I'll be the first to admit that I am not a hardcore gamer. Ok, that's false, many people have said that first, but the point stands. I can never keep track of the differences between core and hardcore and pro gamer and who is playing what. But when I look at my steam account and see that I managed to log triple digit hours in some of those things I don't know if I can say I'm casual either. In fact, there is only one thing I can say with certainty about video games:
I like the free ones.
The majority of the games in my steam library were free. Metro 2033? Free promotional. Red Orchestra? Free steam weekend. And now another, Path of Exile. Another freebie, and at 132 hours it takes second place for play time in my library next to Civilization 5. That one I bought the hard way.
Its one of the expanding genre of free to play MMOs on the market these days and it ranks at the fifth most popular freebie on steam with a pretty solid community rating. Metascore 85/100 is nothing to sneeze at. It got glowing reviews from Gamespot and IGN. It has five million players. I'm willing to bet some of you reading this have that icon on your desktop right now.
Now I'm going to tell you about my experiences with it after 132 hours.
Capcom has some major Steam and PSN discounts for you! First, on PSN, you'll find discounts on Street Fighter 3: Third Strike Online Edition, discounted to $7.34 for PS Plus members and $10.49 for regular members, and Resident Evil 4 HD, discounted to $9.79 for PS Plus members and $13.99 for regular members.
Over at Steam, the discounts cover most of the Capcom library and go as low as 50 percent off. Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition, for instance, is marked down from $39.99 to $19.99.
Read More | Capcom Unity
Last week, as some know, Valve released its mobile steam app for the App Store and Android Marketplace in beta mode. Now, it's open and available to all. Go pick up the Steam app today from either store for free if you want to give it a try.
Innovation in video games is terrific—sometimes. But with certain ideas and series, particularly the simplest ones, the smartest thing to do can be to just expand and build on the concept but not change it very much. That's the choice Valve Software has made with Portal 2, the ravenously awaited sequel to the addictive and brain-twisting 2007 first-person puzzler. Judging from our initial half-day with the game, Valve has chosen wisely.
The original Portal, first released as part of the Orange Box collection, was maddening because it was so straightforward, and delightful because of its rampant dementedness. As a test subject trapped in the Aperture Science building, you were armed only with a gun that could create up two dimensional portals: shoot a blue one, shoot an orange one, then run through one to emerge from the other. Strategy and physics played key roles as you struggled to discover what happened to the all the office workers, evade turret fire and pits of foul-looking liquid, and determine what the nature was of the teasing and tormenting computer (the Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System, or GLaDOS) that made jokes at your expense every 30 seconds.
Portal succeeded because its formula was both hard to screw up but easy to love. It was both rigorously adult (some of the levels were hard, and many of the bonus boards all but impossible), and yet faultlessly cute (who can forget the baby-voiced android weapons, or the Weighted Companion Cube emblazoned on all six sides with hearts). This meant that anyone of any age could play it, and because it required just a handful of keys or buttons (far fewer than the average shooter), you didn't even need to be an experienced gamer. As if realizing this, Valve even structured the game to provide to provide its own fully integrated tutorial so you could master tricky concepts without being aware you were learning everything.
In fact, the most commonly cited problem with the game was that it was too short: Nineteen levels and it was done. For years, people have been crying out for more levels and more snappy wit—and with Portal 2, that is what Valve has almost exclusively provided.
That’s right - you can now finally download Steam for Mac! In case you weren’t aware, Steam will basically do more for Mac gaming than anything any other company, including Apple, has ever done. Go ahead and get to downloading now. Oh, and if you’ve never tried Portal, there’s never been a better time to do it.
As I write this, I am squeezed into a coach seat on a 12 hour flight from an undisclosed location in the middle east to New York City. Once I get done with this, I have another 6-hour jaunt to Los Angeles, and the memory of my last 2-hour flight here fades with every drop of overpriced airline beer. In these trying times, a man needs to keep entertained. My DS is charged, but alas, I have completed Castlevania already.
There are three - no, four crying infants on board. The man to my left has clearly not showered since the Reagan administration. If I don’t survive, let me leave you with these thoughts of what could have been, if only I had taken this frightening possibility into deeper consideration.
