Braid Coming To Impulse, Others

By Jim Rossignol on February 18th, 2009 at 8:51 am.


[EDIT: Actual price for this is $14.95.] Exquisitely clever time-bending platformer Braid will finally see a PC release on March 31st, and the $15 pre-orders are up on Stardock’s DRM-free digi-delivery system, Impulse. Blow says: “”I’ve signed the game with 3 different online distributors. One of them, Impulse, has already announced. The other two haven’t put out their press releases yet, so I don’t want to jump the gun saying who it is.” (Thanks, Paul.)

The IGF winner is one of the most heavily praised indie games of the past few years, and has caused many people to say “beeeeoooowwwoop!” in earnest. Creator Jonathan Blow gave a memorable keynote at FreePlay in 2007, in which he both talked up Braid and described the reward scheme of World Of Warcraft as “unethical”. Braid trailer after the click.

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140 Comments »

  1. Heliocentric says:

    Any hints of a demo? Did 360s get one? Hmm, I’ll likely get it, but i can’t trust 360 reviewers(see any hyped game review ever), guess i need a review or a demo to drop $20. Thats like four hundred english (god saves the) queens pounds.

  2. Feet says:

    Having played and completed it on that there three hundred and wotsit machine, I can exclusively reveal to the RPS readers, this:

    It is great. And quite hard. But great as well.

  3. Cedge says:

    If I could somehow go back in time and prevent myself from ever reading anything Blow has ever said, then I might want to buy it. As it stands though, I can’t bring myself to throw any money in the direction of someone of his level of pretentiousness.

    Game does look pretty neat, though.

  4. Heliocentric says:

    You’ve played on a 360 so you’ll have 360 radiation on you. It makes you incapable of giving quite good games less than 9/10. I’m sorry i’ll need someone who wont light up a bulb held between their teeth!

  5. Feet says:

    Also: what took some damned long? It’s been out on XBLA for over 6 months, it was supposed to be a game for 2008 on PC! Tsk.

    Furthermore it’s good to see Impulse getting the digital distribution rights for such a high profile game, if it makes more people create and install Impulse then that’s awesome, I don’t really like the seeming monopoly that Valve seem to be getting with Steam. Competition is good, plus I love Stardock and all they do.

  6. Zombie Konky Dong says:

    Braid is good, but not $20 good.

  7. Tei says:

    What Heliocentric say is true. People that has played 360 has like radiation or something, are somewhat biased to think a game that is good on 360 is “good” itself, and will be fun on the PC. But Gears of War and Halo are deming the oposite, games that are practically “GODS” on the 360 are like anyon and generic boring garbage on the PC. This one may be fun, but there are zillions of platform games on the PC, *AND* emulators. I can play Ocarine of time on my PC. What is better use of my time of money, download Ocarine of Time, or buy Braid on impulse.

    Another thing, I want my digital downloads to “consolidate”, so I want to buy this.. on Steam. There are news about that? will this game show in Steam?

  8. Feet says:

    You’re a tool of Valve, Tei! Impulse is great! It works, it’s reliable, it’s safe and it doesn’t sap your machines resource like the Steam client, it’s more streamlined than Steam.

    Why does everyone insist they’ll only buy something digitally if it appears on Steam? What logic are they following to make such statements. I love Steam, I buy many games from it, but I’m not loyal to the brand nor do I think it’s the only viable choice for downloads.

    I agree I don’t want to have loads of different digital distribution clients running on my PC, but surely there’s room for more than one on your machine?

  9. Bobsy says:

    Oh for cock’s sake. Of course it’s worth $20. Easily.

  10. Feet says:

    If you don’t own it on the console already it’s definately worth $20.

  11. Seniath says:

    My word, we are feisty today aren’t we?

  12. Tei says:

    @Feet:
    Very long reasons why I like Steam more:
    [ too long to write here ]

    TL;DR version:
    Well.. I like having all my games on the same launcher.
    As a “game launcher”, I like more Steam.

