[UPDATED: 3:49pm PST]
Today's regularly updated newsbriefs include Introversion's new enhanced Vista-exclusive update to Darwinia
released over MSN, news of a bug-fixing update to Capcom's Lost Planet
, and FlatOut
coming to the Xbox 360.
- Capcom has released the contents of an Xbox Live update to its action hit Lost Planet
, fixing both bugs and adding new functionality. Amongst the updates included are a country flag icon added to the pre-game lobby to determine the location of the match host, as well as an icon indicating connection strength, speed, and rating. Multiplayer modes will also receive an indicator to show which player is speaking, and post-match results screens will show darkened Gamertags of those players that have left the match. The update also includes bug fixes, including a fix to eliminate multiple Fugitives in Fugitive mode, multiple lobby screens displayed on top of one another, hanging and invisible players after a long lag, results screens showing the names of players who did not participate, and a bug which shortened reload times if a taunt was executed during the reload. The patch is expected to go live on the service on or around March 9th.
developers Introversion have announced that following the release of Microsoft's Vista operating system, a customized version of its action/strategy game Darwinia
has been released for direct download from MSN's Vista games page. Ported from OpenGL to DirectX, the enhanced version of the game has been rewritten to take advantage of advanced pixel shader effects including updated "screen warping explosion effects, reflective water, and Darwinian soul 'auras'." In addition, the new version of the game will support the Xbox 360 controller, and contain three all-new levels, Jailbreak, Stronghold and Doomsday. A new patch for the original version of the game is expected shortly that incorporates all of the new features and enhancements, as well as unannounced plans for future expansions, but for now Vista users can get the game
for $19.95 via MSN's online catalog.
- Factor 5 and Sony Entertainment have announced that Academy Award nominated film composer John Debney will take players "to a whole new level" with his score for the developer's forthcoming PlayStation 3 epic Lair
. The 'melodically haunting' symphonic score, says Factor 5, was recorded at the legendary Abbey Road Studios with a 90 piece orchestra, and features a number of notable musicians including Karen Han on Erhu, Tanya Tsarouska on vocals, Pedro Eustache World Woodwinds, and vocalist Lisbeth Scott, who also wrote lyrics for the production. Debney has previously worked on a variety of feature film projects including The Passion of the Christ, Sin City, Elf, and Liar, Liar. A release of the score is expected in 2007, with Lair
itself due for release in March.
- UK-based game publisher Empire Interactive, best known for its FlatOut
series of physics-driven racing games, has announced that the company is brining the franchise to the Xbox 360 this June with FlatOut Ultimate Carnage
. The game, which marks the series' first appearance on a next-gen platform, is in development once again by Bugbear Entertainment and is noted as being “rebuilt from the ground up and specifically developed to take advantage of the additional feature sets and improved processing ability of the Xbox 360.” Company officials note that FlatOut 2
has performed well at retail, surpassing one million copies sold worldwide since its release in June 2006. The game shipped in North America for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and PC on August 1, 2006. Some of new additions to be included within FlatOut Ultimate Carnage
will be support for up to twelve cars racing on screen at one time, up from the previous game's eight, as well as five new single player and two new multiplayer game modes over the Xbox Live. The game will feature over 8,000 dynamic objects per track up from 5,000 in FlatOut 2
, widescreen HD resolution up to 720p, downloadable content via Xbox Live, and 20,000 polygons per car, up from 7,500 in the previous generation.
- The latest updates on Gamasutra sister alt.gaming weblog GameSetWatch
include a look at
collecting titles developed by Sacnoth/Nautilus, creators of the Shadow Hearts
series; a new Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas bike/motorbike stunt video
; and news that the 2007 Independent Games Summit has sold out
- The latest updates from Gamasutra sister website Serious Games Source
include a feature on the potential contributions to fitness by the Nintendo Wii
- The latest updates from Gamasutra sister website Game Career Guide
include a postmortem
of IGF Student Showcase Finalist Invalid Tangram
, as well as news of a master’s degree covering serious game design
at Michigan State University.
- Also updated today: the latest Gamasutra job postings
, including openings from Big Huge Games, NCsoft, Pandemic Studios, Planet Moon Studios, Sierra Online, and Sony Online Entertainment.