The RPS Bargain Bucket: Personal Reward

By Lewie Procter on April 6th, 2013 at 1:00 pm.


Are you in the mood for exchanging a relatively small amount of currency for a license to download and use some digitally distributed entertainment software? Then you’ve come to the right place. Here’s your weekly bargain bucket, full to the brim of savings on a range of interesting games. If this isn’t enough, you can always rely on SavyGamer.co.uk for the latest discounts on games for all platforms throughout the week.

Hard Reset – £2.60
Apply coupon “GMG20-FDSCL-AQQXD”. Registers on Steam.
Probably one of my favourite trashy first person shooters from recent years. There’s not much else to it beyond shooting baddies in the face, but it’s got lots of graphics, satisfying weaponry, some interestingly varied enemies and environments, and everything moves quite fast. It’s a bit of a 90s throwback, but if you’re anything like me that’s a big turn on. Read wot John thought of this over here, although unless I’m mistaken his complaint about not having the option to quicksave was addressed with a patch.

Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes – £1.89
Apply coupon “elder-geek.com”. Registers on Steam.
I’ve not yet played this, I think I might install it now though. This is a match 3 spin off of the strategy series, and here’s some of Alec’s notes from his time with the demo:

It’s a row of my eleves against a row of demonic dogs. Only there’s no direct fighting between them – instead I have to form my units into stacks of the same colour; when 3 are put into vertical lines, that becomes an Attack at the end of my turn. This isn’t how fighting usually works, is it? Maybe that’s why I got a bit bullied at school. If I’d hung around with people wearing the same colour clothes as me, everything would have been fine.

More here.

Pid – Pay What You Want
Optionally registers on Steam or GOG.
Another game which I’ve not actually played, and there’s no opinions on this sidescrolling platformer to be found anywhere on the RPS database. Have you played Pid? What did you think of it? It certainly looks quite nice in this here trailer, and it seems worth a gamble since you’re setting the price yourself.

Get Loaded 2 for £6 promotion
Not sure what that comes to in other currencies, but it should be something around £6. Registers on Steam.
A great selection of games available for £3 a pop when you buy two. Pretty much everything here is at least worth a look, but my top choices would have to be Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Serious Sam 3: BFE & Spec Ops: The Line, and you can read RPS wordthinks on these respectively here, here & here.

Deal of the week
Red Orchestra & Red Orchestra 2 – Pay What You Want.
Or beat the average price and also get Killing Floor. Registers on Steam.
A selection of either some or all of Tripwire Interactive’s FPS games depending on how much you want to pay. Here’s wot Jim thought of RO2.

The gunplay too, is more intricate than we might be used to, with guns modelled close to how the might behave in the real world. Expect to use iron sights, and expect to have to adjust the calibration of these for distance. Lethality is enormously high, too, and if a sniper gets his crosshairs over you, that’s it. I know that extreme likelihood of instant death makes these sorts of games off-putting for many players, but it’s also precisely why I am getting a kick out of it. The personal reward of surviving, and then going further than that into killing, makes this far more dramatic than the more run-and-gun shooters I (and I suspect most of you lot) have been playing over the past few years. Seeing a comrade go down, knowing the sniper is on you, and then escaping – or even taking him out – is a brilliant videogame high.

More here.

Also of note:
D&D promo at GOG.

You can always head over to SavyGamer.co.uk for more cheap games.

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45 Comments »

  1. Tiguh says:

    Pid charmed the pants off me, and made me giggle like a schoolgirl at its prettiness and lovely platformy goodness. But then got super-massively difficult to the point where I stopped playing.

    However, I think they MIGHT’ve improved that via an easy mode in a patch. If so, worth checking out.

    • Noodlemonk says:

      I concur. It’s a lovely looking platformer, although the protagonist does look sort of bad compared to the rest of the world and its characters.

      The platforming mechanics are really difficult and rewarding at times, and I was also pleasantly surprised with the boss battles. Pid feels old school, with loads of collectibles hidden all around, dressed in lovely pastels and a progressive and jazzy soundtrack.

