Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Alec Meer)

Preparing for a much-needed Windows reinstall, I’m currently unearthing all manner of old pieces from my freelance past. Many are… well, you know how it can feel to read something you wrote many moons ago. For the sake of all humankind, most of these documents must never see the light of day again. This heartfelt paean to the original Half-Life’s zombies (originally published in PC Gamer) remained reasonably proud, however. So, after some heavy jiggery and some light pokery, here it is…>

Half-Life is credited with doing a great many things to save the first-person shooter from the Doom-derived rut it seemed stuck in during the late 90s – its perspective, its sense of place, its uncutscenes, its Rick Dangerousness – but rarely given so proud a nod are its zombies. (more…)


What Are You Afraid Of, Gamers?I raised this in a recent night note, but since I got so many interesting responses, I figured I'd throw it out to the masses: is there anything in real life that scares you so much it affects your gaming?

For me, it's underwater monsters. Mostly when it comes to games, that means sharks, but really, it can be anything that comes at you, unseen, from underwater. That's the catch: if the game is set entirely underwater, I'm fine, but if it's set mostly on land, and it drops you in water only briefly and then something's coming to get you, I go to pieces.

I don't mean it in a way that developers will think they're doing a good job in provoking an emotional response from me. I mean it in a way that I will try and cheat or otherwise break a game to get out of/past those sequences. It's not a challenge. It's a total nothankyou.jpg.

Silly, I know! Irrational, even. But hey, that's what fears and phobias are.

This makes me wonder how many of you are also missing out on sections of games, or skipping games entirely, based on a real-world phobia, rather than a virtual world preference.

Some of you mentioned a fear of heights, which would be a problem for any game with a sense of verticality. Mirror's Edge must be a killer. But what else is there? Was anyone afraid of the dark so much they couldn't play Doom 3 (or, for that matter, won't play the almost perpetually-dark Alan Wake)? Or so afraid of spiders they couldn't play Ocarina of Time?

It's also OK to say you're terrified of Fallout 3's beards. I am too.


Valve Dates Steam for Mac; It's May 12Valve sent word five minutes ago that the public release of Steam for the Mac will be on May 12. No other details were included in the statement.

Originally due for release sometime in April, there was, of course, less than two days left to make that deadline. Valve gave no reason for the delay.

Steam for the Mac will bring with it Left 4 Dead 2, Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike, Portal and the Half-Life series.