The RPS Bargain Bucket: Something Else

By Lewie Procter on October 3rd, 2009 at 3:10 pm.

It’s that time of the week again. That time when you can help yourself from buying games because they are cheap and you might want to play them at some point. That can only mean it’s bargain bucket o’clock. A mix of indies, oldies, and games that are not even finished being made yet are on offer this week. Bargains from the future if you will. For more cheap electronic entertainment, check out SavyGamer

Left4Dead 2 – £20.25/€33.75/$33.75
Whilst the prerelease 10% off is quite nice, the real deal here is the pre-purchase four pack, for £80.99. If you buddy up with 3 other Left4Deaders, you can get the game for £20.25/€33.75/$33.75. Hey, isn’t that what we usually pay for an expansion pack?

Oddworld Pack – £3.05/€5.09/$5.09
Hello. Wait. Follow me. Grrr. *Whistle*. *Whistle again*. *Fart*. Hehehe. Amazing the kinds of things you can do with this vocabulary. The two Oddworld 2D platformers are disgusting, hilarious and challenging puzzlers. For this price, you basically need to have them in your Steam account please. They are of the Prince of Persia/Flashback/Another World/Blackthorne/Heart of Darkness lineage (which Wikipedia helpfully tells me is called “Cinematic platformers”, makes sense), and have the insanely fun gameplay mechanic of letting you charm and then inhabit enemy characters, and then make them kill themselves in funny ways. Not for the easilly frustrated, since there is going to be a lot of trial and improvement whilst playing these. These games have a wonderful personality, and feel like a real place, not a gameworld. I’m sure I heard there was plans for the two Xbox games getting PC ports, anyone been following it?

The Spirit Engine 2 – £4.71/€5.15/$7.50
JRPGs tend pretty heavily towards linear game design, although they often seems to attempt to mask it. The Spirit Engine 2 embraces it’s linearity, and presents the entire game on a 2D plain. Kieron wrote some words about it, and certainly seemed impressed: “The battle system seems to be agreeably direct yet tactical – there’s building of skill chains for your characters to work up and… well, it’s more than just selecting the biggest attack. You can also swap your party order of three – a Knight, a Swashbuckler and a Priest, ideally – at any time to mitigate damage multiplication and… oh, it’s a battle system. And a good one.” Seems like it’s worth a gamble at this price if it sounds like it might be your thing. You can also get 20% off using coupon “SURVEY-2009″, but you’ll have to get something else to meet the minimum spend requirement. Demo here.

Company of Heroes: Gold – £11.29/€12.34/$17.99
Speaking of “Something else”, this could be your something else. This includes the original game and the Opposing Fronts expansion pack. This is Relic’s WW2 realtime strategy game. Kieron said lots of lovely things like “I wish that we saw games this good more often.” about the original game, and then Alec followed up by saying some other lovely things like “No other RTS provokes the feeling that you’re inventing rather than enduring to defeat your foe to this extent.” about the expansion. RPS coverage here and demo here. Use the coupon “SURVEY-2009″ to get this price.

Deal of the week
Indie games for £5/$5
D2D’s assault on prices turns its attention to indie games this week. It’s very difficult for me to pick any one so I’m not going to. There are RPS favourites Mount & Blade, World of Goo, Defence Grid (which can be added to Steam), The Path and Cogs. There is also Ed McMillen’s Gish, and Bridge Construction set (which is so cool it has a level in World of Goo named after it!), Sword of the Stars and Light of Altair too. UK folk can get something called Zatikon which I’ve not heard of, anyone played it? USA folk can get a PDF of pixels shaped like ladies. Wonderful. A bunch of games from previous weeks are still on sale too, the likes of Bioshock, Civ4 and Penumbra Collection are all worth your attention.

Also of note:
Audiosurf – £2.99/€4.99/$4.99 (Includes the complete Orange Box OST too)
30% off Tex Murphy games

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

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102 Comments »

  1. Dante says:

    Company of Heroes is probably the best strategy game I’ve ever played, the balance is absolutely outstanding.

    • Heliocentric says:

      Don’t say things like that, you know it’ll stir up the AIMs. Coh is awesome though, but i recently saw the coh anthology (both expansions with core game) for £9.99 on play.com, and then i look again and its £30, eh?

