Picture of Gestalt



Mario joins the Navy

Videogame companies donate consoles and games to US Navy

America's Interactive Digital Software Association is doing its bit for the War On Terror™ by donating consoles and games to each of the 72 submarines in the US Navy's fleet. We weren't aware that there was much call for submarines in the mountains of Afghanistan, but apparently they've all been working really hard, and this is the IDSA's way of getting some cheap publicity saying thank you. "The generosity the IDSA displayed in making these game consoles and games available to our people is outstanding", appreciative Submarine Force Master Chief (no relation) Donald Kultti told the press. "We are really working our people hard these days and this sort of thing permits them an escape from the demanding schedule that requires perfection out of them all. Thanks to the IDSA for their contributions to the men of the United States Submarine Force. We appreciate them." Meanwhile Kelly Powell of the Morale, Welfare and Recreation division espoused the benefits of playing games. "More than 10,000 sailors serving aboard submarines worldwide are now enjoying the recreation and social benefits of video consoles and numerous electronic games. These consoles and games provide sailors with a much-needed distraction and recreation during the limited free time sailors enjoy on board submarines. The Sailors of America's Submarine Fleet send a sincere 'thank you' to the folks at Interactive Digital Software Association for their thoughtfulness and kindness." Aw, bless. Source - press release

Bandits surrounded

Matrox brings a GRIN to ECTS

Anybody going to see GRIN's latest effort, the futuristic vehicular action game Bandits, at ECTS in London this week will get more than they bargained for. Three times more, to be precise. Yes, for the duration of the show Bandits will be running on Matrox's new Parhelia graphics card to demonstrate its "Surround Gaming" support, which allows the card to power three monitors simultaneously. Is it the next leap forward in immersive gaming and cause for hardcore gamers everywhere to dig out those spare old CRTs, or is it just another useless gimmick for the gullible? We'll let you know tomorrow afternoon after we've checked out the card in action at GRIN's stand... Related Feature - ECTS Indies preview

Welcome to Vice City

Screenshots and trailer for GTA follow-up

Rockstar's official Vice City website is now online, offering a trailer and selection of screenshots. The bad news is that the site is completely swamped at the moment, making it virtually impossible to even load the front page. The good news is that we've ganked all the screenshots and posted them right here on EuroGamer for your lag-free enjoyment. We're still trying to download the trailer, but in the meantime you can try and watch it on the official website. Be warned though - it may take several minutes to load, even on a broadband connection. For those of you with an aversion to Hawaiian shirts, Vice City is the Miami-based follow-up to Rockstar's multi-million selling Grand Theft Auto 3, featuring blazing sunshine, palm tree lined streets, tacky neon-lit hotels, bikini-clad rollerbladers and an even wider variety of vehicles for you to .. ahem .. liberate, including motorbikes. The whole thing looks absolutely gorgeous and looks set to fulfill all your Scarface fantasies, so if it's half as fun as the last one it should be well worth your hard earned euros. Related Feature - GTA Vice City screenshots

Xenus at ECTS

More East European shooters infiltrate show

Russian developers Deep Shadows will be demonstrating their first person shooter Xenus at this year's ECTS. Designed by some of the talent behind the flawed Codename Outbreak, the game is set in the jungles of Columbia and sees you setting out to rescue a lost journalist. Along the way you'll get to explore over six hundred square kilometers of uninterrupted terrain, drive around in a wide range of vehicles, chat to the locals and interact with factions varying from the CIA to drugs cartels. With any luck we should know more by the end of the week, but in the meantime we've got four brand new shots of the game in action to give you a taste of things to come. Related Feature - Xenus screenshots

