Posts Tagged ‘The Lab’

The Bestest Best Games Of 2016 So Far

We usually do our enormous GAMES OF THE YEAR posting fest at the end of the year (as would seem logical) but because it seems silly to reserve praise for special occasions we’re doing a Games Of The Half Year collection to tell you about everything we’ve loved playing so far. It can double as a summer holiday recommendations list too!

We’ve listed ours in alphabetical order to prevent genre-based punch-ups in the staff chatroom. We’d also invite you to list any gems we haven’t mentioned or might not have played in the comments below.

Just hit the left and right arrow keys to navigate the Games Of The Half Year or click on the arrows next to the images to get started!

Appliance Of Science: Valve Adds Global Leaderboards To VR Playground, The Lab

It upsets me that I associate the phrase “Appliance of Science” with Zanussi because it means that at least one of my chances to create a treasured childhood memory was co-opted by a white goods manufacturer’s advertising campaign. ANYWAY. Appliance Of Science is also the name of Valve’s new update to The Lab [Steam link] – its VR experiment anthology.

The big thing? It’s adding competitive global leaderboards for Longbow (the archery one), Xortex (the space shootery one), and Slingshot (the box explodey one).

There are also a number of changes to the modes. I’ll list them out at the end but here are the basic points to note:

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The RPG Scrollbars: Virtual Reality, RPGs, And Me

Like most people who can’t resist casually mentioning they have an HTC Vive, I recently acquired a HTC Vive. Finally, I have the ability to personally step into worlds of wonder and creativity more realistic and inspiring than anything mankind has ever created before. Instead, I’ve… uh… been playing mini-golf. Like, a lot of mini-golf. The one VR experience I could literally have better and at higher resolution by getting up going into my own town, only that wouldn’t be cool, because I wouldn’t regularly float over cliffs as I cack-handedly putt-putt away like I’m trying to join a parade.

I have no idea if virtual reality is the next big thing or just a passing fad. Even as potential fads go though, I can’t wait to see what it has in store for RPGs. As long as it’s not giant spiders in my face, obviously, I’ve been looking forward to it for a long time.

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Wot I Think: Valve’s Portal-Themed VR Suite The Lab

The Lab is a free, semi-Portal-themed collection of minigames and vignettes from Valve, designed to show of the capabilities of their new VR headset, the Vive. It’s out now, but clearly most of you won’t be able to try it – even if you ordered a Vive, you’re weeks or more away from receiving it. Given this is, in theory, the first new Valve game in quite some time, I thought I’d tell you all about it.

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Hands On: The Lab, Valve’s Portal-Themed VR Games

Our Vive hands-on experience with The Lab took place in Valve’s GDC booth. Actually, ‘booth’ isn’t the right word at all. Valve had transformed a large chunk of the Moscone North hall into a suite of sleek, white virtual reality chambers. The setting itself is a statement of intent, clean and minimalist in comparison to the usual attention-grabbing showfloor stalls, and quietly but efficiently guarded. As Pip and I sat in the waiting area on the final day of the show, the ‘Demos Full’ sign out front had two stickynotes attached: “No, really.” “Really, really, really.”

We were there to see The Lab, which I understood to be a Portal-themed collection of minigames (I suspect you’ll be reading about a lot of minigames in these early stages of VR). They turned out to be four small demos that took us back to the world of Portal and explored the possibilities of the Vive’s virtual spaces and impressive motion controls.

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