brown was more than forthcoming with information:

Goliath is a marvel of freedom. Its architecture is really open and let us create most types of game without doing much modification to the core system. We believe that a good game engine must be data-driven. That is, a shell that only do what the data files tell him to do. As for the feature list, we've focused our efforts to bring it to the same level as other engines on the market. The only "new" features that Goliath might have are a couple of hardware specific optimizations such as pixel and vertex shaders. While a lot of developers out there prefer to license other engines, we've taken the hard road and now, we have our reward: total control. And such a level of control, believe me, means so much more power at our disposal to create awesome games.
While a Mac version of Goliath hasn't officially been announced yet, Brown does go on record as saying that a Mac version would be quite welcome:
Well, it really depends on what platforms our publisher is looking at. We've individually worked on Windows, Macintosh, Dreamcast, and the PlayStation 1 & 2 so we are really open to other worlds. Goliath, our engine, is built over a strong cross-platform architecture to make eventual ports as painless as possible. I personally would like to see a Mac OS X version of Goliath.
For more information on Beenox's future plans with both Goliath and The VATZ, be sure to check out the full Q&A session at GamersClick.

IMG News: Beenox Unveils The VATZ; Mac Info
GamersClick: Dee Brown Interview

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New WarCraft III Singleplayer Info
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment recently took a trip to London to promote their upcoming 3D real-time strategy game, WarCraft III. An initial report at GameSpot UK talks about the event, in which Bill Roper revealed new information about the single-player aspects of the game. While much has been discussed about the multiplayer game, thanks the the ongoing internet beta test, little information has surface concerning offline play.

StarCraft fans should be familiar with the style of the single-player game, as Blizzard plans to have the story weave through many of the game's four playable races. Quite a bit is being pulled from the previous games in the WarCraft series as well, so fans shouldn't feel any disconnect when playing WarCraft III. While the game's tutorial starts you out as an orc, it quickly changes as you progress:

The first jump in the story is when you start the campaign properly, whereupon you leave the Orcs behind and begin as a human hero, Prince Arthas, who conducts the defense of a village with the assistance of Uther Lightbringer, a character from the WarCraft II expansion Beyond the Dark Portal. Indeed lots of the hero characters encountered in the game will sound familiar — if they aren't from WarCraft II directly, many on the Human and Orc sides are the direct descendants of characters that you'll have met in that game. For instance, in level three of WarCraft III Arthas escorts a young sorceress called Jaina Proudfoot in a mission that seeks to find the root cause of the plague that is sweeping the land. It turns out that Jaina is the daughter of Admiral Proudfoot from WarCraft II.
For more information and many screen shots, be sure to check out both GameSpot UK and Computer and Video Games, who also have a quick Q&A with Roper posted. He covers much of the same ground, though he also delves into the WarCraft III editor, which has been confirmed as coming to the Mac as well.

IMG Preview: WarCraft III
Computer and Video Games: Bill Roper Shares His Craft
GameSpot UK: WarCraft III Single Player Screens
WarCraft III
Buy WarCraft III

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Diablo II 1.10, 'Ladder' Characters Coming
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment has revealed an interesting detail about the upcoming version 1.10 update to their very popular role-playing game, Diablo II, and its expansion pack, Lord of Destruction. In addition to normal characters, online players will be able to create a new type of character on the Realms: "ladder characters."

Normal characters won't be convertible to ladder characters, allowing a new season of ladder competition with version 1.10 in a virgin economy:

Characters created before this patch will not be able to join games with these new ladder characters, although they will be able to play with other normal characters that predate the 1.10 patch. This means that for the duration of the ladder season — which is yet to be determined — these ladder characters will exist in a new separate economy from the other Diablo II characters.
In the past, Blizzard has from time to time declared new ladder seasons: only characters created after the start of a new season are eligible for ranking on the Realms ladder.

Preventing normal characters from joining games with the new ladder characters means that it will no longer be possible to "twink" characters created after the start of a new ladder season by giving them equipment earned — or hacked — by older characters.

Given the plague of item-generation hacks that has afflicted the Realms economy lately, and the measures rumored to be in the works for version 1.10 to make such cheating more difficult, the new ladder characters are sure to be welcome to many players on the Realms.

Stay tuned for more information on the patch as it nears release.

[Sean Smith contributed to this story.]

IMG Review: Diablo II
IMG Review: Diablo II: Lord of Destruction
Arreat Summit: Some Diablo II patch 1.10 details
Diablo II
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction
Buy Diablo II

Samurai Rune Mod Released
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

While not many modifications have been released for Human Head's action slasher Rune, recently a beta of a new Samurai add-on was created. The mod is called Lightning Swords of Death and shifts the Viking game to the period of ancient Japan.

Four new characters are available, allowing players to choose from a Ninja, Ronin, Ashigaru, or Samurai. A number of swords and other weapons of the period are also faithfully recreated. While still an early release, a map is also available for download. For more information or to download Lightning Swords of Death, have a look at their official web site.

Mod and map together weigh in at less than 6 MB, so just about any Rune fan should be able to download them quickly. Mac installation instructions are included in the ReadMe files.

Lightning Swords of Death
Download Samurai Pack (4 MB)
Download Edo Fortress (2 MB)

Mac Games News for Thursday, April 25, 2002

The Slacker's Guide to Shareware Returns12:19 PM
'The Barrier' Shockwave Game Released12:00 PM
Freeverse's Deathground for 50 Cents11:50 AM
Tactical Ops Mac Launcher Released11:44 AM
Neverwinter Nights Pics at GameSpy Daily9:41 AM
Europa Universalis II Coming to the Mac9:40 AM
Hands-on with Neverwinter Nights8:24 AM
Macgamefiles Undergoes Major Overhaul8:24 AM
Unreal Tournament 2003 Q&A8:24 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, April 25, 2002 on one page

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Wednesday, April 24, 2002
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