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
Steam Big Picture Mode has arrived, bringing a long-awaited Steam interface to the television. You'll need to have a PC connected to your television to take advantage of the software while we wait with hope for a dedicated Steam game console. Steam Picture Mode offers users all the same features that they're used to--playing games, buying games, and the like. There's also a built-in web browser, and all-new controller input support. This is all about bringing the Steam experience into the living room, where people prefer playing games. This is PC-only for now, but the Mac version should be arriving soon.
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.
We've got your latest list of items that fall under the best tech Deals of the Day for you, separated out into laptops, desktops, monitors, gaming, and home entertainment. The laptop deals are right here, but be sure to click through to get a look at all the rest of what we determined to be today's top 10 deals in tech, including that Sony BRAVIA 3D HDTV up there!
- 15.6" Lenovo IdeaPad Z570 (102497U) Core i7-2630QM 2GHz Quad-core Laptop w/8GB RAM, 750GB HDD & Blu-ray Burner for $769 with free shipping (normally $999 - use coupon code WKYDEALZ570)
- 15.6" Dell Inspiron 15R-2nd Gen Core i7-2630QM 2GHz Quad-core Laptop w/6GB RAM, 640GB HDD & 1GB GeForce GT525M for $725 with free shipping (normally $899 - use coupon code 4J4XPNDZ1PKR2B)
Don’t forget, if you’re looking for other deals, be sure to check out our Newegg Promo Code thread. Oh, and if you're on Twitter, be sure to follow @TechPromos for the latest deals, or you can Like TechPromos on Facebook.
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.