The RPS Bargain Bucket: Much More

By Lewie Procter on July 20th, 2013 at 2:50 pm.


Congratulations, you have successfully navigated to the Bargain Bucket. Your reward is as follows: You will receive a meticulously collated infodump containing a selection of offers to purchase discounted digitally distributed games for your computer. And if that’s not enough, then there is more of this sort of thing over at SavyGamer.co.uk.

Metro: Last Light – £14.99
Registers on Steam.
Here’s wot Jim made of this bleak shooty game:

Stupidly, I keep imagining that the MAN IN TUNNEL genre of shooter will run out of ways to impress me, but that didn’t happen with Last Light. It’s exquisite, and even though the post-apocalyptic theme has been done to death over the past decade, it’s delivered with such skill here that I ended up finding the game more visually arresting than Bioshock Infinite. That’s not something that I expected to say, but it’s most definitely the reality.

More here.

Shank 2 – £2.40/€3
I can’t actually link to this page on Origin because it seems as though their website is broken, and any links I include just seem to get stuck in a redirect loop and then dump you at the homepage. It sure is tough maintaining a rudimentary store frontend when you are one of the biggest publishers on the planet. Hopefully the website starts working again, or all the effort EA have gone to arrange this current sale will have been for naught, not that many of the other discounts are particularly exciting. Perhaps you can buy it through the client? I quite liked Shank 2, they added a few new cool things.

The Whispered World – £1.99/€2.49/$2.49
John wrote down some words surmising his opinion on this game over at Eurogamer:

The Whispered World gets as much right as it does wrong, and for that it becomes sad for the wrong reasons. It’s so achingly pretty, and clearly so much love has gone into it. But the crappy puzzles and painful voices (not all are bad, most are dull, Sadwick’s is agony) do a huge disservice to a lovely world and some splendid writing.

The rest of this review is here, and you can read some additional thoughts from John here> Sounds to me like it is worth a pop at this price.

Civilization V – £4.17/€4.85/$6.37
Civilization V: Gods and Kings – £4.17/€4.85/$6.37
Civilization V [Gold Edition] – £6.96/€8.09/$10.62
Apply coupon “Gooncave”. This is from Amazon US, so you’ll need to enter a US billing address. Registers on Steam.
I’ve only played the vanilla version of Civ5, and although I enjoyed my time with it, and it’s a far more polished package than previous Civ games, I found Civ4 to be a little meatier. It’s hard to actually pin down what it is about 4 that I prefered the feel of, and it’s not like any of the aspects of Civ5 are especially lacking, but in my mind Civ5 fell a little short of being the definitive Civ game. Word on the street, however, is that the Gods and Kings and recent Brave New World expansions do a good job of building complexity on top of the solid foundations of Civ5. Is this the case? Do you reckon I should grab both expansions and dive back in?

Deal of the week
XCOM: Enemy Unknown – £5.56/€6.46/$8.49
Apply coupon “Gooncave”. This is from Amazon US, so you’ll need to enter a US billing address. Registers on Steam.
Much anticipated, and then much enjoyed X-COM rebootquel, now for cheap. Here’s Alec’s opinion:

I love XCOM, I’m so glad it was made and I expect to be playing it and replaying it for a long, long time to come. There are things, big and small, I would change or don’t see the reasoning for, but it all-told it does so much more than I ever thought possible, both in terms of resurrecting XCOM’s core values and making a turn-based strategy game with high-tech, 2012, thrilling presentation.

More over this way.

Also of note:
Pitman – Pay What You Want
Modern Warfare 3 – £11.13/€12.93/$16.99. Apply coupon “Gooncave”. This is from Amazon US, so you’ll need to enter a US billing address. Registers on Steam.
Steam Summer sale is still going.

For more of the cheap games, head over to SavyGamer.co.uk.

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64 Comments »

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  1. killias2 says:

    The main problem with Civ V continues to be the OUPT nonsense, as well as universal happiness. G&K and BNW both add a lot that people seem to enjoy, but OUPT is still a giant sore just above the lip of Civ V.

