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Archive for August, 2008

Quest for Glory II Remake Completed

Monday, August 25th, 2008

AGD Interactive has finally finished their remake of Sierra’s Quest for Glory II, that can be downloaded for free over here.

After nearly 8 years in development, AGD Interactive is pleased to present this fully recreated, faithfully reproduced, and highly anticipated title for the fans of the Quest for Glory series and newcomers alike to enjoy. We have taken great measures to ensure that this remake maintains the charm of the original version and that all the dialogue, locations, scenes, characters and Easter Eggs which people have come to know and love are completely intact and portrayed the way the Coles intended them to be experienced when they first designed the game.

Fallout 3 Gets Release Date

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

Bethesda has announced the release date of the post-apocalyptic role-playing/action game Fallout 3: Tuesday, October 28, 2008.  Coming for PC, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3, it will launch in Europe sooner after: October 31.  Read AE’s preview here.

Silent Hill Homecoming for PC

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

In what is a very good announcement for fans of Silent Hill, the next installment is also coming to PC. The release from Konami specifically states that it will be available over Steam but there’s no mention that it will be available at retail. Read the release for the full details:

EL SEGUNDO, CA – August 20, 2008 – Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. today revealed that Silent Hill Homecoming, the latest installment of the popular horror franchise Silent Hill, will be available for the PC, in addition to the PLAYSTATION®3 and the Xbox 360®.

Silent Hill Homecoming marks the fifth story in the Silent Hill mythos, and introduces a new protagonist to the mysterious town. The story follows Alex Shepherd, who returns to his hometown of Shepherd’s Glen to investigate the sudden disappearance of his brother and the strange occurrences taking place around town. Shepherd unravels a tale that takes him from his boyhood home to the fog-shrouded streets of Silent Hill, as he faces the darkest horrors of his soul to find his missing brother.

Silent Hill Homecoming features all-new graphics that bring the fear and terror of Silent Hill alive like never before. Alex must survive the terrible denizens with an all-new enhanced combat system that provides a wide array of attacks and counters. Along the way, he will encounter a variety of weapons to battle these horrific monsters and solve deadly puzzles, discovering the darkest secrets of the town. Silent Hill Homecoming also features an all-new soundtrack by acclaimed series composer Akira Yamaoka.

Silent Hill Homecoming for the PC will be available as a digital download through www.steamgames.com and is expected to launch September 2008.

Full Red Alert 3 Cast Announced

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

EA saw fit to announce the full cast of the live-action portions of Red Alert 3 in Leipzig, Germany today — we hear there’s a video games convention happening there — and the list is surprising in its depth and variety. So without further ado here’s the list:

The cast of Command & Conquer Red Alert 3 follows (in alphabetical order by last name): Gemma Atkinson (the UK’s Hollyoaks), Tim Curry (Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Hunt for Red October), Andrew Divoff (LOST), Kelly Hu (X2, The Scorpion King), Jenny McCarthy (Scream 3, former Playboy Playmate of the Year), Ivana Milicevic (Casino Royale), Jonathan Pryce (Pirates of the Caribbean), J.K. Simmons (Spider-Man, Juno), Autumn Reeser (The OC), Peter Stormare (Prison Break, Armageddon), George Takei (Star Trek, Heroes), and two of the most recognizable names in competitive mixed martial arts Randy “The Natural” Couture (former UFC Heavyweight champion) and Gina “Conviction” Carano (Undefeated Elite XC fighter, American Gladiators).

“This is by far the most exciting cast we have in over 13 years of shooting live-action movies for Command & Conquer,” said Chris Corry, executive producer at EALA. “The caliber of the performances we received, both individually and collectively, have really raised the storytelling bar for the franchise. We are really excited that we will be delivering such a high quality production that is on par with movies and television shows.”

“I wasn’t sure what to expect when I came in to work on a video game,” said Jenny McCarthy from the set of Command & Conquer Red Alert 3, while playing Tanya, Allied commando and the most beloved heroine in the history of the Command & Conquer universe. “What I realized is Red Alert 3 is not just a video game, it’s absolutely an interactive movie. This is where the people at home get to move the story forward, and where seeing the plot thicken is a reward for a job well done. And that’s really cool.”

