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Old 05-21-2007, 05:33 PM   #1
Dr.Finger
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2007 Second Half Preview - Expansion Packs

A few notes and caveats.

- This list covers officially announced games that are reasonably expected to see the light of day in the last half of 2007, so no Duke Nukem Forever, Killzone 2 or Mario Kart - Wii. I also only discuss games for the systems they have been officially announced for so Hellgate: London stays under the PC heading and MGS4 stays under PS3.

- Release dates used are for the U.S. releases of the game. Several of these titles may have already been released in other territories, or may not be released in others until a later date.

- I can only go on what information I have right now. Some games will slip to next year; others will be added to the schedule.

- For the sake of brevity any download-only titles (XBLA, PSN, VC, Steam, etc.) and games for last-gen systems (PS2, original Xbox, GBA) are excluded from the list.

- This edition only covers Massively Multiplayer games exclusive to the PC. Games appearing on multiple platforms, as well as expansion packs and stand-alone titles will be covered in later installments.

- The Hidden Gem is a game in each category that doesn't have a lot of hype or buzz surrounding it but still looks, to me at least, like a winner


- Expansion packs, unless noted otherwise, require you to have the base game installed on your computer to play.

PC – Expansion Packs



Title – Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties
Genre – Real Time Strategy
Developer – Big Huge Games
Publisher – Microsoft
I love a descriptive title. Microsoft’s premiere nation-builder takes players to East Asia. Expect an evolution, not a revolution with this expansion. New units, new wonders, new campaigns and the like will broaden the horizons of an already deep strategy game.









Hidden Gem
Title – Civilization 4: Beyond the Sword
Genre – Turn Sased Strategy
Developer – Firaxis
Publisher – Take Two Interactive
One of the best strategy games on the market expands. In addition to the expected new unit, new wonders, new civilizations and new leaders, Beyond the Sword will flesh out the late-game tech tree, expand on non-military victories and add corporations to the mix. Add to this some atypical scenarios, including an X-Com homage, and a planet full of evil robots.









Title – Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts
Genre – Real Time Strategy
Developer – Relic Entertainment
Publisher – THQ
The expansion to one of the best strategy titles of 2006 brings more World War II goodness to the table. Play through new campaigns as the returning Americans and Wehrmacht as well as the British 2nd Army and the Panzer Elite. This is technically a stand-alone product, but new buyers will not have access to American and Wehrmacht units and campaigns without the original game. Couple that with graphical and AI upgrades, and you just may have a winner.







Title – Everquest II: Rise of Kunark
Genre – MMORPG
Developer – Sony Online Entertainment
Publisher – Sony Online Entertainment
And the train keeps on rolling. The venerable MMO, entering it’s third year and seventh expansion, may not get the press that World of Warcraft does, but it still has a devoted following amongst gamers worldwide. This expansion (not to be confused with the Ruins of Kunark expansion for the original EQ) introduces the new dragon-like Sarnak race, raises the level cap to 80 and introduces the new Timorous Deep area.







Title – Half-Life 2: Episode 2/Team Fortress 2/Portal
Genre – FPS/Puzzle
Developer – Valve
Publisher – Valve
I know these are three different titles, but they’re also inexorably linked. Episode 2 is the latest bit of ‘episodic’ content to come from Valve, and continues the story of Gordon Freeman and Alyx as they try to save the world from both the Xen and the Combine. Team Fortress 2, in development since before Duke Nukem Forever was a gleam in George Broussard’s eye, is the sequel to the tremendously popular Quake mod and has an over-the-top cartoony look. Portal is a bit of a strange bird. A puzzle game played from a FPS perspective, you use a ‘Portal Gun’ to escape from a test facility as part of an experiment. This game is supposed to take place in the Half-Life universe, and tie into the stories of Episodes 2 & 3 in some fashion.

All three of these games, along with Half-Life 2 and Half-Life 2: Ep1 will ship together in the ‘Orange Box’ only. The previously announced ‘Black Box’, containing only Ep2, TF2 and Portal, was recently cancelled by Valve.







Title – Heroes of Might and Magic 5: Tribes of the East
Genre – Turn Based Strategy
Developer – Nival Interactive
Publisher – Ubisoft
Ah, Heroes. So great, and then so mediocre. Maybe this expansion can make Heroes V into a truly great game. Don’t expect anything revolutionary here, a new faction (Savage Orcs), new campaigns, new monster upgrades and the usual assortment of new heroes, spells and artifacts. Like the last expansion for Heroes V I’m not sure if this one packs enough of a punch to warrant the price, but expect what changes there are to be good additions to the overall game.







