The RPS Bargain Bucket: In The Background

I’m running a little late today, sorry about that. My brain is still gradually untwisting itself after the mammoth task of chronicalling all the many discounted video games there are, over at, during the week. Things are starting to get busy, as everyone across the industry is discounting to help bump up those end of year financials. The bargain bucket has you covered for all the best value PC downloads on this fine weekend, so delve in to see what’s on offer:

Scoregasm – £2/$3
Scoregasm is a crazy scoregasmic arena based twin stick shooter, from Charlie Knight of Space Phallus fame/shame. You’re equipped with a mix of long and short range weaponry, and thrust into a series of ever changing, hugely varied levels. It’s great fun, really well put together and the short range area attack is very satisfying. It’s playable on Windows, Mac & Linux, and there’s a demo here.

Uplink, Darwinia, DEFCON, Multiwinia, Aquaria & Crayon Physics Deluxe! – £2.45/€2.86/$3.78 at time of writing
Or any price you like if you’re just after the Introversion games. This is a humble bundle, so as you’d expect these games are available DRM free, all optionally register on Steam, and they’re available for Windows, Mac and Linux. A wonderful collection of games that everyone should get. As a bonus that is unique to the bundle, Introversion have included two tech demos, the Subversion City Generator, and a Voxel Tech Demo. Both are nice little curiosities. There’s ten days left on this bundle, so it would be no surprise if they add something else to it too.

Bastion – £4.99
Probably UK only. Here’s Wot John thought:

the core of the game, what you actually do, isn’t the most fresh or all-conquering of things. (It even features that most tiresome of action tropes, the enemy that can only be attacked from behind – oh please.) If you play for mechanics there’s a lot on offer here, but you’ll be confused why the game is being celebrated so loudly. But for atmosphere, grace, wit and heart, it’s a remarkable achievement. I’m nowhere near finished – the game appears to be enormous. But as I write this, one of the game’s pieces of music looping endlessly in the background, I know I’m going straight back.

More RPS coverage here.

Renegops – £4.99
Probably UK only, but since this registers on Steam, it should be smuggle friendly. Here’s wot Brendy thought of this:

I don’t really care that it took me half a dozen attempts to defeat a few tanks. I don’t really care that I got repeatedly wedged between a ramp and a wall while the bad guys lined up and launched rockets at me in what I’m convinced is a grotesque future-vision of public execution. I don’t really care because Renegade Ops costs, like, a tenner and it reminded me of Jungle Strike.

I don’t care. Because it tried its very best to get me to stop thinking. Because it reminded me of being boisterous.

Right On, Sister.

Deal of the week
Steam Autumn Sale
There’s loads of games on sale at Steam, I’ve even compiled the entire sale into a list over on SavyGamer. Remember that it is best to wait until the end of the sale to buy anything that isn’t currently on daily special, because it might be available for even cheaper later on. I’ve even got my personal highlight bolded on that list, if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with choice, and I’ll be keeping it up to date til the end of the sale.

Also of note:
Data Jammers: FastForward – £3.09/€3.59/$4.95
BRAINPIPE: A Plunge to Unhumanity – £3.09/€3.59/$4.95
Crysis 2 – £7.49. UK only.
Bulletstorm – £7.49. UK only.
Red Faction: Armageddon – £3.74/Similar prices in other currencies. Registers on Steam.
Tropico 3 – £2.84

Visit SavyGamer for cheap games.


  1. The Pink Ninja says:

    Crysis 2 is intresting since it’s no longer on Steam and thus won’t be in the sales, right?

    • Lewie Procter says:

      Correct, it won’t be in the Steam sale.

    • Norskov says:

      It’s 50% off in Denmark, but the link doesn’t work.. So my guess is the offer is available in other countries as well at 50% of the normal price.

    • Resurgam says:

      Amazon screwed up once with Crysis 2.
      £2.51, except I still didn’t buy it.

  2. Vinraith says:

    For the strategy/wargamer types in the audience, Matrix is having a (downright rare) sale until Jan. 8 featuring discounts in the 33-50% range. Niche wargames of this sort virtually never go on sale, so if you’ve been on the fence about something it’s a good time to buy.

    link to!

    • The Innocent says:

      Ooo, thanks Vinraith. This is perfect for picking up a couple of those shiny remastered Close Combats. I have Last Stand Arnhem, which is great, but I may grab one or two others. Any recommendations?

