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Monday, July 15, 2002

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Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin Date
6:00 AM | Daniel Meissner | Comment on this story

In a new press release,, has announced that the second chapter in their Combat Mission series, Barbarossa to Berlin, will be available on September 20 for Mac and PC. The focus of this chapter is the truly massive conflict of the eastern front of WWII. What does that mean in gameplay terms? More units, countries, vehicles, buildings and terrain types. Here's more from the release:

  • Battle on the Eastern Front from Operation Barbarossa 1941 until VE Day 1945, from the Black Sea to the Arctic Circle
  • Hi-res 3D graphics and dynamic stereo sound effects
  • Operation maps up to 24 square kilometres in size (Battle maps 9 square km.)
  • Unique Turn / Real time hybrid system - allows for detailed planning and exciting realtime action
  • Internet / LAN / PBEM head to head play
  • 7 nations – German, Soviet, Finnish, Italian, Romanian, Hungarian and Polish
  • 300+ different tanks and vehicles
  • 600+ other units
  • 50 battle scenarios and 10 operations
  • Quick Battle maker for unlimited computer made scenarios
  • Full featured Map and Scenario Editor to create your own battles and operations
  • Unparalleled realism and attention to detail
  • Weather effects, air strikes and night combat
Combat Mission will be available through only in the U.S., but in Europe is being distributed in software stores by CDV Software Entertainment AG. A demo of the game is planned for release once the code is finalized.

Battlefront Press Release
Combat Mission

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Solider of Fortune 2 Postmortem
3:11 PM | Daniel Krechmer | Comment on this story

Gamespy recently posted a postmortem from Raven Software's Soldier of Fortune 2 project lead Jon Zuk. The postmortem talks about many different technology implementations to the Quake engine, as well as gameplay issues which affected the final product. Here's an excerpt from it:

During the summer of 2000, most people at Raven Software were working on Star Trek: Voyager Elite Force while some of the original Soldier of Fortune team worked on the "gold" edition. Because the gold edition of the game didn't require much in the way of project leadership, Eric Biessman, Jim Hughes, and Brian Raffel began talking about what they could do in a sequel. It was a given from the start that John Mullins, the hero of the first game and a real life consultant, would be back. As they began fleshing out the idea for the game, John Mullins visited Raven to give his input. By early October, the game design was completed and production was ready to start.
Soldier of Fortune 2 will be published for the Macintosh by MacPlay with a release date of Q3 in 2002.

SoF2: Post-Mortem
Raven Software
Buy SoF II

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Racer Preview (Alpha) Released
2:35 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

Over the weekend, Racer developer Ruud van Gaal released a preview of his realistic driving simulator for Mac OS X. Racer is currently in the alpha stages of development, so while the game may run fine for some, it may be unstable or completely unplayable for others.

Thanks to MacNN forum member "Developer", some persistent participants in IMG Chat, and lots pounding on the keyboard, we were able to put together a relatively hassle-free "application" (the game must still be launched from the Terminal). The archive contains two working cars (Nissan 350Z and Honda S2000) and two tracks. You can download additional cars and tracks from the Racer website, but some of them may not work yet. Detailed directions on how to play the game are also included in the archive (thanks Mike Patton).

Download Racer Preview (7.3 MB)
Racer for Mac OS X: Progress Log
IMG Forum: Racer is Here!

ATI Posts July Driver Update; Radeon PCI, 7000 Improvements
1:51 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

The helpful folks at ATI informed us that they have released yet another driver update for their retail graphics cards, which include the original Radeon AGP and PCI, Rage Orion, Radeon 7000, and Radeon 8500. Again, the standard disclaimer regarding ATI OEM products apply: the driver update will function, but is not supported by ATI or Apple. Here is some more information on the driver update itself:

Improved RADEON PCI & RADEON 7000 performance
Recent changes and optimizations will show substantial performance improvements in most applications. These changes apply to both 3D and 2D content (example: Quake 3 improvements in frame rates of up to 30% for RADEON PCI, depending on system and game configuration).

Misc. Game Notes
This release of RADEON and Rage 128 drivers address some issues and provide performance improvements with some existing games, as well as new games just made available or about to be released. Please be aware that some games will require that these newest ATI drivers be installed if they are to be run at all.

Before running the installer, please read the documentation below. Be sure to post your experiences with the new drivers in the IMG forums.

Download ATI July Driver Update (7.15 MB)
ATI July Driver Update Release Notes
IMG Forum: ATI July Driver Update Released

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IMG Posts WarCraft III Review
9:35 AM | Daniel Bogan | Comment on this story

IMG's own Eddie Park has written up a lengthy review of the recently released WarCraft III: Reign Of Chaos, giving the "role playing strategy" a good once over that results in a (likely unsurprising) high rating.

