The RPS Bargain Bucket: Completely Stable

By Lewie Procter on August 31st, 2013 at 3:03 pm.

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I’ve been having a bit of a clearout this week, so in addition to the wide array of fantastic deals on downloadable PC games, let me give you a hot tip: Pop along to the Oxfam charity shop in Urmston, and they’ll probably have a big stack of old PC games for something like a quid a pop. For those of you who don’t happen to be in a very specific geographical area, read on to find my usual summary of the best deals from a wide range of digital distributors, and visit SavyGamer.co.uk for all the best deals on games across all formats.

Deadlight, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, Iron Brigade, Mark of the Ninja & Toy Soldiers – £4.83/€5.67/$7.49
This is from Amazon US, so you’ll need to enter a US billing address. Registers on Steam.
Several of these are individually discounted, too, if you don’t want to go all in.
Mark of the Ninja is surely worth the price of admission here, easily one of the most interesting stealth games I’ve played in a long time, it’s packing Klei Entertainment’s trademark visual flair and polish, a well thought out UI that is pleasing to look at, but gives you all the information you need at any time, and scope for a variety of playstyles depending on what kind of Ninja you want to be. Find RPS thoughts for these games here: Deadlight, Iron Brigade, Mark of the Ninja & Toy Soldiers.

Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition – £4.83/€5.67/$7.49
This is from Amazon US, so you’ll need to enter a US billing address. Registers on Steam.
DARK SOULS DARK SOULS PRAISE THE SUN. OK, I’ve still not properly played this yet. It’s hard! Although my reputation for being actually good at games could perhaps be called into question if I don’t conquer this sometime soon. Here’s Adam on what makes Dark Souls different from the other games:

As for the more complex systems at work, they make sense in time and the weirdness of the game always seems an intentional part of the murky lens through which it is viewed rather than evidence of poor documentation. It dares the player to explore and to learn and it will more quickly bite off his/her hand than hold it. That feels liberating. You’re in a fight from the start, not a dance, and that means it’s OK to hit back however you can. Once the tutorial is complete (and even that will probably kill you) the world is open and there are no warnings and no signposts. Go, see, suffer.

More here.

Mass Effect Trilogy – £9.66/€11.35/$14.99
This is from Amazon US, so you’ll need to enter a US billing address. Registers on Origin.
This includes a bunch of the DLC, although I think it is missing some of the the DLC from Mass Effect 3. Three big ass games about shooting the baddie aliens with your laser gun, and then deciding whether to be a polite and honourable space police officer, or a RUDE AND AGGRESSIVE BADASS space police officer. They’re solidly made, and have had lots of the rough edges smoothed over through iteration, even if the rough edges were possibly worthwhile components like interesting RPG systems. I must admit that I got a bit bored part way through the third one, I think I’d have my fill, but I did get plenty entertainment along the way. Some bloke called Kieron reviewed the first one over here, John tackled number 2, and Jim rounded off the trilogy.

Receiver – £1.99/€2.49/$2.49
This is bloody brilliant. This is the kind of thing I imagine when FPS developers shout about making their games more realistic. Whereas most developers would be talking about having higher fidelity corridors, dropping beats based on actual historical dubstep battles during heavily scripted cinematic sequences, and using faces that are the faces of real life actors, Receiver has a different approach. The realism in Receiver is applied to the games central mechanic, so a gun isn’t just a cursor that you point and click at the baddies with, it’s an actual proper gun, with slides, magazines, and all sorts of complicated bits. Using loads of combination of button presses, you have to maintain your gun, keep it stocked with bullets, ready to shoot at any moment. Any action that most games would mostly automate will involve some complex series of button presses, so even reloading your gun is a struggle at first. There’s no other game where I’ve died because I accidentally still had the safety on when trying to unload into a lethal enemy. It’s properly interesting, and I think all FPS devs could learn a thing or two from it. You must give it a shot at this price.

