The RPS Bargain Bucket: Endless Battle

Pretty great, varied, selection of games to be had at a discount this fair weekend, although I am beginning to wonder if we’ll ever have just one bargain bucket that doesn’t highlight the discrepancies of international pricing. There is much more cheapness to be had at SavyGamer (including a nice little scam to get into the Battlefield Bad Company 2 beta without committing to buying the game). BARGAINS GO:

Red Faction: Guerrilla – $4.95/£8.95
The “sale” price from D2DUK is actually closer to the full retail price in America, but the D2D USA sale price is quite the bargain. Fortunately, UK types can login to the US D2D site – hopefully you can get the lower price that way. As for the game? It’s probably the best hammer centric game of last year. You play as some space asshole, and it is your job to destroy everything. At least I think that was supposed to be the point of the game. Some people kept trying to talk to me, but I just let my hammer do the talking. And the killing. Brilliant explosions, and a building destruction system that is by a fair margin the best in any of this type of game are this games strongest assets. Some of the missions are a bit ropey, and there were too many invisible walls for my liking, but still a ton of fun.

Sam & Max: Season 1 – £3.15/€3.63/$4.95
In a continuation of their highly coordinated “lets just keep doing different kinds of special offers” strategy, Telltale are now selling the first season of their Sam and Max adventure games for the cheap. The cheapest it’s ever been, to my knowledge. They are also teasing what one can assume will probably be season 3 of the Sam & Max games, coming at some point in space year two thousand and ten. RPS thoughts on the chronicles of the freelance police here.

Gratuitous Space Battles – £7.06/€8.29/$11.49
Or as the Impulse URL lovingly abbreviates it “gratbat”. Cliffski will, with 100% certainty, make more money by dropping the price here, I don’t know why he doesn’t just drop the price all the time forever, since he would keep making more money. This is the large scale, hands off, space battle simulator, with big space ships and explosions. Demo here, RPS coverage here.

1C Complete Collection – £59.99/€59.99/$69.99
The 1C Complete Collection is a complete collection of all of 1C’s games that are on Steam. Now, this is only an OK deal for UK folk, but it is a much better deal when your money says “In god we trust” on it. Not only do you pay a lesser price, but you get the first “Death to spies” game, which is seemingly unavailable on Steam in the UK. Highlights include: Men of War + Expansion, Cryostasis, Death to Spies + Expansion, Necrovision and King’s Bounty + Expansion. Plus lots of car games, and a few other bits and bobs. Anyone particularly interested in this: I recommend getting a sympathetic yank to gift it to you, then you can paypal them the cash (although I suggest trying to tax them for some tea too!).

Deal of the week
X-COM: Complete Pack – £2/€2/$2
You can find lots of RPS flavoured words about the undying strategy/roleplaying/everything series here; I expect the comments thread here will be full of people who have very fond memories of them. And what will Ken Levine’s rumoured reimagining be like?

Also of note:
Toki Tori – £2.62/€3.37/$3.75
Tropico 3 – £10.82/€13.60/$13.60
Freedom Force: Freedom Pack – £2/€2/$2
Faces of War – £2.95/€2.95/$2.95


  1. Heliocentric says:

    Misinformation! You can use a d2d uk login on the usa site. They are entirely merged. My account list even lists what currency i got the games in.

    • LewieP says:

      Aha, thanks for the correction, I’ve never purchased games from the USA D2D myself.

    • Persus-9 says:

      Aye that’s true but sometimes games are region locked by IP so you can’t always buy them in UK for the US price. However this doesn’t apply to Red Faction: Guerrilla as it’s marked as ‘available worldwide’ so in this case I believe anyone at all can buy it for the $5 price.

  2. MadMatty says:

    And Trine is around 5 euro on Impulse!

  3. Heliocentric says:

    You can even switch sites while logged in by using the flag buttons and stay logged in.

  4. SirKicksalot says:

    The 1C pack is a really nice deal. I wonder what’s up with their endless deals, since december 1C games are offered at absurd prices everywhere. Must be related to their recent digital distribution claims… A gaming magazine here has King’s Bounty as full game this month!

  5. Mike says:

    Does that mean you CAN or can’t get the $5 price?

    I mean, £9 still seems good for RF:G. Also that price almost makes S&M seem worthwhile. Is it?

