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Mercenary's menu News

December 2001

(29 December 2001)

Happy New Year (General news) -- by yurg

Dear reader let me wish you a Happy New Year. I hope all your last year's troubles will become a past and New Year will bring you all the best things! Wishing you everything you can wish to! See you later!


New screenshots (Natural Resistance) -- by yurg

We have updated our Natural Resistance gallery with 2 new screens which show vehicles new vehicle and game editor:

(27 December 2001)

Beta preview (LSN) -- by yurg

Laser Squad Nemesis beta screenshots are showing up over the net from time to time. VoodooExtreme has published a preview of the project with generally positive estimation. As one can know, first beta is always coming with multiple bugs, but most of them are not fatal.


New screenshots (Sea Dogs 2) -- by yurg

Sea Dogs 2 screenshots from Akella company. All the new ones are below. Check the Articles section for detailed information about the project.

(26 December 2001)

Warlords Battlecry II update (Warlords Battlecry II) -- by yurg

SSG official site was updated with 4 new screenshots. They are show nice massacre scenes. :just a guess... It's X-mass gift? :) Cool!

(24 December 2001)

Official site opened (General news) -- by yurg

Official site of Age of Wonders II was opened. Here you can find some new info and beta sign-up.


Some fresh screens (Natural Resistance) -- by yurg

We have updated our Natural Resistance gallery with 2 new screens which show vehicles URAL and nice landsacpe view:


X-mas shots (Age of Mythology) -- by yurg

Age of Mythology are also keeping pace by showing us 5 new X-mas shots. A funny must-see!


New clip (Natural Resistance) -- by yurg
One Czech site published a small clip from Natural Resistance, which you can find here. Well, we too have an interesting one in our gallery... for a long time as of now...


Some impossible creatures (General news) -- by yurg

Relic studio released a new pack of screenshots and concepts from Impossible Creatures. Some gags are down there, the rest you can find in the gallery.


Test has started (LSN) -- by yurg
&!Testing of Laser Squad Nemesis has started! If you applied for it - look in your mailbox. Maybe there is message with a link to the file (long wished for) and a brand-new login... Time to play!

(21 December 2001)

A long avaited patch (Patches) -- by yurg

MumboJumbo sends word that the Myth 3 patch is now available along with promised editor and updated demo version. The patch is about 5.4 MB, the Editor is about 600 KB and new demo is about 99 MB.


Interesting game! (General news) -- by yurg

Chez site has posted brief preview of upcoming Jo WooD titles. Along with other games there are a few words about Cold Zero - a third person view action-adventure game. I think there is something common with Russian game the Paradise Cracked. Anyways here are two screens:


Box art (IG3) -- by yurg
&!We have heard a lot about Imeprium Galactica 3. Maybe today is day to show box art? :)


New screenshots (Sudden Strike 2) -- by yurg

CDV has official announced Sudden Strike 2 from Russian team FireGlow. And they have send a few new screenshots. Look at them; they are awesome!

(20 December 2001)

New screenshots (Sea Dogs 2) -- by yurg
&!Official Sea Dogs 2 site was updated with 3 new screenshots. Find all of them here:


Myth 3 patch? (Patches) -- by yurg

Mark Dochtermann from MumboJumbo has said that Myth III is on the way. Long awaited patch will be available soon and will come along with the game editor.

(19 December 2001)

New vehicles (Natural Resistance) -- by yurg

We have updated our Natural Resistance gallery with 2 new screens which show Russian military vehicles "Shilka" and T-80.


Official site update (Warlords Battlecry II) -- by yurg

Warlords Battlecry II site was updated with another "battle diary" along with 6 new screenshots.


New strategy game from Microsoft (General news) -- by yurg

Microsoft has posted 3 first screens from upcoming RTS Impossible Creatures. IC will take shelves on spring 2002.