    • Tacroy says:

      What the heck is “OUPT”? Googling for it is entirely unenlightening, especially for something you say ruins the game.

      • Premium User Badge

        RedViv says:

        One unit per tile (weird grognardy acronym, yay). Which I assumed to find generally appreciated, as it does away with the awful stacks of doom that slowed down most games to me, but die-hard fans seem to think it too much of a change. Fanbase division, ho! Claiming it to be an absolute sore is ridiculous though. [RedViv has publicly denounced killias2, warning the world they are not to be trusted!]

        Anyhoot, Brave New World has, in my mind, made it as grand a game as Civ 4 plus addons were. Much more actual game and variety there.

        • Nick says:

          It would be fine, if it actually worked within the context of the game, but it really doesn’t work well at all and the AI can’t cope with it either.

          • Premium User Badge

            RedViv says:

            How does it not work then? Because you can only put one “unit” on the tile, as opposed to hundreds? Is either of these truly fitting to represent anything real?
            I find the robot foes to push back damaged units into safe terrain, taking out weak spots, and generally raining destruction on me, if I go to war against a strong foe. (And in the game.)
            Though I have to admit that I am not the person who plays on hardcore Immortal levels regularly.

          • Premium User Badge

            Tom De Roeck says:

            youre in for a treat then as they have seriously upped the AIs ability to attack. they do some pretty neat tactics now, Im sure its not as good as human players, but if at king difficulty, they actually pose a threat instead of just being citybait.

          • ShineyBlueShoes says:

            Well that’s less an issue with the move to single units and more an issue with that change exposing the terrible AI.

          • killias2 says:

            “Well that’s less an issue with the move to single units and more an issue with that change exposing the terrible AI.”

            But that’s the problem: asking an AI to simultaneously be thinking long-term 4x-style and short-term wargame style is no small challenge. In fact, they pretty much just set themselves up for familiar, as even Jon Shafer has admitted.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          The only people who don’t like OUPT (*smacks head against desk*) are people who actually thought AMUPTAYW (As Many Units Per Tile As You Want) added some kind of tactical depth to Civilization. I was a hardcore Civ IV player and I absolutely hated multistacks.

          • Eschatos says:

            If only some compromise between the two was possible. Oh well, that happy medium is clearly impossible and we’ll never see it in any game.

          • Sparkasaurusmex says:

            Certainly limited stacks based on units could work. Something closer to the 1 unit per tile than 10. Tanks and the like can only be 1UPT, but little infantries can be stacked…like 4 per tile max? That could be interesting.

          • killias2 says:

            There are certainly compromises. Late Civ 4 game heavily incentivized splitting your forces. Fantasy 4x games have separate tactical battles. Space 4x games, like GalCiv 2, make it so fleet size depends on your research, making stacking really ineffective (though it doesn’t disincentivize it). As noted above, you can have a max unit per tile, or maybe a “weight-per-tile” and have different units have different weights. All of these pose potential issues for the AI, but so does OUPT. I just think that OUPT itself doesn’t work for Civ. I’ll be happy to return to Civ 6 if it picks a more well-rounded approach here.

          • The Random One says:

            The problem with that approach, Eschatos & pals, is that it takes up a lot of mindspace. In addition to remembering how strong your units are you also need to remember how many units can fit in a tile. So you can fuck up your strategy because you thought camel archers stacked like carriage archers but they only stack like knights, or you do a crazy charge to break through the enemy’s line but fail because you thought howitzers were tanks and couldn’t stack but it turns out they are artillery and can. Plus the fact that it may be difficult to read whether your enemy has one unit in a tile or seven hundred (which is more of an UI problem, of course).

            It’s like time units in X-com, in which they allow you to be more versatile, but removing them (which possibly being seen as dumbind down) allows more depth in the shallower layers of the game, because the player will be able to know with more certainty what her options are.

            Also anything that makes a military victory seem anything other than either a response to an ultimatum or a clusterfuck is a good thing in my eyes.