The important aspect to note here is that it appears that no one from the Red Alert 2 cast is returning (though some kind of time line crossover would be an awesome) and that Jenny McCarthy will be taking over the role of Agent Tanya. We at the Armchair Empire love and respect the work Kari Wuhrer did as Agent Tanya in Red Alert 2, but we also have faith in Jenny McCarthy’s ability to yell, “Shake it, baby!”

Shattered Horizon Announced

Tuesday, August 19th, 2008

After making a name for itself through its system benchmark software, Futuremark is taking a stab (or a shot?) at game development with a PC FPS they’re calling Shattered Horizon.  From the press release:

LEIPZIG, GERMANY — 08/19/08 — LEIPZIG GAMES CONVENTION – Futuremark® Games Studio (www.futuremark.com/games) today revealed Shattered Horizon(TM), a new game where players fight to survive in the aftermath of a catastrophic Moon mining accident which throws billions of tons of rocky debris into near-Earth space. In this multiplayer first-person shooter for the PC, teams of players experience realistic zero gravity combat surrounded by the broken remains of orbital infrastructure and the millions of asteroids now encircling the Earth.

With simple and intuitive controls, players have complete freedom of movement making full use of the distinctive environment to control the battle. Shattered Horizon rewards players with gameplay and tactics impossible in games constrained by gravity.

Appealing to everyone who has ever dreamed of going into space, Shattered Horizon puts the player in the spacesuit of a survivor from the Moon mining operation or one of the astronauts trapped on the battered International Space Station. With Earth surrounded by debris, there’s little chance of rescue or return. Desperate battles are fought and control of limited supplies means the difference between survival and death in the cold of space.

Jukka Mäkinen, Head of Futuremark Games Studio, said, “We are excited to reveal the first details of Shattered Horizon. Fans of 3DMark have been asking us to make a game for many years. We are working hard to create something new, different and very, very fun.”

“In zero gravity the player is set free to play in new ways,” said Antti Summala, Lead Game Designer. “Complete freedom of movement and unique level design create an experience that is at once familiar to anyone who loves the FPS style and yet strikingly different to any game they have played before.”

Mikael Bowellan, Lead Artist for Shattered Horizon said, “Players will be awed by the epic sight of countless asteroids circling the Earth. Our stunning lighting effects create the look of real space for both the natural and man-made objects. We have taken existing concepts in weaponry, propulsion and spacesuit design to make the world of Shattered Horizon even more convincing and believable.”

The company says their intimate knowledge of the latest PC hardware allows them to tune the game’s engine to extract impressive visuals on a wide range of systems. While the game will showcase stunning graphics on high-end PCs, gamers need not spend a fortune to enjoy the unique gameplay.

The game has not yet been rated by ESRB, PEGI or other rating bodies. The official website is www.shatteredhorizon.com

Epic Partners with EA

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

We can’t recall, but there might have been rumblings about something like this happening previously but now Electronic Arts has confirmed that Epic Games and EA have reached an agreement to publish a new IP, currently in development by Epic subsidiary, People Can Fly (of Painkiller fame). No word on what the new game will be but one can assume with Epic and People Can Fly involved, it’ll be a shooter. Here are a few self-congratulatory paragraphs from the press release:

“Epic is excited to work with EA Partners to launch our next big IP on the global stage,” said Mark Rein, vice president, Epic Games. “EA Partners gives independent developers like Epic the muscle of a global publisher like EA, along with the focus and flexibility of a smaller team committed to working with our individual needs.”

“In the last year, EAP has become a powerhouse player in the publishing world with the best of breed developers signing on to leverage EA’s studio-focused philosophy, global scale and publishing leadership,” said Frank Gibeau, President of the EA Games Label. ”Epic brings first class talent and technology to the development of this new title. We are very proud to have Epic join the growing roster of EA Partners.”

“Epic is a legendary studio that is synonymous with quality and EA Partners jumped at the chance to team up with them on the launch of their next blockbuster IP,” said David DeMartini, senior vice president and general manager, EA Partners. “EA Partners is committed to giving the world’s best independent developers access to EA’s global publishing resources, letting them focus on what they do best – making great games.”

