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Wednesday, May 14, 2003

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E3: World of Warcraft Coming to Mac OS X
11:47 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Blizzard has announced this morning they will be bringing their upcoming massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) World of Warcraft to Mac OS X. This continues the company's tradition of bringing versions of its very popular titles to the Mac, and further expands the MMO genre for the platform.

World of Warcraft is set three years after Warcraft III and will allow players to roam the lands of Azeroth as one of five different races. One of the company's biggest goals is to make the game accessible to both casual and hardcore players.

Here's more of the press release from E3:

Today at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Blizzard Entertainment announced plans for a Mac OS X version of World of Warcraft, its upcoming massively multiplayer online role-playing game. For the first time ever, the company previewed the game running on Mac OS X, along with the game's fifth new playable race, the reclusive Night Elves. These shadowy, immortal creatures were the first to study magic, which they unleashed throughout the world of Azeroth nearly ten thousand years before the events chronicled in the original Warcraft.

Blizzard also announced several new classes, many forms of transportation, and stunning new lands to explore. For the first time ever, the company also previewed the game's new fully customizable interface, which allows players to adjust the appearance and features of the interface to suit their particular preferences and style of play.

"Supporting the Mac platform has always been a priority for us," stated Mike Morhaime, Blizzard Entertainment president and co-founder. "We're dedicated to building a diverse gaming community around World of Warcraft, and by bringing the game to Mac users, we hope to achieve that goal."

Building on the success of the Warcraft series, Blizzard hopes to expand the MMORPG genre by creating a deep, immersive, user-friendly experience that will appeal to both veteran gamers and casual players alike. The E3 presentation shows off the vibrant world of Azeroth in great detail and demonstrates the significant new ways in which the universe has been expanded.

Key features in the game include:

* Immense, detailed world spanning miles of terrain and featuring hundreds of familiar locations throughout the rich Warcraft universe, as well as all-new, uncharted territories.

* Hundreds of quests that drive gameplay and provide countless opportunities for adventure and heroism.

* Regular content updates created by an ongoing live development team that continuously designs new lands, quests, and monsters.

* Thousands of items, including rare and unique weapons and armor with which to customize your character's appearance and abilities.

* Numerous character classes, each with its own distinctive style of play and multiple paths for development.

* A revolutionary secondary-skill system that allows players to create truly original characters with unique combinations of abilities.

* Multiple races to choose from, including Night Elves, Humans, Orcs, Tauren, Dwarves, and more to be revealed.

* Several personal modes of transportation, including horses, wolves, and more.

* Ships, Zeppelins, and Gryphons provide quick and easy travel throughout the world.

* Instanced zones create a personal combat and adventure experience for you and your companions.

Blizzard has also posted dozens of amazing new screenshots as well as an E3 trailer of the game on its web site (follow the E3 link below).

IMG will have a full report on the Mac OS X showing of World of Warcraft very soon, so stay tuned. No official release date has been given for the title yet, but we'll be sure to bring you the latest.

World of Warcraft for OS X Announcement
Blizzard E3 WoW Media
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft

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Star Trek: Elite Force II Impressions Posted
11:50 AM | Johan HansÚn | Comment on this story

Action Vault has posted a preview of the upcoming first-person shooter Star Trek: Elite Force II by Ritual Entertainment, based on their experience of the recently released PC Demo of the game. Since the game is based upon the highly familiar Star trek Universe, there are some things that just has to be included in such a game. One of these is the Tricorder.

From the article:

No Star Trek title would be complete without a manifestation of the always useful Tricorder, and in the demo, it plays an integral part in progressing through the two alien-infested levels. If equipped, and its targeting reticle placed over an interactive item, it can be used to ascertain the purpose and physical dimensions of many objects within the game world. In addition, it provides the means by which you access an amusing circuit rerouting puzzle that bars your progress at one juncture. It also boasts two vision modes, one of which may be used to pinpoint structural weaknesses or anomalies that can be destroyed with Phaser fire to gain access to secret areas
Follow the link below to get access to the full preview.

The anticipation for this game is high now that it is so close to it's PC release. The PC version will be out by June 24th and will be published by ActiVision. The Macintosh port by Westlake Interactive has recently reached First Playable and will be published by Aspyr Media.

