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Big Download's News Bits & Bytes - February 24

On the one hand, it's a little sad that Robot Entertainment won't be finishing Age of Empires Online. On the other hand we can't think of a better developer to take over the reigns than Gas Powered Games.

Battlefield 1943 PC port officially cancelled

Battlefield 1943 for the PC has finally been officially cancelled after PC gamers have spent nearly two years waiting for the promised port of the multiplayer shooter. In a post on the Battlefield blog Karl Magnus Troedsson, the general manager of the game's developer Digital Illusions, stated, "I often need to make hard calls regarding where we put the studio's focus. Part of the challenge is to balance work on the new against the already shipped, prioritizing the amount of energy spent on the known franchises and the time spent on developing something entirely new."

Troedsson stated that while they will continue to support its previously released games such as 2010's Battlefield Bad Company 2, he added that DICE had made the decision to move forward with development of its next game Battlefield 3. He stated, "Our goal is crystal clear: we're going to build the best Battlefield game ever, and we'll do whatever it takes to make this the biggest launch in DICE's history." Therefore the decision was made to cancel development of Battlefield 1943's PC port along with a PC version of Battlefield Bad Company 2's Onslaught mode. Troedsson states, "Instead, our talented teams will focus on delivering the greatest possible gaming experience in our next behemoth release. We're confident this will lead to an even better experience in Battlefield 3, not only on PC, but on all platforms."

Battlefield 1943, basically a graphical remake of some of the maps and content of DICE's first game in the series, Battlefield 1942, was released back in July 2009 for the Xbox 360 and PS3 consoles via download. The game went on to become a huge sales hit for the developer and its publisher Electronic Arts. DICE promised a number of times in the that a PC version would be released, stating at one point that the delay was to give PC players more features such as DirectX 10 graphics support, 32 player support in multiplayer and more. As recently as last November a DICE team member said the PC version was still in development.

Get Battlefield 2142 free when buying Battlefield Bad Company 2 from EA

If you haven't put down any money ahead of time for Battlefield Bad Company 2, then Electronic Arts has one more deal to give you that you might be interested in. The deal, which is available only via download and only on EA's web site, will let people pre order the game and get a free downloadable copy of Battlefield 2142 Deluxe Edition.

Yes you can get the shooter from Digital Illusions that took the Battlefield franchise into the future with your Battlefield Bad Company 2 pre-order. The Deluxe Edition contains both the original game and all of the game's expansion packs. That's in addition to access to the Bad Company 2 beta test and special day one unlocks on a number of weapons and items. The deadline for this special pre-order deal is February 25.

[Via Blue's News]

ESRB reveals WWII missions in Battlefield Bad Company 2

The Battlefield series of first person shooters began with Battlefield 1942 and now it looks like the latest game in the series, Battlefield Bad Company 2, will return players to that conflict briefly in single player mode. According to a content listing for the game on the ESRB ratings web site, "players conduct missions on an unnamed Japanese island during World War II" before entering the game's modern day era.

Of course the big question is, "What's the connection between the WWII intro missions and the modern day campaign?" A bigger question for PC owners is, "When are we getting our promised port of Battlefield 1943?" The downloadable game was supposed to be out by the end of this quarter but there's been no updates on that game's progress for the last few months by developer Digital Illusions.

[Via Blue's News]

Battlefield 1943 coming for the PC in September for $15

Earlier this year Electronic Arts announced their plans for Battlefield 1943, a partial graphical remake of Digital Illusions' Battlefield 1942 game. Today EA announced that the game will be available for digital download this September for the PC and will cost $15 to download (the game will be released in June for the Xbox 360 and PS3 consoles).

As we have reported before, Battlefield 1943 will contain new versions of three of Battlefield 1942's maps (Wake Island, Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima) but revamped using their in-house Frostbite engine (the same one they created for the Battlefield: Bad Company games) which will allow for more destructible environments. The game will support 24 player online matches when it is released. Keep in mind that EA plans to release the PC-only free-to-play FPS Battlefield Heroes in open beta sometime this summer.

New Battlefield 1943 screenshots go to war

Electronic Arts made a surprise announcement last month revealing their plans for Battlefield 1943, a downloadable game that's basically a graphical remake of a few of the levels in Digital Illusions' classic multiplayer shooter Battlefield 1942. Today the developer released three new screenshots showing off more of the game's updated visuals.

While the game will only support 24 players online (as opposed to the original's 64 player limit) Battlefield 1943 will use DICE's internal Frostbite engine for its graphics which means.not only improved graphics but also support for destructible enviroments. The game is due out later this summer and is one of several Battlefield franchise games due out from EA for the PC (the online-only Battlefield Heroes, the modern day shooter Battlefield Bad Company 2 and the Asian-only release Battlefield Online).

The 20 Most Influential PC Games: 20-11

There have been thousands of PC games released in the past few decades but let's be honest: Most of them are not that original. Oh sure, some are professionally made and even entertaining to play but in the end very few bring anything new to the table.

There are some games, however, that attempt to break the envelope of normal gameplay and take things in new directions. Sometimes these games are big hits. Other times the ideas are used and refined by other titles even if the original game wasn't a sales success. These titles influenced many other titles since their original release.

Big Download has decided to give our picks for the top 20 most influential PC games of all time. These selections are not necessarily the best selling games ever made or even the best from a developer's point of view. However they all have elements that were original and/or popular enough to see their designs used in many other games. We are counting down from 20 to 11 today. Be here on Thursday when we reveal our selections for the top 10.

Click on the image above to continue reading about the top 20 most influential PC games (20-11)

Beyond mods: FPS games and teams that started as mods

Breaking into the video game industry isn't easy, but one great way to make an impression to create mods for existing games. Indeed there have been one or two occasions where a mod of a game has become more popular than the game it's based on. Valve has been a champion of these kinds of mods and games and has even bought a number of them into their fold to be released as commercial titles.

While technically their next game Left 4 Dead is an all original property the zombie co-op shooter has the spirit of a mod that was later made into a full game. In this feature we look back at both mods and mod teams that have move on to make some terrific first person shooter style titles including, yes, a number of Valve games.

Click on the image above to continue reading the feature article

Gallery: Beyond Mods

Team FortressThreewave CTFX-Men: The Ravages of ApocalyseCounter-StrikeDay of Defeat

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