Hell Frozen: Spore has Gone Gold

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

In a day we never actually truly thought would arrive, EA has announced that Spore has finally gone gold! Yay!

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS) and Maxis today announced that Spore™ the most anticipated video game of the year from the creator of The Sims(TM), has gone gold and will be available for the Mac and PC at retailers September 5 in Europe and September 7 in North America and Asia Pacific. SporeCreatures for Nintendo DS™ and SporeOrigins for mobile phones will also be available globally September 7.

Players who preorder Spore or Spore Galactic Edition from participating retailers will receive a coupon good for $10 off their next purchase of custom merchandise at www.zazzle.com/sporestore. For the ultimate Spore fan, the limited Galactic Edition will contain the ‘Making of Spore‘ DVD, ‘How to Build a Better Being’ DVD (a 50 minute National Geographic Channel documentary DVD hosted by Spore mastermind, Will Wright), ‘The Art of Spore‘ hardback book, an exclusive Spore poster, and a premium 100-page Galactic Handbook.

“We are so excited to finally get Spore into the hands of fans and players,” said Lucy Bradshaw, executive producer of Spore at Maxis. “The Maxis studio has had an absolute blast creating Spore, but the fun is just beginning. The most engaging stories are truly the ones people create themselves, and we can’t wait to see how players not only craft and explore the Spore universe, but hear what stories they have to tell as a result.”

Spore gives players their own personal universe in a box, allowing fans to create and evolve life, establish tribes, build civilizations, sculpt entire worlds and explore a universe created by other gamers. Spore gives players a wealth of creative tools to customize nearly every aspect of their universe: creatures, vehicles, buildings, and even spaceships. Players can then seamlessly share their creations with the world via the Sporepedia™ and explore infinite new galaxies created by other gamers*.

Layoffs at Radical Entertainment

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

According to an article in the Vancouver Sun due to the recent Activision/Vivendi merger and reshuffling of priorities, the number of games being produced at Radical Entertainment, based in Vancouver, BC, has been cleaved in half, which means 100 staff members are being laid off. This follows closely on the heels of “Activision Blizzard” dropping titles like Brutal Legend, Ghostbusters, and 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand, and some recent “reshuffling” at High Moon Studios, which recently released The Bourne Conspiracy. The cuts at Radical do not appear to affect Prototype, which isn’t due until 2009.

The Armchair Empire hopes the other games mentioned find homes — most of them were mere months away from release.

Read the full Vancouver Sun article here.

Crysis Warhead in September

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

We’ve got a firm release date for Crysis Warhead with the game coming out in both Europe and North America next month.  From the press release:

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS) and Crytek GmbH announced today that Crysis Warhead®, the pulse-racing new installment of the Crysis® universe, will ship to retail stores in North America on September 16th and in Europe on September 12th. Beginning today, gamers can pre-order Crysis Warhead at the EA Store (www.eastore.com/crysiswarhead) for only $24.95; $5 less than the full retail price, or receive $10 off when purchasing both Crysis Warhead and Crysis. Crysis Warhead recently recognized by IGN PC as being the Best First Person Shooter and showcasing the Best Graphics Technology of E3 2008.

“We think Crysis Warhead is going to offer a tremendous experience to a wide range of gamers,” said Cevat Yerli, CEO and President of Crytek. “Fans of Crysis are going to enjoy more of the open-ended gameplay, cutting-edge visuals and huge, epic battles from the first game, while also finally finding out what kind of havoc Psycho was wreaking on the other side of the island.

At the same time, we designed Warhead to be more accessible for gamers new to the Crysis franchise. It is a game with a story that can stand on its own, it has been optimized to run better on a wider range of PCs, and we are introducing Crysis Wars®, a tailor-made experience for multiplayer gamers within the Crysis universe – all at a great value.”

Crysis Wars features three multiplayer modes, including TeamInstantAction, a new match type that mixes fast-paced action in a team-based environment, in addition to the insanely frenetic gameplay style of InstantAction and the hardcore team-based PowerStruggle, both of which return from Crysis. The game will include 21 maps, six new maps for TeamInstantAction and InstantAction, and one for PowerStruggle and Crytek will also have a support team dedicated to meeting the needs of the Crysis Wars community.

