The Bargain Bucket: Extremely Demanding

By Lewie Procter on October 8th, 2011 at 1:07 pm.


Surely you lot know the drill by now? I’ve spent this morning drinking tea and finding all the best download deals from across the web, and compiled them into a convenient list format for you. What’s there going to be to tempt you to hit that download button this week? Read on to find out. As always, SavyGamer.co.uk is your round the clock hub to cut-price gaming deals. Here’s your bucket:

Max Payne 1 + 2 – $3.74 (Not available in the UK, not a clue about anywhere else, possibly USA only).
Despite their homepage telling me this is available for £2.42, it appears (like many games on Impulse) they have restrictions on what countries you can buy this from, and my country isn’t American enough for their liking. The baffling part is that these are games that are happily sold on a worldwide basis from many other digital outlets: Is this a policy of Gamestop/Impulse, rather than something forced on them by the publishers they use? I don’t know, but I sure wish they would get their act together, and stop promoting deals on games that they refuse to sell me at me. If you are allowed to buy this, it’s both of the original Max Payne games for relatively cheap.

Update: Oh, D2D come to the rescue, they’ve got this on sale for £2.50 for UKers too.

Cogs – £2.38
Ah, beautiful, lovely Cogs. It’s just a slide puzzle game, but don’t let that put you off: It’s challenging, clever, and extraordinarily well put together. As John put it:

Everything clicks and clunks with gorgeously animated mechanisms, from the opening menus to the in-game timers. Restarting a puzzle has the counters wind back, while smaller menus rotate and flip around. Changing screen is always pleasurable, and it’s not often you find yourself thinking that about anything. Three dimensional puzzles are elegantly presented, the right mouse button letting you drag to rotate the object on the screen swiftly and accurately – things feel weighty and tangible. The sound is equally impressive (albeit agitating), and the whirring mechanics and metallic clunks are very satisfying to hear. A smart puzzle game like this doesn’t need such a level of detail to work, but it’s a real pleasure when so much effort has been put in.

Not too long left on this deal, it ends at 6pm UK time.

Various Activision strategy and tactical games on promotion at GOG.
The selection on offer this weekend at GOG includes the following:
Caeser 3
Call to Power 2
Dark Reign + Expansion
Dark Reign 2
Police Quest: SWAT 1+2
SWAT 3: Tactical Goatee Edition
No prices, because the discounts are on a sliding scale between 25% and 50%, depending on how many of the games you go for. The total for all 6 is £15.39/€17.90/$23.94, and you get 25% off any individual game. No, I haven’t played any of these. Any of them must-play classics?

Section 8: Prejudice – £3.95/€4.59/$6.15
Here’s Mr Jim’s take on this Robot shooter. Are they robots, or are the blokes in robot suits – I just can’t tell by looking at the pictures.

As in the original, locking down the capture points with assets called in from orbit (turrets, robots etc) is the order of the day, and co-ordinating tight (TIGHT) assaults on enemy positions in the counter-offensives are extremely demanding. This time, however, the loadouts of your character have even more room for customisation, because the game has an entirely new set of weapons and equipment that will have to be unlocked as you play. There’s tonnes of stuff – in a manner reminiscent of BFBC2 – that is intended to keep you playing to get to the goodies.

Deal of the week
King’s Bounty: The Legend – £2.50/€2.50/$2.50
King’s Bounty: Armored Princess – £3.74/€4.99/$4.99
King’s Bounty: Crossworlds – £4.99/€3.74/$4.99
King’s Bounty: Armored Princess & Crossworlds – £8.48/€8.48/$10.18
King’s Bounty: The Legend, Armored Princess, Crossworlds – £10.18/€10.18/$11.88
That’s a bit of a mess of regional pricing bollocks, ain’t it? Everything is pretty cheap for everyone, though. This series is a favourite of Comrade Meer’s, here’s his WIT on Crossworlds, and here’s why The Legend was one of his top games of 2008. Loads more RPS coverage here too.

