At Last: King’s Bounty On Steam

By Alec Meer on April 29th, 2009 at 6:47 pm.

We try to steer clear of rote “game x now available on Steam/Impulse/etc” posts, but we make an exception for special occasions like this. RPG-strategy wonder King’s Bounty: The Legend has been one of RPS’ cause celebres for some time now, and also something of a cult favourite for those who adore this old platform we call the PeeCee. That it wasn’t available on what’s arguably the world’s leading digital distribution service was proper weird – perhaps even tragic. In five days, it finally will be.

Oddly, there’s no price listed as yet, so fingers crossed it’s not another “more expensive than the boxed version” insanity deals. It’s been around for about six months now, so there’s absolutely no excuse for it to be so. If it is a reasonable cost, then we should all do our happy dance – one of last year’s best games, paired with the convenience and community toys of Steam. Hopefully upcoming expansion pack Armoured Princess will land there too. Oh yeah, you’ll be wanting a link, won’t you?

Might as well have a trailer too:

__________________

« | »

, .

78 Comments »

  1. The right to arm bears says:

    I must say, I intend to purchase this based solely upon the ringing clarity of the RPS recommend-o-tron, but was waiting for a properly digital distribution platform (by which I essentially mean: steam). I hope it’s good. The trailer looks fairly exciting, except the first half that seems to indicate you’ll be doing a fair amount of following a fellow on his prancing white horse.

  2. LactoseTheIntolerant says:

    Ahh, at last! I’ll almost certainly give this a whirl if it’s at a nice price. Though Steam has been far less of a guarantee for that of late, sadly. If it’s more than the £12 Amazon have it for, I’m afraid Valve will lose another sale (as was the case with DoW II, and the ludicrously priced E:TW).

  3. Mad Doc MacRae says:

    How much for?

    Also, this means I’ll probably get it at a great discount in the future! ^_^

  4. Vinraith says:

    It’s already on Gamersgate, which provides all the digital distribution goodness without the phone-home hindrances and awkward offline mode implementation.

  5. JonFitt says:

    Bought it already, but I wonder if the Steam version will also be rather expensive. I think I paid $37 back in January.

    Although Amazon have it down to $12! Beat that Steam.

  6. Larington says:

    Many wants for the expansion to show up on steam as well, might be worth paying the second time for it to be steamified.

  7. JonFitt says:

    @The right to arm bears:
    Well at least that’s better than following a prancing fellow into the White Horse. Oxford joke, haha!

  8. unclelou says:

    I am not too happy about it, because I generally prefer Steam, but my Gamersgate collection is growing significantly faster. Games are available earlier (sometimes just a day, sometimes months), games are often cheaper, and games *become* cheaper. For example, Space Siege is still 49.95 € on Steam, while it’s 7.49 on GG.

  9. jalf says:

    Yeah, Steam really isn’t competetive, and hasn’t been for a while. The only advantage they have is the legions of fanboys who still haven’t realized that alternatives exist.

    But really, when we can get games from Impulse, GamersGate and GoG, often earlier, and virtually always cheaper, Steam just isn’t a very attractive proposition.
    And when retail stores (or their online counterparts, like Amazon and Play.com) often are literally half the price of Steam, well….. I just don’t spend much money on Steam any more.

    And of course, there’s the regional €/$ pricing farce as well.

    I bought Kings Bounty on GamersGate a couple of weeks back.

  10. Mad Doc MacRae says:

    Is it all fanboyism, or is it also a reluctant loyalty derived from an aversion to signing up with *another* service with another password to remember and another place to swipe the credit card?

  11. jalf says:

    Does it make a difference? ;)

    My point was simply that this loyalty, whatever its reason, is pretty much the only thing Valve has in their favor.

  12. Morph says:

    Well I could order something from Amazon and wait a few days for it to come. Or I could buy it on Steam and download it in an hour.

    That is why Steam = best

  13. JonFitt says:

    I always bought my food from Waitrose because it was convenient. Am I a Waitrose fanboy?