Xbox DVD kit give-away

Only in America so far though

Microsoft will be offering a mail-in rebate to American Xbox buyers between now and November 2nd to give them a free DVD movie playback kit with their console. Normally the kit (without which the Xbox won't play DVD movies) costs up to $30 in the US, while the rival PlayStation 2 supports DVD playback out of the box at no extra cost. Given that both consoles cost just $199 in America, no more than a decent stand-alone DVD player, this is sure to make the Xbox an even more attractive proposition in the run-up to the holiday seasons. Hopefully something similar will be introduced here in Europe, but as it's a national holiday in England today we haven't been able to reach Microsoft's local office for any comment. Source - press release

Russians invade ECTS

1C Company line up eastern delights for trade show

1C Company has been distributing games in its native Russia for a few years now, including the likes of Max Payne, Pool Of Radiance and Europa Universalis, as well as local projects such as Etherlords and Evil Islands. This year saw Ubi Soft return the favour by bringing their World War II flight combat sim IL-2 Sturmovik (developed by 1C's Maddox Games studio) to the west, and 1C are hoping to follow through on that international success by making a splash at ECTS 2002, with an impressive line-up of Russian developed games on display. Amongst the titles we can look forward to are Perimeter (a real-time strategy game in which you seize and terraform land on alien worlds), Borderzone (an attractive looking fantasy action role-playing effort with multiple endings), MechMinds (another action role-player, this time involving big stompy robots) and Sphere (the inevitable massively multiplayer game). Look for more information on all these and more at the weekend as part of our official online coverage of Europe's biggest videogames trade show.

Techland polishes Chrome for ECTS

Polish developer to show Chrome, Mutants and more

Polish developers Techland have confirmed their line-up for this year's ECTS, with four future titles on show alongside three more kiddie-focused past releases. Top of the list is Chrome, a first person shooter combining on-foot and in vehicle action, with optional implants adding some simple character development elements to the mix. We've been following this one for a while now, but this will be our first chance to see it firsthand - look for a full preview next weekend. Xpand Rally should also be on show, using the same graphics engine as Chrome to render some sixty rally stages scattered around the world. Two other games are also being presented at the show, although these are perhaps more likely to be present in trailer form only - Speedway Grand Prix does exactly what the name suggests, while the cheesily titled Day Of The Mutants is a post-apocalyptic tale in the vein of Mad Max, with your character driving around sixty miles of scorched highway before hopping out to kick some mutant ass with a broad selection of weapons. Hopefully we'll know more about both games by the end of the show. In the meantime though, we've got half a dozen impressive new shots of Chrome to keep you satiated. Related Feature - Chrome screenshots

What's New

Release drought ended by TOCA, Zoo Cube and more!

It looks like the summer lull of the last few weeks is finally coming to an end, with the arrival of several new games today. Heading up the list is the PlayStation 2 version of Codemasters' highly anticipated TOCA Race Driver, which has apparently proven a big pre-order hit already. In a break from tradition the game features an actual storyline for players to follow rather than the usual faceless career mode, not to mention some great wheel-to-wheel racing on the track, a bewildering array of cars to drive and all manner of Surround Sound audio effects along the way. Look for a full review next week. After numerous delays, Zoo Cube has arrived this week as well. A mind-bending puzzle game for both GameBoy Advance and GameCube, it's well worth a look if you fancy something to exercise your reflexes. Meanwhile Xbox fans finally have something to celebrate with the arrival of Aggressive Inline, a Tony-Hawks-on-rollerblades affair which made a big impression when we reviewed the PlayStation 2 version recently. Somewhat less exciting is the appearance of Slam Tennis on the Xbox. And even PC owners are getting in on the action this week, with the PC port of Xbox masterpiece Moto GP belatedly reaching the beige box. If it's half as good as the console version it should be well worth a look. New Releases - CubeZoo CubeGBAZooCubePCGoreMoto GPProject EarthPSX No new releases PS2TOCA Race DriverXboxAggressive InlineSlam TennisRelated Feature - UK Release Date List

