Valve updates The Lab with leaderboards and more

The Lab, the collection of VR “experiments” that Valve rolled out in March, is all about science. But as today's big update asks, “What's science without a little competition?” And not competition in the sense of being the first to have new research published in a peer-reviewed journal. No, the type of competition we're talking about here is a bit more, shall we say, hands-on. 

The update adds global leaderboards to the Longbow, Xortex, and Slingshot games, so you can “prove to the world that you're the best at science.” The games themselves have been changed as well: Longbow will now throw unlimited waves of enemies at you, each faster and more likely to be armored than the last, and will reset exploding barrels and cauldrons every eight waves; Xortex has a new game mode called Xortex Infinite, “with progressively more frantic action” and a powerful bomb in place of the laser; and Slingshot has been rebalanced to offer “new core calibration career opportunities,” with “bigger, better barrel explosions [and] a host of scoring adjustments to help you solidify your place as a world class calibrator.” 

The update will also add support for subtitles and text localization, and make other additions and improvements that you can read about in the full patch notes

We spent some hands-on time in The Lab at GDC shortly after it was revealed, which you can see (because it's a video) right here. The Lab requires a VR headset—it is a VR demo, after all—but if you happen to have one, it's a freebie on Steam.   

The PC Gaming Show returns to E3 on Monday June 13, featuring game announcements, updates to existing favourites, and conversation with top developers. You can find out what to expect here, and also book free tickets to attend in person at The PC Gaming Show will be broadcast live through from 11:30 am PT/2:30 pm ET/6:30 pm GMT, but be sure to tune in beforehand to check out The Steam Speedrun, in which one lucky winner will buy as many games as they can in three minutes.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.