Hit the jump for my last coherent thoughts before the chilling onset of complete madness.
Anyone familiar with military gaming (or anyone as cheap as I am) already knows about America’s Army, the PC FPS developed by the United States military as an outreach program for the young’uns. It’s paid for by the guv’mint and completely free of charge to anybody who wants to play it (as any good PR campaign would be), and the folks behind the game let me get some hands-on time with the newest incarnation, America’s Army 3, at GDC 2009 in San Francisco. Hit the jump for some of the things you can expect from the world’s most realistic military shooter.
Now that we’re over the holiday hump (i.e. every game imaginable being released at the same time, oh god, why do you do this to me), a lot of sites and publications have been putting together lists of games to look forward to in the new year. Me? Nuh-uh. I don’t have the cash for that. Fallout and Dead Space alone have depleted my gaming funds for a while (not to mention a certain 360 dying enough times for me to wish ill on its relatives), and if you’re like me, you want a cheap alternative until your funds recover. Hell, even if you don’t need it, you can’t pass up a quality gaming experience on the cheap, but being a penny-pinching bastard like myself tends to help heal those imaginary wounds. So, I’ve decided to put together a list of a few old-but-still-awesome games that you can get for slightly less than the cost of a night with your mom, though they’ll probably last far longer.
You may want to note that some of these games are older and may stutter and wobble and spurt blood if you’re running more than Windows XP, so you may want to check your compatibility before you plunk down the green to have them downloaded to your inferior operating system, muahaha. Hit the jump for the rundown.
At the Games Conference in Leipzig, developer Valve walked the audience through the latest chapter of Half Life 2, due to arrive on Steam and as part of The Orange Box this fall. This video shows off Episode Two’s soft lighting effect, “cinematic physics,” and new enemies. Interestingly, the updated physics and lighting systems will make an appearance in the console versions of Episode One as well, so if you are first experiencing Episode One on your PS3 or Xbox 360 through The Orange Box, you get to bask in the more up-to-date technology.
And since I don’t see people dancing in the streets on a daily basis, I figure there must be some confusion out there about what this mysterious Orange Box really is. It’s quite simple, really. The Orange Box is the gaming deal of the millennium. On October 10th of this year, gamers will be able to buy one box which contains Half Life 2, Half Life 2: Episode One, Half Life 2: Episode Two, the multiplayer-based Team Fortress 2, and the puzzle game Portal…all for the price of one game. It’s scheduled to hit the PS3. Xbox 360, and PC, not to mention the global economy, all on the same day,
Read More | Valve
It’s great enough to see the rumors come true of id’s games getting up on Steam – after all, id is the company that was behind Doom, Quake, Wolfenstein and Commander Keen(!), among others. Many of these classic games (from Doom and Wolfenstein on up to Doom 3 and Quake III) are now available for purchase on Steam. Or, if you’re into super-awesome-sweet deals, you can buy the id Super Pack and get all of the id games on Steam for $62.95 (for a limited time, then the price will bump up to $69.95). That includes a ton of content, to say the least, which would otherwise cost $213.90 to pick it all up on Steam individually.
The list of id content on Steam and in the Super Deal includes:
- Commander Keen
- DOOM 3
- DOOM 3 Resurrection of Evil
- DOOM II
- Final DOOM
- Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders
- HeXen II
- HeXen: Deathkings of the Dark Citadel
- Master Levels for Doom II
- QUAKE II
- QUAKE II Mission Pack: Ground Zero
- QUAKE II Mission Pack: The Reckoning
- Quake III Arena
- QUAKE III: Team Arena
- QUAKE Mission Pack 1: Scourge of Armagon
- QUAKE Mission Pack 2: Dissolution of Eternity
- Return to Castle Wolfenstein
- Spear of Destiny
- Ultimate DOOM
- Wolfenstein 3D
© Gear Live Media, LLC. 2007 – User-posted content, unless source is quoted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Public Domain License. Gear Live graphics, logos, designs, page headers, button icons, videos, articles, blogs, forums, scripts and other service names are the trademarks of Gear Live Inc.