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Bits And Bobs: Monday News Roundup

(Updated throughout the day.) Forbidden Siren 2 details, Tribes V nearing completion, King Arthur in November, Just 2 Play budget range unveiled, Heart of Empire: Rome announced, Dungeon Lords demo soon, Eidos signs Lego Star Wars.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Sony may not be willing to admit it exists, but it seems that development of Forbidden Siren 2 is indeed well underway, judging by details published on The Magic Box this week. According to the update, Siren 2 will feature at least two main characters as they struggle to find out what's happening on an abandoned island where all human life mysteriously vanished 29 years ago. We can also expect an enhanced Optical Illusion System, human and animal perspectives, and more involvement from your companions in fighting and rescuing other characters. Most of which is a trifle ambiguous, but it seems specific enough to suggest the game is at least in development if nothing else.

"We are now putting the finishing touches on Tribes: Vengeance," developer Irrational Games announced on its website on Friday. "Most of the artists have finished and the features are all in place. The programmers are working their butts off to fix bugs and the designers are ensuring that they wring every last gram of fun (hey, we are on the metric system out in Australia) out of the levels. For Tribes producers Sara Verrilli and Tony Oakden, life consists primarily of monitoring the bug database and making sure everything stays on track. We are finishing up focus testing and by the end of the weekend we should have implemented all design changes." All said and done, the game should go gold in the very near future. You can read more about TV in our previous single-player impressions and two-part interview with producer Chris Mahnken (one, two).

Konami is planning to release its Krome Studios-developed adaptation of the King Arthur film in Europe this November on PS2, Xbox and GameCube. The film may have proven a bit disappointing, but Konami still has high hopes for the game - which gives you control of the various heroes of the piece (Arthur, Lancelot, Guinevere, Tristan and Bors) as they hack and slash their way through various enemies single-handedly (or co-operatively). We're looking forward to Keira Knightley riding horseback into battle, but then we're simple creatures really.

UK publisher Avalon Interactive is planning to launch a new budget range of PC titles in the UK this September. The Just 2 Play range, in association with Dutch firm Xing Interactive, will feature 10 titles to begin with - with the option of launching 10 more over the next few months. To begin with, you'll be able to pick up Space Pod, Hellhog XP, Sawm Rampage, Tin Toy Adventure, CompuChess 2004, Skools Out and DoveZ: Second Wave for as little as £4.99, with ATV Mudracer, Taxi Rally Gold, Elite Heli Squad and Anito: Defend A Land Enraged set to go for £9.99. You can find a collection of screenshots from the various Just 2 Play titles here.

Deep Silver has announced its collaboration with Deep Red (excuse up while we chuck on some Deep Purple) on a new 'tycoon' style management game called Heart of Empire: Rome. In keeping with previous tycoon-y titles, you'll have to worry about managing the needs of the population as you build up your own vision of the city, and not to mention the politics and gladiatorial aspects of ancient Rome. Deep Silver reckons it's the publisher's "most ambitious title to date," and you can expect to see how they get on when the game is released in May 2005.

DreamCatcher Games is planning to release a playable demo of Dungeon Lords on 1st September. Available from, the 180MB demo will give you a taste of the single and multiplayer modes in this D.W. Badley-penned story-driven fantasy RPG. We'll let you know when the demo's released, and you can find more details on the game at the official website.

Eidos has secured distribution rights to the LEGO Star Wars titles for everywhere in the world excluding Japan, the publisher announced this morning. Which means that when the inevitable tie-in titles ship next April on PS2, Xbox, PC and GBA, Eidos' logo will be on the box - as you might have guessed. The home console and PC versions are in development at Traveller's Tales at the moment, while Amaze Entertainment is handling the GBA version. All four encompass events from The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.

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