The RPS Bargain Bucket: Hurling Buffs

By Lewie Procter on December 3rd, 2011 at 2:59 pm.


There’s some great offers on this week, although many of them have got 24 hours or less left, so you’ll probably want to get a move on. After perusing this weekends finest download deals in the bargain bucket, get yourself over to SavyGamer.co.uk for regular updates on the cheapest games around for all formats. Here’s this week’s selection:

Gothic Complete Collection – £10/€12.50/$12.50
Includes:
Gothic
Gothic II
Gothic II: Night of the Raven
Gothic III
Gothic III Forsaken Gods
ArcaniA: Gothic 4
ArcaniA: Fall of Setarrif
This is a today only deal I believe, so hurry up if you want it. Here’s Alec discussing his early experiences with ArcaniA:

Gothic 4 (the first 7.5 hours of it, at least) is numbing: stiff, cold and mechanical, a RPG wish-list of parts missing whatever divine glue would assemble them into something compelling and magical. I’ve only dabbled in the Gothic games, but that this could be even slightly related to Risen, which I played extensively, is a laughable idea. That was, until its third-act decline into straightforwardness, a game of survival and subterfuge. This is a game of endurance: of pressing on through its humdrum mire for as long as the soft hum of looting and levelling compulsion remains. At least, that’s true of its first 7.5 hours. I can’t tell you what I think of the second 7.5 hours, only the impressions I got from what I played before my brain whispered “No more. Please, no more” into my inner ear. Maybe that second half changes and opens up utterly, grants the player purpose and place, and makes the run to the end a mesmerising joy. Boy, will I be embarrassed if it does.

He doesn’t sell it particularly hard does he? I gather that the earlier entries are generally preferred by fans, and perhaps the Fall of Setarrif expansion improves on the original Gothic 4.

Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, Prince of Persia 2008 & Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Subtitle – £9.99/€13.49/$14.49
This is part of a whole load of bundles Get Games have got on right now, you might want to take a look at that Might & Magic offer too. Here you get three prince of persias, although only one of them is what I would describe as one of the good ones. The Two Thrones has a few dodgy sections, and I think that your health drains a little too fast when you’re the dark prince, but it’s got loads of great platforming too. The other two I’m not too fond of, but for a tenner it’s worth making your own mind up. The Forgotten Subtitle come with always online UbiDRM I think.

Civilization V – £4.99/€7.49/$7.49
Registers on Steam.
Here’s wot Alec thought of the latest Civ:

Civ V’s reliably done what every Civ game has ever done (with the possible exception of III): eat my time as unashamedly as a dog in a pork pie factory. I laugh a little when I look back at my complaints a few paragraphs up. I say those things because they must be noted, but it’s not like they ever put me off playing. It’s not like they stop me from being profoundly glad and satisfied that there’s another Civilization icon winking cheekily at me from the desktop. I want it to be better, I want it to be bolder, I want it to address and improve the very foundations of Civilization, but it’s sure as hell going to sit on my hard drive for months anyway. Yeah, this’ll ultimately be remembered as one of the filler tracks on Civ’s best-of LP, one of the ones you never quite felt had real heart, real soul – but it’s a tune I’m more than happy to hum.

More here.

Breath Of Death VII, Cthulhu Saves The World, Eufloria, Really Big Sky & Runespell Overture – £2.61/€3.04/$4.07 at time of writing
Disclaimer: As of this week, I work for Indie Royale/IndieGames.com. I’ll be doing some writing for Indie Games, and I’m doing community/support for Indie Royale.
A fantastic little collection of Indie Games. Here’s John’s thoughts on Zeboyd’s Cthulhu Saves The World, my impressions of Runespell: Overture, Jim’s Eufloria writeup here and trailers & rundown of Really Big Sky here. Also just added to the bundle are soundtracks for Eufloria & Really Big Sky, plus Zeboyd’s previously Xbox exclusive text adventure games.

Deal of the week
Brink – £3.74/€4.99/$4.99
It’s free to play this weekend, and all the DLC is discounted too.
I quite like Brink, there’s a nice balance between needing to work together as a team to win and being able to determine the outcome of a match in a brief moment of solo heroics. It’s not perfect, but it’s a steal for £3.74. Here’s the RPS verdict:

Jim: Quake Wars was a more interesting game, but this is better designed. What I’ve enjoyed most is in those moments when a team coheres, and you’re charging out together, people leaping over barricades, hurling buffs back and forth, laying down fire. That stuff is magic.

