The RPS Bargain Bucket

By RPS on March 14th, 2009 at 1:36 pm.

You people like bargains, right? Well, have some bargains. SavyGamer‘s LewieP has kindly compiled the most agreeably cut-priced PC gaming deals to be had on this fine weekend – most of which can be downloaded right now, thus saving you from the tragic perils of a listless Sunday. There is no rhyme or reason to our picks, beyond simply pointing you at some fine games you might have missed out back when they carried a full-fat pricetag. So, what’s in the bucket this week?

Mount & Blade – £7.40/€7.99/$10.33
Huge sprawling action RPG, made by a Turkish married couple. It is a little rough round the edges, but it’s an incredibly fresh, ambitious take on the genre. The scale and scope is impressive, and the combat is pretty compelling. There’s also an expansion on the way later this year that’ll introduce multiplayer. Try the demo here.

Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45 – £2.99/€4.99/$4.99
Multiplayer-only WW2 FPS. Not played it myself, but apparently it has a quite brutal learning curve, and has a impressively dedicated community behind it. It’s just had an update that has added achievements, a new map, and some bugfixes.

Big Money – Free
Yes, it’s yet another match-3 game from Popcap, but they’re still the folk behind Peggle, lest we forget, so this might be fun too. The price is certainly right – it’s available for free until the 23rd of March. Even if you don’t want it, I’m sure your mum does.

Men Of War – £17.99/€23.99/$26.99 delivered (pick your country in the top right, then search “Men of War”).
Apparently quite good despite having one of the worst names of any game ever. It’s an RTS based on the Russian theatre of World War II. According to Jim you can steal hats from fallen enemies. Also it has tanks, grenades, explosions, guns and flamethrowers. Try the demo here.

Bargain of the Week
Unreal Tournament 3 – £8.39/€11.99/$11.99
Not only has Unreal Tournament 3 had a massive update recently, adding new gametypes, new maps, achievements and a bunch of technical improvements, but it’s also free to play this weekend on Steam. UK gamers can alternatively grab a retail copy just £4.99. You can then tap the retail serial into Steam to add it to your Steam account.

If that little lot’s not enough for you, do check out SavyGamer.co.uk for constantly-updated bargains across all formats.

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55 Comments »

  1. Zed says:

    I highly, highly, highly recommend Mount & Blade. Great fun, constantly updated and lots of great mods to try out if you get bored. Check it out, now.

  2. Smurfy says:

    I bought UT3 in the Winter Sale, installed it last week, and haven’t played it yet. I guess now is a good time.

  3. sinister agent says:

    £8 for Mount and Blade is the best bargain you’ll see this year.

  4. Dominic White says:

    Mount & Blade is excellent – it’s kinda like Sid Meier’s Pirates!, only instead of being about pirates, it’s about medieval mercenaries. There’s also less dancing, and more slaughtering your foes with a large variety of pointy objects.

    Red Orchestra is also excellent. The graphics are a little aged, but the gameplay is probably the best mixture of fast-moving respawning and realism I’ve seen. The firefights are tense and incredibly deadly, but you’re never out of the fight long if you catch a bullet.

    Unreal Tournament 3 wasn’t excellent, but now it is. The new gamemodes (two new full gamemodes, Greed and Betrayal, and one core-gameplay mutator, Titan, that can be applied to any gamemode – ideally ones with large open maps and vehicles) and maps and interface and improved playerbase make it well worth it now. It also looks goddamn gorgeous if you’ve got a half-decent video card. My Radeon 4850HD (which I got ages back for about £170, so it should be cheaper now) runs it at maxed out everything, 1440 x 900 with room to spare for AA/AF/Vsync.

    Just make sure you set post-processing to ‘muted’. This does the opposite of what you’d think it does. It actually *reduces* the desaturation filter, so everything gets more colourful and defined.

    It is a very good weekend for virtual murder.

  5. Dominic White says:

    Oh, it should be noted that all three of those games have active modding communities. Despite Mount & Blade largely being a two-person project, the modding community for it is huge. Check out the file repostiory here:
    http://www.mbrepository.com/modules/PDdownloads/

    Red Orchestra also has some very good mods. At least one of the bigger ‘expansion’ type ones is officially up on Steam as well, so you don’t have to go a’hunting for it.

    UT3 has a small, but accelerating modding community. The good ol’ Make Something Unreal contest (the same one that spawned Red Orchestra last time round) is in full swing again, though, and there are some really impressive looking contenders. Smart money is on Angels Fall First: Planetstorm, though.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9JwKbWoaUQ (Pre-alpha gameplay video)
    http://affuniverse.com/ (Official site)

    It looks mindbogglingly ambitious. Originally a Homeworld/Nexus mod, now it covers everything from capital-ship-level space combat to infantry groundpounding, and it looks undeniably lovely.