Deal of the week
Europa Universalis III: Complete, War of the Roses: Kingmaker, Warlock: Master of the Arcane, Leviathan: Warships, Dungeonland & The Showdown Effect – Pay What You Want
Pay more than the average to also get Crusader Kings II & Magicka. Registers on Steam.
Oh dear, I’ve not really played many of these properly, I’m not much of a strategy-head. Luckilly your man Adam has, and here’s wot he thinks of Crusader Kings II:

Crusader Kings II is everything I wanted from a sequel and it’s a sequel that I hadn’t expected to ever see. The interface is improved, it’s visually far more attractive and the simulation model seems to create more interesting alternate realities. It’s also (for me and by most reports) almost completely stable and although I can imagine what will be added in the expected (and I’ve got to admit, hoped for) expansions, there are no features missing that I expected to be included. I haven’t even dabbled in multiplayer yet, which is also a thing that exists.

More here, and here’s thoughts on Leviathan: Warships and The Showdown Effect too.

Also of note:
The Debut Bundle 4 from Indie Royale.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown & DLC – £6.45/€7.56/$9.99

For more cheap games, head along to SavyGamer.co.uk.

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72 Comments »

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  1. IanWharton says:

    Playing Sir, You Are Being Hunted, which isn’t discounted, but is excellent. Thanks, Jim. Thim.

    That and Brigmore Witches. OMG. Best DLC.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      By an incredible coincidence, that’s what I am play this weekend, too. Amazing.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      Replying to the wrong post. Although by sheer coincidence I picked up Sir for full price, myself. Now I just need to find time to play it.

    • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

      The Look Around You reference just made my morning. :D

  2. Premium User Badge

    golem09 says:

    Eador is still only 5$ on groupees. Including The Whispered Word and Ittle Dew.
    Rayman Legens is 12.49€ here: http://gk4.me/en/home/438-rayman-legends-uplay-.html
    with voucher “raymanchillmo”

    • Eight Rooks says:

      Beware the Rayman deal! I went for it, and while the key came fast enough and it installed okay, although it’s appeared on my list of UPlay games it won’t launch, and just says “a UPlay account is required, please log in”… when I’m already logged in, fully updated and rebooted. Which Google informs me is what people running pirated copies without a working crack are seeing. And it’s not my PC or my account, since Assassin’s Creed III runs fine.

      So, yeah, looks like I’m out £11, since I don’t fancy being banned from UPlay for having inadvertently handled “stolen” goods.

      EDIT: Ah, there we go, got it working. Truly, panicking on the internet solves everything.

    • Premium User Badge

      Martel says:

      I hadn’t really seen much about Eador, but got this bundle based on some RPS folks saying it was good. Already have a good 10 hours into it I think, been having a lot of fun.

  3. airtekh says:

    Indie FPS/RTS hybrid Natural Selection 2 is 75% off on Steam and has a free weekend, so you can try before you buy.

    • TheTedinator says:

      Bizarrely, though, alone among steamplay titles I’ve seen, it runs on windows and linux, but not mac.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Malibu Stacey says:

    Deadlight, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, Iron Brigade, Mark of the Ninja & Toy Soldiers $7.49

    I live in the UK & I bought this the first time it was up on Amazon US just for Deadlight & Mark of the Ninja without any issue by providing a made up US billing address.
    It is $7.49 regardless where you live because you’re buying on Amazon US so ignore Lewie’s currency conversions above as your bank will likely convert it to something a little different.
    Beware Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet & Iron Brigade require GFWL which hopefully will be patched out in the near future now that it’s being shut down but until then you’ll have to live with it if you want to play them.

  5. KDR_11k says:

    The humble bundle also includes a 125$ for 48 games option for people who like what Paradox outputs (which doesn’t include me).

  6. fish99 says:

    Waiting for a good pre-order deal on Rome 2. Green Man Gaming have it for £24.99 but that’s boxed and I want digital. TBH I’m on the fence about getting it right now anyway cause I’ll probably never finish Shogun 2 if I do.