        • greywolf00 says:

          I must admit I was thrilled to see the death of death stacks. However, the implementation of many of Civ 5s overhauls was garbage, it is by far the easiest game in the Civ series. Civ 5 was a prime example of the designers not understanding how all the different game mechanics worked together. I haven’t really played it much since the expansions, but on Deity/Immortal in vanilla, the entire map would get covered in units. The explanation of the various culprits is rather long and has been discussed at length on CivFanatics and Liberte et Ordre.

        • Melliflue says:

          My problem with the system was how units would forget where they were going if a tile was blocked on the way. This particularly annoyed me with workers. If I had told a worker to move a long way and another worker had moved into his path in the meantime, say one building a road between two cities, then the worker would just become idle again and forget where he was going.

          This is made worse by how the units forgot their destination when clicked on, even if no new instructions were given.

          It was also a pain in the neck when moving from land to water, because a worker or general or settler could occupy the same tile as a military unit normally but not on water which led to bottlenecks when trying to cross water.

          It would have also been nice if there was still a stacking/escort system so that I could tell a military unit to escort a settler/great person and could move them as one, without having to worry about one being faster than the other.

        • killias2 says:

          It’s not just me who hates OUPT. You can also count among the critics.. Jon Shafer. You know. The guy who invented the system? He’s completely recanted, and he explains the problems better than I can (you can find a lot of this on the At the Gates Kickstarter, in some of the earlier updates). The short version is: 4x games are huge, epic scale. OUPT-type battles fit better with small scale wargames. The AI is basically incapable of balancing 4x-type thinking with grognardy nonsense, and the maps aren’t nearly big enough (again – scale problem) for it to really work effectively. Look up “carpet of doom” if you don’t know what I mean. It’s also completely screwed with the economics of Civ 5: soldiers need to take a lot longer to build because, otherwise, the world would be -filled- by the middle ages, but that completely changes the balance of development vs. warfare. Again, bigger maps would help here, but it still wouldn’t help the AI. In any case, most 4x games don’t want maps 100x the size of current Civ 5 maps, so that’s not much of a solution either.

          Stacks of doom aren’t perfect, but people don’t seem to realize that there -are- alternatives. Late Civ 4, for example, very much incentivizes splitting your forces. In fantasy 4x games, there is often a separate tactical mode, where you can more effectively combine OUPT-style tactics and a 4x game. You can also just make there be a “size cost” for units, which makes the classic stack of doom harder to use (which is how some space 4x games operate). In any case, the AI is much more capable of balancing 4x-style long-term thinking with stacks of doom or compromises than this weird hodge podge of Panzer General and 4x. Jon Shafer has admitted it himself. The mix just doesn’t make any sense.

          http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jonshafer/jon-shafers-at-the-gates/posts/404789 – Here’s the article where Shafer talks about Civ 5. The combat stuff is at the bottom. He hedges his bets a little bit, but then he says stuff like, “So is there a way to make 1UPT really work in a Civ game? Perhaps.” which isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement, haha.

          • Premium User Badge

            Tom De Roeck says:

            dont really care what the developer thinks, I think it fits the more boardgamey style of the game better.

    • Syra says:

      Ban these sick acronyms

    • Jumwa says:

      No idea what those acronyms are supposed to be (other than the one that was explained). I like the one-unit per tile system in theory, though I think their maps don’t quite support it that well.

      The switch to hex grids was great, my problem with it is mainly just that the AI is atrocious. To make matters worse, if you play on any decently sized map the game bogs down and the delay between turns in late-game becomes intolerable. I end up waiting for excruciatingly long periods of time for the erratic AI to crank out its inept strategies of random violence.

      I would’ve been excited for Brave New World, but the idea of the whole trade system and then me trying to build a trade network that hinges on my neighbours not randomly cutting off all trade with me as they’re wont to do sounds agonizing.

      • Sheng-ji says:

        Try switching to tactical view before hitting end of turn, it turns over the turn in a couple of seconds at worst! Only found this out when my graphics card died and I could only play in tactical view!

        • Jumwa says:

          Does that actually work? Because I didn’t think it had anything to do with the graphics, as I’ve got a beefy card and all. There was no chugging of animations or anything, just big long delays as it seemed to be calculating AI responses.