    • Dante says:

      Screw the AIMs, not every genre can have reached it’s peek in 1997.

      As a corollary, I haven’t played Starcraft, but I have a hard time seeing it beating CoH.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      CoH might be, but OF certainly isn’t.

    • Vinraith says:

      If it wasn’t for my horse, I wouldn’t have spent that year in college.

    • A-Scale says:

      I thoroughly enjoyed CoH and loved its new mechanics, superb voice acting and writing and gritty realism, but I don’t think that balance was one of its strong suits. The game was too easily dominated by tanks because infantry (realistically) had few options against the heavier vehicles. I also have a special, angry place in my heart for Relic because of the problems I had even running COH:OF via steam, and the continuing validation issues I’ve had which doesn’t permit me to play even today.

    • James says:

      Sorry, it just isn’t. Competitive play is heavily biased towards the Brits, especially with the recent Tales of Valour.

      It’s a cracking, cracking game though.

  2. Andy says:

    “I’m sure I heard there was plans for the two Xbox games getting PC ports, anyone been following it?”

    Weren’t they originally going to be released on the PC and game consoles simultaniously, then Microsoft decided to be a bunch of money grubbing dicks (as always) and forced them to make it an x-box exclusive?

    I wish they were on PC because… well because how many platformers is there where you play a mutated duck in a wheelchair?

  3. Fat says:

    Oddworld bundle it is. I have fond memories of Abe from when i was about 13/14. =D

  4. Carra says:

    Mount and blade for 5 bucks. Can’t pass on this game for that sum.

    • Heliocentric says:

      Even if you can’t stand D2D M&B is worth it because you just need your key and you never need to touch the file from D2D

    • Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

      What’s so bad about D2D? Sure, the downloads are ueberslow for me, but then aggain, at least you can make a backup and download the game at any time (YEAH, I’M LOOKING AT YOU, EA STORE!!!*)

      *thank God for cheap cd keys elsewhere :)

    • Joflar says:

      Besides the slow downloads, D2D has a three install limit. Thankfully you can get them back after pestering the company, but if thats the case then what on earth is the point?!

    • Vinraith says:

      Joflar is incorrect. Some games on D2D may have 3 install limits due to 3rd party DRM, but there are quite a few games on the service that have either a different DRM scheme, or no DRM scheme at all. The problem with D2D is that without a lot of research it’s often impossible to know just what the DRM scheme on a given title happens to be. Then again, almost all the DD services are guilty of that to one degree or another.

    • Carra says:

      D2d just doesn’t have the ease of use steam or gog.com have.

      Bought titan quest last week for five bucks. I had to enter two cd keys. Then two activation keys. And I noticed some tages protection system. With steam it would just be right click, install, play. And with gog.com download, install, play. And I have no idea if mods work.

      Besides the fact that I paid 5 pounds instead of 5 dollars on D2D which almost doubles the price I have to pay. Of course I have the same issues with steam.

      I dislike D2D but if the games are that cheap I can deal with it. The game is still fun to play no matter where I buy it.

    • DarkNoghri says:

      @Helio

      Wait, what? I’ve been holding off on Mount and Blade because I didn’t want to grab something and then probably have to be locked into D2D if I ever wanted the expansion. Where else can you get the game files once you have the key?

      Mind you, I grabbed Warhammer 40k and Civ 4, because those either had the expansions or I knew I wouldn’t care.

    • Heliocentric says:

      I got m&b off steam, added my key to the m&b demo i had installed and it gained 500xp became flying type and also was a full install of m&b.

    • Blather Bob says:

      Thanks for pointing out the portability of the serial key, Heliocentric. That was enough to push me into purchasing this from D2D, rather than wait for the inevitable Warband bundle sales elsewhere. It definitely works for the key from the D2D version too, just download the game from taleworlds.com or a mirror and type the serial off D2D into it. You don’t even need to download the D2D version, and you get the latest version without having to patch too!

      That said, it looks like the D2D version doesn’t actually have any extra DRM, instead relying on the developer’s already existing online activation. I’m not sure if the D2D copy is even different at all from the developer’s.