      Also, it’s actually a fairly long game – and even more with the recently added extras.

      • Mccy_McFlinn says:

        They’re currently out of GoG keys by the way. We’re told that the developers have been notified so we’ll have to wait until Monday before we can get our hands of the GoG copy of the game

    • secretdoorinvisiblewall says:

      I picked up Pid a couple weeks ago and I’m really loving it. If you’re a fan of difficult platformers (and you have a controller for that purpose), it’s absolutely a must-buy. It didn’t get a fair treatment at review, with most reviewers out there pushing down the scores dramatically because they couldn’t handle the difficulty. I’m about finished and haven’t had any real problems with it, though, so if you’re experienced with this kind of game, then don’t hesitate. And if you’re not, they’ve patched in an easy mode, so it’s probably worth picking up regardless.

      It’s a shame that the difficulty led to so many negative reviews, because this is a game that deserves more attention. The graphics and sound are absolutely gorgeous, the control is spot-on, and the novel mechanics work really well. Good level design too.

    • Tams80 says:

      The IdieGameStand deal offers 10% to MSF. For once a charity I will more than happily support along with a game I want.

  2. golem09 says:

    Borderlands 2 + Season Pass for 25$ on amazon.com
    Borderlands 2 19.99$, Season Pass 9.99$

  3. Guvornator says:

    Battlefield Bad Company 2 £3.74 and the Vietnam DLC for 2.49 on Steam

    • Metalfish says:

      Not relevant to 99% of you, but I was slightly* surprised to find that BC2 won’t run at all on xp64.

      *I’m actually rather used to it by now.

  4. pertusaria says:

    The tank warfare game, APOPSTAR (Achtung Panzer, Operation Star), is about a fiver on Gamersgate. Also, Arcen’s latest game, Shattered Haven, is $7.50 (or weirdly, about 2.50 in euro for me) for the first week if you buy it from the devs. It’s probably at or close to the end of the first week. I haven’t played either, but Tim Stone really liked APOPSTAR and Shattered Haven looks interesting.

    • Colonel J says:

      Yes I just bought Shattered Haven direct from Arcen Games seems to be a on 75% discount for UK/EU while US is 25% off, it may be a pricing mistake? £2.02 including tax anyway.

  5. Low Life says:

    I thought we agreed that you’re no exception to the “no pictures of writer in the article” rule, Lewie.

  6. Randomer says:

    But he looks so good in that hat!

    • The Random One says:

      It matches the tie he was wearing last week very well.

  7. trjp says:

    Hard Reset is excellent

    M&M CoH is a lovely title but PC isn’t it’s best locale. It would really be ideal on iPad if the version there wasn’t a bit buggy, but they’re working on it which is nice.

    M&M Heroes 6 is cheap on Gamersgate right now too – cheapest it’s been outside of bundled packs – £8 for the base game and £7 for the 2 DLCs if you like that sort of thing (Pirates!)

    • killias2 says:

      Is MMH6 really worth it? I’m playing FE:LH, excited about Eador/MotBW and AoWIII, and I still have access to HoMM 3 and a bunch of older similar titles. Does MMH6 have something worth spending the time and money on?

    • strangeloup says:

      I ended up getting M&M CoH twice; first in its initial DS incarnation, and then the PC version which has mostly-if-not-entirely revamped graphics and some extra twiddly bits. I do find myself making more errors on the PC version though, for whatever reason.

      I think the only real drawback to an otherwise excellent game is that it’s fairly easy to get into a fight way above your capabilities, with little to no indication before you start the battle, and thus potentially lose some or all of your special units, which can be rather expensive to replace. (Your regular troops are automatically replenished after a battle, but special ones must be bought from specific locations.)

  8. phelix says:

    Bought Bad Company 2 for a fiver and immediately found it odd that people call Battlefield 3 the Call of Duty clone- whereas BC2 feels much more like CoD than BF3 does.

