The game Alien Swarm was released for free by Valve and it it has turned out to be a real gem, not only because the game is good and fun to play, but also because it looks quite well when played in stereo 3D mode with 3D Vision. Alien Swarm is based on the Source engine and puts you into an epic bug hunt featuring a unique blend of co-op play and squad-level tactics where you can form a squad of four distinct IAF Marine classes with your friends. Plan your attack using an unlockable arsenal of weapons with countless loadout configurations against a wide variety of aliens and kill pretty much everything that moves. Blaze your way through an overrun, off-world colony, eradicating the alien infestation in environments ranging from the icy planet’s surface, to a subterranean lava-flooded mining facility… in a top view action game.
As I’ve said Alien Swarm looks very well in stereo 3D mode, however it is not perfect. There is not yet an official 3D Vision profile for the game, but with the default settings it looks very well as the game is better played with depth only and maybe just a few pop-out effects like explosions and aliens flying up to your face (you can try playing with convergence level). The HUD of the game in in 2D, but that is not an issue actually, you should only consider using up to about 1/3 of the maximum depth level as if you go above that the onscreen messages might be hard for you to focus on as they appear on screen depth and can seem doubled if you have too high separation in the game world. You can also notice a bit of ghosting in high contrasting objects, but that is not a serious issue as well, but you better try the game yourself and share your comments about it…
If you’ve missed the new free game from NASA (yes, a free game developed by/for the American government), then you might want to check out Moonbase Alpha now available on Steam. It seems that now NASA is looking to educate and train future astronauts through a free game, much like it was with the American Army getting new recruits through the previous free game called America’s Army… ;)
In Moonbase Alpha, you assume the role of an astronaut working to further human expansion and research on the Moon. Returning from a research expedition on the lunar surface, you witness a meteorite impact that cripples the life support capability of the recently established Moon base. With precious minutes ticking away, you and your team must repair and replace equipment in order to restore the oxygen production to the Moon settlement. There are several ways in which you can successfully restore the life support system of the lunar base, but since you are scored on the time spent to complete the task, you have to work effectively as a team, learn from decisions made in previous gaming sessions, and make intelligence decisions in order to top the leaderboards. And yes it is a multiplayer only online game where everyone is a real person that is quite interesting and might be fun to play for a while, but without a lot of excitement and action, so don’t get your hopes too high.
The game is based on Unreal engine, so playing it in stereoscopic 3D mode with 3D Vision as expected can bring out the typical issues, such as a problem with rendering the dynamic shadows and disabling these can help. Also since there is a lot of white, black and gray colors the game is prone to have some ghosting, but it still has a lot of potential to provide a quite realistic simulation with stereo 3D. The in-game HUD is rendered mostly in 2D, but that is not such a big issue and you might want to play a bit with the convergence settings to achieve best possible results. And you would probably want to lower the default brightness level a bit… And since the game is free all you need to have is a Steam account to download and play it, so it will be a shame not to try it, after all you might like it and who knows, you might be a future astronaut yourself… :P