Alec: they’ve made a team shooter that doesn’t feel like a mod, doesn’t feel like COD, that includes a bunch of very complicated elements without being overwhelming. They may not have lived up to all the originally talked of, but that they actually made all this stuff work is pretty impressive.

More here.

Also of note:
Divinity II – The Dragon Knight Saga – £7.49/€10/$11.68
Kalypso promo at GOG

Get over to SavyGamer.co.uk for the latest in cheap games throughout the week.

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68 Comments »

  1. SquareWheel says:

    I thought about buying Brink, but saw there was DLC and let out an audible ugh.

    Don’t want to buy a game just to have to buy more of it when they inevitably release more DLC packs.

    • Snargelfargen says:

      No worries, the dlc are just a couple reskinned weapons and outfits. They were originally pre-order bonuses.

      Oh yeah, there are 2 extra maps for 2.49, but that’s it.

    • Heliocentric says:

      That’s splitting the tiny player base. No Ta.

      I would have bought it otherwise.

    • Snargelfargen says:

      The maps were actually free to anybody who bought the game at the start and not many servers seem to have them in the rotation, but hey what am I saying the game must be terrible because dlc exists.

      Section 8 was much worse for that stuff, so I understand the hate, I just don’t think it’s justified in this situation…

      Edit: should clarify that the maps were free for the first month, after which new players had to buy them.

    • DrGonzo says:

      They didn’t say it was terrible because it had dlc.

    • Heliocentric says:

      but hey
      what am I saying the game must be
      terrible because dlc exists.

      That’s what I said!
      No wait, tiny communities are generally dreadful, and only rarely does it not hamper the multiplayer experience (alien swarm the ut2004 mod and chaos theory multiplayer are 2 of the barely effected) .

    • Snargelfargen says:

      Oh, Brink is definitely dying a slow, quiet death. I had a lot of fun with it, so seeing things like dlc turn people away is a frustrating experience.

      A free to play, pay for guns version would probably have been more successful. Not sure how I feel about that.

  2. Inzimus says:

    only someone who has no idea what-so-ever what the Gothic series are all about would even *mention* the fourth installment as an official part of the series

    for Heavens sake, man. Gothic 4 has *nothing* to do with the first 3 parts (and their expansions) – it’s a complete re-imagination by people whom had no participation in the first three parts – Risen is a *spiritual successor* to the *first three* Gothic games – created by the same people who made the first three games (and their expansions) the fourth one was made by an entirely new studio, who had no idea what the Gothic series were about

    if you use Risen as standard for what you think the Gothic games would be, then leave out the fourth part (and it’s expansion) when reviewing

    and before you even *try* to judge the Gothic 3 (and Forsaken Gods) – *make sure* that you have the Community Patch(es) since they fix thousands of bugs and adds lots of content, which was sorely missing

    worldofgothic.de should get you started

    • Urthman says:

      Has the community been able to make something worthwhile out of the Gothic 3 expansion?

      I thought the consensus was that it was unredeemable crap?

    • Inzimus says:

      they ([Community Patch Team/Mad Vulture Games]) made the “enhanced edition” of Forsaken Gods
      (even-though IIRC, Forsaken Gods was left for dead at release with no hopes of Community Patch(es))

      there is a hard core of fans who have always been by Gothic’s side, through thick and thin – the version of Gothic 3 available (through unofficial patches) is vastly different from the product that it was on release (now a days we have the “Content Mod”) – and Forsaken Gods got the overhaul it so desperately needed as well

      alas I am quite certain that Gothic 4 – Arcania is so vastly broken (not only technical, but also game-play/story/etc.-wise) that it is beyond salvation

    • Urthman says:

      So they succeeded? I haven’t seen any reviews of the Enhanced Version.

    • Inzimus says:

      yeah,. unfortunately the Gothic series in general aren’t “that big of a success” outside of Germany and the major review-sites couldn’t care less about patches and stuff, hence it’s not gotten the attention it deserves

      here’s the release trailer of Forsaken Gods – Enhanced Edition, as well as a link:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-cZfLxW79s

      do note that Forsaken Gods – Enhanced Edition is the one being sold on Steam and should be considered the “definitive” version of said expansion

      worldofgothic has just about everything you need regarding information/patches for the Gothic games,

      most people didn’t really notice the Gothic series when the games came out (1-3, that is) but were rather focused on the Elder Scrolls (III-IV) whilst Gothic became more of a “underground” cRPG series

      thanks to an avid (rabid?) base of users/fans, the Gothic series still lives on, even-though not directly at the surface in the same way as the Elder Scrolls series

    • Prokroustis says:

      Gothic II with Night of the Raven is the best RPG of the past decade. This is also a fact.