    Don’t overlook the convenience of having all your games accessible from one interface.
    Plus Steam spent a long while building up people’s confidence that it was going to be around in years time. I don’t know that I trust other services to not fold.

    PS Tesco is teh suxxorz

  14. unclelou says:

    “Or I could buy it on Steam and download it in an hour.”

    Or from another download service – in case that wasn’t obvious: Gamersgate (and Impulse that was mentioned) are digital download services as well.

    And if you’re lucky, it’ll only take *half* an hour somewhere else, because download speed are usually faster elsewhere, too. ;)

  15. Rich_P says:

    Plus Steam spent a long while building up people’s confidence that it was going to be around in years time. I don’t know that I trust other services to not fold.

    Gamersgate (and Direct2Drive) come across as third place contestants from the Digital Distribution Amateur Hour. GG should really redesign its atrocious website.

    Steam is first for a number of reasons. Some of the most popular online PC games in the world are exclusive to it. People trust it. Hell, the L4D billboard in San Francisco says you can purchase it in stores or on STEAM(tm). Brand recognition is important. Fact of the matter is that most videogamers have no idea GG or Impulse even exist. And Steam works pretty damn well and has some nice sales.

    But I’ve cut back on my purchases of third-party games on Steam, mostly in favor of retail, where prices are far more competitive. I ended up cracking Civ IV just so I could play it without waiting for the stupid Steam client to start.

    If nothing else, I hope competition from GG, GOG, Impulse and the rest will force Valve to redesign the Steam client and implement a better offline mode.

    Steam is awesome for online games (TF2, Counter-Strike). Less so when it comes to single-player ones.

  16. jalf says:

    @Morph: Thanks for illustrating my point. Your example is why *digital distribution* is best. You could buy it from Impulse or GamersGate and have it in an hour as well.
    You could, but you won’t, because you associate “digital distribution” with “Steam”, and that’s pretty much the only advantage they have.

    In any case, for many games, I’d rather buy from Amazon or Play.com, save 50%, and have to wait 3 days, than literally pay double price just to have it in an hour. And of course, when Play.com typically ships your game a few days in advance so that you have it on release day *anyway*, it just becomes an even better deal. At worst, I may then have to wait 3 hours instead of 1, but I can deal with that.

    @Rich_P: Yes, GG’s website is terrible. Looks amateurish. I’ve never used D2D, so can’t comment on theirs, but GG is horrific. (And on that note, that’s one of the things that most surprised me about GoG. Their stuff just seems professional as hell. The site works smoothly, looks nice, and even their installers are better than 99% of what’s used elsewhere, both by digital distribution services and by retail games.

  17. Jim Rossignol says:

    I just wish there was more stuff on Impulse.

  18. jalf says:

    Yeah. I was surprised a few days ago, to see that most of the recent’ish THQ catalog is there, including DoW Soulstorm and Titan Quest. But they still have a long way to go to catch up with Steam in this area.

  19. Vinraith says:

    Steam loyalism really is totally baffling, though you’ve got to give Valve credit for convincing so many people they’re the only viable digital distribution platform. It’s a hell of a public relations coup, and lets them charge pretty much whatever they want.

    For myself, I’ll buy it through Steam if it’s cheap, but generally I prefer Gamersgate, GOG, and Impulse (pretty much in that order) over Steam for digital downloads. Even if you like Steam’s interface and overlay, you can easily run non-Steam games through Steam and get those elements, so I just don’t see any reason to pay a premium for Steam games (or put up with the client’s quirks, for that matter).

    D2D still has a 5 install limit, I believe, and is therefore the devil.

  20. JonFitt says:

    I like Impulse and have used it for SoSE and the expansion, but so far haven’t seen a game I want that’s not been cheaper on Steam. The only direct competition was Titan Quest, which I nearly bought on Impulse, but then Steam had a bundle deal with the expansion on sale which was way cheaper, so I got it there.

