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Steam

A software delivery platform developed by Valve Software

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Steam: A PC gamer's best friend. 94%

  • Jul 13, 2012
Rating:
+5
When I became a PC gamer after acquiring an Alienware Aurora gaming desktop in the summer of 2010, I've been hearing good and bad things about this game-playing application called Steam. In December of that year, I finally started using the Steam app that was built into my machine and since December is a part of the year where Steam has tons of sales for games, I went crazy buying heavily-discounted game bundles, and after playing the games, I have to conclude that Steam is an essential component to a PC gamer's life.


REGISTRATION/INSTALLATION

One of the best aspects to Steam is that registration and installation of Steam is free. The only things you pay for on this website are the games you want to get.

VARIETY/QUANTITY

There's literally something for every type of gamer on Steam, since the app has around 1,100 games to choose from with just about every genre you can think of. Steam has FPS, RPG, strategy, puzzle, casual, platformer, point-and-click adventure, fighter/brawler, MMORPG, and free-to-play multiplayer games, just to name a few of the genres available. Even better is that aside from the smörgåsbord of genres, you get plenty of old and new games to choose from, which is great if you either missed out on classic PC games from the 90's, lost copies of them, or if the games aren't compatible with your current gaming machine.

Here's just some of the games available on Steam:

Deus Ex: Human Revolution (FPS/RPG)
Q.U.B.E. (puzzle)
Dark Messiah of Might and Magic (RPG)
Doom 3 (FPS)
Alice: Madness Returns (action/platformer)
Sam and Max series (point-and-click adventure)
Amnesia: The Dark Descent (survival horror)
Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition (fighter)
Streets of Rage 2 (side-scroller/brawler)
Wolfenstein 3D (FPS)
Columns (puzzle)
Portal 1 and 2 (puzzle)
Half-Life series (FPS)
Splinter Cell: Conviction (action/stealth)
Mass Effect 1 and 2 (action/RPG)
EDGE (indie/action)
Critical Mass (puzzle)
Mirror's Edge (first person runner)
Gunstar Heroes (side-scrolling shooter)
Digital Combat Simulator: Black Shark (aircraft simulator)
Railworks 3: Train Simulator 2012 (train simulator)
NBA 2K12 (sports)
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (racing)

That's just the tip of the iceburg.

SALES/PROMOTIONS

Every week, there's sales for select games on Steam. Especially during the summer and Christmastime, there will be giant sales for individual games and game bundles. Just an example of some of the great deals I got on Steam were that I managed to get Bioshock for only $5, the Doom complete package for only around $8.74, and Batman: Arkham Asylum GOTY edition for only around $7.49. So if you're short on cash and have some patience, you can strike some great steals on certain games.  There's some great promotions as well.  For example, when I pre-ordered Red Faction:  Armageddon last year, I got Red Faction, Red Faction II, and Red Faction:  Guerilla for free.

GIFTING

Aside from buying games for yourself, if you have any friends with Steam accounts, you can buy and send games to your friends on Steam. For example, I bought a game package on sale called Games with Cubes (this contained, Q.U.B.E., EDGE, Blocks that Matter, Bit Trip Runner, Critical Mass, and RUSH) recently, and wound up with extra copies of Q.U.B.E. and EDGE, so I gave the extra copies to a good friend of mine on Steam.

DOWNLOADS

The only real bad thing I can say about Steam is that you can only get the games through downloading them on the internet, which can be a hassle for those who don't have rocket-fast internet connections. Downloading older games like the original Doom and Altered Beast won't take long, but newer games like Bioshock and Batman: Arkham Asylum can take many hours, even days, to download. However, this is only a minor setback considering all the good that comes with it.

COLLECTION AND PROGRESS SAFETY

Once you buy these games, you never have to buy them again. This is especially great if you've had some bad luck with your computer and wind up losing the games on your hard drive. In recent months, I had to combat a nasty computer virus and had to wrestle with computer bugs, and after having to erase my C drive a few times, I was delighted to see that all the games I bought were still in my ownership library. Even better, with some games, your gameplay progress will be saved on Steam's servers. After I had to re-install Deus Ex: Human Revolution recently, I was happy to see that when I turned the game on again, that the game resumed on the last save I earned. Unfortunately, some games like Super Meat Boy and Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 2 don't have the gameplay progress saved, but I think that's more of an issue with the games in question rather than Steam itself.

CONTROVERSY

Some PC gamers hate having Steam on their computers for the fact that they'll need an internet connection and separate application to run the games on it, but I don't think these are big issues in today's computer world since so many people have high-speed internet now and having an extra application on my computer to play the game shouldn't be an issue. The benefits that Steam has, especially with the fact that you don't have to re-purchase lost games, makes it very well worth having on your machine.

FINAL WORD

If you're a PC gamer, old and new, Steam is an application you should register to and install, since the smörgåsbord of games, frequent sales, gifting options, and buy-once necessary purchase of games will make your gaming life so much better.

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Post a Comment
July 15, 2012
Steam is great and easy to use, which is great when comparing it to other PC copy protection methods that draw a lot of ire from the gaming community, like SecuROM or Games for Windows Live. this is a good write-up on Steam
July 15, 2012
Yeah, nothing can beat Steam. They protect their bottom line while at the same time, not fucking over honest people.
 
July 14, 2012
I agree with Bill. Thanks for sharing.
July 14, 2012
You're welcome.
 
July 13, 2012
I am not big PC gaming yet--but thanks for this info.
July 13, 2012
You're welcome, man.
 
1
More Steam reviews
Quick Tip by . October 01, 2011
posted in Siliconera Bounce
I think Steam is one of the best things ever made for PC gamers. Installation and registration to Steam is free, and there's frequent sales for games. There's a HUGE selection of games to choose from, so there's something for every type of gamer. Best of all, Steam's servers store your gameplay progress, so if something really bad happens to your computer, your games won't be lost, all you have to do is log in to your Steam account and re-install them on another machine. …
Quick Tip by . March 11, 2010
Valve just announced that Steam is coming to the Mac. Add "Gaming Console" to the list of things your Mac Mini will be able to do soon!
Quick Tip by . March 07, 2010
Steam is like iTunes for PC Video Games. The centralized licensing paradigm should be adopted by all software developers
About the reviewer
David Kozak ()
Ranked #23
I'm a morbid cynic who thinks very, very differently from most other people. Chances are, if the majority says X is the greatest in its category, I'll disagree with that notion, because I tend … more
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Wiki

Steam is a digital distribution, digital rights management, multiplayer and communications platform developed by the Valve Corporation. It is used to distribute games and related media online, from small independent developers to larger software houses. Steam also has community features, automated game updates, and in-game voice and chat functionality.

As of 2010, there are over 1,200 games available through Steam, and over 30 million active user accounts. Although Valve never releases sales figures, Steam is estimated to have a 70% share of the digital distribution market for video games.

Many major publishers have catalogues on Steam, including id Software, Bethesda Softworks, Electronic Arts, Activision, 2K Games, Ubisoft, THQ, Sega, Codemasters, LucasArts, Capcom, Rockstar Games, Firaxis and Square Enix.

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Video Games, Pc Games, Valve Software

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