    • Vinraith says:

      @The Innocent

      They’re all good, but after Last Stand Arnhem (my favorite of the bunch) I’d lean towards either Longest Day or Wacht am Rhein, depending on your proclivities. Wacht’s campaign is longer and larger than Longest Days (which just covers the landings up to D-Day +3, but does cover ALL of them). Longest Day has night battles, Wacht doesn’t. Both are quite well done, and have benefited from the recent engine upgrades put out for all these games when Arnhem was last updated.

      Cross of Iron I only just got myself, and it’s very differently structured than the others (it was the first one remade). I’ll get back to you on that one once I’ve had a chance to play with it, but the campaigns lack a metamap and are more like traditional CC campaigns prior to CC4.


      Personally I’m not really buying things on Impulse anymore, but that is a fantastic deal.

    • The Innocent says:

      Thanks for the tips. I think I’ll get Wacht am Rhein then. I prefer long campaigns, and right now the Ardennes is sounding more interesting than Normandy again.

      And I would appreciate your thoughts later on Cross of Iron. CC3 was my favorite of the original series.

    • Jason Lefkowitz says:

      I was browsing the list and was a little shocked to see Steel Panthers: World at War listed at a “sale” price of $47, down from a list price of $70 (!).

      This is a game that runs in 256 colors at a fixed 800×600 resolution no matter what kind of display you have, has serious issues with modern video drivers and multicore processors, and can’t be run reliably in Windows 7 at all. It was a great game in its day, but without some serious updates it’s completely inappropriate for them to be selling it to people with modern PCs for $4, much less $47.

      The idea that Matrix considers $47 for a title that can’t be run on contemporary PCs to be a “nice price” reminds me why I haven’t played a Matrix game in a long time…

    • Janek says:

      Worth noting for UK folks that 1. The currency conversion is a bit wonky to start with and 2. prices are excluding VAT. The vaguely sensible $27 (about £17.50) for Cross of Iron manages to balloon itself to just under £23.

      It’s like they don’t WANT my money.

    • Vinraith says:


      That’s unfortunate. Seeing as the games are virtually DRM free, though (you just need a key), I’d imagine they’re good candidates for smuggling.

  3. Mark says:

    Buy Bastion.

    It’s challenging, well designed, and the soundtrack and story are pretty ace. Art style doesn’t quite mesh with the sombre tone of the game world and characters, but I still found the experience pretty affecting. Even if it doesn’t end up working for you, I think it’s at least worth a fiver to find that out. (Also, don’t play the demo; it’s not really representative of the game as a whole.)

    • Llewyn says:

      In what way is the demo not representative? I played it a while ago and ended up not buying it. Superficially I loved everything about it – the concept, the art, Logan Cunningham’s voice performance and especially the soundtrack, which I’ve been listening to on Spotify while out and about today – apart from the actual gameplay. Is that really so different in the full game?

    • Mark says:

      AFAIK, the demo allows you unlimited respawns? Kinda changes the dynamic of the gameplay. Could be totally misinformed on this point, though. Regardless, I think the story and ending of Bastion is such a large part of that game for me, and the demo wouldn’t convey that.

    • Juan Carlo says:

      I think Bastions overrated. The gameplay’s pretty sub mediocre and the only thing it has going for it is its narration gimmick, but I wasn’t as amused by it as everyone else seemed to be.

    • djbriandamage says:

      The demo is what convinced me to buy the game and I was consistently pleased and surprised by the full product. I’m very very happy I bought Bastion.

  4. yutt says:

    Don’t think it will hurt to mention this again: link to

    10 albums for 1 dollar
    17 albums for 10 dollars

    Bunch of indie game soundtracks (including Minecraft and Super Meatboy) for pay-what-you-want.

    New Steam Autumn sale deals in 20 minutes!

  5. Jim Rossignol says:

    Worth noting that Space Marine appears to be on sale on Steam in the UK.

    • Xocrates says:

      I’m not on the UK, but wasn’t Space Marine one of the daily deals that ended about 10 minutes after you posted?

    • Strange_guy says:

      By ‘on sale’ he might mean it is literally possible to buy it, I believe Space Marine wasn’t available to buy on steam in the UK before now. Or it might have been about the 10 minutes left of sale.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Yes, I mean it’s actually available on Steam now.

    • Xocrates says:

      Ah, right, the other kind of sale.

      I stand corrected then.