    • lordcooper says:

      Rome 2 is digital no matter where you buy it.

      • fish99 says:

        Technically speaking all games are digital. Even C64 games which were stored on an analogue format (audio cassettes) were digital once loaded.

        The point being I don’t want the box, or the guilt of throwing the box away.

    • Premium User Badge

      strangeloup says:

      I’m inclined to go with the boxed version myself, given that my internet connection isn’t amazing and Rome 2 is apparently going to be a hojillion gig.

      • Dethnell says:

        Only 9gb download. CA have confirmed that this is how big the download is. On Tuesday all you’ll be downloading is the day one patch & the Greek States DLC if you pre-ordered.

        So not really that big at all then. I think the 35gb they state on Steam is CA giving them breathing room the DLC, expansions and what have you.

        • trjp says:

          Steam uses 2 figures

          1 – download size, which it seldom actually mentions upfront
          2 – disk space required – which is what it more often asks for

          35Gb is the disk space required (worst case – if you have none of the APIs etc.) – 9Gb is the download.

          Simples

    • Premium User Badge

      oWn4g3 says:

      GMG only sells digital versions of games. Rome II is not boxed if you buy it from them.

      Edit: Or is this different when buying from UK?

    • nearly says:

      22% off over at GetGamesGo.

  7. Synesthesia says:

    Lewie, you might want to get on dark souls sooner than later. It’s going to die as soon as they chop down the gwfl.

    • derbefrier says:

      I had heard a lot of GFWL games will be migrating to steamworks after its shut down. Darksouls being one of them. But regardless he needs to play dark souls anyway cause its one of the best games I have ever played.

      • nearly says:

        apparently From posted on their facebook page saying they were going to switch the multiplayer to Steamworks back when Microsoft announced they were bailing on GFWL. the post ended up deleted very soon after, though.

        • fish99 says:

          I thought that was a confirmed fake?

          • Convolvulus says:

            It was pretty sloppy. The hoaxer edited a screen grab from the official Facebook page, but he used one that said “Dark Souls shared a link” even though there was no link in his edit.

  8. Premium User Badge

    Saul says:

    For three more days, the Groupees Be Mine 9 bundle lets you get in on the Alpha of our particle physics game Particulars for as little as a dollar! It made the guy from the Guardian (almost) cry! In a good way!

    Also includes Ittle Dew, The Whispered World, Ring Runner and a bunch more: https://groupees.com/bm9

  9. Premium User Badge

    VelvetFistIronGlove says:

    I was going to post this as a ‘recommendation’ on Steam, but since my Receiver isnt on Steam, I’ll post it here instead. It’s a counterpoint to Lewie’s view of it.

    Receiver wobbles between fascinating and frustrating. The detailed simulation of gun and ammunition handling is let down by the complexity of the keyboard controls, which ironically makes it harder than using a real handgun. The randomly generated levels should create variety, but there’s only two enemy types. And the difficulty is punishingly hard at first, not in a good way.

    But buy it if you’re interested in FPS design. There’s some excellent ideas here.

    • Premium User Badge

      LTK says:

      I disagree, the keyboard controls are not all that complicated. After a few hours of playing I didn’t even have to look at the help any more. Swapping a magazine is e, 1, 2, z, and reloading bullets into a magazine is e, ~, zzzzzz, ~, z.

      I agree with the frustration, though. Just today I shot down a drone, and once it had crashed on the floor, it killed me by tasing my feet. I hate drones.

      • Premium User Badge

        VelvetFistIronGlove says:

        Swapping a magazine is e, 1, 2, z

        That illustrates one of the things that constantly trips me up in it: that the meaning of keys is so heavily context dependent. If it was one key to insert/eject a magazine, that’d be pretty easy to get used to. But instead, when I press E, if I’m holding the gun with a magazine inserted, eject the magazine. But if I’ve already ejected the magazine and am holding it in one hand, and the gun in the other, drop the magazine on the floor. Result: I inevitably fumble reloads and drop magazines on the floor when trying to put them back in.