    Steam sales are the best thing. So far this year I’ve bought loads of games just because they were on sale.
    It’s all stuff which I wanted, or intended to buy, and when you see it “going cheap this weekend”, that pushes me over the edge.

  21. prowlinger says:

    I just got it on sale at the closing circuit city for $12… I have to say I am just on the first isle and loving it! The game is amazingly polished and very fun…

    Anyone considering getting this… it is very well done and I have only seen 1/3rd of it maybe?

  22. Phil says:

    I’ve never used GamersGate, but I am a big fan of Steam and to a lesser extent Impulse. What are the main differences between GG and Steam/Impulse? Does GG automatically patch your games for you in the same way that Steam does, for example?

  23. JonFitt says:

    Ooh auto-patching. I’d forgotten that one, that’s great too.

  24. jsutcliffe says:

    I can’t speak to the US/EU price differences, being based in the States, but I like to give Valve my money. They make games I like. Also, I love Steam client features like auto-patching, the server browser, friends/community, etc. It’s also extremely easy to re-download a game you’ve uninstalled. The only other download services I’ve used have been D2D and the EA downloader, and every time I’ve wanted to get a previously-purchased game again from them I’ve had to go six rounds with “forgot password” systems.

    On-topic: I am interested in KB, but have read negative things about the end portion of the game (on RPS, no less). Just how bad is the end of the game? As a fan of the likes of Final Fantasy Tactics am I likely to be able to see through these failings?

  25. Vinraith says:

    Gamersgate is more like GOG, in that it doesn’t have a client (yay!). No extra software to run, no phone-home copy protection and buggy offline mode, it’s just like having a boxed copy but without the pesky “disc in drive” nonsense.

    They also have more (and frequently better) sales than Steam, like the 50% off all Ubisoft games deal they have going on now.

    Impulse has a client, though it only has to run to update games (not constantly in the background). They sadly lack good sales most of the time, though.

    And GOG is of course GOG, it’s a totally different catalogue but a great system with good deals.

  26. Rei Onryou says:

    I got it for my Birthday, but still not gotten around to playing it yet. I hope the CD key (assuming there’s one) can be entered into Steam.

  27. Vinraith says:

    @JonFitt

    Auto-patching can be a very bad thing. Some new patches break old save games, or introduce new bugs, and Steam gives you no option not to install them.

    Also, sometimes Steam doesn’t get the latest update for a given game for months, or ever. You always want to check this thread before buying ANYTHING on Steam:

    http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=838858

  28. Heliocentric says:

    I love steam for multiplayer games. But direct to drive, gamersgate, gog and impulse are prefered for single player games as i can play offline without fucking asking permission, what if my net goes down? Not that i’d play more to get the same game on any service.

  29. Archonsod says:

    Steam’s patching isn’t a great deal, particularly not for third party games. The update for Sacred 2 on Steam was around three weeks late, despite them getting the actual patch at the same time the retail one was released.
    Impulse and Gamer’s Gate on the other hand generally work fine with the retail patches, though I’ve not seen Impulse fall behind on a patch revision. I’d rather take the manual update that lets me use the patch from either source than an automatic one which is dependent on Valve to push out.

  30. jsutcliffe says:

    Maybe I’ve just been lucky, but I had no problems using Steam the few times my Internet connection has been down.

    Also, as far as I’m aware, you can apply manual patches to most (all?) Steam-purchased games if you don’t want to wait.

  31. jonfitt says:

    I’m pretty sure one of the properties options in a game is the option to not download patches automatically. But I can’t say for certain since I’ve never had a problem.

    I would like Steam’s authentication system to be more lenient for offline games. I was temporarily screwed recently when the Steam authentication servers went down for a while. If I wasn’t lazy, I’d remember to switch to Offline mode when shutting down.

  32. MrBejeebus says:

    i almost always use steam, except in the case where amazon.co.uk is over £5 cheaper, or a game i want isnt on steam, so for the 1st time i used D2D 2 days ago to buy Men of War(which i love already, altho i do get bad eyestrain from it), for me its easiest just to have games there on steam, where i can access them anywhere all on the same program.

