Half-Life 2I purchased a new Lenovo desktop about a month ago to replace my poorly aged HP laptop. Yay! Windows Vista. Amazingly pretty isn’t it? In spite of the bugginess and the lagginess, I think the interface is a big improvement over XP. Anyway, I stumbled upon my Half-Life 2 disc in a random CD spindle and decided it’d be a good time to reinstall it cause I haven’t had it installed for a couple years.

It’s good that you don’t need a CD key for the game! Especially since I don’t have the box on hand. That’s all verified through your Steam account. Luckily I remembered mine. Unfortunately, you still require a net connection so it sucks for the fools still living in the 1800s without electricity and running water. It took about an hour 🙁 to get all the updates for HL2 and Counter-Strike: Source. But I’m happy now and that’s all that matters.

Steam is my new best friend.

It’s a few years later and my computer is a bit better – hey! my video card actually supports DirectX 9 effects now! – but HL2 still ran like laggy shit. I tried several times to get through the intro but it was just too laggy. And it would freeze when I tried to adjust the resolution. And it takes 5 minutes to load up everytime so I said “Fuck it!” and put it off for another day.

I was up late a couple nights ago and felt like giving CS a try. I spent 10 minutes messing with the settings to find something that worked and then I lost a few hours of my life. It amazes me that this game is STILL entertaining after all these years. I was playing it heavily back in 2002 – at PC Cafes with my homies and at home with strangers on the internet. I played on a server that never had more than 6 people at once and nobody said a damned thing. Just point and shoot. Nobody played for more than 15 minutes and we had new people dropping in and out unnoticed. Just a good way to kill time at 3am.

So when I exited Counter-Strike a Steam window popped up. “BUY SOMETHING!” It said. So I clicked through 7 pages of ads, a lot of the games I’d heard of before. One game caught my eye… with a very eye-catching visual style. Vigil, by a team called Freegamer. With a few clicks I had the demo downloaded through Steam. Time to have a look…

Victi - screen

It’s a point/click adventure game. There’s no dialogue in the demo. One thing that’s lame is that it appears that they cut out the cut-scene videos from the demo, and everytime one appears you just see a black screen with audio. And not only is the visual design excellent, the aural design is great as well. No real music, kinda just ambientness. Reminds me of Ico, for PS2. Voices are like mumblings of an ancient language. The demo’s fuggin short and you basically just get to do one objective. But from the world that they’ve created I’m interested in making a purchase. It’s part of an episodic series and the first episode is available for $8 on Steam. It would’ve been an impulse purchase had there been cash in my account.

Download the Vigil demo here…

What I like about Steam is that I feel encouraged to actually buy new games. I know I’m not gonna get halfway through a 50 hour epic and decide I don’t want to play it anymore and feel like I wasted $30 of a $50 game. A lot of stuff looks fresh so I’m gonna see what it have to offer (besides a neverending supply of Counter-Strike).

About the author:
Bryson Whiteman (http://www.sonofbryce.com)
Bryson is the guy behind all of the Sokay creations. Heading artwork and development, he's determined to make sure each game has a "distinctively Sokay" quality to them. He's always looking forward for a chance to experiment with new technologies to explore exciting ways to achieve fun.