The RPS Bargain Bucket: Top Floor

By Lewie Procter on December 10th, 2011 at 1:44 pm.


I appear to have accidentally spent last night (until about 6am) discovering that there ain’t no party like a philosophy party. I stumbled home in the early hours of the morning, and now what limited brain activity I’ve got is almost entirely focused on trying to solve the problem of how to make a fry up appear in front of me, without any of the ingredients or the capactiy to collect the ingredients. Thankfully, my Savy-deputy Tony Heugh took sympathy on my self-enduced shambolic mental state, and has helped me bucket up this load of bargains for you this week. There’s more cheap games over at SavyGamer.co.uk

Hacker Evolution: Duality, inMomentum, Saira, Your Doodles Are Bugged & Zombie Shooter 2 – Pay What You Want
The Indie Gala Bundle is very similair to the Humble Indie Bundle we all know and love – pay what you want and choose how to split it between the developers, charity and the nice people running the bundle. Unfortunately, the games aren’t DRM free and are supplied as Steam codes but at that price, you shouldn’t look a gift-zombie in the mouth.

If, like Lewie, your heart sinks and flutters each time Mirror’s Edge 2 is cancelled and uncancelled, you may want to give first-person platformer inMomentum a look, here is what Alec had to say about it:

Have you ever stood on top of a very high place, like the edge of a tall cliff or the top floor of the Eiffel tower, and felt, just underneath the fear your survival instinct sensibly feeds you, a rush of excitement? InMomentum is that split-second feeling- when you’re tumbling to your doom at high speed but it’s glorious as well as terrifying. And, better yet, you know there’s a chance you could come back from it. That’s why you should play it, even if your brain-hand interface is as broken as mine.

If you spend $1.57 or more, you’ll also get Hacker Evolution: Untold & Zombie Shooter 1, and you’ll be helping the developer and charities as well as encouraging more of this sort of thing if you pay more.

Killing Floor – £3.74/€4.49/$4.99
Tripwire Interactive once again add free festive content to their dumb but enjoyable messy, screechy, bloody zombie co-op survival shooter and have put it on sale while they were at it. They’ve added seven guns a-shooting, festive zombies biting, an Ice Cave to die in and a free weekend on Steam too.

Alpha Protocol – £2.99/€3.99/$3.99
Here’s wot our man John thought of this one:

And after a write-up this muddled and bi-polar, I realise it doesn’t perhaps indicate too helpfully whether you should buy it. I say do. But go in knowing how flawed it is. With the additional proviso that the bugs mentioned in my previous article are extremely serious. I played the game using a 360 controller, and I’m pretty convinced it would have been impossible without one, certainly pre-patch.

Deal of the week
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion [Goatee Edition] – £3.74/$4.99/€4.99
Since Skyrim just came out, I guess we’re overdue an Oblivion backlash-backlash. I did quite enjoy Oblivion, top memories include: Jumping everywhere all over an expansive fantasy world, getting up to all sorts of mischievous nefarious activities with the dark brotherhood crew, and that persuasion system I still don’t understand. Skyrim is probably the better game, but where Oblivion has it beat is mod support. No doubt Skyrim will eventually have a huge catalogue of fantastic mods, but not yet.

Remember to hit up SavyGamer.co.uk for even more cheap games.

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85 Comments »

  1. arrjayjee says:

    Oblivion had issues. For one, the vanilla leveling system was retarded and encouraged meta-gaming, and it could easily be broken to make the game either way too easy or way too hard. And the level scaling was horrible. And the graphics, fine, except for the faces. Oh dear god, the faces.

    Skyrim fixed many things wrong with Oblivion, and still needs some fixing itself, but the basic mechanics are much stronger than Oblivion’s.

    • Abundant_Suede says:

      Vanilla Oblivion was a lazy mess. Oblivion with the right mods is a much better game than vanilla Skyrim (which is also pretty lazily designed, but not quite as messy), except for graphics, and there are mods for that as well. It will be a year or two, unfortunately, until Skyrim can be modded to be as good as Modblivion.