    So, yeah. Not only are these games cheap, but they keep on giving.

  6. MetalCircus says:

    Mount and Blade FTW!

  7. rocketman71 says:

    I’m not giving money to Cliffy, thanks.

  8. Dominic White says:

    As has been mentioned before, I’m fairly sure UT3s team leader was someone else, and not Cliffy ‘I Don’t Want To Be Called Cliffy B’ B.

  9. Chris Evans says:

    Cliffy B is the Gears man mainly, not too sure how, or if, he was involved in UT3.

    Anyway I own copies of all of these games (bar Big Money) though I have only actually played Men of War and Mount and Blade, two very good games.

    UT3 and Red Orchestra are two games that I always think about downloading on Steam, but for one reason or another I never get around to it. If I had more HDD space and a connection that could download them in a decent amount of time, then I would certainly have tried them out already.

  10. M_the_C says:

    £8 for Mount and Blade is the best bargain you’ll see this year.
    Except for when it was £6.25 on Steam. ;)

    Still a good price though, very unique game.

  11. Erlam says:

    I bought UT3 long ago, but to this day I have the same problem (and on two different computers) – BSOD’s. In fact, the only BSOD’s I’ve had in the last 5 years have been because of this game. And I haven’t actually seen gameplay yet.

  12. BrokenSymmetry says:

    The lead designer for UT3 is Steve Polge, who started at Epic programming the bots for the Unreal series. In my opinion, UT3 still has by far the best bots of any multiplayer shooter.

  13. Jockie says:

    Multiplayer expansion for M&B? when?!

  14. sinister agent says:

    Except for when it was £6.25 on Steam. ;)

    I got it for less than that a few years back, so nerr. Also, steam smells of wee. And you have a silly chin.

    No, I really don’t like being clearly wrong. Hmph.

  15. pepper says:

    Yes the bots indeed are excellent and usually a pretty good warm-up/training tool. I wonder why nobody else has asked this guy to make there bots.

  16. Dominic White says:

    The UT3 bots are one of the reasons why I think Angels Fall First may well turn out great. Word is that they’re shooting for it being 64 player, with support for up to 128. Players will be able to take the important roles, and the grunts and ship crews can be AI, although they’ll relinquish control to any player that wants in.

  17. Heliocentric says:

    Yeah, savy(remember only 1 v) gamer is awesome. Between savy and gamestracker i can quickly scan the net for value.

    The weekend discounts are all kind of useless to me though. Apart from the gamer gate shock force and lost empire immortals for €5.

  18. Po0py says:

    PopCap.com has the original Peggle going for £2.55 if anyone is interested. I dunno if thats just Peggle or Peggle Deluxe as it is advertised on Steam; nor do I know what the difference is. Not really interested but it looks like a bargain to me.

    Meh. Too busy with games this last couple of weeks to be buying more. Got Empire Total War on the go (but the latest patch introduced a crippling CTD bug for me so I’m out of that until the next patch comes along). Just started Dragon Quest 5 on DS yesterday and Resident Evil 5 arrived in the post today. Resi 5 is fucking beautiful. Best looking console game so far, imo. Same, or similar engine as the Devil May Cry 4 pc so you can expect nice things with the pc version whenever that happens. Maybe Capcom should get off their arses and hire a project manager for these things because I’m tired of waiting for games that should be released multiplatform on day one, not six months later, overpriced and with virtually no fanfare (ie:DMC4).

    I rant too much.

  19. Plopsworth says:

    +1 for Red Orchestra and Mount & Blade.

    The latter in particular had a very nice support the development by pre-purchasing shareware beta model. I got it back in the day while I was reading through Jan Guillou’s Templar trilogy, when there was just Zendar between the Vaegir and Swadians battling it out, and I still go on binges once a season. Strange how some games and books compliment each other so beautifully.

    Red Orchestra is also a very fine game. There is pretty much nothing to nitpick about from a realism perspective. It also has some of the best tracer gunfire effects I’ve ever seen as they gently arc and whizz past your head before ricocheting up from oblique angles. Lots of details, like clicking after firing of a round in order to operate the bolt and to charge the next round, getting your rifle shot out of your hands by shrapnel or a lucky near-miss, the lack of conefire, the minimalist hud (count your shots, no auto reload), how you can steady your weapon (or LMG bipod) against pretty much any horizontal surface or vertical corner to eliminate weapon-sway, or the fact that the beautiful reload animations are shorter if you still have a round chambered (which doesn’t magically disappear either from the reload). If you appreciate these touches, you’ll love the game. It’s not that hard or complicated a game. Shooting and getting shot is pretty straightforward. I think that TF2 has more complexity in its classes than RO with all its classes, even if RO has a more abrupt learning curve, and you’ll still have plenty of fun diving in at the deep end like a historically correct terrified teen conscript with a bolt-action rifle (which is just as deadly as any other weapon, more so, in certain situations, when used right). I’ll just quote something I wrote earlier on the forums in the sniping thread:

