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Bits And Bobs: Monday News Roundup

(Updated throughout the day.) Tribes Vengeance beta open to all, DJs to publish Freedom Force Vs. The Third Reich in (most of) Europe, announces Pro Rugby Manager 2005, GTA San Andreas soundtrack sort-of announced, SOCOM II updated.

The ongoing Tribes: Vengeance beta test has now been opened up to everybody who's interested in it. All you have to do to get involved is surf on over to FilePlanet and scribble down some details to get your hands on a key and a copy of the 480MB executable. You can also find the system requirements and all the rest over there, which aren't as hefty as perhaps you might expect. You can read more about Tribes: Vengeance in our two-part (one, two) interview with the game's producer, and we also have a look at the single-player aspect here. We'd also like to apologise for our use of the phrase "surf on over" just now. Won't happen again.

Digital Jesters is set to publish Irrational Games' Freedom Force Vs. The Third Reich everywhere in Europe except in France, where the game will be handled by Focus Home Interactive, the Britsoft publisher announced at the recent European Games Network trade show. As some of you will know, FFVTR is the follow-up to Irrational's own Freedom Force, and "tells the story of Freedom Force's mission to thwart a plan hatched by the evil Nuclear Winter". Despite the name, the game's actually a "fast-paced tactical role-playing game" with single and multiplayer features, delivered in a 60s comic book style. DJs plans to publish it in Q1 2005 on PC.

Speaking of Digital Jesters, the publisher also plans to release the latest title in its rugby management series next February. Pro Rugby Manager 2005 will give players control of one of over 100 clubs and 50 plus national sides, dealing with both club rugby competitions and the World Cup. This time out training is said to be a lot more realistic, and apart from authentic data for the 2004-2005 season, the sequel will also feature better injury management, lots of new animations and commentary, an improved interface and online and LAN modes. It's being developed by Frenchmen Cyanide Studios.

After a bit of confusion late last week, it turns out that Rockstar isn't actually announcing the contents of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas's countless radio stations, but rather is focusing on its new deal with Interscope Records, which we covered on Friday. According to Rockstar's release, "details surrounding the artists and track listings on the soundtrack will be kept tightly under wraps until the weeks leading up to the game's launch," which is set for October 19th in the US and October 22nd here in Europe.

Sony Computer Entertainment America has announced that it plans to patch SOCOM II: US Navy SEALs on September 9th, taking care of some exploits and resetting the ladder system so that shifty results don't cloud the rankings. According to reports, the process of voting another player off will change slightly, and some disconnection issues will be resolved, but the key exploit that's going AWOL is the players' ability to move off of the maps or inside objects where they can shoot players while shielded. Yeah, probably best to sort that one out.