This week, Lewie is away at Glastonbury, so once again, the SavyGamer B Team of Will Templeton and Tony Heugh has stepped in to pick up the slack. At first, we were really thankful for Lewie going away this particular week, because it meant that our advice was just going to be, “Open up Steam and play TF2, because even if you did buy anything this week you’ll not play it because of the siren call of all that fresh meat.” It was basically a half-day. Then Jim told us that wasn’t good enough. Apparently you lot “won’t stand for that sort of thing,” and we should “have some goddamn integrity.” Well, fine. If you’re going to be that demanding, here’s a roundup of the best deals for your computerbox that aren’t only available gratis through your primary direct downloadatron. As always, to make sure you’re always up-to-date on the best deals as they happen, visit SavyGamer.co.uk.
Rockstar GFW Sale
Rockstar are currently having a blowout of everything they have on Games for Windows Live, which means you can grab Bully for £2.49, Max Payne 1 and 2 for £1.49 each and GTA III, Vice City and San Andreas for £2.49 each. The shining star of this, though, is The Lost and Damned for £1.68, for my money the finest GTA game available. It requires GTA IV to run, as does The Ballad of Gay Tony at £2.49, but if you don’t have that you can grab the standalone Episodes from Liberty City pack that includes both the expansions for £4.99, giving you a smorgasbord of options if you didn’t take advantage of the other recent GTA deal. Oh, and don’t forget that GTA I and II are both available for free on Rockstar’s site, if you want to round out the set.
[Jim’s note: Bully is actually better than you’d expect, and probably worth a punt for that much.]
The Saboteur – £4.85/~€5.46/~$7.75
We all have that friend who has a brother who always seems to do slightly better than him at everything – progress at school, social prowess, cooking, whatever. Your friend, try as he might, will just never quite reach the heights that his brother does. But there’s something about him, something a little rough around the edges but still giving him the kind of depth that you want in someone you’ll count as a friend for a long time. I was going to say that described Lewie, but I realise now that it’s actually quite an apt analogy for the Saboteur, too. And the thing about Lewie is that you can’t buy him for under five pounds and have him delivered to your door.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution – £23.99/~€26.99/~$38.29
The first Deus Ex was a challenge to players and developers alike to explore what games could be. I’m not sure if accepting that challenge makes Eidos Montreal brave or the other thing but Quinns was rather taken by it:
“I gasped a little too loudly when I first opened my map and saw the size the inner city Detroit level, where the game first lets you off the leash. The gasp also went on a little too long, as you can’t zoom out enough to see the whole level at once, so I had to do some scrolling around. It’s bigger than any of the hubs in the first Deus Ex, with more side quests, more incidental detail, more passers by to harass and less loading times.”
Regardless of whether this can live up to the legacy of the original, £24 for a game with both elbow-swords and dialogue trees seems a reasonable pre-order gamble.
Cargo! The Quest For Gravity – £7.49/~€8.42/~$11.95
Ice-Pick’s previous two games were the bleak and fascinating Pathologic and The Void, so it was something of a surprise when they released a game that is about making fun in the apocalypse. The world is flooded, gravity is broken and only fun can fix it and keep the small naked ‘Buddies’ happy so you can repair the Zeppelin they shot down with fireworks. You’ll also need to make vehicles.
Cargo! makes less sense the more you explain it, but much like the ‘Buddies’, it’s entertaining and surprising, if a bit wobbly.
Deal of the week
Batman Arkham Asylum – £4.99/~€5.61/~$7.96
I’m not sure that five scary gargoyles per room is good idea when designing an asylum. Fortunately, Dr. Batman is in the house with his PHD in punching and cape swishing. I’m also not sure he’s really a doctor but you do not argue with a man who Bat-ropes to gargoyles for safety.
Arkham Asylum achieved what no game had before – it got the feel of Batman right. You are large but agile, tough but not invulnerable and you have a ‘swish cape’ button. Combat is rhythm-based and sending Batman and the Hammers of Justice into a balletic dance of face-crunching, slow motion, not-fatal-honest violence is always satisfying.
Between punches, the real success of Arkham Asylum was that Rocksteady avoided the juggling of technology and expectations that pushes most superhero games into guided tours of empty cities by concentrating on the Bat-basics and doing a few things very well. With Arkham City putting him into that wider situation in a few months it’s a perfect time to play the first if you haven’t already.
Considering that play.com are selling a poster for this game for £3.99, £4.99 is a bargain. Swish.
Also of note:
Team Fortress 2 – Free
Did you know? It doesn’t seem to be getting much press. Right now would be the perfect time to jump in and show off your skills gained from years of practice – or even pass them on to a fresh-faced youngster. Saxt-on, wax off. Okay, maybe that doesn’t work.
Proun – £Whatever you want
It seems to be having a few teething problems on some machines, but the developer’s feverishly working to smooth them out and let you get straight to rolling your balls around. Quinns seems to recommend it highly.
Magicka – £4.00 (registers on Steam)
Magicka’s smart element mixing system was overshadowed by it being horribly broken on release but it’s terrific fun in co-op, where you can team up with up to three friends to miss enemies and accidentally kill each other in inventive ways. It’s less broken now too.
Dragon Age 2 – £9.99
Get Games have a sale on right now until Monday, including Beyond Good and Evil and Thief: Deadly Shadows. Check out the full list on their site.
You’ll notice a distinct lack of Steam deals this week. That’s because we just officially had the first day of summer, which usually means that any Steam purchase will immediately be rendered a bad decision due to it being twenty pence the next day. Make sure you’re keeping an eye on SavyGamer.co.uk so that you’re up to date with every deal as it’s available.