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Thursday, January 23, 2003

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WC3 Expansion Q&A, Mac Version Confirmed
9:48 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

Following on heels of Blizzard's announcement of the expansion to their hit RTS Warcraft III, Gamespy sat down and talked with Rob Pardo of Blizzard about the features of the expansion. Entitled Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, the expansion features new heroes and units, along with an advanced world editor, allowing players to create their own single-player campaigns. Also included in the expansion is a new single player campaign, which Pardo goes into detail in his interview with Gamespy.

Here's a sample:

GameSpy: The Night Elf Demon Hunter Illidan and Death Knight Arthas really did not play much of a role in the final Night Elf chapter of Warcraft 3. As a matter of fact, their fates were pretty much left open-ended. I assume that was intentional for the purposes of the expansion?

Rob Pardo: Yes, it was; and the title for the expansion set is the focus of the new single-player campaigns. We already know that Arthas is not to be trusted, and it is soon revealed that Illidan is also a force of evil. It is uncertain as to what exactly is being sought inside the frozen throne, but as the campaign progresses, players uncover the schemes of these villains and their dark intentions for the world of Azeroth.

GameSpy: How many missions will be in the single-player game and will they be race focused as the original game was?

Rob Pardo: The exact number of missions is still being determined at this point, but I can tell you that they will be race focused similar to Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. The campaign starts with the Night Elves, progresses to the Human Alliance, and ends with the Undead Scourge. The Orcs will have their own unique Orc-specific campaign that serves a stand-alone story. Their story is also being designed to showcase many of the new campaign features of the enhanced world editor.

Although a Mac version of Frozen Throne is not mentioned on the official website, Blizzard recently contacted IMG confirming a Mac version. For more information, or to read the full interview, follow the links provided.

WC3 Exp Q&A
Blizzard Entertainment
Buy WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne

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IMG Reviews the Nostromo n50 Speedpad
12:43 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of the Belkin's sleek Nostromo n50 Speedpad, an unusual combination of keyboard and gamepad designed for first and third person shooters. It is one of the few gamepads made specifically to compliment a mouse. The best way to describe the Nostromo n50 Speedpad is an unusual combination of keyboard and gamepad designed for first and third person shooters.

Here's more from the review:

Belkin proudly boasts that the n50 requires almost no learning curve. Being a born skeptic, I was naturally doubtful of their claims. I quickly configured the drivers and decided to give MacSoft's Max Payne a go. I was amazed at how natural the n50 felt. I hardly had to think about using the d-pad to move my character and switching weapons was no longer a chore. I often found myself fumbling between weapons when using a keyboard, but after learning the new key layout for the weapons, I suddenly had all the weaponry at my fingertips.
To learn more about the Nostromo n50, be sure to check out the entire review.

IMG Review: Nostromo n50 SpeedPad
Nostromo n50 SpeedPad

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IMG Store: Pre-Order Medal of Honor: Spearhead
10:29 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

The just-announced expansion pack for Aspyr's Medal of Honor, Spearhead, is now available for pre-order through the IMG Store for $29.

Medal of Honor Allied Assault Spearhead for the Mac represents a unique addition to the Medal of Honor franchise. Players will assume the role of Sgt. Jack Barnes as he endures the final months of World War II, from Operation Overlord to the Battle of the Bulge and culminating with the fall of Berlin. The Medal of Honor Allied Assault Spearhead combines nine expansive single-player levels with over 12 new multiplayer maps and includes new locations, new weapons, and new soldiers.

Set during the last year of the war in Europe, June 1944 to May 1945, the Medal of Honor Allied Assault Spearhead gives players a sense of the courage it took to parachute behind enemy lines during Operation Overlord, halt the German counter offensive during the Battle of the Bulge, and engage the Germans as they desperately try to defend their capital, Berlin.

Staying true to all the gameplay features that made Medal of Honor Allied Assault one of the most acclaimed titles launched in 2002, the Medal of Honor Allied Assault Spearhead will build on the success of that game and add new multi-player gameplay modes, new soldiers including British and Soviet squads, and new weapons.

System Requirements

  • Medal of Honor Allied Assault required to play)
  • MacOS 9.0 or later (with virtual memory), Mac OS X 10.1 or later
  • PowerMac G3/G4/iMac (Flat-Panel or later)/PowerBook G4 (Gigabit Ethernet orlater)
  • 450MHz or faster
  • 128mb of RAM (256 MB under Mac OS X)
  • Graphics Acceleration Required (ATI Rage 128, Radeon, NVidia GeForce or later)
  • 16 MB of VRAM or more

    To place your pre-order, please head over to the IMG Store.

    Aspyr Media
    Westlake Interactive
    Medal of Honor: Spearhead
    Buy Medal of Honor: Spearhead

    More Quicktime 6.1 Updates: Slope Rider, Mah Jong
    9:48 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

    Further to the rounds of game updates reported last week dealing with the Quicktime 6.1 "Black Screen" issue, shareware titles Mah Jong Solitaire and Monte Boyd Interactive's Slope Rider have both been updated and are again fully functional.

