The RPS Bargain Bucket: Illness Developing

My insides are riddled with post-Develop conference flu, I have a massive mouth ulcer which I am 100% blaming on the Brighton sea air, and I’m still feeling somewhat sleep deprived. It’s the bargain bucket! Yay. That’s about as much enthusiasm as I can muster right now. I guess I should tap out a list some games what you can get for cheaper than they normally cost before I load up and all things menthol and drift into a drug induced slumber. is still going. Lets do this thing, it’s the *cough* bargain bucket.

Pure – £5.03/€5.95/$7.70
Great little quad biking game. The presentation is really over the top, and some of the big jumps are just silly. This came out back in 2008, an ancient time when John saw fit to describe the 1.9gb demo as “enormous”. Pure lets you customise your quad bike with all different bits of equipment you unlock, but it also lets you press a button and it automatically makes the best quad bike for you. The trick system could do with a little more depth, and you might want to switch off the racers’ voices, but I really liked this game. It’s great looking too.

Darwinia – £3
Pretty certain this is UK only. Darwinia was available as part of the Introversion pack for £5 in the Steam pack, but if you missed out on it back then this is a great deal too. It’s a bizarre little universe with a clever strategy game living inside it. The source code was made available recently, and there is a digital mountain of RPS coverage here. Kieron also reviewed it for Eurogamer.

Strategy First Promo
I’ve never played any of these, can I go back to bed now?

Deal of the week
Metro 2033 – $12.50
USA only I’m afraid, although despite the fact that you’re buying it direct from THQ, you just get a Steamworks code, so those of you outside of the USA can pretty easily just get a yankee friend to buy it for you. $12.50 is equivalent to £8.17/€9.66. UK folk can buy it from THQ for £39.99 if you want. Alec let us know what he thinks of it here.

Also of note:
Other THQ Steamworks games on sale: Dawn of War II, Chaos Rising and Saints Row 2. They also have non-Steamworks games on sale here.

Remember to visit for all your cheap gaming needs.


  1. Premium User Badge

    john_silence says:

    Oh, Pure for cheap! Hadn’t seen that. Have a nice, raspy rest, Lewie :)

    • John Peat says:

      Heads-up for Vista/W7 players of Pure – the game doesn’t like these OS’s and has a nasty bug which can cause loading screens to freeze-up.

      Sometimes alt-tabbing out of the game – then back, frees this, other times it’s “End Task” time.

      That – and much longer loading times (for some weird reason) make Pure less than fun on those OSes (it’s fine on XP, by comparison).

      The developer is one of those who doesn’t bother patching/supporting their PC releases – also a decent reason to avoid perhaps…

  2. pupsikaso says:

    Sweet. No reason not to get Metro now!

    • Rinox says:

      *cries European tears*

    • pupsikaso says:

      Oh wow. By USA only they really mean USA only. That means, no Canadians.
      Well that’s the first time I’ve ever seen a USA only sale that does not inherently include us canucks =/


    • Jhoosier says:

      Hmm, I’m in Japan and tried to buy Metro 2033 using my US credit card. Don’t think it worked, unfortunately.

      Any idea how long the sale will be going? The website just says for a limited time.

  3. Navagon says:

    So does the THQ serial for Chaos Rising work with Steam? Only I didn’t notice it on the list of retail games that can be registered with Steam and I don’t want to be stuck with Digital River’s limited downloads (and lawd knows what else).

    • Heliosicle says:

      Its steam enabled.

    • Navagon says:

      Great, thanks!

    • Azhrarn says:

      Actually, it doesn’t just work with steam, it requires it. =D
      Dawn of War II and it’s expansion are Steam only.

    • Navagon says:

      I know DoW2 is, but couldn’t find any mention of Chaos Rising. It seemed logical that it would also be, but I want to be sure about it. Especially seeing as I’m going to have to ask someone else to buy it for me.

  4. Adamos says:

    So can i buy from THQ store outside US? ( they have US,Canada and puerto rico only as available countries )

  5. Quasar says:

    Anyone not from the US had any luck getting any THQ games through proxies or whatever? Would love to pick up Metro at that price.

