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Bits And Bobs: Monday News Roundup

(Updated throughout the day.) Painkiller expansion announced, Riddick soundtrack and original Ground Control available for free, Def Jam 2 lacks online play, Jackie Chan Adventures announced for PS2.

DreamCatcher Games has announced puntastic FPS expansion pack Painkiller: Battle out of Hell, and plans to release it "well in time for the holidays". According to today's press release, Battle out of Hell picks up where the gung ho shooter left off, and offers ten levels, new multiplayer modes, maps and models, "an amplified arsenal of un-deadly weapons", huge bosses and a Software Development Kit. Painkiller was released earlier this year on PC, and an Xbox version is due out in early 2005.

Vivendi has released the soundtrack to The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay for free via its website. Composed and performed by Gustaf Grefberg and assistant Johan Althoff, it's roughly 47 minutes long and weighs in at a 43MB download. Riddick, which is one of the best Xbox games we've played this year, is due out in Europe in the near future, and although the soundtrack isn't its most impressive feature, it's nevertheless quite enjoyable and ambient. Whack it on as you navigate the tortuous path between websites.

When Vivendi released Tribes and Tribes 2 for free in order to promote its forthcoming sequel Tribes: Vengeance, we commented that we hoped it wouldn't be the last time the publisher tried this. Pleasingly, it isn't. Available now via FilePlanet is a full copy of the original, critically acclaimed RTS Ground Control - in order to promote sequel Ground Control 2: Operation Exodus, which came out in Europe last Friday. It's a chunky download, obviously, and FilePlanet is registration only, but it's got to be worth a punt if you're an RTS fan who never played the original. Plus, judging by the Tribes 1/2 experience, Vivendi will release it on its own website sometime in the near future. We'll let you know.

According to reports, rap-tinted wrestling title Def Jam: Fight for New York will not feature online play. EA reps are quoted saying that while the developer had wanted to include online features, time constraints got in the way. Don't be too surprised if the presumably inevitable third game in the series makes amends sometime next year. Fight for NY, meanwhile, ought to be with us by the end of 2004.

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe today announced that Jackie Chan Adventures will be released exclusively for PS2 in September. In development at Atomic Planet, the game emulates the cartoon series of the same name, featuring a martial arts hero who scours the globe looking for talismans with his 11 year-old niece Jade as his apprentice. Each talisman unlocks new powers for Jackie as he fights off ancient Chinese demons and the Dark Hand ninjas. SCEE also reveals that Jackie Chan Adventures will include a series of "crazy" EyeToy mini-games dotted throughout.