    Short version:
    And Steam feels like a solid application. The Impulse browser feels like a re-skined IE6 with fixed tabs. And is strangely poorly designed, that is strange for Stardock, the kings of UI Eyecandy. Maybe too much eyecandy and not enough good design. But ..hee!.. I like Windows 2000 more as a gamming platform than XP.
    Another reason is that, to this date, Valve has never lied to me. Everything that that I need work as advertised and promised.
    Of course, I have ready a helicopter to escape, in case Valve consolize or EA-ize or Ubisoft-ize or Microsoft-ize. But to this date are Ok-ish developpers.
    I don’t know Stardock other than the byzarre re-skin tool, that has been there on the internet on some computers for ages. And I know Stardock for Sins, that is a good game (maybe not epic enough to me). But other than that, I don’t know Stardock. I have read lots of messages from Valve devs on the half-life sdk official list. I kind of think I undertand “Valve”. I have read some post from Stardock people on the Demigod official forum, and I think I may undertand “Stardock”, but somewhat I think what can be good for Stardock maybe is not what is good for me. Maybe If I learn more about Stardock, I will like then …less. I know If I know more about Valve, I will like then …more.
    And steam work seamlessly on my computer. It may take 8MB of ram, maybe, or something. But my computer has 4096 MB of RAM (where only ~3000 is available, because the stupid windows design).
    I have analize somewhat how Steam works, and it also interesting, because can be hacked, …this is like the console that some FPS games have. Theres a single interface, but another complex interface inside, and secret things. On comparation Impulse is dull, as work with a IE6 engine, and that is… It just browse some web server on stardock. Theres no hacking to be made. Not interesting one.. [this continue for hours ]

  13. teo says:

    Steam ‘saps’ your resources? Have you ever even used it?
    It barely uses any resources at all

    This was 15$ on consoles I’m not paying 20$

  14. teo says:

    If you only have 3 out of 4 GB of RAM available it’s not because of ‘stupid’ windows design it’s you not understanding computers

  15. Heliocentric says:

    I have like 50 items in my steam list (a few demos i means to try, and xcom is like 6 titles the ship is 3)

    Steam is getting mega fucking slow, so much so if i set it to run at startup on my low end pc it hyjacks my pc for 2 minutes. And its not much better if i boot it after launch.

    My dual core pc is fine. But the advantage of not having to worry about physical media is steadily being melted away.

    Maybe i need less titles on steam downloaded, but thats how i roll. All my games at my finger tips ready to play a 500gb drive 80% full of game installs. Stardock takes ages to authenticate my titles, but i don’t need to do that to play. I’m by no means a crazy boycotter though.

  16. Senethro says:

    Heh, a long startup with 400GB of games might have something to do with it.

    If I get Braid from impulse it’ll be the 4th DD service I’ve used.

  17. FunkyB says:

    @Tei:
    http://blogs.msdn.com/hiltonl/archive/2007/04/13/the-3gb-not-4gb-ram-problem.aspx

    tl;dr version: live with it, it’s not windows’ fault.

  18. Ian says:

    I’ll probably pre-order it because I feel I ought to play it, but it seems a bit rubbish that we’re paying more after having waited for ages to even get the damn thing.

  19. dbdkmezz says:

    HURRRAAAAAHHH!

    Played the first hour and a half on a friends Xbox and the whole experience was pure joy! Will be great to have a chance to finally sink my teeth into this game and see if Blow can make games as well as he can talk. I’m completely sold on his idea that the rules of games have meaning and games so far have pretty much been ignoring them, resulting in doing the equivalent of a film “playing clown music at a funeral” (Blow’s analogy). So will be great to see how he puts all his thought into practice.

    But even if all he says is completely and utterly wrong this game will still be worth $20. The game is just so much fun to play, that first hour and a half was definitely my most joyous game experience of last year.

    BUY! BUY! BUY!

  20. bansama says:

    If it turns up on Steam or GamesGate, I’ll give it a look at. But I’m not touching Impulse. Everything about their site just screams “Ugh!” at me, so there’s no way I could make it to the purchase button or see myself ever installing their client.

    Game does look mildly interesting though.

  21. Dr_demento says:

    Braid is an incredible, amazing computer game which everyone should play. Genius art style, exceptional music, and phenomenal gameplay – with only a very rare few problems (2doors1key being a particular failure) and a depressingly postmodernist epilogue which ought to have been cut.

    That said, it was £12 on the 360 which was perhaps a little on the high side, so given the current exchange rates $20=£14.13 which is more slightly high. Still worth it. Hey, and it doesn’t have DRM!

    Of course, it doesn’t have a hi-res texture pack, expanded new levels, a new multiplayer mode and new mission types, so clearly it’s been DUMMED DOWN FOR CONSOL TARDS LOL and doesn’t deserve a place on the PC.

  22. Tei says:

    (offtopic: yes, I was wrong. Is not windows to be blamed here.
    Anyway, here is the bit about it:
    – - –
    In the 32-bit Windows world, each application has its own “virtual” 4GB memory space. (This means that each application functions as if it has a flat 4GB of memory, and the system’s memory manager keeps track of memory mapping, which applications are using which memory, page file management, and so on.)