    • Wulf says:

      Gothic III I’ll always remember for being the first to surpass Ultima VII in regards to having an interactive world.

      A few points:

      - So many interactive things, so many.
      - The crafting system has gone mad.
      - The NPCs can do anything that you can do, and tend to do so.
      - The entire damn world is without loading screens, and continues to live behind the scenes.
      - You can complete a quest before picking it up, and you can then tell people you did such-and-such and they’ll be all “Oh, okay… uh, have this bounty money then. You’re cool.” which I absolutely loved.
      - It has a living ecology. No more suicidal animals. There’s an actual ecology there. Predators hunt in packs, there’s a pecking order of what’s predator and prey, and to what else, and it’s all constantly going on around you.
      - Long before Skyrim, this game did the “You look shifty.” thing. If you continually steal and do shady things, people will suspect you. They’ll notice that you were in the area when these things happened, and they’ll start interrogating you. The more suspicious you get, the more hassle you’ll get from guards. But unless they have direct evidence, they can’t do anything.
      - There are continents to the world, you have a frozen north, you have your deserts, you have your clement forested areas, and so on.

      The biggest praise I can give Gothic III is that it is alive. It feels alive. You have to play it with the community patch to experience this, though. Don’t play it like your usual game, approach it more like a sandbox, and watch the world around you. More importantly, watch how the world reacts to you and every damn thing you do. Every action you take has some sort of impact. It’s fairly incredible.

      The sheer scale of Gothic III was insane. It was ambitious, but it was impossible, it was so impossible. There was no way they could develop a game like that in a reasonable period of time. So whilst the fundamentals were there, it was very broken on release, much like Bloodlines and so many other overambitious games. But with games like that, you get dedicated communities, and it has been fixed.

      And the fixed version of Gothic III is something you all need to see.

      I promise you that you won’t be disappointed. If you’re looking for something like Skyrim which is very linearly story-lead, then Dragon Knigth Saga will serve you better (and I praised the hell out of that below), but if you’re looking for a sandbox then… you don’t get sandboxier than Gothic III. Nothing before, and nothing after, perhaps nothing ever again will do the sandbox RPG thing like Gothic III did.

      That is perhaps its blessing, and its curse.

    • Archonsod says:

      That’s the main problem with the Gothic series after the first though; they spent so much time building the world it feels like they forgot to make an actual game to go with it. Also suffers from some hilariously bad translating and atrocious voice acting.

      The atrocious voice acting is about the only thing 4 takes from the rest of the series. That said it’s not actually a bad game, it’s just not particularly amazing either. If the intent was to make the most by-the-numbers, stereotypical average RPG then it’s an unqualified success.

    • Wulf says:

      @Archonsod

      That’s an entirely fair criticism.

      It’s funny, because that’s something I’ve rarely ever seen levelled at the Gothic series is fair criticism, and you’re absolutely right. This is why I consider it to be at the far end of sandboxiness, at the EvE end, even. It definitely lacks story and compulsion, but it’s just really, really great fun to dick around in.

      New Vegas, I think, was a great example of taking a point somewhere between Gothic III, and Dragon Knight Saga, and making that exact middle point work. Just enough sandbox, and just enough linear story. It was a perfect blend and I look forward to seeing that blend again. It’s interesting how games land across this spectrum, really. I’d say that Skyrim landed somewhere between Gothic III and New Vegas, probably nearer New Vegas, but it was an interesting thing to play.

      To be honest though, I’m happy to play anything at any point of the spectrum provided that it strikes some kind of chord with me. Some things do, some things don’t, some go halfway. But you’re right, Gothic III is definitely more of a sanbox. Hence my advice to stay away from it for those who don’t want that.

      Here’s a funny thought, though: Minecraft is compelling for the same reason that Gothic III is. Whilst they did concentrate only on making a world, they did make a really interesting world, one that’s really fun to watch and play around with. It’s great to delve into the dungeons of Gothic III, and to just explore. It’s one of those games where you just say “To hell with it.” and you strike out exploring.