Also of note:
Fable 3 – £10.19/€13.59/$16.99. DLC discounted too.
25% off at Origin with coupon “e4mjzjpq8″. Quite possibly restricted by region, and it can’t be used on preorders, new releases (last 4 weeks), points packs, timecards, and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.
DinoRubbish Megabundle – Pay What You Want.
Digitanks – Pay What You Want
The Humble Frozen Synapse Bundle, now with added SpaceChem.

For more cheapskate gaming, get yourself over to SavyGamer.co.uk

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87 Comments »

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  1. Teddy Leach says:

    If I may say, Digitanks is immensely fun.

    • Captchist says:

      Just want to clarify on DigiTanks – it appears to be Pay What you Want > 1.00.

      Which is fine, but deserves clarifying for those who don’t have credit cards available.

  2. Freud says:

    I don’t get Steams special offers policies at all. For several weeks Serious Sam Classic: First Encounter and Second Encounter has been listed as special offers despite costing €45. Slashing €5 off a year old HD re-release of an ancient game doesn’t make it a special offer. It makes it brutally overpriced in todays market. It’s even easier to pre-order the new Serious Sam game.

    • BarneyL says:

      If you buy it at that price they do at least throw in a free pre-order for the upcoming sequel….

    • LionsPhil says:

      That sounds like they’re advertising it backwards, then. Most of your money is going towards the “free” extra.

    • Corrupt_Tiki says:

      @lionsphil,
      It wasn’t quite worded like that, I bought the pack, and it clearly stated; preorder Serious Sam BFE 3, and get SS HD1 and SS HD2, or something along those lines, I thought roughly 35aud was quite reasonable for it.

    • Freud says:

      That’s not how it reads in the Specials menu. No mention of you getting the new game at all there.

      http://store.steampowered.com/search/?specials=1

    • ShrikeMalakim says:

      You’re mis-reading it. The ONLY way to get Serious Sam Classic (not HD) is as part of the Serious Sam 3 BFE pre-order, so the Special Offers list in Steam shows all three (3 BFE, Classic First, Classic Second) as being the same price, because they’re the same single product.

      Dungeon Siege I and II do the same thing when you search for them or add them to your wishlist (because they’re only available on Steam as part of Dungeon Siege III Deluxe).

      Also, when you click on them from the Specials menu, or look at the detail page for them, there’s a message: “Notice: Serious Sam Classic games are available only as a part of Serious Sam HD: Gold Edition or Serious Sam 3: BFE Serious Digital Edition. ”

      (Edit: Specials lists SS3: BFE as a lower cost by itself because that’s the no-extras version. It’s just an oddity of how the Steam Specials list displays non-standalone games.)

    • Freud says:

      I’m not misreading it at all. It clearly lists these games and a price for them. That the product they are selling is a different one and you find that out by clicking on each post means they do a shoddy job listing. When I click on the specials link, I do it because I want to know what games are on sale on Steam.

      So when I read:

      Serious Sam Classic: Second Encounter 44,99€

      I assume they are trying to sell me Serious Sam Classic: Second Encounter for €44.99. Crazy, eh?

    • ShrikeMalakim says:

      You said you “didn’t get Steam’s special offers policies”. You then proceeded as if the Special Offers listing was the be-all and end-all of their offers, which it isn’t.

      The Steam Special Offers listing lists all *individual* games that are on sale. In order to get Serious Sam: The Second Encounter Classic, you will have to pay €44.99 *because it’s only available as part of a bundle which is on sale*. It is not available on its own.

      But I have a feeling you’re just being intentionally obtuse at this point.

    • Freud says:

      So when Gamersgate have, say 100+ games on sale, do you click on the link for each one trying to find out what they are selling, or do you assume that what they list an item as is the item they are trying to sell?

      If Steam are selling a bundle, they should list it as a bundle.

    • skittles says:

      And they usually do list them as bundles, however this time some valve henchman/woman clicked the wrong button or something, is that really such a problem?

