All Of X-Com For Cheap

By Jim Rossignol on January 10th, 2009 at 3:33 pm.


Just a quickie to mention this latest offer over on Steam: All of the Steam X-Com catalogue for $4.99 in the US, and £2.99 in the UK. It’s reportedly only on sale for this weekend, although that’s not made clear on the Steam site, and I suspect that’s a pack that we might see cheap again in the future. That’s some classic gaming for very little and hey, at that price you don’t have to feel guilty about not bothering to play Enforcer. Hooray!

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89 Comments »

  1. rob says:

    I am an X-Com virgin, where is a good place to start?

  2. Thiefsie says:

    Tempted… but not that tempted. bought heaps of games in the post xmas sales (and unfortunately most of them are for consoles)

  3. gnome says:

    Quite lovely, but once again the euro prices are (comparatively) a rip-off. Perhaps I should just wait for GOG.com to provide the games…

  4. Premium User Badge

    Arathain says:

    Rob: Start at the start. The first one is, in many ways, the best.

  5. Panther says:

    For those of us not clued up on steam, will I need to be logged in to steam to play these… or will they just be downloaded like from Good old Games, with no DRM at all?

  6. Pavel says:

    Of course you need to be logged into steam, that is how it works.

    And why I do not use it much (+ I prefer retail, and if I have to support one digital site, it is gonna be gog).

  7. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    As rob said, is there a best order to play these in?
    At £3 this is an insurance for next time I’m skint, bored and depressed and just want to immerse myself in a game.

  8. Down Rodeo says:

    Steam keep on doing this… Do you know, I decided to treat myself to Crysis and Bioshock just recently. The next week they were both on sale :(

    Panther: They are added to the Steam games list, I imagine you’d need to be logged in. It’s not the same as GoG at any rate. Whether you could run them without the use of Steam… different question. Because they run via DOSBox you might be able to do that but no promises as I have no idea and have never tried. Steam isn’t that bad anyway; it can be set to sign you in automatically when you start the program. I don’t think you’re going to take a performance hit (I ran Steam through Wine then ran DOSBox through Wine to emulate XCOM and it was still fairly playable).

  9. qrter says:

    Before playing, it’s not a bad idea to read up a bit, as the games can be quite unclear about what actually has to be done..

    http://www.ufopaedia.org

  10. Alex says:

    “Perhaps I should just wait for GOG.com to provide the games…”
    I assume they will sell them for 6 USD each (which is about the regular price on Steam and standard GOG price). Weekend/package deals aren’t that amazing on GOG either (a dollar or 2 off, at most).

  11. Panther says:

    @Pavel: hmm shame. I dislike things like that. I’m also a fan of GoG, and prefer their way of business.

    @Phuzz: X-com(or UFO: Enemy Unknown as it was) is the first and best imho. Terror from the deep is very similar to the first (almost too similar!), Apocalypse is interesting, but I never got into it, and Interceptor is a decent space combat game.

  12. qrter says:

    For those of us not clued up on steam, will I need to be logged in to steam to play these… or will they just be downloaded like from Good old Games, with no DRM at all?

    You have to have the Steam client running in the background. You need to be logged in online for the first time, when you download/install the game. After that you can start up Steam in offline mode (be sure to let Steam log you in automatically, otherwise you won’t get the offline option) – the client will still be running in the background (personally I’ve never had problems with that regarding CPU etc.)

  13. skizelo says:

    I can’t play X-Com. I get as far as the first time one of my guys dies and then I feel too guilty to continue.

  14. Dolphan says:

    I thought about getting this, then realised I’d yet to get anything from GoG and got the Giants/Sacrifice weekend bundle.

  15. hydra9 says:

    Great price. By the way, Enforcer is a surprisingly fun Smash TV-style blast (no brains, lots of fun). Interceptor is the one to avoid. Everything else is pure gold.

  16. Heliocentric says:

    These games rank along side dwarf fortress for being utterly paralysing. What do i do! Oh my god aliens! Does that mean i need to kill them! They got away does that mean i lose? … Ten minutes later…wait? I have scientists? I’m meant to be researching? All my men just died!

  17. jalf says:

    And Steam’s alternative pricing strategy continues. The highest price, as usual, is for Europe, at €5, Americans get $5, and the UK gets almost half of what the rest of Europe pays, at £3.

    Yes, €5 is still not a bad price for classics like these, but the huge different in pricing is still silly.

  18. Gorgeras says:

    Silence you! The UK doesn’t get any of the new EA Steam SecuROM-free releases. What good are lower prices on games I don’t want? Waaaagh!!

  19. frymaster says:

    why is it called “steam’s” strategy? It’s 2k game’s strategy. That’s like arguing in your local shop about the price of a lottery ticket, it’s not something they have control over.

    (I maintain the reason things went titsup with the euro changeover is because valve refused to take control of other people’s prices. Rather than blame valve for some sort of machiavellian scheme I think it’s a combination of lack of advance notice given to publishers, combined with the “genius” strategy of making huge changes just before christmas.)

