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

Again! Again! It’s our theoretically regular comparison of Steam’s top ten best-selling games over the last week with the same at UK retail. Will Rage have stormed its way to the top despite the outrage and buck-passing surrounding its technically-troubled PC launch? Or will foot-to-ball have conclusively proven that an Englishman’s national sport is more important to him than pretending to be a time-lost survivor of a planet-wide apocalypse? And will retail be a mess of Sims games while Steam is a confusing muddle of pre-orders, deeply discounted returning titles and new entries? Take my hand. Where we’re going, there be tables. (more…)

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

I bet that works ok on ATI cards grumble grumble

Aha! In rather happier news from the land of big-name gaming, the Peer Review DLC pack for Portal 2 landed on Steam earlier today. Its cost? £0. $0. €0.

Your game should already have updated with it, if all is well. I uninstalled the game but two days ago to make room for Rage, because I’m a bloody idiot, but have any of you lot given the new adventures of Peabody and Atlas a spin?

Is the price right, or would you have paid real money for it?

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Jim Rossignol)

Valve send word that their free DLC for Portal 2 will arrive on October 4th. Man, I totally already said all that in the headline! Here’s what I didn’t say, which was what Valve said: “In “Peer Review”, you and a friend will continue the story of loyal bots P-Body and Atlas as you puzzle your way through a mysterious new co-op test track and once again match wits with GLaDOS. The DLC also features a single player and co-op Challenge Mode, and leaderboards to compare Challenge Mode scores with friends and the Portal community.”

In other Portal news there’s more Songs TO Test by over here, and I’ve posted quite a special Portal fan video below. Thanks, Jeep! (more…)

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

It's so hard to convey time travel with a lone, static screenshot. FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS

Indie dev Arthur ‘Mr. Pondukian’ Lee was so wrapped up in mashing together Portal and Snapshot for this physics- and time-warping tech demo that he forgot to even give it a name! Silly boy. That’s breaking one of the golden rules of self-promotion. In every other respect, Lee is very clearly not silly: this is a flat-out astonishing proof of concept. What if… instead of simply opening a doorway to another area, entering a portal you created also rewound time to the point where you created its exit, which was itself done by taking a screenshot of your desired destination point/time? Ack, my clumsy words plum don’t sum this up at all satisfactorily. I’m going to have to ask you to watch this video. It’s worth it, trust me. (more…)

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

Free cake for everyone

Goodness, that happened with absolutely no fanfare. The original Portal, if you somehow don’t already own it, can now be installed and played for free via Steam. I’ve just checked it on a spare Steam account and it works just dandy. This is true of both the PC and the Mac version, by the way. If you’re determined to pay money for it, you can still cough up for The Orange Box or the Portal 1+2 package, but just Portal itself now defiantly costs no-pennies. Grab it from here.

Update: transpires that this is only available until September 20th, as part of a games and learning initiative from Valve. So get your skates on, yes? As long as you install the game before the expiry date, it’s yours to keep forever.

You can see more on Valve’s “Learn With Portals” program, wherein they’re encouraging kids to create Portal levels themselves, in the rather charming video below. (more…)

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

A man signs into his Steam account, this morningA few weeks ago, Valve started beta testing its Steam Trading feature and people have swapped over a million items since then. Were the majority of them hats? I don’t have those figures, but the entrails in this animal say “yes”. The trading feature is now officially live and you can trade all sorts of gubbins with one another. Clarification: “all sorts of gubbins” means Team Fortress 2, Portal 2 and Spiral Knights items so not a great deal has actually changed. Perhaps more interesting than item swapping is the ability to trade unredeemed games, although do note the qualifier ‘unredeemed’. Steam is not letting you swap grubby used goods. There’s a FAQ here. The fact that every public profile now comes with an inventory means that Steam is officially an RPG in which buying cheap games is the grind. The plan is to bring more developers on board in the coming months, so one day you may be able to trade the Incas for a pair of cowboy boots. Truly, we live in exciting times.

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

It did best on PC because console gamers are tooooo stoooooopid loooooooool. That is my reasoned argument.

So says Gabe Newell, as part of a long and fascinating interview at Gamasutra about Valve’s current state of play. Of their recent games’ commercial success he claims that “We can never predict; I mean we just try to build good games and then we tend to be surprised. Portal 2 did better on the PC than it did on the consoles; Left 4 Dead did better on the consoles than it did on the PC.” (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Jim Rossignol)

It’s a pretty fantastic short film. You can watch it below. The film was apparently directed by Dan Trachtenberg, and stars Danielle Rayne. It was first shown at SDCC earlier this summer. (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

All I did was make a nice picnic. I'm rubbish!

Oh now this is special. Properly special. Extraordinarily talented map creator Douglas “TopHATTwaffle” Hoogland was commissioned by one Gary Hudston to create a very particular series of Portal 2 levels. Working with Rachel “Miss Stabby” van der Meer, he set about creating some truly spectacular Portal 2 puzzles that lead up to, well, something of a proposal.

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

Well, looky-here. Valve’s put out the winners for its Portal 2/The National make-a-video contest – which is a bit of a relief, as people kept mailing us with their videos like we had some sort of judiciary power. We don’t! We only have that over the life and/or death of every sentient being on the planet. We cannot, repeat cannot, decide the winners of other people’s competitions.

So, here are the two victors, which I shall refer to as Sad Puppet and Cut-Up Lab Rat. Warning: watching them will require you to listen to a maudlin piano song that may affect your mood for the worse.
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