          I’ll give it a try anyhow.

          • Tacroy says:

            Graphics generally have a higher priority than AI, so if your computer is struggling to render the 3d units and terrain it might be pre-empting the AI’s calculations, causing them to take longer.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Do let me know if it works for you – it definitely works for me! My cards weren’t the beefiest – 6970M’s but certainly wouldn’t expect them to struggle with civ – and like you, animations were smooth, high frme rates etc.

          • Jumwa says:

            It worked. How ’bout that? Thanks!

            Though I wish the Strategic View were a bit better designed. It’s not the greatest 2D strategy setup I’ve seen.

      • killias2 says:

        The latter two acronyms were just references to the expansions.

  2. ReiAyanami says:

    Metro: Last Light is already sold out on the site you linked, sadly.

    • Maritz says:

      Which is a relief to me, as I bought it for £20.99 on Steam this morning!

  3. derbefrier says:

    Civ 5’s new expansion, Brave New World, can be had for 30% off at GMG.

    http://www.greenmangaming.com/s/us/en/pc/games/strategy/sid-meiers-civilization-v-brave-new-world-na/

    Just enter the voucher code. I bought the shit out of it and the expansion seems pretty cool so far.

    • dahools says:

      Thanks for this!

      Been waiting patiently for this to come on the steam sale with no joy so green man gaming can have my money today not waiting any longer. They probably wont put it on sale anyway for less than the pre order price which this offer beats anyway!

      Key came instantly and downloading now ! joy!

  4. mezron says:

    So, did I actually buy all the games worth buying on the previous Steam sales? Or, is this summer’s sale just weak? I haven’t really seen anything particularly interesting this year other than Dishonored for $10.

    What happened to the publisher packs?

    • Premium User Badge

      DrScuttles says:

      Between being broke and having bought shitloads of games in previous sales, the only thing I’ve grabbed this time was System Shock 2. And I already have the disc somewhere so I don’t know why I did that.
      Whether this sale is weaker, my backlog is too great, or too few recent games seem to align to my tastes I could not say. Though I do miss the frivolity of previous sales.

    • Philomelle says:

      I imagine it would be more exciting if you’d own less games on it. I see an occasional very good deal on sale, but most of them are games I already own from Christmas and an occasional weekend deal.

      In the end, other than gifting Witcher to a friend and spamming my entire buddy list with copies of Bastion, I walked away with about ten games and a chest filled with DLC. It’s definitely less money than I expected to spend on this sale.

    • Lewie Procter says:

      I did discuss this a bit last week. I think Valve’s sales haven’t quite kept up with the times, stiff competition from other distributors and the likes of the humble bundle have taken some of the wind out of their sails. Amazon’s recent policy of pricematching everything they can from the Steam sale, and offering an additional 15% discount is particularly aggressive.

      It will be interesting to see how Valve will react, but I have no doubt that part of the reason we have this nightmare of psychological marketing that is Steam trading cards and other subtle tactics Valve use is to encourage people to stay within their ecosystem even if they aren’t consistently offering the best prices in town.

      • Shuck says:

        It’s odd that Valve’s response to Humble bundles is to remove collections and bundles of indie games from the sale entirely.
        I suspect that removing publisher collections was due to previous sales making them largely obsolete now… or at least they decided that regular offerings were not a good strategy.

        • HothMonster says:

          My thought is their trying to differentiate the Summer and Winter sales. My guess is we will see a lot more bundles and publishers packs in the winter sale when there are lots of’new new games they can’t really discount that much drawing peoples eyes. Summer sale is more for buying the games that released last holiday and 1st quarter at discount.

          Need to let a publisher release enough games to make their pack interesting again for people who bought it last year or the year before and having a new holiday release to stick on top doesn’t hurt either. Need more new indie games to stuff into packs with things people already own.

      • polyester says:

        At the risk of sounding out of touch…
        How do these cards work? I’ve bought stuff during Steam’s sale and have gotten a few, but like anytime I get inventory items, I can’t imagine why I would care about getting these

        • Sheng-ji says:

          Once you’ve got a complete set, you can exchange them for a game badge. Badges give you custom backgrounds, icons etc.

