The Impossible Creatures (IC) Multiplayer Stress Test contains the tutorial, a skirmish mode, animal combiner and online play. This test contains 14 of the 51 creatures that will be available at release. This beta test is scheduled to end on January 2nd, but can be freely distributed until that time. The final version is scheduled to ship to stores on January 7th.
The IC Multiplayer Beta requires a connection to the Internet to play (or even start up). The reason for this is that the IC Installer includes a suite of Digital Rights Management software named EZ Pad, from a company called Netquartz, to be able to run. A small part of the IC Executable is stored on the netquartz servers, and it must be downloaded for you to play. More info on EZ Pad and Netquartz can be found at the Netquartz site. The final version of IC does NOT use EZ Pad.
The IC Multiplayer Beta requires the installation of DirectX 8.2 (included). More info on DirectX 8.2 at Microsoft's site. The final version of Impossible Creatures is intended to ship with DirectX 9.0 (assuming that DirectX 9.0 is ready).
IC has had several fixes and improvements added since the first MP beta started. The 1.07 Installer has the 1.2.0 version of the IC Stress Test. You do not need to download any additional patches once you have this latest version of the test installed. Details for the patches and the original release can be found in the Readme.rtf file in the IC Install directory. A list of commands for the game can be found in the "Goodiez" sub-directory.
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