  6. SirKicksalot says:

    Buy Red Faction: Armageddon. It’s one of the best shooters of the year and the PC port is flawless. It bombed so hard that THQ killed the franchise, but trust me – it’s awesome.

    • johnpeat says:

      The demo was almost worth £3.24 so…

    • terry says:

      Is something up with Impulse? I tried ordering RFA and it gave me some spiel about emailing my code within a business day and I haven’t had any code emailed yet – do they verify orders manually or did something mess up?

      Edit: Never mind, it came in in the last few minutes.

    • Cradok says:

      One of my favroutes this year too. It’s kinda gimmicky in places, and the plot is aggressively stupid in places, but it’s got awesome weapons and great combat.

  7. Commander Gun says:

    Just out of curiosity, is there anyone actually buying pc games right away when they are released?

    I mean, i bought Shogun 2 at steam sale (either 66 or 75% discount if i remember correctly) and Deus Ex, the game that everyone was very enthousiastic about and was released THREE MONTHS AGO, is already 50% off at steam. Same for Portal 2, released earlier this year and already immensly discounted.
    Maybe this was always the case and i only start to notice now, but it seems so…weird.
    EDIT: and even more, it seems so predictable. I’m interested in Skyrim, but since i’m having fun with other games i know i can nust wait till spring next year and pick it up then, presumably including all dlc.

    • johnpeat says:

      Oblivion resisted most ‘sales’ for a long time – not as much as the CoD games but it didn’t really get ‘cheap’ until that sale Steam did last week – when it was over 5 years old!!

      It took over a year to see the GoTY version released – which didn’t include all the DLC – and the Deluxe version (which includes all the DLC) is a fairly recent addition to Steam?

      I’m sure Skyrim may shake-off a little cash but I doubt we’ll see a big discount in the Christmas Sales – or even the Easter ones – it’s sold a massive amount, I’m sure they don’t need anymore just yet.

      PC version is under £30 at GMG if you include likely Quidco/TCB…

    • johnpeat says:

      p.s. Fallout didn’t really drop in value that quickly either – F:NV was a bit quicker to drop but it still took over a year!?

    • Llewyn says:

      I bought a boxed copy of New Vegas (from Amazon, I think) for £13 in the run up to Christmas last year. According to Steam it was released on 22nd October, so I think that’s a pretty rapid drop. I think you’ll be right about Skyrim though.

    • grundus says:

      Depends. I bought DXHR on day one because I wanted it THEN THEN THEN, I also bought BF3 for the same reason but also for the free Back to Karkand and I didn’t want to wait until everyone else had unlocked everything to start playing, I did that with BC2 and just got endlessly magnum ammo’d out of existence.

      Most other things, though, I try to resist, which I find quite easy a lot of the time. One recent slip was Rage, I played my brother’s PS3 copy and enjoyed it, then saw it on sale for 33% off and bought it on an impulse, which I do kind of regret but also don’t, because I am enjoying it quite a lot, and the fact that I paid real money for it means I will definitely finish it, unlike, say, Mass Effect which I really enjoyed but only paid something like £5 for so I don’t feel any obligation to finish it, even though I really want to so I can start ME2, which I paid a fair bit (£14) for.

      Oh yeah, another thing that factors into my decision is whether or not I’m likely to play the game online. To be fair I can’t be arsed with the majority of competitive online games, I like to just stick to Battlefield if I’m playing online, so that means most games I will wait for. Also I intend to wait for Arkham City, Mass Effect 3, Skyrim, L.A. Noire, Saints Row: The Third and a few others to drop to at least £10 before I buy them, problem is I don’t see that happening in a hurry for any of them as I think they’ve all done quite well. I was supposed to get Arkham City free with my new graphics card but the promotion ended the very morning I ordered it, bloody Paypal…

    • Jhoosier says:

      I’ve got a couple friends who do that. They preorder quite a bit and never read RPS. I think I should shun them.

      I usually wait for GOTY if I can, or for the first price drop if i really, really want it (New Vegas, DX3). I’m actually conflicted about Skyrim. It might be the first game I pay more than $35 for in years, though I’ve got Oblivion to go through first.

    • Baines says:

      The really bad thing is that I can’t bring myself to buy stuff during the current Steam sale because I figure there will be a better sale next month.

  8. omicron1 says:

    Also worth noting that Bulletstorm is available on Gamer’s Gate (link to for $7.98 (~5 GBP) – skip the infuriating Origin nonsense. Along with, apparently, 465 other discounts.

