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News Archive for August 2001

August 31, 2001
 Visions of Reviews -- Conquest: Frontier Wars
14:23:00 EDT - Award 
Want to master the travel of subspace wormholes in order to wage war on multiple fronts and conquer the galaxy? So did we. Take a look with us at the latest attempt to conquer the RTS genre and find out if the Conquest wormhole leads to the RTS hall of fame, or just a black hole.

From the Review:
Another new feature introduced here is a logical system for base building. In space, it doesn't make much sense to just build things anywhere you'd like, does it? Of course not, you'll want to build on planets. Indeed, planets are a resource in their own right. In order to build all of your species buildings, as well as maximize your total unit limit you'll need at least three planets under your control. On each you can mine for resources (which can also be collected from asteroid belts and nebulas) and you can recruit crew. More importantly, you can build all your structures, with the exception of turrets which can be built anywhere, around planets.

Be sure to check out the entire review by clicking "Review" below!

 MOO3 Site Update
14:13:30 EDT - Award 
Infogrames informs us that the Master of Orion 3 website is up and running.

From the mailing:
Gamers itching to become the guiding force of the known galaxy should hurry over to, the official Web site of Infogrames' upcoming game Master of Orion 3, the sequel to the original space-based grand strategy game.

Visitors to the site will find the latest news on how Infogrames will take Master of Orion 3 to the next level of space-empire gaming with information on game features, system specifications for both the PC and Mac versions, screen shots and a link to Quicksilver, the game's developer's site.

In the coming months, items like screensavers, wallpaper, desktop themes, movies, new screenshots and fan-site kits will be added so check back often.

If you're interested in checking out the official MOO3 site, click "Visit Site" below.

August 30, 2001
 Totally Unreal on Store Shelves
2:17:37 EDT - Award 
It seems Totally Unreal is already on some store shelves. The formidable bundle includes a touch of everything Unreal, including the original Unreal plus the expansion, Unreal Tournament, a sneak peek at Unreal II, and tons of other great Unreal bonuses.

For more information on Totally Unreal, check out the entire (unusually themed) press release by clicking "More" below.

 Swat 3 Game of the Year On Its Way
2:14:11 EDT - Award 
Sierra announced today that the Game of the Year edition of Swat 3 should hit shelves in late September.

From the press release:
SWAT 3: Tactical Game of the Year delivers one totally new mission, five missions previously available only on the Web, and the original 21 missions. New weapons, skins, and MODs are also contained on the CD. The 27 missions feature hostage rescues, high risk warrants, and barricaded suspects set in familiar Los Angeles locations, including Chang's Theater, the L.A. subway, Whitman Airport, Hollywood Hills, the City of Angels Hospital.

Sounds like a nice bundle. For more information on the Swat 3 GOTY Edition, check out the official press release by clicking "More" below!

August 29, 2001
 Visions of Reviews -- Mech Commander 2
3:02:23 EDT - Award 
We took a look at the latest refit of the Battletech series, Mech Commander 2, and determined if it's truly battle-worthy. In a return to Battletech's roots, Mech Commander 2 is a tactical combat game in which you must use your wits to complete your objectives without taking heavy casualties.

From the review:
AI and difficulty are also typically big sticking points for TCG games. To be effective, a TCG must have intelligent player AI that will take the most logical path to a location, and won't plow into a mass of enemies and expect to survive. The need to baby-sit your units takes a TCG and makes it more frustrating than fun. At the same time, the enemy AI must be equally as good providing a solid challenge for human players without being predictable, but without having an unfair advantage of a few hundred thousand processes per second that a human doesn't have. Fortunately MC2 stays fairly in touch with reality in the area of AI and difficulty.

Be sure to check out the full review by clicking "Review" below, or simply by clicking the Mech Commander 2 logo on the "featured" bar.

 Age of Empires II Gold Edition On Shelves
1:35:34 EDT - Award 
It seems the much awaited gold edition of Age of Empires II is beginning to be seen on store shelves. The gold edition includes A o2: Age of Kings, the AOE2: The Conquerers expansion, as well as a dozen new maps, pre-recorded demos of the pros playing through, so you can figure how how to crush your foes more efficiently.

For more information on AOE2 Gold Edition, click "More" below.

August 28, 2001
 Independence War 2 Ships This Week
16:50:03 EDT - Award 
Infogrames announced today that Independence War 2: Edge of Chaos is now shipping and should be on store shelves by the end of the week.

