Prey Downloaders to Get Boxed Copy

October 11, 2006

3D Realms have posted a news update for customers who bought the game through the (now apparently defunct) digital download service, Triton:

2K has set up a replacement program for customers who purchased Prey via the Triton download service. A new boxed copy of Prey will be shipped to each customer who purchased the game via Triton, DiStream or http://www.playtriton.com, as Triton is undergoing a reorganization process and copies downloaded from the service may not function properly. There is no action required on the part of the purchaser. Boxed copies will be mailed automatically to the credit card address on file. Thank you for your patience during this interim period; we look forward to getting affected customers back up and playing Prey as soon as possible.

Whatever’s going on between the companies involved, it’s good to see 3DRealms making sure the customer is taken care of and kept as happy as possible in the circumstances.

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Video Games! In Lego!

October 10, 2006

No, not that game. This is Bitflicks, a stupendous fusion of games, real little bits of plastic and stop-motion animation. CGI possibly included, along with a generous dollop of sheer brilliance.


Prey’s Digital Distribution Service Closing?

October 8, 2006

An interesting story is breaking at Blues News, where it’s reported that Triton, the digital distribution and management system behind Prey is closing or may already have closed. According to Blues:

The service was responsible for the digital distribution and management of Prey, and without it running, download copies of the game cannot authorize and launch

That’s really worrying for all of us, as digital distribution of games is starting to take more and more of a foothold. Just how safe are the games we’ve bought and downloaded over Steam, the EA Downloader or any other similar service? Do any of them offer a warrantied ability to be able to access the games we’ve bought if the service runs into trouble? Should they place an unlock key in the secure hands of a third party to ensure that we can access what we’ve paid for if the worst happens?

Whatever has or hasn’t happened to Triton, it’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out.

Perhaps it’s just a downed transmitter…

Update
A member of Triton staff has apparently posted at the 3drealms forums:

I know many of you are curious why I have been silent, and that is because of legal reasons, so this is not a statement I am making from the company’s perspective. I can’t go into details, but I can say that all users that purchased the game from Triton will not be screwed, or left out in the cold. There will be a patch that will remove the dependency from the live system and allow you to backup / copy and play your games. Next step will allow you to run the games direct without any of the triton code.I am making sure I have permission to get this pach out first so that I dont run into legal issues. When some of the dust settles, I should be able to give a better picture. From my perspective on digital distribution, this is essential that the patch be released so that no one is left out in the cold and it doesnt get a mark against it.


Battlefield 2142 Demo – First Impressions

October 8, 2006

Now that the demo is finally here, I’ve realised how much I missed playing 2142 after the beta closed. Going back to intensity of BF2’s infantry only mode was fun, but I’ve been hankering to assault a Titan again for a few weeks. Not knowing anyone else in the beta also meant that I didn’t get to see how the game played out with the GFH regulars. Now the chance has arrived!

Although I managed to snag the demo installer on Friday evening, a weekend away has meant that I’ve only had chance to briefly fire up the demo. On that basis, here are my first impressions:

The good…

  • The map isn’t Verdun! I was sure that EA/DICE would put the beta map in the demo, but we have a new killing field to explore. Sharp-eyed readers will recognise that the demo map appears to be one that featured in one of the gameplay videos released this year.
  • There are plenty of servers around, and the server browser seems to be up to scratch. In fact, the user interface in general seems to have had all of the glitches that were present at the end of beta ironed out.
  • Map loading and game performance in general seems good. I’m not running on uber-settings at all, but the game looks good and is stutter free.
  • There’s a big, ranting review up on the totalbf2142 forums. This guy doesn’t like that his tank can actually be destroyed by ground defences, or that he can’t man a multi-person vehicle solo and lock out (or kick out) those annoying n00b team-mates. You mean, actual team work might be needed to win? Bring it on!

Could try harder…

  • No ranking or unlocks in the demo! I was hoping to try out some unlocks I hadn’t used in the beta to see if they’re worth going for after release. It would also have been great to be able to see if any changes had been made to any beta favourites. No DICE it seems. There are some rumours around the forums that it may be possible to get field upgrades though.
  • Regular disconnects from the master server are being reported, but EA say they’re on top of it. Given that I (and others) suffered regular disconnects from beta servers I hope this is going to be finally fixed for release.
  • 1280×1024 still missing from the in-game video options. Come on guys, how hard can it be?

Here’s looking forward to some more play-time over the next couple of days to see how the game’s shaped up.