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. flo says:

    about GG: I’m pretty sure they have some kind of drm/phone home thingy. Yes, it doesn’t have a visible client like steam, but actually even that is a disadvantage to steam iirc. Because it a) means I have to visit their atrocious website for everything, and b) it means instead of a foreground client which does the “decryting” of binaries etc. I have a small app hidden from me that does it. You can observe this if for example you set UAC in vista or windows 7 on the highest possible setting, and then run a GG game, the game executable tries to start (and at this setting most likely fails to start) an external program outside of the game folder. If you don’t allow this program or it runs with insufficient priviliges, the game will not start. This is also why (as stated on GGs website) normal developer patches don’t work.
    EDIT: could have been that what I noticed there was the protection engine of the game itself. however i think this stil gives steam the advantage. GG, despite leaving every original copy protection in place, with all its annoyances, download versions are still different, patches against the retail version don’t work. Steam doesn’t work wIth retaIl patches either, but at least It stIcks to Its own drm. meaning: steam works (on windows 7 for ex.) all of its games work. with GG I’m now searching for a “non-official” solution/patch for a game I bought on GG, cause the copy protection refuses to work on windows 7. yes I know it’s a beta os, but what annoys me about this is that now not only has GG to work, and the game itself (which they do) but the only thing not working is the stupid drm, and I don’t wanna dual boot or downgrade or wait till maybe they will support it far far in the future.

  2. Vinraith says:

    @flo

    There’s no phone-home on GG games. I can unplug my internet and run any GG game I want with no problems. It’s fantastic for my laptop for that very reason.

    I don’t know anything about small background processes, though I wonder if what you’re seeing is developer DRM rather than distributor DRM. Even if there is a GG background process, it doesn’t appear to be contacting the mother ship or taking up any appreciable resources. It also doesn’t cause 30-60 seconds of extra load time like the Steam client does.

    Edit: And flo, lots of Steam games also have 3rd party DRM in addition to steamworks. Look at something like Far Cry 2, which still has limited installations and SecuROM PLUS the Steam client DRM.

    As to WIndows 7, most games don’t seem to work very well on the beta version. I’ve seen complaints on the Steam forums, the Impulse forums, and various other places. The short version is, never try to game on a beta OS. Then again, I’m of the opinion that you never upgrade your Windows version until 2 or 3 years into the lifetime of the “new” version, so clearly we’re of very different mindsets.

  3. DMJ says:

    All the publishers on Steam seem convinced that £1 = $1, and we’ve got a couple of weeks of Great British Pound collapse before we reach that point. Although to be fair, when the pound has inevitably collapsed to the point where the dust on the coin is worth more than the face value (perhaps July), we may start to see some good deals. Or have I got the currency thing backwards and we may as well start paying in rice husks? It’s hard to keep things straight.

  4. flo says:

    well, o.k. can be, I only own 2-3 steam games.
    But I never noticed load times or so to be an issue (with steam)

  5. flo says:

    @vinraith
    yeah, we seem to be. beta os: maybe it’s cause my experience has been that beta windows versions actually sometimes work better then the release versions. at least with vista it was like that. then I bought a mac and mainly use windows for gaming (not on a mac) and if someone asks me to set up a win server (awful ^^) Or because I don’t have any new/mainstream games on steam, the newest one is tombraider anniversary i think. Oh and in case you care, at least the GG version was good enough to the retail version that the a “fixed exe” made it work. Really sorry I had to do this but … it works.

  6. malkav11 says:

    I buy games on Steam because Steam has giant uber discounts on stuff sometimes, or the cheapest price going. I don’t buy them out of loyalty or anything like that.

  7. Vinraith says:

    @malkav11

    Most digital distributors (Steam, Gamersgate, GOG, Direct2Drive) have taken to offering weekend and other sales. If what you’re after is the best deal (and why wouldn’t you be) shopping around is always a good idea.

  8. Colthor says:

    @Vinraith:
    Yeah, not unreasonable, but I think we were meaning different things by “no ‘phone home” (ie. not at all, vs. not every time the game’s run).

    As for the limited activations (a pet peeve of mine) – they don’t seem to say which games do or don’t in any obvious way? Maybe I missed it, but I did poke through a lot of games that I know have them on boxed and/or Steam copies, and there was no mention on the game’s page. That’s enough to make me a bit wary, promises or no.

    Still, a bit of competition between DD sites might do us some good. Maybe one day we’ll even see prices that’re consistently competitive with just buying the box…

  9. Vinraith says:

    @Colthor

    Yes, their one flaw is not clearly stating the presence of third party DRM. Still, I don’t think there’s too much cause for wariness. Don’t take my word for it though, Reclaim Your Game has very nice pieces on each of the digital download services and lists their flaws and strengths regarding DRM:

    http://reclaimyourgame.com/

    GamersGate is in the left side bar under “Digital Downloads & In Game Ads Explained.” RYG’s a good resource for anyone concerned about DRM issues, and is also kind enough to maintain a complete list of games with limited installations, online activation, or any other SecuROM flavor.

  10. Frank says:

    I bought KB on GG when it was released and their client was still ****. They’re okay by me now that (1) they don’t have a client and (2) I can back up my game. I still trust GOG and Steam more, but that’s largely because GG’s website and help line are amateurish.

    KB’s the only game I’ve bought there so far, but Steam releases are really falling behind (where’s Bionic Commando: Rearmed?), so I may go there more.