    • MadMatty says:

      Think it means you can- just tried clicking 3/4 there on the us site. Just click on the american flag up in the right corner, and then buy it for 5$ …. :)

  6. Malcolm says:

    I just bought the X-COM pack and Tropico 3, so my “to play” list is now officially ludicrous

  7. Jakkar says:

    What the why wherefore howto? Didn’t STEAM stop doing these ridiculous exchange rates for a short while?

  8. Carra says:

    The steam commercials when it starts up showed X-Com for £1. While it’s up for £2. How evil!

  9. Bhazor says:

    Know whats silly? Both X-Com and Freedom Force packs are said to be £1 on the little Steam Update pop up ad. Bonkers!

  10. l1ddl3monkey says:

    Batman Arkham Asylum is £11.99 on the GAME website at the moment.

  11. destroy.all.monsters says:

    I paid more than double the price for Tropico 3 and it was still worth it. At that price it’s a steal. The downside being that it’s on Steam.

    • poop says:

      bait deployed, response expected in three


    • l1ddl3monkey says:

      BLASPHEMER!!!!! etc

    • Mac says:

      Is Tropico really worth getting? I’ve got a free game code for, and the only thing that almost appeals is the Tropico 3 bundle.

    • Carra says:

      Tropico is a fun city builder. But it stands in last years Anno 1404s shadow.

    • destroy.all.monsters says:

      Mac: If you’re referring to this – link to

      then yes it’s an amazing deal since you apparently get it for free. I actually never played the originals (and neglected to pick them up on GOG’s winter sale) but I hear great things about the the first and its expansion. Loads of mods and maps out there. So far Tropico 3 doesn’t have nearly as much in the way of mods and maps (with the caveat that there are some if you create a login and nab them through the game’s interface). Still I’ve gotten my money’s worth out of it.

      Carra: I haven’t played any of the Anno games to date. Looks a bit daunting to be honest. I’d appreciate more of your opinion on it if you care to share.

      I’m certainly not in the “Steam is great” camp. It has some rather mild benefits but honestly if I would prefer to buy everything drm-free and not locked to some 3rd party’s bs program. I was actually expecting the tar and feathers for my comment given all the hate directed at the lovely folks at GOG elsethread.

    • Fumarole says:

      Hate? More like amusement that the fool couldn’t figure out how to uninstall a program and thus called it malware.

      Like it has been said elsewhere, many people use both GoG and Steam and they have pretty much opposite catalogs, no need for partisanship.

    • MWoody says:

      Anno was fun, but the DRM crap surrounding it took a lot of the wind out of its sails. I preferred Tropico myself in terms of gameplay. In particular, I like how the Tropico campaign allows you to pretty much do what you want – here’s an island, here’s a palace, here’s a goal, try not to get shot – rather than be a linear scripted snorefest like Anno. On the other hand, Anno’s unlock system really gives you a reason to keep playing, while outside of the campaign Tropico’s random maps have no reward whatsoever.

      The solution? Buy both, of course!

  12. Mike says:

    Alas, the Battlefield scamola doesn’t work. Play’s keys are broked.

  13. Paul Moloney says:

    “Fortunately, UK types can login to the US D2D site ”

    I’m in Ireland, and when I try to access the .com site, I invariably get re-directed to the one…


    • MadMatty says:

      click the american Flag up in the right corner, when on the uk site: that should direct you to the us site

  14. Lucas says:

    I started Tropico 3 this week and the “pause anytime the Almanac or building menu is open” behavior drives me crazy. Being an easy game (for an old Tropico enthusiast), and making an already slowish game that much slower is appalling. The pausing should be a per-UI checkbox or global option. The game should RUN while I’m thinking and planning unless I pause it myself, end of story.

    The Tropico 3 interface is otherwise ok, with the exception that I can’t tell where supply line inefficiencies are because buildings don’t have the piles of white packages or “in/out queue” indicators the original had, or I haven’t found them yet.

    RFG is certainly worth a spin or 3 if your PC is up to it (and you can stomach GFWL). I enjoyed the PS3 version but don’t want to re-unlock the cheats again to replay with all the unlockable goodies (and skip the collecting stuff).

    • Fumarole says:

      Selecting a building will display how much inbound and outbound stock it has. I think it is on the 2nd tab though.

