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Tuesday, March 23, 2004

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IMG Reviews Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness
9:54 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of Aspyr's Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness, the sixth installment in the series of action-adventure games. Here's a clip from the review:

During her two-year sabbatical, Core and Eidos have tried to refresh Lara's appeal and break away from the impression of a series of spin-offs based on spin-offs. Angel of Darkness attempts to make a fresh start for the game's story and content, as well as updating the game engine and graphical quality by a considerable degree.

The changes take a number of forms. The most obvious difference, right from the start, is the greatly improved quality of the graphics, which I'll discuss later. Aside from the visual improvements, though, Lara now has a wider variety of moves and a stealth mode, and the reliance on an obviously block-based environment has been removed. Lara can explore her environment in a less linear way, hold conversations with other characters in the game, and improve her physical skills over time. On top of that, there's a new character called Kurtis Trent for the player to control (for a total of three levels), and the atmosphere of the game is now darker than before, with a story that involves murder and the occult.

To check out the entire review, please follow the link below.

IMG Review: Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness
Core Design
Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness
Buy Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness

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Epic Cracks Down on Unreal Tournament 2004 Cheaters
8:45 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Epic Games has started to take a decidedly hardcore approach to dealing with online cheating. In a recent forum posting, Epic warns that anyone caught cheating will be permanently banned from Unreal Tournamnet 2004's master server.

Apparently, this new approach has already started to take effect:

In addition to an improved version of the cheat-stopping measures found in UT2003, UT2004 utilizes a targeted tracking and response system at the master server level that allows us to focus on those people really causing problems. Yesterday we identified and permanently banned a UT2004 player, "Zellius", for cheating.
In addition, Epic warns against players giving out their CD keys, and notes that any evidence of key theft will be handed over to their legal department for immediate action.

Atari Forums - Important Security News.. everyone please read!
Digital Extremes
Epic Games
Unreal Tournament 2004
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Shadowbane to Utilize GPU More
8:45 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Following the release of patch 2.0 for Shadowbane, also known as Rise of the Upstart Gods, a functionality known as "Waving Trees" that was included in the patch has caused a bit of a stir in the SB community. To offset any worries about performance, the SB team has provided an explanation, pointing out that the SB client was, until recently, largely CPU bound.

One of the performance problems we found with Shadowbane was that our client was solely CPU bound. To improve overall game performance, we are slowly moving some graphical features and processes to utilize the user’s video card / GPU instead of the CPU. These moves will improve Shadowbane’s overall performance and experience quality, especially for users with higher-end video cards.
They add that, as they progress in their work, they expect to offload more graphical features over to the GPU, which in turn should improve game performance.

Shadowbane - A Word about "Waving Trees"
Wolfpack Studios
Shadowbane: The Rise of Chaos

ATI Radeon 9800 Pro Price Drop
7:24 AM | Johan Hansén | Comment on this story

Graphics card manufacturer ATI Technologies has lowered the suggested retail price of their high-end card, the Radeon 9800 Pro Mac Edition by $50, giving it a MSRP of $349. This price drop has already been incorporated at several stores, and people now report being able to find the card new for as low as $300.

The Radeon 9800 Pro Mac Edition is currently the fastest graphics card for the Mac, and besides its extreme performance, the card also includes software for enabling full screen anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering for games that don't have these features built in.

For more information about the Radeon 9800 Pro Mac Edition, you can read the detailed review here at IMG. Just click the link below to get there.

Radeon 9800 Pro
IMG Review: Radeon 9800 Pro
ATI: Suggested Retail Prices

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World of Warcraft Beta Journal
7:24 AM | Johan Hansén | Comment on this story

With the start of the World of Warcraft beta, the reports on Blizzard Entertainments upcoming MMORPG are beginning to pop up on the internet. One such preview can be found over at MMORPGDot, where one of the staff has started to write a journal of his adventures in the World of Warcraft. The first entry covers starting out, and how well quests are integrated in the game.

From the article:

As has been reported, the very first thing you see upon entering the game is a friendly NPC with a yellow exclamation point above his head. Someone has a quest for you! In Anvil Marr, there are two NPCs right next to each other with stuff they want you to do. One would like you to clear out the wolf population a bit, the other would like you to deliver a letter to a friend of his just down the road a piece. From these simple favours, you are swept up into a series of quests that define what it is that distinguishes World of Warcraft from the other Massively Multiplayer games.
To read the full article, head over to MMORPGDot with help of the link provided below.

For those who feel left out of the beta, remember that Blizzard will accept more applicants for each stage of the beta, so you might still be lucky enough to get in at a later stage. IMG will continue to cover the progress of World of Warcraft as it heads towards release, so stay tuned to our news page for the latest information.

Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
MMORPGDot: World of Warcraft Beta Journal
Buy World of Warcraft

Mac Games News for Monday, March 22, 2004

Apple Posts Return of the King Trailer11:31 AM
IMG Previews Medal of Honor: Breakthrough11:00 AM
KnightShift for Mac Reaches Alpha8:55 AM
Ryan Gordon & UT 2004 on The Gamesome Mac8:55 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, March 22, 2004 on one page

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Friday, March 19, 2004
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