- System requirements
- Steam/Game-specific troubleshooting
- [Guide] Metro natively supports gamepads; here's a quick guide on how-to. : metro
Fallout 4 is being played on a gaming laptop across the room, but is streaming to, and being controlled by, the Alienware Steam Machine. Aside from streaming PC-only games from a separate computer, there are a lot of excellent games in the Steam OS library. Some are popular e-sports standards, such as Counter-Strike or Dota 2. Not necessarily the newest games, and maybe not the best suited to a TV, but certainly ones worth playing if you haven't already.
Valve's own games, such as the aforementioned Portal and Half-Life series, are also available. Testing several games with the Steam Controller, I found some hits, some misses, and some that just needed a little practice and controller tweaking to work well. These can be accessed at any time by pressing the glowing Steam logo button in the center of the controller and going to the "Configure Controller" menu option.
In BioShock Infinite, that control scheme worked well, though I had to go back into the configuration menu and turn up the sensitivity of the right control pad. In this case, the mapping of buttons from an Xbox-style gamepad to the Steam Controller was intuitive and required very little guesswork to decipher. The game defaulted to a 1,x1,pixel resolution p and medium graphics settings, but that seemed to tax the low-power Core i3 processor, and there was a little hitching and stutter during gameplay. Team Fortress 2 , an online multiplayer classic and another Valve original , offered what felt like the smoothest first-person gameplay with the Steam Controller, so much so that I might actually prefer it for precision aiming, once I got the hang of not over-steering with my right thumb.
But the game was clearly confused by the Steam Controller; figuring out which commands mapped to which buttons was a trial-and-error process and navigating the game's menus was nearly impossible. One of the few brand new games to support Steam OS on day one is Soma, an indie game about exploring a spooky underwater base.
There, the first-person controls mapped well to the Steam Controller, and the slower pace felt perfect for getting the hang of using the controller's pad to move the first-person camera around. If anything, the Steam Controller, when well-supported by a game, feels capable of much more precise movement than a standard gamepad's analog stick. One thing the usual Xbox-style gamepad can't do well is control games specially designed for the keyboard and mouse. Strategy games are a good example and where the advantages of the Steam Controller really start to shine.
In Civilization V and XCOM: Enemy Unknown , the Steam Controller pad was treated as a mouse or computer touchpad, allowing me to zoom the cursor around the screen with ease, using either the triggers or the face buttons as left and right mouse clicks. Some keyboard shortcuts, which are especially important in strategy games, get lost in the translation, but you could go in and map them yourself or wait for a Steam community member to do so and share his or her personalized configuration.
A year or so ago, the Steam Machine platform seemed revolutionary. Traditional gaming PCs, meanwhile, do more and cost less, and other living room competitors, from the Nvidia Shield to the new Apple TV, offer endless ways to play games on your TV. Valve says the platform, its software and its game library will continue to evolve, and we have indeed seen several updates in the past few weeks.
While there have not been major changes, the controller and the Steam interface both feel smoother and less buggy than even a month ago. But we can say that you should strongly consider Alienware's sister product, the Alpha , which has been available since last year. It uses most of the same components, is built into the exact same chassis and, because it runs Windows, can play nearly every game in the Steam library as well as non-Steam games. Of course, this also means that the hardware inside both the Alpha and Steam Machine versions of this box is more than a year old, which is middle-aged in computer terms but positively ancient when it comes to PC gaming.
Keeping in mind the performance limitations at that price, it's one of our favorite gaming PCs, although if you go in that direction you miss out on the unique experience of the Steam Controller. Again, we'll work on improving the selection of cards tested and try to cover a broader range in the future, but for now let's see how performance differs between the two releases of Metro: Last Light.
In both cases we're testing without enabling Advanced PhysX. Our settings then are essentially "Ultra" quality and "High" quality; here's what performance looks like for the two releases on our selected hardware:. So this is where things get interesting. At our maximum quality settings, performance is lower almost across the gamut of hardware with Metro: Last Light Redux.