      In my considered opinion, of course.

    • Yosharian says:

      Oscuro’s Oblivion Overhaul!

      That is all.

      (Skyrim is still better, though)

    • Caleb367 says:

      Every single Bethesda game from Morrowind onward is halfway decent if pretty shoddy, in vanilla version. Then modding kicks in and turn them into must-have, genre-defining masterpieces. I usually get one single playthough on vanilla, surf for mods on the Nexus, and then it’s all awesomeness.

    • joeroyo says:

      To be fair, Daggerfall could hardly be considered a bug free masterpiece on release also. I can’t say if Arena was better/worse but I believe the legacy of releasing buggy software extends beyond Morrowind.

    • Premium User Badge

      Llewyn says:

      Despite buying it pretty much on release I’ve probably spent about as many hours playing Oblivion as I did playthroughs of Morrowind. Is there any fix for the abominable level scaling?

    • Drinking with Skeletons says:

      @Llewyn:

      I just browsed through my Oblivion Mod Manager files and I have a few big mechanical changes. Afraid I don’t have links, though.

      Francesco’s Leveled Creatures mod creates a Skyrim-esque leveling system for monsters, treasure chests, and shopkeepers. Please note that this will make Oblivion gates uncompromisingly brutal for an immense chunk of the game, as even weaker Daedra occupy a high tier in this mod. The optional custom creatures component will add some very nasty (albeit rare) critters to Cyrodiil, so use that feature with discretion.

      Tejon’s Progress mod removes the leveling up modifiers and replaces them with a system by which your stats automatically (but incrementally) increase with their respective skills. It essentially makes it impossible for monsters to level beyond your abilities, as your combat statistics (such as strength) will automatically increase with whatever combat skills you use. You’ll still have a harder time if you don’t make a combat skill a major skill, as you won’t get as much of an increase with skill levels, but combined with Francesco’s mod you should never feel totally screwed over. It also allows some fiddling with exactly how you level up, and you can set the scale to 15 Major Skills (rather than the default 10) to simultaneously get more stat increases per level while also slowing down leveling enough to sustain a complete playthrough all the way through Shivering Isles.

      If you want to get the most out of your experience, I also recommend UnLocate Cities by Shamus Young (didn’t remember him making that!), which disables fast-travel to cities until you’ve manually traveled there. Without this, it becomes very easy to miss a lot of content.

      Hope this helps!

    • Snuffy the Evil says:

      If you’ve got a proper gaming computer and want to put that money to good use, I would also recommend:

      Qarl’s Texture Pack 3 (QTP3) Redemized, which improves the resolution and quality of most textures without changing the game’s aesthetic but doesn’t go too far into “SHARPEN EVERYTHING” territory like the default QTP does.

      OBGEv3 (I think!) and/or OBGE Liquid Water. These are shader mods that introduce all kinds of post-processing goodness. The former allows for SSAO, Godrays, Color grading and pretty much whatever else you can think of. The latter improves the dull water shaders and gives you something like this. You’ll have to mess around with the settings though, as the defaults are kind of lame.

      Of course, like pretty much anyone who’s owned Oblivion on this site I’ve had dozens of mods installed and getting them all to work well with each other is a bit of a headache. On the other hand, it feels totally worth it when your game looks like this or this.

      I had some more impressive shots, but I can’t find them. :c

    • Quinnbeast says:

      Oblivion XP. The only levelling mod you need. Get an account on TES Nexus, and fill your boots.

      http://www.tesnexus.com/

      I also went down the FCOM route, which can be game-breaking to the extreme if you don’t get the installation process right, but it does wonders for the variation of NPCs and creatures it brings. Not sure if the below link has bang-up-to-date info, but TES Nexus usually has the most recent versions of, well, pretty much every decent mod going.

      http://devnull.sweetdanger.net/convergence.html

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      Llewyn says:

      @Drinking with Skeletons: Thank you, that looks very helpful indeed.

