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Software

Shooters for Web 2.0

Shooters for Web 2.0

E3 will be an orgy of high-end games and purpose-built gaming hardware, but an alternate action gaming platform is just beginning to get traction: your Web browser. While hundreds of non-action-oriented games--card and puzzle games, for example--run in a browser, action games have, to date, needed their own application. No more. There's a not-bad shooter demo out there called Phosphor. It's a Flash application that runs in a browser. Users don't have to install anything; it's downloaded as needed from the host site.

Phosphor isn't as rich as Half-Life or Far Cry, but it's a smooth experience, and it's set up for network team play. Which is good, since the game world is too small for a satisfying single-player experience (although the in-game bots are pretty competitive).

With network-delivered games, there are two big advantages: First, new levels can be delivered as needed, over the Web, making the typical download process for a game nearly invisible. Second, since the game runs directly in a browser, you can play anywhere. Like at work. You didn't hear it from me.

Phosphor
Category: Game
Developer: Rasterwerks
Stage: Open beta
Cost: Free
Special recognition: Technical Achievement