Defender of the Stooges

First two remastered Cinemaware games get re-release

Old school Amiga fans and retro enthusiasts can look forward to the impending re-release of Defender Of The Crown and The Three Stooges. Revamped for the new millennium by Cinemaware, the games feature updated sounds and graphics but are otherwise faithful adaptations of their original 1980s incarnations. Defender Of The Crown takes you back to medieval England where, contrary to the title, your aim is to steal the crown for yourself rather than to defend its present occupant, while The Three Stooges brings the popular comedy act back to life with a mixture of pie throwing, prize fighting and "medical madness". Both games are expected on store shelves in the UK on Friday 20th September and will set you back a princely £12.99 each. Plans are also afoot for "digitally remastered" versions of Lords Of The Rising Sun, Wings, Rocket Ranger and It Came From The Desert. Source - press release

Davilex gets KITT KARR

Knight Rider coming to PC and PS2

Davilex are bringing David Hasselhoff's finest hour to the PC and PlayStation 2, with the arrival of Knight Rider - The Game on November 8th. Although Michael Knight will be appearing in the game, you'll be assuming the role of the true star of the show, the sentient car KITT. As such you'll be able to scan buildings, chase down enemies, pull off insane jumps and speed around on two wheels, taking on the criminal mastermind Garth and KITT's evil twin KARR amongst other characters lifted from the TV series. To help you make it through the game's ten missions you'll have the benefits of KITT's tough high tech bodywork, a "super pursuit" mode, micro jammers and the famous turbo boost amongst other gizmos. We hope to be taking a pre-release build of the game for a spin in the not too distant future, but in the meantime you'll have to make do with some slightly fuzzy screenshots. Related Feature - Knight Rider screenshots (PS2) Source - press release

ECTS 2002 - Rage Preview

ECTS Preview - highlights of Rage's ECTS 2002 line-up

Liverpool based developer and publisher Rage has had its share of

Worlds Apart GURPS

Modular RPG rule set gets videogame adaptation(s)

Worlds Apart Productions have announced a licensing deal to make online games based on GURPS. For those of you who wouldn't know GURPS from a similar sounding bodily function, the name stands for Generic Universal Role Playing System, and it does exactly what it says on the box, offering a modular set of rules which can be expanded and adapted for a wide range of settings. Over sixty rule books and adventures are still in print for the ever-popular pencil and paper role-playing game, with more on the way, taking in everything from Hellboy and Discworld to World War II and the Middle Ages. It's not known at this stage what kind of setting Worlds Apart will be using for their debut GURPS game, but several projects are apparently being "contemplated". "We've been wanting to take GURPS online for a long time", GURPS designer Steve Jackson (no, not the Fighting Fantasy bloke, the other one) is reported as saying. "Worlds Apart understands the importance of taking care of the player community, and we're excited about what we're going to be able to do together." Before you get too excited though, we should point out that Worlds Apart have carved out a niche for themselves making text-based games, effectively glorified MUDs. Both The Eternal City and Grendel's Revenge have proven popular with gamers and critics alike, but if Worlds Apart continue in this vein for their GURPS releases the graphics will be limited by your imagination rather than your graphics card, and your view of the world will involve text such as "you are standing on top of a hill, roads lead south and east" rather than millions of texture-mapped polygons. Still, that's all part of the fun, right? Source - press release

Ghost Recon goes to Cuba

Nice cigars, pity about the drugs cartel

Ghost Recon has spawned a second mission pack in the form of Island Thunder. The latest add-on will take the elite Ghost team to Cuba in the year 2009, but they're not there on holiday. Castro has finally popped his clogs, ending decades of embarrassment for the Americans, but just when the Yanks thought that free elections would see honest hard-working American billionaires once again able to exploit the Cuban people, everything goes pear shaped. Rebel forces and drug lords are wreaking havoc on the island, and it's up to you and your special forces types to move in and secure the elections in the name of Coca Cola .. sorry .. democracy. Anyway, what ensues is eight more missions taking your squad across Cuba as they put an end to the dictatorial intentions of the evil warlord and his drug smuggling money men. New vehicles will be available for both sides in the conflict, and you'll also find yourself being dropped into battle from helicopters. On the multiplayer front, five new maps, two more game modes and a dozen new weapons will be added to the game, including the unfeasibly high tech M4 SOCOM rifle and an automatic grenade launcher. Ghost Recon: Island Thunder is due out in November, but in the meantime we have a handful of screenshots to give you a taste of the sun-soaked vistas awaiting you. Related Feature - Ghost Recon: Island Thunder screenshots Source - press release