  2. The Tupper says:

    Does anybody here who knows of such things care to forecast the viability/likelihood of a mod that ports Oblivion into Skyrim’s engine?

    I bounced off Oblivion (my first experience of Elder Scrolls titles) after only a dozen hours or so thanks to the dreadful levelling system and that torturous barter-wheel abomination, but would love to see that part of the ES world realised properly.

    • Delusibeta says:

      I’d wager it’ll be more likely that modders will port Skyrim’s mechanics into Oblivion.

    • physicser says:

      Based on the development of Morroblivion, I think it would take some time for Oblivion to be ported into Skyrim. Although I would imagine putting Morrowind into Oblivion probably requires more meshes/textures than Oblivion->Skyrim (iirc this was one of the major hangups, having to make all the textures from scratch due to legal issues or somesuch).

    • Snargelfargen says:

      Converting Oblivion’s assets will probably be pretty easy, but it’s illegal, so any conversions will probably be hidden on obscure forums. To be honest, apart from some of the armor and creatures, there isn’t anything worth porting to Skyrim.

    • jamesgecko says:

      @Snargelfargen: Most of the assets would probably drop right in with little to no modification. They could probably just release a script to copy them over from an Oblivion installation to a Skyrim installation, like Morroblivion did. Nothing illegal about that. Well, maybe there’s something in the ELUA that would prohibit it, I don’t know. It’s nothing that Bethsoft would summon lawyers for, anyway.

      I’d imagine that making all the quests work might take a little bit more fiddling; the Morroblivion team had to remake all of them by hand. But then again, Skyrim’s engine is closer to Oblivion’s than Morrowind’s was, so who knows.

  3. Premium User Badge

    AlexClockwork says:

    I’ve been playing Killing Floor and I think I’m gonna buy it, I like it so much… But I don’t know if I should buy Oblivion already owning Skyrim, what do you think’

    • Lobotomist says:

      No.
      There is really no need to.

      Skyrim seems like a game that will get constant stream of content from modders. While Oblivion will be abandoned.

      But than again, this is from point of view of someone with limited time…

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      AlexClockwork says:

      Thanks! ^^ I’ll stick to Skyrim, then…

    • Dragon Master says:

      Isn’t Oblivion already having all the mods anyone could think of?

    • Hematite says:

      If you’re an explorer it’s worth getting Oblivion (and Morrowind) when they’re on sale just for the sake of having more new locations to do approximately the same things. If you were that kind of person you probably wouldn’t have asked though, so redundant comment is redundant.

    • povu says:

      You hardly ever find anything interesting when exploring in Oblivion though.

  4. akeripper says:

    but what if you dont own skyrim and have only played bethesda iterations of fall out instead?

    • sinister agent says:

      I’d say Oblivion is worth four quid. The vanilla game has big flaws, but is still fun, and with the gajillion mods out there, you’re bound to find something to have a lot of fun with. I don’t know how well steam plays with mods, though.

    • fuggles says:

      Steam plays fine with mods. Oblivion is a fantastic game, well worth £4. I’m not a completist and got 147 hours out of it, so on a pounds per hour scale it’s fantastic!

      http://www.pcgamer.com/2010/07/16/ten-essential-oblivion-mods/

    • Juan Carlo says:

      Oblivion is worth its asking price just to play “Nehrim.”

    • tungstenHead says:

      Biggest issue with mods in the Steam versions is if you have Steam installed to your Program Files folder and have UAC enabled, Windows can become very annoying asking for permission to modify files. I didn’t make a Games directory when I started installing games on this computer and it’s something I’m regretting a little bit.

    • Jhoosier says:

      That was me, last month. I bought it and installed a bunch of mods and….haven’t really enjoyed it that much. But I’ve also been in a bit of a non-gaming mood, so maybe that’s it. For the price, though, you won’t lose a lot if you buy it and don’t like it.

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    Colonel J says:

    Alice: The Subtitle Returns is 50% off , £7.49 in the UK Origin client at the moment (web store still shows it full price). Quite tempted to go for it at that price, it’s been on my wish list since release. Though it might go cheaper in the Christmas sale on Origin or Gamersgate where it’s also £14.99 list price.