  15. Flusquil says:

    Just to clarify… You can buy Red Faction: Guerrilla for the US price, i’ve just done it. Log in and then click on the select region flag in the top right hand corner and change from UK to US and it all works just tickity boo. It charges you tax which makes it $5.82 which meant £3.74 for me. Much better deal than £8.95.

    • phuzz says:

      Worked for me too (but how did I already have a login there?), although now I have to work out how to download 7.8Gb on this rubbish virgin connection which is going to throttle me after 3.5 Gb :(

  16. Malibu Stacey says:

    Already own all the XCOM games in retail boxes but at £2 for the lot & with all the patching & DOSBox’ing already done for you, it’s the bargain of the year. Even if you only play Enemy Unknown & Terror from the Deep they are utterly special gaming experiences (please return to making games like these dear Gollop brothers, the indie scene needs more like you).

  17. Fatrat says:

    Man, i thought Psychonauts last week was a good chance to play a game i have never got around to, but now, X-com games i used to play over a decade ago, for £2? AWESOME!

  18. Brumisator says:

    “[BFBC2] is clearly a restricted demo, not a beta.”

    Oh how I disagree, it’s very broken game, clearly in beta stages, they already fixed the mouse speed with one patch, it stills needing massive changes in the server browser, global stability, the friends system, server disconnections, lots of game breaking bugs.

    This is clearly a beta.

  19. Riaktion says:

    I already own “Freedom Force” and “vs the Third Reich” but decided to spend £2 just so I have a working version thats up to date etc on steam.

    Maybe pointless… but for £2, I don’t care :o)

  20. Gorgeras says:

    Because I can’t think without prompting, how good is Tropico 3?

    Better than Evil Genius but not Dungeon Keeper 2? Better than Anno but not Sim City? More or less stereotypical dictatorship than Just Cause?

    I remember the PCG review saying it had a lack of visual feedback. I like seeing little people going about their stuff, does this game neglect that?

  21. Sulkdodds says:

    What do people think of X-Com: Apocalypse? I already bought UFO and Terrorr from teh Deap over Christmas. Is it worth spending £2 for the whole pack just to get that third game?

    I realise it’s very little money, but that just indicates how nonplussed I am!

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      Personally having played all 3 of them repeatedly, I’d say don’t bother. Apocalypse is a different type of game to the first 2 & it’s very unfinished. You’ll feel like you’re about half way through the game & suddenly find yourself at the end-game. It honestly has the feel of a game which was rushed out to meet a release date (not to start with, it’s great at the beginning & middle).
      Interceptor is an FPS set in space, nothing more. It tries to be a bit strategic with base building & research & it tries to pretend it’s a space shooter but you’ll get bored of the missions fast & luckily you can research some alien tech which makes it even easier to zoom through them later on.
      Enforcer is an average FPS, not even a good one. It wasn’t made by Microprose or any of the dev team who created the others & it’s quite apparent when you play it.

      It’s worth £2 for the first 2 games alone but if you have them already save your pennies for something else (e.g AI War: Fleet Command) unless you’re really interested in seeing how Apocalypse is different.

    • [21CW] 2000AD says:

      Personally I prefer Apoc to the first two for two main reasons:
      1- You have the option of playing it in real time. I prefer that to turn based, especially with brainsuckers running around.
      2- It actually has easy settings. Unlike the first 2 which were pretty hard even when on easy, Apocalypse does have difficulty levels that scale properly.

      By all means feel free to call me a wuss who couldn’t hack proper X-com, but it does give you some more choice.

      Oh, and just thought of another, psychic powers are more balanced so they’re still useful but not game breaking.

    • Taillefer says:

      Apocalypse isn’t as good as the previous games, but it’s still excellent. And it has hoverbikes you can equip with rocket launchers; so you can have a swarm of them taking down a UFO. You can also take manual control of your vehicles/crafts and start destroying the city yourself, if you get bored. Hm, I need to play it again.

  22. ascagnel says:

    Do either of the Freedom Force games have multiplay? Also, for anyone who doesn’t care about the first, Rebel.FM (link to Game Club’s current game is FFvTTR.

    • Mighty Florist says:

      Both of the FF games have Deathmatchy capability. vs 3rd Reich seems to have some form of ‘story’ capability, but as far as I can tell (at least, 2 days before the sale), it’s deathmatch with narrator bubbles.

  23. clive dunn says:

    Apocalypse is a cracking game. I invested more time into this one than any of the others (apart from Rebelstar Raiders). Just the right balance of difficulty and progression. It’s X-coms ‘Blood On The Tracks’.

