Portal, Prey and Episode 2

For all of those who have really been asleep lately, Portal (and Team Fortress 2) are being released from valve with their next installment of the Half Life 2 episodic content. I highly recommend anyone/everyone to get the preview movie, and you’ll see its almost like the gravity gun for revolutionary gameplay. Alot of people have been saying that Valve have copied Prey’s portals and done a one up, well…

With Valve’s recent announcement of Portal coming so close on the heels of the release of Prey, some have accused Valve of copying an innovative and trendy gameplay element, much like many developers rushed to include variants of Half-Life 2‘s own “gravity gun.” However, Portal seems to have been in development for some time; at least since the hiring of Narbacular Drop‘s developers, thus before the release date of Prey, long delayed and thought to be vaporware, was publically announced. To counter this criticism, it has been pointed out that although Prey does feature portals, they are not under player control, do not take into account momentum, and are not as integral to the gameplay of Prey as they are to the gameplay of Portal. Prey is also not the first game to feature portal technology: Descent and the original Unreal both featured them in functional, if not pretty, form.

(from wikipedia)

Episode 2 is another highlight right now, with trailers floating around and rumours being speculated. Firstly I would like to state that Alyx won’t die, I am about 90% sure of it. Valve cannot kill a major character like her without some huge reason (and someone to replace her as main character). I think she is either knocked out or maybe the she is dead but the vortigons do their magic.

Team Fortress 2 is looking good too: although I haven’t watched the preview movies yet, the screenshots speak for themselves and I love the style they are going for.

1153329398_tf2.jpg

Signing off i would like to say that LAN parties are probably the best way to spend 24 hours, and the most exhausting way to! Screw it this is an extreme sport!

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S.T.A.L.K.E.R. not vaporware?

PC Game World is reporting a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. release date! a game which many belive firmly to be vaporware, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernoby entices us with a release date of Q1 2007! the game was first announced to release in 2003 so Im not holdimg my breath, but it does show that the possibiliaty of it being finished within this decade isnt too far fetched. now if only Duke Nukem forever could take a hint.

"We have a pleasing news for you today: the release date of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl has been officially fixed as Q1 2007. We will keep you posted regarding the more specific release timing of the game."

From the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Website.

   

Industry Update

With all the chatter of PS3 and Wii, nothing really has surfaced for pc gaming lately. All the major sources have been blank so I'm just going to highlight anything of interest.

First we have something odd that Gabe Newell from Valve said, seeming to show that Half Life 3 will be episodic…

Eurogamer: Why did you change the name from Aftermath? We liked the name.
Gabe Newell:
Errr… I… I think that Aftermath was almost a temporary name. I always thought of it as Episodes One through Three because that's how we planned the products out. I think people thought we'd need a name for them, and Aftermath ended up being more confusing than helpful. Probably a better name for it would have been Half Life 3: Episode One, but these three are what we're doing as our way of taking the next step forward, but Half-Life 2 was the name we used.

Next, it seems an expansion to the huge space mining simulator MMORPG Eve Online is coming out at the end of the month titled "The Path to Kali".

Lastly the Half Life 2 mod, Fortress Forever, apparently is going to released soon based on the huge amout of finished looking screenshots on the mainpage. Three Cheers there!

Steam Gets Fixed – Finally

[Update] Half Life 2: Episode 1 has now been release. it clocks in at around 6 hours gameplay aparantly and is the first part of 3 episodes continuing the Half-Life saga. Expect a full review sometime soon…

steamlogoIt appears that there was a severe game cache fragmentation in the Source games, which has been fixed by the latest update. Apparently this update will improve the efficiency by "600%" and was accomplished by the wonders how the steam system, using the crashes and slowdowns monitored via, it was able to narrow down the problem to the huge fragmentation.

This update also includes the full release of the steam friends system, now out of beta, allowing users to keep track of other players and friends in game and out. the update also coincides with the release of the fourth Episode 1 teaser.

I for one am relieved, since my Day of Defeat Source time has been cut short allot lately from crashes – and I would like to brush aside anyone critical of steams omniscience or usability. Long live Steam.