  5. abhishek says:

    I got Audiosurf. It had been on my radar for a while, and the sale gave me the perfect excuse to get it. Having a great time with it so far… If anyone is on the fence about this, give the demo a shot. I’m not sure how comprehensive the demo is, but in the full game, the different modes and difficulty levels make the game extremely challenging and fun to play.

  6. Fat says:

    Bugger it, i went and got L4D2 aswell. I’m so good to myself.

    Mount & Blade, yeah… that reminds me, i’m in the Warband beta and haven’t played it for almost a month, d’oh.

  7. sinister agent says:

    Lots of interesting looking games in there. It’s been a while since I had a decent strategy game. Hmm. Pity my PC won’t run biosock at a respectable level. This Zakiton sounds like it could almost be fun enough for me to get a few people playing in the house… but it sounds very Generic ‘Fantasy’. What’s the consensus, commentville citizens?

  8. Heliocentric says:

    Company of heroes Anthology is £11.99 from DVD.CO.UK and you don’t need the disc in the drive, but patching coh is a mare.

    I have opposing forces over steam (on the girlfriends account by accident) and a while ago i tried to install my retail coh (so my girlfriend could have access to her account) and it took bloody hours to patch. Hours i needed to be sat there baby sitting i every 5 minutes, so yeah, the impulse deal isn’t bad.

  9. Vandelay says:

    Lots of lovely things this week, although I’ve got all the ones I would want (except L4D2.)

    I loved the Oddworld games when I played them as kid. Great, challenging, fun stuff. I’m quite tempted to re-purchase them through Steam. Intriguing to hear that they may possibly be making the console exclusive sequels available on PC too. Slightly odd, as I seem to remember them being quite old, but welcome news all the same.

    Can really recommend Company of Heroes. Really innovative RTS game that manages to strike a good balance between Dawn of War 2′s unit management and base building. Must admit, I’ve never dared taking the game online, as I got it relatively recently and would expect multiplayer to be full of Gods. But the singleplayer and skirmish mode have given me plenty of enjoyment.

    Left 4 Dead 2 seems to be a good deal. I wasn’t prepared to pay >£20 for it (which is the limit I place on pretty much every game.) I expect the single copy price of £26.99 will be the lowest it will be for a long time, so getting the four pack seems to be the best bet, unless I want to wait a very long time.

    What are those Tex Murphy games like?

    • Blather Bob says:

      I don’t know. L4D1 had the same 4-pack deal when it came out (though not until after it was released, so without preordering savings, I think), but that ~$35 price was very quickly replaced with better deals. Most obviously when just a week after it came out, Amazon had a one-day $20 price as part of its black friday sales. And boxed copies continued to be on sale quite often, especially in the run up to Christmas. Even Steam was doing a 50% off sale within 3 months of it coming out. It just wasn’t a game that held it’s release (or preorder) price for very long.

      So you probably wouldn’t have to wait too long for a better deal. But it is a multiplayer game, so a lot of its value depends on getting it around the same time as your friends. And there is that baseball bat, I suppose.

    • Vandelay says:

      I’m not so sure we can really compare the pricing of L4D with L4D2. It was very much unknown just how successful L4D was going to be and the fact that I was able to pre-order the game for £18 wasn’t that surprising for a new franchise. But L4D was probably one of the most successful games Valve have had, particularly on consoles. I’ve got a feeling that L4D2 may well be one of those few games that get released ever so often that sees very little reduction in price for a long time. I can imagine it following a similar pattern to CoD4, which couldn’t be had for under £25 for about year after its release.

  10. Bob says:

    I love audiosurf, but its hurts my eyes and made me feel sick with all the stuff going on! I wish someone could make a mod for it, so its more “earth like” and don’t make you feel like your going to have a fit lol

    • James G says:

      It gets distinctly less busy if you turn down all the graphical settings.

      If you find audiosurf busy though, never try and play anything by Jeff Minter.

  11. ArtyArt says:

    Do yourself a favor and go buy the Spirit Engine 2. Apart from the battle system, which is refreshingly different and deceptively simple, the writing is outstanding! A lot of thought went into the dialogue, and the overall world that is created is somewhere between classic fantasy, steampunk (indeed. and everyone should love some steampunk, right?) and something else, so go, do it. Now.

