This isn’t exactly a major change to Steam on Valve’s part, but the user recommendation system (which used to only display your views on a given game to those on your friends list) is now being expanded into a public review set-up. You’ll be able to share your views on any titles you’ve launched through Steam (including ones you bought elsewhere,) and others will be able to say whether they found that review to be helpful.
If you notice that a certain user’s reviews and tastes tend to match your own, you’ll be able to read all of that user’s reviews and maybe find a game or two that sounds interesting. Or be warned off some that sound like trash.
You can read more about the Steam reviews system here. It’s in open beta, so anybody can pen some thoughts about the latest games they’ve tried. All the previous ‘recommendations’ have been updated to reviews, but should be set to “friends only” by default. If you want, you can now make them visible to the general public.
Valve says it is “looking to add” the ability for reviews to form an overall score or rating for a given game, but that function is not there at present. Developers are going to be free to respond to reviews too, which should guarantee some amusing exchanges in future.