    This 4GB space is evenly divided into two parts, with 2GB dedicated for kernel usage, and 2GB left for application usage. Each application gets its own 2GB, but all applications have to share the same 2GB kernel space.
    – - –
    With this limits:
    a) aplications are limited to 2 GB or memory
    b) servers are limited to 2 GB of kernel memory for all processes )
    I have 4GB of RAM, and my games are limited to 2 GB.
    Anyway all this is moot point, because there are good 64 bits versions of Windows. [info])

  23. dbdkmezz says:

    By the way, it isn’t an Impulse exclusive, there are two other (unannounced) digital distributors. And it may be here even earlier than the end of March. :)

    http://braid-game.com/news/?p=392#comment-4558

  24. qrter says:

    Steam is getting mega fucking slow

    Steam checks for ‘new content’ for installed games when it starts up, doesn’t it? If you have 50+ games installed, that’ll take a little while, yes.

    Personally I only have a few games at a time installed because to me that’s the great thing about a platform like Steam – if I get the urge to want to play another (uninstalled) game from my list I can quite easily reinstall/redownload it. It took away the worry about whether to leave something installed or not, is what I’m saying.

  25. QuantumGravitas says:

    Personally I only have a few games at a time installed because to me that’s the great thing about owning the CDs – if I get the urge to want to play another (uninstalled) game from my list I can quite easily reach back to my shiny CD/reinstall it. It takes away the worry about whether to have another client running just to play games, is all I’m saying.

  26. subedii says:

    Is Impulse actually DRM free? I thought it wasn’t, even if you restore the game from backup, you still need to verify with Stardock’s servers before you can play don’t you? It’s not too much different from Steam except that Steam checks every time you use the program, not just the first time.

    I mean it’s not a huge thing or anything (don’t want to turn this into a DRM debate), but I just wanted to clarify that this is something different compared to say, what GOG or 2D Boy does.

    Unless I’m mistaken, in which case someone please correct me.

  27. drewski says:

    Impulse may be DRM free (lulz) but I still need to be online to “authenticate” and update my software, don’t I? Oh wow I can play unupdated single player without phoning home! Gosh you’re so generous!

    Wooo DRM wooo!

    Fail.

    Which is a shame, because if they release this at a decent price on a decent distribution platform, I’ll be all over it like a rash.

  28. Wedge says:

    Why would anyone have a problem with having to be online and authenticated to update their game? Wouldn’t you have to be online to get an update anyways? That’s the dumbest complaint I have ever heard.

    And this took forever to come to PC because Blow is a giant fucking blowhard. The game was made for PC originally, and that’s what the first reviewers actually played the game on. However he was hyper paranoid about piracy and believed the game would only sell 5k copies tops on PC, so he delayed it, then delayed it some more, then delayed it again. And now he’s finally coming out and releasing it half a year later for MORE than it costs on the 360? GTFO.

  29. Colthor says:

    Impulse seems to install an unencrypted, unfiddled-with copy of the game to your machine, so I imagine with most games you can just move that around or whatever as you like, as you would with an installed-from-disk copy.
    But the best thing is not having to load the client to play games. Steam’s pretty quick on my desktop, but on my laptop, even with only a few games downloaded, it takes such a long time to start that you’ve lost interest by the time the game’s running.

    Not that Impulse doesn’t have its niggles – the funny CD-key entering thing, say – but overall, I think I like GoG more than Impulse more than Steam.

    If Steam didn’t need to be launched to play Steam games, and Steam(works) games on disk would work (single-player, unpatched, that’s fine) without Steam or an internet connection I’d probably like it a bit more than Impulse.

  30. drewski says:

    The dumbest comment you ever heard? Take it you didn’t notice the TARP bill, then…

    It may surprise you to learn this, but there are things called “self executable files” in which games companies can include “patches” that don’t require you to be online to install! You can patch a game without being online! You don’t need to rely on a third party service a) being solvent b) being up to date c) being competant to have games which run!

    It’s amazing technology!

  31. Still annoyed says:

    I’m glad I don’t have to pay €20 for this on Steam, then.

  32. Thiefsie says:

    Great game, but a little expensive on PC. I’m happy to have won it for free on the xbox.

    Well worth $10 – but I don’t know about double.

  33. Neut says:

    Game of the year last year for me, enjoyed it more than anything on the PC or the 360, so much so that I’ve added it to The List. It now sits proudly in my mind alongside Torment, System Shock, Deus Ex and Shadow of the Colossus, among others, as great moments in gaming and quick name drops when I’m trying to sound pretentious about Games As Art :O

    Glad its finally coming to the PC, everyone should definitely give it a try if they haven’t yet. There was a demo on the 360 and it’s actually what convinced me to spend money on those ridiculous microsoft points so I could get the full game.

  34. nabeel says:

    Really happy to hear this news finally, though I wonder if I will wait for it to come on Steam, if Blow is true to his promise.

  35. Dracko says:

    Oh boy! 360 hate! Awesome!

  36. Oak says:

    Is that a chocolate dinosaur?

