PC Gamer
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At this year's Consumer Electronics Show, Valve's Steam Machines are king. The Half-Life developer and Steam creator held a press conference that that everyone wanted to attend, but flipped the script when it devoted the majority of the event to its hardware partners. But even though Gabe Newell gave the briefest of briefs, some Valve-only content was still available: The company's press area included six Steam Machine prototype stations, giving the press a chance to try some popular games with the fabled Steam Controller.

For me, this was a first chance to test how Valve's haptic-powered trackpads hold up in first-person games such as Metro: Last Light and Portal 2. I came away interested in the technology, but not impressed enough to be completely sold on the concept.

The controllers on display were hooked up to 40" televisions through prototype Steam Machine hardware ostensibly the same boxes sent to beta testers late last year. Each test station had a comfortable couch to sit on, emulating a best-case living room gaming setup. Eagerly, I sat down at a station and started playing Metro: Last Light, sliding my thumbs along the controller's rigid trackpads to move and look. The Steam Controller prototype this isn't final hardware by any means uses its haptic feedback capabilities to vibrate under your thumb as you slide across its trackpads. It's an odd sensation: I was acutely aware of each move or twitch I made on the controller's surface, but I'm not sure what it added to the tactile experience.

The trackpads were also incredibly sensitive, at least on the default settings. This isn't necessarily bad: many gamers crank their mouse sensitivity in order to maximize movement. On first picking up the controller, however, it was extremely surprising. I've played shooters on a dual analog joystick setup before, and am used to a decided lack of quickness available the aiming stick will often glide along slowly, and in many cases, a game will throw in some aiming assistance to compensate. There was none of that with the Steam Controller, which means you're getting a purer experience. But it was initially much harder to aim than I'd hoped, and I never quite adapted to the accelerated aiming in my 10 minutes of playtime.



Clicking the dual trackpad controls was also incredibly easy, sometimes to my detriment. I'd crouch when I wasn't expecting to, because the clickiness of the left trackpad was much easier than I'm used to on a thumbstick. I'd like to think that's something to which one can adapt with enough time.

As far as additional buttons, the Steam Controller has plenty for a standard shooter setup. Two sets of triggers on the shoulders could aim and fire, and the buttons on the underside of the controller were responsive and didn't get in the way. The face buttons were easy to reach, though the non-standard setup meant I had to think more about what buttons I wanted to push. Configuring the buttons seemed easy, with a built-in interface that lets you change buttons on the fly.

Games such as Metro: Last Light and Portal 2 make intuitive sense on the Steam Controller, while my limited experience with Starbound proved to be slightly more frustrating, as Evan predicted in his editorial last week. The trackpads' sensitivity didn't lend itself to movement on a 2D plane, though this could be because Starbound isn't quite optimized in its controls the game is Early Access, after all. The ultimate test for Steam Controller, in my opinion, will be games with independent camera and character movement, like Dota 2. Sadly, I didn't get to play one.



I definitely want Steam Controller to succeed I love the idea of a new controller standard, although it would need to live alongside keyboard and mouse controls for other PC functions. And I'm hopeful after an admittedly short playtime with a Steam Controller prototype that such a device could be fantastic. But I need more time to evaluate if such a controller can be viable, and I'd need to see if it really is possible to adapt to such aggressive sensitivity controls.

It doesn't seem like Valve will divulge any release dates or pricing at this year's event--either for the controller or any of the Steam Machines--but I'm confident that Valve's device could be a significantly better experience than existing controllers.
Announcement - Valve
The Steam Sale is here! Take advantage of huge savings on thousands of PC, Mac and Linux titles. Check back often to take advantage of our eight-hour Flash Sales.

Today's Daily Deals include:


Add games to your Steam Wishlist and be notified when a game from your Wishlist goes on sale, or shop for games using the Steam Mobile App, available for iOS and Android.

Be sure to check Steam every day to see new featured deals.

PC Gamer
Metro - Last Light


Have you seen the Large Pixel Collider in action? We built the most dangerous computer the world has ever known, and we're capturing gameplay footage of the most graphically-intensive games at settings that would cause conventional PCs emotional harm.

Last week, we debuted our footage of Arma 3, with gorgeous results. This week, we have Metro: Last Light, running at 1440p with every graphical option set to Ultra. Is it enough to bring the LPC to its knees?

