There’s no denying it - I love Dota 2. The last balance patch though, 6.83 (the shifting snows update), which was released towards the end of December last year, has left me cold. I’ve been playing my favourite MOBA far less. Now, I don’t think this is due exclusively to that particular patch, but it does seem to be around the time when things started getting a little boring, at least for me anyways. I feel that the current meta is “stale”, and I don’t think I am alone in feeling this way. Is it not yet time for the next big gameplay change that will keep things fresh?
Grand Theft Auto V is finally out on PC today (yes, it really, really is) and for the most part, it’s smooth sailing. The game works as advertised for most people, offering smooth and fluid gameplay that surpasses the 30fps you’d find even on the newest consoles. For most who’ve been playing it, it’s been a great experience. For others? Not so much. There’s a weird little bug that’s preventing people from downloading or installing GTA V on PC.
The second tale chronicling the life of silent, crowbar-wielding protagonist Gordon Freeman is still largely considered one of the finest games ever made. Hailing from a time when Valve used to make games instead of just wads of cash, Half-Life 2 is the game that launched Steam as a platform, and set Valve down its path to world domination. It’s also getting a brand new, community-made but Valve-approved update today, bringing modern graphical improvements and more to the seminal shooter.
Virtual Reality isn't cheap. Those headsets have a ton of technology poured into them and they won't be easy to manufacture. We are expecting some pretty hefty price tags for these new devices - that's if they even make it to local retail. Valve has its own headset coming and it will be even more expensive.
Oh Half-Life. Your fans are more ravenous than Final Fantasy zealots, more single-minded than the AMD vs NVIDIA debaters. Half-life 3 has gained almost a mythical level in gaming - it's the title everyone is waiting for and assumes they will never get. I can't even imagine that it would meet anyone's expectations, no matter how awesome it could be. Newell knows you want it, but his idea includes multiplayer and might not be what people are clamouring for.
Valve has once again updated its Steam Subscriber Agreement. As usual, it adds a laundry list of mundane things that you wouldn’t bother reading about - but there is now one interesting clause to be found in the updated agreement (via Gamasutra); even users are now subject to disclosure. According to the new agreement, users are now required to "clearly indicate the source" when they use any of Steam service’s to "promote or endorse a product, service or event" in exchange for…well, anything; money, free games, or another inventives.
Goat Simulator was a surprise hit last year with people going crazy for that silly goat and its bizarre physics. It's so adorable and fun, that it's slowly creeping its way into other games. It's now coming to Dota 2 and looks far too adorable as a courier.
Valve might be raking in the users, topping 9 million concurrent Steam gamers – but it certainly hasn’t attained such a high user rate though its customer service.
If you're playing games on PC, you're probably using Steam. It's fine though - all the cool kids are as well. Valve's online platform is the central hub for most modern PC gaming, and it seems that more and more people are battering their servers every single day. So many in fact, that they've gone on to break a record only just breaking infancy.
For a long time now, Steam’s been trying to crack down on the practice of people buying cheap games from regions where the marketplace dictates that games sell for less than the $60 most new retail games command. They been implementing all manner of new checks, along with restrictions on how the Steam gift-trading works. They’re now getting even tougher.
Though I’m still rather sceptical about the whole thing, I’m slowly, slowly becoming more excited for Virtual Reality. It’s not the folks who’ve been most vocal in the push for Virtual Reality either. While I’ve used Oculus’ Rift, and it is indeed an engaging experience, but its new rivals like HTV and Valve, and Sony with its Morpheus who seem far closer to releasing a consumer product that have me casting off my scepticism.
Valve has had a pretty stellar week at both MWC and GDC. Despite not revealing Half-Life 3 (then again, will they ever?), the primarily software-focused company made a big statement with their HTC-powered VR Vive headset, as well as the host of different Steam Machines coming to market in November. To cap things off, Valve has introduced a brand new section to Steam – and it’s full of hardware.
For whatever reason – hope, I imagine – people still think they’ll be seeing Half-Life 3 in their lives. If I’m honest, I’ve given up on ever seeing Gordon Freeman again, and I’m rather rapidly running out of reasons to keep caring. And then Valve just goes and gives us a new one: Virtual Reality. While many expected a VR Half-Life 3 announcement from GDC, that hasn’t happened – but Valve’s not ruling it out.
We’ve known about Steam Machines for well over a year now, and there has already been a rather enthusiastic uptake by some of the biggest names in PC hardware. During GDC this week Gabe Newell announced that the first wave of console PCs would be arriving in stores come November, and now we have a good look at what each of them will be.
I have to feel a little sorry for those that hyped them selves up to the point of believing that Valve would announce Half Life 3 yesterday, despite Valve not actually having a press conference at 3pm on the 3rd of the 3rd. They did, however, have a talk scheduled about physics in games. Valve’s Source Engine – which launched with games like Half Life 2 and Vampire The Masquerade – was one of the first engines that really placed an emphasis on physics. And now, There’s a brand new one. Yes, Valve finally revealed the engine we all knew they were working on, Source 2.0.