So you’ve got your nice shiny new copy of Portal 2 on the PS3 and have set up your Steam account to get your co-op sessions on the go. Sadly with the PSN down you can’t do much right now, so now what? Well by signing up to Steam you’ve opened up a whole new world of gaming. You might have already done some cross platform co-op before things went a bit awry, but if you’ve got a PC or a Mac then things have only just got started.
On a PC or Mac Steam acts as a delivery method for games. There’s a huge amount of content on there from publishers including EA, Activision, Codemasters… pretty much everyone in fact. Using the Steam store is incredibly easy, and whenever an update to one of your games becomes available Steam will tick along behind the scenes and install your updates without you even realising it was there to be installed. Clever stuff.
Many games also have demos too, which are downloaded and installed all within the Steam software itself. You can view friends’ profiles, check your achievements and chat to other Steam members no matter where they’re logged in – if you see a friend playing Portal 2 just sent them a message; it doesn’t matter if they’re at a PS3, Mac or PC they’ll be able to chat to you easily and clearly.
But as this is a getting started guide for those of you who don’t tend to use your computer as a gaming machine we’ll point you to some great freebies on Steam. Everyone loves a freebie. The first thing you’ll need to do is download the Steam client from http://store.steampowered.com and install it.
Make sure you’re logged in using the account that was set up when you played Portal 2. Now the fun begins. Many games are the latest 3D titles and need a high powered PC to run, but there are plenty of very enjoyable games that even your most modest laptop will run, and better yet? There’s free stuff. Have a flick through the links below – they’re all free and range from Alien Swarm (a fun co-op based top-down shooter) through to Peggle (a deceptively addictive ball-shooter bouncy game… it’s hard to explain, as you can tell).
- Alien Swarm
- America’s Army 3
- Global Agenda
- Moonbase Alpha
- Peggle Extreme
- Sam & Max: Episode 4
- TrackMania Nations Forever
That should get you started until Part 2 of our guide turns up in a couple of days. We’ll take a look at the community features next time and how you can meet and interact with fellow gamers.
Meanwhile, if we’ve missed something or you’ve got your own Steam recommendations of cheap or free games worth a go, let us know in the comments and we’ll add them into the guide!