          It’s pretty lame really.

          • Shuck says:

            Supposedly game coupons can also be made that way. Though that’s not really any better.

          • HadToLogin says:

            Yes, there were coupons. But:
            -mostly for sucky games
            -mostly really bad (25%, 33%)
            -you couldn’t use them with any sale that game had in same time (and if sale happened, it was same or even better than coupon).

            So, they were practically useless, simple crap.
            Kinda like everything Valve does lately – poor, beaten by everyone else sales, cards that only made people selling them happy (I didn’t read anyone who’d say “yay, cards, love to collect them”, only “yay, cards, good thing there are enough idiots buying them”), breaking CSS to not use custom models, various of other really poor things…
            Kinda make me root for EA’s Origin so maybe Valve will finally do something for gamers instead just thinking how to get more money (yeah, I know, they exist to make money etc., but few years back they knew how to make all people happy along getting money…).

          • Baines says:

            Crafting coupons has been disabled for the current summer sale event. Instead, you get a summer event card, just like you get for voting or spending $10.

            As has been said, the coupons were pretty much junk. They were for random games, the saving weren’t great, and they didn’t stack with each other or sales. (Supposedly the first coupons did stack, but Valve removed that ability.)

            I crafted one badge. I got a 50% off coupon for Left 4 Dead 2. L4D2 has been 75% off seemingly every other month for the last couple of years. Why would anyone buy it at 50% off when you could wait a month and probably buy it at 75%? I couldn’t give the coupon away because no one wanted it. If I had found anyone, I’d have told them that they’d be better off waiting for the Summer sale anyway.

            I don’t know if coupons will come back after the summer sale is over, but I doubt many people would care even if they did.

          • Shuck says:

            @HadToLogin @Baines: Yeah, that’s pretty much what I figured was the case. I didn’t care enough to actually craft any badges to see the results, but the coupons seemed worthless to me just as a concept. As a side benefit of doing things around the sale it seemed extra-pointless. You actively engage with the sale to get cards to craft coupons to get games on sale? Unless they were offering coupons for games that not only weren’t part of the sale but also normally didn’t go on sale at all (which isn’t going to happen, of course), I don’t see the point.

        • derbefrier says:

          I just sell the cards myself. I have sold every card i have gotten and ended up with a little over 3 bucks, enough to buy Doom 2 so i could try out that Brutal Doom mod(which is fantastic by the way, having mouse look in Doom is completely badass). My brother was able to get almost 7 bucks out his cards. You can collect them and shit but that seems boring. Its rather lame but if it gets me a free game every once and a while. I’m okay with it.

    • mezron says:

      I suppose there’s a bit of unrealistic expectations thrown in there as well. Before these big sales I would spend more per game, and be content to have fewer games. Now I wait until the price drops to something I’m willing to pay, which generally is between $5-10.

      My quality threshold has definitely dropped with the price drops though. I’ve bought games over the past few years for $10 that I wouldn’t have even considered at $40 or more.

      I still haven’t played the majority of the games I have yet…

      Now that I think about it, my money and efforts would probably be better spent on some therapy… or maybe just a self help group. Definitely have to look into that after all the sales are over ;)

      • Shuck says:

        And that’s a frequently heard story. I look at my (unplayed) games bought several sales back, and notice they’re being sold for half or a quarter of what I paid for them, and realize that I can easily wait a year or two for whatever games interest me now to go on sale for less (and hopefully my backlog will have been reduced by then).
        I do wonder how many people with Steam who previously used to buy games at full price are still doing so.

      • Urthman says:

        Yeah. I can remember buying stuff on Steam sales thinking, “Cool! I know I’m going to want to play that someday!”

        Now I look at a game and at my Steam backlog and think, “Is this game going to get to the top of my list sometime in the next six months?” Very few games seem to meet that criteria, no matter how cheap the sale.