    • Adamos says:

      I tried with foxyproxy but still wouldnt let me purchase it

    • Alastayr says:

      A rather elaborate process wherein you connect to a US-based server node through Open VPN by way of Your Freedomto register a THQ account with one dummy email address (preferably or any other non-expiring service) paying through a Dollar-based Entropay CC (that costs nothing, but charges 4.5% of every transaction’s worth) which has been boosted with money from your primary credit card could work.

      I have no idea if it works in the THQ store, but a bird is telling me this is the way some people get their Steam Games from European Tier 3, while living in T1. I tried it once for shits and giggles, and to get an uncut Left 4 Dead from a Steam sale. It worked.

  6. Oneironaut says:

    I’ve heard Saints Row 2 is really good, but have the bugs in it been fixed at all? I heard that a log of people just can’t get it working. I’m running Vista 64 bit right now.

    • MWoody says:

      I can’t possibly recommend Saints Row 2 enough, though it’s waaaay better in co-op. It’s one of the few games to get campaign cooperative play exactly right, letting both players roam freely and even compete in things like races separately (it prompts the other player to join in or keep screwing around) but brings them together for missions. All challenges are designed with two players in mind.

      I’ve run it just fine myself in Vista 64, for what it’s worth. I’ve read, however, that it has some serious stuttering problems on systems with less than… I think the threshold was 3Gb of RAM, but I can’t find a mention of it now. It might have been fixed, mind you, just be wary if you’re packing 1gb or less.

      There’s also an easy-to-install SUPERmod called “Gentlemen of the Row” that changes… well, a lot. I believe it’s intended more for people who have finished the main game and are just screwing around, though, as it replaces or changes certain features seemingly for no better reason than for the player to try something new and different.

    • MWoody says:

      Actually, reading the list of recent updates to the mod – damn, they just keep adding stuff! – it might be a good idea even for a first playthrough. It fixes several rare but frustrating bugs, including one mission cutscene hang that bit me on the ass on two different playthroughs on two different platforms (PC and 360). What’s more, it changes the rewards for certain missions, balances the difficulty of others, and adds unlocks that are hard to get if you install the mod AFTER fulfilling the unlock conditions.

      Yeah, I’d say at this point, you want to run with that mod from day one.

    • CampbellDH says:

      Saints row 2 is unplayable for me on Windows 7 64-bit. The game runs in fast motion and nothing I did could fix it. So buyer beware.

    • DeepSleeper says:

      Some of the issues with Saint’s Row 2 PC can be solved by googling “Saint’s Row Powertools”, downloading that, reading the instructions, and doing a little experimentation with the speed settings in the ini file.

      This is not perfect and is a stupid thing to have to do to a retail game, but you can tweak and twiddle it into running at a rough approximation of “correctly”.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Saints Row 2 is awful. The driving is crap, as is the shooting and also it performs like shit.

      I’ve said it before on here. I bought it on Steam and it was unplayable. I then bought two copies for Xbox so I could play co-op with my girlfriend and no more fun with someone else. It was impossible to play for more than an hour without it crashing.

      It seems I must have played a different game to everyone else because the game I played was dreadful and had a pretty embarrassing sense of humour too.

  7. Adam says:

    So are
    Dawn of War II, Chaos Rising and Saints Row 2
    the only games that come with steam keys?
    I would assume so.

  8. bit_crusherrr says:

    Kinda want Chaos Rising, shame its USA only :(

    • ManaTree says:

      I’ve got a post below you might want to look at if you’re still interested in picking it up.

  9. Farewell says:

    Chaos Rising is still $40 on Steam for EU users :(
    That’s around a 520% price difference if I’m not mistaken..

    • ManaTree says:

      Check out my post below. LOOKING FOR FAVORS FROM THE YANKS, EH?

      Kidding, kidding. Stupid exclusivity.

  10. Arathain says:

    Hope you feel better, oh Master of Bargains and Depleter of Wallets.

  11. Kid A says:

    I rather enjoyed Pure on my 360, not sure how well it’d work on a keyboard given how reliant it is on pulling off trick combos to up your boost bar. Probably worth a punt at that price, though.

    Darwinia is a great experience, but I didn’t actually enjoy it terrifically as a game – but then, I played it through before the menu/glyph system was revamped, so YMMV.