    • johnpeat says:

      Alice is one of the most visually amazing games you’ll ever play.

      The actual game is a stock action-platformer with all the usual frustrations and annoyances which come with the genre – but you’ll not care because I don’t think there’s another game which comes close to how FANTASTIC it looks…

    • meatshit says:

      I wouldn’t go that far. The visuals are very good but hardly mind blowing. Unfortunately, the game drags so much that no matter how great the visuals are, you’ll be sick and tired of them long before the game moves on to a new setting. I think I played it for about 10 hours before giving up and at least half of that was spent wishing it would just get on with things. It’s the perfect example of why longer isn’t necessarily better when it comes to video games.

    • johnpeat says:

      On looks, I’d have to disagree – esp as I have no fucking idea what ‘mind blowing’ means and neither do you :)

      I would say it’s the best looking video game I’ve ever seen this year – the attention to detail and differing styles are outstanding – there are some serious ‘wow’ moments in most of the game’s main areas – but they do drag-on sometimes…

      The combat is quite decent tho – you need to be awake and do it properly – or it will throw you back to the start of a fiddly platforming bit again!!

      It reminds me of Psychonauts in many ways – a game which was similarly outstanding in it’s visual style and variation – the only thing is that the ‘game’ part of it is about a million times better than the frustrating guess-a-thon which Psychonauts degenerated into as you progressed (tho both games offer controller-throwing moments aplenty).

      It’s a trad (almost N64-style) collectation action-platformer – a formula which doesn’t really resonate with PC gamers as a rule – it’s really sofa and telly material…

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      Colonel J says:

      Well for sub £10 even a passing comparison to Psychonauts is enough to push my buy button, even though platformers can severely test my patience and no doubt this will too. I’m going to wait though and hopefully get it in a Gamersgate sale for the blue coins.

    • johnpeat says:

      It doesn’t quite have the humour or self-deprecation of Psychonauts – but it revels in it’s own style in a similar fashion (often to the detriment of gameplay – equally a problem in both games).

      The camera – for example – is part of the difficulty curve of both games – but this isn’t “Epic Mickey” bad by any means.

      If you like collect-em-up platformers (the N64′s staple diet) then this is definately for you – just be prepared for some repetition and punishment along the way – easily outweighed by the “OMG” moments the design often generates…

  6. Gnoupi says:

    This bucket feels calm. You can feel it approaching. The storm is coming. The Holiday sales are on their way.

    • derbefrier says:

      Yep I am waiting for the.big Christmas sales to blow my game budget, still considering getting the old republic too. Hopefully serious Sam 3 will show up on steamed.Christmas sale.

  7. codename_bloodfist says:

    Might want to mention the Android sale. I know this is a PC-centric blog, but they’re selling top notch apps and games for 10p now.

  8. Blackcompany says:

    Gnoupi has the right of it. Saving up my meager funds for the big year ender now. Trying to not make many gaming related decisions until we see what lineup offers. Between indie bundles and Steam sales, however, I have hopes we will see some serious year end goodness where deals are concerned.

    • johnpeat says:

      I suspect the Steam Xmas Sale will be poor – we’ve seen the bargains already really, in the Thanksgiving and Wishlist sales…

      There’s really not a lot left to discount – a few things which were once cheap get a bit cheaper but there’s really not much “new” to discount.

      Even if they did discount some of the more recent releases, it’s unlikely they’d beat existing retail prices (Skyrim £20 – Batman:AA as low as £15 and so on).

      Maybe some Indie Packs – they’ve been a good buy in the past – but then again the endless bundles have somewhat ‘drained that pond’.

      There’s really nothing I’d expect of the Steam Xmas Sale as this point, in fact.

    • terry says:

      Judging by the amount of tampering and hidden updates in the Steam registry lately, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that there’ll be a treasure hunt. I’m excited!