    Things like a $5 Metro2033, $5 Darksiders, and $15 Shogun 2 make this sale of equal quality to Steam’s. Probably worth including in your big list up there, aye?

    • dancingcrab says:

      I don’t mind the ‘Origin nonsense’, so it’s worth mentioning that you can have the best of both worlds as the game’s key registers in the Origin client.

  9. johnpeat says:

    Today’s highlights would appear to be Splinter Cell: Conviction (WELL worth £3.24) and Limbo for £1.74 (worth it for the ending alone – which is astonishing).

    I’m guessing that’s the last of the sales as tomorrow will be the usual ‘greatest hits’??

    • alundra says:

      gee, thanks for pre-spoiling the ending for me and who knows how many more, next time put some big

      *****************************POSSIBLE SPOILER************************************

    • johnpeat says:

      How is telling you that the end is ‘astonishing’ in any way a spoiler.

      Were you on tenterhooks that it might be shit or cliched or just pointless???

      Were you hoping that it would actively aim to spoil your day (that’s just the rest of the game!!) :)

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Actually the ending is rubbish.

      (OR IS IT?)

    • Urthman says:

      [redundant comments removed]

    • Casimir Effect says:

      I think it’s a Big Bang Theory reference. Or Sheldon actually exists.

    • johnpeat says:

      I should probably explain my relationship with Limbo…

      I bought it last Christmas – with points given to me as a gift. I was, at the time, suffering from both a back injury and a bout of flu which meant that on Christmas Day I was stuck at home (out of bed for the first time in a week but not really wanting to spread my illness I chose to avoid the Christmas family celebrations – my other half even took the dogs and left me!!)

      Why I chose to buy Limbo I’ve no idea but I did and I played it thru and the combination of my mood and it’s mood entangled themselves horribly to the point I felt about as cheery as anyone would having been consigned into such a place in search of their sister.

      The thing is – I’d gotten so involved with it that when I reached the end the affect it had on me was enormous – I’m pretty sure I cried a bit, even – I certainly won’t forget it (nor am I deadly keen to repeat it!!)

      It’s not the greatest game ever but it was an experience like nothing else, for me at least… ;)

    • Quinnbeast says:

      – Reply fail! –

    • Lewie Procter says:

      I thought the ending was brilliant too.

      [Or did I?]

  10. Pike says:

    Does anyone know if there will be a new set of Steam daily deals on Sunday or will the sale end at that point?

    • omicron1 says:

      Judging by past events, there will be a new set of deals tomorrow.
      Possibly even Skyrim! (fat chance, though…)

    • johnpeat says:

      Tomorrow will likely be the ‘greatest hits’ of the sales so far – every Steam sale in the last few years has done that.

      So nothing new – just some deals repeated

  11. Bostec says:

    Payday the heist is on sale on Steam, Whats it like with random people? As having no friends I feel its the only way to go. Oh and The Witcher 2 is £15.59, the cheapest i’v seen it yet I think.

    • Juan Carlo says:

      Payday’s fun. The community can be a bit hostile, though. There’s a core group of maxed out leveled players who kick every below 80 player from lobbies on site, which can be a bit annoying as it makes it hard to find a game at times. But I’m hoping this sale will inject some life and new blood into the community. Overkill also plans on releasing a patch to allow you to join games already in progress, which I think will help with this. So I say get it.

      PS: Witcher 2 was 16 dollars on Amazon a few days ago. I think that’s the cheapest it’s ever been.

    • Bostec says:

      Yeah cheers for that, I don’t like the sound of that leveling up marlarky so I think i’m going to give it a miss. Can’t really afford it anyway, I fucked up on my budget this month big time so much so that i’m going to be eating cans of beans till chirstmas. Nevermind, feel sorry for the poor sloths in my house, going to be chewing on my sonicbooms every night.

  12. Juan Carlo says:

    Edit:wrong spot

    • GenBanks says:

      Enjoying the storytelling is an important part of enjoying the game, so I would hardly call the narration system a gimmick. Fair enough if you didn’t like it though, but that doesn’t mean it’s overrated.

      *edit* I was responding to criticism about Bastion

    • Juan Carlo says:

      Yeah story telling is important, but the fact that this game has a narrator that voices your every move is a gimmick. It’s a clever gimmick I’ll admit, but still a gimmick. Without it no one would have given Bastion a second look.