  24. Dave says:

    I picked up the X-COM bundle, but after starting up UFO Defense and poking randomly at some buttons, would up playing Borderlands instead.

    Perhaps sometime I will read whatever online manual/tutorial causes the game to make some sense. I didn’t realize how big a fan I have become on good in-game tutorials.

    • Bret says:

      Heh. Manual covers it, but yeah. So many buttons to start with, so much death…

  25. MadMatty says:

    Bloody Windows Live DRM justed added 30 minutes more of installation and updates (on Red Faction Guerilla)

  26. Matzerath says:

    After all that debate about game pricing, I felt kind of dirty buying Red Faction G on sale, even though it wasn’t really part of the discussion.
    That said, there seems to be a glitch right at the beginning of the game: every time I kill my brother with a sledgehammer the game resets. WTF?
    (Also also: this game-story seems WAY more tacked on then Mirror’s Edge. The thinnest of excuses for demolition porn ever!)

    • MadMatty says:

      Yeah its really laughably bad- better to just forget the whole deal and go as “some asshole blowing shit up”.
      I´d hate to divide people up, into technology-people and people-people, but but games designers seem to have a distinct lack of drama talents allround….. better forget about that story thing alltogether and program in some clever stuff i say ;)

  27. hydra9 says:

    Toki Tori is a really good puzzle platform game – Sort of like Lemmings meets Adventures Of Lolo. It’s very well made, very addictive, and very cheap!

    • The Graham says:

      I whole heartily agree. I picked it up last night and have been enjoying it immensely.

      A fair warning though, calling it “hard” is a MASSIVE understatement. Some of the puzzles took my roommate and I over 30 minutes to solve, and we’re two college kids with a 4.0. However, if you trudge through it, the sense of accomplishment is well worth the challenge.

  28. coespost says:

    Shouldn’t Arcanum be in this list?
    It was just added to Gog on the 28th.

    link to

    • LewieP says:

      I probably should have included it, at least as an “also of note” now you mentioned it.

      I suppose part of the reason it is missing is that is isn’t on temporary promotion, it’s just a good normal price. Combined with the fact that it was already a busy week, it slipped out.

  29. hoff says:

    Go to the Irrational Games homepage. Read up on the unreleased project “District 9”. Imagine the gameplay in the XCom universe. Drool.

    • Matzerath says:

      I could swear I read about a million years ago that the Freedom Force engine was originally intended for an X-com remake. I still think that would have been truly awesome.

  30. Miles of the Machination says:

    Well, I bought Red Faction Guerrilla out of sheer morbid curiosity. I’m just surprised that D2D were offering it standard for $20 whilst Steam are still at $69, makes you wonder if they’re letting their 25, 000, 000 subscribers go to their head.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      You are surprised that Steam was more expensive than another digital distribution site? This is a common issue.

    • invisiblejesus says:

      That’s presumably more of Steam’s goofy regional pricing; in the US I have RFG at $20 on Steam, same as every other digital seller’s non-sale price.

    • Miles of the Machination says:

      This is interesting because someone posted on a forum today the difference in regional pricing between Bioshock 2 in Australia (where I live) and the US. Here it is $79 USD, over there is is $49. Boy do we get shafted.

  31. Phinor says:

    Bit the bullet on Freedom Force pack (will never find the time to play these), Sam&Max Season 1 (might never have the time to play this) and Tropico 3. Tropico 3 was one of those games that if it was released at the right time last year, I would have bought it for the full price. Then again with BC2 beta, ME2 and Bioshock 2, how am I going to play Tropico 3 either? Ah well.. at least I own a license to play the game now.

    What I can’t recommend is RF: Guerrilla. I thought it was absolutely terrible game. Like a test build to show basic gameplay of a game that has 2-3 years of development time left. I’m very much alone with this though, so go ahead and buy it for the ridiculously low price. Just don’t blame ME if you don’t like it ;)

  32. Wedge says:

    Even if it’s a typical console ported mess, Red Faction is great. Well OK, the game isn’t actually great, it’s pretty mediocre. But it’s worth playing just for the building destruction engine. I just beat it recently, ignoring almost everything in the game other than the building destruction challenges and destruction targets. It really makes me want them to use that wonderful tech to do a proper game based around it, ala’ Blast Corps, instead of having to deal with a bland sandbox shooter in they way of my building demolition.