Turok emerges from Evolution

Dinosaur action game goes gold

Acclaim confirmed today that their console shooter Turok Evolution has gone gold, with PlayStation 2, GameCube and Xbox versions all on the way. In America the game will launch on September 1st, which Acclaim's busy marketing department has dubbed "Turok Bloody Sunday - 9-01-02". Here in Europe the game is expected on store shelves on Friday September 6th for PlayStation 2 and Xbox ("Turok Good Friday", perhaps?), with the GameCube version following three weeks later according to our latest information. That just leaves you time to head over to mynameisturok.co.uk and apply to have your name changed to Turok. Or you could watch out for the non-existent world record queue attempt outside the Electronics Boutique on Oxford Street. Or you could just read our Turok interview to find out what all the fuss is about... Related Feature - Turok interview

Hitman 2 demo .. gone

You could have taken the new stealth action game for a spin, if you'd been faster

Last night a playable demo for Hitman 2: The Silent Assassin leaked out onto the world wide web, giving punters the chance to take the stealth action sequel for a spin. Unfortunately it seems that the demo (which had been taken from the cover disc of PC Gamer magazine in the US) was released by mistake, and (as many people will already have discovered) it suffers from some pretty serious hardware support issues amongst other problems. As a result Eidos have now requested that we withdraw the demo. On the bright side, the publisher is promising us a newer, more stable build some time within the next two weeks. Now there's something to look forward to... Related Feature - Hitman 2 screenshots

ECTS 2002 - Ubi Soft

ECTS Preview - some of the games we'll be seeing on Ubi Soft's stand at ECTS 2002

After a strong showing at last year's ECTS, French publisher Ubi

IL-2 and a bit

Ubi Soft to release massive upgrade for flight sim

As if the forthcoming Forgotten Battles expansion pack wasn't enough, Ubi Soft have now announced that a free upgrade for the award-winning Russian flight sim IL-2 Sturmovik will also be released. Due out in about three weeks, the "upgrade" (don't call it a patch) will feature four new aircraft for players to get behind the flight stick of - Russia's amusingly named Yak-9 and Yak-9D, and the German Bf109 E-7/NZ fighter and Ju87B-2 Stuka dive bomber. No doubt all those numbers and letters after their names means something to hardcore flight combat fanatics. Also available in the upgrade will be ten new single player missions and half a dozen online missions for co-operative play. And it's all absolutely free. Wonderful. While you wait for the upgrade to take off, why not feast your eyes on the first screenshots showing the new flyable Bf109 and Stuka in action in the skies over Russia. Related Feature - IL-2 Sturmovik v1.2 screenshots Source - press release

Bruce Lee comes to .. Bradford?!?

Exclusive showing of new Xbox game at Bruce Lee convention

Bruce Lee's Quest Of The Dragon has apparently led him to Yorkshire of all places, as Bradford's Pictureville Cinema will be playing host to a public showing of Vivendi Universal's new Bruce Lee Xbox game. Punters will be able to take the action-adventure yarn for a spin and then see the uncut version of Way Of The Dragon, which is celebrating it's 30th anniversary this year. For those of you having trouble keeping track, that's the one where Bruce Lee goes to Rome to help save a Chinese restaurant from gangsters, and ends up fighting Chuck Norris in a really tacky plywood set that's supposed to be the Colosseum. While this was hardly Bruce's greatest movie, it is quite amusing and the impressive fight scenes are sure to be a hit with any self-respecting martial arts afficionado. All of this is taking place as part of the Bruce Lee Fan Club's UK convention, where you will also be able to buy a wide range of Bruce and Brandon Lee related merchandise (possibly including the game itself, if it comes out on schedule) and see two new documentaries about the man behind the legend, featuring interviews with friends and co-stars. Doors open at 10am on September 1st, and it won't cost you a penny to get in. Ee by gum. Or something. Related Feature - Bruce Lee screenshots

