Daily News
by Gail Helmer

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Friday September 20, 2002

PC News
The Great Escape Details
SCi has released new screens and the first gameplay information on its action game The Great Escape, based on the 1963 movie of the same name. In the movie, which is based on actual events during World War II, Germans open Stalag Luft North--a maximum security POW camp designed to be escape proof--and in imprisoning some of the allied forces' most skilled escape artists there unwittingly assemble the finest escape team in military history.

The third-person action game will revolve around the subsequent escape attempts from the Stalag Luft III camp, with other levels in the game challenging players to make their way through a busy hospital, a moving train, and an active Luftwaffe airfield to name but a few. There'll be plenty of action and combat in the game, but to succeed players will also have to master the art of stealth using such cunning tricks as looking through keyholes, dragging the bodies of unconscious guards into shadows where they won't be noticed, and having other prisoners create distractions. The Great Escape is being developed by Pivotal Games and is scheduled for release in the second quarter of next year.

Forgotten Battles Development Update
It's Friday again and we have more Forgotten Battles screenshots. This week Oleg Maddox has released 11 new shots showing:

  • Hungarian awards for campaign
  • Bombsight of He-111
  • La-7 2x20 final cockpit
  • Almost finished cockpit of TB-3 M-17
  • Some new maps for online gameplay
  • Third Party Tempest model
CMBB Ships
Battlefront.com announces that Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin (CMBB), a realistic 3D WWII ground combat simulation of warfare on the Eastern Front, from 1941 to 1945, is now shipping. CMBB features a full 3D battlefield as tracers arc overhead and exploding shells shake the earth, the tremendous power of the feared Russian Katyusha rocket barrage. Order a tank hunter team to assault a heavy KV-1 with Panzerfausts and magnetic mines in the ruins of a shattered city. A modern hybrid turn-based/realtime system combines with 3D lines of sight, misidentification of targets, location by sound, advanced armor penetration systems, morale and leadership, fire and smoke, wind and weather. Screenshots

Vietnam MEDEVAC Announced
Global Star Software has announced plans to release Vietnam MEDEVAC. This title is the latest installment in their Search and Rescue series, and will be released in conjunction with another SAR title, Coastal Heroes. Vietnam MEDEVAC represents a new direction in the SAR series, taking the most popular and realistic helicopter rescue simulation series of all time into the stifling hot jungles of war-torn Vietnam at the height of the infamous ideological conflict. But even though the time and place have changed, the ongoing SAR mission remains the same, to save American lives.

In Vietnam MEDEVAC, Pilots take to the sultry skies of Vietnam in the infamous UH1 "Huey" helicopter, the multipurpose workhouse aircraft of the Vietnam conflict. Players embark on a military career of flying all manner of chopper missions, from insertions and extractions, to daring hoist rescues, often behind enemy lines, and often under fire from AK47s, Heavy AA guns, SAM missiles and more. Vietnam MEDEVAC features an all-new, Renderware™ powered 3D environment, packed with realistic weather effects, dynamic lighting, and a particle system used for smoke, fire and downwash effects. What's more, Vietnam MEDEVAC is packed with aestheticism, from the wiper blades on the Huey, to the door mounted M60 Machine gun, which can be controlled manually during heavy firefights, or automatically. Vietnam MEDEVAC is under development at InterActive Vision, and Global Star is planning to have it in stores worldwide later this fall.

Ghost Recon: Island Thunder Goes Gold
Ubi Soft has today announced that the Island Thunder expansion pack for Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon has gone gold, meaning that the game is complete and is now being prepared to ship to retail. Island Thunder is the second expansion pack to be released for Ghost Recon, and it will see players doing a tour of duty in Cuba in the year 2009. Included in the expansion are eight new single-player missions, five new multiplayer maps, 12 new weapons, and two brand-new multiplayer game modes. The game will include a selection of new Cuban enemy vehicles. Island Thunder is scheduled for release on September 25.

Frontline Attack UK Demo
Eidos has released the UK playable demo of Frontline Attack: War (US title: World War II: Panzer Claws). The demo requires a massive download and allows you to try out the tutorial and one mission playable as the Wehrmacht side. Download demo

Military News
Successful Catapult Testing On The Aircraft Carrier Ronald Reagan
Northrop Grumman Newport News successfully conducted testing today on the number one catapult of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). This is the second successful catapult to be tested and is an essential part of the process necessary to deliver Reagan to the U.S. Navy.

Nimitz-class aircraft carriers have four steam-powered catapults which launch aircraft from the flight deck of the carrier. These catapults can thrust a 48,000-pound aircraft 300 feet, from zero to 165 miles per hour in two seconds.

Northrop Grumman Newport News is working closely with the Ronald Reagan Pre-Commissioning Unit on this testing, which consists of launching large containers called deadloads off the flight deck of the carrier. These deadloads are equal in weight to the planes that will ultimately be launched from Reagan's flight deck. Testing of all four catapults will be completed later this year.

Ronald Reagan is the ninth ship of the Nimitz class. At 1,092 feet long, the Reagan will be home to 6,000 sailors, carry more than 80 aircraft and cruise at speeds in excess of 30 knots. The 90,000-ton carrier will tower 20 stories above the water line with a flight deck covering 4˝ acres. When Reagan joins the Navy's fleet in 2003, it will be the most modern and sophisticated aircraft carrier in the world. (Photo: Northrop Grumman)

Engine Failure Caused Predator Crash
Air Force investigators have determined that engine failure caused an Air Force RQ-1B Predator aircraft to crash May 25 near Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait. The aircraft was conducting a mission in support of Operation Southern Watch.

The Predator, which is an unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, sustained significant damage, primarily to the payload and landing gear. The loss is valued at $1.48 million. The aircraft hit the ground about six miles from the base. No one was injured in the accident.

According to an Air Combat Command accident investigation report released today, the primary cause of the accident was catastrophic failure of a cylinder rocker arm, which resulted in engine failure.

The aircraft, which was assigned to the 15th Reconnaissance Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., was deployed as part of the 15th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron.

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