If you haven’t downloaded Valve’s free experience called The Lab now is a good time to add it to your cue, because there’s been some community recommended changes that have now gone into effect in the Appliance of Science update. Have you ever wanted to compete with your friends while watching each others play Longbow? You know you can do better than them, but how can you prove it. Until know there wasn’t an official points system with leaderboards to track such stats and basically you had to try to impress your friends with quick and accurate shots.
We have to remember that Valve created The Lab to show off the capabilities of virtual reality or more specifically the extent of the Vive with room scale and motion controllers. So The Lab is really just a place to get the creative juices flowing when taking the Vive for the first spin like a new car. You might be anxious to punch the pedal to the floor board and if you do you get excited when the experience takes your breath away, but you don’t really keep track of how long it took you to get from 0-60.
Valve is calling the latest update the Appliance of Scient, because Valve claims there can’t be science without a little competition! With a few other items that we will get into the most notable is the games in The Lab that now how leaderboards; like Longbow Xortex, and Slingshot.
Besides leaderboards a few tweaks have been making Longbow one of the best games for the buck! Initially there were only 8 waves of enemies trying to attack your castle door, but now there’s an unlimited amount of waves begging you to try to keep up. As you jump into the twenties the waves of soldiers are moving pretty quick and you can’t afford to miss with your arrows. Gameplay is delivered in 8 wave increments so after each block of eight the exploding barrels and hot oil will reset.
Xortex has a new Infinite gameplay with action coming at you faster and more frantically than ever. In this mode there aren’t any bosses to defeat you’re just fighting to rack up as many points as you can by keeping your drone alive as long as possible to rank with the big boys on the global leaderboards. There’s a new bomb weapon, earned after collecting two power-ups, that will knock out close range enemies.
Slingshot also adds global leaderboards and they added in bigger barrel explosions plus an efficient scoring method for all the damage your cores do. Ranking on this seems pretty tough so use those tracer cores to do the most damage and earn the most points.
Leaderboards are visible when your battles are over with the exception of Longbow that shows your highest score as it compares to the rest of the world.
Valve took into consideration how many people across the world are using The Lab to demonstrate virtual reality to everyone so they’ve gone the extra step to add voice and text subtitles to areas such as the Intro, Hub, Slingshot, Robot Repair, and Secret Shop. Although unspecified as to how many, Valve claims to have support for several languages and the language is determined by your selection in the Steam settings. For those who might offer The Lab as a demo option to your friends and family you’ll be happy to find the game window that pops up on your PC has a drop down menu that can be used to launch directly into any of The Lab’s experiences without having to inch your friends closer and closer to the crystal ball you want them to pick up. And finally, the PC window for The Lab will re-open in full screen the next time you launch it if you previously had it in full screen.
Prior to this update we’ve set goals like trying to get a high number of headshots or all kills by explosive barrels. Trying to find ways to make the 8 waves more competitive. We couldn’t help, but feel that there was a perfect opportunity to add a score keeping method and Valve hit the nail on the head. Welcome to sore shoulder city!
You can see a detailed list of mods to The Lab in this announcement.
Source: Valve Announcement
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