The RPS Bargain Bucket: X-Communication

By Lewie Procter on September 12th, 2009 at 3:57 pm.


When the aliens abducted LewieP of Savygamer, they were interested in only one thing: probing him for cheap game deals. Fortunately he’d already uploaded them to the RPS mainframe, for your edification and embargainment…

Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory – $5
By far my favourite of the Splinter Cell series (so far at least). It’s got all the right ingredients, a decent PC port, fantastic level design, soundtrack by Amon Tobin and long term consequences for decisions you make in missions. It was the first Splinter Cell to really nail how to do open ended levels, going back to the first one feels really primitive to me. I’m cautiously optimistic about the new Splinter Cell, although it does look fairly ‘automatic’ from footage we’ve seen, like it might be playing the game for you, which is something a few Ubisoft games have been guilty of in recent times. Not available outside the USA it seems.

X-Com complete bundle – £5/$5
Too hard. I’m sorry, these games are too hard. I grabbed them in a steam sale for a similar price a while back, upon hearing how fantastic they are, and I believe you, I imagine that there is a fantastic strategy game to be found somewhere in there, but they are far too hard for me. Sorry, I guess I have to relinquish my gamer card or something. In this bundle you get Enforcer, Interceptor, Apocalypse, Terror from the Deep, and UFO Defence, all at one currency each.

Braid – £3.39/€4.49/$4.99
I don’t know if there is anything left to say about braid. The only real major (misplaced) criticism that’s been levelled at it is accusations of pretentiousness. I say forget those, if you really want to you can just ignore everything that’s going on with the narrative, and just play it as a very clever 2D puzzle/platformer, with pretty pictures and music. It would be a shame to do so, because I think there is a lot of value in the narrative of braid. It really is something special, we don’t get games like this very often. The only reason I didn’t pick it for deal of the week was that I bet most of you already have it. It’ll likely never ever be available for less than this. Demo here, RPS coverage here.

Cities XL Limited Edition – $39.99 EDIT: Boo, North America only. Boo!
Heh, Stardock updated the impulse homepage recently, and it seems to have a few kinks in it. This game has been discounted from “£30.69 to $39.99″, I don’t think it is supposed to change currency there. This is pre-order for the online flavoured city building game from Monte Cristo games. You get a bunch of extra bells and whistles in the Limited Edition, extra maps, buildings and megastructures, but you also get A SPECIAL SHIRT FOR YOUR AVATAR! Digital bling! There is a USA flavoured demo here, a Europe flavoured demo here, and RPS coverage here.

Deal of the week
Civilization IV – £5/$5
I’ve been a big fan of Sid Meier’s games since I was old enough to understand them, and Civ4 is no exception. It’s an excellent, modern, update to the classic Civilization formula. It has been on sale a whole bunch of times as a complete bundle with expansions, but this is the first time in a while it has been available in vanilla, and at such a low price of entry. If you have any interest in turn based strategy, check this game out. Whilst the expansions are all worthwhile, a lack of content is not a problem this game has – there is more than enough game in there as is. Demo here and RPS coverage here.

Also of note:
SAY-GAH games for half price
Impulse weekend specials
D2D games for 5 currencies – UK/USA
Postal 1+2, 25% off
Star Assault – £3.97/$4.95
Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts – £4.95/$4.95

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80 Comments »

  1. bansama says:

    Cities XL Limited Edition – £23.95/€27.40/$39.99

    Cities XL is only available in North America over Impulse.

  2. abhishek says:

    Typo in the title ;)

  3. LewieP says:

    Curse you boundaries!!!

  4. Nutterguy says:

    Not a good day for LewieP, the internets is flowing in the wrong direction…

  5. Llama says:

    Amon Tobin did a game soundtrack :o. Hitting the bay for it NOW.

  6. malkav11 says:

    Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory was also a Starforce game on PC. I don’t know if D2D’s version has Starforce. Hopefully not, but you never know.

  7. Dave says:

    I comment I made yesterday was deleted, was it because I made fun of Gabe Newell’s weight, or because I used the email fuck@you.com

    If the latter I don’t know wht rps bothers asking for email, I could have just filled in the yahoo email I made just for signing up to fourms…

  8. Sagan says:

    You can buy all four Splinter Cell games for 8€ from Germany. That box contains the English, French, German, Italian and Spanish version of the games. And Amazon should deliver internationally.

  9. Scalywg says:

    I can’t do that Dave.

  10. Xercies says:

    Unfortunatly a lot of these this week seem to be overseas only…

  11. postmanX3 says:

    Civ IV for 5 dollars? You’d have to be absolutely insane to pass that down. Too bad I already own it and its expansions.

    I just picked up Braid. It never really struck me as being worth 15 dollars, but for 5, I’m sure it’ll be worth every penny.