Ritual Entertainment
Aspyr Media
Star Trek Elite Force II
Action Vault: Star Trek Elite Force II Demo Impressions
Buy Star Trek Elite Force II

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E3: PC Halo Screenshots and Videos Released
11:50 AM | Carter Sample | Comment on this story

Following Microsoft's debut of the Halo PC website, IGN has released new screenshots and videos of Halo PC in action. The PC version of Halo is being shown at E3 today. These movies show off some of the new multiplayer levels along with some of the new weaponry that is going to be added.

Here's an a small excerpt from Microsoft's website:

Halo allows you to take the battle online with gamers from all over the world in a variety of customizable individual and team based games. Experience the all new multiplayer with the addition of new maps, weapons and vehicles. Halo's been enhanced for play on the PC with the precision offered by the mouse and keyboard and the support of high-end hardware allowing up to 1600x1200 resolution! mode
Halo is being developed by Gearbox on the PC side, while Westlake Interactive takes care of the Mac version. According the a recent interview with Gearbox the game is slated for a release this fall.

Bungie Studios
Westlake Interactive
Halo: Combat Evolved
Microsoft Debuts Halo PC Website
IGN: Halo Flicks

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IMG Reviews Saitek's P880 Gamepad
10:38 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of Saitek's P880 gamepad. Here's a clip from the review:

The P880 is similar in size and weight to many of the third-party PSone/PS2 controllers commonly available. Roughly boomerang-shaped, the P880 is dark blue in color with silver accents used for the front-face buttons, D-Pad, and descriptive lettering. The grips are rubberized from the front to the backside where your middle fingers normally grab for support, which will prevent the controller from becoming slippery if your hands become sweaty after extended hours of gameplay.
Please follow the link below to check out the entire review.

IMG Review: Saitek P880
P880 Dual Analog Pad

Aspyr's SpyHunter Ships
10:11 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Aspyr today announced the release of SpyHunter. The game was ported to the Mac and PC by TransGaming from the PlayStation 2 version.

Here's more from the official press release:

Packed with amazing 3D graphics, relentless action, and a game play experience similar to that offered on the console versions, both Mac and PC fans can experience the incredible adrenaline rush of taking on a multitude of missions to save the world. Both the Mac and PC versions of SpyHunter were ported simultaneously in an extremely short period of time demonstrating the tremendous power of TransGaming's portability technology. SpyHunter also marks the beginning of Apsyr Media's foray into the PC publishing market.

Vikas Gupta, Co-CEO and President of TransGaming states, "Partnering with Aspyr to port SpyHunter has been a great experience and provides TransGaming with another opportunity to showcase the technical depth, speed and versatility of our cross-platform compatibility solutions. The expediency of the SpyHunter port demonstrates the strength of our technology and our ability to bring the hottest titles on the market to multiple platforms ? faster, cheaper, and better than anyone else."

"We are eager to see SpyHunter for Mac and PC on store shelves," says Ted Staloch, Executive VP of Publishing. "TransGaming has done fantastic work and we look forward to working together on future projects." SpyHunter on the Mac and PC challenges players to make split-second decisions as they engage in offensive attacks and defensive counterattacks, while behind the wheel of the slick new G-6155 Interceptor loaded with incredible high-tech weaponry. While navigating high-speed, mission-based racing in exotic locales, the SpyHunter Interceptor is relentlessly pursued by hordes of air, ground and water enemies while morphing into a deadly, high-velocity speedboat, a turbo jet watercraft or a supercharged motorcycle. Ultra-realistic 3D graphics, explosive weaponry and impressive defensive mechanisms combine intense speed and strategy to distinguish SpyHunter from routine combat racers and traditional action racing games.

SpyHunter for the Mac is available for pre-order through the Aspyr as well as the IMG Store.

Aspyr Media

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E3: America's Army Heads to Mac
9:56 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

At the Eletronic Entertainment Expo today, The Army announced that it will be bringing its popular first person shooter, America's Army, to the Mac. The free game made its debut on the PC in July 2002 and since then more than one million players have gone through virtual basic training in the America's Army: Operations game and have played more than 100 million missions.

