Nadeo has issued a version 1.2 beta 3 patch for build it/race it PC oddity TrackMania, which we so enjoyed when we got our racing gloves on it last Christmas. The new patch is quite large at 90MB, but it's probably worth the trouble for fans - the promise of underground tunnels amongst other new blocks ought to be enough by itself, but there are also some bugfixes in there and a new menu interface. Can't argue with that.
Anybody remember "The Document of Metal Gear Solid 2"? For those who don't, it was an interactive DVD featuring artwork and other items documenting the development of Metal Gear Solid 2. Well, for anybody who loved MGS so much they actually bought it, you'll be pleased to hear that Konami is still keen on this sort of thing, and has this week announced plans to release a revised edition of 1999's The Art of Metal Gear Solid book, which catalogued Yoji Shinkawa's illustrations for the famous (some would say infamous) stealth-action title. As you might imagine, a lot of the new material focuses on Silicon Knights/Hideo Kojima-produced GameCube remake Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, which is out this Friday in Europe. The Art of MGS 1.5 is due on Japanese book shelves on May 31st, although you may have to go to some lengths if you really want a copy.
Followers of vague websites that don't really tell us anything may have happened across Warstory.net this weekend. Judging by the Gearbox Software logo at the bottom, it's something to do with them. The developer of Halo PC apparently refused to clarify what it all meant when the US press went blitzy on them last Friday, but we'd be surprised if it wasn't a) a new game, b) something we'll know more about by the end of May, and c) judging by the quote on the page from US Army vet and historian John Antal, something to do with armed combat. Make your own mind up.
Cunningly named Ghost Recon fansite www.ghostrecon.net finally believes reports that Ghost Recon 2 is in development. Financial reports aside, they claim to have heard "directly from the horse's mouth". Apparently Ubisoft got in touch asking for the community's advice on where the series ought to go next. We've previously heard that Ghost Recon 2 will appear at E3 and be out by Christmas, but Ubisoft has yet to confirm anything outright.
Namco has clarified that "Death by Degrees" - a phrase the publisher trademarked in Japan a fortnight ago - is the new name for PS2 action title Nina, which was unveiled at the Tokyo Game Show last year. And not therefore a new anti-tuition fees first-person shooter. Never heard of it? All right - it's meant to be an intuitive action game that uses the analogue sticks as its primary controls; left stick for movement, right stick for action (a bit like Grabbed by the Ghoulies, or Sony's Rise to Honour). Another interesting snippet about Nina/Death by Degrees is that opening doors will be a case of ploughing through dead bodies looking for the right fingerprints. Cuh, we'd just lop all the hands off and carry them around...
Vivendi-Universal Games has announced that its derided Lord of the Rings title The Fellowship of the Ring will be appearing on the PS2 Platinum budget label this Friday, while equally unpopular (but commercially successful) film-based title The Hulk will be released on PS2 Platinum and Xbox Classics budget labels at the same time. £19.99 each, chaps, if you're that foolish...
In a move that you'll either describe as opportunism or genius, EVE Online developer CCP is offering fans of Earth & Beyond - EA's massively multiplayer space-based online game, which is due to be shut down later this year - a free trial version of its own science fiction themed MMORPG, and has even set up a website to help ease the transition. EVE Online, it should be noted, has nothing to do with that annoying singer woman who did that annoying song with Gwen Stefani from No Doubt. We're not even sure why we're mentioning it, actually... Oh yes, Gwen Stefani. Mmm.