  37. cyrenic says:

    Anyone have any idea why the price was upped $5? Surely Steam (I’m assuming we’ll see it on there) and Impulse take less of a cut than Microsoft.

  38. Caiman says:

    Braid is not just a classic of the genre, but a brilliant deconstruction of it. If you don’t want to buy it because you think its author is pretentious, or because it was released on a console first, then you’re a bit daft. Have fun living in daft land!

  39. Okami says:

    Stupid Impulse fanboys with their dumbed down Impulse games! Errr.. I mean.. Valve are evil..

    No… wait.. it’s the consoles… they’re guilty of everything!

    Your stupid Amiga is just a gaming machine, no real computer, I can make music on my Atari ST!

    Sorry, what was this article about?

  40. PHeMoX says:

    “Of course, it doesn’t have a hi-res texture pack, expanded new levels, a new multiplayer mode and new mission types, so clearly it’s been DUMMED DOWN FOR CONSOL TARDS LOL and doesn’t deserve a place on the PC.”

    I am pretty sure you’ve never played Braid then. It’s certainly not ‘dumbed’ down at all.

  41. PHeMoX says:

    Not as long as the pricing continues to be on par with retail stores;
    “I agree I don’t want to have loads of different digital distribution clients running on my PC, but surely there’s room for more than one on your machine?”

    I mean come on, why pay 50$ for GTA IV on Steam when buying it retail is 45$ and you’ll get a neat DVD + manual etc. For some strange reason Valve decided to not calculate exchange rates into their pricing anymore, so we folks from Europe actually pay about 20% more on average. That s ucks and there’s really no way I am going to pay >30$ for a game anymore.

  42. Steve says:

    Probably to protect against us PC gamers, all of whom are obviously filthy pirates.

  43. Naurgul says:

    I agree with Okami. >.>

    But seriously now, I’ll probably get it if it gets released on Steam. I’ll also possibly get it if it doesn’t gets released on Steam, although having to install yet another such digital distribution platform would be annoying.

  44. Tei says:

    About the anti-anti-console comments I can make a comment like this one:

    “”HOW THIS WORK NOW:

    You have a good game for the PC?
    DONT RELEASE YET!.. release on the console, more units sell. ( [reference] Braid, Dragon Age, etc..)

    Do you have a patch for your multisystem game?
    Delay it on the PC, so Microsoft/Sony validate it for the consoles. And make ‘simultaneous’ release. ([reference] L4D DLC )

    Do you have a poor boring generic game for the console?
    Delay the production of a PC port, and make the port as poorly ported as posible. Adds tons of DRM (like GFW). Add more DRM ( like Social Club), and on top of that, add more DRM ( Steam ). ( [reference] GTAIV, Fallout 3 DLC, etc..)”"

    …but I will not make it.

  45. Ginger Yellow says:

    This one may be fun, but there are zillions of platform games on the PC, *AND* emulators

    Braid is not a platform game. Really it’s not. The first world may seem a bit like one, because it’s simple and a fairly overt homage to the Mario games, but Braid is a puzzle game through and through. It’s as much of a platformer as Portal is an FPS.

    And seriously, if you haven’t got a 360, buy this game on PC. It’s wonderful. The puzzles are ingenious, the level design sometimes makes you jump for joy, and the basic time mechanic takes out so much of the potential frustration. It’s not perfect, but it’s utterly, utterly brilliant.

  46. Paul Moloney says:

    “I mean come on, why pay 50$ for GTA IV on Steam when buying it retail is 45$”

    In Euro, the difference is even more extreme: €50 on Steam vs €27 online retail (from Asda).

    Steam is great for the occasional weekend offers and indie games, but ludicrous for full-price new releases.

    P.

  47. Senethro says:

    Valve doesn’t set prices for games not their own. Each regions has different prices. If you’re seeing dollar amounts but don’t live in the US something is wrong.

  48. Tworak says:

    $5 more? fuuuuck youuuu

    That’s also why it’s not going to be on steam. Because it’s more expensive than xbl. same deal with that other game, ehh some shitty HD remake.

    I hope it get pirated to fuck, lols.

  49. Feet says:

    I forgot how awesome the music was for this game…

  50. UncleLou says:

    “If I could somehow go back in time and prevent myself from ever reading anything Blow has ever said, then I might want to buy it. As it stands though, I can’t bring myself to throw any money in the direction of someone of his level of pretentiousness.”

    Does this really matter to you?What do I know how many writers, directors, actors and musicians whose works I love are or aren’t complete tossers. For me it’s the work that counts, not the person behind it. I would admittedly make an exception if I knew someone used the money he earns with his works for something I fundamentally disagree with, but silly personal opinions and nonsense don’t really bother me.

    What I find more irksome is a higher price after months of delays (and the website bullshitting me about a “2008″ release till the end of December).