Here's some more information about the game:

As part of the Army, you are bound by the laws of land warfare, Army values and realistic rules of engagement as you go through teamwork-based multiplayer networked squad versus squad operations. Mission accomplishment and a high ranking in the game are a function of team effort. Teamwork and responsibility are key, and those players that violate the rules will find themselves in a virtual jail cell at Fort Leavenworth. Values, which reflect the U.S. Army's values including loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage, are integral to your success.

Based upon standard Army force-on-force training practices, you will always perceive you are in the U.S. Army. Your comrades always appear to be in U.S. uniforms while the opposing force always appears to be in opposing force uniforms with appropriate weapons. You can even recover and employ opposing force weapons during battle.

America's Army also features the Soldiers adventure game portion where you undergo Army training and adventures while encountering tactical, technical and physical challenges - similar to issues soldiers might face in their first tour of duty while on and off duty. Training missions teach basic character controls and movements and proper weapons usage for official ammunition like automatic weapons, assault rifles, smoke grenades and sniper rifles.

Training is put to the test when you encounter Operations' multiplayer missions including airborne drops to seize an airfield, raids on enemy headquarters deep in the swamps, raids around the globe to disrupt illegal arms transfers, and missions in defense of freedom and to thwart terrorists.

Each mission begins with players selecting their team and role within their team. Realistic infantry roles, such as grenadier, rifleman, and fire team leader are incorporated into missions according to Army doctrine. Communication includes shouted and whispered commands, radio messages and -- in a game industry first -- genuine military hand and arm signals. Also included in the networked play are training missions in which laser engagement systems mirror Army training to simulate combat.
According to the Army, the Macintosh version of the game is scheduled to be released in June of 2003.

America's Army: Special Forces 2.4

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Microsoft Debuts Halo PC Website
9:16 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Microsoft has launched a new website for the PC version of Bungie's Halo. In addition to information that will be included in the PC version, the website features a dozen new screenshots from the PC version. The PC game is being shown for the first time at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo, which kicks off today.

Here's some of the highlights the website mentions:

  • Live the rich sci-fi epic adventure that is Halo!
  • Experience the ultimate Halo challenge with all new online multiplayer for up to 16.
  • Take on the world in any of the 15 multiplayer maps including 6 brand new maps never before seen!
  • Unleash destruction with incredible weapons and vehicles including brand new armaments for intense online multiplayer games.
  • The PC version of Halo is being developed by Gearbox while the Mac version is being handled by Westlake Interactive. According to a recent interview with Gearbox, the game is on track to be released this fall.

    Microsoft's Halo PC Webstie
    Bungie Studios
    Westlake Interactive
    Halo: Combat Evolved

    Aspyr Status Updates
    7:18 AM | Johan HansÚn | Comment on this story

    Aspyr Media have once again updated their Project Status page, revealing the current development stage of their upcoming titles. They have a lot of games in the last stages of development now, so we should be getting most of their new games in time for summer.

    The latest updates:

    • SpyHunter, the action racing game originally developed for consoles by Midway, is in Duplication and expected to reach the shelves soon. This will be the first time Aspyr publishes a hybrid port of a console game. Let's hope that it will be a huge success.

    • Their second hybrid game announced, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4, has reached Final Candidate.

    • The highly awaited city building and management simulator SimCity 4 has reached Final Candidate as well. This is great news for all mayor wannabes out there who are already boiling with anticipation.

    • Finally, the recently announced Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer is at Alpha stage in development and is scheduled for a release in June.

    Besides these latest updates, we recently announced that NASCAR Racing Season 2003 is in duplication. In addition, Medal of Honor: Spearhead, the expansion pack for Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, begun shipping earlier this week.

    Should this summer become a rainy one, Aspyr Media will definitely have the means out to save it. If you don't want to risk being stuck indoors with nothing to do, head over to the IMG store and pre-order these games today.