  12. Mac says:

    A few days in Brighton and now bed ridden – what’s it the capital of again? Oh yes – i’d go for that test at the doctors if I were you …

  13. Starky says:

    Any friendly American willing to buy me DAW2: Chaos rising for $7.50 and I’ll paypal you the money?

    I’m trustworthy, honest guv!

  14. raddevon says:

    I bought Metro about 15 minutes ago and still haven’t received anything. Are they snail-mailing out these codes? Has anyone purchased and received theirs yet?

  15. penhat says:

    if full spectrum warrior (in the THQ sale) appeals to you, i think the us navy gave it away for free a couple years back and you can still download it legally on many sites

  16. Miked says:

    If you throw up into the bargain bucket, please wash out for next week. Thank you.

  17. Lucas says:

    Comanche vs Hokum (from the Strategy First promo there on GoG) with the EECH “all mods” patch (link to kept me busy for quite a while. This game came out in 1999, was eventually open sourced, is still being developed, and is considered far superior to its successor.

    The EECH dynamic campaign eventually put me down because I let it keep picking missions for me and ran out of helis to fly. You apparently need to be more aggressive in designating missions and capturing territory.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Comanche vs. Hokum (otherwise known as “Enemy Engaged”) also runs well on lower-spec computers. I flew that for a long time, I think it was the last of the good/hardcore helo combat sims until DCS Blackshark came along. Highly recommended if you’re into combat flight sims and can live with the somewhat dated looking terrain graphics (but that’s why the frame rate is so good).

      Skip that “Darkstar 1” game at the same site. It’s terrible. The missions are boring and repetitive, and the story/universe is uninspiring.

    • Warduke says:

      Good to hear, was looking at those. How does Apache vs. Havoc stack up? I seem to recall if you own both you could fly those helis in Commanche vs. Hokum? How is the learning curve? Hardcore sim or sim-lite?

  18. IncredibleBulk92 says:

    Why won’t THQ let me buy Chaos Rising? I want to give you my money!

    All you have to do is let me give you money, you sent me one single email and then you’ll never hear from me again.

    • ManaTree says:

      I can buy it for you if you want. Check my post a little below.

  19. Film11 says:

    A 1.9GB demo *is* enormous dangit!
    (At least it is with those still stuck with 1Mb connections, thanks BT!) :-(

  20. Ravenger says:

    I thought the Pure demo was rubbish. It’s a console game with no concessions to the PC, and no customisation options. You can’t even change the resolution!

  21. ManaTree says:

    Hello all! If you want to get something from the THQ store, drop me an email at circuitr33 (batty atty) gmail (haughty dotty) com. I’ll respond as soon as I can.

    See this forum post for more details.

    • ManaTree says:

      Slightly bad timing; I’m going to sleep right now, but I assure you, I’ll get around to it when I wake up.

      Please do specify if you want Download Protection and how many quantities of which games. I’m going to assume no Download Protection (it’s a load of crap at any price other than $0) for now.

      Thanks a bunch.

  22. Lucas says:

    The THQ store is incredibly lame. I ordered DOW2 Chaos Rising, and got a page that says “Your order is being processed and you will be notified of the result shortly.” So I wait a while for it to clear, and then found this in the support FAQ:

    When will my credit card be charged?
    For purchases of downloaded products, your credit card will be charged the day after your order is placed.

    Come on! They also want to sell you a ripoff $5 “extended download service” (2 years) that’s added to your cart by default. The game is on Steam, so this is completely useless to have. All they’re selling me is a Steam key anyway (and the content is already downloaded because I own the original).

    You also can’t check your order status with the email & password you signed up with. You need the order # and password OR your email and last 5 credit card digits.

    WTF THQ?

    • MWoody says:

      “Extended download service” on a Steam game… Yeah, that veers out of ripoff territory and well in to fraud, right there.

    • Warduke says:

      “Extended download service” on a Steam game… Yeah, that veers out of ripoff territory and well in to fraud, right there.

      I was thinking the same thing. Especially when “extended” is limited to 2 years.. Yikes.

  23. HYPERPOWERi says:

    Holy carp, Darwinia is AWESOME. Just gave the demo level a spin and bought the full version.