    • Cytrom says:

      At least BC2 has some fun destruction, colors, and an almost working netcode, while BF3 is just a clear step backwards compared to the older games in every regard except graphics.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      Bad Company 2′s campaign is lampooning Modern Warfare. And the multiplayer, which is the entire reason to buy it, is nothing like any of the CoD’s (at least if you’re playing Rush, which you should be).

      • jonbro says:

        The MP is pretty solid, but was super disappointed by the fact that controllers aren’t supported correctly (or they are, but not the look stick for some reason). Seems strange, given the fact that I played hours and hours of this on the 360 (or ps3, can’t remember). Double annoyed when going to look for solutions at all the forum trolls telling me that I am a ding dong for wanting to use a controller.

        But yeah, interesting MP.

      • phelix says:

        I am talking about the multiplayer.

  9. Forceflow says:

    Hard Reset is very recommended – it’s a bit short, but a lot of fun. It has health packs! HEALTH PACKS!

    Picked up Pid for the minimum price, and now I feel bad. These bundles are just clogging up my Steam backlog.

  10. Ace Rimmer says:

    Any thoughts on that D&D thing on GOG?

    I’m playing through BGII at the moment and will probably pick up the Neverwinters, but what about t’ others? The Icewind Dales, Demon Stone, Temple of Elemental Evil and Dragonshard are all unknown to me, and I don’t know how well the first BG or Planescape: Torment hold up. Should I just get the lot, or pick and mix a bit?

    • Bhazor says:

      The Icewind Dales, Demon Stone, Temple of Elemental Evil and Dragonshard are all unknown to me

      I haven’t played Dragonshard but of the other three Icewind Dale is probably the best. In particular I found myself enjoying Icewind Dale 2 recently. It’s more combat focused than BG and more linear but there’s also a lot less filler. The writing is weird though, it’s penned by Chris Avellone so theres often brilliant little bits in there (“Who is she? A woman split in half and the two halves are screaming at each other”) but it goes… nowhere and it’s surrounding the most rote RPG storyline I can imagine with zero motivation for the party. It almost feels like it was created as a PnP D&D module and you’re expected to roleplay it. But with such a linear campaign and very few side quests you really can’t. But again, if you liked the combat in BG2 then Icewind Dale 2 is that but with better AI more challenge and without all the long talky bits.

      You can also play through it with the Mane 6. So thats a bonus.
      http://saber-scorpion.com/gaming/mods_mlp.php
      Paladin AJ is best Paladin.

      Temple of Elemental Evil has a fantastic combat system but everything else is just plain dreadfully design. The opening town in particular is such a shallow drawn out series of fetch quests I honestly thought it was building up to a joke. You can skip most of them but sadly the dungeons aren’t much better designed and make zero logical sense.

      Neverwinter Nights the first is terrible. Only worth getting for the mods really. However, Neverwinter Nights 2 is pretty good. Its a slow starter and you’ll probably want a couple interface mods but when it’s going its far better than say Dragon Age. The add-on Mask of the Betrayer is also commonly referred to as one of the best written RPGs ever made.

    • DerNebel says:

      Neverwinter Nights is.. A mixed bag. The story isn’t that good, the combat is wonky, but the game really shines in co-op and on custom maps. The custom content these games have, especially the second one, is absolutely amazing.

      You’re playing Baldur’s Gate, so I’m asuming you like talking a lot. If you also happen to be of the bunch that likes extremely imaginative fantasy, then you’re in luck with Planescape: Torment. It has probably the best writing of any video game ever. To top that off, it has one of the most interesting fantasy realms ever imagined to toy around in (The starting area alone is absolutely bursting with personality, let alone Sigil, the main city and hub) with some of the most engaging characters ever. Most importantly, you as the Nameless One actually has a huge importance in the world, as opposed to most RPGs where your character basically is your glorified avatar. One hint: Skill heavily into intelligence. You won’t be fighting much, and intelligence opens up the most dialog choices. And you will want dialog to be open for you. Combat in this game is almost always avoidable and never exceptionally challenging, since your character is so inherently strong. It is lucky that there is so little fighting in the game, because it really feels like the game’s only weak spot. Overall, Torment is definitely worth picking up.

