NewsSpots: Company of Heroes, Call of Duty 3, Hour of Victory, Tomb Raider, BIGS

[UPDATE] THQ's RTS gets DX10, WWII shooter gets mapped, Midway demo reposted, Eidos remakes Steam'd, 2K slugger soundtracked.


Company of Heroes gets DX10 treatment
While the title for first playable game sporting Vista's DirectX 10 goes to Capcom's Lost Planet, THQ can now tout the title for first commercially available DirectX 10 game. The publisher announced today that Company of Heroes has been patched to support Microsoft's latest API. The patch includes graphical enhancements aimed at improving textures, models, shadows, and lighting. From internal studio Relic, Company of Heroes was met with widespread critical acclaim last year and was named GameSpot's 2006 Strategy Game of the Year. An expansion for the historical real-time strategy game, Opposing Fronts, is slated to hit PCs this fall.

Five more Call of Duty 3 maps hit XBL
Last August, Activision announced nearly $1 million in sales from downloadable content for its WWII first-person shooter Call of Duty 2. Looking to build upon that success with Call of Duty 3, the company released the Valor Map Pack in January, and today its second map pack of the year is available. The Bravo Map Pack includes a map from the original Call of Duty and one from United Offensive, as well as three new ones set in various locales across Europe. The pack is available on Xbox Live Marketplace for 800 Microsoft points ($10).

Tomb Raider: Anniversary heating up Steam
Two and a half months after it announced it would distribute some of its catalog games via Valve Software's online distribution service, Eidos has revealed Lara Croft's latest will also be available on Steam. Next week, Tomb Raider: Anniversary--Eidos' remake of the 1997 original--will become the second game in the series to enter the Steam pipeline, after Tomb Raider: Legend. To coincide with the game's retail release, the $29.95 title will be available on Steam on June 1, except the Western hemisphere, where it will go up on June 5.

Hour of Victory demo pulled, reloaded
Though it was supposed to be out Wednesday, the demo for the forthcoming World War II shooter was not on Xbox Live Marketplace as of Thursday night. A rep for its publisher, Midway Games, said some last-minute technical adjustments had to be worked through, and it should be up "soon." By early Friday, the free 938MB demo was indeed up.

The BIGS gets rock-heavy soundtrack
Superhuman superstars won't be the only monolithic draw for 2K Sports' upcoming arcade-style baseball game, The BIGS. Slated to score The BIGS soundtrack is a who's who list of power-chord-abusing rock demigods, with notable tracks including Motorhead's "Ace of Spades," White Zombie's "More Human Than Human," Stone Temple Pilots' "Plush," and Primus' "Jerry Was a Racecar Driver," to name a few. "In The BIGS, everything is to the extreme, from the colossal baseball players to the surreal stadiums, so we wanted a soundtrack that would capture the magnified nature of the game," said Tim Rosa, 2K Sports' director of brand and lifestyle marketing.

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