    Is Multiwinia the same game plus multiplayer? Because if so, SOLD! The little lady will enjoy this one.

    • Ginger Yellow says:

      Multiwinia is a different, multiplayer only (or against AI) game based in the same setting. It plays a bit like DotA, but not much, and is very frenetic. I like it a lot, but not many people seem to.

      Darwinia+ on the Xbox is Darwinia and Multiwinia together.

    • Arathain says:

      Darwinia is good, isn’t it? Multiwinia has you controlling the little Darwinians rather than the squad, against vast hordes of other Darwinians, by means of herding them around with Officers and such. There are all sorts of mad powerups that fall in crates. It’s a lot of fun.

  24. iLag says:

    Also of note: Auditorium and Fractal are 50% off. That’s 4.99$ each, well worth it if you like puzzle games. link to

  25. Fumarole says:

    Metro 2033 has been purchased and activated on Steam. Thanks for the heads-up.

  26. laikapants says:

    If you’re in the US and lacking Blood Bowl, it is $7.89 on Amazon at the moment.

    • Vinraith says:

      It’s also $5.90 on for US customers. However, at this point it’s probably better to wait for Legendary Edition.

    • laikapants says:

      @Vinraith: Indeed it is probably better, but if you’re like me and A) Unsure if you’ll enjoy/not be total crap at the game B) Not willing to pirate it to find out, then both are quite excellent low entry fees for such things.

    • Vinraith says:


      Absolutely. They’re great games, and at that price you can’t really lose, I just want to make sure people know that this particular version will be obsolete in short order so they know what they’re getting into.

    • Arathain says:

      I wouldn’t worry about being total crap at Bloodbowl, given the active and friendly RPS communy in the forum who play either the Cyanide or the Javabowl version (FUMBBL). Plenty of folks to show you how things go and let you play without worrying about random online idiots.

      I also am waiting for the All-The-Teams-In-One Edition, or whatever they call it.

    • IdleHands says:

      Does anyone know what the Legendary edition is going to be, an expansion or stand alone game? I got blood bowl after the dark elves edition, what happened when they released that edition, did existing owners of blood bowl immediately get updated to dark elves edition?

    • malkav11 says:

      Standalone. You will get nothing (not even any remaining bug fixes) without shelling out for the new version. It’s a pretty shitty move on Cyanide’s part, imho.

  27. Lack_26 says:

    For UK people, you can get Metro 2033 (w/ a copy of Red Faction: Guerilla) for £9.28 on Amazon (link to, I’m not sure how much the added postage is, I think it’s about £4.

  28. internisus says:

    Saints Row 2 is one of the worst PC ports I have ever seen, and I own over 350 games on Steam. Do not buy it.

    • Tei says:

      Saints Row 2 is lots of fun. I can’t play GTA4 because bored me to death a million times. Saints Rows open from the minute zero to a billion different hilarious activities, and a non-linear history.

    • Vinraith says:

      I keep hearing about what a terrible port it is. I’m not going to tell anyone that it isn’t, of course, but personally I’ve had no problems at all with the game. It seems to vary wildly from person to person (and system to system) as to whether the port is an issue or not.

    • John Peat says:

      SR2 isn’t agreat port on PC but it’s still head, shoulders, arse and elbows more fun than the po-faced tedium of GTA4.

      If you do get it – look up the “Gentlemen of the Row” modpack (360 or keyboard versions) which improve the game IMMEASURABLY

    • MWoody says:

      I mentioned this above, but the cries of “terrible port” mostly come down to a single fault: not enough RAM. You need, if I’m remembering correctly, a minimum of 3gb or you’ll see awful stuttering.

      With a powerful enough computer, it’s not perfect but stable enough to enjoy immensely. Far, FAR better than GTAIV’s noxious PC offering, at least.

      And I linked the Gentlemen of the Row mod above.

    • Nick says:

      “I mentioned this above, but the cries of “terrible port” mostly come down to a single fault: not enough RAM. You need, if I’m remembering correctly, a minimum of 3gb or you’ll see awful stuttering”

      Yup. Which is a sign of a terrible port.

