The RPS Bargain Bucket: Protective Clothing

I’ve just completed my usual weekend routine of scouring the digital distributors for the best gaming curiosities for not very much money, and would you just look at what I’ve found. There’s probably something for everyone in this week’s discount selection, and getting all five featured games would set you back not much more than ten English pounds. If this lot isn’t enough to satisfy your appetite for cheap game, you can rely on SavyGamer to bring you all the best deals across all platforms as they happen. Bucket go!

Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory – £2.78/€3.98/$3.98
Still to this day I’d say this is Sam Fisher’s peak. This was before Ubisoft decided just shooting was more fun than shooting and thinking, but after they’d got the knack for really interesting non-linear level design. The first two games were just practise for Chaos Theory, where all the ideas from the first two games were taken much further, and in a much more slick and stylish package. How about that soundtrack?

Test Drive Unlimited 2 – £2.84
A racing game about driving cars. This is John’s opinion after getting into the cockpit:

What’s remarkable about what I’ve seen so far is the volume of things to do. At the start your options are kept pretty slim, but after only a couple of hours you’ll find huge areas of the Ibiza island smothered in challenges, stores, luxury homes and car dealerships. I’m not sure how much I’ll ever care about my haircut (and in the game), or the furniture in my house. I’m after a racing game, not The Sims. But it looks as though the way leveling will work means that even if you don’t focus on one of the four aspects, those that you do will contribute enough to see you rising through the ranks.

Supreme Commander: Gold Edition – £2
Includes the original game, and the Forged Alliance expansion. Pretty sure this registers on Steam. Comrade Meer reviewed this for Eurogamer. With a score and everything.

The overwhelming sense from SupComm (apart from the need to sleep for a week after a bout of it) is that its design brief was mega-war first, player sympathy second. The mega-war it gets absolutely right, but this is an RTS that could have bagged itself a 10 if it had reigned itself in a little, had tweaked its flow just enough so that there wasn’t quite so much exhausting struggle.

Pathologic – £3.18/€3.98/$3.98
A scary game about people, disease and people dying from disease. As Quinns put it in his diary:

It’s easy to get yourself into a situation where poverty or disease will be the end of you, and if you fail to buy more and more serious weaponry and protective clothing (both of which degrade with use anyway) as the town’s situation becomes more dire, then you might find that the only way out is restarting the game. This means that survival can never truly leave your mind. Your own safety can never be an afterthought.

More here.

Deal of the week
Renegops – £3/€3.90/$4.50
Renegops 4-Pack – £6/€7.50/$9
Registers on Steam. Find some friends to split a 4-Pack with for improved savings.
A healthy slice of Saturday Morning cartoon playful rough-and-tumble. You and up to three other human players had to drive/fly around a big map shooting all the baddies, rescuing the people that need rescuing, and blowing everything else up. I’ve only played this single player, and it’s a great bit of arcade action, I imagine it only improves with more players.

Also of note:
Summer Promo at GOG.
Kalypso promo at Steam.
Binary Domain – £7.49/€9.99/$9.99
Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon – £7.48/€9.48/$9.98. Registers on Steam.
Red Faction: Armageddon – £3.74/€4.99/$4.99. Registers on Steam.
Darksiders – £4. Registers on Steam.
Bagfull of Wrong – £3.82/€4.87/$5.99

For always up to date info about what games are cheap at any given moment, hit up


  1. westyfield says:

    If you haven’t played SupCom, you owe it to yourself to try it. Greatest RTS ever.

    • malkav11 says:

      Depends on what you want out of an RTS, I suppose. I don’t want to denigrate the game because it is well made in many respects, but as someone who primarily enjoys RTS campaigns as opposed to skirmish play or online multiplayer, Supreme Commander is a long, long way from the top of my list.

      • westyfield says:

        Fair point, the campaign is pretty bad. Forged Alliance’s is better though.

        For skirmishes and multiplayer (especially co-op with friends vs high-level AI), there’s none better.

        • Droopy The Dog says:

          Obligitory mention of “forged alliance forever” incase people are aware the official servers got taken down but not that the fan run ones are going strong.

          Also non-obligatory mention of zero-k, because it’s even more bargainous (free) and I enjoy that game so much!

          • KDR_11k says:

            Huh, I haven’t looked at Zero-K ever since it was renamed from Complete Annihilation. However the extreme complexity along with the competitiveness has always turned me off from playing TA and its derivatives online.

        • FriendlyFire says:

          Am I alone who found FA’s campaign brutal? Just the first mission took hours and basically stacked everything against you.

