WHAT COULD SAVE US? A SCIENTIST?
A quick step back to 2003 saw the release of Valve's Steam, a digital distribution, digital rights management, multi-player and communications platform. We also saw the release of one of the best games ever released; Half Life 2.
Half Life 2 pushed more boundaries than any game up until now. Its graphics, engine, sound, physics, facial animation, body movement, story, characters, emotion, were all next-generation. How did Valve do it again? They concentrated on the PC market, because at the time, next-gen consoles weren't here. Back in those days, there was a clear line drawn in the sand between consoles and PC.
Valve's games since Half Life 2 have all been stellar releases for PC. We've seen the phenomenally successful Left 4 Dead, its sequel and DLC in-between. Team Fortress 2 finally popped its head up and has enjoyed the same uncanny success. Counter-Strike: Source has again cemented itself as one of the most popular first-person shooters available. Team Fortress 2 has even been made available as a free-to-play game since its release.
All games get patched quite often, with new features being baked in all the time. Team Fortress 2 has gone from an FPS to a near-MMO with its constantly changing world which in January of 2010, Valve started allowing users to submit community-based content such as hats, weapons and more. Later they allowed the ability to actually craft new equipment in-game, the trading of items between players, purchasing in-game items through Steam and the cool ability of being able to save and edit replay videos that can be uploaded to YouTube.
Name one console game that does that? Name one console game on the horizon that can do that and seem to never stop being popular, or fun to play? If it were on console, we'd have TF5 by now and a bunch of DLC released at various prices. This is where the PC is the living, breathing, community-based platform. High-end gaming can be done, while simultaneously being a platform of constant change instead of a near-stagnant 2005 console.
Valve, for what it seems, can do no wrong. Left 4 Dead features four-player co-operative play with an ever-changing difficulty in its zombies thanks to the AI Director. Left 4 Dead thus features a dynamic system for game dramatics, pacing and difficulty. The Director places enemies and items in varying positions and quantities based upon each player's current situation, status, skills and location, which creates an entirely new game each and every time you play it. The Director also creates mood and tension with emotional cues, such as visual effects, dynamic music and character communication.
What if Valve were to grab Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead and Counter-Strike and blend it all with their secret herbs and spices, have it in the oven since before 2003, and release it as...
Half Life 3.
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