Spoilers: No, it is not.

See what's inside the Large Pixel Collider, our own personal demigod of a PC.
PC Gamer
Metro: Last Light


Steam Machines are coming soon. Very soon. In fact, they're supposed to come as soon as early 2014. Even sooner than that, however, Valve will send out a prototype of its own design to 300 randomly-selected users for beta testing and it announced a game to come bundled with those prototypes for SteamOS testing.

4A's post-apocalyptic survival horror gem, Metro: Last Light, will be that game. After a May release date on Windows in May of this year, the game landed on Linux and Mac earlier this week. Considering that Linux is the basis for SteamOS, the operating system that Valve plans to release early next year, it was already at least partially primed to work on a Steam Machine.

The entire catalog of Linux-compatible Steam games should be available to play on SteamOS when it launches next year. Although that currently includes just around 200 games, there will be no shortage of games to play if you switch to the OS. You can always manually add non-Steam games into your Steam library and SteamOS will be able to play non-Linux games. But with Metro and the recently-announced Linux version of Total War: Rome II that will also be compatible with the Steam Controller, we can count two more relatively high profile additions to the Linux slate.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

calm down, Linus

I suddenly find myself paying that much more attention to which games are seeing Linux conversions, as a sudden rush would imply big things for Valve’s SteamOS project. Could Metro: Last Light’s belated Penguin edition be a herald of Things To Come? (more…)

Product Release - Valve
Metro: Last Light is now available on Linux! All owners of Last Light on Steam now have access to the PC, Mac and Linux versions!

It Is the Year 2034. Beneath the ruins of post-apocalyptic Moscow, in the tunnels of the Metro, the remnants of mankind are besieged by deadly threats from outside – and within. Mutants stalk the catacombs beneath the desolate surface, and hunt amidst the poisoned skies above. But rather than stand united, the station-cities of the Metro are locked in a struggle for the ultimate power, a doomsday device from the military vaults of D6. A civil war is stirring that could wipe humanity from the face of the earth forever.

As Artyom, burdened by guilt but driven by hope, you hold the key to our survival – the last light in our darkest hour…

Community Announcements - Professor Pew
Greetings Rangers,

Metro: Last Light is now available for play on Linux! As a Steam Play title, any Steam version in your library will work on Linux, PC, and even Mac.

Metro: Last Light will also work natively on Steam Machines running SteamOS once it's available!

Tech talk

Nvidia owners should experience no problems with the game. 4A Games and AMD are working together on improving performance on Linux and are waiting for updated drivers from the graphics card manufacturer.

If you have an AMD card and are running the latest version of Ubuntu (13.10 x86) you will need the latest beta driver from AMD to start the game, which you can download from here: http://www2.ati.com/drivers/beta/amd-catalyst-13.11-beta6-linux-x86.x86_64.zip

We'll keep the community updated on developments on the AMD side as soon as we receive them.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

Let's pretend we're not blockheads.

Deep Silver have had quite the couple of years. They’ve gone from a European publisher of quietly successful strategy games and RPGs (the X games, Gothic, others), to finding mainstream success with Dead Island, to picking up where THQ left off with Metro: Last Light and Saints Row 4.

In an interview with Deep Silver’s CEO, The Penny Arcade Report mention that Saints Row IV has sold triple that of Saints Row 3 on PC over the same time period, and that Metro: Last Light sold more across all platforms in a single week than the original did in three months. (more…)

Announcement - Valve
The Deep Silver Publisher Weekend continues today with more great deals on Deep Silver titles!*

Today's Daily Deal is the Dead Island series at 60%-75% off!

*All discounts end Monday, October 28th at 10AM Pacific Time.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

Seems like only yesterday that we weren’t even sure if Metro: Last Light would ever see the light of day. Seems like markedly closer to yesterday that it was flinging massive balls of spiders at us (this is the point where you should begin imagining this all like one of those fond memories flashback montages, except with the aforementioned imagery instead of a slow-mo snowball/food fight). Now, though, it’s packing its bags and preparing to leave us, probably forever. But before it closes up shop once and for all, it’s got one last dollop of content for us to remember it by. Three characters, three stories interwoven with Artyom’s adventure, three thousand borscht-o-flops of intrigue>. Unlike the Faction Pack, however, Chronicles’ freshly playable faces should strike you as a bit more familiar.

(more…)

...

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