    • johnpeat says:

      So, were someone to have Gothic I, II and III in their Steam account untouched, would they need to start with I or could they just leap into the later ones? :)

    • Wulf says:

      There’s a story connecting them but I wouldn’t say it’s a big deal. You can pretty much just jump in with whichever seems the most appealing to you. Most people seem to think that Gothic II is a good place to start, so you may want to start there.

    • Prokroustis says:

      Gothic I is the way to start imo. If for some reason you aren’t keen on old graphics or difficult to learn (but great when mastered) controls skip to Gothic 3 (don’t forget to apply the 1.74 patch). Ofc you’ll be missing some of the best experiences a game can offer.

    • johnpeat says:

      Started with Gothic 1 but it takes some kicking to make it work on W7-64.

      End of the day it’s “more stable” if you set it to XP SP3 Compat. and ‘Run as Admin’ but will still crash from time to time (it’s especially moody about nVidia drivers for some weird reason).

      and the controls are a bit strange – made more strange by it not actually telling you what they are (it took me 10 mins to work out how to talk to someone – “Forward and Use” is a strange combo for that!!)

      Add to that a pretty much endless set of bugs (whether they’re related to it being 10 years old or not I’ve no idea) and I don’t see me getting far (you need to save every few mins to avoid losing all progress etc.)

    • Prokroustis says:

      Nvidia drivers with Win7 are true to be somewhat problematic with Gothic 1/2. Some crashes are to happen from time to time even on XP, but saving often is also critical to gameplay – being very easy to die at the start – apart from saving against technical incidents. Controls are indeed weird at the start, after getting used to them they don’t distract though.
      If the problems caused by nvidia-win7 are too much in the way of playing, then you either make an xp partition (it runs flawlessly there) or skip to Gothic 3. However, if the technical problems are minimal, I suggest to give it time. It’ll reward you.

    • johnpeat says:

      The problems I’m having are just walking around the outer ring of the castle – from time to time it seems to want to ‘pan in’ to a conversation but there’s no people and it’s usually panned-in to the side of a house or a fire or something like that.

      and nothing will get you back under control at that point – even Escape (Menu) doesn’t work – so you have to Alt-Ctrl-Delete and End Task it!!

      If that persists as I travel around – it will have to go because it’s nothing short of damned annoying!!

    • Prokroustis says:

      That’s unheard of, although I don’t doubt it is pretty annoying. I suggest searching or asking for information here: http://forum.worldofplayers.de/forum/forums/219-Help

    • johnpeat says:

      Well I’ve given up trying to make Gothic 1 work on W7 – it seems to be entirely random, works sometimes/for some people – won’t work for others (after launching several times in the last few days I can’t even get it to launch now).

      I tried it on my laptop and old desktop (both XP) and it’s unplayably slow on the former and crashes with access violations on the latter.

      I think it’s fair to say that selling Gothic 1, given it’s APPALLING state of ‘working when it feels like it at best’ is a bit cheeky really…

      Gothic 2 seems a little more stable – it actually runs, at least – we’ll see how far I get with that.

  3. Revisor says:

    As I wrote in the forum, MoH and BFBC2 for 6 bucks each at Gamersgate:
    http://www.gamersgate.com/DD-MOHUS/medal-of-honor
    http://www.gamersgate.com/DD-BFBC2LE/battlefield-bad-company-2

    BFBC2 is of course a classic and I’m just playing the MoH MP and it’s not bad, not bad at all (basically a simpler, tighter and faster BFBC2).

  4. Hoaxfish says:

    Disclaimer: As of this week, I work for Indie Royale/IndieGames.com. I’ll be doing some writing for Indie Games, and I’m doing community/support for Indie Royale.

    You sold out man, you used to be cool!

    wait… can you sell out to Indies?

  5. Lamellama says:

    I got Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days in the sale recently despite it’s poor reviews and I thought it was great and would like to recomend people try it. I saw it on amazon for cheap.

  6. Xercies says:

    People need to buy Brink, its a great Multiplayer shooter and it has something of a population problem. Also I’ve been hankering to play it again.

  7. Wulf says:

    I have to strongly recommend the Dragon Knight Saga to those who haven’t played it.

