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EA takes adventure online

  After announcing that their upcoming sports titles would feature Playstation2-exclusive online play, EA also stated that four very big upcoming titles will also feature Playstation2-exclusive online features. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Medal of Honor: Rising Sun, The Sims Bustin' Out and Need for Speed: Underground will all feature online play for the Playstation2.

   With the exception of Need for Speed, all of the above games will also feature broadband-only real-time voice chat that will work very much like the "EA Sports Chat" found in the publisher's sports titles.

   Return of the King will allow players to join up in pairs, either through buddy lists or randomly in the game, for two-player co-op action that covers all 15 levels in the game. Players can also chat in the lobby by using the EA Messenger "instant messenger" feature. Return of the King will feature nine playable characters, of which three will be selectable immediately, and players can tackle any mission online as long as they have unlocked that level in the single-player mode first.

   Rising Sun will allow for a total of eight players online at once over nine different levels, with real-time voice chat that allows teammates to communicate with one another, or taunt their opponents. Before heading into battle, a matchmaking feature will allow players to team up and choose between fighting alongside the allies or with the Axis. The gameplay allows for several customizations as well, letting gamers change things such as weapons, time limits, as well as other parameters.

   Bustin' Out, the latest Sims game, will feature two-player co-op that lets players find each other and work together via a matchmaking service. The service will display basic information about each player's sim, such as gender, personality and astrological sign. There will also be an online trading system that allows different players to exchange various "unlockable" social interactions and objects, such as "DJ Booth", "moonwalk", and more.

   Need for Speed: Underground will allow up to four players to go head to head in various racing modes such as Sprint, Circuit, Drift, and Drag. There will also be a tracking system that will track the top 100 cars in the game, as well as best lap times and other vital information. Additionally, players can take cars they have customized offline and upload them, as well as compete against racers who own the PC version of the game.

   We'll have more information on these titles soon.

9/12/2003 Ryan Hartmann

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