  13. Strange_guy says:

    Note that while The Witcher 2 is only 40% off The Witcher is 75% off. Probably be getting that.

    By the way which of the Tom Clancy games are worth getting? And is polynomial decent?

    • Mitchk says:

      As bookwormat says in the post below, Conviction is a stupendous game! Probably one of my favourite games ever actually, the way it tells the story so seamlessly is just fantastic. Coop campaign is great too if you’re into that sort of thing!

      :edit: if you don’t already have Witcher 2 I can reccomend that too. That is, if Skyrim isn’t already quenching your RPG thirst!

  14. Vinraith says:

    Any pre-2003 Tom Clancy game is a gem, if you don’t mind the graphics.

    • Doesn'tmeananything says:

      Splinter Cell Chaos Theory (released 2005) is also very good and the absolute pinnacle of the series, so I’d recommend that as well.

    • bookwormat says:

      Splinter Cell Conviction is one of the best games I played this year. It got a lot of heat at release because of its digital rights management. But if you are like me and don’t care when it’s cheap, expect a great ~10 hour long experience.

  15. PatrickSwayze says:

    Any RPS’ers care to share how they feel about Cities XL 2012? The only thing in the Steam sale that’s tempted me really.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Technically okay, but kind of peculiar. It’s not a bad city builder, the logic of it is a bit awkward somehow?

    • PatrickSwayze says:

      Hmmmmm. HMMMMM. Can’t even make my mind up by humming either.

      Reviews vary from scathing to passable.

      I shall decide after watching GI Joe.

  16. bleeters says:

    Renegade Ops is indeed tons of fun, but I can’t honestly recommend it to anyone who doesn’t have a game pad. Controlling it with a keyboard is… frustrating. I finished all the levels and still don’t quite have the hang of it, regularly driving into cliffs or off bridges. And if there’s a way to remap the keys, I’d sure like to know of it. My ability to hold down shift and steer is limited at best.

    • Keymonk says:

      With tank controls, it’s fairly easy. Did you try those?

    • johnpeat says:

      In fairness to it, it’s an arcade game designed for a controller and a big splashscreen STRONGLY suggests you use one.

      A 360 pad is really something every PC game should own anyway – it’s the de-facto pad and it works with almost everything – and it’s pretty decent TBH

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      The number of games it’s worth getting a 360 pad for is now ludicrous. Gamers should start regarding it as next purchase after mouse and keyboard.

    • alundra says:

      As an excellent alternative you can get the X360ce gamepad emulator, it makes games detect any kind of gamepad as if it was an x360 one.

    • johnpeat says:

      The thing is tho – a wired 360 pad is cheap (they’re dirt cheap 2nd-hand in almost every game store and they’re near indestructible in my experience) – so why you’d want to emulate one I’ve no idea.

      Every other PC pad I’ve used has been worse – some are borderline appalling…

    • PatrickSwayze says:


      I have to wash my hands just thinking about a second hand game pad :|

      *applies hand gel*

    • alundra says:

      yeah as cheap and indestructible as they might be, say for example I prefer the dual shock 3 pads from the PS3 or just have some other pad, already purchased, and lying around, useless, because M$ in their every monopolistic pursuit decided to encourage xinput and discourage dinput support in gfw sanctioned games.

      I mean, some developers are so lazy that they don’t include a pad button remap option anymore, the emulator is just perfect in all cases other than having an actual first hand x360 pad (@PatrickSwayze :-D)

    • NathanH says:

      And you call this a PC gaming blog?!? Pffff! Have some elitism, folks. If it needs a controller to play then it’s not worth playing!

    • Zenicetus says:

      @ Jim Rossignol: “The number of games it’s worth getting a 360 pad for is now ludicrous. Gamers should start regarding it as next purchase after mouse and keyboard.”

      If it’s a PC game, I expect it to work with traditional PC controls.

      Once we all start deciding that “okay, I can fall back on a gamepad if the mouse + keyboard control sucks,” then guess what we’re going to get in future “PC” games? We’re going to get mouse + keyboard control that sucks.

    • StingingVelvet says:

      Gamepads pre-date mice as PC game controllers, and there is no such thing as standard PC anything. A 360 pad is a needed thing for certain genres and games… can’t imagine Batman AC, Assassin’s Creed, Tomb Raider or Meat Boy without one.

    • Thermal Ions says:

      Well if you’re my age, “traditional PC controls” were Arrow Keys, Space and Enter (none of which could be rebound), and maybe a joystick.