    The games, which have both been updated to versions 1.0.3, have been revised to deal with Apple's redesign of the Quicktime screen blanking API. Shortly after Apple released the 6.1 update, many gamers found their favorite games would not display anything after the screen faded to black.

    Gamers who have experienced the blank screen issue after upgrading their Quicktime software are encouraged to check IMG's sister site MacGameFiles for updates to their favorite titles. Should a title not have an upgrade, players can email the game's programmers informing them of the problem.

    Click on the links below to download the Slope Rider and Mah Jong Solitaire updates.

    MacGameFiles: Slope Rider 1.0.3
    MacGameFiles: Mah Jong Solitaire 1.0.3

    Championship Manager 4 Delayed
    9:48 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

    Eidos Interactive has announced further delays to their soccer management sim Championship Manager 4.

    The developers, whom had originally been working towards a pre-Christmas 2002 release, had originally pushed the date back to late January 2003. According to a press release on their website, the game's release has now been pushed even further in order to enable the developers to include a new match play engine which will "further enhance the ameplay experience":

    We have today changed the release dates of both the game and magazine. The magazine will now be launched on Feb 28th, and CM4 will be out in March (date to be confirmed). This gives us time to keep tuning the game and make some more refinements - we make no apologies for the changes in dates, as the only thing that is important to us is to give you the best game we possibly can. Thank you for your patience and understanding. It WILL be worth the wait.
    UK game publishers Feral Interactive, who are overseeing the game's Mac port, are working hard to achieve a simultaneous PC/Mac release; however given the intricacies of the code, Feral warns Mac fans that the Mac port of the game may take a few additional weeks after it's PC release to hit the shelves.

    Keep your eye on IMG over the next few weeks for further news on this sports title.

    Eidos Interactive: CM4 release delayed
    Feral Interactive

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    Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness Delayed
    9:48 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

    Further to Eidos Interactive's sad news that its soccer management sim Championship Manager 4's release date has been delayed, Eidos chief executive Mike McGarvey has confirmed that the upcoming Lara Croft adventure Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness will also be released later than expected.

    The news was included in a press release from Eidos regarding the company's current financial position and its positive financial outlook for the year:

    Looking forward, we have a strong line-up of new releases for the second half and are optimistic about the potential for our business to continue to deliver improved performance. Whilst the release of Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness has been delayed, we believe that the game will benefit substantially from the marketing of the new Lara Croft movie, Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, scheduled to be released this summer... Significant progress has been made in the final stages of development. Management believe that the title will benefit from continued game play enhancement, which will require further time.
    Although no formal announcement has been made regarding the Mac port of this new chapter to the female archeologists' franchise, sales figures of past Lara Croft titles on the Mac make it all but unlikely that the new game will be ported to the Mac soon after its PC version hits the shelves.

    TombRaiderChronicles - Eidos Announces TR:AOD Delay
    Core Design
    Buy Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness

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    Dungeon Siege Postmortem At Gamasutra
    9:48 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

    Although we're a little late on the uptake, we thought it might interest IMG readers that a postmortem for Bold's upcoming role-playing game, Dungeon Siege has been posted on game development resource center Gamasutra.

    The postmortem, which was posted in late Decemeber, was written by Gas Powered Games' Bartosz Kijanka. The article goes deep into the details of the game's creation, highlighting both the strong and weak points about the game's development cycle:

    What Went Wrong - Extreme ambition. Extreme ambition can be empowering, but it can also bring much pain. A large portion of Gas Powered Games consists of extraordinarily ambitious people. Every-one has their own reasons, but collectively, we all want to win, and want to win badly. While this drive helped us persevere through some of the challenges we encountered during development, it also created some new ones.

    Our ambition translated into a number of painful symptoms such as feature creep, over-optimism, and a project scope that was ultimately larger than our ability. The problem was compounded by the fact that nobody on the team had really worked on an action RPG before. We looked at the "leading brand" RPG and said to ourselves, "Hey, this is a fun genre. Let's make something like this except, much, much bigger, in 3D, without loading screens, and push the technology to its absolute breaking point!"

    The article offers an interesting look into the heart of game creation, and is a must read for both game developers and Dungeon Siege fans alike. Click on the links below to access the article.

    As reported here earlier this week, Westlake Interactive has recently announced that the role-playing game is currently in beta testing, and the game should be ready for approvals "within a few weeks". Once it's approved, the game will be published by Peter Tamte's publishing company, Bold.

    Gamasutra's Dungeon Siege Postmortem
    Westlake Interactive
    Buy Dungeon Siege

    Mac Games News for Wednesday, January 22, 2003

    Ask Aspyr Returns11:38 AM
    IMG Store: The Sims: Unleashed Now Available10:48 AM
    MacGamer Reviews Spaceward Ho! 5.010:40 AM
    Fool's Errand Sequel Announced6:00 AM
    Simon Extreme Released6:00 AM
    ThinkTanks Running on OS X6:00 AM
    Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne Announced6:00 AM
    XGaming Revamps Site, Offers Free Shipping6:00 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, January 22, 2003 on one page

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