    • Tei says:

      What I hate about Red Faction guerrilla is that killing drones is pointless. You can kill a infinite number of drones. Always more drones will magially spawn behind you. The spawning system is absolutelly unfair and unlogical. That’s destroy any attemp to play logically, tactically or strategically, so It removes all the fun to me. Theres still some fun, but is more vehicular, building destroying fun, and mission completion. I demand the programmers of RFG to be kick in the balls for that part of the code.
      Is soo stupid consoley that don’t support my monitor resolution (that is really standardish) and if you uses the cheat codes, you can’t save. AArgh.

    • MadMatty says:

      -> Tei
      Yeah i completely agree, i you set up an amazingly succesfull ambush and kill 237 of the evil soldier types, wouldnt you basically win the sector?
      That, and the shitty shooter system -healing automatically after not getting shot at for 15 secs takes the piss!
      Vehicle controls are really unresponsive.
      Apart from that though, the game is great, so i´d give it a “recommended” anyways- especially at this price- cant go wrong even if you only play for 3 hours.
      Try the “Bonus Mission” as i was cheered to see a new campaign type thinghy with mad-max esque marauders instead of the booring ol human goody-two-shoes dudes!

  33. NAJoe says:

    @Miles of….

    Please, keep converting pounds directly to US dollars. There is absolutely no way that the price of goods in one region could be related to the price in another region in anything other than a simple ratio.

    RFG does NOT cost $69 (USD) in ANY region. Saying it does is merely a way to pump up indignation over the, admittedly silly, regional pricing differences for digitally distributed games without making any sort of reasoned argument or examination of facts. This is what gets me riled up every time I see someone posting from a country using Euros or Pounds about the “unfair” US prices.

    P.S. I’m Canadian, so I have a little experience with “unjustified” price differences for various goods.

  34. Dean says:

    Freedom Force is well worth it. There’s pretty much nothing else like it out there.

  35. The Unshaven says:

    I grabbed it in the boxing day sales, but I currently see Red Faction: Guerrilla for $69.99 USD. Which is, realistically, crazy talk

  36. DarkNoghri says:

    So is RF:G worth fiddling around with GFWL?

    Dangit, I think I bought the X-COM pack for 5$ a while back, and still haven’t played them. I could have saved 3$. :(

    • Hattered says:

      I think so. Once you get the offline account set up, it’ll load it automatically when you start the game. The game is fun enough; I go back to it every once in a while when I feel like breaking stuff.

    • Blather Blob says:

      @DarkNoghri: Yes, for $5, yes! I don’t know if multiplayer is worth the extra trouble, but for singleplayer it’s a great game to go around smashing things up in. And if you use an offline profile GFWL pretty much stays out of your way (it hasn’t bugged me to get the patch, or even type in my key). Plus you could always download xliveless if you want it completely absent.

      So GFWL really doesn’t get in the way of all the fun RPS have described. But if RPS still hasn’t convinced you, maybe Tom Francis can. And seriously: Space Asshole!

    • Vinraith says:


      I went into great detail about my own experiences with GfWL on Red Faction in the forums, it’s worth having a look if you’re considering getting the game, but I don’t want to retype it all so I’ll link you:

      link to

      The very short version is, use xliveless and GfWL won’t have the opportunity to screw you. It’s a little tool that disables GfWL completely in the game, available here:

      link to

  37. Kenny says:

    Has the benny hill speed bug been fixed for RF:G yet?

    I ended up getting RF:G in that THQ megapack sale over x-mass, but yet to play it for any real length of time because everything’s too damned fast

  38. Robert Yang says:

    Kenny: I get that speed bug when I run it windowed, but it seems okay when full-screen’d.

  39. Blather Blob says:

    I can’t imagine why it would sway anyone, but I was able to type my RF:G serial key into Impulse and can now download/install the game through Impulse, as though I had bought it from them. Lots of folks look for steam activation on games, so I suppose someone might be interested in Impulse activation instead.

    I bought my copy from Steam last month, but I imagine D2D keys would activate in Impulse just the same. I guess it has Impulse Goo, the more hands-off Stardock equivalent of steamworks, which is why they let you activate keys for it.

    • Gnoupi says:

      It works actually with any game using Impulse Goo as protection system. I activated Majesty 2 from D2D on the same way on Impulse.