    “[Re: dialing in range for the scopes in Op:Flash] It’s actually very similar and just as fun as manually estimating and dialing in the range in Red Orchestra’s tanks’ scopes. So a Panther is trundling along across your sights, you’re hull down behind a wall, good. Judging by the number of chevrons it fits betwen I’d say it looks like 400 metres, *adjust-adjust*, AP loaded? Yes. Remember to lead the shot, aim for below the turret for a lucky ammo-compartment shot. FIRE! As the smoke clears, watch the shell shrink and slowly inch downwards as it screams towards the target just as expected – Wait! No, you guessed the range too far and so the shot looks to be too high *KeRANG* Yes, there it goes, ricocheting off of the thick turret in a wild arc before thudding harmlessly into the pasture. RELOAD!”

  20. MrTambourineMan says:

    Don’t you just love steam logic 1$ == 1€. :*

  21. Evil Vitamin C says:

    How good is UT3 now compared to UT2004?

  22. cyrenic says:

    Mount and Blade on Gamersgate is actually $7.99 for us US types.

    Been playing M&B this week, I bought it back when there was a Steam sale for it. The scope of what you can do in that game is amazing, and man is it fun.

  23. mandrill says:

    you forgot the absolute bargain that is EVE online with 60 days game time on shopto.net (http://www.shopto.net/PC/GAMES/PCEV03-EVE%20Online%20-%20Special%20Edition.html)

  24. mandrill says:

    oops forgot the price. Its £16.99 btw.

  25. noom says:

    A brief fiddle with the demo of Men of War reminded me very much of a combination of Commandos and Silent Storm. Will have to give it some more playtime but it certainly has lots of potential if it lives up to that impression.

  26. Dominic White says:

    Blame Ubisoft for the confusion, but Men Of War is in fact the two expansions to Russian game Outfront 2 rolled into one game.

    To clarify, Russian/English Titles

    Outfront / Soldiers: Heroes of World War 2
    Outfront 2 / Faces of War
    Outfront 2a + 2b / Men Of War

    And with each successive game, the publisher decided that they’d cut the translation budget further. Men of War, while a great game, has some of the most hilariously terrible voicework ever.

    Why can’t they just let us play in Russian with english subs?

  27. Turin Turambar says:

    [About RO] “…There is pretty much nothing to nitpick about from a realism perspective…”

    Ha ha ha! :P

  28. Heliocentric says:

    Realism stuff about ro never really washed with me. Playing it like battlefield 2 ost front always seemed to yield the best results. But then, it is freaking awesome. The achievements will actually serve to get me back into playing when i have more spare time.

    An organised squad can dominate 3 times their number, reloading the ammo of a heavy gunner then desperately laying down suppersive fire to let the mg get redeployed.

  29. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    Multiplayer Mount & Blade? This is lovely news.

  30. Cian says:

    Feeling smug and self-satisfied for already owning these games and having got some of them for cheaper earlier in their lives.
    Red Orchestra and Mount and Blade are both incredibly interesting simply due to offering combat experiences that are entirely unique and not available in any other game. Buy them, play them, join me in my smugness.

  31. Jog says:

    Just bought Red Orchestra (always wanted to try this) and I am a little disappointed. Don’t get me wrong it’s a good game, but I was expecting it to be as realistic as ArmA or BF2:Project Reality, but it turned out to be just slower paced, more gory and better version CoD.

    I’ve been playing it for 5-6 hours and I didn’t hear anone on VOIP and that’s sad. In BF2:PR everybody is using VOIP and you just can’t live without it…

  32. Akirasfriend says:

    Congrats to Lewie for getting his site featured here, and ta to RPS for doing so. He’s been posting these bargains up on the Consolevania forums for ages now, and they really are grand. I got Dark Messiah: Might & Magic for free – THANKS LEWIE! *Thumbsupcheesygrin* [/endorsment]

  33. LewieP says:

    Cheers for letting me post these guys, and glad to be of service.

    After having read this, my Mum got “Big Money”, so I guess that’s something. :)

    I’m very tempted to get UT3, but not sure how it will run on my PC. I have a x1600XT, 1.86c2d , 1gb ram. How do you think I will fare?

    I should probably just do the free weekend thing, now I think about it. *Click*

  34. Doug F says:

    and with no snarkiness at all, approved by LewieP’s Mum is a pretty good endorsement.

