June 30, 2005 - Squad based shooters have been getting more and more popular over the years, but more often than not, they're much more realistic than arcadey. Striking the perfect balance between the two is a difficult task. Developer DiezelPower and publisher Digital Jesters are hoping they've found that solution with their 2006 title DogTag, which puts players in a sticky situation and challenges them to fight their way through it.

Anything in a level can be used for cover in DogTag, making environmental awareness pretty key. The game's control and action elements are probably most akin to something like Kill.Switch or the upcoming Gears of War including the option to use blind fire tactics to shoot while behind cover. The interesting thing about cover and the environments are the physics attached to them. DogTag uses the Novadex physics engine and will take advantage of the first PPU to process all of those nifty real world effects. That means some cover will bounce away while others will stay put depending on the damage. How much this will actually be used for players to create cover remains to be seen. Technically, the game looks pretty good. You can get a pretty decent sense of the engine's capability from the screenshots and what we saw in action looks just as fine. Animations still need a lot of work, but considering the game is at such an early stage, there's little to complain about. If animation still looks like this later on, then we might have something more to say. One of the coolest things about this game, which seems to be a bigger thing nowadays, is the option to play through each of the missions in co-op mode. Both PC and Xbox Live! junkies will be able to get their fill working together against the enemy AI. Other multiplayer modes, including the standard like deathmatch and capture the flag, will be available as well, though Digital Jesters isn't ready to talk about those quite yet.

Published by: Digital Jesters
Developed by: Diezel Power Studios

Genre: Action

Number of Players: 1-4Release Date:US: TBA 2009

Art buyers find few investment masterpieces

It was only when Jussi Pylkk√§nen was climbing down from the auctioneer’s rostrum that he realised the scale of what had just happened.

Having presided over the sale of a ravishing nude by Amedeo Modigliani for $170m, it struck him that this surpassed any previous auction figure achieved for the Italian artist’s work — by a staggering $100m.

“I knew the record would be broken, but not by how much. When you get a work that suddenly makes $100m more, that is the greatest single leap,” says the global president of Christie’s.

Since that New York sale in November 2015, auction records for individual artists have continued to tumble, underlining the appetite of super-rich collectors for the most desirable works of art. The global caravan of auctions, gallery shows and art fairs, which this week pauses in London for the annual Frieze fair, rumbles on in anticipation of the next masterwork to be offered for sale.

Many of those buying high-value art argue that the money involved is less important than gaining possession of a unique object of unimpeachable beauty or artistic value (and, perhaps, the chance to stand out from the gilded crowd). The idea of art as an investment is a secondary function, if at all. “You’re supposed to buy art because you like it. It’s a terribly corny phrase, but you get a ‘dividend of pleasure’,” says Bendor Grosvenor, a broadcaster and former art dealer.