  12. Zaphid says:

    Well, saying that a price on steam in euros is fair when it usually means it’s 40% more expensive than in USA seems a bit silly to me. Can someone please get it into distributors thick brains that if they are going to sell games as digital downloads, they are supposed to be cheaper that from normal stores ?

    Of course I’m talking about L4D2

  13. coupsan says:

    It’s also worth noting (well, not really) that pre-orderers of L4D2 will get the in-game baseball bat. Which, apparently, just uses recycled sound effects from TF2.

  14. Mort says:

    Picked up mount&blade and Stalker this week on D2D, first pruchases with them, not a fan but sucker for decent games for a fiver.
    That said, haven’t got Stalker to work yet.

  15. Mr. Camel says:

    I’m tempted by Defence Grid at D2D, but I’ve never used their service before. Does D2D use some irritating DRM system?

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      It’s just activations, nothing to be concerned about.

    • nakke says:

      D2D doesn’t have any DRM of its own, some games might have special DRM stuff for the D2D release though.

    • abhishek says:

      And the D2D key for Defense Grid can most likely be activated on Steam as well, if that’s more to your liking.

    • Vinraith says:

      nakke and abhishek are both right. D2D has no innate copy protection of any kind, though many games on the service have online activations via 3rd party DRM. In the case of Defense Grid, you can just take the key they give you and add it to Steam, I did that myself when DF was on sale on D2D earlier this year.

    • LewieP says:

      If only someone had put this useful information in the article

  16. Martin Edelius says:

    Bah, I told myself I’d only look but managed to purchase Spirit Engine 2 and Worlords Battlecry III for 82,27 SKR after a 20% discount.

    Oh well. :)

  17. Heliocentric says:

    Its activations, and they make it hard to know if the activations are limited or whatever. A good few games are steam activations (saints row 2, defence grid) or drm free (light of altair world of goo). I generally don’t buy anything else unless its extremely cheap(like $5).

  18. Ravelle says:

    Left 4 Dead 2 is 44,99 Euro, not 33 I’m afraid.

    • Anthony Damiani says:

      Also In the US– $44.99

    • LewieP says:

      You have to buy the 4 pack with some friends and split the cost to get that price.

    • DarkNoghri says:

      He specifically mentions that he’s talking about the 4-pack. Which currently in my US prices is 135$. If you split that four ways, you get…. 33.75 a person.

    • DarkNoghri says:

      Agggh, ninja’d.

  19. nakke says:

    £20.25/€33.75/$33.75

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAA. I do hope we non-UK europeans get a DAMN MIGHTY game since we are paying 52% more for it than the English.

    • Carra says:

      Ugh, that’s one huge difference. Enough for me to say “screw you, valve”.

    • Dood says:

      Well just buy it in the UK then. All you need is a credit card. No hassle, no toll. It’s nice living in the European Union.

    • LewieP says:

      The only thing I can say in it’s defence is that it has full French, German and Spanish audio, which I gather not all games do.

      At least, even if they are overcharging in Europe, they are doing a decent job of localising.

      I always resent it when games are more expensive in the UK, but are full of American spellings of words.

    • Alex says:

      Amazon UK are selling it for £27 (cheaper than Steam for a single copy), and they will ship to most European countries.

  20. Alastayr says:

    Any Europeans that want to get a single copy of L4D2 for “cheap” should take a look at this cdwow.net offer. 30€ is pretty good and contrary to what some people say about them, I never had to pay extra customs + taxes on their orders. It’s not digital and it needs to be delivered, but it’s a hell of a lot cheaper.

    Be warned though, I foresee a huge permanent price drop around Christmas, maybe as early as Black Friday. Just like the first L4D.

  21. dartt says:

    I’ve been trying to email this in all week but the mail deliveries have failed…

    Anyway, I found Modern Warfare 2 being sold for £26.99 on cdwow and a 10% off deal when you visit through myvouchercodes.

    http://www.cdwow.com/games/PC/CALL-OF-DUTY-MODERN-WARFARE-2/dp/4759415
    http://www.myvouchercodes.co.uk/codes/Save-10-Percent-Off-All-Products-When-Using-This-Myvouchercodes-Exclusive-Link-At-Cd-Wow/116368

    Not quite as cheap as the deal you posted a while ago, but not far off. The reason I mention it is because coolshop only accepted Visa or Mastercard, cdwow also accepts Maestro and Paypal.