A brand new trailer for Crysis Warhead will premiere exclusively on “GameTrailers TV with Geoff Keighley” this Friday, August 15th on Spike TV (check your local listings) and will be available online at www.GameTrailers.com immediately following the show.

Crysis Warhead is a standalone title and does not require the original Crysis to play. The game has been rated ‘M’ for Mature by the ESRB and ‘16+’ by PEGI. For more information about the game, please visit the game’s new web site launching today at: www.crysiswarhead.com.

BlizzCon Tickets… Buyers Getting Snowed?

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

According to AE’s own Axel Cushing, Blizzard’s store is having real problems coping with the demand for tickets to BlizzCon, Blizzard’s annual software showcase. We’re looking into it to get some kind of official comment, but according to Axel, “The [Blizzard] forums are littered with posts of people getting double charged, even triple charged, and who will likely not be able to do a damn thing about it because of Blizzard’s stated “no refund” policy on their BlizzCon tickets. Cries of people who booked flights and hotels months in advance which will be essentially wasted. G4 put the madness up as part of their news crawler on “Attack of The Show.”

Discuss this one in AE’s Forum.

Space Siege Ships (PC)

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

Sega and Gas Powered Games has announced that Space Siege (for PC) has shipped to retail.  Here’s the skinny:

SAN FRANCISCO (August 12, 2008) – SEGA of America, Inc. today announced that Space Siege™ has shipped to retailers in North America exclusively for Games for Windows platform from Microsoft. Space Siege was developed by Gas Powered Games and the creative prowess of Chris Taylor, the mind behind Supreme Commander and the original Dungeon Siege series.

Space Siege takes place in the confines of the Armstrong, one of the last remaining colonization ships, carrying what little is left of human civilization after a devastating alien attack on Earth. The Kerak aliens are hell bent on eradicating humanity’s existence in the universe, forcing gamers into a struggle to save humanity from extermination. As Seth Walker, a robotics engineer, players are offered opportunities to sacrifice or preserve pieces of Seth’s humanity. Gamers that choose the path of cybernetic upgrades will find the upgrades greatly assist Seth in his mission to preserve the human race, while gamers that avoid upgrading Seth will find the game much more challenging but rewarding. Will Seth sacrifice his own humanity to save others? Only the player can decide Seth’s ultimate fate.

Space Siege features a dynamic storyline based upon the decisions the player makes throughout the course of the game. Players will also be able to take on the Kerak in a multiplayer mode that allows up to four players to save humanity together.

Flagship Seattle Returns as Runic Games

Monday, August 11th, 2008

Gamesindustry.biz is reporting that Flagship Seattle — the studio behind Mythos — is reforming as Runic Games, which seems to be very good news for fans of the still-in-beta Mythos. From Gamesindustry.biz:

The studio will be headed up by Travis Baldree and Max Schaefer.

Baldree was the project director behind Mythos, while Schaefer was one of the founders of Blizzard North and Flagship Studios. Runic Games says it will reveal details of its upcoming projects soon.

Mythos’ beta was closed down in July and, while its future seemed uncertain, the title was later picked up by T3 entertainment who started listing job openings to work on the title, along with Hellgate: London, as part of a new studio in San Francisco.

Godfather II Details Released

Friday, August 8th, 2008

Electronic Arts released some details about Godfather II, a sequel to last year’s sandbox crime game. In following with the books and movies, upcoming crime bosses will be expanding their control to Cuba and Florida:

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) and Paramount Digital Entertainment today revealed the first details of The Godfather® II videogame, the sequel to the 2007 multi-platinum hit. Inspired by the film and Mario Puzo’s Corleone family drama, The Godfather II game goes beyond the film’s story by setting players in the world of organized crime in 1960’s Florida, Cuba and New York.

After being promoted by Michael Corleone to Don of New York, players expand to new cities, as they build up their families through extorting businesses, monopolizing illegal crime rings and defeating new families in an effort to become the most powerful mob family in America. To help players manage their empire, The Godfather II introduces “The Don’s View” – an innovative strategy meta-game that allows players to oversee the entire world as they grow the family business. Using the Don’s View, players will be able to build, defend and expand their crime rings, while keeping an eye on the movements and plans of the rival families. Players will also learn to master the business of organized crime by building a family of Made Men, hiring crew, handing out orders, and promoting their best men up the ranks.