    It’s a linear tale, but it’s a compelling one. It’s evocative in that special sort of way that Portal 2 was. It will toy with you mercilessly with its high highs and low lows, it’s a tale of high adventure, but a well written one with both a very grimdark twist and an excellent sense of humour, both of which go well together.

    Beyond that, you can become a dragon, take on flying fortresses, and it has a really damned good RPG system beneath that. Furthermore, it’s by far and wide the prettiest use of the Gamebryo engine I’ve ever seen. I think they somehow made it pettier than Skyrim if my memories are accurate, with their own Gamebryo customisations. That or it may just have been more colourful.

    I think there’s a demo too, that might sell it to you. Ultimately, it’s unusual. It’s a linear RPG that’s out to tell you a story, and it pulls you right in like any good fantasy film ever has. And the things you’ll feel when playing this, not meant in a negative way, will pretty much have it leave a very memorable mark.

    Oh, and it’s fun. I want more RPGs to play like it, really. It’s smooth, the controls are tight, and the entirety of the combat system is easy to use and intuitive. It just feels natural.

    I liked it.

    You might too. Give the demo a go. See what you think. I know that DKS has had a few ardent supporters around RPS though that aren’t me, so you’ll probably hear from them as well. But you know what my tastes are. I consider this as something that can stand alongside Mask of the Betrayer and hold its head up high, with no shame.

    I will note that whilst DKS is very linear, it’s linear in the way that Mask of the Betrayer was. It does have a number of important choices though that will impact how the story plays out in very, very important ways. And choices that will truly chill you to the bone.

    I don’t want to spoil anything though, so I’ll leave it at that.

    • Buttless Boy says:

      Gonna second this, it’s a fine game. Kind of a Fable II style thing, but with worse dialog writing and better quest writing, if that makes any sense.

    • Waxwood says:

      I want to add a warning to this recommendation. The game does use SecuROM. A patch removing this is on the official site, as linked . So for those SecuROM haters, download this patch before you run the game and (I think) you should be fine.

    • Wulf says:

      Crap. Forgot about that. Thanks Waxwood.

    • Juan Carlo says:

      It’s awesome. I’m probably alone in this, though, but I really hated the expansion. The original game was just the right size, had lots of interesting quests, and had a surprising and rather dark and unorthodox ending. It was perfect, to me. But the expansion was kind of boring. Hundreds of tedious fetch quests in a tiny little area that you can’t leave. It really sucked. Plus, it added a rather “cookie cutter” ending to the series.

      Otherwise, it is a good game.

    • Wulf says:

      @Juan

      I don’t think the ending was cookie-cutter so much, but it was there to set up the pieces for Dragon Commander. See, through all the humour, DKS was really emo. So much so that I actually had to put it down at times because it was depressing, the humour picked it up, but the story was hard-hitting and sad. They really drilled the loneliness home.

      You’re the last Dragon Knight. Deal with it. I admit, I longed for the Disney approach of finally fixing everything up once the world had got its shit together. And the expansion was pretty much about that: The world getting its shit together. Now, I’m an old romantic, but a sky full of dragons is a thing of wonder to me. I never grew up. Everyone around here gets that by now. Sometimes I think that many people just die on the inside, and that’s that, you just hit a certain age and… well, that’s your lot.

      But not me. Perhaps it’s because I’m not neurotypical (thanks for that one, To the Moon) in that I do have a very nonstandard brain, but I still enjoy wonder. And Dragon Knight Saga made me sad because it had an empty sky. That’s probably a strange thing to say. But the unrealised potential of dragons? It was hard for me to make my way through.

      Then, at the end of the expansion, what you would call a cookie-cutter ending was a culmination for me, it was closure. It was the game patting me on the back and saying “Hey, you don’t have to feel so bad for this world any more. It’s all going to be okay.” It was definitely a Pixar moment. And I don’t mind that, I even support that. I like a happy ending.

      And that happy ending leads us straight to Dragon Commander. I very much want to play that game. I really want to experience the realisation of the culmination that DKS’s expansion brought about.

      Now, this isn’t to say that I’m not for a macabre ending, I support them. But I prefer the macabre ending to happen somewhere in the middle, a fake ending leading up to the real one. I’m a very emotional person, so I find that just ending it at a macabre point and leaving it there is pretty much bad for the heart. I end up dwelling on that world, how screwed up it was, and that it was just left hanging there like that. I don’t want a perfect ending, either. Like I said, it’s just nice enough to know that the world got its shit together and that there was hope for a better future.