          • westyfield says:

            I really struggled with it as well. It was unforgiving, but it felt much more structured than vanilla SupCom’s campaign. It still did the same annoying trick of “destroy this base… good job! but oh no, that was only a forward base, here’s the actual base you need to destroy!” to prolong missions though.

          • LionsPhil says:

            It’s also prone to the same horrible SP issue as the unexpanded game, magnified: idiot allies panicking in your ear to hurry up, but if you complete an objective without being prepared, the counterattack it triggers will roll back over you. So flow is ruined from being a desperate soon-as-you-can struggle to having to line up extra tanks then finally knocking off the last hitpoint of the objective.

            And Dostya’s death is scripted to happen even if you can actually kill the attackers (for example, because ALL OF THE ARTILLERY). >:(

      • KDR_11k says:

        Singleplayer RTS is always a problem due to the way RTSes work vs how campaigns work. RTSes are designed around tight play and splitsecond decisions while RTS campaigns usually pit you against a fairly passive and predictable AI that doesn’t start from zero like you do and doesn’t expand either so it’s usually a matter of surviving the first few attacks and then using your ability to expand to build up a gigantic army and simply crush all resistance. Some people play SupCom cooping against super-hard AIs but if that’s your goal you should really play AI War Fleet Command instead.

  2. Tusque D'Ivoire says:

    Also anyone who can and still hasnt should get Just Cause 2, if it’s still on sale. It is pretty much the same as RenegOps, by the same people, and there’s a (pretty much) unlimited multiplayer beta test going on. could have a Day Z-sort of revival…

    • malkav11 says:

      They’re very very different games that use the same engine. Just Cause 2 is a story-light, destruction and ridiculous physics heavy open world playground. Renegade Ops is a time-limited arcade vehicle shooter with weird controls, powerups, and light levelling elements, as well as coop play. Of the two I think JC2 is the better game.

  3. wu wei says:

    Bah, SupCom is still $20 for those of us in AU.

  4. MajorManiac says:

    I’m interested in Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon.

    Just need some advice from handsome/cool people. What are your experiences of it? Is it best played co-op?

    • malkav11 says:

      It’s not the best game in the franchise (that would be Earth Defense Force 2, localized to the PAL region as Global Defence Force, never released on the American continent, for PS2), but it does a decent job of delivering silly over the top giant bug and alien shootybang and funky weapons. This one has four different classes to play, each with their own gear, strengths and weaknesses, each of which levels up as you play. Like any EDF game I recommend playing with friends because the core action is a bit simplistic to have much staying power solo.

    • fish99 says:

      It’s fairly poor and very short (4 hours). It’s not half the game EDF2017 is, or GDF for that matter.

    • TedDahlberg says:

      I’m neither handsome nor cool, and I’ve only played about an hour of it so far, in single player, but I’ll give you my opinion anyway: go for it. I can see how it would be a lot of fun in co-op (though I rarely if ever play co-op, if for no other reason than not knowing anyone else who does), but it’s ridiculous fun in single player too. Way more than it should be considering the “go here, shoot that” design. Probably best played in short bursts rather than marathon sessions, but as I say, a lot of fun.

    • Dominic White says:

      EDF: IA ends when you see the alien mothership.

      No joke – it just ends. In any real EDF game, that would be a third of the way into the game. You’d defeat the mothership somewhere around the halfway mark, and then you’d discover that it was only a scout craft and there’s a city-sized mega-mothership to take down.

      Fortunately, there’s a new EDF game in the works from Sandlot, the original developers.

      • TedDahlberg says:

        Oh :( I think I’ll have to retract my previous hearty recommendation. Shame…

        • Dominic White says:

          To add insult to injury, the developers suggested that they might release a final boss level as paid DLC if the game sold well enough. It didn’t, so the game literally has no ending.

      • Baines says:

        The CEO was posting on the GameFAQ forum for the game around release, and said that they’d considered releasing the alien mothership battle as DLC. I cannot say whether or not he was joking, but I recall at the time it sounded like he was being serious.

        • Dilapinated says:

          This makes me actively ashamed rather than just disappointed that I payed money for this game.

          If you can get your hands on Global Defence Force, I heartily recommend it. EDF 2017 wasn’t bad either.

    • Jupiah says:

      The basic core gameplay is fantastic. It’s a polished, fun arcade-style third person shooter, each class has interesting and varied abilities and weapons and the swarms of giant monsters and skyscraper sized mini-bosses are a blast to fight. Also, unlike the previous games in the series, this one actually has useful vehicles and good graphics. In my opinion, out of all the EDF games, this one has the most fun gameplay.

