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Things And Stuff: Thursday News Roundup

(Updated through the day.) The Settlers title officially named, Hip Europe and Mythic's E3 line-ups, TrackMania 'Power Up!' demo, Halo Editing Kit download link, The Suffering on its way to PC this month, and Painkiller and Beyond Divinity patches.

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Image credit: Eurogamer

Ubisoft has officially announced the final name for the latest game in The Settlers series, which previously went by the working title of The Settlers 5. According to the French publisher, The Settlers: Heritage of Kings is the name of the Blue Byte-developed strategy game, which we can look forward to playing by the end of 2004, and even sooner if we happen to make our way past Ubisoft's booth at the E3 trade show next week. For (a few) more details on the next Settlers title, look to our previous coverage, which also includes a few screenshots. More next week.

Hip Europe has announced its E3 line-up this week, because, well, why not? Everybody else is. Although the likes of The Mummy: The Animated Series (PS2/PC/Xbox), CT Special Forces (PS2/Xbox/PC), Gadget and the Gadgetinis and Garfield (PS2/PC) probably aren't going to light up your day, Digital Extremes' Pariah (Xbox/PC) is one of the most interesting titles not currently signed up to a monster-publisher, and we're expecting it to look extremely nice at the very least. Head here for full details of what we already know about that one.

Dark Age of Camelot developer Mythic Entertainment has announced its plans for E3, and obviously the company's Arthurian MMORPG is suitably catered for, with the to-be-free New Frontiers expansion pack (which revamps the game's RvR combat) and the forthcoming retail expansion Catacombs (which lets you explore underground cities) on hand. But perhaps more interesting at this point is the presence of Imperator, which is a new one on us - apparently it's a sci-fi MMORPG set in an alternate history where ancient Rome never fell, leading to an intergalactic Roman Republica home to many different planets. If you like the sound of that, there's plenty more here.

For those still not sold on TrackMania, French developer Nadeo has this week released a new demo of the game incorporating elements of the freely downloadable "Power Up!" add-on, which allows you to build underground tunnels and the like into your racetracks. It's worth reiterating that TrackMania is still hugely entertaining even if the idea of building tracks sounds too much like hard work (does it really?), so if you've not bothered so far then you should download the demo immediately. A version of the full game incorporating the Power Up! extras ought to be making a retail appearance in the very near future.

As promised in yesterday's roundup, here's a link to the Halo Editing Kit, which you'll need if you want to create any modifications or custom content for the PC version of Bungie's somewhat popular FPS. And remember, if you want to play any mods then you'll also need the Halo Custom Edition, linked from the same page. For a full explanation of this potentially confusing, read our previous item on the subject. Short version: Bungie and Microsoft seem to want to wash their hands of having to provide support, so Gearbox has come up with its own platform for custom content.

Following the game's success in the States, Midway has decided to port survival/action horror title The Suffering (reviewed this week) to the PC. Encore will publish it in the States in late May, and according to retail the PC version should be available from Zoo Digital over here at the same time as the PS2 and Xbox versions - hopefully meaning all three will be available from May 14th. Anybody who found Resident Evil and other similar horror titles a bit on the ponderous side would do well to check it out.

Anybody who bought People Can Fly's action-y first-person shooter Painkiller will be pleased to hear that a version 1.15 patch has been released this week, adding a new deathmatch map, demo recording, a spectator mode and a host of other minor changes and bug fixes. Also in this patch, according to the readme file, we have some "experimental forward-looking prediction code," which is good news for anybody trying to play it online with a high ping. Enjoy.

Larian Studios has released a patch for its latest PC RPG epic Beyond Divinity, which Digital Jesters published in the UK last Friday. Upgrading to version 1.4 won't break your save games, which is nice to know, weighs in at 24MB and concentrates on a lot of little bug fixes. You can find lots of details on the sorts of things it tinkers with, along with a link to the file, by heading to the official website.

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