        Nearly all the keys are context dependent like this, and lack the strong, consistent meanings needed to allow such a design to work. The result is confusing; and there’s a large semantic distance between keys on a keyboard and a pistol’s slide, slide lock, eject lever, etc. that hinders learning the keys.

        So yes, I need to learn arbitrary sequences of keystrokes to do anything. If I wanted to do that, I’d go use vim.

      • Premium User Badge

        drewski says:

        “After a few hours of playing I didn’t even have to look at the help any more.”

        That’s still “a few hours of playing” where the controls are too complicated to focus completely on playing. So it does sound like control complexity is a thing.

        Not that I have an opinion on the controls. Or the game.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I never understood the appeal of Receiver. That is, if you know anything about real guns. It’s just not that complicated.

      All the essential movements like checking safety, reloading and so on, become automatic muscle memory for anyone who practices gun handling and shooting. Unless you’re reloading a revolver, most operations can be done without even looking at the gun. Which is why just hitting the “R” key for reloading is reasonable (IMO) in a PC game.

      Receiver doesn’t focus on the things that actually are difficult about gun handling and tactical shooting, like having your aim degraded by being out of breath after running up the stairs. Or having your accuracy fall off because your hand is getting numb from recoil fatigue with a high-powered gun like a .44 magnum. Now that would be interesting to see in a game…. the human factors.

      • jonahcutter says:

        Memorizing keystrokes is basically the same mental process as learning the muscle memory of shooting technique. Repetition repetition repetition until conscious thought isn’t necessary.

        Reloading a weapon is not as simple as a single keystroke. It’s several different body movements that need to happen in a specific sequence, all while in a potentially life-or-death situation. It’s why the repetition in training is emphasized so much, so that it does become muscle memory.

        That said, I’d love to see the more complicated process of reloading in Receiver combined with the factors you talk about. Breath and shooting fatigue being mimicked in game as well. Perhaps even some type of stress factor increasing when under fire, that requires more specific timing in the key presses.

        Some more sim-orientated shooters do do increased breath/sway after running. Red Orchestra does I think. WW2OL might have (though I haven’t played in a long time). Does ArmA?

        • Post-Internet Syndrome says:

          ArmA does.

        • fish99 says:

          The difference though, and I haven’t played the game, is that keyboard inputs are completely abstracted from the process of reloading a gun. Reloading a real gun, you can figure it out eventually just through looking and manipulating.

  10. RSeldon says:

    Got the Groupees bundle, but I already have Depths of Peril and The Whispered World, so Steam keys if anyone wants to grab them:

    Depths of Peril: AL975-YJY2T-Q7MA2

    The Whispered World: CYW65-PAMKA-8DNJM

  11. mwoody says:

    Worth reiterating here: Steam has a sale on Greenlit games on until the 2nd. Not a bad deal on some of them.

    On a side note, the lack of tabbed browsing in the Steam client, combined with how it shuffles the sale items on page load, can make viewing information on a number of games at once annoying. Use a real browser if you can.

    • Turkey says:

      Not a lot of interesting stuff, but I got Miasmata and Waking Mars.

      If you’re into proper Sci-Fi games like The Dig I recommend getting Waking Mars. It looks pretty low budget in the graphics department, but they’re able to achieve a lot through good voice acting and atmosphere.

      • Prime says:

        Waking Mars was possibly my favourite game from the last year. It’s the kind of sci-fi, sense-of-wonder adventure you don’t really get on the PC any more, especially one that isn’t focused on combat. It’s a brilliant, peaceful, wonderful game and I love it dearly.

      • johnnyan says:

        Inquisitor is kinda cool too, if you like old school rpg’s.
        http://store.steampowered.com/app/241620/

    • Premium User Badge

      MajorManiac says:

      Folk Tale looks good. Has anyone played it yet? If so, what are your impressions?

