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It's no secret there's been some antagonism between Steam and Epic as the latter seeks to establish its own digital storefront. Only earlier this week Valve called Epic's decision to snap up Metro Exodus "unfair to Steam customers", prompting fans to display their annoyance by review-bombing past Metro titles on Steam.
In light of all this, what could be funnier than a file called "steam" breaking a game on the Epic Games Store?
Axiom Verge, a Metroid-esque indie originally released in 2015, yesterday made its debut on the Epic Games Store as a free-to-play title. Players soon found, however, that entering one area resulted in a 100 per cent crash rate. After poking through the game files, one observant player found the reason behind this: the game was mysteriously missing a file called "steam".
Epic has announced that Axiom Verge, developer Thomas Happ's wonderful, retro-styled Metroid-a-like, will be the next Epic Games Store freebie, starting on February 7th.
If you haven't yet had the pleasure of 2015's Axiom Verge, you really are in for a treat. It's an intricate, unabashed love letter to Nintendo's classic Metroid series - right down to the garish colour palette and retro-inspired 8-bit-meets-16-bit art style.
Axiom Verge's surprisingly involved storyline follows the adventures of a superbly sideburned Earth scientist named Trace, who wakes on a strange alien world following a laboratory accident. What follows is action in the classic Metroid mould: you'll explore a positively labyrinthine world of interconnected rooms, mowing down hostile alien life and gathering new abilities that will, eventually, permit access to new locations.