It’s a new game from Valve. Judging from the movie, it seems very much like Half-Life in style and concept, but there are some great new ideas in here as well. This isn’t just fighting monsters with better bump-mapping using weapons with fancier particle effects. This is a real gameplay innovation. The ability to carry around a portable hole is nothing new: Just ask Wile E. Coyote or The Beatles. But the ability to create two holes in any arbitrary surfaces at any orientation that will then become seamlessly linked is something that’s never been explored in a videogame. What happens if I put a hole in the floor and one in the wall? If I jump into the hole in the floor I’ll be falling feet-first through the hole. After I pass through I’ll be traveling sideways through the air, coming out of the wall. The ability to create holes on the floor and ceilings leads to placing one above the other and falling forever. You can toss objects through these holes to manipulate the world and circumvent obstacles.
Brilliant. Just brilliant. Something new for a change.
Dear Valve: I have some money right here. I would like to buy your game, but I want nothing to do with Steam. I’m not a pirate, I’m just a customer who is really interested in your product. Is there any way I can get the game without Steam? No?
Then piss off. I care about my computer more than I care about your company or your games.
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