  12. Persus-9 says:

    Nothing I want that I don’t already own this week but I’m looking forward to the whole Dark Forces/Jedi Knight series coming to Steam and D2D this Wednesday so I’ll save my money for that. See: http://twitter.com/lucasartsgames

    WordPress trivia time! When commenting on WordPress sites like this one you’re asked for your e-mail when you comment because the first comment from each name and e-mail combination needs to be manually approved before showing up so as to defeat spambots.

  13. abhishek says:

    Yea i didn’t pick up any deals this week, but I did preorder Aion instead so that took away a lot of money. I would have been interested in Civ 4 but it’s NA/UK only sadly.
    I’m also interested in the Jedi Knight games coming to Steam on the 16th (next week). Almost surely going to pick up Jedi Outcast (one of my favorites) and maybe Academy too, because I never played it. Maybe even more, depending on whether they have been reworked a bit to run properly on newer operating systems/machines.

  14. Dracko says:

    X-COM pro-tip: Sell, sell, sell all that tasty extraneous alien gear on the black market. Oh, and really, just equip your men with it too: No point buying stuff when you can loot it.

    But keep on reverse-engineering and researching everything you find.

  15. Spoon says:

    X-Com too hard?! For shame. It really is an awesome game; it’s too bad you can’t enjoy it.

  16. ImperialCreed says:

    Boo, hiss, etc.

    That Chaos Theory deal is only available to the US, Canada and Mexico according to D2D.

  17. ImperialCreed says:

    Boo, hiss, etc.

    That Chaos Theory deal is only available to the US, Canada and Mexico according to D2D.
    Forgot to mention good post! Can’t wait to reading your next post!

  18. Hal says:

    Dave: I think you should sit back, take a stress pill and think things through.

  19. Youphopedia says:

    Didn’t TFTD have a “feature” where if you were playing on the lower difficulty levels and not losing operatives (i.e. not having a hard go at it), the game would ramp up the challenge significantly?

  20. skizelo says:

    Pity about Splinter Cell being Yanks only. I read an Edge Time Extend on it and have been wanting to try it ever since. Ah well, I can probably get it cheaply. Just not insanely cheaply.

  21. spinks says:

    Argh no, must resist temptation to buy Civ 4. I’ll never get anything done, ever.

  22. Nick says:

    I don’t think so UFOpedia, at least I don’t recall ever encountering that. Then again, even ‘easy’ mode could be bastard hard in TFTD. Love it to bits though.

  23. pinbag says:

    @ Spinks

    If, you seduice yourself to buy civ 4 ;p
    Check very good if colonyzation is included !!!
    Most of the time its not!!!

  24. Smurfy says:

    WTF happened to Chaos Theory on Steam? The buy button and price is gone. Good thing I bought it while I could huh.

  25. Smurfy says:

    Excellent game by the way, buy it NOW.

  26. Smurfy says:

    Ah, Ubi pooped up the CD keys for Steam so they’ve taken it off until they work it out.

  27. Flappybat says:

    Civ 4 is a duff deal, why spend £5 on the first when you can get the complete edition with both the expansions boxed for £7.99?

    http://www.play.com/Games/PC/4-/3439123/Sid-Meier-Civilization-IV-Complete-Edition/Product.html

  28. Novotny says:

    Every time I become disappointed with a strategy game I head back to Civ4. It re-news my faith in PC games. Which has been shaken to it’s very core in the last year. Every bloody game I’ve bought has been shit. This has been a woeful, dreadful game for fans of the PC.

  29. Novotny says:

    er, year.

  30. Vinraith says:

    Does anyone understand D2D’s protection scheme? I’ve bought a few games from them now and I still can’t parse it. If the game lacks 3rd party DRM is there ANY verification on the file? I don’t recall ever being asked to provide a password when installing a D2D file on a new computer, for example.

  31. Cronus says:

    I just checked. Splinter Cell does have Starforce. You can tell because the Sys. Requirements say Windows 2000 and XP only. Vista and 7 don’t let you install something as harmful as Starforce. You can of course with enough effor, but why do that to your computer?

  32. roBurky says:

    I think D2D leaves DRM etc on the install file to the publisher, Vinraith. Only D2D protection that I know of is needing to log in to the website to download it. Maybe they do have their own protection that they’ll put on a game if they’re asked to, but I’ve not encountered any in the games I’ve bought from them.

  33. Starfarce says:

    The Steam version of Chaos Theory that was taken down (see Smurfy’s post) didn’t have Starforce. I’m just waiting for Ubi to get the keys sorted out and have it back on Steam.

  34. Thants says:

    The soundtrack alone makes me want to play Chaos Theory. Amon Tobin is a musical genius.