Some screens (LSN) -- by yurg

British Online Magazine PCZone has posted Laser Squad Nemesis preview along with 5 new screenshots from the beta. I think the most interesting screens show in-game map "zoom" and some other interesting features:



Interesting post (General news) -- by yurg

On the official BIS's forum Feargus Urquhart has left some interesting messages:

4) Sequels - There are a lot of debates externally and internally about Black Isle doing sequels. While I can not deny that we have fallen back on sequels in times of trouble, one of big things about CRPGs is the long string of sequels. The way I look at it is that everyone time we look to start a new product, we consider many different options. These options are tempered by the people, technology, and time we have available. The one thing I can say is that I think a lot of people do want us to continue the product lines we have started like Fallout, IWD, and Torment - possibly not DTU though...

5) Fallout 3 - You guys don't have to convince us to make it. It is what we want to do. I will hopefully have more to say on this early in the new year - and this is not just to put you all off.


Official site opened (Total War 2) -- by yurg

British company Creative Assembly has opened Medieval sub-site. The first news post includes brief story-line and some game features.


Another delay? (Age of Mythology) -- by yurg

According to interview on Voodoo Extreme Age of Mythology has been delayed. New release date pointing to Fall 2002.


Warrior Kings delayed? (Warrior Kings) -- by yurg

It seems Warrior Kings has delayed again. We have heard about release date in February and March. Now official QA on Black Cactus site tells about WK in Easter 2002. Let's wait for confirmation from Microids.

(15 December 2001)

New shot (Privateer) -- by yurg

Akella has posted on the official site new shot from sea strategy game Privateer.


New vehicles (Natural Resistance) -- by yurg

We continue posting nice pictures from Natural Resistance, which demonstrate military vehicles. Today we have two shots with Russian "jeep" UAZ and USA tank M1A1.


BIS teaser (General news) -- by yurg

J.E. Sawyer from BIS has posted interesting teaser on official forum:

I'll expand a little bit on the previous statement.

We are not being excessively rushed to finish the projects we are working on. I know that was a fear among some fans. I think Feargus, the producers, and all of the leads believe that we are working on reasonable schedules.

The circumstances that prevent us from announcing our projects are currently completely out of our control. We are just developers. We are working at a brisk pace and, while we are watching the sky, I believe that most of us do not expect it to fall.

I know that, given Interplay's current situation, a lot of people expect the company to fold and/or for BIS employees to break and run. I think most of us would rather lock on bayonets and keep marching forward.


New demo (General news) -- by yurg

No rest for Stronghold authors. New game demo supporting multiplayer is posted on official site, now with the castle siege mode available. If they'll keep such development speed, we'll see the whole game as a demo quite soon! Why not?


Beta tech specs (LSN) -- by yurg

The official Laser Squad Nemesis site is updated with new section, Download. No game client there yet - but one can find some tech details of future beta:

* Pentium II PC
* Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000 or XP
* 3D videocard
* 64 Mb RAM
* 50 Mb on HD
* DirectX 7 or later
* E-mail account

(13 December 2001)

Weekly screenshot (Age of Mythology) -- by yurg

New weekly Age of Mythology screenshot have appeared on the official site of the game. New screens show sea invaders.


New diary (Warrior Kings) -- by yurg

Microids Company has provided Voodoo Extreme with the first chapter of developer's diary that reveals the plot of Warrior Kings. I strongly suggest you reading it - it is worth your attention!

(12 December 2001)

3DO «crisis» is cancelled (Rumors) -- by yurg

Rumors concerning 3DO crisis are cancelled. Even if it had ever been then it has already stopped without taking air. The company has replenished its budget with $15 millions. $12.5 millions were raised by selling stocks to some unknown investment group. Such investors as Michael Marks, the president of Flextronics, and the Trip Hawkins family have purchased extra stocks to the amount of $3.3 millions. The company plans to use this money for development of current projects as well as future ones. (Thanks to GameSpyDaily).


