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07-16-2003: Commandos 3 preview
Commandos 3The guys at Actiontrip.com have now published a comprehensive preview on Pyro Studios' potential real-time strategy blockbuster Commandos 3: Destination Berlin. In the course of 18 riveting missions, you'll fight your way through locations such as Stalingrad or Berlin and land at Omaha Beach in the context of legendary D-Day. You'll encounter both old and new characters and make use of their special abilities. The game is supposed to be more accessible than its predecessors, although the AI will be greatly improved once more. Resisting commonplace 3D graphics, Commandos 3 already features the most beautiful 2D graphics ever. The game is slated for a release this fall; read the full preview here.

07-16-2003: Half-Life for free
Half-LifeWhile the gaming world is anxiously waiting for Half-Life 2 to arrive, Valve now offers the original Half-Life for free via its download service Steam. By doing so, Valve intends to circumvent the retail trade in future and distribute upcoming titles directly via the web, albeit then against payment. What sounds promising is that possible savings gained through this form of distribution may very well result in more favourable game prices. Source: Heise Online (Ger).

07-11-2003: Dungeon Siege expansion pack
Dungeon SiegeFantasy tourists, who journeyed into the Kingdom of Ehb last year, can gird their backpack and sword once more in Gas Powered Games' expansion pack Dungeon Siege: Legends of Aranna coming this November. The expansion's new adventures will unfold on the same continent but in nine brand-new areas. Naturally, there will be a series of eye-dazzling new spells, new monsters as well as a new player character, the half-giant. Those who haven't played the original program won't have any disadvantages to long-standing veterans, as designer Chris Taylor promises in an interview with IGN.

07-02-2003: Co-founders leave Blizzard North
Bill RoperIn the middle of Vivendi Universal's sale process of its gaming branch, they let the bomb shell drop at Blizzard North (Diablo): The three co-founders Erich Schaefer, Max Schaefer and David Brevik as well as the company's spokesman and vice-president Bill Roper left the successful company looking for new challenges. The reason behind all this was that they were denied the involvement with Vivendi they would have liked. Roper to Gamespot on Vivendi's role in their decision: "We wanted to have a level of involvement [in deciding the studio's direction] that was not going to be made available."
Therefore, they left Blizzard amicably, but wouldn't rule out the possibility of future projects in co-operation with their former company. Whether there will be another installment of the Diablo franchise is still unclear. On the importance their step might have on the industry, Roper said in an interview with CNN: "Hopefully, what that will point out to the industry is the fact that the success of games isn't just the name on the box, the franchise or that sort of thing - it's the people who make the games," he said. "Just like you want Arnold Schwarzenegger to do your film, just like you want Steven King or J.K. Rowling to be writing your book, you want the best possible people making a game for you. ... People are important."

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