      Anyone not being obtuse would realise that a game from 2001 should not cost $50, and would then perhaps click the icon and immediately find out that ‘oh its a bundle’. Not simply look at a mistaken listing and proceed to complain for a while, without even taking the time it takes to load a single webpage to investigate.

    • Saldek says:

      @Freud: I hope somebody apologises to you. They really didn’t treat you right.

  3. Pike says:

    Also don’t forget that the OnLive any-game-for-£1 deal expires tomorrow night.

    • Flowing says:

      ..boo. :(

      Still a UK-only service. No other european countries supported. Billing-wise at least.

    • Tams80 says:

      Boo. No in-browser store. I can’t access Onlive atm, so therefore can’t buy anything. That said, the prices are ridiculous.

    • RogB says:

      thanks for the reminder. now, DXHR or Space Marine? :)

    • Heliocentric says:

      £1 for a ‘rental copy’ of deus ex hr… why not, thanks for the reminder.

  4. Koozer says:

    Everyone buy Caesar III! Quickly!

    • Premium User Badge

      Carra says:

      It’s a great game. But I bought a box containing Caesar 2, 3, Pharaoh, Zeus, the Chinese game and all their expansions for €25 five years ago.

      Great games but try to see if you can find them in a bundle.

    • Koozer says:

      Ah what is this Chinese one you speak of? I own everything else on your list.

    • Devrey says:

      The Chinese one is Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom.

      Every Impressions citybuilder from the Ceasar 3 era is worth buying. Every game adds and/or changes something to make them all just that different enough to play them all. Though Pharaoh is my personal favourite. I really hope gog.com adds the remaining games to their catalogue as well.

    • Koozer says:

      I concur with Pharaoh being the best – those searbird and camel sound effects are with me to this day. I never did get around to buying Cleopatra though…

    • kraii says:

      I am experiencing much nostalgia replaying Caesar 3. And I’m still obsessed with making everyone have nice houses

    • Kaira- says:

      I bought it, just to relive some memories. Anyone know if it runs well with Wine on Linux?

    • Premium User Badge

      Carra says:

      The last game, Emperor is probably the best one for newbies to start.

      But yes, Pharaoh is also my favorite one. It added quite a few things to the formula: farming the Nile in the summer and most of all, building monuments! You really did need patience to see a pyramid constructed :)

    • Premium User Badge

      LMichet says:

      Caesar III was my childhood in a nutshell. Because of that game, I studied latin for 6 years and became a history major at university.

      And I’m so much better at it now that I’m not, like, nine years old.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Hey, I blame Darklands for an ongoing interest in the late Middle Ages. Probably also a factor in my studying German in high school, which led to me moving to Germany.

    • jamesgecko says:

      Kaira-: Don’t know about the Wine compatibility of any of those games, but it’s worth noting that the Call to Power 2 code is open source; you should be able to use the GOG data files with a Linux binary to run it natively.

  5. Premium User Badge

    LTK says:

    A-nope, the Impulse offer is US/Canada only. Those regional restrictions are the sole reason I’ve never been able to buy a game on Impulse.

    • Gnoupi says:

      Yes, for some reason many publishers are using Impulse only for North America. That includes Ubisoft, EA, Rockstar…

      Probably a good reason behind that, but I can’t figure out why.

  6. d32 says:

    King’s Bounty: Platinum is for FIVE dollars on amazon:
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0042AMMDW?tag=deals4dowcom-20
    restrictions may apply, but it is not hard to find a workaround.

    • Aquamarine Jesus says:

      Yup, I bought this straight from amazon for $4.99 last night. I’m pretty sure this is the same bundle as the $11.88 bundle from gamers gate. Somehow I completely missed these games when they came out and as a HOMM fan I was pretty sure I would enjoy them. For five bucks it was a no brainer.

      Suffice to say, I have to say I barely slept last night. I’m having the most fun with these then I have with a game for awhile.

  7. Gnoupi says:

    I kinda like Origin’s promo code. I mean, these general codes are just marketing tools, related to a particular deal, so they name it accordingly (example: “savingsfeb”, for “february savings”, or “savemore”, or “d2dcasual” ).

