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Artifact launches to “mixed” Steam reviews complaining about pay-to-win

Despite an impressive early player count, Artifact's user reviews aren't living up to the rest of Valve's catalogue


In case you hadn’t noticed, Artifact released last night, and Valve’s dota-themed card game got off to a pretty impressive start. Barely an hour after launch, it already had over 50,000 concurrents, and early critic reviews have been pretty positive. User reviews, however, have been a little more harsh.

At time of writing (about 12 hours after launch) Artifact is sitting at a ‘Mixed’ rating on Steam, with around 40% of the 2,134 user reviews posted offering the game a positive rating. To put that in perspective, Valve’s other games are rating far more favourably. For a start, Dota 2 – the game that Artifact was originally built around – has a ‘Very Positive’ rating, the same as long-running FPS Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

Some of Valve’s other flagship titles have been received even more favourably – Left 4 Dead 2, Half-Life 2, Portal 2, and Team Fortress 2 all feature ‘Overwhelmingly Positive’ ratings. For Artifact to fall quite so short of the precedent set by the studio’s other games is quite surprising.

Most player issues seem to surround the game’s monetisation model, which requires you to purchase new cards, and offers no real means to earn rewards in-game. Elsewhere, beta players are worried about the extent of the game’s RNG mechanics.

If you’re yet to check out the game for yourself, take a look at our Artifact review. And if you’re trying to get a head-start on the opposition, you could try out our Artifact guide, our full Artifact card list, and our list of the best cheap Artifact decks. We can’t guarantee you any wins, of course, but the sheer complexity of the game means you might appreciate a little help in those first few hours.