      Unfortunately, it’s also only half a game. Literally. There are only 15 stages (compared to EDF 2017’s 50+), there are only a few different level sets (most stages just place you in different areas of those levels) and most of the stages are ridiculously small thanks to stupidly overused invisible walls. The game is very short, taking only 4-6 hours for one playthrough.

      Also you level up infuriatingly slowly – seriously, I’ve been playing for 25 hours and I’m still only level 6 out of a maximum of 7. That’s 7 full playthroughs of the game! Thankfully there’s a “remix” mode that randomizes the enemies you’ll encounter, but it still gets pretty old fast. And that’s only for 1 class. Leveling all 4 to max level could take a hundred hours.

      As already mentioned though, the worst offense of all is the lack of a final boss. The mothership actually does show up and attack you in the final level, but the bloody thing is invincible so you can’t fight back! You have to run away from it! And to add insult to injury, if you aren’t playing on the highest difficulty the game will imply that you died in the final cutscene. It’s a slap in the face to die-hard fans of the franchise and probably the biggest reason this game gets such harsh backlash.

      So yeah, as long as you can accept those flaws I’d say it’s worth playing. Some of the best co-op action around, just don’t expect to actually use any of the best weapons or more than one class unless you’re willing to spent dozens upon dozens of hours grinding experience points and don’t expect a satisfying ending.

      • fish99 says:

        The thing is though – EDF2017 was also built around playing it through multiple times – but it had 3x as many levels, so whichever way to look at it, IA has only a third as much content as 2017. Also by splitting the weapons among the classes, you had a quarter as many weapons available to your character versus 2017.

        The other things they got wrong – the game didn’t need the reloading mechanic, and by trying to make it more serious they lost some of the B-movie feel. On-top of all that the game has no real bosses.

        • Jupiah says:

          I agree that EDF:IA had far too little content, in fact I said as much in my second paragraph. The remix mode helps greatly (and I hope that feature becomes standard in all future EDF games) But it was still much too repetitive.

          I actually didn’t mind that there were fewer weapons because the weapons were generally quite more unique and differentiated from each other, whereas in 2017 it often felt like you were just getting minor upgrades to the same few guns.

          I liked the active reloading system too. It added a bit of strategy to what is otherwise a mostly mindless run-and-gun shoot-em-up and rewards people with good timing without punishing those that don’t (since they can just not even try to use it). I wish more games would steal that feature from gears of war.

          No argument on the lack of bosses, though the mega hectors are pretty epic for a mini-boss.

        • KDR_11k says:

          Serious? EDFIA doesn’t take anything serious. That’s my big problem with the writing in that game, previous EDFs had a constant stream of disaster reports and increasing despair as the background tune, it felt like the Earth was under full on attack and humanity has little chance in the war. In EDFIA you’ve got the idiot that is Intel and your squadmates constantly make stupid comments like they don’t realize there’s a massive alien invasion going on. In fact it doesn’t even feel as massive, it feels much more constrained like the aliens are attacking maybe 1-2 cities with small raiding parties rather than the entire planet with a massive army.

          Of course that’s just the writing. That game’s crap in MANY other ways. Take the combat: Enemies are much less aggressive and dangerous than in previous games but significantly more bullet-spongey. Even on the lowest difficulty it takes a LOT of shooting to kill even one little hector, on higher difficulties they get about 10x as much HP. For comparison previously hectors died after a bit of pounding and instead of one at a time you fought dozens of them simultaneously.

          Then there’s the overall difficulty: The game’s too easy. Yes, it has three difficulties (compared to the 5 plus a secret one in previous games) but you’ve got two AI partners that can revive you to full health if you ever die so it’s pretty hard to lose a mission. However if by some chance both AI partners die along with you then you’ve got a whole lengthy mission to redo. Unlike previous games where missions were one wave or two and hence didn’t need checkpoints this one has about 10 battles per mission and again no checkpoints. Oh and those missions are REALLY linear, instead of spawning the wave and letting you use the entire map as a battleground you move through fairly narrow corridors bordered by invisible walls (especially in Ditchslap where you have to slowly move through a canal and just in case you took a jetpack they’ve walled off the higher ground so you gotta take the long route like everybody else).