  22. Arsemodeus says:

    Re: Zatikon

    It + the first expansion was part of the $5 sale, but got replaced with “Girls of Gaming” for some reason on the fifth anniversary listing. It’s still available for $5 if you search for it. (Zatikon the game itself is freeware, but the expansion is what costs $5)

    If you don’t mind primitive graphics, there’s a well designed strategy game in there for you. Fantasy chess combined with the unit variety of Dominions 3 pretty much sums up the game.

    You can try it before you buy it.

    Re: CoH
    Was nearing some resemblence of “balance” before Opposing Forces dropped. I think the 5% bug was never fixed (you can get a tank’s health down to 5%, then it would go into god mode and reflect 4-6 shells before actually taking a hit). This is why people don’t play for money (“e-sports”) with Relic’s games.

    • malkav11 says:

      To me, Zatikon reminds me more of a CCG with a board and a lot less art than is standard than chess or the like. Specifically, the whole game revolves around the units, which are very much like cards in a CCG, with deploy costs, stats and special abilities. Also collectability, of a sort, in that you either buy a random unit for 100 gold (with rarity weighting for different units), or pay much more (anywhere from 1000 to 7000+ gold) for specific units.

      Anyway, it’s Java and thus platform independent, it’s got a neat design, and the base game is free. I’d recommend people check it out while they can still get that first expansion for $5 (it’s normally $12). Also notable is that the only thing you need from D2D is the key – the key then plugs into your Zatikon account and you are thereafter good to go directly from Chronic Logic if you need to reinstall.

  23. Lucas says:

    Since this didn’t make RPS news this week, Strange Adventures in Infinite Space is now free: http://www.digital-eel.com/sais/

    Small caveat: it only runs in fullscreen 640×480 mode. This is the one mode that’s screwed up on my CRT, so I need the “doublescan low resolutions” option that Nvidia has removed from the recent drivers (post “new control panel”), and thus can only play it under my Win2k install.

  24. Pemptus says:

    I recently replayed both Abe’s Oddysee and Exoddus. It was absolutely fantastic. Get and play it now, those of you who haven’t.

  25. MacQ says:

    One question about Direct2Drive. Do you have to have an active internet connection when installing and playing the game?

    • Vinraith says:

      No, D2D has no client and consequently no requirement to be online to play the game.

    • Heliocentric says:

      You can do 2 kinds of activation when installing, the easy one where you are online and can copy in one key, or the multi step one for when you aren’t. Never had to bother with the more complicated one.

      While playing you are fine as vi said.

  26. Nero says:

    I think I will wait for L4D2 sales this time. I have other things to play and I don’t need to play it day 1. I might finally pick up Mount & Blade to test out D2D. The price is surely right.

  27. MajorManiac says:

    Thanks LewieP for yet another great batch of deals.

  28. Heliocentric says:

    You’ll enjoy the abe games as long as you are not determined to save everyone, a few of the challenges are beyond reasonable. Also learn to abuse back tracking to save points and when to suicide/quit out.

  29. Heliocentric says:

    Additionally for anyone who never played it bridge construction kit is the forefather of world of goo. Non of the personality, all the physics.

    Light of altair is a highly scripted but otherwise perfect colonissation game.

    Hell, the entire indie listings are worth playing.

  30. LionsPhil says:

    Yay, SAIS!

    Everyone: play this. Do it now.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Oh for…can this comment system please remove “Reply” links if they’ve timed out, or whatever it is where they stop working?

      That would be in reference to Lucas’ post about Strange Adventures in Infinite Space. Also: try hunting down DXWND and trying that—I use it to run Fallout on the Eee 701, which stupidly has drivers that don’t think 640×480 is a supported video mode (on a 800×480 screen…d’oy).

  31. DarkNoghri says:

    So, the Steam Oddworld pack. Do these games have any issues running on modern OS’s?

    Also, semi-off-topic, but the Steam store front page has an Alec Meer quote under the Audiosurf ad. He’s famous now!

    • LewieP says:

      I had no problems with XP other than it being a bit fiddly to get a controller to work with it.