Here's an excerpt:

As with most RTS titles today, WC3 offers several races to choose from, each one possessing their own unique attributes, Heroes, units, and structures. Each race has their own unique approach to offer, and players will no doubt settle upon a favorite once they get to know the game. However, in true Blizzard tradition, the game is open enough to where players using the same races still have more than enough freedom to create and use vastly different strategies based on their own style of play.
For the skinny on Blizzard's latest offering, be sure to check out the rest of the article and comment on the game in our forums.

Blizzard Entertainment
WarCraft III
IMG Reviews WarCraft III
Buy WarCraft III

GameRanger Preview 5 Released
8:02 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story was updated over the weekend with a new listing for GameRanger, Scott Kevill's OS X-compatible matching service. This is the fifth 'preview' version of the application, which now runs natively under either OS X or earlier Classic systems. Preview 5 makes a number of changes over the earlier apps, and a listing of the fixes follows:

  • Rewrote all list code to specifically not use the OS DataBrowser
  • Refresh All now only refreshes the servers in the current server list
  • Servers deleted from favourites lists now remain deleted
  • Most appropriate sound input device is now selected for voice chat
  • Missing fonts are handled better
  • Fixed an occasional crash on quit
  • Fixed rare cosmetic glitches in OSX
  • Fixed some games aborting after the first round
If you haven't tried out the new GameRanger, head over to Macgamefiles now to make the quick download.

Download GameRanger Preview 5

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Westlake: TR Chronicles Patch, V.A.S.T. at Macworld
7:54 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Westlake Interactive president Glenda Adams has made a few recent posts to Usenet's newsgroup with some interesting news for Mac gamers. First off is a quick response to a user having problems with the 1.0.1 version of Tomb Raider: Chronicles. It seems there are some cut-scene issues under OS X perhaps related to Nvidia hardware, but Adams notes a new version should be out soon with fixes:

We are working on a 1.0.2 patch.
Fans of the Tomb Raider series will want to stay tuned for the update.

While Westlake revealed development of Halo for the Mac last week, they also noted it was not one of their secret codenames, due to the complete silence about the project. This leaves three other codenames still unannounced on their project list, and Adams remarks at least one will be unveiled this week at Macworld New York:

V.A.S.T. should be [revealed]. Everyone will know in a few days :)
The thread in the IMG forums for V.A.S.T. is quite long, but anyone with any last-minute guesses might want to try and get them in quickly.

Glenda Adams: Tomb Raider Chronicles 1.0.1 Crashing Problem
Glenda Adams: Codenames Response
Glenda Adams: Codenames Response 2
Westlake Interactive
Tomb Raider: Chronicles
Buy Tomb Raider: Chronicles

The Gamesome Mac Talks with Corey Tamás
7:41 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

Tonight on The Gamesome Mac, the weekly Mac gaming radio show, host Sean Smith and producer Omaha Sternberg will be talking with Corey Tamás, Editor-in-Chief of

They'll talk about his years of observing the Mac gaming scene, the present state of gaming on the Mac, what the future holds, the business of running a Mac gaming website, and what games he'd rather do without.

As they do every week, Sean and Omaha will also serve up news, reviews, and commentary, answer listener questions along with their guest, and give away some great games in the show's live chat room.

The Gamesome Mac can be heard on Mondays from 6 to 8 pm Pacific Time (9 pm Eastern; Tuesday, 01:00 UTC) on the MacTV Network.

You can tune in live at The Gamesome Mac's web page, where you'll also find archives of past shows (including one with IMG's own Tuncer Deniz). QuickTime 4 or 5 and a 28 kbps or faster Internet connection are required (broadcasts are optimized for 56K modems).


USA Today Compares Macs and PCs
7:40 AM | Tristan Kane | Comment on this story

Gene Steinberg of USA Today has entered into the Mac vs PC fray by writing an article he titles The ultimate smackdown. Working to dispel the old "megahertz myth", and refusing to accept the results of tests conducted by the computer manufacturers, Gene conducted his own tests to establish which platform is faster. Here is an excerpt from the article:

I've heard from diehard PC users who claim Apple somehow sabotages the test PC to cripple its performance, or that the version of Adobe Photoshop used is specially tweaked to give the Mac an advantage.

Rather than argue the point, I decided to conduct my own comparison. Apple even provided the actual Photoshop picture used, a full-color photo over 44 megabytes in size, depicting seven bike riders with colorful bikes and helmets. This is the sort of file that graphic artists have to manipulate on a daily basis.

Whilst not really adding anything new to the old debate, this is certainly a decent article to use to prove your point in your next argument. It must be said that Gene himself is not totally impartial being a Mac user since 1984, but given the nature of the debate, it is unreasonable to expect any article to be without bias. This one is certainly more platform-neutral than most. To check it out, follow the link below.