    But for Origin, it just looks like someone sneezed while his hands were on the keyboard. Like if it needed to be obfuscated.

  8. LionsPhil says:

    As always, SavyGamer.co.k is your round the clock hub

    Good lord.

    Anyone who even slightly likes puzzle games needs the current badly-named Humble Bundle. Synapse still hasn’t entirely clicked with me, but Spacechem is delightful and is absolutely worth your unspecified number of dollars.

    (£2.50 for the Max Paynes is a steal, too, unless you absolutely can’t stand their affectionate noir parody stylings.)

    • Lewie Procter says:

      Registered in the Cook Islands. Believe.

    • LionsPhil says:

      See, this and this are what’re bothering me about Synapse. It’s deterministic, but chaotic. The simulator is not entirely useful when a character moving a millimetre to the side will mean a crucial shot misses or hits where previously it would not.

    • PleasingFungus says:

      LionsPhil, one of those screenshots is of a machinegunner ambushing two other machinegunners, and the other is of a machinegunner looking at a shotgunner face-to-face at close range. That’s not “moving a millimeter to either side”, that’s tactical common sense.

    • LionsPhil says:

      A split second before that, Red #1 was focusing on Green #1, whereas Green #2 was aimed the whole time. Green #2 also has cover.

      However, right now the game has “switched AI to local”, and locked up on the next primed turn. I think if I do increase my Humble Bundle contribution, I’m going to be shunting the split all the way to Spacechem.

      Edit: Oh, fuck this comment system. It just cancelled a huge edit because I window-switched by clicking on a dark area of the page. tl;dr: it’d be a better puzzler if units had perfect aim, as-is there’s a horrendous butterfly-effect on if they’ll actually hit any time soon. The aspects the tutorial hint at affecting accuracy—movement, in particular, although cover’s flakey—seem to do bupkis. Range also—I’ve had machinegunners snipe each-other from a glimpse of LoS across the map, while spray-and-praying from within the same room. It’s largely down to facing, and that’s half blind luck because the AI twists and turns in a paranoid fashion. And yet sometimes (like that first shot), Red #4 will obligingly stand stupified while Green #2 shoots his friend, steps to the left, then shoots him. While they stand on opposite sides of the same piece of cover.

      Ten minutes later, it doesn’t look like the shapeforms are going to deliberate. And since there’s no in-mission saving, I guess I just lost that progress on defending the hut. This game is quite badly broken for something that’s been out for months.

    • Falcon says:

      The mechanics just haven’t clicked for you. Behind cover means DIRECTLY behind it. Green #2 in your second shot isn’t in cover, and even if he was, I believe shotgunners will normally beat machinegunners at close range regardless.

      The way it works is that machinegunners will begin firing once a unit moves into their LoS. Depending on a lot of factors, such as distance, whether the unit they’re shooting at is behind cover, etc. it will take them longer to make the kill shot. If you move out of their LoS before the specified time it takes to make the kill shot then you can make them waste all that time shooting at you and not die. If they’re in the same spot and you pop out again, it will still take the same amount of time for them to make that kill shot. Absolutely none of it is random. You just need to get to the point where you understand exactly what’s in play, and there are so many factors that it takes a while to wrap your head around them all.

      I’d suggest reading the game’s in-game help in its entirety as it explains all of the mechanics in great detail in ways the tutorial didn’t. Also, there are keys in-game you can use to see LoS and cover, etc. in great detail as well. Once you understand the mechanics it becomes a great game, but getting to that point does take a little and I wish they would have put everything into the tutorial.

      EDIT: Yeah, that switch AI to local was awful and usually meant I had to restart the game. That really should have been sorted out by now, but that was the only problem I had with the game except for the single player campaign becoming way too brutal during a mission where you had to hold a room with fog of war active. Ugh.