    I dont see the point in alternatives, and most of the prices that steam still has really high, are on games i’d never buy anyway.

  33. Colthor says:

    @Vinraith
    It’s already on Gamersgate, which provides all the digital distribution goodness without the phone-home hindrances and awkward offline mode implementation.

    Are you sure? From their FAQ:

    How many times can I download and/or install my games?
    Any game bought on GamersGate is yours to download and install as many times you like. Some games are protected with an activation limit but that limit is easily reset with an email to support@gamersgate.com

    Can I download the game on my office PC and install it on my home PC which does not have an internet connection?
    NO. An internet connection is needed to install the games.

    Which sounds an awful lot like “‘phone home copy protection”, with optional limited activations, to me…

  34. PaulMorel says:

    Finally! If it’s $19.99, then I will be soo happy … otherwise, I will be waiting for it to hit that level.

  35. Jeremy says:

    Auto-patching is rarely a bad thing, and introducing new bugs isn’t the problem of Valve or any digital service, it is the problem of the developer. If you’re that concerned, just turn it off (which you certainly can do).

  36. Rich_P says:

    Auto-patching is rarely a bad thing

    Except when Steam downloads like 8 GB just to patch Company of Heroes. I left autopatching enabled because I figured patches would never exceed 200 MB or so. But for some reason, the update required that everything be redownloaded, thereby hosing the content servers for a few days.

  37. Blather Blob says:

    @Vinrath: “Gamersgate … no phone-home copy protection”

    Not even during installation? I’ve been curious about GG but they don’t really have any information on their site about how they work. Even their FAQs aren’t very useful, being mostly full of questions and complaints about their old client. They do mention limited activations, which caused me to assume they do require activation during installation, bundled into an installer. But maybe that’s out of date too?

    My view of the various digital delivery sites is: Steam is ok when the game is on sale and much cheaper than elsewhere, but isn’t worth putting up with for non-Valve games otherwise (the support for Valve’s games is top-notch though). Impulse is still kind of half-hearted, and still requires loading a slow client and phoning home when you want to install or update any of your games, even if you’ve “backed them up”. And Stardock’s current DRM’s process of activation but not via Impulse, and indications of future directions like the GOO DRM means I won’t be too surprised if they just move over to using Impulse for Steam-style authorization someday. D2D works ok if the game you get is marked as DRM-free; then it’s just a GOG-style download (no download manager required) of a regular, activation-free installer. I haven’t tried any of their DRMed games, but I imagine they are Securom protected, with limited activations, etc. And GOG is of course the gold standard.

  38. Vinraith says:

    @Blather Blob

    Essentially you buy a game through GG and it shows up in the “my games” list on your account. To download it, you select download in the “my games” tab, and it downloads a micro-client that then downloads the game for you. Once the game’s downloaded and installed you can either store that micro-client and the installation files on a disc for archival purposes or just delete all of it (which is the default option) and you have your game. It can be patched just like a retail copy, and there’s no client that is required to run or update it.

    As to limited installs, GG is the only service I’ve ever seen GUARANTEE that you will always be able to install a game you’ve bought from them. No matter what kind of copy protection the publisher may have slapped on it, GG’s policy is that if you’ve bought a game you own it and are entitled to install it as many times as you damn well please. For that reason alone, I’m quite fond of them.

  39. Vinraith says:

    @Colthor

    The only time GG games have an install limit is when the publisher places one on the game, just like Steam. Unlike Steam, GG guarantees that they’ll always reset that install limit for you.

    And yes, the microclient requires an internet connection at installation, and that’s it. Not to update, and certainly not to run the game every time like Steam. It’s a digital download service, if you’re using it to download a game it’s not unreasonable to assume you have an internet connection to verify the game at time of installation too.

  40. Tim James says:

    No one’s mentioned that Alec’s gasping RPS post about the game finally being available on Steam doesn’t really help the digital distribution flamewar.