  32. Max the Mug says:

    I’m sure I heard there was plans for the two Xbox games getting PC ports, anyone been following it?

    Supposedly this is meant to happen before Christmas. When they are up, all four titles will probably be available in one package. My fingers are crossed!

  33. Miles of the Machination says:

    I’ll have to check out the Oddworld pack, incredibly cheap.

  34. Wedge says:

    I’m pleasantly surprised to see TSE 2 on sale. Never thought that would happen, but I liked the demo a ways back and think I’ll get it for the half offs.

  35. Paul Moloney says:

    “but patching coh is a mare”

    Oh god, yes. There’s no one single patch file; you have to download multiple files. And it seems to be trial and error as to while damn versions will work with your installation. If you can, get this on Steam.

    P.

  36. TeeJay says:

    Wot I got )
    World of Goo (£5 / D2D)
    Bioshock (£5 / D2D)
    2 x Oddworld (£3 / Steam)

    (also Crysis has been reissued and is listed at ‘thehut’ for £6.70, which is nice since last time I looked it was c.£15)

  37. Matzerath says:

    I had no idea that Strange Adventures in Infinite Space was now free! Yay!

  38. Dzamir says:

    I took the left 4 dead 4 pack 25,5€ for person (non 33€ as the article says)

  39. Dzamir says:

    Company of Heroes is 9€ with the discount coupon

  40. EyeMessiah says:

    DOW1 was more mareish in terms of patching imo. I fondly remember installing multiple expansions + multiple patches and getting close to the end only to be informed that the last patch I had downloaded was the wrong region but that the patching system wasn’t clever enough to check this UNTIL AFTER IT HAD WRITTEN OFF EVERYTHING I HAD INSTALLED THUSFAR AND THAT I’D NEED TO UNINSTALL EVERYTHING AND START AGAIN.

    Anger!

  41. Mihai says:

    I loved The Spirit Engine 2 and I was more than upset when I heard it sold a little bit over 50 copies so far (and it was also refused by Steam). That so unfair!

    I’m doing my best to support the guy behind the game (Mark Pay), so I published an interview with him on my website: http://gmzzz.wordpress.com/2009/10/04/7-questions-mark-pay/

    Read it, then go buy this wonderful gem of a game! It’s worth every penny.

    • Alastayr says:

      Steam refused TSE2?! What the….

      They have “Foreign Legion: Buckets of Blood” (a 5 minute game), “Raycatcher” (a bland game) and even “Vigil – Blood Bitterness” (which is practically unplayable on modern PCs), yet they refuse a superb niche game like this? What an injustice.

    • Mihai says:

      Yeah, I don’t know why they did it, this is a superb game. Looks and plays very polished. They have a lot of other indie games on Steam but, for some reason, they decided that TSE2 is not up to par :(

      Anyway, it shocks me that only around 50 copies of the games were sold. That’s fucking sad.

  42. Jayt says:

    I would love to get the l4d2 deal but since im aussie and all…

  43. Mads says:

    Seriously? Only 50 copies?! Then I’ll have to get it too – even though I’ve bought more games this year than I’ll ever have time to play. But I played the demo and really enjoyed it :-)

  44. Injustice says:

    Refused by Steam? When they approved Stalin vs. Martians?

  45. Frank says:

    Oy! No one has mentioned/noticed that Riddick (the upgraded one) is also $5!!!!!!!!!!!!!?

    • malkav11 says:

      It -was- mentioned. Two weeks ago, when it first went on sale at that price.

    • DarkNoghri says:

      Also, as far as I can tell: It still uses the non-revocable 3 activation Tages DRM.

  46. sinister agent says:

    I bought that light of altair as it seemed promising. Is it worth getting Sword of the Stars as well? They seem similar enough to kind of be redundant.

    • Vinraith says:

      Sword of the Stars is an amazing game with all the expansions, one of the best space 4X games of all time I’d say, but the base game alone isn’t anything terribly exciting. If you like these kinds of games, you definitely SHOULD get SotS, but you’ll want to get the complete pack to really experience the game properly.

    • sinister agent says:

      Thank you for the reply, it’s appreciated. I will maybe get the base game for the fiver – it can’t be a bad deal at that price either way, and if the full pack comes up at a decent price I’ll see how it goes.