      The whole Mouse and Keyboard with limitless rebinding options is no more traditional than a Gamepad.

    • Wabznasm says:

      There came a point about a decade ago when the number of console ports began to outnumber the number of games designed primarily with the PC in mind. Rather than get frustrated with badly though-out mouse and keyboard control schemes, I spent a few quid on a USB adapter for my dualshock 2. I really haven’t needed to update my setup.

      Back then gamepad support was pretty patchy, but since the 360 pad is now the de facto standard it’s trivially easy to use. I have x360ce set up how I like it, and it’s just a matter of copying over a couple of ini files into the relevant game directory.

      Some games that I enjoyed much more with a pad include: the GTA games (pretty much any Rockstar game that came to PC for that matter); Prince of Persia series; Assassin’s Creed; Splinter Cell; Arkham Asylum; Saints Row; Dead Rising 2; Darksiders; Just Cause 2; Red Faction Guerilla; Super Meat Boy; Pretty much any racing game; Oblivion; LA Noire; and so on…

      There’s a (precious) few games which don’t mind if you use a mouse/gamepad combination. Most noteworthy of which is Saints Row the Third – I use both hands on the pad for driving, and then for the running and shooting I have my left hand on the pad for movement, and my right hand on the mouse for aiming. The left trigger and the right mouse button do the same thing, so I rebound one to whatever E does normally since it’s the only button not accessible otherwise. It’s the best of both worlds and an absolute joy to play.

      There’s really no reason for a rigid, sentimental attachment to mouse and keyboard. Having the option of using a gamepad has only been beneficial to me.

    • The Tupper says:

      @ Zenicetus

      Gamepads are traditional PC controllers. We’ve had them since at least the days of the original Playstation, and one of the things PC gamers used to pride ourselves on was the variety of input methods.

      For example: how do you feel about joysticks?

    • The Tupper says:

      @ Wabznasm

      I also wish more games would allow both keyboard/mouse and gamepad to work simultaneously. For me, it would sort out the cumbersome interface for Skyrim: before I played it, I’d heard about the problems it poses KB/M.

      I therefore started the game using my XBox controller, but missed (in this instance) the immediacy of mouse control so have gone for that instead. The tricksie interface, however is far easier to navigate with a pad.

    • Quinnbeast says:

      Isn’t the whole point of a PC that you can plug whatever the hell you want in to it? M+KB, Joystick, Gamepad, Tracker ball. If someone somewhere can get some mileage out of playing Rocket Arena on a Wacom Tablet, why the fuck not (for lack of a better phrase)?

    • malkav11 says:

      Well, they’re not PC games, really, in the sense of being designed with the PC first and foremost in mind. I do think it’s important to have tolerable mouse and keyboard controls, and indeed I played the entire first Assassin’s Creed with them, among others. But if a gamepad works better, it’s a bit silly to insist on using something else.

      That said, playing the GTA games strictly with a gamepad is madness. The whole reason to play them on PC in the first place (and wait out the ridiculous delays and waffling over whether it will come at all) is for the vastly improved gameplay that comes with mouse aiming. The driving is a little better (note, just a little) with a gamepad, sure, (and flying is pretty much gamepad required) but you can do both, and should.

    • alundra says:

      to those people arguing about a k+m only PC environment, wait until you start developing carpal tunnel syndrome and can’t even type for more than 10 minutes without having pain in your hands.

      then you will cry for having to pass a good PC title because it doesn’t not have proper gamepad support.

    • Wabznasm says:

      I agree on the GTA games to some extent, although the attention to detail of the ports has been progressively worse as the series progresses.

      What irked me in particular – apart from the flying – was that there were various side-challenges (particularly in Vice city IIRC) where you needed to use the ability to shift your weight on the motorbike in order to succeed. It was pretty much impossible to do this with the keyboard because the jarring motion invariably made you crash. I set up my gamepad to get past those points and ended up preferring it on balance.

      I really can’t handle GTA IV’s driving on a mouse and keyboard though. Making the camera more independent of the car was a silly decision. I just found the pad much more comfortable and developed my skill at aiming.

    • Zenicetus says:

      @ The Tupper:
      “Gamepads are traditional PC controllers. We’ve had them since at least the days of the original Playstation, and one of the things PC gamers used to pride ourselves on was the variety of input methods.

      For example: how do you feel about joysticks?”