    Aspyr project Status
    Aspyr Media
    Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer
    Medal of Honor: Spearhead
    Nascar Racing 2003
    SimCity 4
    Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4
    Buy Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer
    Buy Medal of Honor: Spearhead
    Buy Nascar Racing 2003
    Buy SimCity 4
    Buy Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4

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    Europa Universalis II Shipping
    6:15 AM | Alvaro Radigales | Comment on this story

    Virtual Programming Ltd. recently updated their online store revealing that Europa Universalis II, their port of the popular PC empire management game, is now available for order.

    The United Kingdom-based developer is in charge of European distribution only, while the US and Canada releases of this title will be handled by MacPlay instead. Customers living in the said countries will have to wait a little bit longer, though, as MacPlay's web site still lists Europa Universalis II as available for pre-order. According to their May newsletter, and as MacPlay recently confirmed, the game is very close to shipping from their store.

    Europa Universalis II will also ship from the Inside Mac Games store as soon as it reaches the North-American market, which should happen within the next few days.

    For more information on this long-awaited title, check Virtual Programming's web site through the link provided below.

    Virtual Programming
    Europa Universalis II
    Buy Europa Universalis II

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    Deus Ex: Invisible War Site Live
    6:13 AM | Alvaro Radigales | Comment on this story

    The official web site for Ion Storm's upcoming first-person action RPG, Deus Ex 2: Invisible War, has just gone live, complete with message boards and a handful of screen shots.

    Visitors who register at this new web site will receive a special edition EIDOS DVD, as well as updated information on Deus Ex 2 before it is published in their news section.

    Deus Ex 2: Invisible War is the sequel to the staggeringly popular game that pushed the role-playing world to an immersive three-dimensional first-person engine.

    Here are some of the features expected in this latest installment of the series:

    • An action-packed first-person thriller with intense shooter and role-playing elements.

    • True player choice provides the most advanced go-anywhere-do-anything freedom in a video game to date. This sandbox-shooter molds itself to the player's play-style and strategy - the real-time choice of violence, stealth, computer hacking or negotiation allow the player ultimate freedom of self expression.

    • Countless tools and biomods enable the player to achieve objectives with dramatic flair - see through walls, run faster than cars, leap 40 ft in the air, regenerate critical body damage and become radar invisible to your foes.

    • State-of-the-art physics system, allowing for unprecedented interaction with objects in the world.
    Deus Ex 2: Invisible War is currently in development for PC and X-Box. No Mac version has been confirmed, but since the game runs on a modified Unreal engine, a port is not at all unlikely.

    For more information on this title, head to the official web site through the link provided below.
    Ion Storm
    Deus Ex 2: Invisible War

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    World of Warcraft E3 Preview
    6:13 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    IGN PC has posted a massive preview of World of Warcraft, the upcoming MMORPG by Blizzard. This title incorporates characters and elements from the popular Warcraft series into a persistent online world ready for exploration and development.

    Fans of the Warcraft series will instantly recognize the races available, which include Night Elves, Taurens, Dwarves, Orcs, and Humans. IGN PC also describes several available classes, including the Mage, Druid, and Hunter. Players will also be able to move around the world via gryphon transports:

    Scattered throughout the world are stations for griffon transport. You can use these creatures, with the head, forelegs and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion, as transports from station to station. You won't have any control over the griffon's path and you can only travel to stations you've already visited but it makes a convenient way of getting around.
    For those who prefer a little more control, some classes will come with the ability to train animals, while others will be able to morph into various creatures.

    The rest of the preview covers topics such as various establishments, class abilities, and the HUD interface. While we don't have definite word regarding a Mac version as of yet, we're keeping our fingers and toes crossed for this one.

    IGN PC - E3 2003: World of Warcraft Hands On
    Blizzard Entertainment
    World of Warcraft
    Buy World of Warcraft

    Mac Games News for Tuesday, May 13, 2003

    Feral Updates on Total Immersion, Warrior Kings12:52 PM
    IMG Previews Nascar Racing 200312:28 PM
    Creepy Mines updated to 1.311:49 AM
    Glenda Adams Joins Aspyr Media10:19 AM
    Rockstar Announces Max Payne 29:38 AM
    Logitech Announces Two New Joysticks9:23 AM
    New Info on Halo for PC9:23 AM
    WWIIOnline Update Fixed Mac Sound Issues9:23 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, May 13, 2003 on one page

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