Valve had been teasing new announcements this week, and the first dropped yesterday: SteamOS, a Valve-developed, Linux-based operating system designed for the TV and the living room. Does it come across as Valve moving away from Steam as we know it, or is this just another pillar for PC gaming to stand tall on?
The NDA lifted on the Dota 2 beta early this winter, but I haven’t had access to it so I’ve had zero coverage to provide. Just yesterday, though, I got my invite so here’s my preliminary take on Valve’s direction for the MOBA genre.
UPDATE: After more play, I’ve updated my preview. Click through and go to the end for my amended take.
Valve has released a compelling new update for Team Fortress 2. their popular team-based multiplayer shooter. Entitled the Replay Update, it does just about what you’d expect: it introduces a record and replay function to the game. By joining a replay-enabled server you can capture your current or previous (if you just died) life with the press of a button for viewing and editing later. The concept is sound but unfortunately I’m yet to be able to comment on the finished videos because I haven’t been able to successfully produce one yet. The game crashes each time I try to render a clip, which for right now I’m attributing to my computer and not the game. The editing process is fairly straightforward for anyone who’d done video editing before but it lacks some explanation for newcomers. Replay enabled servers tend to stutter and lag more then others in my experience, probably due to the production and downloading of new videos every couple of seconds.
I always enjoy joining a game community as it plays with a new game/expansion/patch and this was no different. If nothing else it gets people talking and that’s a good thing for all games, but especially one as old as TF2. I foresee a large number of pointless clips swarming YouTube via the in-game uploader, but for every 100 or so boring videos there’s bound to be a couple gems – and that’s what I like this update for. That, and seeing how and why I keep dying so damn much.
Now that I’ve completed Portal 2’s single player missions, I’m ready to give you my full review. Is it too short? Is the story poor? What can I share without giving spoilers? So many questions.
I’m hearing left and right about how gamers are not happy with Portal 2, and I’m simultaneously amused and irritated by their arguments. “They” claim the following (among many) faults:
I don’t like horror flicks. Mostly because they’re all blood-and-gore death fests these days rather then the old style psychological thrillers of yore, but also because I’m a wimp. I can’t sit through anything with blood on TV or in a movie without feeling nauseous. Thus, I find it odd that two of my favorite games in the last year (Fallout 3 and this one) are very, very violent titles. I’ve always been a first-person shooter nut, ever since I first saw Wolfenstein 3D: Spear of Destiny on my uncle’s PC as a kid. The Unreal Tournament series is one of my favorites, and I love Half-Life. These games, however, rarely showed realistic violence. I can’t play FarCry 2 because of the more realistic portrayal of gunplay and the like. What I’m getting at is that while Left 4 Dead is indeed very gory, it’s so much more as well, and transcends it’s bloody roots to be an outstanding title.
I loved the original Half Life when it came out back in the late ’90s. I played it from start to finish twice, and replayed my favorite areas again and again. When Half Life 2 came out, I was all over it as well. Now, I set my sights on the second of the ‘episodic’ continuation of the Half Life 2 story arc. What a story it is, too. Move over, Mario Galaxy; there’s a new contender for Game of the Year. Continue reading
Team Fortress 2 was a long time coming – 9 years, in fact, if you believe developer Gabe Newell. However long it’s been, it was too long. Now that it’s here, however, I can happily say that it was worth the wait. For once, people, believe the hype: Team Fortress 2 rocks. Continue reading