  35. Scandalon says:

    I’d urge most everyone to at least give UT3 a try (there *IS* already a demo too…). It will run pretty darn well (and still look decent) on lower-spec machine’s than you’d think. Lewie’s comp should handle it just fine. Being a rather involved fan of the original (and Unreal 1), UT2Kx somehow passed me by, but I’m enjoying 3, esp w/ the new patch. (Just don’t expect much from the SP “campaign”, it’s pretty much an extended tutorial w/ Gears-of-War levels of story and characters.)

  36. Dave says:

    I bought UT3, it crashed immediately on startup. Three times. Rebooted, tried one more time, and it decided it needed to download a patch for another half hour (after 7 hours of download time for the game so far…)

    I remain hopeful…

  37. Theoban says:

    It just goes to show you can’t be too careful!

  38. Dave says:

    Post-patch, it runs fine. Very shiny fancy-looking game. It won’t replace TF2 in my heart, but well worth the discount price at least. I expect I’ll start up a match against slightly-too-amateur bots whenever real people frustrate me too much. :D

  39. Dominic White says:

    For those of you who are getting UT3, feel free to skip on the campaign mode. It’s a nice idea on paper, but it amounts to just a series of botmatches with rubberbanding AI – if you do especially well, the enemy team improve and yours worsens, and it quickly becomes an exercise in frustration.

    Normal botmatches (run through the Instant Action panel) don’t have this issue. The only things you’ll miss out on from skipping the campaign are the plot (which is terrible), and unlocking a few extra character models, which can be granted by opening the console (f10) and typing ‘unlockallchars’.

    There’s two more character models that need to be unlocked by entering the special codes ‘jihan’ and ‘phader’ in the character selection menu.

    There, you’ve unlocked everything and saved yourself the hassle of enduring the terribly dull campaign. Feel happy!

  40. Oddtwang says:

    Oh, and a few achievements post-Titan pack. Not worth enduring the godawful cutscenes for though :)

  41. Skurmedel says:

    Red Orchestra is nice, but it can be a bit boring sometimes when the server switches to some weird third party map; often that means running a huge distance and getting shot just as you reach the front. It does what Day of Defeat: Souce didn’t do very well, carry on the Day of Defeat heritage. It’s certainly not Counter-Strike with WW2 guns.

  42. Dave says:

    I didn’t have that rubberbanding problem with campaign mode. I did have the problem with the plot though. :D

    I didn’t finish it, but so far it seemed like a useful intro to the unfamiliar game modes.

    Thanks for the advice and unlock codes though :)

  43. Oak says:

    UT3 eventually won me over. I’ve always had ambivalent feelings toward the twitchier end of the FPS spectrum, but it remains easy to completely lose yourself in them when you find the right match.

    I have really, really come to love the look of the game, too. All of the new maps I played, particularly Ocean Relic and Eden, Inc., are stunning the first time you experience them. I’d be interested in seeing what could be done with these settings in something that isn’t a mile-a-minute shooter.

  44. Alan Wilson says:

    As one of the devs on Red Orchestra, I’m biased. Aside from that – Mount & Blade has been chewing up a lot of my time. Yes, a tad rough round the edges, but I have to love it for itself – and for the fact that it was created by a tiny team with even less money than we created RO with!

    So – buy both of them. Costs less than a couple of beers and you’ll get a LOT more enjoyment out of them!

  45. Bobsy says:

    I was always disappointed that Red Orchestra wasn’t about an actual orchestra. I maintain that that’d be a much more fun game.

  46. PC Monster says:

    Alan Wilson: “So – buy both of them. Costs less than a couple of beers…”

    RO (£2.99) + M&B (£7.40) = £10.39.

    Those are hella-expensive beers you’re drinking, Alan. Pint here in Aberdeen costs roughly £2.70, depending on where you go. You must be living the rock-and-roll Dev lifestyle, eh?

    Almost bought M&B. but then didn’t. Story at 11.

  47. tigershuffle says:

    Love M&B …..once you add a few expansion mods etc.. :D.
    Had RO since release, but only play Darkest Hour mod (Normandy 1944) which is very good.
    Got SHOWII and Faces of War……………..so might do the leap to Men of War…. played the demo but had to turn some settings down cos of slowdown when it gets a bit busy. Tis a v.pretty rts all the same, even of a ATI3650.

    Nice to know I have such good frugal taste…..probably a Yorkshire thing… ;)

  48. Davee says:

    Mount&Blade + Red Orchestra (two of my most beloved games) in one RPS post? How is this awesomeness possible?!
    P.S: Buy them, they are great games.

  49. tom says:

    Can anyone hook me up with the source for the multiplayer in Mount&Blade info? Was considering darkfall but this might be awesome without removing my ability to socialise/leave the house.

  50. LewieP says:

    Details on M&B Multiplayer here.