    • LionsPhil says:

      a mission where you had to hold a room with fog of war active

      Yeah, that’s the one I was holding down (badly—they like to pop-up at the window with shotguns) when the AI broke. Sigh.

      I still don’t see, from what you’ve said, why Red #4 didn’t kill Green #2 in the first screenshot. He didn’t even fire.

    • Sleepymatt says:

      In the first screen the green machine gunner has cover as he is *directly* behind that low wall. Neither red has cover – that I think is what is confusing you. Red 4 would have to be right up against the low wall to benefit from it. Green will kill the south red almost immediately as he is aimed I would think, then swing and kill the other red, as firing out-of-cover at in-cover is a very slow kill. I havent played in a bit but in my mind the timing would be pretty close, if the first kill was even .25 sec slower I suspect Red 4 would have killed Green.

    • Krauss says:

      I can’t think of Frozen Synapse as anything else other than a trial-and-error simulator. In a bad way. I just can’t. I got it thinking it would be sort of like XCom’s battlescape but no.

      It’s not really a bad game, but SpaceChem has a lot of trial-and-error too and manages to stay fun. Frozen Synapse doesn’t.

      My two cents.

  9. yutt says:

    Deus Ex: Human Revolution is $33 on Impulse, and is a Steamwork game, so it activates on Steam.

    http://www.impulsedriven.com/deus3

  10. Xiyng says:

    Just a quick word of warning: King’s Bounty: Crossworlds uses Starforce as its DRM. I have no experience with it but that’s at least partly because of Starforce’s horrible reputation.

    • Vinraith says:

      Crap, I hadn’t even noticed that. I’ve owned Crossworlds for awhile but not yet installed it, does anyone know whether the newer incarnations of Starforce share the problems of the earlier ones?

    • RegisteredUser says:

      The steam version, too?

      Holy cow, what did I buy..

    • commyzthatdont says:

      I bought King’s Bounty, The Platinum edition and dont see any Starforce drivers in my hardware manager. Im not sure if they are just extra sneaky bastards or maybe they took them out.
      I bought it from Amazon, by the way.

    • DracoOmega says:

      Apparently Starforce is only used for online activation (3 initially, with manual deactivation). Which isn’t great, but at least there’s no local Starforce drivers installed.

    • Vinraith says:

      @DracoOmega

      Thanks for the clarification, can I ask where you got that information? Good internet DRM resources are something I like to keep bookmarked, and my own digging around turned up zilch on the details of this one.

      Do you happen to know whether the Starforce on Precursors is the same way?

    • DracoOmega says:

      @Vinraith

      In this case, I actually got the information off of the official company forum (thread is here http://forum.1cpublishing.eu/showthread.php?t=16519 ), although there are threads elsewhere discussing it and coming to the same conclusion (including having officially searched for Starforce drivers to confirm their absence (ie: http://forums.impulsedriven.com/396567 )

      As for Precursors, I’m less sure, but a cursory investigation suggests it has the full-blown deal, unfortunately.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Draco

      Again, thanks. That’s a bummer about Precursors, but not surprising.

  11. Premium User Badge

    LTK says:

    I’m mildly embarassed to say I haven’t bought a Humble Bundle before, but wow. Everyone always says the answer to piracy is to make purchasing games easier and more convenient than to pirate them, and these guys have got it down pat. These are the easiest, quickest and best justified 8 games I ever bought.

  12. DrGonzo says:

    Its certainly not gamestops policy. Impulse have always had thins unavailable in the UK. Most frustrating.

  13. Auspex says:

    I love King’s Bounty, people should definitely buy it. (I’m mainly writing this to check if I can post because it keeps telling me I’m spam D:)

    Edit: Hooray for not being spam!

  14. SquareWheel says:

    Checked out DinoRubbish.

    “You’ll be added to the Pixeljam mailing list, from which you can unsubscribe at any time.”

    Urrrgh.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Disposable e-mail accounts to the rescue!

    • sinister agent says:

      Indeed. I recommend 10minutemail as ideal for this kind of thing. I’d link it, but the RPS spam-droid has already taken several potshots at me today.