    • malkav11 says:

      GTA IV has run perfectly fine for me for months now, whereas SR2 was a dog of a port. (Though I now have 4 gigs of RAM and a 64-bit OS, so I may want to try it again.)

    • malkav11 says:

      Oh, and GTA IV looks far better than any version of SR2 ever has, while doing that whole “running smoothly” thing. Although I will cheerfully admit that when it works properly (i.e., on console), SR2 is a better game.

    • Matzerath says:

      Someday I’ll probably break down, but I still feel that, for myself, the best answer to the question of getting either GTA4 or Saint’s Row is to buy neither. The horror stories I’ve heard about both have nullified any desire to basically ‘take a crap shoot’ with one or the other and see if they work ‘acceptably’ on my system.
      That said, when I do break down, I’ll probably go with Saint’s Row. Sounds more fun – when it works.

    • malkav11 says:

      The horror stories about GTA IV’s port were accurate, they’re just outdated. The game’s been patched repeatedly and most performance issues fixed. Saints Row 2 got a patch or two that fixed nothing of the sort.

    • John Peat says:

      My comments re: GTA4 weren’t just about the porting – the GAME in SR2 is infintely nicer too.

      There are fewer frustrating repetitive bits and more room to just have some fun – the ‘fun’ was removed from GTA almost entirely after Vice City (ending up in Just Cause I think!!)

      End of the day – when they’re both working, SR2 is the superior experience as a game and GTA4 as a satire perhaps

  29. mbp says:

    Didn’t anyone else notice that THS online shop offers an extended download service for a mere $4.99. I quote: We’ll automatically store on our server a back-up copy of the software that you purchased and downloaded for two (2) years from the date of purchase.


    Does this mean that if you don’t but this add on you can only download once ever? How does this work if the game is on Steam like Metro 2033?

    • malkav11 says:

      The way it works is that you give them $5 for nothing because Steam already handles the whole “redownload” thing. So, don’t do that.

  30. Shadowcat says:

    Razorworks’ “Enemy Engaged” helicopter sims at GOG are renowned classics, with community-made improvements in pretty much every area thanks to the source code release.

    The Pro Pinball pinball tables at GOG are the greatest computer pinball tables I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing. Packed with features and gameplay depth and extremely configurable. The developers were serious pinball fans, and it really shows. For $2.99 a pop, anyone with the slightest fondness for pinball would be absolutely mad to ignore them. Timeshock is my favourite table, but be aware that you’ll need a decent machine for that one, because GOG’s version runs via DOSBox. The GOG forums have lots of info for getting the games running, if you have any issues.

  31. ludr says:

    @pupsikaso: Now I know how the Europeans feel :(

  32. Buzko says:

    This isn’t really a sale, but Transformers: War for Cybertron is currently on Steam for this Aussie at its US price of $40. That’s a significant saving on what it would normally cost. Funny thing is that the game wasn’t meant to be released on PC in this region.

    This won’t last, so get it before the cockmongers at Activision notice!

  33. Tom says:

    The 3GB of RAM you all keep mentioning isn’t too true. I have more than 3 and it keeps stuttering.

  34. Kid A says:

    Fractal is lovely, but goddamn I hate the fact it’s in Flash. Runs like a dog on my laptop (which is what I bought it for, something to dip into every now and then) with a 2.2Ghz dual core.

  35. IdolNinja says:

    For anyone having SR2 performance issues, I’ve discovered some ways to mitigate, and even eliminate the lag which have helped everyone in our SR2 steam group. You can get all the details here.
    link to

    The prefetch trick is usually the one that does the most good for everyone as a first step. Make sure to reboot after clearing it though (been meaning to update that in the post.)

    Also, it’s really great to see so many positive comments about my Gentlemen of the Row mod for Saints Row 2. The new v1.8 is out tomorrow and offers 100 new clothing items, plane and boat mechanics for customizing, 5 new vehicle dealerships, new weapon meshes, 100+ new ambient music tracks for purchase, more car paints, tattoos, makeup, and tons of tweaks and bug fixes. It’s the biggest release yet, and it will be up on my site for download shortly:

    • Jad says:

      It’s kind of sad, but “new tattoos” thoroughly intrigues me. I will be checking out your mod shortly.