      At the very least, there were dragons as the culmination. Rather than just one very lonely dragon.

    • johnpeat says:

      The whole situation with Divinity 2 gives me a headache (which version is which).

      Sadly the games give me a headache too – I played the demo of the original Div2: Ego Draconis on 360 and thought that trying to read all the tiny text on a TV would kill me.

      I then played DKS (remastered Ego Draconis with a new engine and the expansion built-in??) on OnLive and that was even HARDER to read. In fact it’s the worst OnLive game I’ve tried – the text is almost unreadable, it has tearing problems beyond the dreams of a single core processor and is generally horrible…

      I assume it works better ‘installed locally’ but I also assume it needs a decent PC as the performance of the OnLive version stinks…

      It’s also “temporarily unavailable” on Impulse for some reason too…

    • Wulf says:

      That’s… bizarre. My poor sight issues are well known and I never had any issues with the fonts. I don’t know what to say, really. Though I’ve had some good and some bad experiences with OnLive myself. The bad days convinced me that I’d never spend more than £1 on the games, there.

      Oh, and yeah, the tearing is due to the fact that they run a lot of games at low to medium settings, which is utterly baffling since one would imagine that people want OnLive for a better experience. So VSync isn’t enabled. I ran into this when I tried Arkham Asylum on OnLive and I was baffled by why they had the texture quality set so low.

      All I can say is that you got unlucky. But in my opinion it’s still one of the best games I’ve ever played. Even the greatest works, however, aren’t going to please every soul in existence.

    • Avish says:

      DK2 is quite a solid RPG, but there are a couple of issues that eventually caused me to stop playing after about 25 Hrs.

      The game lets you select any skill from all the classes available, but the skills themselves are so under-powered that, in order to make them useful, you have to invest all your skill points in no more than 5-6 of them or you will not survive the later parts of the game.
      Maybe even in early parts of the game. It happened to me in my first play, when I was stupid enough to try to roll a fighter-mage character. It worked fine until I reached a certain boss, that killed me with one shot of his bow, while I was barely able to scratch him with either sword nor spell. The second time I played DK2 I went for a pure fighter and the same boss was quite easy to dispose of, but after a while I started to get bored of my character and quit playing….

      At certain parts the game can also become quite a grind-fest, especially the flying fortresses where you have to kill hundreds of the same enemy to reach the boss and complete the side-quest… (These parts could have been great fun if the game will let you kill ground forces in dragon form. Ground forces just disappear when you morph int a dragon).

      On the positive note, DK2 does have many good moment, a good sense of humor, the world is looking great and the necromancer tower is a great addition to the over-used RPG formula.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      Bought it last week when it was the same price (£7.49) on Steam. Hopefully give it a go during Christmas as the articles on it here really make it sound awesome.

    • johnpeat says:

      I imagine the lack of VSYNC will relate to how they’re encoding the video but it’s truly, truly unplayably horrible (it has a free trial so you can see for yourself if you like).

      Combine relatively small text with the fact that OnLive’s “native” resolution is smaller than most people’s monitors (it’s about 1366x768ish?) and you add stretching to the problem and it’s just horrid horrid horrid.

      None of which will affect the full game I’m sure – I did find Ego Draconis a BIT of a chore to play too tho – it’s just a touch too grindy for a story-based/single player RPG IMO

      YMMV ofc

  8. InternetBatman says:

    Congratulations on your new job.

  9. Enikuo says:

    I’ve never played Civilization, but I like strategy games. Is it worth picking up Civ V now, or should I get an earlier version first?

    • LionsPhil says:

      Civ IV is significantly better, and also has a working tutorial-ish advice mode and Civilopedia to ease you into the game. Civ V’s versions are crap.

    • mwoody says:

      Eh, I don’t agree with all the hate about V. Hexes are just plain better, and the inability to stack units neatly countered the “stack of doom” problems that plagued the previous incarnations.

      That said, it made a few questionable design choices and the engine can tank on large maps towards the endgame. I’d still recommend it if it weren’t for the ugly specter of DLC: there’s a metric ton of that frustrating crap out there for V, including entire factions that you don’t get without paying their fee. That easily tips the balance in favor of IV, though I recognize the slight irony of my recommendation since in order to enjoy IV, you need to make sure you get it with all the expansions pack with it.