    • johnpeat says:

      But then you PLAYED Dino Run SE and all was well with the world I’m sure :)

  15. djbriandamage says:

    Police Quest SWAT is a heck of an interesting game. It teaches a lot about the primary motivation of police being the preservation of life – even that of the perpetrators. You learn about proper procedure for manoeuvring through unfamiliar areas, nonverbal team communication with hand signals, surveying around corners by “slicing the pie”, defusing volatile situations with mere words.. it’s really fascinating stuff that will give you great respect for the boys in blue.

    It’s all done in snippets of FMV where every possible outcome is acted out and everything that can go wrong WILL go wrong if you fail to follow procedure at every turn. You need to attend academy and run drills before you’re qualified to even handle a grandmother (really), and you’ll be glad you did.

    It’s a very unique game that is respectful of the subject matter. It’s a true learning experience and, in many ways, hints at the future of education. It’s $7.50 on GOG.com this weekend and I do recommend it.

  16. RiptoR says:

    Origin code is not working in Belgium

  17. Urthman says:

    I thought about buying Cogs and then realized I already owned it from one of the previous Humble Bundles.

  18. Friend says:

    Caesar 3 was always one of my very favorite citybuilders from that era. I easily sunk hundreds of hours into it, and still have fond memories which tug at me to go back to it now and then. It also holds up rather well to modern inspection in my opinion, so I’d say give it a go at that price, for anyone on the fence.

  19. eleion says:

    Can anyone explain “Cars wot go fast” to me? I think it’s a wonderful phrase, but it makes very little grammatical sense to me, and I can’t tell if it’s supposed to. Obviously I was raised speaking English on the wrong side of the Atlantic.

    • Flint says:

      Using “what” in place of “that”/”which” is a part of some British dialectal silliness.

    • Skull says:

      Straight outta Essex

    • Premium User Badge

      Thermal Ions says:

      And here I was thinking it was some RPS silliness one day that caught on as an in-joke.

  20. Ralphomon says:

    I seem to be treating these GOG offers as if there’s about 2 or 3 games I’m interested in, I’ll buy the lot because the savings are huge and I’ll probably end up enjoying the majority of them anyway. I did it for the D&D sale and I’m doing it for this Activision one here.

    Caesar 3 is awesome, many happy memories of playing it back in the day! I don’t know about the rest, but Call to Power is a series I’ve always been intrigued by.

  21. mod the world says:

    Is anyone still playing Section 8: Prejudice?

    • DzX says:

      I couldn’t even get it to start…I bought the game on release and got the ‘Games for Windows live cannot be initialized’ error that has not been fixed by any of the recommended action…

      Though those that do play it tell me the game is near dead.

    • robsk ii says:

      As above. GFWL total balls-up, and I’ve never played it despite being interested. I cannot stand GFWL, it’s totally ruined a couple of things I’ve bought to the point of enver having played them. Should get a refund, frankly.

  22. Snuffy the Evil says:

    I started getting back into Frozen Synapse when the bundle went live.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkxeuSTLwW8

    I’m not doing very well.

  23. Premium User Badge

    Big Murray says:

    So … Fable 3 worth a gander for a tenner?

    • DzX says:

      It gets a lot of hate; and rightly so. It just depends what kind of game you’re looking for to be honest – it’s a fun lite-RPG stroll through some decent looking environments with a terribly written storyline [with a single excellent section that feels at odds with the rest of the game].

      I bought it at launch for the 360 and was disappointed but re-playing the PC version it’s not as bad as I recall; but don’t expect great things.

  24. eclipse mattaru says:

    The Max Paynes aren’t available in South America either. But then that’s no surprise, Impulse is a really shitty service when you look at it from down here; they only have a bunch of casual games and a couple strategy ones I couldn’t care less about.

  25. johnpeat says:

    I headed over to check out the DinoRubbish bundle and I bought it on the basis of the music alone – in fact I picked-up the other music there at the same time!!