    • MattM says:

      I grabbed several games in that sale that I had been eying for a while. Fly’N, Miasmata, Afterfall, Sang-Froid, Incredipede, La-Mulana, Receiver, and Surgeon Simulator 2013. So far both Receiver and Surgeon Simulator are pretty good.

    • Premium User Badge

      Jalan says:

      Money well spent on Miasmata… er, I mean Tumbling Off Cliff Simulator.

      Seriously. If you’re coughing and looking off the edge of a cliff to survey the landscape then it’s almost like the game wants you to fall. I keep half-expecting a giant finger to come out of the sky and flick me in the back just so I can begin my tumultuous descent.

  12. Kaira- says:

    If you get the Paradox Bundle, do note that EU III Complete doesn’t have the last two expansions (Heir to the Throne and Divine Wind respectively).

    • GuybrushThreepwood says:

      EU III Chronicles looks like it’s been discontinued – it doesn’t appear on Steam anymore. Your only chance to get it is if you can find someone with an old Steam key for sale/trade.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      Yeah, which is pretty poor form, given that HttT is really the default starting point for EU3.

      “Sure, pay anything you want for our game, then buy the two expansions at full price!”

      • belgand says:

        Which is a bit daft as they gave out Chronicles for free to members of their forums a few months back. No entry or anything even required just an e-mail that game in with “hey, thought you’d like to have this free game”.

  13. Premium User Badge

    RLacey says:

    For anyone who doesn’t need the entire trilogy, Mass Effect 3 is on sale separately at Amazon.com.

    Picked up the Digital Deluxe Version for $7.49; the standard version is currently $5.99.

  14. Faren22 says:

    US only, unfortunately, but Brave New World is 50% off on Amazon ($15). http://www.amazon.com/Sid-Meiers-Civilization-Brave-Online/dp/B00CYOHL48/ref=pd_cp_vg_2

  15. TheMopeSquad says:

    Amazon sent me an e-mail two days ago receiving a $5 credit for Dark Souls 2 from purchasing Dark Souls back during the summer sale. Seems like a nice little bonus for a $7 game and I definitely intend on getting the sequel.

  16. Premium User Badge

    MajorManiac says:

    Heres my two saints.

    I’ve found Saints Row 4 Commander In Chief Edition for £31.10 at gameseek.co.uk.

    Its listed as £28.11, but there is a £2.99 postage to add on top.

    Here is a direct link – http://www.gameseek.co.uk/pd/VideoGameshkkws531fm/Saints-Row-4-Commander-In-Chief-Edition#.UiDdqxt018E

  17. Jason Moyer says:

    The DLC that comes with the ME Trilogy is just the free stuff for ME1/ME2 + ME1 Pinnacle Station. Still have to buy everything for ME3 and the non-free ME2 stuff.

  18. Ansob says:

    Worth noting that EU3 “Complete” is no such thing, as it’s missing half the expansions. EU3 Chronicles is the one you want.

  19. spleendamage says:

    Kingdoms of Amalur: The Reckoning is $4.99 on Gamersgate, but it says Origin is part of the DRM. Is it worth it for the fiver if it comes with Origin?

    and I’m sure it’s been posted in this space before, but http://www.cheapshark.com is a nice place to hunt for deals.

    • mwoody says:

      It’s the best MMO you’ll ever play, but it’s a single player game.

      If you’re looking for something to play quickly (due to a large backlog), though, this is not your game: it just keeps gooooing.

    • DPB says:

      I was tempted by that price (the demo was decent but nothing special), but it seems to be a US-only offer, it’s £19.99 on the UK site.

    • Premium User Badge

      Samuel Erikson says:

      Mwoody’s absolutely right about it being a very long single-player MMO. If you don’t mind the sound of that, I’d highly recommend the bundle with the DLC for 3$ more. Each one tells a tighter, more cohesive story than the main game, and the scenery is often more visually appealing.

    • Baines says:

      Does anyone here know the story of what happened with Amazon and Steam keys for Amalur?

