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Half-Life 2

2 weeks ago

Half-Life: Alyx is a VR prequel to HL2, coming in March 2020

Valve today formally announced Half-Life: Alyx, a "full-length" game exclusively for VR. Half-Life is returning after 12 years, though Gordon Freeman seemingly is not and this isn't Half-Life 3. Set between the events of Half-Life and Half-Life 2, this one stars future sidekick Alyx Vance in the years before Gordo's return when she and her dad were building the resistance. And yes, this really is…

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3 weeks ago

Feature: I'll be whack

We erased Terminator: Resistance from history and reviewed what got made instead

The nicest thing I can say about Terminator: Resistance is that if a Terminator were sent back in time to wipe out its code, the timeline of gaming in general would almost certainly proceed unchanged. Confused by the apparent failure, Skynet would keep on sending Arnies back to delete it, unaware that the job was already done, and that its agents were just piling up…

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1 month ago

Feature: The worthiest reticules of all time

The best FPS games on PC

The best shooters endure. While other genres warp beyond recognition, there is something solid about the first-person shooter that makes it as dependable as a nice big AK-47. Maybe it’s the gung-ho simplicity - look down a barrel and pull the trigger. It's as fun to fire a double-barrelled shotgun from an early 90s FPS as the slick shotties of today. For that reason, this…

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2 months ago

Someone stole Gabe Newell’s minigun

An enterprising thief allegedly burgled Valve's Bellevue office last June, making off with a prop (I assume) minigun and an estimated $40,000 (£32k) worth of games and equipment. The intruder shoved the goods into a wheelie bin and lugged to his car across the street. There will be no jokes about this grave matter.

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Half-Life 2’s downtrodden NPCs have been unable to blink for five years, until now

Oof, imagine not blinking for half a decade. My eyes shiver at the thought. But this is what the NPCs of Half-Life 2 have been suffering. The dry eye epidemic was first reported to Valve's GitHub repo back in 2014 and since then it turns out only a select few have felt the joy of smashing their eyelids shut. But after almost five long years,…

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3 months ago

Feature: The robots are not coming

We fed game characters into a ‘neural net’ and it told us who they were with an astonishing 15% accuracy

Those of you chained to the churning wheel of the internet might have seen this facial recognition algorithm thingo doing the rounds. It's called ImageNet Roulette, and it's basically a website where you feed in a photo of your human face and see what the cybergods of our terrible future make of you. But it's probably not safe to show the neurohive your real face.…

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5 months ago

Feature: Is it getting hot in here?

How ‘climate crisis games’ could better model our problems and our future

In Vectorpark’s Sandcastles, you build fantastic towers and watch the waves erase your work every 10 seconds. It’s a very direct metaphor for the global climate crisis that threatens to flood coastal cities and exacerbate natural disasters. Sandcastles confronts us with our totally predictable watery doom, but we also find fun and expression in our totally foreseeable destruction. When the planet dies, at least we’ll…

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6 months ago

Feature: The mods are waiting for you, in the test chamber...

Modder Superior: A fresh lease of Half-Life 2

Half-Life 2 is nearly fifteen years old now, and despite Valve's sequel plans seemingly fizzling out, it doesn't look a day over ten thanks to the efforts of modders. Chances are that Half-Life 2 and its expansions have been gathering dust on your Steam account for years now, so here's a quick refresher -- mostly focused on the past five years -- on what's available,…

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8 months ago

9 months ago

Feature: Turn the other cheek

Butt-slide Royale: Apex Legends and creative movement in shooters

I’m not sure anyone at Respawn has properly busted their ass on the curb. It hurts. The last time I cracked my rear off the concrete in a moment of skating hubris, I was limping for days. Fortunately for the fifty million folks flying around in Apex Legends, a billowing cushion of air has turned what should be an embarrassing accident into the most compelling…

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Two Point Hospital headcrab pandemic heralds trial weekend

A calamitous crossing of worlds has occurred in Two Point Hospital, the spiritual successor to Bullfrog's Theme Hospital, with Half-Life headcrabs glomping onto heads and all manner of decorative doodads from Sega PC games scattering around hospitals. If you've not yet played the wacky hospital management sim, hey, you're invited to try the whole thing for free this weekend on Steam. The trial weekend has…

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1 year ago

Feature: Listen to us say the same lines over and over

Podcast: Who are your favourite NPCs?

Ah, the non-player character. Stoic endurer of all our sadistic whims. It’s time the monsters on the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show, made tribute to these humble little robots, whether they’re annoying companions, side characters, or disembodied human heads. Let’s talk about some of our favourites.

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2 years ago

Feature: The worthiest reticules of all time

The 50 best FPS on PC

The best shooters endure. While the state of the art moves on in other genres and leaves old designs in the dust, it's as fun to fire a well-made shotgun from an early 90s FPS as from one released today. For that reason, this list runs the gamut from genre classics to those released in the last year. There's bound to be something for you…

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Final Fantasy XV getting demo next week, also adding Gordon Freeman cosplay

A proper playable demo of Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition is coming next week, containing the RPG's first chapter, following the recent benchmark tool. A demo! In this day and age! Bless their hearts. Square Enix have talked a lot about wanting to do the PC version right, mods and all, and they do seem to be going for it. They're even teaming up with…

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Feature: Three to one

Making The Orange Box: how 3 Valve games became 1

The Orange Box is one of the strangest quirks of gaming history. Never before had a developer released three brand new, entirely separate games at the same time in one package, and thanks to digital distribution, it probably won't happen again. What makes The Orange Box truly remarkable though is that it contained two of the most-anticipated games of 2007, and what proved to be…

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Er… so Half-Life’s writer maybe just revealed the complete plot of HL2: Episode 3

The lesson here is "never go to sleep." All sorts of things happen while people sleep. Cats go on adventures, presidents threaten nuclear war and, well, ex-Valve writers post thinly-disguised plot summaries of the unreleased and, so far as best guesses go, long-cancelled Half-Life 2: Episode 3. Long time Half-Life scribe, the excellent Marc Laidlaw (who left Valve last year), casually tossed out a link…

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Black Mesa is dreaming of a Xen Christmas

So committed is third-party Half-Life remake Black Mesa [official site] to emulation of its much vaunted inspiration that it has now fully embraced ValveTime. Black Mesa was first released as a free mod in 2012, followed by a spit'n'polished paid version two years ago, but still with the notorious jump'n'fail alien world section from Half Life's final act missing. Plan was to rethink rather than…

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3 years ago

Feature: Praise be to Mod

Have You Played… Garry’s Mod?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time. I know what you’re looking for. You’re looking for a game that let’s you be a janitor in a school riddled with drug dealers and class clowns. But also a game that will let you be a cop fighting robbers. But also a…

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