          Then there’s the weapon selection. In previous games that was a pile of crazy with increasingly out-there weapons (like grenade launchers that fired 50 bouncing grenades at once and operated on the “shoot and pray none bounce back” principle) and as you got to higher powered weapons they got more and more quirks (lengthy reloads, an assault rifle that’ll spray all over the screen, grenades that would instakill you if you end up in the blast radius, …) so even if you played with increased enemy HP through higher difficulties you’d have to deal with increasingly awkward weapons and thus tougher fights. In EDFIA you get 2-3 weapons per type and 6-7 tiers of each. The highest tier is always the best, improving all stats. To get the higher tiers you have to grind for experience and level up, then you can just buy them in a store (in previous games you could only get guns out of random drops in levels that depended on the difficulty of the level so you had to make do with what you’re being dealt). Except you won’t buy too many because everything except the assault rifles is underpowered. As the enemies are such bullet sponges you need high DPS, the assault rifles simply offer the most DPS and that’s it. If you want homing attacks for fast airborne enemies there’s also assault rifles for that. Explosives may hit multiple enemies but quickly become insufficient to kill even the simplest spam enemies in one shot and since enemies get knocked around by the blasts you can’t simply hit the same guys with another blast. The low enemy counts (bolstered by respawning) also don’t help the HE weapons much, whereas you could nuke 10 ants in one shot in previous EDFs you’re lucky if you hit 2-3 with one explosion in EDFIA.

          I’m not sure if I have listed all my complaints yet but you’ll get sick of replaying the same few missions over and over and the combat just feels like a total snoozefest with you practically immortal and enemies total bullet sponges.

    • Bobtree says:

      I really loved it on PS3, and the PC version has a 60fps mod now. It’s a wonderful action game, even with the repetition and grinding and some very odd weapons and lackluster graphics. Inferno difficulty is not really doable in the late-game with AI partners though. For $10 I’d definitely take a chance. It’s a shame there aren’t more games like it.

      • KDR_11k says:

        Inferno is hard with AI? Didn’t feel like it to me. Perhaps it depends on the armor, the heavy is probably the easiest to take into higher difficulties because his weapons are practically one tier stronger than everybody else’s and his energy explosion special lets him get through the first few missions on hard difficulty as soon as he hits level 2.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    The Gamersgate Summer sale has a few gems too, including Rise Of Flight at 80% off.

    (Credit goes to Vinraith who mentioned this one in the Flare Path comments – I’m reposting it here so that more eyeballs see it).

    • Vinraith says:

      ^^ I’m Vinraith and I approve this message.

      I’m a little baffled that Lewie doesn’t feel that sale is worth a listing, it’s had a fair number of very impressive daily sales thus far. Driver: SF is $10 today, incidentally, for anyone interested.

      • Bent Wooden Spoon says:

        I’m baffled too, it’s a great sale so far. Thanks to some kindly person mentioning it on the Just Cause 2 multiplayer comments, I got Just Cause 2 yesterday for blue coins. It was $2.75 or somesuch. I was so embarassed at the price I paid for the amount of fun I was having I actually purchased some of the DLC.

    • The Random One says:

      I was feeling pretty good with myself that I’d avoided wasting money on Steam’s summer sale (the only thing I bought was Portal 2, which I’d played on the console (boo boo hiss hiss) but of course the definitive version of any Valve game is the PC version) but now I’ve gone and bought a bunch of games on Gamersgate’s sale anyway.

      Including Pathologic, just now.

      • kdh says:

        I reread Quintin’s old (and brilliant) dissection of Pathologic, and felt very tempted to buy it as well.

        Sounds like they really need to create a Kickstarter to shine it up and retranslate it though!

  6. tospa says:

    Can anyone confirm if the supcom gold can be registers on Steam?

    • revelationspace says:

      Yeah it works on Steam. Was unsure myself but for £2 it was worth a gamble :)

      • tospa says:

        Good to hear but no luck… THQstore: “The following products are restricted by the billing country you specified.” and I live in finland.

        • Felix says:

          Do you really want to play this game? I’ll buy it for you and send along the key if you do. Just make sure to give me some way of contacting you besides this comment, haha.

        • SealedSun says:

          I fail to understand why THQ, of all companies, would be unwilling to take our money. (blocked in Switzerland too)

          Well, I’m sure I’ll find something else to do with these 2€

        • stratala says:

          Whatever you do don’t try and pay while using a Vpn, i am a brit in sweden, was log in on my UK Vpn and it flagged my account for fraud so now i cant buy anything and have to find some kind of customer service to get it sorted….

  7. MadMatty says:

    Supreme Comannder is a cold cut-classic- still very much alive on the net today- get Renegade Ops too for laughs, its exactly what it looks like in the trailer

  8. AlwaysRight says:

    Splinter Cell Chaos Theory is one of my favourite games, and was also the best game on the original Xbox. I can’t believe it isn’t talked about more often, especially with such an amazing soundtrack.