    • Vinraith says:


      That’s a trick worth knowing. Is there a complete list of Goo’d games somewhere for reference?

    • Gnoupi says:

      And it’s a good point for me, as I’m more confident in Impulse to “keep” my game than in D2D so far. Updates are also easier, notified by Impulse, so it’s really a good thing for me.

    • Gnoupi says:

      @Vinraith – I haven’t found such list, at least an updated one. Here is one, lacking RF:G and Majesty 2, though: link to

      However I don’t really understand that link, since it refers to Impulse Anywhere working for all Goo games… And all “Anywhere” games that I have are from Stardock, RF:G or Majesty don’t appear in the available ones, for me.

    • Vinraith says:


      Thanks for digging that up.

      I’ve been dabbling with this and it’s not working for me. I tried my RFG key (from Steam) and my Majesty 2 key (from Gamersgate) and in both cases got an error stating that only keys provided by Stardock could be added. I wonder why it worked for you.

    • Gnoupi says:

      @Vinraith – It works when Impulse GOO is used as the protection system, I think.

      For RF-G on Steam, I see nothing on the store page about 3rd party DRM, so my guess is that it uses only Steam. That would explain why it doesn’t work.

      For Majesty from Gamersgate, I don’t know, no details on their page. It could be that they use their own, I don’t know gamersgate. Impulse GOO usually asks you to log with an email and the product key, after install, and you should find in general some “ReactorActivate.exe” in the game folder.

      Either this, or they became more careful about their keys and are now checking if they are the ones who emitted it.

    • Blather Blob says:

      @Vinraith: Did you use the Impulse client, logged into your usual account, and then used the window where you have to manually select which game the key is for, and remember to manually select RFG? That’s what I did with my Steam key (from the holiday sale), and it accepted it about a week ago.

      I don’t think the steam version has any sort of Impulse Goo/Reactor activation built in, at least typing my key into Impulse just to see if it would work was the first time I ever typed it in anywhere, and I’d already been playing it on Steam for a few weeks at that point. But I figured it worked because if they do provide activation for non-Steam copies, then it’s easiest to just accept all RFG keys. Maybe as Gnoupi says they’ve gotten more restrictive about what RFG keys they’ll accept.

    • invisiblejesus says:

      @Vinraith: That’s weird, I got Majesty 2 off of Gamersgate and was able to punch the key into my Impulse account just fine. No idea what was different. I forget exactly when I bought it, but it was when it was on sale for $7.50 on Gamersgate. I didn’t even finish the Gamersgate download, I got the key and just put it right into Impulse and downloaded it there.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Blather Blob

      Did you use the Impulse client, logged into your usual account, and then used the window where you have to manually select which game the key is for, and remember to manually select RFG?

      Yup, that’s exactly what I did, and I tried the same thing with Majesty 2. In both cases I got the aforementioned error. Maybe they changed their policy?

    • Kurina says:


      I appreciate you pointing out that the article was incorrect regarding Impulse Anywhere on DDReview. Due to not having a GOO enabled game at the time, I accepted that information on good faith from the Stardock CEO as I was unable to personally test it. I have since amended the article, and my apologies for the confusion.

      As it stands now, Impulse Anywhere appears to only apply to Stardock published titles, and not all GOO products as originally stated.

    • Blather Blob says:

      @Vinraith: No idea, sorry. I did just try removing the registration for RFG and then readding it, and it still worked. But then I tried just removing it again, and when I reloaded Impulse it was still there, so clearly it wasn’t actually doing anything. Also trying to add the same key to another Impulse account gives a different error message (about an invalid email address), so it can’t be that it thinks your key is already associated with some other account.

      All I can think of is that I got my key from steam during the holiday sale’s daily deal, so maybe high demand led to hasty key generation without the “belongs to steam” bit set. Or Impulse have changed their policy on allowing Steam keys in the last week.

  40. poop says:

    thanks for the haircare tip!

  41. Matt says:

    I just want to point out, while there is a lot of backlash against the ubisoft DRM, this is essentially what steam has been (always-on-line) since its conception. The off-line mode works sopratically and frankly is probably never used by the majority of gamers.

    I’m surprised more critiques of ubisofts system seem to ignore that the most popular digital platform has similar restrictions.

