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

Happy 20th birthday, Valve! Yesterday. Happy 20th yesterday. Sorry, I only just saw the Facebook notification. On August 24th, 1996, ex-Microsoft employees Gabe Newell and Mike Harrington made a beautiful baby who was mighty eye-opening.

In the dreamy game of “What if…?” one curious hypothetical is: what if Valve never existed? There can’t be many companies who’ve had nearly as much impact. Steam (eventually) revolutionised digital distribution, changing the entire landscape of PC gaming. Half-Life was seminal; its mod scene was legendary. That’d be plenty, but Valve have made a load of other really good video games too.

… [visit site to read more]

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

You might have noticed all your friends’ avatars and profile pictures turning into comic book drawings or impressionistic paintings over the last few weeks. That’s because of Prisma, a photo editing app for iOS and Android that let’s you apply a couple of dozen filters to images you feed it. The app goes further than simply messing with the hue like Instagram does, using a process similar to Google Deep Dream to warp and twist photographs – without shoving fucked up dogs in every corner.

I spent last night feeding it game screenshots, to find out what No Man’s Sky, Half-Life 2, SimCity and more would look like if their artists abandoned realism.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Brendan Caldwell)

Every Monday, Brendan heads to the frontlines of early access and writes about his heroic battles there. This week, he repeatedly fires upon his own team in multiplayer shooter Day of Infamy.>

In an age of Overwatches and hyper-CoDs it s easy to forget that every first-person shooter was once set inside a single trench of World War II. Returning to this battlefield might seem like a terrible idea to some who ve served their time in the hellish artillery bombardments of yesteryear. But I never played Day of Defeat, the Half-Life mod upon which this new WWII outing is based. So fumbling with grenades in the mud and snow of the Western front is something I was happy to do. I even tried my hand at commanding the other men. Which obviously resulted in everyone being disintegrated into thousands of tiny pieces.

… [visit site to read more]

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

Valve seemingly have little interest in making a new Day of Defeat but they are at least letting someone else have a crack. Now on Steam Early Access is Day of Infamy [official site], a World War 2 multiplayer FPS heavily inspired by Day of Defeat – and made with Valve’s blessings and support. Infamy is the work of New World Interactive, the folks who made modern military FPS Insurgency. They’re trying to pick up where Day of Defeat left off, basically. Here, have a gander:

… [visit site to read more]

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

Valve launched matchmaking for Team Fortress 2 [official site] on Thursday but its reception wasn’t wholly positive. As well as introducing 6v6 competitive ranked matchmaking, the Meet Your Match Update replaced TF2’s casual ‘quickplay’ with 12v12 unranked matchmaking – and that second mode has frustrated some. Its problems included long waiting times and limited options, but Valve are working on those and more. Over the weekend they acknowledged these complaints and launched the first update aimed at correcting some of casual matchmaking’s problems.

… [visit site to read more]

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

Ranked matchmaking arrived in Team Fortress 2 [official site] overnight with the Meet Your Match Update, letting you and your pals leap in and scrap to prove you’re the roughtest, toughest, point-caputringest mercs this side of Dustbowl. Or find out quite how bad you are. How confident do you feel? Valve have also launched a little contest to decide which character class will next receive an overhaul: the Pyro or Heavy?

… [visit site to read more]

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

It’s been a long time coming but matchmaking in Team Fortress 2 [official site] is almost here. Valve today announced the Meet Your Match update, which I imagine likely means it’ll launch this week. Look forward to a ranked 6v6 mode, unranked 12v12 ‘quickplay’, and all sorts of levels, medals, and statistics tracking your performance. Three new community-made maps are coming too, and sportsball mode Pass Time will launch out of beta.

… [visit site to read more]

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

Day of Infamy [official site], the Insurgency mod unashamedly based on Valve’s WW2 FPS Day of Defeat, is becoming a standalone commercial game – with Valve’s blessing. Insurgency devs New World Interactive started Day of Infamy as a free mod made with the help of community members, releasing the first version earlier this year. Now they’re expanding it into a full and proper standalone game on the Source Engine, and with Valve’s support they’re even making a few levels based on ones from Day of Defeat. It’ll start on Steam Early Access next month. Here’s the announcement trailer:

… [visit site to read more]

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

I’ve just finished Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, a first-person parkour game about Faith Connors and a scrappy band of outlaw runners and hackers who deliver secret packages under the noses of an oppressive corporate government. By rights you should root for these underdogs. If only they weren’t all dicks.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.>

Gearbox’s Barney-starring add-on is the black sheep of the Half-Life family, although at the time I never encountered any reason why that should be the case. My teenage tastes were perhaps less discerning then, but more importantly any> return to Black Mesa was irresistible. I wanted new monsters and new guns, everything that a young’un wants from a follow-up to their favourite shooter, and I also had a vain hope that maybe I’d get to shoot that creepy suit-guy in the face and rescue Gordon. … [visit site to read more]

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