      The Icewind Dales and Temple of Elemental Evil are the other end of the spectrum. These are the dungeon-crawly, brawly DnD games. These are the games where you will hone your fighting skills, your tactics, where you will fight A LOT. The story doesn’t hold up to the level of Torment or BG, but then again, few things do. They are good games if you like the combat in BG enough.

      Can’t say I know too much about the other games on sale.

    • ShineyBlueShoes says:

      Just keep in mind that the multiplayer with the Neverwinter games ran through Gamespy so you can no longer use the server browser to get games going. The good news though is that you can directly input ip addresses to connect to dedicated servers (and friends directly as well I believe) and that shouldn’t be overly hard as both games have a dedicated community.

    • Moth Bones says:

      TOEE is turn-based, rather than pausable realtime, and it is easily the most faithful recreation of AD&D I have seen on a computer – all your favourite (or not) classes and spells. Personally I find the turn-based tactical party combat pretty absorbing. The writing is, well, D&D standard – in fact, I think a fair amount of it comes straight from modules released in the 1980s. If you go for it, be sure to get hold of the Circle of 8 modpack, which tidies up and adds stuff in a well-considered way.

    • Paul B says:

      Just to add, Neverwinter Nights is worth getting for the Hordes of the Underdark expansion. The campaign is not very good though to put it mildly.

      Neverwinter Nights 2 campaign is pretty good however, and I agree with Bhazor above, Mask of the the Betrayer is excellent. Storm of Zehir is also worth playing – it’s a more old school-style D&D adventure but is also great fun if exploring lots of small locations & random encounters are your thing.

      And Planescape:Torment doesn’t need an introduction. I’m replaying it now – it’s very wordy but is refreshing in that respect. For PS:T it’s worth checking out this post, which advises what mods you should install:
      http://thunderpeel2001.blogspot.co.uk/2009/01/planescape-torment-fully-modded.html

    • Ace Rimmer says:

      Thanks muchly for your input, everyone.

      I vaguely remember Planescape from my dice-rolling youth as an utterly bonkers setting that really needed a DM with strong ideas to work – a vidya game in that world would need equally strong writing to maintain structure, I suppose.

      Thanks, I guess, for the link to the Mane 6 mod. I’m having mixed luck installing mods to my GoG/PlayonLinux setup, but that one certainly looks, um, yeah.

      At that price, it seems silly not to pick up the lot of them – at least I’ll have plenty to sate both my story-heavy roleplaying and mechanistic dungeon cabrawling urges.

  11. Moth Bones says:

    For some reason I really like that pixellated octopus. I’d love to see it in the supermarket aisle, muttering its catchphrase.

  12. aliksy says:

    Is spec ops the line worth playing? I don’t really play shooters that often, and I never play those … milsim ones. (It’s in the Get Loaded bundle, and one of the few games in it I don’t have)

    • Dextro says:

      Spec Ops is pretty much a must play in my book but a word of warning: I’m not saying it’s a great shooter and many would even say that it’s not a fun game at all. It is, however, a title that sparked an important discussion over the current onslaught of mindless shooters that plague current trends in the industry. And since the game was meant to spark that discussion according to it’s authors I would say it was very effective at what it set out to do. Just make sure to pay attention to what the game is trying to say.

      • Martel says:

        I ended up breaking down and getting it for this very reason. I’m not even overly interested in it, but there’s so much discussion about the story, I figured for $5 I better play it.

    • ShineyBlueShoes says:

      I haven’t gotten to it yet but it’s installed and waiting as I hear it’s one of the more important experiences that have been crafted in game form. If you’re expecting Call of Duty I think you’ll be disappointed but if you want an intelligently crafted shooter that goes beyond the average manshoot you should be satisfied.

    • The Random One says:

      It tries to tell a truly brilliant story. It’s a blinding failure, but what it attempts to say is so great I still recommend it to anyone with the money and time to play.