    • jaheira says:

      All of the civs build upon previous versions. Five is my favourite and I’d never go back.

      Edit: mwoody – if you like the game why on earth would you object to Firaxis making some more of it for you?

    • Vinraith says:

      If you’ve never played a Civ game IV is far more representative of the series, to say nothing of flat-out being a better game than V. For one thing, the AI knows how to play IV.

    • jaheira says:

      The AI did not know how to play Civ IV to any standard. In both IV and V you’ll end up giving the computer an advantage once you learn how the game works.

    • Vinraith says:

      Wow, now that’s just misleading. In any strategy game, once you’re quite good at it, you’re probably going to need to give the AI advantages to provide a challenge. That’s a LONG way from an AI that fundamentally does not understand the combat system of its own game.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Ugh. Comment system deleted half of a huge post I was going to write on this. I vote for Civ IV. Civ V made many changes to the Civ system that will eventually bear fruit. Hexes, resource management (I think), most of the late game (no Internet wonder for some reason), and especially the independent city states are all improvements. The problem is that significant systems fell by the wayside while they were making a pretty ambitious set of changes; the AI is worse and Wonders are way less impressive. Also, there’s no Leonard Nimoy in Civ V.

      This makes Civ V an ambitious and entertaining experiment, but not as good as Civ IV which was the highly refined pinnacle of the contemporary formula.

    • jaheira says:

      No misleading intended. You didn’t specifically mention the combat system in your first post. I asumed that you meant the AI in general.
      I wonder when you last played it Vinraith ‘cos the tac AI is much better than it used to be.

    • Vinraith says:

      @jaheira

      You’re virtually the only person I’ve heard suggest that the tac AI is acceptable. I hear “it’s gotten a little better, but it’s still pretty much shit” quite a lot. I have heard tell of some good AI mods, though haven’t had anyone pin down a specific one. I’d like to know more about those, if anyone out there has a positive experience to report.

    • Enikuo says:

      Civ IV it is! Thanks for all the feedback.

    • mwoody says:

      @Jaheira:

      I’ve bought Civ V. I do not want to pay more money. But now, when I sit down to play, I’m confronted with a list of civilizations that are not in my game; little bits of exterior content. I inevitably decide there’s a better way to spend my time.

      The same thing repeats itself for any game with DLC. It only serves to make\ the version I have feel increasingly obsolete.

  10. Tams80 says:

    Very tempted by Brink, especially as it is cheaper than on Amazon. I have to go out of my way to buy games on Steam atm though (boring story).

    I’m very tempted by some of those Get Game bundles.

    Blazing Angels – is it any good?
    Brothers in Arms – I’ve played a little. It seemed to be somewhat tactical.
    Silent Hunter – any good?
    The Settlers – I loved 3 & 4, but aren’t 5 onwards rather different?
    Very tempted by the Tom Clancy bundle.
    Shogun Total War – planning on getting the Collector’s Edition.

    • bill says:

      People love Brothers in Arms.

      I hated it with a passion. It may be down to me not playing it at the time, but picking it up later (for like $2 on steam). If you ever saw that mickey-taking bulletstorm(?) video about linear 2 shooters…. it’s like that but more boring and with checkpoints that throw you back too far.

  11. Luftwaffles says:

    Do people still play Brink? It looks like the type of game I’d like, but if there’s no real active servers I dunno.

  12. SteroidGontarski says:

    Gotta recommend Divinity: Dragon Knight Saga and skip on Gothic 3 and 4 if you’ve already played the first two games. D:DKS has very satisfying combat(IMO better than Skyrim), decent story, and you can turn into a Dragon. Definitely underrated.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I would say Gothic III is worth a few bucks if you want a pretty landscape to explore. The gameplay sucked, but god Piranha Bytes knows how to design land.

  13. Malibu Stacey says:

    Dungeon Defenders & it’s DLC’s are 75% off today on Steam. I bought it plus all the currently available DLC for a grand total of £4.29 (game alone is £2.49). It’s a daily deal so you have until 18:00 GMT on Monday to get it at this price.

  14. therighttoarmbears says:

    It’s a little late, I know, but it seems that Steam is having a Daily Deal for Dungeon Defenders at $3.74. Just picked it up, haven’t even got it installed yet so I can’t weigh in, but at that price and with what people have been saying about it I don’t think one could go wrong. Looks like about ~16ish hours left on the deal as of this writing. :)

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