      Well, see… that’s part of the problem… too much crap on the USB bus.

      As an old-school flight sim guy, I have four USB controllers already on the bus for that stuff — CH joystick, throttle quadrant, pedals, and TrackIR for head tracking. Plus a few other things the PC sees as inputs, like a Wacom tablet for graphics work. The only time I’ve ever had my high-end Windows PC lock up recently, was over USB conflicts with too many devices, which isn’t supposed to happen with Win 7/64 bit, but it does. It’s like the old days of hand-managing IRQ conflicts.

      I don’t want to plug in yet another USB controller and figure out how to make it not conflict,or be recognized as some kind of primary controller when I have all this other stuff on the system.

      Aside from all that — because I know us old-timers with flight sim controller hardware are probably a dying breed — it’s just annoying when game devs can’t spend as much time optimizing for mouse and KB, as they do for a gamepad controller. That’s really all I’m asking for. The control input in some recent games seems like they didn’t even try to make it work smoothly on mouse and KB, especially in the menu overlay (Witcher 2, for example). I don’t think that’s an unreasonable thing to ask for.

    • NathanH says:

      Whenever we have this argument, the controller side always lists a whole bunch of games/genres that a serious gentleman of gaming shouldn’t be wasting his precious time over, so I will smugly sit here with my mouse, my keyboard, and my undeserved sense of superiority.

      In fact, I don’t have that many games installed right now that actually need significant keyboard use, let alone a gamepad!

      Joysticks are fine, though. That’s old fashioned, hence maximum smugness. Not, of course, that I would lower myself to actually using one, but in principle they have my seal of approval. And that’s all that matters.

    • Teknorat says:

      For those who prefer the ergonomics of a PS3 controller MotionInJoy lets you have it recognised as a 360 pad: link to

    • malkav11 says:

      I found GTA IV’s shooting unplayable with a gamepad (literally, I hit a brick wall of difficulty on the 360 version I misguidedly purchased because there was no sign of a PC release, at the first real combat sequence). And weirdly, I also prefer keyboard for driving in that one. The whole driving model went a direction I’m not exactly fond of that makes, for example, whatshisname’s race mission a living hell. But it’s more tolerable with the keyboard for me for whatever reason.

  17. cptgone says:

    remember to take Steam’s price reduction figures with a grain of salt.
    E.g.: The Sims 3 @ “-50%” is still cheaper undiscounted at (in €, didn’t check other currencies).

  18. StingingVelvet says:

    Got Batman: Arkham City for $25 yesterday on Origin. SO glad that Skyrim made me wait a bit for that game, since I saved $25 for waiting just three days. Also Origin is not needed to install or play, it basically just delivers the install files.

  19. alundra says:

    Does anyone knows if the witcher (1) version available at the steam is the full uncensored one?

    (sorry for the second post, this one reappeared after I posted that and now I can’t find the second one to edit it, very sorry about it!)

    • StingingVelvet says:

      It is in the US, they have a “Director’s Cut DLC” that is free to use. Can’t speak for the UK.

      You should really get it on GOG though… $10, no DRM and tons of bonus items like a really great art book pdf.

  20. snv says:

    If a game is less enjoyable with mouse and keyboard that doesn’t lead me to the conclusion to buy a gamepad. It just means i’ll rather pick a better game.

    As should you! Traitors, letting the studios get away with shoddy ports…

    • johnpeat says:

      You’re an berk :)

      Some games work MUCH better on pads – driving games are pretty much optimised for them these days, fighting games NEED a pad as do twin stick shooters and most other ‘arcadey’ games.

      Batman AA was fantastic with a pad

      My all means don’t buy games which work better on pads – it’s your loss tho.

    • The Tupper says:

      I’ve had loads of gamepads (beginning with Microsoft’s Sidewinder effort in the late ’90s) and the XBox 360-type is undoubtedly the best. I even use it for flying in Flight Simulator X – it simply works, intuitively and comfortably. I must’ve missed the meeting where it was decided that PC’s were to be limited to keyboard and mouse.

    • Bostec says:

      @The Tupper

      You used the Xbox360 Controllor for Flight simulator X? This I have to try, I have a joystick and all but this sounds…interesting. Also I demand an artice on RPS about controllors and such, its getting to the point as Jim mentioned that a 360 controller is a must for the PC connoisseur, I mean I gave up on Alpha Protocol because of the crappy keyboard and mouse support but I read somewhere much later it was much better with an controllor.

