PC gaming in current years has lost its sheen since a big portion of the gaming crowd has transferred to console gaming. When visiting game shops, the PC game section is small and not varied compared to the vast number of games for Xbox 360 and PS3.
Is Steam the answer to PC gaming’s woes? Does Steam really supply what the PC gaming market needs? Let’s find out!
A Little Retrospect
I realized that the brick and mortar gaming industry is dead and began buying games off the internet soon after. Online you have the luxury of searching for the best prices and compare games, but it does take a long time to find the best deals.
Luckily, I stumbled over Steam. Steam is a database with over a 1000 current games to access. Providing information on each game by the developers and all the persuasion needed to convince you to buy that game you desire.
Steam is takes game discovery and distribution to a new level and gives you the freedom to purchase a game and play it without leaving your computer seat! The main appeal of Steam are the prices of the games as it often offers the cheapest prices around with discounts and specials on games every day.
If you’re not the paying kind, the service offers many free games as well. Even if you are not currently playing Steam games on your PC, this application still recognizes them and allows you to use the same features. Big MMOs like Guild Wars have taken massively to Steam and many players use this software to enhance their gaming experience.
Steam was developed by Valve Corporation, famous for gaming series’ such as Counter Strike and Half Life, in 2002. Now Steam has over 30 million active users.
Services within Steam give you daily special offers which is a helpful tool to recognize new games appearing on the market. For example, if I were to buy the newest Call of Duty for £39.99, Steam would provide free of charge Call of Duty Modern Warfare 1. These offers attract people to join Steam’s millions.
On Steam’s webpage you have access to many options, including forums, support and a community section for friends and clans to join up and play together. Steam also offers regular updates and automatically downloads the latest features to your computer.
Also, the cloud feature of Steam is executed brilliantly. The system stores all of your game progression and statistics for your account. If you have Steam downloaded onto three PC’s you will be able to play the same game at any time on each of the different platforms. This is a very helpful tool if you ever have to wipe your hard drive, you will not lose your progress. However, you will need to download the game on every computer to be able to transfer progress.
From the login screen, you have the ability to either log in with a Steam account or if you use PS3 network you can sign in with the same account. After logging in, the store appears as your home page, showing all recent price reductions and the best buys.
The next tab along is the library which is a list of all your downloaded games were you will also be able to add non-steam games to this list. This allows you to use Steam during game play. Next along is the news section which shows all major revelations in the gaming world with price cuts on games too.
The final tab is the community which is the network of all your friends. From here you have to ability to join and set up groups and clans. You will be able to add friends, change your profile and view your gameplay statistics.
Steam has many options to enable you to view your application with lots of freedom, to change the layout, to show add-on features and change the general appearance.
The way you buy games through Steam couldn’t be easier. After selecting your desired game and adding it to your cart, Steam offers many secure payment methods such as Visa, PayPal and Mastercard. After purchasing the game, Steam will start the download to your library. After the required time, you are free to play the game as much as you like. It’s that easy!
Steam Integration in Games
The most important feature is Steam’s integration in games , offering many extra features which help you communicate with friends and surf the web.
By pressing shift+tab in Steam connected games, you have access to the in-game interface. This shows friends lists, achievements and screen shots. From this screen you are able to chat with friends through instant messaging and using a video call to talk with microphones.
There is a feature for web browsing, allowing you to browse without leaving your game. Editor’s note: This feature may sound pointless but viewing pictures of adorable kittens makes the wait to respawn that much more easier.
Ultimately, I believe Steam is the way forward in PC games. With regular price drops, games at low prices and the amount of fun you have with games is awesome, Steam is one of the very best services for PC gamers.
Even if you are not using Steam for buying, use it to support games with the in-game interface. If you are a regular gamer or play occasionally, I highly recommend downloading Steam and giving it a try — you won’t regret it.
Please feel free to comment if you would like any more information or share your experiences with Steam!