Title – Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer
Genre – Fantasy RPG
Developer – Obsidian Entertainment
Publisher – Atari
Dungeons and Dragons. It’s like a cherished blanket from my childhood. Mask of the Betrayer brings players back to the Forgotten Realms for more Magic Missile-casting, item enchanting, goblin-slaying goodness. Obsidian promises a more tightly focused storyline than the base NWN2 game, as well as higher level spells and epic feats. And even if the story doesn’t grab you, stick around for the horde of top notch mods that this game spawns in its wake.

Coming Tomorrow: PC - Stand Alone Games

Previously
Xbox 360 - First Party
Xbox 360 - Third Party
Playstation 3 - First Party
Playstation 3 - Third Party
Wii - First Party
Wii - Third Party
PC - Massively Multiplayer
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Old 05-21-2007, 05:36 PM   #2
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Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts
Cannot wait!

I will probably also pick up Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties and Heroes of Might and Magic 5: Tribes of the East.
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Old 05-21-2007, 05:38 PM   #3
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I cannot wait until I get a computer that can play Company of Heroes!
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Old 05-21-2007, 05:39 PM   #4
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How is a Civ IV expansion a hidden gem? Shouldn't the hidden gem be EQ2 or Heroes of Might and Magic 5?
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Old 05-21-2007, 05:48 PM   #5
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The interesting thing about the stand-alone expansion for CoH is that people who only have one can still play online against people who have the other. You are just limited to the armies you can chose to play as (ones from your version, obviously).
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Old 05-21-2007, 05:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flinxz
The interesting thing about the stand-alone expansion for CoH is that people who only have one can still play online against people who have the other. You are just limited to the armies you can chose to play as (ones from your version, obviously).
I like that Relic does this. The most recent Dawn of War expansion was the same way.
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Old 05-21-2007, 06:10 PM   #7
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Could Opposing Fronts be called an expansion? It's kind of tricky because it will play standalone, but it adds benefits to previous owners a la Dark Crusade for Warhammer.

HL2:Ep 2 is the hidden gem no one knows about.
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Old 05-21-2007, 06:31 PM   #8
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I'm happy that Opposing Fronts is coming because that can only mean their next title won't be a COH-releated one.

I just want my DoW2!

Oh and Beyond the Sword looks HOT. I think we'll have to do a couple online battles, since usually I have to save those with friends and come back to them later.
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Old 05-21-2007, 09:26 PM   #9
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Guild Wars: Eye of the North should be on the list. It's the expansion I'm most looking forward to.
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Old 05-21-2007, 11:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flinxz
The interesting thing about the stand-alone expansion for CoH is that people who only have one can still play online against people who have the other. You are just limited to the armies you can chose to play as (ones from your version, obviously).
I absolutely adore Company of Heroes and will definately be picking up the expansion. That said, the server browser is nearly a complete disaster at the moment, and has been since launch (or earlier).
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Old 05-21-2007, 11:50 PM   #11
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I just bought CoH and there's already an expansion coming? Dammit.

Also, if any EvAvers wanna school me in CoH, drop me an IM. My AIM name is in my user profile.

(Hint Hint: It's the same as my EvAv name).
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Old 05-22-2007, 01:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slack3r78
I just bought CoH and there's already an expansion coming? Dammit.
I am pretty sure they have never said earlier than fall. So you have at least four months or so.
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Old 05-22-2007, 01:59 AM   #13
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You forgot the expansion for Medieval 2. Kingdoms is going to be awesome.
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Old 05-22-2007, 04:53 AM   #14
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Booo, no mention of the FFXI expansion either. That should be out late this year too.
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Old 05-22-2007, 07:10 AM   #15
Dr.Finger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zawath
You forgot the expansion for Medieval 2. Kingdoms is going to be awesome.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorvi
Booo, no mention of the FFXI expansion either. That should be out late this year too.
I completely missed both of those in my travels. Oh well, I was bound to miss a few.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandman
How is a Civ IV expansion a hidden gem? Shouldn't the hidden gem be EQ2 or Heroes of Might and Magic 5?
Because I've been burned by too many Heroes expansions to have faith in this one, and none of these games are really under the radar, so I chose the one I'm most excited about.
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