Valve enhances The Lab VR demo with a massive update


— 5:31 AM on June 7, 2016

Greetings, virtual-reality gamers everywhere! Well, greetings to those with a Vive headset, anyway. Valve has published a substantial update to its free VR game The Lab, adding a handful of enhancements to the mini-games, and a brand-new global scoreboard—in an attempt to introduce "a spirit of bloodthirsty competition to the world of ethically-questionable research." A noble goal indeed, we say.

The Longbow mini-game now offers unlimited waves of enemies, and a new scoring system that rewards headshots and balloon-popping (among other things). Each wave becomes progressively harder, and the barrels and oil cauldrons scattered around the game's landscape are now limited commodities, only respawning every eight waves.

The Xortex game has a new mode: "Infinite." As the name implies, there is no final boss—players will need to try and survive as long as possible. The game now dispenses power-ups that increase a score multiplier that maxes out at 10, too. The Super Laser has been replaced with a field-clearing Bomb. That power-up will come in handy in hairy situations, but there's a catch: using it resets the score multiplier.

The Slingshot challenge hasn't been forgotten, either. Valve chose to rebalance this game's scoring system to better fit the new global scoreboards. At the request of Michael Bay, barrels now explode bigger and harder than ever before. Players that manage to clear platforms with leftover cores will see their efforts rewarded with points, too.

Last but not least, The Lab now offers subtitle support with text translations in multiple languages, which should make non-English gamers much happier. Oh, and you get haptic feedback when you pet the Fetchbot, as it should be. If you have a Vive headset, just go ahead and download the game from its store page. If you already have the game installed, it should have updated itself by now. Go and knock some furniture over in the name of science.

   
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