      • Cunning Linguist says:

        10 -20 bucks , or euros or quid seems to be the general average of what most people are prepared to pay for videogames these days. The video game industry would do a lot better if it understood this and stuctured itself accordingly rather than moaning about piracy and attempting to devise DRM ploys that only serve to make their products a pain in the ass to use. Piracy would be cut down severely if all games cost 10-20 bucks , because everyone who has a a machine that plays games can afford that.

        I would have bought every console available if games cost €10 -20 .

    • lomaxgnome says:

      My only real complaint this summer sale has been several games I was interested in that had been 75% off in the past were only 66% off this time. But I just got different things instead. I very much doubt the publisher packs were ever all that popular except the rare times they had price errors or new games in them they weren’t really supposed to. The number of people with none of a publisher’s games but that want all of them is pretty small. Might be different if you got tradable duplicates of what you already had, but steam bundles rarely work that way.

    • fish99 says:

      Honestly I think the sales aren’t as deep as they were 3-4 years ago, plus so many other stores are beating Steam now. I’ve bought nothing this time.

  5. Philomelle says:

    Origin still insists that because I live in Eastern Europe, I am definitely supposed to use Russian Rubles in order to buy anything from their website, as well as that I am expected to use nothing but Russian language versions of their games. What if I don’t want to use localizations, EA? Believe it or not, Football Manager 2013 being the only Steam game to force you into using Russian is the reason why it’s the only game on Steam I’m refusing to buy.

    Also, I haven’t been in Russia for about 16-18 years now and don’t actually remember what a ruble looks like. How do you expect me to use your storefront if I have to hunt for the (often contradictory) currency convertors on the internet if I want to know how much money you want from me?

  6. iainl says:

    Do NOT buy Gods & Kings. Buy the £2.50 upgrade from normal Civ V to the Gold edition in the Steam Sale instead. G&K plus loads of other bits too for less money.

    • Juxtapox says:

      Thanks, had been looking to buy Gods & Kings but cheaper than what it is now. I don’t want to pay more than a couple of euro for DLC, if anything.

  7. djbriandamage says:

    To anyone like me who enjoys CoD games for the single player, avoid MW3 even at its low sale price. It’s the worst CoD I’ve played in the series and I’d say it’s Infinity Ward’s worst game.

    • Syra says:

      The singleplayers in cod and bf are not going to be worth actual money to me until they package them separately with coop. Yaaaarr.

  8. The Random One says:

    OK, so I’m Brazilian and I don’t know how easy it is for you filthy foreigners to buy stuff on http://www.nuuvem.com.br/ but they’re having a pretty decent sale this weekend. They have Binfinite for like 25 dollars right now (as in, this precise moment, due to end within less than two hours), plus a small but nice selection (mostly 2K games). And if the promotional email they sent me is any indication Borderlands 2, XCom and CivV Gold Edition will be the next daily deals with discounts in the whereabouts of 70 to 80% off.

    If you’re like me, who hates Steam too much to buy stuff off it, but not so much that you will actually refuse to play Steamworks games, you’re a hypocrite, like me, but also in luck.

    • Jurple says:

      Argh. For a few more minutes, I might be able to get Civ V (base edition) for 3.4 euros. If only I got nuuvem and paypal to communicate …

      Edit: OK, that hurdle is cleared. Next up, activating code on steam is apparently disabled. Or impossible. Or just plain unlikely.

      After that, I should decide whether I want to upgrade to Gold in the next 18h, while it’s still at 1/4 price. I’ll be either drunk, asleep or traveling for the next 24h, which is likely to complicate things. Oh, internet.

      Edit: And it’s done: Civ V Gold for 6 euro. Now I’d better go to bed before I spend any more moneys.

    • Flea says:

      Interesting site, good deals, thank you sir. Anyone can confirm that this works from EU countries without any glitches?

      • kyynis says:

        Works in Finland. Bought XCOM for 6,40€, activated in Steam and currently downloading. Nema problema.

      • ishlilith says:

        I bought from them before with no problems and registered in steam perfectly, I’m in Spain.

  9. Cunning Linguist says:

    The Steam summer sale includes AssBro, according to the link. That sounds like a great parody game, I want to play AssBro!