    And why are people suddenly up in arms about alternative pricing now? You’d have think there would have been more outcry back when everything was in the same currency and it was easier to point it out…

  20. Azhrarn says:

    Glad I have all of these as originals on disc. (well, all except interceptor and enforcer, which are both quite bad)

  21. pkt-zer0 says:

    You could call it Steam’s strategy because VALVe’s own games are priced in such a manner as well – as far as I’m aware, that’s entirely in their control.

  22. malkav11 says:

    It’s a pack we’ve already seen this cheap once, when I bought it.

  23. Duke Nasty VI says:

    Bleh.

    I’m staying away from Steam (including the special offers) until they fix their pricing. They haven’t even commented on the European pricing situation, even after a huge thread on the official forums and a 14-15k member group on the Steam community.

    Here are the difference in pricing for me (compared with absoluttspill.no, a norwegian webshop)

    Football Manager 2009: Steam €44.95, Retail €31.80, Difference €13.15
    Call of Duty 4: Steam €49.99, Retail $31.80, Difference €18.19

    Steam is pretty much worthless to me now. Too bad I can’t uninstall it because I’ve got lots of games on the service. I wish I had listened to those who warned about vendor lock-in.

  24. Aubrey says:

    Took me years to beat XCom, but it is still one of my favorite games.

    I bought this pack when it was expensive. There were some issues on my shuttle PC. I think the upscaling is done on the CPU, so ironically the frame rate was very low. On my new PC this is not an issue.

    As far as the games– maybe I have not given some of them enough time, but none of the other games in this bundle seem to come close to the original. Terror from the deep has worse art, and is designed by masochists, but at least has the same gameplay.

  25. Blather Blob says:

    X-Com: UFO Defense/UFO: Enemy Unknown is the only one I’ve downloaded so far, but it’s just all the data files and a stock Dosbox. In other words, no Steam is required once it’s downloaded, just run dosbox.exe, and you should be able to zip up the directory and copy it to another computer, if internet connectivity is a problem for the install also. I assume Apocalypse and Terror From The Deep are the same. I don’t know about the others.

  26. Premium User Badge

    Arathain says:

    For extra fun, be sure to name your soldiers after your friends and family, or celebrity of choice, so you really feel it when they get shot.

    My handy hint: in the original you can’t check your soldiers stats on the loadout screen (fixed for TFTD). This means it’s hard to remember who’s strong enough to have the big guns, or who your sacrificial grunts should be. So include a little tag in their name. I use GRT (grunt), HVY (strong), MKS (marksman), that sort of thing.

  27. Legendary Teeth says:

    FYI you don’t actually have to have Stream running for X-COM.

    It’s just the original code run in a pre-configured DosBox. I doubt they’re much worried about piracy for games this old, what you’re paying for is the convienence of being able to download and play it in two seconds without having to do anything fancy to get it running on your modern machines.

  28. Smurfy says:

    Doesn’t look that good.

  29. terry says:

    I welcome the return of £2.99 games. Now all we need is Mastertronic to make a comeback and it will be 1985 all over again.

  30. Heliocentric says:

    So duke. You refuse to take bargins because not everything on steam is a bargin? This makes no sense to me. I make each purchase on its own merits.

  31. jalf says:

    frymaster, perhaps you’d care to explain why Valve’s *own* games are overpriced in Europe too, if it’s only the evil publishers doing this? In fact, care to explain why *all* publishers seemingly decided that on *one* particular day, they’d *all* raise prices by 40%? I’d especially like you to explain it without using words like ‘cartel’ or ‘price-fixing’.

    And why are people suddenly up in arms about alternative pricing now? You’d have think there would have been more outcry back when everything was in the same currency and it was easier to point it out…

    Ah, so you don’t actually *know* what people are complaining about, and yet you say they’re wrong?
    When everything was the same currency, prices were the same across the world. It’s only when they introduced separate currencies for Europe that they decided to bump the prices by ~40%. People are up in arms about the alternative pricing now, because they *introduced* it now. It was hard to be up in arms about it two months ago, because it didn’t exist then.

  32. jalf says:

    Bah, where’s that edit button? Oh well, I suggest we get back on topic. The X-Com games are awesome, and there are plenty of other places to argue about Steam’s pricing.

  33. RichP says:

    Steam’s European pricing is pretty stupid, ’nuff said. Hopefully nosediving sales will convince Valve to straighten that shit out.

  34. Captain Captain says:

    And 4.99 euro in Europe…

  35. MetalCircus says:

    Uhh… this game is a little baffling.

    I don’t know what i’m doing. I landed on a ufo thing, one of my men died instantly as he left the ship. Then when I went to find the bastard that did it nothing was there. Huh.

  36. Meat Circus says:

    Mummy. X-COM is too hard. Please hold my hand, I’m scared.

    Ooh, gratuitous load/save abuse seems to be the key to victory in interception missions.

  37. MA6200 says:

    Once again, thanks for the heads up RPS. I’ve been wanting to play terror from the deep for (many, many) years, but never got around to it – and I didn’t even know there was such as thing as X-Com Enforcer!