Some Q and A (Dreamland) -- by yurg

The UFO: Freedom Ridge is on the top headlines now, and, not surprisingly, everyone has got lots of questions to guys at Altar Interactive. In search for truth about aliens I managed to reach Martin Klim, Freedom Ridge's designer at Altar, and he kindly shed some light on the matter. But be warned: this is *not* an interview! It's a mere attempt to get answers to some of the very common UFO-related questions. The game went into development not a while ago, so many topics are going to remain undiscussed for some time... Let's read it.

(11 December 2001)

New aircrafts (Natural Resistance) -- by yurg

We continue posting nice pictures from Natural Resistance, which demonstrate military vehicles. Today we have two fighters to offer to you: they are MIG-23 and MIG-29. All details can be found in the special section!


Official confirmation (Dreamland) -- by yurg

Altar Interactive has confirmed that they are working at Dreamland in their news release. The game is being developed for British publisher Virgin Interactive Entertainment. Originally, as everybody knows, this game was developed by Mythos Games.

The company has officially expressed their esteem and admiration to the work done by Mythos and promised to keep the spirit of the project as close to the original version as possible. At the same time they promise to make a lot of changes and additions thus the game to have elements of similar successful projects (X-Com) as well as exciting gameplay. To avoid possible problems concerning the title they also plan to re-name the game. It was officially confirmed that the current working title is UFO: Freedom Ridge. The final version of the title will be known in January, 2002.

(10 December 2001)

Our interview (Natural Resistance) -- by yurg

We continue posting materials on Natural Resistance. This time it's an interview with the heads designer to the project - Carsten Strehse. We did our best to discuss as many different topics as possible.


Official site update (Warlords Battlecry II) -- by yurg

Warlords Battlecry 2 Official site has been updated with some information on the army of dark elves and with a new wallpaper as well:


Some details on missing details... (Dreamland) -- by yurg

News concerning reanimation of Dreamland has also reached the head ideologist of the project - Julian Gollop. When he was asked whether he knows anything on this matter he said the following: "Well, I haven't been officially asked to work on Dreamland at all. I have no idea what will happen to the game, or whether it would be anything like the game we envisaged. If I find out anything else, I will let everybody know, but at the moment I know nothing more than is in the article."

(7 December 2001)

A new strategy game is coming... (General news) -- by yurg

Flying Lab Software has announced that they are going to create a new strategy game - Delta Green - which is based on a table strategy by Pagan Publishing. The game is scheduled to be released in the year 2003. The core of the storyline is confrontation to an ultra secret organization - Delta Green - whose agents has infiltrated into governmental systems of many countries. Other details on this project will hardly appear soon.


A patch is available (Patches) -- by yurg

The patch for Civilization III has finally seen the light of the day. By downloading just 7.3 Mb of the game's code you can update the game up to the version 1.16f. I suggest you to download it from the official site.


Is the Dream still alive? (Dreamland) -- by yurg

All the following comes from an interview, which was posted on Euro Gamer, concerning Original War by studio Altar Interactive. After they finish this project they will start working on Dreamland. In the interview one can find out that a person from the team of the former developers to this project - Paul Whipp - will continue working at the project as a member of Altar. The new team is going to keep in the game all original features of it. Although, the game will have another name as far as the name Dreamland has left bad imprints in minds of gamers after a scandal happened a year ago. For now the title is UFO: Freedom Ridge, but it's not final. As the new developers say, they've changed almost all old art in the game, keeping the general concept untouched though.


Exclusive video clip (Natural Resistance) -- by yurg

Russobit-M (Russian publisher) has presented us with an exclusive clip from strategy game Natural Resistance. You can find it in the screenshot gallery of Freelancer. It's an AVI file, which weights about 16 Mb. So, download it! It's worthy of time as far as it's just wonderful!