    • The Tupper says:

      @ Bostec

      Honestly, no one was more surprised than me. Especially since a couple of years ago I splashed for a CH Yoke and rudder pedals. The trouble with that kit, though, was that the sheer hassle of clamping the yoke to my desk (and unclamping it whenever I needed to do anything else) made it more of a pain than I, as a casual simmer, could bother with.

      One day I thought I’d give the XBox controller a shot and was amazed at how well it works, without any keymapping. You (obviously) steer with one stick, but the other moves your pilot’s head (Edit: 3-D cockpit mode) in a brilliantly intuitive and immersive manner way better than any hat stick I’ve ever used. The triggers give extremely nuanced rudder control as well while the other buttons cover most controls that light aircraft need.

      Even though it’s a gamepad, it acts (in this circumstance) far more like a joystick.

      [Addition: I bought a Sidewinder joystick in 1997 with my first PC because its twist-grip could emulate rudder control, but the pad knocks that particular gimmick into a cocked hat]

      If you try it, feel free to send me a message in the forums I’d be interested to know what you think.

      I also think that RPS should do a controller amnesty so we can put this ridiculous keyboard & mouse flat-earthism to bed.

    • Hatsworth says:

      I have no qualms with pads, but fighting games certainly do not need them. A good mechanical keyboard is one of the best forms of input, it’s just not that common. Arcade stick makers have even started emulating it with “hit boxes” which use buttons for directions too, instead of a stick.

      I’m really not a fan of the 360 controller though, and the general lack of native support for generic controllers is annoying.

    • The Tupper says:

      @ Hatsworth

      If, by fighting games you mean beat-em-ups I have to disagree. Your mileage may vary, of course, but I’ve played Batman: Arkham Asylum (amongst other things, surely the best beat-em-up of all time) with both control methods and the gamepad wins hands-down. Even disregarding the vibration-effect, there’s something visceral about struggling desperately with the controller while trying not to get clobbered and running up hit combinations that the M/KB can’t begin to match.

    • Bostec says:

      @ The Tupper

      I shall take up your word on it and try it out next week sometime, hell I might even land a plane first time for once.

    • Hatsworth says:

      No, I meant player versus player fighting games like Street Fighter. Mainly 2d ones of course.

  21. johnpeat says:

    I’m pretty fastidious about cleaning my own pads/keyboards so I’d just apply the same logic to a used pad if I got one.

    A lot of the time, “used” pads are actually brand-new anyway – wired pads tend to be traded-in with older consoles but people bought wireless pads and never used the wired ones.

    That ‘cleaning goo’ which they sell in places like Asda (jelly you press into keyboards etc.) is excellent for gamepads in particular – use that and then wipe-over with an antibac wipe and you could eat your dinner off it :)

    • The Tupper says:

      With regard to cleaning peripherals, I’m pretty sure that either PC Gamer or PC Format did an item several years ago where one of the guys put an entire monitor into the dishwasher to clean it of assorted stains. The method was certainly from a reliable source, as I later tried the same with a George Foreman grill that had accidentally become septic.

      I stress that I left the grill to dry in a warm place for several weeks before plugging it in, but it worked perfectly until recently – when I forgot to clean it for a couple of months and it’s gone septic again.

      Remember kids – I’m a random bloke on the internet with a dodgy memory about something someone wrote in a magazine years ago: DO NOT GET ELECTROCUTED. Neither I, nor RPS are responsible for any actions taken by daft folk.

      But I reckon a gamepad could handle it.

  22. Zenicetus says:

    Rise of Flight is running another big 50% off sale on planes and field mods, from Nov. 24th to the 28th. Also, the ROF:ICE upgrade from the demo to get started, is $19.99 USD during the sale period.

    link to

    It’s currently the best prop fighter sim out there (IMO), with a campaign mode and a multiplayer community as well. So if you’re at all curious, now is a good time to dive in.

  23. Rothkildam says:

    Some good deals here too: link to

  24. Forceflow says:

    Also 20% off steam-activated Skyrim at GMG:

    link to

  25. Nerocyne says:

    Crysis 2 is available at half price here in Norway. Picked it up due to not on Steam D:
    By the way, am I the only one noticing how Steam screwed EA over and offers Dead Space 2 cheaper than on Origin?

  26. senile peasant says:

    Even during/after this sale Multiwinia is still as barren as the Australian desert. /sadface