  9. Premium User Badge

    tomeoftom says:

    There is absolutely no reason to buy Oblivion now that Skyrim exists. It’s a superior game in every respect, and it would be better than Morrowind, too, if it delivered as interesting and bizarre a world.

    • Vinraith says:

      If it weren’t for modding you’d be right. Because of modding you’re very, very wrong.

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      jaheira says:

      That’s debatable Vinraith.
      OOO is the best mod I’ve ever played for any game but I had more fun in Skyrim. The vast majority of the other Oblivion mods are either rendered redundant by OOO or terrible.

    • Abundant_Suede says:

      Depends on if you care about things like gameplay, challenge, and balance. Like any vanilla Bethesda game, Skyrim is lazily designed, entire skill trees are broken (like lockpicking), systems are poorly implemented serving no purpose (like food), or wildly unbalanced (stealth), has the usual broken economy, and of course, bugs, bugs, bugs. It’s pretty, and it has some neat gee whiz concepts like flying dragons, but it just doesn’t work very well on a mechanical level. We can expect that to change over the next couple years though overhaul and rebalance mods, at which point I’m sure it will be greater than even Modblivion is now. Until then, there’s just no game there.

      Modblivion on the other hand has already befitted from that attention, and properly modded is a much more effective, and fun game.

      I’ll take FCOM: Convergence Oblivion over vanilla Skyrim, now that I’m over the novelty of Skyrim’s newness. The best of Oscuro’s extensive re-balancing plus all sorts of other random awesomeness, make for a far more effective, functional, and challenging game than Vanilla Skyrim, that isn’t out-leveled by the time your character is lv 20, and your character doesnt hit level 20 mid way through a single quest line.

      Being chased out of a dungeon (because they actually follow you out of dungeons, unlike Skyrim) by an actual horde (instead of 1 to 3 enemies at a time) of angry diminutive pygmy skeletons, only to run into a towering giant that to your relief disperses the skeletons, and then to your horror comes after you, more than makes up for infinite easily out-leveled dragons, in my book.

      As soon as the Creation Kit hits, Ill have my head buried in that for some time. But I wont actually be playing Skyrim again until the community makes it into an actual game.

    • malkav11 says:

      Skyrim and Morrowind have interesting worlds full of stuff to find and reasons to explore. Oblivion doesn’t, and I don’t know of a single mod that remedies that without being a total conversion. That said, Nehrim is reputedly excellent, and there’s some Russian TC being made that looks properly amazing too.

    • Abundant_Suede says:

      Don’t really understand that statement. You find the same shit in Oblivion you find in any other ES game. Es games have holes in the ground, Daedric shrines, strange altars, Dwarven ruins, forts, and bandit camps. The same stuff that’s in Skyrim is in Oblivion, with different art assets. And modded with Oscuro’s or FCOM, the loot is much more interesting than skyrim as well.

    • Prime says:

      @Abundant_suede – Thank you. Thanks to your recommendation (being the second on this page to mention FCOM: Convergence) I am going to go back to Oblivion once I’ve finished off/become bored with Skyrim and see what the game is like properly modded. That story of the horde got me. I very much want to see that, and other things like it.

      @Vinraith – would you also recommend the FCOM mod?

    • Abundant_Suede says:

      @Prime

      A warning on FCOM.

      Outside of the total conversions that create entirely new games, like Nehrim, FCOM is kind of the pinnacle of Oblivion modding. It’s actually a merge of some of the the biggest and best overhaul mods, most of which would be worth installing on their own, but were previously incompatible to various degrees. The most important component is Oscuro’s, the total conversion re-balancing overhaul that completely reworks vanilla Oblivion from the ground up. It reworks Vanilla’s lazy level-scaling, adjusts game balance across the board, fixes many broken mechanics, and makes for a more satisfying and traditional level of challenge. And then it also includes several popular content mods that are reasonably well balanced. Martigen’s mod makes the enemies you face in the game much more entertaining, adding new monsters, varying their size and potency, and varying their numbers to a greater degree. Oscuro’s, Francesco’s and Warcry all add many new interesting but restrained items to the game, and reskin many existing ones.