Return To Castle Microsoft

Xbox port of Wolfenstein on the way, with multiplayer support

Not satisfied with selling a shedload of copies on the PC and then porting the game to the PlayStation 2, Activision have today announced that an Xbox version of Return To Castle Wolfenstein is also on the way. Contrary to earlier reports it now seems that Nerve Software, who developed the multiplayer portion of the PC original, will be handling the porting duties this time, so it comes as no surprise to hear that Xbox Live support is on the cards. Up to eight players will be able to battle it out online in free-for-all and squad modes, which is somewhat less than in the PC version but still enough to provide some entertainment. More sociable gamers can also take advantage of co-operative support and split-screen two player deathmatch. Other features to look forward to in the Xbox port include additional weapons, a console-friendly targeting system, Dolby 5.1 surround sound, and of course Xbox Communicator support to allow online gamers to shriek at each other from the comfort of their own couch. "By fusing the award-winning gameplay in Return to Castle Wolfenstein with new multiplayer modes, communication abilities, and technology, we're delivering the definitive team warfare experience for Xbox", id CEO Todd Hollenshead modestly stated. Related Feature - Wolfenstein on PS2 and Xbox Source - press release

No Name War

First Look - we examine this gorgeous looking 3D real-time strategy game


Xicat goes Sniping

New Lithtech shooter announced

The sniper rifle is truly the god of guns when it comes to first person shooters, and now there's a whole game dedicated to it. Yes, Xicat and developers Mirage have teamed up to produce a new Lithtech powered first person shooter called Sniper, which puts you in the boots of a hitman caught in the middle of a full-scale gang war involving the Mafia, crooked cops and Chinese gangsters. In true Max Payne style you have been framed, drugged and imprisoned, and now your only chance is to follow the path of vengeance, blazing your way through the streets to discover the cause of the gang war. Along the way you'll get to develop your character into the killer of your dreams and grab hand grenades and other weapons to supplement your trust sniper rifle. The first screenshots of the game are sadly rather fuzzy, but with Sniper currently on track for release at the end of September we should have playable code soon and will be able to see whether or not Mirage have managed to pull off a head shot. Related Feature - Sniper screenshots

AGB strikes again

More polygonal action on the GameBoy Advance

A few months ago AGB Games unveiled a tech demo for their WFR 3D engine showing a simplified version of the opening level of Quake .. running on a GameBoy Advance. Proving that they can now put polygonal characters into those worlds as well, AGB have released a new batch of screenshots showing Quake marines running around in a vaguely medieval looking map. Ok so the already rather blocky marine has lost a few more polygons in the transition to hand-held gaming, but it's another impressive demonstration of the poly pushing and texture mapping capabilities of a console that's more commonly used for good old fashioned 2D games. Related Feature - AGB shooter demo shots

Konami Collects itself

Budget re-releases for "classic" PS2 games

Konami have unveiled their new Collection budget range for the PlayStation 2. The label will kick off in September with six re-releases, each setting you back €29.95, which should equate to about £20 in the UK. The launch line-up consists of Ring Of Red (an entertaining mecha strategy game), Silent Scope (a more reasonable prospect at a mid-range price), Age of Empires II (a faithful but lacklustre port of Microsoft's classic real-time strategy game), 7 Blades (a third person actioneer with swords and guns), International Superstar Soccer (Konami's other football sim) and Zone Of The Enders (Hideo Kojima's big stompy robot side project). Bit of a mixed bag then, but it's a respectable start for the label, and hopefully we'll see some of Konami's big hitters appearing there in years to come. Source - press release

