The Trine franchise has impressed me twice out of two attempts, which is a pretty solid record by anyone's maths - except maybe for Geoff's. Both titles featured a healthy blend of platforming goodness, puzzle solving prowess and neat combat encounters. It also helps that both of them are drop-dead gorgeous, which seems to be no different from the surprise third entry that was announced yesterday.
Evolve is a deep, tactical shooter that blends first person team-based play with third person player controlled boss fights. Those that love the game, absolutely adore it, while the rest of us sit wondering what exactly the fuss is all about. I know personally, that I’ve completely lost interest in the game. That’s expected though; I’m hardly a big fan of multiplayer shooters in the first place. What’s not quite as expected is just how much PC gamers seem to be abandoning the game.
The Games Developer Conference, or GDC, is just under a week away. It’s a hub for some of the best game creators to come together and mingle for a few days, but it’s also a prime opportunity for companies to get on stage and talk about their vision of the future of gaming. One such company will be Valve – and they’ve got a lot of hardware to reveal during their time under the spotlight.
Developers and publishers love to bandy around terms to show off how popular their games are. Perhaps it's "registered users" or "current profiles" or any other number of PR buzz-words. However, we all know that those numbers are useless if no one is playing the game. Dota 2 has lots of players, so many that they've broken Steam records.
I do believe that gaming, like all other forms of art, is a platform for freedom of expression. There are, however, games that sometimes make me question that, with Hatred being the latest example. Despite its gratuitous violence and subsequent Adults-Only rating, the isometric genocide simulator has its very own Steam page, regardless of Valve’s stance on adult restricted content.
Broforce is so typically South African. No, not because if anything in the game, but because it follows the usual South African model for success: be loved by locals when you're small, but as soon as you make it big, be forgotten by the local scene. Don't worry though, we can totally claim these guys as our own, and they are making serious waves on Steam.
We’re a week away from Chinese New Year, which is a festive time for most Chinese communities around the world. More importantly, it’s a festive time for every Dota 2 player on the globe, as the New Bloom update looms. Bringing a new game mode, items and more, New Bloom is one of the biggest events for the game of the year. Only this time, there’s a new character joining the action as well.
Valve really knows what people love, even if people themselves don’t know it yet. It’s why Steam Hats, in the literally and figurative sense, become such a massive market on the digital store front, enticing designers from around the world to try their hand at creation and trade. It’s only been open to a handful of games, but Valve is now busting that wide open.
Valve is consistently trying to improve Steam’s rather clunky UI, adding in some oft-requested features like the FPS counter last year. One of the most painful processes is trying to see which DLC you own for a particular game, which usually involves hunting each piece down individually on the Store and checking whether it lists it as purchased. Thankfully, Steam is making that easier.
I have to laugh at people who are convinced that indies will be their saviours. While indie development is changing the landscape of gaming and is filled with cool ideas, the indie side of things just doesn't have the cash to overthrow AAA gaming for good. Still, they make a decent amount for themselves, and I love how they're changing our expectations for games.
Steam is a global heavyweight; a distribution service that is so integral to PC gaming that I can't imagine a world without it at this stage. Everyone around the globe uses Valve's program, but there are some markets that are undeniably more important than others. So who is sucking the Steam servers dry every single day?
Before everyone disappeared on holiday last year we decided to help host a competition with local indie developers Egamea, to help promoted their game O3DX. There were four massive prizes on offer, including goods from Nintendo, Microsoft and Steam. With the competition now closed, all that's left is to check if we're making your Tuesday extra special.
Plan on needing a bit of extra time before playing your latest Steam games - there's a new client in town that will automatically be downloading and changing a few things. It's not just about making that frame rate counter a real thing - there are some other cool additions to the service.
Simulator games are a big deal these days. Mainly because there’s a market for them, which consists primarily of annoying YouTubers who are desperate to get some views in by broadcasting a jam session of such a game. You’ve simulated having a cubbyhole full of liquor and string pornography in Euro Truck Simulator. You’ve played a game as a Cape Town horror in I Am Bread. But now it’s time to drop the anchor and set sail, in European Ship Simulator.