      But FCOM is very much the dividend paid for having put forth the effort to become familiar with Oblivion modding. It is not difficult to install, once you know what you’re doing, but it is not simple to install. It requires you to follow a clear, but detailed list of up to date instructions (for which you will want to consult the most recent official bethsoft Fcom forum thread) in exact order. Expect to invest at least a day becoming familiar with the various Oblivion modding utilities, if you aren’t already, as well as the individual mods involved, so you can make informed decisions about the optional components. People on the modding forums will be very helpful, but they will expect you to have invested the effort in learning the basics, as they all have.

      I hope that doesn’t scare you off, because I believe it is completely worthwhile for an experience that is both more balanced and more challenging, that rewards exploration and strategy much more than Vanilla, and is simultaneously much more entertaining. If it spooks you though, just installing Oscuro’s on its own is a much easier matter and still very worthwhile. I don’t consider anyone who hasn’t played Oblivion with at least Oscuro’s Overhaul, to have really played Oblivion.

  10. DestructibleEnvironments says:

    Will someone explain what on earth goatee editions are?

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      jaheira says:

      Game of the Year or GOTY. It’s a “pun” or play on words.

    • The Tupper says:

      Puns? I don’t think we get them things round this place…

    • ontbijtkoek says:

      The word goatee always remembers me of goatse..

      /trauma

    • TLGAthena says:

      … and what would a *goatse* edition of a game look like? Would the CD have to have an extra wide hole in the middle?

      Oh god, now I’ve thought about it… MY BRAIN, IT BURNS!

  11. Kefren says:

    Alpha Protocol on GamersGate is completely DRM-free, if that tempts anyone.

    • youthful cynic says:

      It’s also pretty fun…

    • cimex says:

      It’s Obsidian, plenty of bugs and less than stellar gameplay, but the dialogues and story makes it a better roleplaying game than most. Actions actually have consequenses! Whoa!

  12. Shooop says:

    Really hoping Saints Row 3 goes on sale somewhere. It’s the only big name title I don’t have yet.

  13. Saiko Kila says:

    Oblivion is worth buying for total conversion mods (Nehrim is probably the best known example). No need to bother with game balancing mods for original story.

  14. Veracity says:

    Alpha Protocol bought at last, then. Been curious since release but unwilling to pay more than tuppence or so given its reputation – I think it was sub-£2 at some point, but the authentication of whoever was selling it choked & I lost interest.

    Just how good is Killing Floor? I own it but it’s never occurred to me to play it, since I don’t really like manshoots. It must have something going for it – for an independent game to have survived this well when it depends on multiplayer is fairly rare.

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      Thermal Ions says:

      Killing Floor is very much a co-op game rather than excelling as a single player game. Best played with friends, but you can get good random pub games (probably more often than the average for other co-op games in my experience).

  15. nullpunktur says:

    I would wholeheartedly recommend against getting Oblivion, even if for $5. I went through a phase where I played it for hours on end, and one day I finally, abruptly deleted the game and all my saves. The more I played the more I found contrived about the writing and plot, and the game’s mechanics unengaging. I purposely avoided fast travelling the first time to new towns, and I found the geography super-boring. Plus I fought through minor variations of the same dungeon five times in a row (Oblivion gates) which was soul-destroying even after turning down the difficulty to steamroll through. I played it with the Francesco mod, by the way.

    I played Oblivion for about 50 hours, then I decided that it wasn’t worth my time anymore. I read everywhere that Nehrim is quite good, but I’m not reinstalling Oblivion. I thought the same of Fallout 3; after the 20-hour main story, I felt no compulsion to reload my last save and do any more exploring, or to buy any more content.

    P.S. – The game also normalizes sociopathy to uncomfortable degrees.

    • QualityJeverage says:

      Yeah. Five dollars is totally not worth fifty hours.

    • nullpunktur says:

      If I wanted to spend fifty hours gaming I’d have played a game I liked better. I’d have played e.g. Dungeons of Dredmor, which is also $5. Or some free game.

