Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

Things that rocket jump in the night.

I wouldn’t say ‘boo’ to a ghost. That’s rude and, worse, trite — like saying “Aha!” to Steve Coogan. No, if I e.g. met a ghost rattling chains I might ask “What’s shaking?” Top gag. My problem is a short temper with ghosts. The last time jangling disturbed my sleep, I woke the whole block yelling “Hey! That’s enough of your ghost nonsense! Get outta here, you!” I’m not proud, but come on: it’s well out. With Halloween looming and spirits rising, I’d better practice patience if I’m to stay chill.

Helpfully, Valve have resurrected all past TF2 spooky events (this year’s is still to come). A few scraps with the Horseless Headless Horsemann, a little Ghost Fort, and I’ll be cool as a corpse.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

“Hey, remember Team Fortress 2?” I think to myself, sometimes. I played that game every day for months, squeezing rounds into lunch breaks and evenings till eventually I lost interest. “The big updates slowed,” I explain to myself. “The steady stream of community content made each release feel like less of an event, and eventually time moved on and everyone’s focus moved elsewhere, right?” Right.

What definitely didn’t happen is that the game continued to grow in popularity indefinitely. It certainly didn’t become the third most played game on Steam, with tens of thousands playing it at any moment. Absolutely there is not a regular and regularly excellent series of free comics about it, with a fourth part that went online earlier this month. That’d be mad.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Philippa Warr)

Mmm whatcha say? Mmm that you only meant well? Course you did.

And in “Well this is a nice idea but it would involve me not playing Jason Derulo on repeat while headshotting Ben so you can count me out” news: there are now Counter-Strike: Global Offensive music kits.

What that means is when you have a music kit equipped it replaces the in-game music with music from your kit. That covers *deep breath* the main menu, round start, round end, bomb planting, bomb warning, round won, round lost, round end warning and death camera bits of a match. For extra RUB-IT-IN-YOUR-FACE-ness there’s also a special MVP anthem which plays to everyone when you’re MVP.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

[Gordon Freeman: ]

Hold on a second, chums. Look at that screenshot again. That’s the opening scene of Half-Life with subtitles. Pretty important atmosphere-setting, isn’t it, that train ride narration? It makes Black Mesa seem so much bigger than us. Half-Life used an awful lot of speech to reveal what was going on, from our one-sided conversations with scientists to soldiers yelling at each other. Here I pull off an incredibly adept pull-back-and-reveal: those subtitles were added by a mod which only came out this year. A new version’s now out, with new ways to make this side accessible to folks who can’t or don’t want to hear it.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

Mine.

Whoa. Hey there. Sorry, I’m just coming round following the Saxxy Awards on Wednesday. I don’t even remember Thursday. There I was, seated between Morrissey and Prince, then I have a vague memory of Mozzer whipping out a hip flask that smelt like paint stripper and… nothing. It’s a blank. I don’t even know who won. I awoke in a cemetery this morning.

The Saxxies, of course, are the annual fan-voted awards for short films made in Valve’s Source Filmmaker. They’re short flicks about TF2, Portal 2, and Dota 2, but with the care Valve puts into developing characters and recording odd edge-case lines of dialogue, folks can be jolly creative.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

Mine.

Whoa. Hey there. Sorry, I’m just coming round following the Saxxy Awards on Wednesday. I don’t even remember Thursday. There I was, seated between Morrissey and Prince, then I have a vague memory of Mozzer whipping out a hip flask that smelt like paint stripper and… nothing. It’s a blank. I don’t even know who won. I awoke in a cemetery this morning.

The Saxxies, of course, are the annual fan-voted awards for short films made in Valve’s Source Filmmaker. They’re short flicks about TF2, Portal 2, and Dota 2, but with the care Valve puts into developing characters and recording odd edge-case lines of dialogue, folks can be jolly creative.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Philippa Warr)

GRaDUATE

Have you ever idly wondered whether GLaDOS might have been up to more research and testing than the Portal games let on? A study from Florida State University into the effects of playing Portal 2 on a variety of skills won’t do much to ease your fears, then.

According to the study, spending eight hours playing Portal 2 is more effective at improving a range of cognitive skills than a dedicated brain training program called Lumosity.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Philippa Warr)

GRaDUATE

Have you ever idly wondered whether GLaDOS might have been up to more research and testing than the Portal games let on? A study from Florida State University into the effects of playing Portal 2 on a variety of skills won’t do much to ease your fears, then.

According to the study, spending eight hours playing Portal 2 is more effective at improving a range of cognitive skills than a dedicated brain training program called Lumosity.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

Each year, the Saxxy Awards rally the Source Filmmaker community together to make funny, dramatic, wonderfully-animated short films. The best time to watch those videos is when the winners have been announced and the list of submissions has been whittled down to the very best. The second> best time to watch those videos is right now, when all the submissions are in, viewable, and you can be one of the people to decide which are the very best.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

In almost every strategy, management or sim game I play, I will immediately turn off the music which comes with the game in favour of my own. That means that Steam Music Player sounds like a good idea to me even if I long ago abandoned mp3s in favour of streaming. The built-in functionality, which lets you browse your music library and control playback from in-game using the Steam overlay, has just left beta after its initial announcement back in February.

To celebrate, Valve have made the soundtracks for some of their games freely available to those who own the associated games, including Half-Life, Half-Life 2 and its Episodes, Portal, Portal 2, and the Dota 2 documentary Free to Play.

… [visit site to read more]

...

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