As far as AMD vs. GTX also tends to be roughly the same level of performance as GTX , with the now being cleared out at lower prices. I was running at the card's stock settings initially which have a mild 26MHz bump on the base GPU clock , and I thought perhaps temperatures were getting too hot on some components. I haven't tested with PhysX extensively, but some additional testing of the GTX also showed crashes with PhysX enabled but it takes about twice as long as the GTX to crash to the desktop, so 10 minutes instead of five minutes.
This is definitely a fringe case, however, so it's not likely to affect a lot of users either way. Overall, the Redux release of Metro: Last Light won't be any more — or less — playable on most systems than the original game. Of course, Metro Redux saw a much greater overhaul in terms of graphics and gameplay, but in that case it means the system requirements are higher than the original game, likely at the same level as Last Light Redux.
In other words, if you're looking for the poster child of why gamers might want SLI or CrossFire builds, the Metro Redux games are right up there with other punishing titles like the Crysis series, at least if you want to crank up every quality settings. And on a final note, there's a huge onslaught of games coming, and we're hoping to test many of them in a format similar to this.
Your feedback is welcome as always, and if you have any requests for games that are already available or coming soon that you'd like to see benchmarked, let us know. Also let us know if you'd like to see additional settings tested; I confined the results reported to p at High and Ultra quality, but we could certainly run other settings. Since these are all single GPU configurations, x with Redux proves to be too much in most cases, unless we drop SSAA; the laptops meanwhile might benefit from x and medium quality settings, though that's a bit too light on the faster desktop GPUs.
Anyway, let us know what you'd like to see.
Our settings then are essentially "Ultra" quality and "High" quality; here's what performance looks like for the two releases on our selected hardware: So this is where things get interesting. It's still very challenging and there's plenty of things that will frighten you, but it's not the sort of ethereal, otherworldly horror that you might see in a Silent Hill game. This increase in weapon variety gives players a hell of a lot more options for how they want to play the game, but the addition of an attachment system mixed things up even more.
Guns in Metro could be found with attachments already on them and were rightly prized by players for the advantage they offered , but you had no way of changing them out yourself. Metro: Last Light changed that dynamic entirely.
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Finally, players were able to customize their weapons by using their Military Grade Rounds for suppressors, scopes, laser sights, extended barrels, and all sorts of interesting kit to get their gun working just exactly how they like it. This system was smartly ported to Metro Redux , something that arguably changed the playing field for players. Those who enjoy sniping have a bit more on offer, too. While the first game's idea of a sniper rifle was a revolver with a really long barrel, Metro: Last Light has a few different choices for honest-to-goodness sniper rifles.
More importantly, the levels are somewhat less claustrophobic and one actually gets the opportunity to make good use of them rather than eating up a weapon slot with a gun that you so very rarely get to bring out for good reason. Best of all, a gun range in the Developer Pack DLC let you experiment with all of the various weapons and their attachments to your heart's content.
[Guide] Metro natively supports gamepads; here's a quick guide on how-to. : metro
The first bit of Metro had you trying to take a message to friendly Rangers after your home station is attacked. After the conclusion of the first game's events, Metro: Last Light has Artyom serving with the Rangers as a full-fledged member. His rapid advancement in the organization is viewed by some recruits with some level of disdain; after all, he didn't have to endure months or years of training to earn his stripes. Then again, he kinda did save his own little corner of the world through sheer grit and determination. Whatever Artyom faced in the tunnels and topside in is surely just as harsh if not more so than a couple of years of training by the Rangers.
What was once an organization that had a few scattered bases is now a veritable powerhouse in its own right with a dedicated home station that previously served as a military installation. Of all the factions seen in the Metro universe, the Rangers were probably the best people to take command of D6. The Reds or Reich would have surely used the weapons of war to push their advantage, Hansa would have likely sold them, and any bandit factions would have probably let the valuable technology fall into disrepair if they didn't blow themselves up trying to figure out how to use it.
Starting from an established, well-equipped military base makes for a much different experience than waltzing out of your home station with a piddly revolver as you did in Metro You have your choice of weapons from the vast Ranger arsenal and you have plenty of time to try them out and see what works for you.
Since you're a working member of the organization, you also get a salary paid out that will surely be helpful in keeping you supplied out in the field. Metro: Last Light begins and ends with the Rangers; rather than being just a portion of the plot, they are front and center. A good story needs an antagonist, and the dark ones are no longer your primary concern.
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