      I enjoyed the hell out of Morrowind, yet I heard many negative opinions of Oblivion, so I came intent on proving those negative opinions wrong. I couldn’t do that. I found more and more about the game that I disliked over time, and I became more and more weary playing it. In the end I decided that I’d rather browse the Imperial Library if I wanted to know more about the TES universe rather than play the game to do the same. (This is not a judgement on TES; when I buy Skyrim (and I will), I’m going expect a good game because it’s a TES game.)

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      jaheira says:

      “P.S. – The game also normalizes sociopathy to uncomfortable degrees.”

      That’s quite interesting. What do you mean?

    • JackShandy says:

      I assume he means that you kill people and steal their stuff without caring about them. Like in every RPG ever made.

    • johnpeat says:

      The thing is tho – TES games are more sociopathic than most RPGs because of their ridiculous approach to theft and pickpocketting…

      Basically the entire world is stealable with a TINY chance you might have to do a bit of running away, at worst. This has always utterly spoiled TES games for me – it just reinforces the whole “you are special – the rest of the world is not” thing and makes me feel like I’m playing a game and not in ANY way ‘role playing’.

      Even Gothic got this right whereby you’d be threatened if you even entered the wrong house – TES games remain ‘obviously just games’ thanks to this stupid approach to property.

      The fact you can even steal clothing in Skyrim makes me laugh – they couldn’t break the illusion of you living in that world any more if they tried…

    • Abundant_Suede says:

      Even Gothic got this right whereby you’d be threatened if you even entered the wrong house – TES games remain ‘obviously just games’ thanks to this stupid approach to property.

      I wouldn’t presume to defend the wacky things associated with stealing, especially in Skyrim, in which the NPCs are noticeably dumber in this regard than in the last couple games. But I dont agree with this particular point.

      If you enter someones private house after hours, they aggressively warn you to get out, and you have a few seconds to comply before they the guards. That seems more realistic to me than some old lady hurling herself into mortal combat with you the second you open the door (it is possible to mistakenly enter someones house just as the transition from “open” to “off limits” occurs).

      However Skyrim is definitely not as good at designating more logically sensitive areas, like inner castle chambers, as off limits. So you can poke around in the Jarl’s private chambers and jails without consequence, and dont even need to sneak. This is something that the previous games, even Oblivion, did better.

    • johnpeat says:

      I’ve got limited experience of Skyrim but the whole ‘you never know what will happen’ thing is what stops me enjoying TES games…

      If you’re going to create a massive world and fill it with people, could you make them either

      a – dumb but highly predictable
      b – smart and mostly predictable

      I’ve no desire to “live” in a world with people who behave in an unpredictable and illogical way – hell I’ve got Facebook for that :)

      I know it’s not part of the ‘minimal UI’ creed to put ‘awareness’ and ‘aggression’ markers on creeps and NPCs – but without it, we’ve no other way of judging people and I’m sick to the back teeth and beyond of having to talk to EVERYONE in an RPG to find out who they are and wtf I’m doing.

      p.s. Gothic wasn’t too bad – you got a warning before they went for you at least. In Gothic 1 I even managed to beat-up that annoying guy who follows you around (Mud?) without getting murdered for it :)

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      jaheira says:

      Well you can steal if you want. You don’t have to. I’m 100 hours in on Skyrim and I’ve never stolen anything. In fact the obsession people seem to have with acquiring stuff in TES games is pretty weird to me. I don’t think giving you this option “normalises sociopathy” asuming this is what was meant.

    • johnpeat says:

      I think it goes beyond just stealing – TES games, to me, feel like they’re entirely focussed around you to the exclusion of all else.

      You never seem to do anything for anyone else – there;s no benefit in being nice or helpful or friendly – the world appears to be crafted as YOUR playpark (or workplace) – it’s the western equiv. of the tiresome “you are the chosen one” bullshit which infests JRPGs and makes me not want to play those either.