Set in a stunning open-world environment, The Godfather II expands on the popular gameplay mechanics of the first game and doubles down on the series’ signature BlackHand control scheme, which now features even more visceral hand-to-hand brutality at your fingertips, introducing a new combo system, pressure tactics and executions. In The Godfather II, players will fight alongside their hand-picked crew, who have their own skills and expertise. Each family member specializes in a specific field such as demolitions, arson, engineering, first-aid and more. As The Don you control the family, sending some of your men on missions while heading off into action with others. The combination of strategic organized crime gameplay and brutal BlackHand action sets The Godfather II apart from other open-world games.

“In the 1960’s, a mafia Don was only as strong as his family,” said Hunter Smith, Executive Producer of The Godfather II. “We found the hierarchical culture of organized crime intriguing. Running an organized crime family in a world defined by family loyalty is something that we felt could introduce a new strategic element to the genre. That is what the Don’s View is all about — laying out a strategy to pick off the competition one by one. The Don’s View is so unique, it could fundamentally change the rules of open-world games by blending action and strategy to create something entirely new.”

The Godfather has become an exceptional gaming franchise for the Studio,” states Sandi Isaacs, Senior Vice President of Interactive & Mobile for Paramount Digital Entertainment. “The videogame takes the story and gameplay to the next level with an innovative open-world action strategy that is both compelling and intriguing for gamers.”

Godfather II will be “revealed” on GameTrailers TV on Friday, August 15, 2008.  Additionally, EA is predicting a February 2009 release for the game.

Far Cry 2 PC Specs Announced

Friday, August 8th, 2008

Ubisoft today announced what the minimum and recommended PC specs will be required to run Far Cry 2. Not “monster” by any means — at least, going by the typical PC that’s being sold on the market right now — it still means an upgrade for some of us behind the curve.

“It has always been our intention to make Far Cry 2 as accessible to everyone as possible, and we have worked continuously to optimize Far Cry 2 to achieve this goal,” said Dominic Guay, Lead Technical Director.

Minimum requirements

CPU: Pentium 4 3.2 Ghz, Pentium D 2.66 Ghz, AMD Athlon 64 3500+ or better

Video card: NVIDIA® 6800 or ATI®X1650 or better, Shader Model 3 required , 256 Mb of graphic memory

Memory: 1 GB

Media reader: DVD-ROM

Recommended

CPU: Intel® Core 2 Duo Family, AMD®64 X2 5200+, AMD® Phenom or better

Video card: NVIDIA® 8600 GTS or better, ATI®X1900 or better with 512 Mb of graphic memory

Memory: 2 GB

Sound: 5.1 sound card recommended

Media reader: DVD-ROM

Supported Video cardsNVIDIA® 6800, NVIDIA® 7000 series, 8000 series, 9000 series, 200 series. 8800M and 8700M supported for laptops. ATI® X1650 – 1950 series , HD2000 series , HD3000 series , HD4000 series.

It’s also worth pointing out that Far Cry 2 is also coming to Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 — and you can read all about Far Cry 2 in our recently posted preview!

Grand Theft Auto IV for PC in November

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

It was inevitable but we finally have confirmation that Grand Theft Auto IV is coming to the PC on November 18th (North America) and November 21st (Europe). From the official press release:

“We are very excited to be releasing the PC version of Grand Theft Auto IV,” said Sam Houser, Founder of Rockstar Games. “The whole team is dedicated to bringing an amazing gaming experience to the PC. The game looks and plays beautifully on PC and we can’t wait for people to play it.”

Developed by series creator Rockstar North and set in Liberty City, the latest installment in the enormously successful Grand Theft Auto series features a painstakingly detailed and life-like city for players to explore; a rich, immersive narrative experience; an original soundtrack highlighting the cultural eclecticism of Liberty City; and newly expanded multiplayer just for the PC.

For more information please visit: http://www.rockstargames.com/IV