(6 December 2001)

Official site update (Warrior Kings) -- by yurg

Black Cactus official site was updated with a huge gallery of new screenshots from Warrior Kings. All new pictures you can find at the developers' site, while a bit below you can find, on my own opinion, just the most interesting ones.


Some fresh screens (Total War 2) -- by yurg

Activision has sent out the whole bunch of screenshots from a sequel to Total War - Medieval. All this you can find on, and a bit below you can see some examples: a town under siege, horde of crusaders and so on.


It was indeed! (Fallout Tactics) -- by yurg

More than once we've been posting revelations of a person from Micro-Forte, who was working at Fallout Tactics 2. Some not careful critics kept stating that it is some kind of rubbish, but after more then half a year an interview with John De Margheriti was posted on Gamespot. Within three questions he confessed that Interplay signed a contract concerning development of Fallout Tactics 2 and then they broke it. Even after this they kept working at the game (we've reported on that). The official version explains this event with hard time for the US PC game industry. So, this is the way it is.


Some new units (Natural Resistance) -- by yurg

We've received from Russobit-M two more rendered pictures of military vehicles from Natural Resistance: a Russian helicopter Mi-24 known in the West as HIND and a motorcycle, which our players can use to travel from place to place.


Freeware add-on (General news) -- by yurg

Official site Impressions Games has a new mission for a strategy game Zeus: Poseidon. The title of add-on is Rich Man's Blues. You can download it from here.


Beta test news (LSN) -- by yurg

We got some news from the developers of Laser Squad Nemesis. Beta testing will start next week, but not for all from the very beginning. Each participant will be informed with an e-mail message when his/her login is activated.


Another weekly screenshot (Age of Mythology) -- by yurg

The next weekly screenshot from Age of Mythology has seen the light of the day. On this screen you can see a pyramid, elephants, chariots and much other stuff. In the center of the circle of aborigines one can see Anubis!


Official site update (Warlords Battlecry II) -- by yurg

Official Warlords Battlecry 2 site has been updated. Among new stuff there is some information on specialties of the heroes and two new units: spriggans and woodland dragon.

(2 December 2001)

Interplay's Sudden Heart Attack?! (General news) -- by yurg

Publishing concern Interplay is well known almost to everyone. During last several years they've published the series of excellent games. Almost all analysts consider that main Interplay's profit makers are Black Isle Studious, Shiny and BioWare. First two companies are linked to Interplay, while BioWare is an independent team. It should be noticed that Interplay has them in a tight corner.

The Golden Age of Interplay started when every division of Interplay has created their own products. One after another, each of foregoing divisions took place of favorite of the governing body. BIS made fantastical profits with their Fallout 1 and 2, Ice Wind Dale and Planescape. Shiny's contribution was made with Sacrifice. BioWare made big money for Interplay with two games of Baldur's Gate and with two add-ons to them. There also was the forth studio that worked at Star Trek and Fallout Tactics. But it turned out that 14 Degree East did not made good profits for Interplay: sales of Fallout Tactics were extremely low almost from the very beginning. Moreover huge drawbacks of this project, namely, tons of bugs and general change of the game's atmosphere literally buried it. As a result, Interplay got rid of their Australian developers and closed 14 Degree East together with their project based on Star Trek universe.

But that was not the end of troubles. Some months later finance reports were published - they demonstrated the high negative profit of the publisher. After the 'Australian crisis' there was a wave of rumors concerning selling of Interplay's stocks. It was rumored that everybody - from the Chinese to the French - did their best trying to buy the company. In the end it turned out that Titus, which owned a big share of company's profits, purchased an extra share holding and conducted staff transfer together with purge among the management staff. During this period 60 persons were fired, 14 Degree East was liquidated, and project TORN by BIS was closed. It is for TORN Interplay was purchasing the license of LithTech engine. But it happened that the developers were not able to manage with this engine and give the game a more attractive appearance, or, perhaps, the publisher questioned prospect of this game. Anyway, half of developers to this project were fired, and the project was put into the archive. After a big period of time BIS' president told that he himself stood up for closing the project because of the project's apparent weakness. I think that the situation was much more complicated though.