Virgin Runs Like Hell

Lance Henriksen strikes again

It's not just Galleon that is finally drifting into view at Virgin Interactive's offices - another long overdue game from Interplay's Digital Mayhem studio is also on the way, in the form of Run Like Hell. Described as a "suspenseful sci-fi adventure" with lots of dark corners and things that go bump in them, the game features the vocal talents of the likes of Lance Henriksen (Bishop from Aliens, also set to appear in Red Faction 2), Clancy Brown (the drill sergeant from Starship Troopers), Cree Summer (Tandi in the Fallout games) and Kate Mulgrew (Captain Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager). The game was originally due out on PlayStation 2 last year but is now expected to hit shelves across Europe in October. While you're waiting for its belated appearance, we have a fresh batch of eye candy from the game to get you in the right mood. Related Feature - Run Like Hell screenshots

Galleon sets sail

Could the wait finally be over?

Once upon a time, Tomb Raider designers Toby Gard and Paul Douglas left Core to form their own company, which they called Confounding Factor. There they would craft a groundbreaking new third person action-adventure game named Galleon, which would feature all manner of swashbuckling as you took control of a buccaneer by the name of Rhama and guided him around shipwrecks and islands in his clipper the Endeavour. A wide variety of fluid animations were promised for your character, as well as a unique sword fighting system and glorious 3D graphics. Way back in those days of yore a few (blatantly pre-rendered) "screenshots" appeared in the print media, amidst much touting of "world exclusive" previews which were obviously based on little more than a few beers with the developers and a couple of pieces of concept art, but otherwise all was eerily quiet. Years came and years went, and Core pumped out half a dozen more Tomb Raider games on a variety of platforms, with each new installment proving less inspiring than the last and yet somehow still managing to sell shedloads of copies. Meanwhile Westwood made their own swashbuckling action-adventure game, the flawed Pirates: The Legend of Black Kat. And yet there was seldom any news of Galleon. It was almost as if the ship had floundered, lost at sea. [Stop that, right now - Ed] Anyway, by a strange quirk of fate it appears that Galleon may actually come ashore in Europe this year, with a December release for the Xbox and GameCube currently on the cards. And to prove that the game isn't just a figment of someone's over-active imagination, UK publisher Virgin Interactive has produced a new batch of screenshots taken from the GameCube version. The years haven't exactly been kind on the game, and it's hard to say whether the angular look of the characters and locations is a stylistic decision or merely engine limitations, but either way it does have a unique feel to it which isn't entirely displeasing to the eye. Whether the gameplay can live up to the many long years of expectation remains to be seen, but in the meantime feast your eyes on these... Related Feature - Galleon screenshots

Wednesday is Time Of Defiance

Massively multiplayer strategy game launches

Nicely Crafted Entertainment will be launching their addictive online strategy game Time Of Defiance on Wednesday 21st August. With entertaining gameplay, a strong community, impressive 3D graphics for such a tiny download size (a mere 10Mb) and room for up to a thousand players in each server, it's a masterpiece of shoestring budget game development and well worth a look if you fancy something a little different to swallow your spare time. System requirements are fairly low and the game is playable on any internet connection from an analogue modem on up. A PDA version is expected to launch later in the year, and with SMS text alerts due to be introduced some time next month as well, you'll have no excuse for not defending your online empire. "This is the culmination of eighteen month's intensive hard work", MD Toby Simpson enthused. "The human factor that massively multiplayer games bring to the party provides players with an endless range of strategies and challenges as other players resort to increasingly devious ploys. Almost all of our original alpha testers from August last year are still playing today, which is a fantastic testament to the flexibility and depth of the product." Still not convinced? A free five day demo will be available from the developer's website at nicelycrafted.com, after which you'll be able to carry on playing for just £5 a month, with discount rates of £25 for six months and £40 for a full year available to hardened addicts. Go on, you know you want to. Related Feature - Time Of Defiance preview Source - press release