    At least have fun with it and chide the Steam guys for waiting so long on a real gem just to keep their links organized.

  41. Nick says:

    Yeah, lets scoff at people who, basically, shop somewhere different than us! *dons superior hat*

  42. Blather Blob says:

    @Vinraith: GG sounds interesting, but is it just sort of a hit-or-miss thing whether the installed game requires post-installation activation (because the publisher added Securom or whatever) and some games don’t require it at all, or is it that the activation is built into the micro-client and it requires activation for every game?

    And is the archiving of the micro-client plus installation files just to avoid redownloading, and the micro-client requires a permission check with GG for installation even if it has the installation files downloaded already? That is, will the archived installer still work after GG goes away, or without an internet connection?

    I probably should just wait for GG to have some game I’m somewhat interested in, on sale for $5, and try it out myself to see whether I’m comfortable with it :)

  43. Vinraith says:

    I only scoff at people that only shop in one place, no matter what. I don’t understand that kind of loyalty, and don’t think it’s particularly healthy for the platform. Diversify, people, there are lots of good options out there (and Steam is only one of them).

  44. Vinraith says:

    @ Blather Blob

    I’ve never downloaded a GG game and then ported it to another computer, so I don’t know about the activation. I believe, however, that you do have to have an internet connection on the computer you’re installing on, even if it’s a slow one, just to verify the download (and then never again).

    And yeah, archiving is to avoid redownloading, in that respect it’s exactly like Impulse and Steam actually.

    Should GG go away (and I don’t think that’s likely, they do pretty darn good business these days) Paradox would have to unlock the games, just like Stardock would have to unlock Impulse games if their system died or Valve would have to unlock Steam games if theirs died. To be honest, though, I think GG’s probably more solid than Impulse at this point. They’ve got a much larger catalogue and much better prices.

    And yeah, the easy answer to all this is to watch the site for a bargain and try it. They usually run two deals every weekend, and sometimes a deal during the week as well, so you’re likely to find something worth your while for cheap pretty quickly.

  45. blacktick says:

    Love GG too,but their pricing is sometimes as bad as Steams. 40 Euros is max what I choose to pay and even then it has to be a very good game in order to justify the price.
    Oh and Vinraith, the “50% off from Ubisoft games” sale was on steam first(afaik). :)

    D2D is good too,the Uk one that is. low prices for many games,20 £ for dead space was a sale. :D
    Too bad the speeds for ME on steam,D2D,gamesplanet etc are usually pretty slow comparing to GG. 700 kb/s at best on steam etc,but on GG more than 4mb/s(could be so much higher still). :)

    And I don’t know why some think that GG’s site is amateurish. serves it’s purpose,no need to make it better IMO

    @Blather Blob

    Should have notified you to buy space siege when it was 75% off…now that was a deal. :)

  46. Rich_P says:

    Can you register store-bought Paradox games with GG? EU III is tempting me at $10. Might be a good excuse to check out the GG downloader, which I hope isn’t as bad as their website.

  47. Bossman says:

    King’s Bounty really is a sweet game and the soundtrack is just awesome. This is one of my favorite songs:

  48. Pavel says:

    I just bought it for 12.5 pounds on game.co.uk.
    It looks amazing, but I have not really started it yet, just tested the beginning.

  49. Vinraith says:

    @blacktick

    Yeah, I know Steam did it first, I actually bought several of those titles on Steam at the time. Most annoyingly, I bought BiA: Hell’s Highway for $15 during the Steam half off sale, which is now $7.50 on GG during their half off sale. Ah well.

    @Rich_P

    Yeah, you can register the newer ones anyway. Specifically, I have my store-bought copy of EU3 Complete registered on GG.

  50. Vinraith says:

    For those lauding D2D, have they dropped the 5 install limit per game thing? I’d be using the US site, if that matters. I’d love to have another option (and source of sales) but I don’t want to get burnt with install limits.

Comment on this story

XHTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>