      Even where you need to build some sort of reputation it’s always for your benefit to the exclusion of all else – hell Depths of Peril has a more realistic world than any TES game and it’s a Diablo clone (and a very good one!!)

      Horses for courses but their whole ethos deters me – it’s like having Alton Towers all to yourself, it’s great that there’s no queues but riding a rollercoaster solo is actually pretty dull – esp after 10 goes…

  16. PleasingFungus says:

    “Hacker Evolution: Duality, inMomentum, Saira, Your Doodles Are Bugged & Zombie Shooter 12″

    Wow, Zombie Shooter 12! My favorite.

    (Should probably be Zombie Shooter 2.)

  17. bill says:

    Is Oblivion still the highest rated PC game on gamerankings? ;-p

    I bought the oblivion GOTY dvd about 6 years ago for about 8 quid…. one day i’ll get around to installing it.

    • johnpeat says:

      Interesting you should bring up GameRankings (or even Metacritic) because Oblivion isn’t even in the Top 10 on either.

      At time of typing

      Gamerankings

      1. The Orange Box 95.82%
      2. Portal 2 95.31%
      3. Half-Life 2 95.31%
      4. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 94.89%
      5. Mass Effect 2 94.48%
      6. Minecraft 94.46%
      7. BioShock 94.44%
      8. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City 94.34%
      9. Half-Life 94.28%
      10. Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn 94.00%

      Metacritic
      Half-Life 2 96
      Out of the Park Baseball 2007 96 (WUT!?)
      The Orange Box 96
      Half-Life 96
      BioShock 96
      Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn 95
      Portal 2 95
      The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 95
      Command & Conquer 94
      Mass Effect 2 94

  18. bill says:

    I’m fully expecting that next year all game blog comments will be hating on Skyrim and proclaiming that Oblivion was much better.

    It’s the natural way of things with Bethesda RPGs.

    • Doesn'tmeananything says:

      Is it really in this case? I thought it was unanimously concluded that Skyrim was a definite improvement compared to Oblivion. I personally can’t think of anything that Oblivion did particularly better.

      Still, Skyrim has nothing on Daggerfall and Morrowind, that’s for sure.

    • bill says:

      Well, i’m being snarky of course.

      But everyone complained about Daggerfall, and then after morrowind was released a lot of people compared it unfavorably to daggerfall.
      Then when oblivion was released it got great reviews and everyone loved it, for about a month, and then everyone hated it and complained it wasn’t as good as morrowind.
      And now Skyrim has been released and everyone loves it and it got great reviews…. so, knowing the internet, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a backlash against it and people complain that it’s not as good as the old games.

      Whether it’s a big improvement over oblivion isn’t likely to be an important factor in internet opinion on the matter.

  19. Slim says:

    ATM steam has a L4D 2 promo (at least here in the states). Five dollars US for one copy, twenty bucks for four. Love that game! Good memories of huddling in my tiny dorm room, blasting zombie heads to pieces. Good times.

  20. destroy.all.monsters says:

    DotEmu’s sale is pretty epic – a different super deal every day. Scored Cossacks pack just now for 5 dollars. I think they deserve a mention besides they’re DRM-free and allow you to use your own downloader instead of shackling you to theirs and have the best customer service and support I’ve ever had the privilege of using.

    They completely deserve the love. http://www.dotemu.com/en/discount-sale

  21. nomilarac says:

    Amazon.com has some amazing prices today for their PC Game Download section, including Dungeon Defenders for 3$ and Dungeon Siege for 5$. I can’t recommend enough DD for 3$, and i’m wondering myself about DS3.

    It got highly mixed reviews didn’t it? It’s surprising (or maybe not?) how fast it has dropped, so i was looking for some opinions about. From what i can recall it was a decent game, hated by long-standing DSiege fans and only enjoyable at the highest difficulty setting?

    Damn, i should really fire up its demo in steam, if only i wasn’t this lazy….

    • johnpeat says:

      Amazon downloads are still restricted to the US only AFAIK?

      It offers me the item but I’m pretty sure it would choke if I tried to buy anything as I’ve not got a US Billing Address??