      • aliksy says:

        I picked it up. This is basically Apocalypse Now, isn’t it? Using the Black Angels’ song “The First Vietnamese War” seems like a bit of a hint.

      • El_Emmental says:

        I wouldn’t say it’s a failure – it’s more of an average completion, of a very brilliant objective.

        Also, the landscapes, the scenery, and some of the scenes, are greatly crafted – I stopped and stared at this world quite a few times, they really made a genuine effort on that part and it shows well.

        Regarding the gameplay, I haven’t played much TPS but it felt like “good” to me – not “perfect”, but not “meh, average” either. Some things could be improved, but some other things were rather solid – I didn’t feel cheated out of my time or money.

        I would say it’s worth playing for what it attempts to do, and how it doesn’t give up at the first obstacle. It isn’t the “BE5T GAM3 EV4R”, but surely one I’ll remember years later.

        My advices: don’t have gigantic expectations, just let the game guides you through the story, let the game progress through the story and follow it. If you let it happen, it’s a very satisfying and interesting experience – don’t try to force it into some form of perfection, a pure, ideal thought-provoking masterpiece – it won’t fit, it won’t works, it doesn’t work like that.

        When the game needs something to happen, because it can’t really give you the choice, don’t take it as “bah, what a crappy game design, it’s a fake choice, or worse, a crappy way of telling me there’s no choices”, see it as “what if I, the character, decided to do that, made the wrong choice, or had no choices, and now how I/he deal with that”. Not all games should/have to be a RPG where you craft you own story using the available assets lying around – in this one, follow the story if you want to live it.

        Also, keep in mind it’s heavily about the modern Middle-East wars (Iraq and Afghanistan): you’ll need a little bit of knowledge about how “we” westerners deal with that, what the soldiers are facing (barely touched in the game, but it’s there), what happened in these conflicts and how our societies dealt with these difficulties.

        That’s where I think a lot of people missed a vital part of the experience: it isn’t a game so good at telling a story, playing a scenery, that you can’t help but embrace its message, understand its meaning, even if you don’t try to interpret it or even know a thing about it.

        If you see and understand all the references in the game, it makes a lot more sense (why it is like that, why it even exists): it is a genuine reflection on all these elements and is really worth it.

        Let’s make an example (*not* in the game – or I forgot about it): the “Collateral Murder” leak, or the Iraq War Logs.

        In the game, and its story, you’ll then find characters talking about the control of information within the army, journalists, leaks, whistleblowers (even/especially among soldiers), and it will be subtle, really – subtle enough that most people will not get it, or see it as a placeholder (in no way related to the CM video/War Logs leaks).

        It barely scratches the surface of an itch, but it’s a very special itch that almost never get scratched.

        For that, I think Spec Ops deserves our attention (and a few bucks).

  13. Jupiah says:

    Is the Batman Arkham City in the Get Loaded deal the GOTY edition?

    • welverin says:

      I would guess no, both Arkham Asylum and Borderlands say GotY, Arkham City does not. Seems telling.

      • Jupiah says:

        Yeah I was just wondering though because it’s a steam code and you can’t even buy the regular version of Batman Arkham City on Steam anymore, only the GOTY edition is for sale. So it’d be kind of weird if the Get Loaded promo gives you the regular version.

  14. kalirion says:

    Here’s a good one: Groupees Retro Bundle, ends in 2 days.

    All games have DRM Free downloads in addition to the listed Steam / Desura key options.

    $1 tier:
    Dead Pixels (Steam)
    Smooth Operators: Call Center Chaos (Desura)
    Love+ (Desura)
    Forceline (Desura)
    Tiny Plumbers
    Sylia – Act I

    $3 tier – all of the above plus:
    Bleed (Desura)
    Anodyne (Steam)
    8-Bit Commando (Desura)

    Also included in $1 tier are the Anodyne O.S.T. and “Hit and Run (CNB Special Edition)” ablum by Chipocrite.