      I know the beginning. Amazon carried the Origin version of Amalur, but consumers kept asking to be able to buy the Steam version. (Why would it matter when you could buy the game directly through Steam? Because at this point Amazon was already offering better deals than Steam at times, and the version on Steam was never on sale.) Because Amazon was working hard to make its video game consumers happy, an Amazon employee spent the time and effort working out a deal between all parties involved that would: 1) Let Amazon sell the Steam version of Amalur, 2) Let Steam be able to put its version of Amalur on sale.

      After quite a while of vague hints of possibly progress on the CAG forums, Steam suddenly put Amalur on sale. People waited for the related Amazon announcement and sale…but it never happened. Amazon never made the Steam version available at all. The Amazon rep wouldn’t speak on the issue, at least not on a public forum.

      What I heard later second or third hand, and thus do not know if it is true, is that Valve/Steam screwed Amazon over at the end. That once Amazon had done the bulk of the work getting everyone together, Valve cut Amazon out of process, cutting a deal that would let Steam do an Amalur sale without Amazon getting anything.

      I was just wondering if anyone knew if that was true, or if there was some other story.

      • Convolvulus says:

        There was no “getting everyone together,” let alone this gossip about unscrupulous three-way dealings. When a publisher requests keys, Valve hands them over without remuneration because it’s assumed that a larger customer base is worth more in the long run than third-party seller fees. Rhode Island bureaucrats, not Valve, made the decision to exclude Amazon.

  20. Philotic Symmetrist says:

    You forgot to mention that XCOM in the “also of note” bit also requires a US billing address.

  21. LaundroMat says:

    As much as I would like to buy and play Dark Souls, the 1-star comments on Amazon mainly bemoan the horrifying experience that is GFWL. Remembering how GFWL screwed up my Fallout 3 save games, I think I’ll pass.

    Unless someone can tell me there’s a simple fix/patch to remove GFWL?

    • Cytrom says:

      GFWL is just the lesser half of the problems about the extremely lazy pc port of DS (and no you can’t remove it as it handles saving in the game, so no gfwl, no saving), I’d say the technical issues and a control scheme designed by madmen are a bigger issue… but according to some, its the bestest game ever, so if you are willing to pull all your nails before playing, and rip your hair out while playing, its worth it i guess.

    • UncleLou says:

      It would be better to have GfWL delete *all* your saves, your music, and your personal documents, than not play DS at all.

      Play it with a pad though. Great features like character turnspeed limited by armour weight and a mouse just aren’t a good combination, because your character and your wrist will be endlessly “out of sync”.

      All other technical problems the game had (except GfWL) are fixed with a single inofficial download. What you will get is the – by far – best* version of one of the best games, well, ever.

      *Disclaimer: until they turn off GfWL next year, that is.

    • fish99 says:

      Those 1 star reviews are still a small minority (<10%) and they're not all about GFWL by any stretch. At what point does the price become so low that it's worth taking a small risk? It's $7. People paid $60 for this game on console.

    • TheDreamlord says:

      The unofficial patch that fixes most of the port’s issues, also allows you to keep a copy of
      your saved games on your machine. This also allows you to backup your saves lically
      and, if so inclined, overwrite your current saved game with a backup.

      Buy the game. It’s one of the best games I’ve ever played in my near 30 years of gaming.

    • LaundroMat says:

      All right, all right, I was exaggerating a bit about GFWL, but the memory of losing a mid-game save thanks to a useless piece of software weighs heavy.

      Next to that, my decision to buy or not is not determined by the price but by the time I’ll have to invest. For a game of this amplitude, I really want to be sure the sweat poured into it will go into enjoyment and game related frustration, not software related frustration.

      But, thanks to you kind Sirs, I decided to buy.

  22. ChiefOfBeef says:

    Annoying fiddly ‘needs US billing address’ nonsense. Has anyone tried getting away with using 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC yet?

    • A Little Lebowski says:

      I’m personally a secret diplomat based at the UN…