    I just booted-up a game of Dino Run SE for a laugh and it’s absolutely fantastic!! I’m not normally a fan of ‘Canabalt’-style “how far can you get” games, but this one has a tonne of charm, a raft of modes, loads of stuff to find, some secrets and – and this would have sold me it anyway –

    “More hats than International Law Allows”

    I’m happy :)

  26. ascagnel says:

    SWAT3 is a great game, and has that nice, old-school tactical game feel of them creating a chunk of the real world and letting you go about it any which way. Its also a great way of turning normal FPS combat on its head: like in the real world, you can’t run in guns blazing, but instead have to use lethal force as an absolute last ditch tool (you’re only authorized to fire if a suspect looks like they’re trying to take aim at someone).

    The only real problem with SWAT3 is SWAT4, which I think blew it out of the water. The biggest elements were that enemy locations were randomized, which did amazing things to not only making the game replayable but also to ramp up the normal moment-to-moment stress level.

    Fun fact: SWAT4 was Irrational’s pre-BioShock title (a bit after Tribes Vengeance, which wasn’t so great).

  27. Srethron says:

    The selection on offer this weekend at GOG includes the following:
    Caeser 3
    Call to Power 2
    Dark Reign + Expansion
    Dark Reign 2
    Police Quest: SWAT 1+2
    SWAT 3: Tactical Goatee Edition
    No prices, because the discounts are on a sliding scale between 25% and 50%, depending on how many of the games you go for. The total for all 6 is £15.39/€17.90/$23.94, and you get 25% off any individual game. No, I haven’t played any of these. Any of them must-play classics?

    No clue on Caesar 3.

    Call to Power 2 was the second in Activision’s rushed attempt to spin off it’s Civilization 2 rights (completely separate from anyone who had anything to do with the Civ games) into a separate franchise. I recall it being on the bad side, mostly because of weak AI, and thus the attempt to fork the Civ franchise failed.

    Dark Reign is a RTS interesting as a footnote in AI history as it marks a point where AI and user interface grew dramatically better. However, the graphics were bad; campaign generic even then. AI will still seem quite dated if anyone tries to go back and play it now. Considering the biggest competition at the time was Red Alert’s lobotomized “hurr-let’s-ignore-everything-you-tell-me-and-ram-walls-because-immatank” AI, so… yeah.

    It was the first major game to have programmable unit AI. You could set units to scout, harass enemy units, search and destroy, or guard. You could also set limits on aggressiveness, damage sensitivity, and fire control. Top players had AI settings that complemented unit strengths and play style. They were also able to make on-the-fly adjustments to counter enemy strats. Another thing about dark reign – it was the first real game to accurately portray the use of artillery. Artillery can fore a LOT farther than it’s LOS, so you need to have “spotters” or forward observers (FOs). Many games in dark reign would turn into artillery battles, where well-defended artillery could rain down destruction on enemy fortifications, as long as they had observation. So getting and keeping “eyes on target” was critical. This is how the U.S. army fights now, so it was very fun to play a game that required use of modern tactics. -Out4Blood

    Dark Reign 2 was in the awkward pre-Warcraft III time where RTS makers had transitioned to 3D engines but had not figured out how to make camera controls that weren’t awful. In a word, the controls are clunky. Makes it hard for me to go back to games of that era. When I do I usually reach for Ground Control, which had similar problems but was a better game, if you ask me. I don’t remember much about the campaign except that it seemed generic sci-fi to me.

    Police Quest: Swat 1+2 = depends on one’s tolerance for Sierra’s ridiculously punishing brand of adventure game. A certain other website’s Crap Shoot column did a great retrospective on Swat 1 recently.

    SWAT 3: I think ascagnel said all there is to say already.

  28. bill says:

    Kings bounty wasgreat fun – but WAAAAAY too long. I can’t imagine buying that many King’s Bounty games!

  29. Tengil says:

    Does anyone have any idea if Crossworlds bought from Gamergate be used with Armored Princess bought from Steam?

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