  11. Xyzzy says:

    Who ever mentioned that King’s Bounty was $15 on Amazon is amazing. I wanted this game for partially the RPS Hype-train recommendations, so $15 was a steal. Plus I bought it with the boxed version of World of Goo for the same price, so I got free shipping. Bonus!

  12. Stromko says:

    King’s Bounty isn’t a game for everyone. For instance, I think it’s rather crap — mainly because you have to fight way too many battles to see any measurable progress. I’m just not tolerant to the levels of grind that I faced in King’s Bounty’s first big continent.

    Not sure if it gets better later on, but I’ve heard the ending is rather crap as well, so I suspect if I gave it a fair shake and played more than the 10 hours I’ve devoted so far, I’d still consider it a mediocre game.

  13. Zipdrive says:

    I seriously refuse to buy any more games on steam as I can’t loan them out to friends or sell them used later.

    It would be pretty simple for Valve to implement this, but they won’t, for fear of upsetting the publishers.

  14. Subject 706 says:

    Though I think some people here are a bit overly harsh on GG:s website, I can agree that it isn’t the best looking out there, especially not when compared to GoG. They are often cheaper than Steam though, and get certain games much earlier, which is why they’ve seen a bit of business from me. They’ve enjoyed quite a bit of growth too, so let’s hope they put some of that money on improving their site.

  15. MonkeyMonster says:

    Blimey vinraith… Someone might think you work for GG with the amount of praise you’ve been shuttling/trucking into this thread.

  16. Ian says:

    I’ll wait until I can get it for superbargainwin.

  17. Megazver says:

    There’s nothing wrong with the game’s ending. It’s not bad. It’s a straight dungeon with a boss fight at the end. It’s just that there’s a lot and I mean a LOT of content before that and even though it’s awesome by the fiftieth hour you just want to beat it and fall back in the chair, sated. And the ending is just a bit too much.

  18. Freudian Trip says:

    Hate to take this off the topic of DD but (and I know this is heresy) was I the only one who found Kings Bounty a real chore? When I wasn’t getting utterly owned by all and sundry I was watching the slowest battles in the world. I probably would have liked it twice as much if I didn’t have to watch the animations.

  19. Megazver says:

    Did you try, like, changing the animation speed in the settings menu?

  20. clovus says:

    @zipdrive: Steam themselves do not want this. I can’t imagine that the “first sale doctrine” will ever be implemented in a digital distribution system. Allowing users to sell or loan games would quickly turn Steam, or any other service, into a lending library.

    At least on the PC we always have…options. I think that either the next generation of consoles, or the one after that, will not come with disk drives; all games will be digitally distributed. The second hand game market will simply disappear overnight. No trading or loaning for the console kiddies.

  21. Mark says:

    Um, sorry for the off-topic post but, about King’s Bounty, is there much resource management in this game? One of the things that bothered me about the HOMM series is having to visit and revisit things like peasants’ huts or windmills.

    There seems to be only one hero, right? That’s a good thing.

    Guess I’m hoping for something closer to a tactical turn-based CRPG than a strategy game…

  22. Vinraith says:

    @MonkeyMonster

    As previously stated at least two or three times, I like Impulse, GG, and GOG better than Steam (though I own plenty of Steam games and continue to pick them up when Steam has the best deal). GG’s just the one everyone kept asking about. It sounds like D2D might be alright to, so I’ll check them out as well.

    @Mark

    There’s no resource management, really. You have to manage your finances (ala an RPG) and you collect crystals (which I’ve never had a shortage of) but it’s all one-time pickups, no revisiting resource spawners or the like. If what you’re looking for is a game like HOMM that’s more RPG than TBS at the top level, you’ve found it.

  23. Andrew says:

    @Mark
    No, there is no castle management and the like. But there is a hero managment so as to distribute limited resourses (runes and crystalls) for the hero’s development. Also on harder levels of difficulty one have to make money management and troops managment since it is quite possible to run off of the favorite kind of monsters. There is great variety of creatures in the game but the offer of many of them is limited.

  24. Schaulustiger says:

    So, there’s the price: 26,99€ and it seems like it is available right now. Flame on.

  25. cowthief skank says:

    Well, it is on Steam right now with a 10% discount. So £22.49.

    Interestingly, when it displays on the front page it has a quote from RPS. I think you have “made it” in some way when you get a quote from your site on the front page of Steam…

    I am not sure if editing works, but: at this price, I doubt I will buy it. Not at twice what it costs on Amazon.

  26. Alec Meer says:

    Not a bad price at all.

  27. Robert Sharp says:

    Its currently at £17.49. Just ordered myself a copy!

  28. Gobion Rowlands says:

    Just to let you all know – the latest version of the Kings Bounty patch on Steam (as of 22/05/2009) renders all your game saves incompatable. It is an automatic patch that cannot be avoided and at no point mentions that the saves will be incompatable.

    The official response of 1C is
    “Hello all,

    I`m very sorry to hear that.. I talked to responsible guys and it seems that new 1.7 patch is not compatible with saved games which were made in previous KB version.. This is of course very unfortunate

    Please try contacting Steam support and ask them how to revert your game back to previous(original) version, so you can continue playing using your saved games. Then I suggest you disable autopatching feature for your Kings Bounty, so it does not get patched automatically again..

    Meanwhile, we will see if we can make 1.7 patch which would be compatible with old saves.

    We are very sorry for this inconvenience..”

    Forum Post here

    Kings Bounty is afantastic game, but this really sucks :( If you can disable auto-patch, do! But I don’t even know if that is possible.

    Ahhhh but it is so frustrating when this kinda thing happens.

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>