    Re: Skizelo, I know what you mean about losing people, but I think it’s great how that attachment forms. I never thought about DF in relation to this game but for me it’s the same sort of connection to the characters. Seems like every time I play the first game some inexperienced recruit with horrible stats I hire in the beginning somehow survives the whole ordeal and becomes a total badass.

    I don’t usually complain about graphics (I don’t even use tilesets in DF) but the first X-Com game would really come alive for me again if someone updated it. No changes to gameplay at all though, please!

  38. MetalCircus says:

    It’s not too hard I just haven’t got a fucking clue.

    Meat, you are a prick. Shut up and fuck off.

  39. Meat Circus says:

    @MetalCircus:

    I know others frequently confuse the two of us on this forum, but we’re running into danger territory when you start doing it.

    I’m playing it right now. It REALLY IS too hard. It seems to be painfully unforgiving, and only (ab)using the save system seems to be any kind of safe path to victory.

    Is this of any help:

    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forum/pc/x-com-strategies/page-1/

  40. MetalCircus says:

    Whoopsy daisy. Thought you was being sarcy ¬_¬

    I want to like this game though – is there any tutorials of some sort online?

  41. Nick says:

    UFO is nothing.. TFTD is *hard*.

    It’s also nowhere NEAR as obtuse as Dwarf Fortress if you, oh, I dunno.. read the manual or something crazy of that ilk.

    I suggest pressing the ‘reserve time units for snapshot’ button at all times, that means you won’t walk into an enemy and not be able to fire and also means your guys will have a chance at reaction fire (shooting during the enemies turn if one moves in front of them/shoots at them).

    Equip your interceptor with two of the longest range missile launchers and sell the regular cannon/rounds and the other missile launcher (I can’t remember what they are called in UFO, in TFTD this means get two DUP head torpedo launchers). This will keep all but larger UFOs out of firing range as long as you intercept at maxium range, and down most in one barrage.

    Buy a tank and use it to scout in the early stages, it as a lot more HPs and is replaceable, you can use it to spot then have your men take the shots so they slowly improve their stats.

  42. Premium User Badge

    James G says:

    Gah, I brought the first game alone for £2.99ish shortly after Christmas, still haven’t quite got my head round it. Runs nicely on my Wind though. Steam makes it too easy to buy stuff.

  43. Nick says:

    qrter posted one in this thread already Metal: http://www.ufopaedia.org

  44. ascagnel says:

    To the people complaining about the difference in price:

    When Steam launched in the US, its prices were higher than at retail. Its a pain, but retailers pretty much have publishers over a barrel. Since sales are still mostly retail, retail wants to protect itself. They do this by offering the same product at a lower price. Its BS, and a “Steam Tax”, but its not unique to Europe.

  45. clive dunn says:

    ahh, i remember the days when i used to write (as in a letter) to Julian Gollop (the xcom genius-creator) pleading with him to release more expansions for Laser Squad on the Spectrum. He always wrote back and was always really polite and lovely and promised to make more expansions. He never fucking did! But i forgave him.
    Then the x-com games came out and i was blown away, i used to play them until first light and then sleep a bit and then play again; hours upon hours upon hours.
    Then i really got into Laser squad Nemesis (like online X-com) which was great until the community crumbled (it still limps on).
    Julian now lives in Bulgaria and releases occasional stuff to pay the bills but has got bogged down in a house conversion. Damn that Real Life shit.
    Anyway. These are some of the best games i have ever played and i would dearly love something new from this man but it’s kind of like asking Thomas Pynchon for another book. You’ll get it when it’s ready.
    (hang on, is Pynchon dead?)

  46. pkt-zer0 says:

    @Meat Circus:

    X-COM’s difficulty level is just fine. Maybe recent games have made you too soft. :P I’d say it wouldn’t be half as fun if it wasn’t challenging – aliens with vastly superior technology gunning down your inexperienced troopers is only expected, after all.

    In any case, if a guy can do pretty well even drunk off his ass, you’ll manage, too. The linked videos also serve as a decent enough tutorial, if you’re in need of one. So chop chop, get to it, the Earth won’t rid itself of the alien menace on its own.

    @ascagnel:

    “Slightly higher than retail”, or “40% or even 100% higher than retail”? I don’t think that retail needs that much protection, especially when digital download is seen as lesser value than a physical copy.

  47. Gap Gen says:

    Gah! Steam! Stop selling me cheap games!

  48. K says:

    Wow, I’d have been about 10 or 11 when I completed UFO. Definitely one of my all time favourites. If you detect the one-man(alien) UFO during the first few nights, you’ll be researching plasma from the start, which puts you way ahead. Remember to make sure you can use opportunity fire during tactical missions. Use aimed shots until your accuracy is higher. Be patient. Move slowly. Have people looking in every direction. And avoid taking on terror missions at night, irk!

  49. CdrJameson says:

    This is presumably the XP-compatible version of UFO from a few years back, rather than the original-original (which ran so fast even slowed down in DOS box you couldn’t actually, oh, use the mouse for example).

    And somebody buy Julian a house so he can go back to doing what he does best, not faffing around with DIY.

  50. qrter says:

    No, Pynchon lives.

    (hang on, isn’t Clive Dunn dead?)