Half-Life and Portal. It’s hard to think about one other two games that so immediately and consistently spark peoples’ enthusiasm – mention either of Valve’s iconic series to mainly anyone with a gaming PC, and chances are high they’ll loose a string of superlatives about how Gordon Freeman, GLaDOS, and the Companion Cube et al completely modified their idea of what games will be. Almost 20 years because the last full instalment, we’re still waiting on Half-Life 3. Likewise, Portal 3 stays one in all gaming’s mythical beasts. We hear stories, but we’ve never seen anything solid. However, with Steam Next Fest now upon us, we’ve unearthed the following (no pun intended) smartest thing, a physics-driven puzzler with flashes of Aperture Science, Black Mesa, and a few of the most effective parts of Half-Life and Portal combined. And you’ll be able to try it now free of charge.
Welcome to Artificial, a latest physics-based puzzle game which solo developer Ondrej Angelovic says is directly “inspired by the Portal and Half-Life series.” As an unnamed survivor, you’re trapped inside Asteroid 2031 XT, an unlimited underground colony which was scheduled to be decommissioned. It’s been taken over by something called the Corruption. Like Aperture, all of the lasers, turrets, and various computer and security systems are actually attempting to kill you.
You can pick up and interact with absolutely anything, and survival in Artificial means using your noodle to create imaginative and original puzzle solutions. Big industrial fan in the way in which? Jam some broom handles and breezeblocks into the mechanism until it burns out. Can’t reach a ladder or recover from a ledge? Drag something to face on and boost yourself up.
Angelovic has created a convincing and detailed physics simulation, which complements perfectly the dark, cluttered, and claustrophobic world of Artificial. This is like Aperture Labs with the lights turned down, and stuffed with all of the junk from City 17. The full version of Artificial is out February 2024, but you’ll be able to already try it free of charge due to the latest demo released for Steam Next Fest.
Alternatively, try a few of the other great indie games available without delay, or perhaps a few of the most effective old games, when you miss the classics of Half-Life and Portal.