According to The Atlantic, Mountain “invites you to experience the chasm between your own subjectivity and the unfathomable experience of something else.” It “hypnotized” the Los Angeles Times, and The Verge called it "the only experience that has ever made me feel sad about a geological phenomenon." Meanwhile, on Steam, user reviewers are gushing: Mountain is “worthless,” “just a screensaver,” and “a fucking joke.”
Remember Hellgate: London? It was a near-future action-RPG set in a post-apocalyptic world shattered by an invasion of demons. The focus was on single-player gameplay but there was a strong multiplayer element to it as well, with PvP action and instanced, team-based quests. It was a cool idea (I thought so, anyway) but the execution faltered, and the servers were taken offline in early 2009. It was resurrected as a free-to-play online game a few years ago, but that didn't gain any traction with North American audiences either. Now it's taking a run at Steam.
Okay, congratulations indie games, you did it again. For a while I thought Capy's Super Time Force wouldn't make it to PC, which—given the reviews of its Xbone version—would have been a shame. Naturally, I was worrying over nothing. Not only will the 2D action time-travel-'em-up release on Steam on 25 August, but it'll arrive in a special Ultra edition.
Steam in-home streaming may be the future of PC gaming in the living room. Sure, you can build a powerful gaming machine for the living room. But that's expensive. You might be able to run an HDMI cable from your desktop to your big screen TV. But that's usually impractical. In-home streaming is the third option: you use an old PC, or build a low-power client box, to stream games over your home network. Valve's in-home streaming started as an exclusive beta feature in Steam, but now it's built right into the client and available to anyone. It only takes about five minutes to set up, and it works amazingly well.
If you're ready to try out in-home streaming yourself, I'll walk you through the whole process: how to enable streaming in Steam, what kind of host PC and client you'll need, how to make sure your home network is up to the task, and how to control your games once they're up and running.
The Steam store page could soon be drastically changing. That's according to SteamDB, who have been sleuthing out CSS stylesheets and digging through updates to the Steam Translation Server. Their investigations have found references to new content curation options, new frontpage behaviour, and a variety of additional improvements.
A bit reluctant to advertise to the world that you've accrued 200+ hours in Leisure Suit Larry? Well never fear, because a new update to Steam's beta client allows you to hide games from your library. In a world of oversharing, the option will no doubt appeal to those prone to guilty pleasures. The option is available in the 'Set Categories' menu, and once you've selected to hide a title it will appear in a new hidden category.
It's easy to forget that Counter-Strike Online is a thing, given that Valve don't typically license out their games to other developers and publishers, but the free-to-play spin-off has been going for about six years now, under South Korean developers and publishers Nexon. Following the release of Counter-Strike Online 2 a couple of years ago, Nexon has announced another entry in the series and, naturally, it's themed around zombies. Free-to-play multiplayer FPS Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies will be heading to Steam this Summer/Autumn.
Valve has announced, and released, the first alpha version of its Dota 2 Workshop Tools, which will make it easier for modders to make and share custom maps and game modes for their gargantuan wizard-'em-up. This initial release is focused around developers, so the system requirements might be a tad high: you'll need a 64-bit version of Windows, a Direct3D 11 compatible GPU, and you'll need to opt into the Steam Client Beta. If you have all those things, you can now use the tools to alter Dota 2 to your liking, uploading the results to the Steam Workshop for other players to try.
When something called Colin McRae Rally popped up on Steam last week, it was natural to assume that it might be an HD remaster or remake of the PC version of Colin McRae Rally 1 or 2. It's not. It's an updated port of a Colin McRae mobile game, lacking car customisation, a lot of stages and cars, and sporting an interface that hasn't been adjusted for PC. Before yesterday, the game's Steam page contained a misleading description that didn't mention the word 'mobile' once, but that's now been updated, at least a little bit. It still has a few misleading sentences like "The classic rally experience races onto PC and Mac". More generously, Codcemasters are offering refunds to anyone who feels like they were duped into buying something they didn't want.
Following on from this story last week, Stained developer RealAxis Software is now sending out Steam keys to people who bought the game via the Indie Royale Bundle. RealAxis have clarified the situation in their original Steam forum post, and it appears to be a case of poor management of Steam keys: they were sending them out individually via email, which does sound like a particularly maddening way to go about it. Whatever the case, the developers appear to have come to a solution with Indie Royale, and now bundle buyers should be receiving their Steam keys after all.
Stained developer halts Steam key distribution to Indie Royale buyers, wants them to re-buy it instead
Stained developer RealAxis Software has decided not to distribute Steam keys to people who purchased last year's Indie Royale Debut 3 bundle, despite earlier promises to do so. In a message posted on the Steam forums, RealAxis said the game isn't selling and the studio is probably doomed, and encouraged fans to buy it again instead of expecting a Steam key from a cheap bundle.
I've spent the last few minutes prodding the Steam Music beta. You can, too: it's now open to all who want to try it. It's, er, well basically, it's an mp3 player. But one that you can access in-game, through the Steam overlay. Yes, I know, not revolutionary, but there are a some reasons why it might be useful.
The latest Steam client beta carries with an interesting surprise: An update image of the Steam Controller buried deep within its files.
In response to an open letter written by a group of developers and "concerned citizens" criticizing the company for its inconsistent handling of security issues on Steam, Valve has created a new security web page explaining its processes for handling reports but says there are no plans to introduce a "bug bounty program."
ZeniMax Online Studios took to Twitter today to announce that The Elder Scrolls Online is now available on Steam, and if you're not already in on the action, you can pick it up until the end of the weekend for half price.
Mods, eh? The fun, free way to extend and/or fix your games. But what's this? Aperture Tag: The Paint Gun Testing Initiative looks like a mod, behaves like a mod, and even has the word "MOD" in the corner of its Steam icon. The difference: it's not priced like a mod. This premium package offers a new campaign for Portal 2—one that does away with portals entirely, in favour of puzzles centred around the base game's gels.
Sokobond is coming to Steam. I know this because I've just watched a video called "Did you know? Sokobond is coming to Steam on July 21st", (the answer to that question being, "I do now"). If you like the sound of chemistry-based, molecule-pushing puzzling, you don't have to sit at the Steam page, waiting for that date to arrive. Sokobond can be bought directly from its creators, and all who purchase will receive a Steam key after it's launched on Valve's service next week.
Dota 2's The International has been immensely popular, with more than $10 million worth of crowdfunded prizes up for grabs. It's no surprise, given Dota 2's Steam domination. So it only makes sense that Valve should consider the same treatment for some of its other properties. Obviously, a Counter-Strike international tournament would not go astray.
There was a time when Microsoft Flight Simulator ruled the world. That time was the 1980s, admittedly, an era when a primitive but reasonably accurate flight simulator could provide untold hours of entertainment. Those glory days are long behind us, but good news has come out this week for fans of that particular kind of fun: The studio behind Train Simulator has signed a deal to bring Flight Simulator X to Steam, and the more recent (and apparently popular) X-Plane 10 is on its way too.