USAToday compares Macs and PCs

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Lineage: Episode 11 Release Wednesday
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

The official U.S. Lineage: The Blood Pledge site has recently posted the news that Episode 11: Oren is nearing completion. Scheduled to be released on Wednesday, July 17th, Chapter 11 contains many changes and updates such as the following:

  • Oren art and map files have been added. Included in this publish are the Ivory Tower, Ivory Tower Village, Crystal Cavern dungeon, Border Fortress, and a wasteland filled with undead Elmore soldiers from the famed war with Elmore.
  • Additional magic spells are available with this episode. The magic update includes changes/additions to regular magic and the introduction of Elven magic. Elven magic (also called spirit magic) can be learned by Elves at the Mother Tree or in the training room at the Ivory Tower. Items related to learning and casting spirit magic spells include crystals, which serve as spellbooks, and spirit gems, which are like magic gems for regular magic.
  • The NPC Ellyonne can instruct Elves on the use of spirit magic. Elves can learn the common line, and at level 30 may choose an elemental line to specialize in. Ellyonne can be found in the Ivory Tower.
  • New hunting grounds have been added, including areas of the Ivory Tower (4th through 8th floor).
  • Demon armor and death knight armor is added.
  • Sayha’s bow is added.
  • New loot items have been added to certain creatures.
Lineage servers will be unavailable for around two hours on Chapter 11's release date while the update takes place. It's also noted that the download update is substantial, weighing in at around 30 MB.

More information on Chapter 11, including more features and changes, can be found at the official Lineage site.

Lineage - Episode 11: Oren

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Medal of Honor Franchise Discussed
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Planet Medal of Honor recently sat down with Steve Groll, Senior Publicist at Electronic Arts, to discuss the highly popular Medal of Honor franchise. Having already spawned several games across both computers and consoles, the MoH series is still going strong, and Groll notes he could hardly turn down the offer of being the Senior Publicist in charge of the series.

Though the majority of the interview focuses on Groll's job with EA, it does mention some details regarding Medal of Honor: Team Assault, an expansion set for MoH: Allied Assault currently in the works:

Matt Pruitt: Medal of Honor: Team Assault (working title) is planned on being released in November/December. I know there's not really any information on it yet, but could you tell us how this game will be different from the others?

Steve Groll: In the Medal of Honor expansion pack, you'll be a completely new character, Sgt. Jack Barnes, and you'll be able to battle the Germans from Normandy, through the Battle of the Bulge, and finally to the fall of Berlin. You'll also be working with the British and Russians and have access to their weapons in both single-player and multi-player modes. There will be more details in the coming months.

Another title, MoH: Fighter Command, was originally planned but is no longer in production.

MoH: AA was a welcome title to the Mac platform, and we hope to see the MoH series continue to grace the Mac in the future. In the meantime, those interested in the full interview can find it at Planet Medal of Honor.

Planet Medal of Honor - Steve Groll, EA Senior Publicist Interview
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
Medal of Honor: Allied Assault
Buy Medal of Honor: Allied Assault

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The Sims Vacation Goes Beta
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Late on Friday, Westlake Interactive updated their web site with news that The Sims Vacation is now in beta. This means the expansion pack, set to be published by Aspyr Media, is at a functional point and will be sent to release after it receives a thorough beta testing. Here's the news from Westlake:

The Sims Vacation is now in Beta testing. Soon you will be able to send your Sims to fun-filled summer and winter vacation spots where they can enjoy many new activities, including snowboarding, carnival games, volleyball, swimming, and fishing. Take along the whole family or sneak away with your secret lover. It's all possible when you're on Vacation Island.

The Sims Vacation will be published by the good folks over at Aspyr Media.

Stay tuned to IMG for more information on Vacation once the game nears release.

Westlake Announces The Sims Vacation Goes Beta
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
The Sims: Vacation
Buy The Sims: Vacation

Mac Games News for Friday, July 12, 2002

Halo for Mac And PC Announced12:19 PM
New Westlake Code 'Genie No. 2'8:28 AM
Wipeout 2097 Ships in North America8:08 AM
EA Announces The Sims: Unleashed8:06 AM
Contraband Reveals Heroes of Might & Magic IV6:00 AM
Custer Hosts a Ghost6:00 AM
Details of Shadowbane at Macworld NY6:00 AM
Links Championship Edition Release Date Confirmed6:00 AM
Stronghold Updated to 1.26:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, July 12, 2002 on one page

Recent Mac Games News

Thursday, July 11, 2002
Wednesday, July 10, 2002
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Friday, July 5, 2002

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