    • Vinraith says:

      Just be sure not to judge the game by the base title, the expansions add massive amounts of content. I played the original back in the day and thought it was pretty uninteresting, but the complete version is among my favorite games.

  47. Jim Rossignol says:

    I’ve been meaning to get back to Sword Of The Stars, it’s ripe for diary writing.

    • Vinraith says:

      I only discovered it a couple of months ago, I’m ashamed to say. I’d picked up a copy of the ultimate edition on a Gamersgate weekend sale back in April but it had been languishing on the backlog pile for some time. When Argos Naval Yard came out the completionist in me demanded I buy it, which prompted me to actually play the game for a change.

      In addition to just being a really solid 4X game, I really love the B-Sci Fi movie feel of the universe it creates. All the alien menaces and strange discoveries you make in the course of the game make it much more narrative than your average Space 4X where all you’re worrying about are the AI opponents themselves. I’m sure it’d make a fantastic diary writing project, and that might have the pleasant side effect of bringing it to the attention of people who (like me up until a little while ago) would love it but simply haven’t noticed it.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      This. So much.

      Bought SOTS when the complete pack plus the Argos Naval Yard expansion was on a Steam sale as linked a few months ago in one of these very same Bargain Buckets. Worth every penny.
      It is honestly one of the best 4X games I have played (not done Sins of a Solar Empire yet though). Each race has so much depth to them even though at first glance there may not look like much difference between the races. Playing Humans is very different to playing Liir which are very different to playing Tarka & Hivers are a whole other game altogether (haven’t started Zuul or Morrigi yet).
      As Vinraith says the story is very rich. Reminds me a lot of the Babylon 5 setting.
      The only thing I would change would be to add more tactical depth to the real time battles but from what I hear they’re working on a sequel in which they intend to develop it.

      sinister agent – as Vinraith says get the complete pack which is the full game plus the first 2 expansion packs which add the 5th & 6th races. Argos Naval Yard you may be able to live without but from reading the manuals & patch notes you really need the first 2 expansions for it to be a ‘complete’ game. Also it’s very different to Light of Altair, it’s more like Total War in space.

    • Dominic White says:

      N’thing what others have said. Sword of The Stars may have started out fairly ropey, but after all the expansions and patches (I REALLY reccomend getting the all-in-one pack), it’s easily the best 4x I’ve played since Master of Orion 2. Possibly better, due to the seriously lovely combat engine.

      Only gripes I have with it are that it may take a while for it to ‘click’ with you (took me a whole dedicated night of play to get the hang of things), and that some of the art/voicework are amateur hour. The backstory fluff is excellent – written by Arrin Dembo, who also wrote the backstory/setting stuff for Homeworld, Arcanum, Ground Control and a bunch of other stuff. There’s also an SoTS novel which is pretty fun stuff, which she wrote as well.

      Sins of A Solar Empire is more of an RTS on a large scale with some 4x elements, wheras Sword of The Stars is on the opposite side. It’s primarily a 4x game that integrates some RTS elements very nicely.

  48. Vinraith says:

    Sins just felt painfully shallow to me. It’s certainly pretty, and the scale is enormous for an RTS, but there’s not much there. Then again, when they originally said it was going to be a real time 4X space game I was thinking in terms of a sort of real time Gal Civ 2, the space equivalent of Europa Universalis or the like. Sins is more of an RTS, in the Starcraft sense of the word, but with an unusually large scale and a lot more bases.

    I didn’t work for me, but I seem to be the only person on Earth that didn’t enjoy it, so your mileage may vary.

    Honestly, having played SotS, I can’t imagine ever going back to Sins. Turn-basedness aside, SotS is much closer to what I wanted Sins to be than Sins was: a streamlined 4X space strategy game with a focus on combat.

  49. malkav11 says:

    Actually, although initially Sins appealed considerably, for me the love affair was over swiftly. It just feels like about the standard amount of RTS fiddlery but with less personality and stretched over a much longer timeframe, which leaves it a bit thin on the ground to be fun for me.

  50. TCM says:

    I like Sins quite a bit, but the time it takes to play intimidates me too much to play it with any kind of regularity.

    I even finish off my Civ IV runs with one sitting, but that’s nigh impossible for Sins.