  35. Ed says:

    XCOM/UFO – I never got into Interceptor (seemd a bit crap) and Apocalypse (seemd to lack the charm and bit over complicated), but even the original XCOM/UFO Enemy Unknown is absolutely worth $/£5 and a few hours time investment to figure it out. Just play on the easiest level, and then restart on the 2nd or 3rd level if it’s no challenge. The interface is a bit clunky but its a seminal game.
    TFTD is a reskinned, more difficult/unfair and slighty buggy version. I’d suggest only starting it if you’ve completed the first one.

    Also: Grumpy that the SEGA 50% sale doesn’t include Empire TW as I missed the Steam sale.

  36. Poet says:

    The original release of XCOM had difficulty settings but secretly they were only cosmetic, so yes those that beat it on easy were just as bad ass as me.

  37. autogunner says:

    chaos theory is worth getting if you have not played it before, its the best splinter cell game out there and has loads of content and the best story of the lot

  38. Dan says:

    As much as I normally like Steam, the current “it’s not actually released” thing with Mini Ninjas is annoying the heck out of me:

    http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=964406

  39. Heliocentric says:

    Chaos Theory isn’t one of the best games every. Its actually 3 of the best games every.

    The single player campaign did sneaking through a battlefield before metal gear 4, the coop is the only game i can think of where you can actually talk to the ai and they respond (the coop voip is classed as a disturbance by the ai) and the multiplayer is the best game of hide and seek ever.

    An absolute classic(s).

  40. Vinraith says:

    @Heliocentric

    In UT 2004 you could actually give voice orders to bot teammates with pretty good voice recognition. For some baffling reason this feature was removed from UT3.

  41. Jetsetlemming says:

    X:com’s really forgiving, you can lose dozens and dozens of guys and still be doing well. You just didn’t give it enough of a chance. Remember, the X:com soldier’s middle name is “cannon fodder”!

  42. Flappybat says:

    Dan: I’m surprised the media never picks up on it but Steam has a lot of screwups with releases and pricing. Darkest Of Days was an obvious one, it showed up for a day as “released” with no price, then was sold for about 12 hours before being removed entirely from the UK store. They also released JA2 unpatched (pretty sure their version couldn’t be patched as well), just messed up Chaos Theory as noted and for awhile a few months back were selling some game that no-one could actually get to run until it got some media attention (can’t remember which).

  43. malkav11 says:

    If you can actually give voice orders to coop AI partners in Chaos Theory, then that would be pretty amazing. On the other hand, if all you’re referring to is the game treating vocal chatter as a noise that enemies might investigate, Manhunt did that a long time ago.

  44. Radicand says:

    X-com is pretty easy provided you don’t fall to the misconception that you’re supposed to rely on the pittance of government funding you get, wheras the real money is in whatever weirdos it is who want to pay $20k for a Sectoid with its brains blown out.

  45. Vandelay says:

    @Malcov – People are referring to the fact that the enemy will react to the sound of your voip conversation with your partner in co-op mode. They don’t take any commands. When you say vocal chatter in Manhunt, do you mean the playable character’s voice? Manhunt didn’t have any multiplayer did it (never played it, so could be wrong)?

    Weirdly, I’ve just started replaying Chaos Theory and it is most excellent. Lot’s of different ways of doing things and it reminded me very much of Deus Ex in it’s attitude to level design and rewarding the players exploration.

    The multiplayer (spy vs. merc, never played the co-op) was fantastic fun in the day, although the decision to use the old engine was a slightly odd one. Still, I can’t think of a game that has attempted to make a similar style of mulitplayer, which is crazy because it was so good. Are there still servers up for it?

  46. Sunjammer says:

    Chaos theory is sort of a black sheep of the series for some reason, i suppose mostly because of how readily it encourages murder.

    I really do like Double Agent though, i think it’s fundamentally a better game. The soundtrack isn’t anywhere near as good however.

  47. Sunjammer says:

    Oh, multiplayer. It began and ended with Pandora Tomorrow for me. There’s something about the level design of that game and the simplicity of the gameplay that sat really well with me. Played that a whole ton.

  48. Vandelay says:

    @Sunjammer – Chaos Theory the black sheep? Is that your opinion or do you get that impression from other people? Because if it is the later then I have to disagree. The opinion on Chaos Theory that I have seen is that it is by and far the best of the series (Double Agent is probably closer to the black sheep of the series, from what I hear.) I would very much agree that it is the best in series.

    I wouldn’t say the game encourages you to murder, although it doesn’t discourage it because of the removal of the three alarms and your out system (as the voice com guy says “This ain’t some video game, Sam.”) Sneaking is still very much possible and is the way you are meant to play it. I’m currently playing it through at the moment and as of middle of mission 4 I have only killed a single person (bar the one person you have to kill) and that was because I throw him off a cliff.

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