    • Phinor says:

      There are many reasons as to why people dislike the Ubisoft system. For me the MAJOR reason is the save games on their servers. Steam doesn’t do that. I wouldn’t use Steam if it forced me to use online saves.

      The other reason is that at least Valve is a bit more reputable if it comes to Steam going down and them having to remove all DRM from Steam games. Ubisoft does NOT have that reputation in my mind. Not after all the Starforce crap, shitty buggy non-finished games they have released etc.

    • malkav11 says:

      There are also very few games where one is -forced- to use Steam with that game. Mostly, I have the option of buying it from Steam or the option of buying it retail, and I have no one to blame but myself if I choose Steam and don’t care for the associated restrictions.

      And Steam has the convenient property of allowing me to redownload my game over the internet whenever I want. I’m pretty sure the Ubi DRM doesn’t, but may be wrong about that.

    • invisiblejesus says:

      There’s also the oft-overlooked fact that Steam does add value for some users; if you aren’t interested in the friends list, server browser, etc, fair enough, you know what you want better than I do. But for me and for a lot of my gaming friends, those are some really sweet extras that are worth dealing with Steam’s very real but often exaggerated drawbacks. The Ubi system doesn’t seem to add value in any serious way, yet introduces all the drawbacks of Steam without even an attempt at an offline mode. That, in my view and that of a lot of other people, is not so good a deal.

    • Vinraith says:


      For the umpteenth time, Steam sucks, but a cheap Steam knock-off with no offline mode that seizes control of your save games sucks considerably more.


      The “added value” argument is oft overlooked because the bulk of gamers spend the vast majority of their time in single player, and for single player games Steam is nothing but a hassle.

    • Katsumoto says:

      “for single player games Steam is nothing but a hassle.”

      For some people sure, but all of my friends use it as their primary IM. It is in fact the only IM client I use. Steam is the centre of my pc gaming and single player or not I still love to game with friends. Steam has effectively replaced x-fire for us lot. The community features are really useful assuming you have enough friends who agree, that is!

  42. Yay! says:

    Thanks for the Impulse GOO tip! Would never have thought to try it on my own. (I have more games bought through Impulse than D2D, so consolidating them from one distributor is very convenient).

  43. squidlarkin says:

    So, does the Steam version of X-COM let you play it without fiddling about with dosbox?

    • jalf says:

      Well, sort of. The ones that use Dosbox are configured out of the box so no fiddling should be required.

      The ones that don’t use Dosbox just don’t work. Enforcer doesn’t run on modern systems, and Interceptor crashes every hour or so.

    • Bret says:

      Enforcer worked somewhat on my 2008 Vista lappy.

      Not perfect, but excessive speedup builds character. And I wouldn’t want to play more than once.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      Steam versions of XCOM games are already handily configured with DOSBox. They won’t run properly on XP & up without something like it (I remember playing the first XCOM when it was released in 1995 on a friends 486, PC’s have moved on somewhat in the intervening 15 years).

      One thing I will suggest is to run the game once, quit it & then edit the dosbox.conf file & change fullscreen = true to fullscreen = false so it launches in a window as it will look horrid on a modern monitor in fullscreen.

  44. Tony M says:

    I got my 1920×1200 widescreen displaying in the correct 4:3 aspect ratio. To do it I needed to edit dosbox.conf (make a backup first). It was located in steamappscommonxcom ufo defense.

    I changed:


    By that time I’d also changed the default resolutions, not sure if thats required:


    And I’d also applied the scaler change mentioned in another thread to reduce jaggies:


    Note that this change smooths out the letters in the menu so some Ds look like Os, but it still looks legible.

    You can stop there if all you want is 4:3. Once I verified these changes worked, I also applied the XcomUtil mod and I can confirm it works using Steam on Vista 64. You can read more about XcomUtil at link to


    • hydra9 says:

      Tony: Aww, XcomUtil – memories! The ability to add all kinds of extra aliens to missions was one of its greatest features :)

  45. Coal says:

    Search up gameplay clips instead on youtube, an even lazier way to learn the game!
    link to
    I wouldn’t blame you though.. the game is daaamn hard to get into.
    I recommend adding these mods before starting, helps alot for functionality.
    link to

  46. vintage me says:

    Guys, I’m broke despite the discounts. No more bargains for me.

  47. online smsman says:

    The convenient property of Steam allows me to redownload my game over the internet whenever I want. I think that’s cool.

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