Happy Mechsgiving, And A Merry Portalmas To All

Clearly, he is acting in the spirit of Mechsgiving. Whatever that actually means.

I don’t think it’s possible to have any misgivings over an update officially titled “Mechsgiving.” As for Portalmas, well, that one’s a bit more up for debate, seeing as it’s just a word I made up. But generosity’s officially in the air, and both Piranha and Valve are doling out fairly significant updates to their breadwinners, MechWarrior Online and Portal 2. Unfortunately, neither involves gigantic mechanized turkeys, but I suppose beggars in the midst of celebrating a decadent holiday of feasting and lethargy can’t be choosers. Still though, that’s far from a reason to mope. So let’s look under the ol’ turkey tree and see what we got.

First up, the MechWarrior open beta’s celebrating its sadly fictional holiday by introducing the Cataphract mech – a strongly armored piece of hardware with jump jets and not-awful offense – and the Frozen City at Night map. Presumably, it’s a lot like normal Frozen City, except, you know, at night. Rounding out this most joyous of occasions, meanwhile, are a few new targeting and sensor modules.

Portal 2, meanwhile, is now¬†sporting support for both split-screen multiplayer and Steam’s shiny new-ish Big Picture beta. For obvious reasons, the two go hand-in-hand, but it’s nice to see Valve going all-in with this. Much as I like playing my games all alone in the darkened corner of a cobweb-encrusted room where no other human has dared tread in centuries while drinking profusely to drown my sorrows, local multiplayer is, I think, a lost art that’s well worth revisiting.

Occasionally, even my inner misanthrope likes to venture out of his cave, and voices coming through tinny microphones simply aren’t enough.¬†There’s simply nothing else quite like bonding with a friend face-to-face and then not speaking to them for a week because they failed miserably to be the portals beneath your wings. Sure, it sounds mighty console-y, but I’ll be damned if it’s not riotous fun whether you’re six or 60329481294.

So yes, this is an interesting development, and I’m hoping it means good things for PC gaming’s future evolution. For now, though, it’s Mechsgiving, which means we must celebrate in the traditional manner. I call the thigh! I’m not entirely sure what I’ll do with it seeing as it’s giant and robotic, but why do traditions exist if not to be followed blindly and without question?


  1. Moni says:


    • Randomer says:

      Cataphracts? Those are the things that make it really hard to see, right?

      • Tormodino says:

        Hold your horses! I think you mean cataracts.

      • Beemann says:

        No they’re those cars from that show I used to watch
        Cataphracts and Dinosaurs

      • Crazy Horse says:

        It’s just a unit the Byzantines can build in Total War. It’s some sort of robot dinosaur. Naturally it had significant bonuses versus peasant levies.

  2. RockandGrohl says:

    Local MP in Portal! :’) Thank you! Now for L4D2!

    • Jesternaut says:


      • dE says:

        The whole thing is somewhat odd as well, as both Portal and L4D2 on PC essentially allowed Splitscreen Coop already. It required a bit of config fiddling though (like this for example: link to forums.steampowered.com ) Alas, it’s nice they’re now officially implementing it.

        /edit: Linked a better guide that explains what’s happening. The things shown apply to L4D1 and 2 as well.

  3. bill says:

    Does this mean today is Thanksgiving? Is the pun time related? Because most of us outside the US have no idea what’s up with Thanksgiving or when it is.

    (edit: of course, by most of us I mainly mean me ;-) )

    • njursten says:

      Yes, today is Thanksgiving. Even though I’m a Swede I still plan to celebrate it. Who’d argue against a reason to eat pecan pie?

      • felisc says:

        Huh ? I thought it was pumpkin pie for thanksgiving… ? Maybe both ? Mmmh. Yum.

        • njursten says:

          Not sure, might be that pumpkin pie is more traditional. Actually I’m kind of mangling any American holiday to get an excuse for the pecan pie. You know me, stupid European with a mixed up view of American traditions. *eats some more pie*

          • Sidewinder says:

            If you’re using it as an excuse to eat more pie, you’re not mangling it.

          • Shinwaka says:

            Be it pecan pie, turkey, or even tofurky, Thanksgiving is all about stuffing ones face and being around friends and family.

          • Arglebargle says:

            Any excuse for pie is a good excuse!

            We’re doing a huge sit down dinner here (I am taking a break from pots and pans washing). On the pie front, we’ve got two pumpkin, two apple, cherry, blueberry, lemon meringue, and chocolate; all home brew. The candied yams might qualify for pie in some estimations. No pecan pie this time, as the person who usually makes that is on the road this year. Other pies may arrive with some of our friends.

            Another friend of mine takes part in an all pie Thanksgiving dinner, with the motto…One Person, One Pie!

    • SkittleDiddler says:


  4. SuperNashwanPower says:

    Day after portalmas is super turbo turkey puncher day

  5. KingCathcart says:

    Nathan why are you working on this, arguably, the biggest of US holidays?

    If it was a British holiday I’m sure you’d find the other four fifths of RPS tucked up in Castle Shotgun.

  6. Xanadu says:

    Will local co-op work on multiple monitors?
    Do I trust my 7 year old son with a portal gun?

    • Shortwave says:

      For AMD at least, just enable eyefinity across two monitors, set the resolution in game and BAM.
      It’ll split the two sides right between the two monitors and work perfectly.. In theory.. >.>

      Unless of course for some insane reason it’s horizontal split-screen only..
      Or the fov messes right up.. Should be okay!

      • dE says:

        At least the above posted method of using the console allowed horizontal/vertical splitscreen, as well as configuring the game to make up for different aspect ratios on multi-screen setups.
        So even if they’re not implementing all of it, you can still just use the tried old method of screwing around with config files and the console. So yes, chances are, it’ll work just fine. Might need a bit of fiddling if it’s not properly integrated into the GUI. Which seems unlikely but possible.

  7. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Wake me for Zombietide.

  8. MajorManiac says:

    The Cheerleader 3000!