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Odds And Ends: Tuesday News Roundup

Ty The Tasmanian Tiger 2, Deus Ex IW soundtrack for download, Asheron's Call expansion, ESPN NFL 2005 announced, Easter WarCraft map, and more besides.

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Image credit: Eurogamer

Australian developer Krome Studios and publishing behemoth Electronic Arts look set to resurrect "everyone's favourite Tasmanian Tiger" (which is obviously a big feat given the ferocious competition) for a second platform outing later this year. Due out on every platform under the sun, Ty The Tasmanian Tiger 2 picks up where the last game left off, and sees Ty facing off against his nemesis Boss Cass, who has apparently fled Currawong Jail (yes!) and now plans to take over the world with an army of reptiles, operating from his offshore bird and lizard dictatorship, Cassopolis. Crikey. Fortunately Ty has learnt some new tricks, and now has 21 upgradeable boomerangs (including the, er, Lasharang, Kaboomarang and Megarang) and various "mech units" to aid in the fight. We're also promised unlockable cart-racing mini-games and all sorts of other excitement when the game hurtles into view this autumn.

Ion Storm has rather nicely decided to make the entire 14-piece soundtrack to Deus Ex: Invisible War available for free via its website, giving fans the chance to revel in the works of composers Alexander Brandon and Todd Simmons at their leisure. The tracks are available individually via the Downloads section of the Flash-heavy website, and have been released in MP3 format. Which was clearly the right choice.

Turbine Entertainment's new Santa Monica studio is busily developing an expansion pack for Asheron's Call, aiming to revamp the game engine (doubling texture size without alienating low-end users), throw in some new adventures, and give higher level players something more tangible to fight for (largely through new strategic resource and land control systems). The as-yet unnamed expansion will be self-published by Turbine, which has grown exponentially in recent months thanks to significant outside investment, and a big official unveiling is expected sometime today.

Crave Entertainment in the US has announced a new PS2 and Xbox third-person action-adventure game called Trigger Man, which puts players in the role of a Mafioso hitman. Over the course of eight missions, players will have to use their stealthiest tactics to overcome the ranks of underworld types in seedy casinos, loading docks and other funny-lookin' locations. Developer Point of View doesn't have any particularly exciting projects to its name (Spawn: Armageddon seems to be about the height of it), so it's difficult to imagine Trigger Man dwarfing the efforts of moider specialists Io Interactive and the Hitman franchise, but we should know for certain by the end of the year.

Sega has announced that ESPN NFL 2005, the latest game in its abbreviation-heavy sports franchise, will be released before the end of the year. Visual Concepts is handling development on this and other "ESPN Videogames" titles, which presumably means we'll be hearing about hockey and basketball equivalents with 2005 slapped on the end in the very near future. Exciting news for fans of the padded rugby, although the lack of screenshots is, um, 'maddening'. (Sorry.)

Blizzard likes celebrating important calendar dates, and this Easter is no exception. Available for download this week is a new bonus map for WarCraft III expansion The Frozen Throne - a medium-sized multiplayer offering called Funny Bunny's Egg Hunt. From the readme: "Hunt for eggs on Bunny Island. The Easter Bunny will share his eggs if you can catch up with him. Be careful though: the island hosts a gang of evil bunnies who will try to stop you."

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