    • KenTWOu says:

      5.1 version is amazing!

      • AlwaysRight says:

        Ive already got it on DVD-Audio, awesome.
        The game sound effects are equally great, the foley room guys at ubisoft inspired Tobins next album.

    • Stinkfinger75 says:

      It was easily one of the best games of the last generation, along with being a true three headed monster what with it’s single player, (ahead of it’s time) co-op, and (incredible still to this day, please resurrect this mode Ubi) adversarial multiplayer. Yet it is never mentioned among the best games ever made, a distinction I think it deserves.

  9. Spakkenkhrist says:

    My brother and I have been trying to buy Test Drive Unlimited 2 since last week but the site will not accept any card details we put in despite them initially deducting and refunding a pound from our accounts as some kind of pre-authorisation (which is a bit of odd thing to do anyway) also the paypal link just takes you to a page asking for card details, anyone else had similar problems with shopto?

    • SF Legend says:

      Sounds like you dodged a bullet, TDU2 was one of the most awful ports I’ve had the displeasure of playing.

    • RogB says:

      yes, just had this issue right now. whats the point of offering to pay with paypal if you have to put card details in?
      oh well, ‘impulse buy’ avoided by way of laziness, fuck em. It’ll be on sale somewhere else soon with less silly ordering.

    • Snargelfargen says:

      The driving physics are truly horrendous, and not in arcadey way either. I got it for 5$ on a steam sale last year and even that was too much.

      • YourMessageHere says:

        I gathered that from the first TDU. What a good idea. What a nice car list. What a great setting. What the fuck happened to the controls?

      • Jason Moyer says:

        I thought the physics were pretty good, certainly better than most of the arcade racers people heap piles of praise on. The only negative thing I’d say about the driving model is that some of the roads, primarily the highway ramps, don’t have enough polygons to handle the physics well. Otherwise, it feels pretty much like an updated Porsche Unleashed. It’s also one of the few games that actually properly supports the 900 degree Logitech wheels. The transmission model is also kind of crap, but iRacing and Netkar are the only sims that have even tried to get that right.

    • i liek turtals says:

      TDU2 is for UK only by the way.

  10. Orontes says:

    Not on the list, but is Dungeons (gold edition) worth getting for £5?

    • Bluefox says:

      I would highly recommend downloading the demo (through steam or elsewhere) and playing through that first. If you’re expecting something like Dungeon Keeper, you’ll be sorely disappointed.

      My playthrough made me think of some mixture between a tower defense, a themepark tycoon game, and Evil Genius. I found it passable, but I didn’t feel the need to play past the demo.

    • i liek turtals says:

      If you’re expecting a dungeon keeper just avoid..

  11. porcelain_gods says:

    Tell Laura i love her

  12. DirtGunfrey says:

    Darksiders is a steal at that price, even after two years.

  13. buzzmong says:

    You know, the “Car wot goes faster” image still brings out a smile every time I see it.

  14. ArcaneSaint says:

    Hmm, the THQ site refuses to use any language other then French. And I’m not really gonna buy anything if I don’t know what it is I’m buying, or agreeing to.

    I can live with the fact that many international sites assume my native language is French as I live in Belgium (and I do speak some french, but not enough for financial stuff), but refusing to change to any other language just goes too far. Even when I select “United Kingdom” in the language options it still displays the site in french. And everyone knows no real Englishman would speak french.

  15. sinister agent says:

    Just a heads up – Splinter Cell Chaos Theory doesn’t want to install on Windows 7, giving compatibility errors. Looking into a workaround now.

  16. Bluefox says:

    Green Man Gaming is offering The Witcher 2 for 60% off, which seems like a pretty good deal to me.

    They’re also offering Borderlands 2 for 16% off, so that puts it just below $50. It’s still a pre-purchase, though, so you’ll have to really be sure you want it.

    And the last thing that caught my eye there is World of Goo for only $4, which, if you like puzzle games, is totally worth it.

    • Samuel Erikson says:

      If you decide to get Borderlands 2 from GMG, use this voucher code: PCGMR-GREEN-SUMMR . It’ll drop the price (in the US, at least) to 40$.

      ETA: It looks like you might be able to use that code more than once, and it takes 20% off one item per purchase. Potential uses: Skyrim Dawnguard for 16$ or Death Rally for 8$ (both register on Steam).

  17. Sardaukar says:

    EA sale on GameFly; not much of a selection, but you can’t argue with Bulletstorm for $6.

    • Dilapinated says:

      The wince-inducing DRM put me off Bulletstorm in the Steam sale, I’m guessing this is still the case? :/