From the press release:
As in the original Independence War, this sequel continues to focus on the logistics and physics of a space simulator while incorporating an action/adventure element with a rich, emotion-evoking storyline and dynamic characters. New to the series is a revolutionary graphics engine, allowing for such effects as rust, decay and wear on ships and stunning fire and flare effects. All ships in the game are modeled using the same textures and details as the ships in the computer-generated movies.

To check out the entire press release, click "More" below!

 Zoo Tycoon Site Launched
2:33:44 EDT - Award 
Microsoft announced today that the official Zoo Tycoon site has been launched. Zoo Tycoon follows previous "Sim" and "Tycoon" games in the building and managing of a business, in this case, a zoo.

From the press release:
Zoo Tycoon brings a new and exciting twist to the tycoon style of simulation games, challenging players to construct a healthy and vibrant zoo while managing animal and guest happiness. With more than 40 unique animals and over 175 habitat and zoo building materials, Zoo Tycoon includes an intuitive design that allows players to build, manage and maintain a thriving metropolitan zoo.

Maybe it's me, but isn't it time to call it quits with the building games? Really, we've had Sim City, Sim Theme Park, Roller Coaster Tycoon, Railroad Tycoon, now Zoo Tycoon. What's next, Sewage Tycoon? "Can you build a thriving sewage reclamation system in a big city? Limited edition scratch and sniff post-card inside!"

Ok, so it's a bit extreme, but it does seem to get a bit monotonous at times. If you're interested in monkeying around with the new Zoo Tycoon site, check out the full press release by clicking "More" below!

August 25, 2001
 New Art of Magic Updates
15:04:35 EDT - Award 
The official Art of Magic site ( has some new additions, including the creature of the week and a few new screenshots.

Click "Visit Site" below to check out the latest AoM eye candy!

 Throne of Darkness Public Beta Begins
14:58:44 EDT - Award 
For those of you interested in a bit of multplayer beta fun, check out Sierra's new Throne of Darkness limited public multiplayer beta program.

From the press release:
Throne of Darkness is a new high-action RPG with a unique Japanese storyline and groundbreaking multiplayer capability. The single-player campaign includes ten gigantic levels, each with multiple side quests. Players manage their party through a series of tactical "plays," - formations and action orders that the party follows, allowing a high level of coordination between the player and the AI-driven samurai. Throne of Darkness is scheduled to ship next month.

To read the entire release, and to find out how to sign up, click "More" below!

August 20, 2001
 Dungeon Siege Delayed
14:11:26 EDT - Award 
In a continuing trend in the industry, Dungeon Siege was delayed until 2002. This leaves me wondering if any games will be released for the usually booming holiday gaming season, or if the holidays will be moved to 2002 to be ready for the entertainment industry. This isn't to say I'm complaining. Its about time things started being delayed and not rushed out the door to get games, once again, that have quality rather than timeliness.

From the press release:
Our decision to delay the release of Dungeon Siege is one of the toughest we ve had to make, but we firmly believe that this is the right choice given that one of the most critical steps in creating an RPG is the tuning and balancing stage, said Chris Taylor, Lead Designer, Gas Powered Games.

Well, if Chris says it, it must be needed. I'm sure we'll end up with a game with every bit as much quality as Chris is known for bringing. If you'd like to read the entire (small) press release, click "More" below.

August 15, 2001
 Visions of Reviews -- Max Payne
1:38:03 EDT - Award 
What do you get when you cross The Matrix, Deus Ex, Half-Life, and Thief? A non-stop thriller of a first-person shooter with a style all of it's own. But does it hit it's mark or aim high? Slow it down to Bullet Time and find out in our review.

To read the entire review, click "Review" below, or simply click the Max Payne logo in the "featured bar" above!

August 8, 2001
 Visions of Reviews -- Starfleet Command II: Orion Pirates
16:08:01 EDT - Award 
The third installment of the Starfleet Command series engages for the unknown once again, but this refit boldly goes where no expansion has gone before in that it is a full game and an expansion.

We took a look under the plasma manifolds to see if this expansion really stacks up to the rest of the series, and also examined who may want this prototype expansion that sits between a full game and an expansion.

Read the review to find out the results by clicking "Review" below, or by clicking on the Orion Pirates logo in the "featured" bar!

August 1, 2001
 Mech Commander 2 Demo Released
15:24:20 EDT - Award 
The demo of Mech Commander 2 has been released. Mech Commander 2 is a tactical combat game featuring real-time strategy elements set in the MechWarrior universe. You can check out our Mech Commander 2 preview for more details.

If you'd like more info on the demo, read the entire press release by clicking "More" below!

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