It was rumored that BIS did not get $15 millions, needed for Fallout 3's development, and now are working at Diablo's clone - Ice Wind Dale 2, goal of which is forcing Baldur's Gate out. And as far as TORN did not succeed to become an alternative to the AD&D system, license of which costs so big money, it is turns out that it is better to have their own game then something by the independent developer.

Meantime Interplay got the copyright for development of a game, events of which happen in The Matrix's world. This project is extremely expensive and will be sponsored by Microsoft. But Uncle Billy's helping hand did not really improve the situation. Quite the contrary, prospect of the project is very questionable; and as to the decision of Interplay, which says that from now on they are developing games for new generation consoles, and only then they will port them to PC, then it was taken by gamers' community with sarcastic grins. As a result of all these problems (for the time present, it's according to the unconfirmed data), Interplay sanctioned freezing Sacrifice 2 and firing of the developers' team: now they are attracting all their attention to the Matrix, not increasing its budget though.

But about a month before all these events took place, one can think that there had been a gleam of hope, when Interplay completed an agreement with Vivendi concerning distribution of its products with help of Vivendi - that promised Interplay good money. But Interplay did not increase BioWare's share of profits, this leaded to discrepancy and the latter hastened to bring an action against their publisher. Later there were problems with the official NWN forum closing and so on. Then there was a statement that all the problems had been settled and so on. But somehow, it happened that yesterday BioWare announced that Interplay is no longer the publisher for their products like NWN and others.

As a result, now Interplay have a dismissed team for Sacrifice, the too-far-from-being-released Matrix, undone Galleon, questionable Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, dear but dead TORN in the archive, and BIS, which are up to their necks in projects, based on BioWare's powerful engine. Latest events allow us to question Interplay's possibility to develop future projects basing them on the Infinity Engine. It means that the fate of still unannounced Ice Wind Dale is doubtful, as well as availability of development of ANY games based on this engine.

Unfortunately, Interplay does not have any big projects able to replenish their treasury. So, even the stars become dim at the end. What will happen? Will be Fallout reanimated? That would be great!

(1 December 2001)

Our interview (Knights of the Cross) -- by yurg

Not long ago, Cenegahas announced a knight strategy game Knights of the Cross and just recently a demo to this game has seen the light of the day. Anyway, we have some questions, on which we have tried to get answers in our interview with the developers of this game.


A bit more of art (Natural Resistance) -- by yurg

Russobit-M has kindly presented us three new screenshots from Natural Resistance. Files are not of very good quality, but even defects of picture compression were not able to hide all the beauty, and the highest detail level of the environment. It's hard not to notice influence of the 'already dead' Dreamland on the spirit of this game. And if we're not fated to see Dreamland, then NR will gladden us!


Views of the far future (Natural Resistance) -- by yurg

Today we continue posting materials on strategy game Natural Resistance with three not big, but quite interesting, on my opinion, landscape renders. First two ones demonstrate fields, while the third one demonstrates forests. Interesting, aren't they?


A new strategy game on the World War II (General news) -- by yurg

Codemasters have purchased the rights for publishing 3d strategy game by The Bitmap Brothers - World War II: D-Day to Berlin. I think that the developers were wise allowing to play on the Allies' side and hence without breaking the course of the real historical events. The goal of the player here is to break down the Nazi's resistance and reach the main goal - Berlin. The release of this game is scheduled for the second half of the year 2002.


A demo version in December (IG3) -- by yurg

CDV has announced that they're planning published the demo-version of Imperium Galactica III in the middle of December, 2001. We're looking forward!

All Secrets of Unfinished Business! Best Files of Jagged Alliance 2!Postal Sectoid or Email Wars vs Aliens!