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Steam gets Friends

And, soon, CS maps with HDR.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

The "Friends" feature of Steam, which has been offline for ages, is apparently set to make an appearance in the near future.

In a news update on Friday, Valve said it's "nearing the end of its beta phase" and will soon be available.

"Friends allows you to see when your friends are playing games, and lets users chat with each other both inside and outside of many Steam games. There are also a number of additional features we'll be adding to it over time. Early next week, we'll be updating Steam with a convenient way to join the Friends beta," the update reads.

As part of the continued development of its Steam titles, Valve's also planning to revisit some Counter-Strike: Source maps "like de_dust" and spruce them up with High Dynamic Range lighting effects like the ones seen in Half-Life 2: Lost Coast.

Finally, this week will also see the release of Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45, which is currently available to pre-load.

Based on Unreal Engine 2.5, Red Orchestra is a multiplayer World War II mod-cum-game set on the Russian front. The original Red Orchestra won NVIDIA's "Make Something Unreal" contest back in the day; Ostfront 41-45 is a standalone follow-up.

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